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[In which I review] New anime, Winter 2013

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#1
It's the New Year, and you all know what this means : a batch of new anime series start airing in Japan. In this thread, I will be reviewing the first episodes of each new series as they come out. At least, that's the plan ; but hey, I've managed to do it for two years without burning out, so let's push our luck.

Be aware that new series are going to trickle out over the next couple of weeks (I don't think we even get any non-short regular series until Friday). So don't just dismiss the season as a wash because none of the first few shows are much good. Also, Winter seasons traditionally have way fewer new shows than Spring/Fall, so you can still find your happiness with the numerous still ongoing Fall 2012 series (such as the still-great PSYCHO-PASS, From the New World and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure ; or the decently-entertaining Robotics;Notes, Blast of the Tempest and Magi).

As usual, note that I shall be skipping :
- Most sequel series. This means no Haganai NEXT, AKB0048 next stage or Minami-ke Tadaima, for example. There's no real point in reviewing them, you already know whether you're part of the audience or not (or if you don't, you probably want to check the original instead). I'll probably give a proper full review to the new Zettai Karen Children spin-off show, though.
- The few kids' show I just can't get any access to. (However, I WILL be reviewing any kids' show I can lay my hands on.)
- Most OVAs, especially "extra episodes". Also, most movies released this Winter won't be on DVD/Blu-Ray for ages.


But first, let's get a couple of shorts out of the way...

My Little Sister talks like an Osakan Mom (Boku no Imouto wa "Oosaka Okan") surprisingly isn't incest-bait, unlike the immense majority of series with "Imouto" in the (long-winded) title. Instead, it's terrible in a completely different way : it features horrible cheap Flash animation and revolves around a "wow, the Kansai dialect as spoken by this girl is weird and kinda nonsensical" joke that's mostly impenetrable to Western ears and doesn't sound that funny to start with. Apparently it's adapted from a language guidebook, which really shows (with "helpful" translation recaps explaining the jokes slowly all the time).


Inferno Cop is a weird little short series coming from Studio Trigger, aka the people behind Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt and Redline. Alas, despite the pedigree this is objectively mindless garbage, with no budget whatsoever. Obviously this is part of the joke, but it's not that funny. (Even P&Sw/G at its most poop-joke-obsessed lows had more depth and looked way better than this crap.)
 
#2
It's the New Year, and you all know what this means : a batch of new anime series start airing in Japan. In this thread, I will be reviewing the first episodes of each new series as they come out. At least, that's the plan ; but hey, I've managed to do it for two years without burning out, so let's push our luck.
Do your best! :)

My Little Sister talks like an Osakan Mom (Boku no Imouto wa "Oosaka Okan") surprisingly isn't incest-bait, unlike the immense majority of series with "Imouto" in the (long-winded) title. Instead, it's terrible in a completely different way : it features horrible cheap Flash animation and revolves around a "wow, the Kansai dialect as spoken by this girl is weird and kinda nonsensical" joke that's mostly impenetrable to Western ears and doesn't sound that funny to start with. Apparently it's adapted from a language guidebook, which really shows (with "helpful" translation recaps explaining the jokes slowly all the time).
Oh darn. And here I was thinking that this one might turn out good...

Thank you for saving me the time of checking it out.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#3
Thank you !

By my count, there's only going to be 16 full-length new series (and another 6 in shorter formats) to review in this season, which makes it quite the small season, even by Winter standards.

---------

I have no clue whether this really fits this thread, but hey, it aired on December 30th, so that's probably the best place to talk about it.

Michi Random is technically the final arc of last Summer's Kokoro Connect, a very intriguing series where a paranormal entity messed with the five members of an outcast high school club in creative and random ways (this arc : random bursts of telepathy revealing their innermost thoughts to each other). This turns out to be the strongest arc of an already very good series, building on the lingering threads left open by the first three arcs and delivering proper closure to them. I can't recommend watching this enough if you can.

Wikipedia informs me that the light novel series this was adapted from has at least 5 more volumes, which would allow for a second season down the line ; I'd welcome it enthusiastically, but this is a very good point to leave the story at for now.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
#4
Wikipedia informs me that the light novel series this was adapted from has at least 5 more volumes, which would allow for a second season down the line ; I'd welcome it enthusiastically, but this is a very good point to leave the story at for now.
This is the series that got hit by the scandal of the cast playing a very cruel practical joke, which may well have killed any hope for another season.
 

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
#6
I hadn't heard about this until now. *Google Google Google*

They... :eek: :mad:

Himeko Inaba would give these people some black eyes if she existed.

Well, I'll still watch Michi Random. It might leave a bad taste in my mouth, though.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#7
Michi Random has interesting things to say about bullying. (And Inaban.)

This whole incident is shameful, although not really surprising given the cesspit that is the entertainment industry in general and the Japanese voice-acting business in particular. I'm just glad the voice-actors I enjoy following don't appear to be involved in the center of this clusterfuck.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#8
Anime shorts are hard to review. In some lucky cases, they're so terrible it's easy to dismiss them immediately (see above ; although Inferno Cop's second episode had such gonzo charm that I'm starting to reconsider it). But in some case, there's so little content it's hard to judge how they'll end up going.

Case in point : Encouragement of Climb (Yama no Susume). It's about a high school girl who used to love mountain climbing but has been traumatized by a bad fall ; one of her elementary school friends tries to take her back to her old hobby... and won't take no for an answer. It's actually quite a promising start : it's got some decent animation (including a slightly jarring CG-background shot at the beginning that isn't half-bad), the plot progresses at a good clip, and it's got more than one joke. Nothing earth-shattering, but good enough to be worth watching.

I'm more wary about Mangirl. It's a comedy about young women setting up a new manga magazine. The problem is that it's not really funny ; the basic joke is that they're terrible at it, but the show features random bursts of offscreen competence so that they can be in business for more than one episode. And if you're interested in the behind-the-scenes of manga publishing, this looks much more superficial than, say, Bakuman (which is, you know, still airing).
 

braincraft

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
#9
Michi Random has interesting things to say about bullying. (And Inaban.)

This whole incident is shameful, although not really surprising given the cesspit that is the entertainment industry in general and the Japanese voice-acting business in particular. I'm just glad the voice-actors I enjoy following don't appear to be involved in the center of this clusterfuck.
Inaban remains Best Girl.
 
#10
Case in point : Encouragement of Climb (Yama no Susume). It's about a high school girl who used to love mountain climbing but has been traumatized by a bad fall ; one of her elementary school friends tries to take her back to her old hobby... and won't take no for an answer. It's actually quite a promising start : it's got some decent animation (including a slightly jarring CG-background shot at the beginning that isn't half-bad), the plot progresses at a good clip, and it's got more than one joke. Nothing earth-shattering, but good enough to be worth watching.
Next to Maoyuu Maou Yuusha this is probably my second-most anticipated show due to my interest in hiking and a general lack of anything else interesting.

I'm more wary about Mangirl. It's a comedy about young women setting up a new manga magazine. The problem is that it's not really funny ; the basic joke is that they're terrible at it, but the show features random bursts of offscreen competence so that they can be in business for more than one episode. And if you're interested in the behind-the-scenes of manga publishing, this looks much more superficial than, say, Bakuman (which is, you know, still airing).
Yeah that's pretty much all there is to say about it. At least it's only 3 minutes long.
 
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