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[In which I review] New anime, Summer 2012

ru

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#61
creepy, funny, and surprisingly smart.

the fairies give a real sense of thinking at a different angle to humans, so everything they try to do is somehow wrong.

and seriously, the bread.
 

Reki

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#62
The most cheerful post-apocalyptic series you'll ever watch.
I was going to say, "What about Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou?", but now that I've seen Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita I'll have to agree. YKK is more relaxed than cheerful.

This is one of the few shows that caught my eye in the preview lists, and so far I'll be sticking with it, but it isn't without problems. Ignoring how obnoxious the fairies are (that seems like it was done on purpose), how can these people caught in a post-apocalyptic supply shortage not know how to butcher chickens? Seriously, dealing with the food supply is about as basic as it comes. I'm just hoping they don't jettison common sense too often just for the sake of a gag.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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#65
how can these people caught in a post-apocalyptic supply shortage not know how to butcher chickens?
I think the idea here is that the apocalypse was very recent, and the whole lot of the villagers were city people and haven't a single clue about this (to say nothing of their unwillingness to hurt the cute beasties). Remember that they can't hunt for shit, either.

Between this and the utter failure of democracy, this is turning out to be a very dark and cynical show indeed...


A few words about Chitose Get You!, yet another series of shorts adapted from 4-panel manga. And well, whatever you think about its one joke (an 11-year-old girl with a crush on some random adult dude), at least it's got some decent direction to sell it and make it somewhat watchable. Which is better than I expected.


Now, onto an actual show...



Tari Tari
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Slice-of-life high-school series.

Characters

Miyamoto, clumsy and awkward long-time member of the Choir club, who has been clearly told by the club advisor there's no way she's performing at the next festival after the fracas she caused during the last one. So she's going to start her own Choir club with blackjack, and hookers. She just needs 4 more members... (And another advisor. And to somehow get through the paperwork and the bureaucracy.)

Okita, her upper-class best friend, is the obvious choice. Never mind that she's busy with the archery club and has little regard for her own singing voice.

Sakai, the brooding loner who transferred in recently, is suggested by their homeroom teacher so that she can open up a bit. Not that she's enthusiastic about the prospect.

I've got no clue why Tanaka, the lone member of the Badminton club, would want to join, but he's bound to at some point given all the focus on him this episode. Ditto for the brand new transfer student from Austria, who learned everything about Japan from books.

Production Values

Gorgeous, with impressive scenery porn, detailed background work and expressive body language animation. (Remember Hanasaku Iroha ? Same studio.)

Overall Impression

On the one hand, it's nice to see PA Works going back to basics after the disastrous experiment that was Another. Slice-of-life is what they're good at. But on the other hand, this is a really generic slice-of-life high-school story that only the quality of the execution makes rise above the crop. It's perfectly pleasant and grows on you after a while, but hardly outstanding.

But hey, this isn't the right season to be picky ; I'll take it.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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#66
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
(12ish episodes ?)

What's it about ?

Okay, this is a strange one. Muv-Luv, as the name implies, started off as a generic dating-sim game, with an unlockable second storyline set in an alternate world where humanity uses mecha to fight off an alien invasion. Several sequels and spin-offs in other media later, we now have this anime : a straight "mecha vs. aliens" show with no dating-sim elements in sight anywhere.

Characters

Yui Takamura, our protagonist, is the daughter of one of the elite Japanese families in charge of Japan's defense against the aliens ; so of course she goes to mecha pilot school. So far, she looks mostly personality-free, but then this first episode seemed much more interested in worldbuilding than characterization.

The only of her classmates to get any actual focus is the broody rival-type that I can't remember the name of, and can't find on any cast list. Between this, the fact that her rivalry with Yui seems resolved at breakneck speed within minutes of its introduction, and the general contempt of the hardened soldiers against those teenage rookie pilots, I get the horrible feeling that most of them are going to die next episode to free Yui up so that she can interact with the characters who actually are on the cast listings (and have yet to make any appearance).

Did I mention that the whole class of mecha pilots is female ? This, together from the skintight plugsuits, seems to be the only trace left of the franchise's origins so far.

Production Values

Quite good ; it's got enough budget to make the mecha battles look good, and the aliens a credible threat.

Overall Impression

There's no way a mecha show should be this boring, but it is. Maybe because it's far too concerned with setting up its world to bother with any actual characters, and thus leaves us with nobody to root for. It doesn't help that a lot of the plot feels recycled from other (better) sources, and the show does nothing to breathe any life into the stock elements.

I'm giving this one more episode to change my mind, but I'm not hopeful.
 
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