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[In which I review] New anime, Winter 2013

bv728

Was he a violent man?
Validated User
#41
My Girlfriend and Childhood Friend Fight Too Much (Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru)
(13 episodes)
However, it changes radically once the "girlfriend" finally gets to speak : it's Yukari Tamura at her best, cynical, whimsical, and affecting various personae at will. She's clearly this show's most (if not only) entertaining character, and its main selling point.
This is not much different from the source, really - she's the only interesting character.

The series can be amusing, but it's very light and fluffy overall with little substance.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#42
Production Values

Very fanservice-heavy, from the pervert camera to the what-were-they-thinking costumes to the that-must-be-causing-some-back-pain mensurations. If you're willing to overlook that, the fight scenes are actually quite nicely done, dynamic and never confusing.

Overall Impression

Oh, look : crap. It's far from the worse of its ilk (the tone is quite pleasant and fun), but there's just nothing of any interest there. The characters are one-dimensional and terminally dumb, while the plot is beyond generic and an obvious excuse for action sequences.

Don't bother with this one.
The plot did bore me to death, even if the characters and basic premise didn't have me wanting to get off.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#44
I think I fell asleep watching Hakkenden, and can't remember a thing about it. Maybe a review tomorrow if I can find the will to try and rewatch it. In the meantime...

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AMNESIA
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Ontological mystery meets male harem romance. Adapted from a visual novel, and boy does it show.

Characters

Our main character doesn't actually get named at any point (the ancillary material calls her "Heroine", for what it's worth). As the title of the show suggests, she suffers from a severe case of amnesia, unable to remember anything about herself (or anything else, for that matter). She's completely shell-shocked by the experience, and is barely able to string two sentences together. It probably doesn't help that she's also the only one who can see and hear...

Orion, a very talkative sprite who claims to be the (accidental) cause for her amnesia, what with having lodged himself into her soul by accident. He's very sorry, and spends the episode giving her "helpful" hints on how she can get better. Gods forbid she seek any medical help ! What she really needs to do is to pretend she's perfectly fine, and keep talking to her "friends" like she remembers anything about them. That's how she'll recover her memories !

Said "friends" are a parade of generic pretty boys : the aloof one, the nice one, the slightly creepy one... Also, she seems to have been working at a maid café.

By the end of the episode, she rans afool of the mandatory bitch squad, who've been stalking her all day and are angry about something she has no clue about.

Production Values

Pretty ! Besides Nekomonagatari (Black), which barely counts, this is the first show of the season that displays some style and artistic ambition. There's a lot of work on colour and atmosphere, and everyone's dressed in ridiculously stylish borderline-cosplay clothes for some reason. This is definitely a show with budget...

Overall Impression

... It's a just shame it's wasted on a --ing otome game adaptation, especially one which makes no effort towards disguising its nature. Orion is very obviously your game assistant, and one of the characters even pauses once to give a tutorial for the parfait-making minigame. This could have some charm, but the big problem here is the annoyingly moppy and useless "protagonist", who seems to stumble onto every single "wrong" option available in her menu.

Still, it is very pretty, and I'm vaguely intrigued by some of the setup. I'll give it one more episode for the heroine not to get too much on my nerves.

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Love Live! School Idol Project
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

This girls' high school is about to be closed down, as it's boring and unable to attract any new students. Clearly the solution is to set up an Idol Club that'll bring in the new recruits in mass !

Characters

Honoka, our protagonist. She alternates between (short) bouts of depression at the idea of her school closing down, and fits of hyperness as she jumps into her new project. Amazingly, the idol thing isn't entirely her idea : she copied it on the super-hi-tech fancy new school just next door. (Also, it seems a lot of other schools in the country are doing it too.)

Umi & Kotori, her two best friends, who seem much more well-off and having much better grades than her (one's in the archery club ; the other's the daughter of the school board chairwoman). Anyway, one's sceptical, the other more easy-going, and by the end of the episode they're both on board.

Because of the current crisis, even the student council seems to only have two members. They're sorry to say they can't approve of such a stupid idea (they don't even have the minimum 5 members !). Beyond the façade, they're really sorry : they too are fishing for any idea to save the school. Yeah, I give them two episodes before they join in too.

In the music room there's a girl who randomly goes into elaborate idol-like numbers on the piano. She's so drafted.

I think there's a character with an Y chromosome that shows up in the background for two seconds.

Production Values

Bright and shiny, as you'd expect. The idol segments (including the OP/ED) are a mixture of traditional animation (for closer shots) and the now mandatory elaborate CG dancing segments, which looks slightly more natural than the all-CG trend that's been all the rage lately.

The musical number themselves are perfectly fine, and the remainder of the soundtrack goes out of its way to be as melodramatic and over-the-top as possible.

Overall Impression

There's no getting around it : this is a very stupid premise indeed. The good news is that the creative team have committed to it with gusto, making it as fun and hyper as it could be. Yes, it's silly, but it's got so much energy and enthusiasm that you can't help rooting for our heroines.

Special mention to the ending of the episode : after a setback, our three leads start making gestures and proclamations that get more and more dramatic (almost operatic), until they smoothly launch into the ED's musical number. It's a transition that has to be seen to be believed, and it works perfectly.

This isn't high art, but the execution is so impressive that I'm sold on it. This is going to be this season's hilariously fun show.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#45
Clearing up some backlog before a very exhausting-looking Thursday night (three new shows, a sequel, and the return of three Fall series)...



Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East (Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun)
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Yet another adaptation of the classic 19th-century Japanese epic novel. Supposedly about 8 half-brother werewolves, although only one shows up yet and there's plenty of other fantasy lifeforms around.

Characters

Shino, one of three siblings who survived a dire accident years ago by contracting with supernatural beings. The younger boy, his body has absorbed a mythical sword that transforms into a talking bird... er, yeah. Anyway, he's the impulsive brat of the lot.

Sousuke is the elder brother, and contracted with a wolf he can transform into. He's the reasonable one, consulting with elders about the plot.

Hamaji, the girl, has two roles in this episode : she's a terrible cook, and she gets captured by the evil Church.

Production Values

Perfectly okay, with some decent designs for the creatures, but very boring human character designs.

What did I think of it ?

As I said before, I fell asleep while watching this the first time around. After a rewatch, I can't say there's anything wrong with it per se, aside from very pedestrian execution (and old-fashioned gender politics). It's just utterly unexciting.

I'll pass.

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Tamako Market
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

The local shopping district is awesome ! Also, a talking chicken.

Characters

Tamako, high school girl and heir to the mochi bakery. Energetic, a bit clumsy and well-liked in the neighbourhood.

Mochizou, her childhood friend and heir to the rival store next door. Very self-conscious about being friend-zoned.

Dera, an obnoxious talking bird who shows out of nowhere and sticks around at Tamako's household. Supposedly he's looking for a princess or something, but the mochi are so good he quickly forgets about that mission. Not that he can even fly anymore at this point, anyway.

The cast is rounded up by Tamako's friends (the carpenter's daughter, etc.) and the colourful other shop owners. (Wait, is the florist supposed to be trans ?)

Production Values

Very nice, although KyoAni went for the cuteness overload even more than usual.

What did I think of it ?

Well, I wasn't quite expecting this. Obviously the talking chicken sticks out like a sore thumb, although most characters take this supernatural element in stride after a brief moment of WTF. This is a very cheerful series indeed, with even the neighbour squabbling being in good fun.

I'm not sure the joke really works, though. Sure, it brings a smile, but some of the early transitions are jarring and I'm not sure how this premise can support 11 more episodes. Still, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and time for it to find its legs.
 

Kohou

AMV Archivist
Validated User
#49
Edit: Yeah, yeah, I was confused. It's late.

I'm still curious about your thoughts on DaCapo 3 Jhiday. And whether it might tide me over on Key-esque series until I finish the Little Busters VN and can watch that.
 
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KoboldLord

Registered User
Validated User
#50
I'm pretty sure redstar was making fun of the people who hate K-On (or whatever the latest popular series is) and must take every opportunity available to explain their position to you at tedious length. I run into these people every time I go to a convention.
 
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