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[In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012

Wolfwood2

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Bodacious Space Pirates (Moretsu Uchuu Kaizoku)
(26 episodes)
I actually quite liked it, especially because there's at least a hint of a space opera atmosphere here. Also, Marika won major points with me. "These adults are talking about something strange which they claim is public knowledge, if obscure? I think I'll just google it and see what pops up." She's adventurous, but has her head screwed on reasonably tight.

Chiaki, a conveniently new transfer student who immediately starts stalking Marika. She does save our protagonist from a kidnapping attempt by a fake law officer (as well as a roomful of MIBs who were suspiciously lounging in the maid café Marika works part time at), but there's still no hint of who she's working for. (She's voiced by Kana Hanazawa in "Everyone I'm talking to is an idiot" mode, which is always pleasant to listen to.)
The yuri was strong here. Mainly because Marika is set up in classic style as the tsundere love interest for a protagonist, but the protagonist in this case is female. (Even up to Marika thinking how cure Chiaki is the first time she sees her.)
 

Ashikaider

seeker of things AWESOME
I really liked Space Pirates, and I found it amusing when Marika goes into work to find that just about every seat (with the exception of the bar) is filled with yakuza-types in black suits. The whole thing screams fun to me and from what I saw of the Bentenmaru in the OP, it really reminded me of the designs for the Outlaw Star (which I've been rewatching since getting the series for Christmas last month).
 

s/LaSH

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Space Pirates: re-entry yachts seem to have sold me, and everything thereafter was also nice. Apparently you can get me to watch an entire series by putting a beautiful spaceship at the start of episode 1; let's see if that rule holds.
 

nargun

New member
Banned
Space Pirates is the show I've been waiting for, on account of the crew behind it; I'm pleased to see it seems to be good.
 

ru

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Bodacious Space Pirates (Moretsu Uchuu Kaizoku)

[...]

Perfectly pleasant, and with enough sense of fun for me to keep watching.
Exactly what I thought. Not outstanding in any sense, but fun and easy to watch, and the thing moves along at a reasonable pace.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Some quick notes :

Amagami SS Plus basically resumes where it left off : each of the 6 main girls gets 2 more episodes set after their original arcs. We start off with Ayatsuji (the verbally-abusive class president). Frankly, at first it's more than a bit self-indulgent (a perverted bath scene that turns out to be the MC's erotic dream ? Seriously ?), but it does pick up after that, and the new plot is actually a lot of fun. Got me worried for a while, though.

I'd gotten the impression that Nisemonogatari would star the Araragi sisters, but that's only in the loosest sense of the term ; this is really a straight sequel to Bakemonogatari, with new arcs focusing on said sisters. Well, "focusing" may be too strong a word ; the arc is titled after Karen, and she doesn't even show up this episode (while Tsukihi gets less than 5 minutes). The bulk of the episode is devoted to an extended prologue that I fail to see what it's got to do with anything, and a long talk between Araragi and Mayoi that often makes me uncomfortable whenever he's making a joking pass at molesting her.

Don't get me wrong : the direction is still as impressive as ever, and the dialogue is on fire ; but this isn't quite gelling together yet. (But then, I've never been that impressed by Bakemonogatari ; it's good, but there are huge chunks that leave me cold.)

And maybe I should say a few words about Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki, a series of 3-minute shorts where a round cat gets adopted by a family. I'm getting the impression those shorts aren't for me, because there's barely any meat there ; although this one gets point for being faster-paced than most and managing to get in quite a few jokes. But that's a few chuckles at best, and I'm not going to bother with any more of it.
 
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Jhiday

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Brave 10
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Yet another Sengoku-era anime...

Characters

Isanami, the only surviving priestess of a temple that got burned down by ninja mooks. She's really, really annoying ; the kind of useless, needy, rude and emotionally manipulative damsel-in-distress I hate on sight. To the show's credit, this does seem to be intentional. Also, she's got a magical jewel on her head that starts killing everything in a ten-feet radius when she's under too much duress (but she doesn't seem to be aware of it).

Saizou, our protagonist, a ronin that Isanami stumbles onto while fleeing more ninja mooks. He tries (and fails) to get rid of her for the whole episode, but those pesky mooks keep attacking and dooming themselves by announcing they don't want witnesses. Since he's a badass with magical attacks, that's obviously a terrible idea. Anyway, he's painfully aware that Isanami is trying to take advantage of him.

Yukimura, the local lord. Isanami was advised to run to him, but he doesn't think she's worth the trouble and throws her away. He changes his mind after seeing the effects of the life-sucking jewel : this looks like something worth controlling, although he'll need more muscle to keep hold of it. Hence his decision to assemble 10 warriors for that task. (Yeah, I don't really trust this dude either.)

It looks like the show is going to spend some time gathering the 10 ; so far, we only have Yukimura's right hand man and a reluctant Saizou. I'm pleasantly surprised to see there'll be some women amongst the others.

Production Values

Perfectly okay.

Overall Impression

Hey, this was a lot more entertaining than I expected. A good deal of the show's charm resides on Daisuke Ono's charisma, who's perfect for world-weary badassitude and injects tons of personality into our protagonist. You can hear the facepalming at getting dragged into this nonsense.

... Because, let's be honest, there's not a shred of originality in the plot itself or the way it unfolds. This is rife with clichés, and only the tongue-in-cheek sense of fun makes it watchable. It's a show that knows it's stupid and invites us to join the ride anyway. I think they had me at "Daisuke Ono" anyway ; I'm a sucker for mediocre shows starring him.
 

ru

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I liked this one. It's from the same stable as Sengoku Basara, which was stupid awesome. Plus, everything I watch at the moment I'm mentally translating into Legends of the Wulin, and this fits pretty damn well.
 
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