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[In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011

ru

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To quote a wise man, "Huh." You'd think a fanservice-y ninja show would be along the lines of Battle Girls: Time Paradox, a fanservice-y samurai show. I guess... I guess you'd be wrong. Yikes.
I've yet to see any kind of ninja fanservice show which doesn't take the train straight for rapeytown. I think it's some sort of collective mental illness in anime writers that makes them go "femal ninjas = rape!". You have to tread lightly around certain fandoms' doujinshi for the same reason (although doujin writers seem to be able to turn *anything* into rape-fic, but that's another matter).

I hate shit like this, and would be considerably happier were it not part of my hobby.
 

Old Toby

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I've yet to see any kind of ninja fanservice show which doesn't take the train straight for rapeytown. I think it's some sort of collective mental illness in anime writers that makes them go "femal ninjas = rape!".
Huh? Let's see... I can think of a ton of shows that have fanservicey female ninjas that don't get rapey, but mostly they aren't ninja shows, just shows that have one or two ninja characters (who happen to be female and not wearing very much...), and the rest aren't ninja fanservice shows, just ninja shows with a little fanservice...

Old Toby
Least Known Dog on the Net
 

Yo! Master

"Delicious"
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I've yet to see any kind of ninja fanservice show which doesn't take the train straight for rapeytown.
Huh, now that you mention it i have a trouble thinking of a ninja hentai manga that isn't rape-focused (more that the baseline is for hentai in general, that is).
 
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Wolfgang von Bek

Eternal Champion
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Second episode of Penguindrum was just as good as the first (and I still have no clue what is going on)

The second of Mayo Chiki earned itself another episode, hopefully its more than just a love triangle* show.

Watched the whole first season of Mitsudomoe this morning, I I actually thought it was funnier than Azumanga Daioh. Gonna have to watch the second season now.

*square, pentagram, dodecahedron...whatever.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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And now for the last straggler...

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian (Dantalian no Shoka)
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Post-WWI England : a young lord inherits the care of a mystical library containing some very dangerous Phantom Books. The wider plot isn't clear yet, but presumably he's going to go on and investigate whichever of those are at large and must be contained.

Characters

Huey, our bishounen, Daisuke-Ono-voiced protagonist. His grandfather just got murdered by a burglar, so he inherits (1) a huge countryside mansion, (2) the valuable book collection therein, (3) the care of "Dalian" (whom he at first assumed to be a pet), and (4) the opportunity to become the caretaker of the Mystic Library of Dantalian. I quite like him ; his phlegm and and complete lack of freaking out when surrounded by weirdness are quite endearing.

Dalian, the gothic lolita living inside the mansion. (Fans of Miyuki Sawashiro hoping for her usual sexy, sarcasm-laden voice will be disappointed ; she uses a much higher register, somewhat akin to her performances in SHAFT gag series.) She holds the Dantalian books inside herself somehow, and contracts Huey to take care of it (cue blatant key/lock imagery).

The plot this week involves looking into Grampa's murder and the theft of a Phantom Book... Except Huey's already figured it out offscreen (the culprit was Grampa's long-time rival mascarading as a burglar to get the book). We also get a demonstration of why Phantom Books are so dangerous (it kills the thief offscreen and summons nasty beasties), as well as Huey drawing on the Dantalian's power to defeat the monsters.

Production Values

Average. The visuals are pedestrian, and there are some annoying storytelling hiccups.

The only thing of note is the ED sequence, a charming little B&W live-action piece (and the song ain't bad either).

Overall Impression

Did Gainax really produce this ? It's a baffingly mediocre show with no spark whatsoever : it feels rote and by-the-numbers. I had to catch myself from falling asleep several times.

Still, the premise is decent enough, and Daisuke Ono was enough to carry me through Psychic Detective Yakumo (yes, I'm that shallow), so I'll probably give it a second episode to see where the actual plot goes. Not sure beyond that, though.
 

JELEINEN

Sizzler Black Squadron
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I enjoyed it. The male lead was a nice change up from the norm, not being a teenager and, as you pointed out, keeping his act together through the whole episode (it's obvious he figures out the role of Dalian on his own, f'rex). I think there were some good visuals there, but the NicoNico rip I saw didn't have the greatest video.
 

FortMan

Viva Romanesco!
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Huh, Apparently there's going to be Live-action drama series for Usagi Drop as well.

Edit: Oh yeah, the promo clip contains some spoilers.

[video=youtube;tYvxhmIBO7Q]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYvxhmIBO7Q[/video]

Daikichi looks... a little too young (and too handsome?). Although he is made younger (27 instead of 30) in the drama. Rin and the rest of the family look fine, though.
 
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MelanisZbri

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About half the trailer is Ep 1+2 of the current show. The rest is pretty much what I hoped the show would continue to be.
And yes, there's something in my damn eye now. Excuse me.

- Ma'at
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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SECOND EPISODE CHECKUP !

La Croisée dans un Labyrinthe Etranger still skirts a little too close to "Theme Park Paris" for my tastes, but it does earn a little good will by showing some genuinely French customs. Granted, I'm not sure people actually ate that in the late 19th century too, but whatever. Anyway, harmless enough for me to keep watching at least for a few more episodes.

Kamisama Dolls doesn't really seem in a hurry to get the plot going, but I liked the introduction of wannabe mad scientist Kuuko. (As Steins;Gate is proving, you can never have too many zany wannabe mad scientists.) Sure, she's nuts and kinda stupid, but she's fun and breathes some fresh air through the proceedings.

Usagi Drop is a huge ball of cuteness, as it becomes clear that Daikichi really didn't think things through. Rin is adorable, and I couldn't help having a big dumb smile on my face the whole way through. Despite the minimalistic art, one of the best shows of the season.

Mawaru Penguindrum goes some way towards explaining the plot, and by that I mean I still have no clue about it. This is a fun series, with tons of cute slapstick (ah, the penguins !), as well as an unexpected turn for the --ing creepy in the last few minutes. (Well, the first episode ended that way too, so I guess it's going to be a regular feature. I approve.) By far the best show of the season.

No. 6 does a good job of getting me to stick around with a time jump and the bizarre new mystery of people dropping dead out of the blue. Not that it's a particularly interesting mystery in itself, but it's so completely different from the generic dystopia main plot that I can't help getting intrigued. I still don't care about Big Brother Clone #45654, though, so I hope the series will find elements to distract me from it.

Blood-C... wait, did I rewatch the first episode by mistake ? The plot makes no progress whatsoever, the high school scenes are still as cliché as ever, Saya keeps being annoyingly cheery (please stop singing !), and the somewhat impressive 5-minute fight sequence at the end can't redeem the garbage around it. Yes, it's obviously going for a "not all is as it seems" mood with (very) subtle hints that something sinister is brewing under the surface (for one, the town seems nearly entirely deserted besides the main cast...), but I don't care : the first two episodes have been unbearable in their ineptitude and made a thorough job of making me not care about what happens to those stereotypes pretending to be characters. Dropped.

Mayo Chiki! is, alas, less funny with its second episode (and the homophobic undertones worryingly start creeping in a bit much). I'm not even sure I'm going to bother with the third episode.

Kamisama no Memo-chou is basically more of the same, except the story gets stretched over two episodes as we get back to a normal length. It's an okay mystery series, but this story seems to make less good use of the characters, reducing most of them to props. And our protagonist makes a terrible, facepalm-worthy mistake for the sake of drama, which is a bit disappointing. (Also, Alice basically saying "I've figured it out !" just before the ending credits ? Cheap.)

BakaTest S2 still doesn't want to show how it's going to breath fresh air into its premise, as it's now doing a Festival episode. The whole of which is built around a single joke which can't possibly support the weight. Sigh. I'm starting to worry, there.
 

FortMan

Viva Romanesco!
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Usagi Drop is a huge ball of cuteness, as it becomes clear that Daikichi really didn't think things through. Rin is adorable, and I couldn't help having a big dumb smile on my face the whole way through. Despite the minimalistic art, one of the best shows of the season.
It does show that being single parent really suck, especially in Japan, especially when you are expected to work full time and then some. Daikichi should have ask more questions/ for helps from his relatives, but I kinda understand that he is cross with them at this point.
 
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