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[In which I review] New anime, Summer 2012

pwsnafu

Registered User
Validated User
You know, this would totally save you a lot of time.
Show based off of some 2ch in-joke you've never heard of and don't care about
Just last week, Maoyuu was given the green light for an anime. Okay so not an in-joke per say, but it's the best thing to come out of 2ch in a long while. Maybe ever. One you definitely should care about.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I was kinda wondering where the crap series had gone this season. Well, never mind, I've found them.



My little sister is among them ! (Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Generic harem romance with heavy incest overtones. Adapted from a light novel series.

Characters

Shougo, our generic male lead. He's the heir to a huge conglomerate, and Daddy's will stipulated that the estate would be his if he found a girl to marry within the last couple of years of high school he has left. He even got a sweet bachelor pad to bypass the dorm regulations.

Konoe, the first girl he meets on his way there. The friendly big-breasted girl who's fond of sweets. Also the class representative, and coincidentally sitting next to him in class.

Mana, the other girl sitting next to him, obviously the jealous flat-chested tsundere type. Very annoying.

Mei, a witch-Yuki-Nagato cosplayer who keeps stalking Shougo, and point-blank claims she's his long-lost little sister (he conveniently has memory issues). Which doesn't prevent her from wanting to bone him too.

Also in this episode : the airhead student council president and the level-headed vice-president, both of whom the OP present as possible marriage prospects.

Production Values

Very average. The fanservice level is a bit lower than you'd expect. (I can't determine whether the shadows shrouding underskirt areas is censorship or just an artistic choice, but it does look better than the usual censorship tools.)

Overall Impression

Well, this is exactly what it sounded like, with no redeeming feature whatsoever. It's dull, the characters are walking clichés with no personality, the dialogue is atrocious and the "mystery" of who's the sister isn't remotely entertaining. (Even if you give the show a little credit and assume Mei is lying.)

Pass your way without even bothering to check it out.

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Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero (Hagure Yuusha no Estetica)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Magical battles with tons of fanservice.

Characters

Akatsuki, our protagonist. He's just escaped from a fantasy parallel world where he became a magic-wielding badass ; like all the people who came back, he's automatically enrolled in an academy supposed to keep them under supervision.

Myuu, daughter of the Demonlord, and prophetized to wreak havoc later on. So of course our hero smuggles her (in a bag, naked) into our world and disguises her as his sister.

The student council president shows up, just to prove he's an arrogant jerk who can hold his own in magical battles.

It's heavily implied that the academy is way more sinister than it claims. It's ruled by an Omniscient Council of Vagueness Shrouded in Shadows (the screen is so dark you can't see anything !), some of whom sound a lot like the battle maids that were trying to stop our hero from leaving Fantasyland.

Production Values

Hello, fanservice ! (There's little else to say.)

Overall Impression

Hum. There's the glimmer of an interesting idea here, but the high fanservice level, heavy-handed exposition and murky pacing don't make me very confident this show can achieve its potential. The male lead has some charisma, but that's about it.

I'll be passing on this one.

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So, I can't play H! (Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai.)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Magical girlfriend show.

Characters

Ryousuke, our male lead, is a complete pervert with an unfortunate tendency to utter his creepy inner monologue out loud. There's nothing likeable whatsoever about him.

Mina, his doormat gentle childhood friend. I have no clue why she puts up with him, although it seems clear she's not too bright or perceptive.

Lisara, a Grim Reaper who suddenly shows up on his doorstep, and nearly immediately stabs him to forge a bond and steal his energy to sustain herself in the mortal world. Not that she considers her as more than below average, but he was the closest dude available. The twist here is that he gains the more energy the more aroused he is, and she gets it too from their link. It helps, because they're immediately attacked by some sort of tentacled monstrosity.

Production Values

Holy fanservice, Batman ! Never mind the pervert camera (which makes sense considering our protagonist),but Lisara spends most of the episode in some state of undress (including a long gratuitous shower scene), culminating in the reveal that her battle outfit is powered by her own energy, and thus starts to dissolve once the tentacle thing gets the upper hand. Naked boobies ahoy !

Overall Impression

Urgh. I hate every single character in this show, the long running joke about Ryousuke seeing Lisara's bush gets tired as soon as it starts, and I still have no clue how the title relates to the plot. There's just nothing entertaining in here.

Avoid.
 

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
Validated User
Hagure Yuusha seems like it's going to be one of those shows that's quite good in some alternate universe, just not this one.

H Dekinai will be awful in all possible realities. Which is a shame because the fight scene was actually pretty cool looking and well-staged.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
Love, Election & Chocolate (Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate)
(13 episodes)
Most of it was pretty terrible, but three things make me want to see what's going on:

1. The reporter girl being attacked and ending up in a coma.
2. The protagonist's weird ability to see people's personalities. (Hey, maybe the girls aren't all good looking! Maybe they're actually pretty average but the protagonist sees them as beautiful? Nah.)
3. The "scholarship girl" is going to "work at the factory"?
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Sword Art Online
(25 episodes)

What's it about ?

A virtual-reality MMORPG gone horribly wrong.

Characters & Plot

Kirito, our protagonist. He was one of the beta players of this new Sword Art Online game, so now he's fully prepared for the actual game. Besides "competent" and "very knowledgeable about SAO", he doesn't show off much personality yet. And he's quite nice to...

Klein, the n00b, who stood in line for the midnight release of the game (10K copies in total). Kirito has the patience to teach him the combat system (no magic, only swordplay), and they spend some time killing slime-level encounters in the beginners' area.

Kayaba, the creator of the game. I have to give him credit for style : when he shows up, it's with a gigantic avatar literally bleeding from the skies. He announces that (1) the "logout" menu option is now disabled ; (2) outside disconnection of the VR helmet by friends or family will cause the immediate death of the player ; (3) running out of HP will kill the player for real ; and (4) the only way out of the game is to reach the 100th level of the worldmap.

Well, crap. This is gonna be a loooong gaming session...

(There's a girl prominently featured in promotional material and the ED, but she's yet to show up.)

Production Values

This is a gorgeous series, full of scenery porn ; for a while it kinda looks like an extended SAO commercial (well, until the death toll starts racking up). The combat sequences look good, and even the extras have a lot of life to them. (Aside from a few glaring static crowd shots during the announcement.)

Overall Impression

On the one hand, this is a very-well executed first episode, perfectly selling the premise and the stakes. The writers clearly made their homework about how MMORPGs and their players work.

On the other hand... it's a MMORPG. Endless grinding and senseless quests are kinda built in, and I have no clue yet how the series is going to spice it up so that it doesn't become tedious awfully fast.

Still, that was such a good first episode that I'm keeping an open mind about it.

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Kokoro Connect
(12ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

Slice-of-life high school series... with body swaps.

Characters

Taichi, the main dude. Aside from an heavy interest in wrestling, he's quite generic. Swaps out bodies midway with...

Iori, the fanciful and hyperactive girl. Technically the president of the "Student Culture" club (made from the 5 weirdoes who didn't fit anywhere else), although she doesn't act like it.

Himeko, the straight-laced girl who's constantly annoyed by everyone else's antics.

Yoshifumi, the casanova, and Yui, the shy girl, swapped bodies last night for a bit, which was very confusing to them both and quite awkward.

So far, nobody has a clue why this is happening or how.

Production Values

This is a lot more restrained than usual for studio Silver Link (BakaTest, CxCxC, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia), who are normally known for more showy directing techniques and artificial colour palettes. It's still quite good-looking, and I like the effects used for denoting the body swaps.

Also, there's refreshingly nearly no fanservice.

Overall Impression

This is a fun little series. The main characters have very good chemistry and play well off each other, which is essential for such a premise.

I was already hooked when the first half of the episode was previewed a week ago, but this confirms my initial good impression.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Explore Driland (Tanken Driland)
(?? episodes)

What's it about ?

Dungeon crawler fantasy anime. Adapted from a mobile phone RPG.

Characters

Mikoto, princess of the Elua kingdom, who is set to rule it when she comes of age (her parents are already dead), but couldn't care less. What she wants is to explore the wider world and fight stuff, like any good RPG protagonist. She's definitely Level 1 material, though.

Bonny, an experienced adventurer who mentors Mikoto on the sly whenever she's passing through the country. Basically the tutorial NPC, given how high-level she looks.

Wallens, Mikoto's long-suffering bodyguard ("She's gone off to wander on her own into a dangerous cave AGAIN ?"). Since this episode is the first time she really gets into actual trouble, she gets to see his l33t hand-to-hand fighting skills for the first time.

The OP/ED show two more dudes in the party, but that's presumably for further episodes.

Production Values

Bright and shiny colours, with all characters drawn in super-deformed character designs that make their age hard to determine. On the whole, it mostly works, and the fighting scenes are well choreographed.

Overall Impression

I was surprised to see this isn't a kids' show (it airs at 11:30pm), because it certainly looks like one. It's perfectly inoffensive but very generic indeed. The main characters barely deviate from their well-worn archetypes at all, and there's no twist whatsoever to the fantasy RPG formula.

I'll pass, thank you.
 

Dawgstar

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RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm just going to assume Hagure Yuusha no Estetica is this year's Demon King Daimao and not bother. (Yeah, that series still depresses me for its squandered potential.)
 

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
Validated User
Kokoro Connect
This has the same character designer as K-ON, yeah?

I'm just going to assume Hagure Yuusha no Estetica is this year's Demon King Daimao and not bother. (Yeah, that series still depresses me for its squandered potential.)
Judging solely from the first episode and various secondhand spoilers, it is almost exactly what you'd get if Daimaou lost all the zaniness while retaining all the fanservice.

Sword Art Online
Anonymous said:
This is why you never join MMOs on the opening week.

Overcrowded, high latency, too much competition for mobs, and you'll probably get trapped in a sadistic death game.
 
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Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The Ambition of Oda Nobuna (Oda Nobuna no Yabou)
(12ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

Gender-swapped sengoku warlords, because there must be one of those in every season.

Characters

Yoshiharu, our generic male lead. The narrative wastes no time and has him already thrown to the past (or whatever parallel world this is) by the episode's start. The gimmick here is that he's an avid player of videogames set in the Sengoku era, and can thus predict just about everything that's going to happen. Well, aside from the fact that nearly every single major character is now a girl. Anyway, he stumbles on Hideyoshi getting killed way ahead of schedule, and has to take his place and become the servant of...

Oda Nobuna, our female lead, just starting on her quest to conquer the whole of Japan (and beyond). It's a bit painful to see her reduced to a generic tsundere.

... But not less painful than seeing some of the other major historical figures now being 10-year-old (at best) girls that can barely speak ye olde Japaneseth. Urgh.

For some reason, Saitou Dousan is still a dude. Presumably he won't matter beyond this first episode.

Production Values

Perfectly okay ; it's always a shame to see the budget wasted on those things.

Overall Impression

Terrible. It's a weak concept that's been done before, and better. (Seriously, even Sengoku Otome was better executed than this.) None of the characters have any charisma and the protagonist's gimmick kills any suspension of disbelief you might have (seriously, how the heck do exactly the same events keep happening despite the obvious differences in the setting ?).

Don't bother with this one.

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Some Week Two thoughts :

- Humanity Has Declined got even more cynical and weird, which I didn't think possible. Perfect comedic pacing, good use of previously-seeded elements (the camera !), and an awesome punchline to the "hand of God" mystery. I'm loving this one.

- Arcana Famiglia spending a whole episode chasing after a cat was as annoyingly pointless as I feared (although it does help introduce the ginourmous cast better), and I have no wish to watch any more slice-of-life adventures of those family-friendly mobsters.

- Muv Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse does indeed kill off every single cast member besides the protagonist in its second episode, to the surprise of absolutely nobody. But it does so in such an unpleasant and transparent way that it completely turned me off.
 
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