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[In which I review] New anime, Summer 2012

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
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Anime does use France fairly often at least for inspiration. Usually with atrocious French. :D
I like the atrocious French better than the atrocious German or English. At least 15% of the reason I enjoyed Star Driver was that it featured characters screaming out their special moves in French, and the main character's robot seemed to have been designed as a tribute to Louis XIV.

Russian of varying degrees of atrocity seems to pop up now and again, too. There was the sushi chef in DRRR, an entire not-Russian country in Last Exile 2, and AKB0048* went to Space Russia last week.



* Which is a really weird show, in that it's explicitly an advertisement for an (even more horribly exploitative and manufactured than usual) idol group, features cute idols doing cute things in a zany science-fictiony setting, but also is full of subplots about how completely fucked-up and soul-destroying the idol business is. It's practically Cognitive Dissonance: the Animation at this point.
 

Coyote's Own

Former ACME QA Tester.
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I like the atrocious French better than the atrocious German or English.
I taken a peculiar liking to Sieger Neinhalt (through that one counts as doubnle since the title itself is atrocious English) myself.
But then again I'm not sure if started in any anime adaption, so I'm also not sure if he counts.
 

ru

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La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia
contrarily, this was worse than I had expected. I'd been given the impression that the main character was meant to stand up for herself, but the ends the episode as just as much of a doormat as your average otome-game protagonist.

Oh, and eyepatch-guy's "italian" accent is painful.


Campione!
Kind of meh. And why does the power of a horse give you the ability to fire energy beams? And how exactly did that let him "steal" the sword. Feels a bit half-baked.
 

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
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Oh, and eyepatch-guy's "italian" accent is painful.
I was a bit bothered by his slooooooooooooooow draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawl.

I didn't even think it was possible to speak Japanese words that slowly.
 
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Wolfwood2

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Campione!
(12ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

Magical battles set in Italy, with just a hint of romantic comedy.
There's just nothing stand-out about the high concept. It's a collection of cliches. Not a good start to the season.
 

ru

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The Heartcatch Precure movie was set in modern Paris.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Humanity Has Declined (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

The most cheerful post-apocalyptic series you'll ever watch.

Characters

Our unnamed protagonist lives in a small rural village as a mediator to the fairies, on behalf of the UN. This basically makes her in charge of the female population here, mostly by virtue of having a clue and not being afraid of abusing her authority.

She lives with her grampa, a scientist also studying the fairies. And he's very obviously calling the shots in the village, for about the same reasons.

The locals seem to suffer from a severe case of the stupids, and are barely able to function anymore. It's funny until starvation because of their own incompetence becomes a plot point.

Fortunately there's the fairies... and whoever's running the mysterious FairyCo that's been dropping free (awful-tasting) food recently.

Production Values

Well, that's a good way to make a post-apocalyptic setting very creepy indeed : over-saturated bright colours everywhere, and the more pink the better. And that's before the headless chicken start showing up, or the action moves to the utterly absurd FairyCo factory.

Overall Impression

Warning : this show doesn't bother to explain anything about its setting : why has humanity declined ? Is this village typical of the world ? What state is the UN in ? (Our protagonists don't seem to have access to any technology or outside help.) What's with the fairies ? Indeed, it seems to revel in the explosive decompression of throwing the viewer into this strange land, even spending a lot of time on pointing out that our heroine just had her hair cut for undisclosed reasons and not being comfortable with it : is there any significance to it ?

Fortunately, we have a strongly-defined central character to latch onto, with enough shrewdness and cynicism to compensate for the braindead villagers. What prevents her from being obnoxious is that she doesn't really get away with it, thanks to her grandfather's vigilance.

But what really sets this series apart is the sharp contrast between the sugar-coated presentation and the very black humour at its core (the bleeding bread scene in particular has perfect comedic timing). There's also a strong sense that it knows exactly where it's going and the haphazard pacing is deliberate.

Somehow, this looks like one of the most original and refreshing shows of the summer. (Yes, more than that one with the talking yeast.) Very worth checking out.
 
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