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[In which I review] New anime, Winter 2013

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
Validated User
Love Live! School Idol Project
My thoughts can be summarized as follows:

1) It will be difficult for subsequent episodes to measure up to the first.
2) If they do, this show is going to be fucking rad.
 

Kohou

AMV Archivist
Validated User
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.
Anime fans are pedantic and also overbearing? I'm shocked! Shocked, I say! It's certainly not like I've gotten a 20-minute shouted "lecture" at Borders once because I tried to buy the latest Megatokyo. <.<

Yet another reason that I try to pass for muggle most of the time. Seriously, though, I'll go nix that from my last post.
 

Ikselam

may one day be worthy of your grace
Validated User
It's certainly not like I've gotten a 20-minute shouted "lecture" at Borders once because I tried to buy the latest Megatokyo. <.<
Megatokyo? Twenty minutes was letting you off easy. :p
 

Kohou

AMV Archivist
Validated User
Megatokyo? Twenty minutes was letting you off easy. :p
I know. It was such a good series when it started. And I was in middle school. :( :'( And now I don't even follow it, beyond collecting the books. For reasons I've forgotten. Since the last book came out, what... 2 years ago? And I bought that one on Amazon. Bring back Rodney!

Man, I still remember me and my friend finding it the first week it debuted, and being so into it. I hadn't even seen more than like 2 episodes of anime at that point.

Oh, nostalgia. Oh, 2000. Where did you go?
 

the_redstar_swl

New member
Banned
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.
Pretty much. Though the characters do look eerily similar.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm still curious about your thoughts on DaCapo 3 Jhiday.
Absolutely nothing. I haven't watched any of the previous series (and I'm in no hurry to), so I gave this sequel a pass as I usually do in these cases.

While we're talking sequels : the first episode of Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT was a bit underwhelming. I get that they're reintroducing all the characters and running jokes, but it definitely is below what the series' usual level. Surely Yozora can troll Sena better than with that hairdo thing !

And now for four actually new series...


GJ-Club (GJ-bu)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Comedy show set in one of those ubiquitous high school clubs with no purpose aside from goofing off.

Adapted from what calls itself a "4-panel light novel".

Characters

Mio, the club president. She's small and annoying.

Kyouya, the token guy and straight man to all the jokes.

Shion, the more-than-slightly creepy genius.

There's also a girl who dresses like a maid, and a borderline-feral girl.

Production Values

Adequate, I guess. Most of the budget seems to have been spent on the elaborate school uniforms.

What did I think of it ?

The characters are the usual one-note archetypes. I have no clue what "GJ" even means here. And most of all, there are barely a few jokes that raise a smile ; most of them are just dreadfully unfunny.

This is a show with no selling point whatsoever, and is instantly forgettable. Avoid.

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

Kotoura-san
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Being a young telepath with soul-crushing angst is apparently no obstacle to starring in a high school comedy show.

Characters

Haruka Kotoura, the title character. She's been able to read the thoughts of people around her ever since her early childhood. As a result, she's considered a creepy monster. (The show makes a convincing case about how her innocently blurting out secret thoughts would make the lives of everyone around her a living hell.) By the time she transfers to yet another high school, she lives alone and purposely aleniates herself from anyone else (as it's less painful than people she's grown to care for eventually leaving her). That's until she meets...

Manabe, the guy sitting next to her in class. He's not creeped out at all by Haruka's mindreading, barely taking notice to try and have a bit less erotic daydreams around her. While he's a bit of a weirdo, he legitimely wants to be her friend (or more), and promises never to leave her.

The OP/ED indicates that she's going to make more friends. That's going to be a tall order indeed. Also, her mother is apparently going to stay as part of the supporting cast, which is a bit surprising given the way she abandoned her daughter.

Production Values

This doesn't have a high budget, but it knows how to make do with it. In particular, there's a nice effect with the colours progressively becoming greyer and more monochrome as Haruka's life spirals into hell, until bright colours smash back in when she meets Manabe.

There's also quite some creativity with Manabe's mindscape.

What did I think of it ?

This really should be a hideous style clash, abruptly switching from borderline-manipulative melodrama to "traditional" high-school hijinks. But it's fiendishly effective, setting up the show's gimmick and the main couple's relationship with a poignancy that a pure gag show couldn't hope for. It helps that the narrative doesn't cheat : other people's reactions to Haruka are often unkind, but feel entirely human.

I'm not quite sure how the series can maintain this balance in the long run, but I'm hooked.

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

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

What is this I don't even...

Characters

The titular Sasami, a recluse who never leaves home. She's extensively cared for by her elder brother. When he's off to work, she uses her computer network to spy on him possessively.

Said brother remains unnamed throughout the episode, and indeed goes to impressively bizarre lengths not to show his face to the camera at any point. Anyway, he's a high school teacher, and probably well into his thirties.

Then there are the three sisters pursuing him to various degrees. Tsurugi is one of his colleagues, who does stuff like watching porn in the teachers' office. The other two are students in the same high school : Kagami is the deadpan sarcastic one, Tama the loony one.

And then the plot goes completely insane : chocolate starts overtaking the world until the three sisters put a stop to it and save the world. (Oh, and and Kagami is apparently a cyborg.) It's implied that this kind of stuff happens regularly.

It's a SHAFT show, so there are absolutely no other characters around, with a cityscape entirely devoid of even a single extra.

Production Values

Typical Shinbo direction : artfully composed wide shots, random weird body language bits (such as the brother's insistant avoidance of the camera), non-naturalistic backgrounds and colours. The animation for the action sequence is very impressive, which makes me wonder about the budget of this series.

What did I think of it ?

Hum. I had no worry that if anyone could make a brocon series watchable, it'd be SHAFT. Especially as the source material is said to be quirkily bizarre on its own right. And this is certainly an enthralling watch, even as alarms bell ring to warn that all of those characters are very creepy indeed.

But the big question is : where do you go from there ? A "bizarre menace of the week" structure could quickly become tediously repetitive, but I doubt this is really what the series is going for. On the other hand, there's not that much room for character growth either : the characters' quirks are overpowering and allow for little depth.

There's definitely a lot of potential here, and on a technical level it's definitely on SHAFT's upper range, but I'm not convinced yet this is a show with legs beyond the shock-value façade.

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

Vividred Operation
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

The war on pants is back.

Characters

Akane, grand-daughter of the mad genius who invented the free, clean energy generator located nearby. As perks, she also got a flying bike, as well as the means to fight the bad guys.

Grampa, though, seems to have had a falling out with his former associates, as they don't seem to be getting much money from the generator's operations. And he buries nearly everything he's got into more random mad science projects, leaving his family barely pennies for the food.

(Said family seems to be limited at this point to those two and a little sister, who's the one who hunts bargain bins and has to resort to creative cooking.)

Aoi, Akane's best friend, is returning to the island the series takes place in after a long absence. Just in time for her plane to get caught in the crossfire between the authority and a giant mechanized war machine suddenly attacking ! Akane saves her just in time.

Production Values

From the director of Strike Witches ! As you'd expect, the show uses the tiniest excuses to have characters in bloomers, and the camera loves ass shots. It's more than a bit distracting, especially as the show is quite good-looking aside from that.

What did I think of it ?

Urgh. The plot and the characters aren't interesting enough to make up for the tediousness of the constant ass shots. Even ignoring that, it's fairly generic anyway.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Absolutely nothing. I haven't watched any of the previous series (and I'm in no hurry to), so I gave this sequel a pass as I usually do in these cases.

While we're talking sequels : the first episode of Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT was a bit underwhelming. I get that they're reintroducing all the characters and running jokes, but it definitely is below what the series' usual level. Surely Yozora can troll Sena better than with that hairdo thing !
Though it is pretty much as played out in the source material.
 

Johann Huber

Retired User
Pretty much. Though the characters do look eerily similar.
They pullulate in forums and MLs too. At least, in the English-speaking ones.

The Japanese have a different take on this matter: if they don't like a series, they ignore it and don't talk about it. If someone comes and broaches the subject, they just say: "Sorry, I don't get it." And they talk about something else.

It's a very nice policy that I've been enforcing for years in the MLs I manage myself. Easy and simple rule: if you hate some series, SHUT UP and don't bother the people who like it and want to discuss it.
 

ru

temporary avatar
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

What is this I don't even...
The first chunk of the light novel has been translated, and explains significantly more of what's going on. Maybe this explanation will come along next episode, but it does kinda make sense, for certain values of sense. There might be more exposition next episode.
 
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