[In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015

Bull

Professional Game Convention Drunk
Validated User
#21
Angel Beats is a bit of a tear jerker in places too.
I've had a strict "No Key" policy, so I've avoided it.

You know what? I'll put Charlotte on the back burner. Wait and see what general opinions are of it around the end of the season. That way I'll know if I'm safe.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
#22
I've had a strict "No Key" policy, so I've avoided it.

You know what? I'll put Charlotte on the back burner. Wait and see what general opinions are of it around the end of the season. That way I'll know if I'm safe.
Bull, I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but you constantly talk about your personal issues in these anime threads. It seems like every other post you're making sure to remind everyone in the thread that you don't like sad anime and or any anime that might make you feel depressed. Often it turns into long multi-post discussions about whether some anime could suit your specific tastes.

I mean... I don't know what I mean. I just wanted to point that out in case you've been doing it unconsciously. It's like in any anime thread, I know there are going to be multiple posts discussing Bull's particular anime allergies, and I don't think I could say that about any other poster.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#23
Blue Spring x Machine Gun (Aoharu x Kikanjuu)
(12 episodes)

Overall Impression

You know what they say : you can make any premise more interesting by dropping in a crossdressing girl as a protagonist. (Okay, I have no clue if anyone ever said that, but it's true.) It helps that the show turns out to be way more entertaining than it has any right to. The sense of fun is pervasive, and Tachibana's dumb antics are more amusing than irritating once you get to know her better.

Sure, there's a bit of the characteristic rapey subtext of shojo romances (seriously, how is this manga shonen ?), but that stays as a low enough level to avoid being more than slightly annoying.

Besides this, the show turns out to be quite fun, so I'm strongly considering keeping with it.
I liked it for a first episode. This might be the airsoft show that keeps me. The prior ones lost me after a couple of episodes.
 

Bull

Professional Game Convention Drunk
Validated User
#24
Bull, I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but you constantly talk about your personal issues in these anime threads. It seems like every other post you're making sure to remind everyone in the thread that you don't like sad anime and or any anime that might make you feel depressed. Often it turns into long multi-post discussions about whether some anime could suit your specific tastes.

I mean... I don't know what I mean. I just wanted to point that out in case you've been doing it unconsciously. It's like in any anime thread, I know there are going to be multiple posts discussing Bull's particular anime allergies, and I don't think I could say that about any other poster.
Yeah, sorry. I don't mean to bring it up that much. Anime has sorta been my way of coping with things the last couple years, weird as that sounds, so it's all tangled up in my head. I'll try and dial it back.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#25
I've had a strict "No Key" policy, so I've avoided it.

You know what? I'll put Charlotte on the back burner. Wait and see what general opinions are of it around the end of the season. That way I'll know if I'm safe.
I think the Key link may be doing the show a disservice. It's a pure comedy piece, with a love-to-hate protagonist who gets some hilarious comeuppance. There's no real romance in sight. I'm really having trouble seeing how it could become melodramatic, and if it does it would be a 180° U-Turn.

I can't guarantee it won't happen, though, so it may still be best for you to wait until season's end to be sure. But I find that possibility very unlikely. This show seems to be mostly about Maeda showing off he can actually be very funny when he's not being melodramatic.


And now for the backlog :



Ushio & Tora
(26 episodes, + another season already scheduled for Spring 2016 after a break)

What's it about ?

Calvin & Hobbes, shonen style ! Well, kinda.

Adaptation of a manga series from the early 90s that already got a few OVAs at the time. I have no clue why the franchise is seeing new life now, nearly 20 years after it ceased publication.

Characters

Ushio, our protagonist, is the young heir of a temple that supposedly hosts an enchanted lance that can drive out demons and other mystical nasties. Not that he cares ; he's mostly concerned with playing around and leading a normal life. Your typical jock kid, really : good at sports and athletics, terrible in other school subjects.

Daddy, the current priest, isn't the best role model anyway. He keeps droning on and on about the temple's legacy, but never actually explained it properly to Ushio. Also, his sudden island vacation this morning ("the third time this month, Dad ?") means that he's not around to provide any exposition when the plot actually kicks in.

Today Ushio discovers that Sacred Spear is indeed hidden in one of the temple buildings' basement ; it's trapping there an ancient, powerful demon who would really like him to remove the spear and free him. He would me more convincing without the mwahahah-ing and his promises to kill the kid afterwards. So Ushio just leaves him there and goes to school.

Asako (standard issue tsundere, and maybe as strong as Ushio himself) and Mayuko (more open about liking him) are the two of his classmates we get to know a bit. And they happen to be visiting just as a number of small-fry demons, attracted by Ushio unearthing the trapped monster, start roaming around. Well, crap.

So Ushio frees him to get his help... and promptly gets backstabbed for his trouble. Fortunately, he's still got the lance, which makes it clear who's in charge here. He nicknames his new familiar "Tora" (because it vaguely looks like a tiger) and has it dispatch most of the small demons, finishing them off with the lance. (Which somehow gives him super-long hair while wielding it. I have no clue why.)

Ushio forces Tora to stick around, as more minor demons are bound to show up for a while ; they're both obviously planning to backstab each other. (Ushio sealing Tora back for good, and Tora killing Ushio somehow for the humiliation.) And of course, since only Ushio can see Tora, it looks to the likes of Asako & Mayuko that their friend is talking to his imaginary pet. Eh.

Production Values

Wow, early '90s character designs ! But hey, they're decently animated, so no complaints from me.

Overall Impression

Well, this is kinda fun, in a very dumb way. The retro style works. And it's amusing how everyone is terrible as hiding how little they think of others.

But I think I'm done. It's a rather generic shonen show all told, and I'm not in the market for those, really. Especially as it's going to be running for a while.

--------------

Rokka - Braves of the Six Flowers (Rokka no Yuusha)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of a heroic-fantasy (with slightly Atzec flavour) light novel series.

Characters

The titular Braves of the Six Flowers are the chosen heroes of the world to fight the Demon Lord resurfacing every few hundred years. Since its agents have been resurfacing as of late and assassinating potential Braves, it's high time to gather a new set. So the most major kingdom has organized a big ceremonial tournament to select some of them. The semi-finals are what really matters, since whoever wins is bound to lose against...

Nashetania, First Princess of the Kingdom, who's so badass she got seeded directly to the finals. She's an obvious lock for being one of the new Braves ; her powers involve something not too dissimilar to Unlimited Blade Works. And for some reason she's wearing bunny ears.

Adlet, "Strongest Man in the World" (or so he claims) crashes the semifinals from nowhere and easily takes out dozens of guards, as well as both semifinalists. While he is strong, he mostly wins because he cheats like a mad bastard, using neat little gadgets to take out his opponents by surprise. Eh, whatever works, really.

While he's immediately thrown in jail afterwards (and then into an oubliette), he's convinced he'll be selected as a Brave down the line. So he's just bidding his time and keeping in shape. He also gets a visit from a "maid" (with the cunning disguise of not wearing bunny ears), which is the occasion to provide much background about the setting and the origins of the Braves. Frankly, I'm amazed he's got no clue who he's talking to.

Eventually the Demon Lord starts manifesting openly, and both Nashetania & Adlet mystically get their Brave tattoos. She immediately frees him from his oubliette (ignoring the objections from her entourage), and they both head to the legendary rendezvous point to meet the 4 other Braves. Whom I'm presume we'll meet in the next few episodes ; we're shown glimpses of them from the OP & ED.

Production Values

Quite good, although there's some obvious CG graphics for the landscape long shots. I quite like the different artstyle for the mythical flashbacks.

On the other hand, there's no escaping that Nashetania's outfit is bizarrely fanservicey and looks completely out of place, even considering the very PC-esque designs for the other Braves. Oh, well ; at least the camera isn't stuck in pervert mode.

Overall Impression

This was actually quite entertaining ; it's a generic heroic-fantasy premise, but executed well-enough (especially the Atzec-like stylings) to feel somewhat fresh. Adlet & Nashetania are quite charismatic, although I'm slightly worried by the way she lets him take the lead at the end. (Surely she has more experience and knowledge about all this ?)

It depends a bit on whether the other Braves are entertaining or annoying, but I'm at least giving it a second episode.

--------------

Wakako-zake is a series of 2-minute (OP included) shorts about a woman who eats out at restaurants, with the constant in her menu being alcohol. And, er, that's it. Not much in the way of jokes or story (aside from a couple of dudes trying to pick her up), just some food porn. Pass along, nothing to see here.


Sequel Watch !
- Dragonball Super picks up a few months after the Majin Buu arc, which means we're ignoring Z's epilogue with Uub and its timeskip. (To say nothing of GT.) The good news is that no knowledge from the recent movies seems to be required ; the new antagonists are introduced properly and seem to be heading towards their first meetings with the heroes. The bad news is that it's a very slow start, reintroducing the dozens of members of the supporting cast and what they're up to now. Even then, I think we missed Krillin & family, as well as most of the minor useless members of the Z-fighters ; we're mostly focused on the extended Son/Briefs/Satan households for now. There's little in the way of actual plot right now, aside from the Supreme Kais worrying about new villains showing up anytime now. But then they always do. Since I actually like the more slice-of-life comedy segments of Dragonball, I'm not complaining. (Although less Goten/Trunks screentime would be a relief.)
- Speaking of reintroducing dozens of supporting characters, Durarara!!x2 (Middle Part) feels it was the time to introduce more new characters. And hey, it does makes who comes to try and finish Izaya off in his hospital room a genuine surprise. A nice callback to his introduction, but still unexpected. Aside from that, it's mostly a matter of positioning all the pieces back in place.
- Symphogear GX - Determination to Fist has a positively metal opening action sequence that's going to be hard to top. It does unfortunately show again that Aoi Yuuki is miles behind Nana Mizuki & Ayahi Takagaki in singing talent, but them's the breaks. At least we get another Nana Mizuki/Yoko Hikasa duet. Not feeling the new antagonists yet, but I'll give them time.
- Gatchaman CROWDS Insight... I have no clue where they're going with this new team member and the alien. But it's certainly very energetic and colourful as usual, and Hajime is still very fun. ("Berg, shut up-su!")
- As for Working!!!, I'm fearing the ship may have sailed. I quite enjoyed the first two seasons, but this reintroduction episode left me quite cold. Maybe it'll pick up steam later on, but this wasn't a good start.
 
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Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
#26
Ushio & Tora
(26 episodes, + another season already scheduled for Spring 2016 after a break)

What's it about ?

Calvin & Hobbes, shonen style ! Well, kinda.

Adaptation of a manga series from the early 90s that already got a few OVAs at the time. I have no clue why the franchise is seeing new life now, nearly 20 years after it ceased publication.

Characters

Ushio, our protagonist, is the young heir of a temple that supposedly hosts an enchanted lance that can drive out demons and other mystical nasties. Not that he cares ; he's mostly concerned with playing around and leading a normal life. Your typical jock kid, really : good at sports and athletics, terrible in other school subjects.
Let's be fair, he does prefer art to the jock stuff. Can't remember how good he is when he gets serious, though (the art style doesn't help; this anime is much cleaner than the early manga line art).
Overall Impression

Well, this is kinda fun, in a very dumb way. The retro style works. And it's amusing how everyone is terrible as hiding how little they think of others.

But I think I'm done. It's a rather generic shonen show all told, and I'm not in the market for those, really. Especially as it's going to be running for a while.
But...! But epic convoluted tragic Evangelion-esque backstory... chosen one power politics... demon hunting road trip to Hokkaido... (looks back at general anime thread) I'm gonna be the only rabid fan on the board, aren't I? Oh well. (sits down, quietly waves U&T flag)
 

Littleredfox

Registered User
Validated User
#27
Rokka - Braves of the Six Flowers (Rokka no Yuusha)
Eventually the Demon Lord starts manifesting openly, and both Nashetania & Adlet mystically get their Brave tattoos. She immediately frees him from his oubliette (ignoring the objections from her entourage), and they both head to the legendary rendezvous point to meet the 4 other Braves. Whom I'm presume we'll meet in the next few episodes ; we're shown glimpses of them from the OP & ED.
IIRC there are Five other "Braves" and the question why there are Seven rather than the traditional Six will be important.
 

Dulahan

Active member
Validated User
#28
I have to agree on Rokka. Intriguing. And the vaguely Aztec-ish trappings are refreshing to say the least. It's amazing how even a slight change of palette can make a tired genre interesting all over.

That being said, I'd probably have liked it if it were straight up Western European-esque, but this is gravy.
 

Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
#29
I have to agree on Rokka. Intriguing. And the vaguely Aztec-ish trappings are refreshing to say the least. It's amazing how even a slight change of palette can make a tired genre interesting all over.

That being said, I'd probably have liked it if it were straight up Western European-esque, but this is gravy.
I also really liked the rather lovecraftian depiction of the dark lord.

I admit I'm interested.
 
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