Wednesday, April 10, 2013

After Action Review ~ Vacation

As always here is the report on what I spent my vacation watching.

A = Awesome, Instant Classic
B = Above Average, I'll watch it again (Most fall into this category)
C = Average... 
D = I still have my eyes but the glaze on them may be permanent.
F = Why is the world black all of a sudden?

Tamako Market, B

The Kyoto Animation guys from K-on did this series and well they need to move on from K-On.  I liked K-On, I loved K-On, but still you guys got to move on.  The character designs are so close its freaky at some points...

Also the extra hand gestures which was really cute in K-on are starting to ware.  Okay besides that its a fun show that is part "And yet the town moves" with a bit of "Love Hina" and then some weirdness.  Not that original but still fun to watch.  The plot is part slice of life and part fantasy.  At least the series can be used to weird people out with thinking that it's a K-On spin off.

Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai NEXT, B+

I love this series, I've read the novels, so much fun.  Unfortunately Next goes with the novels almost exactly. Which is normally good but nothing new...  And ends with novel 8 which is so close to finally moving the plot to the next level leaving you on the edge of the seat, and then ending.  At the very least the transition episode OAV between the two series brought back the rape, which was unfortunately removed from the first television series.  And what is Boku with out the rape?

Anyways great series just still no conclusion... Which do you prefer Yukimura as a maid or as a butler?

Go Read the Novels

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, D+

Wow, that is a terrible title.  And that's pretty much how the show goes.  Tons of freaken crap with maybe 5 total episodes that are watchable.  Basic aliens monsters are overrunning the world so we need giant robots, when we should be using ARTILLERY !!  It's been done better, Gun Parade March is excellent go watch it (if anyone has a full translated version of Gun Parade Orchestra please link, its been a phantom series for a decade.) 
The love plot is PAINFULLY forced and once it goes through with the two leads maybe realizing their feelings around the mid point in the show it suddenly becomes a harem which is even more EXCRUCIATINGLY forced.  The fan service more hurts then helps.  The animation is so inconsistent with a soft old school approach in episode one to super sleek computer CG body suits in the same episode.  If the ending battle hadn't actually been okay, it would have been an F.

As a side note I mentioned this before but if I am facing a horde of monsters that are not intelligent and restricting air support I would use land mines and artillery.  For the price of one giant robot I could make, train, and equip 50 artillery crews 40 miles behind the lines and using drones for spotting or hard wired land based video feeds (cct).
Also speaking of stupidity of a story... Highschool of the dead.  The dead are attracted to noise and are non-sentient.  Put a loud speaker on the top of a quarry and you could wipe out all the zombies in about 3 hours.  

Head pounding done... next up...

OreShura, B+

Can't quite give it an A as it doesn't reach the level of classic, but as simple harems goes its near perfect.  The harem may be all stereotypes but there is a reason for stereotypes after all.  And yet no fanservice just to do fanservice which is great.  My only real complaint is that anime needs to get over eighth grade syndrome soon its already been done too much.  The ending was excellent I cried and I laughed so hard I'm sure I woke up the neighbors.
The plot bitch blackmails main character into being her fake boyfriend harem develops and they make a club.  That's it, but the pacing is fine and gives each girl a few episodes to just shine.  Though I do wish Hime the dark haired one had about one more development episode.
If you like light hearted harem anime this one is top shelf.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, A

Wow an A series, this is why I still watch anime!  A Hero and a Demon Lord join forces to try to save the world.  So good, the only problem I had with it was only that there were only 12 episodes.  Basically take Spice and Wolf's formidable dialog and intrigue and then add even more political intrigue from Tales of Saiunkoku and then add some War and Speeches, probably from Twelve Kingdoms.   The world originality alone could fill about three separate series, hell for the matter just the head maids abilities deserve there own show.  
I really don't think I should add much more go watch it yourself.  You won't regret it.

Busou Shinki, C+

Let's say unmemorable.  Basically action figures fight and play while there owner is away.  The big world small toys is an overdone cliche and this does not add anything to it.  Though the way they get around and accomplish tasks is rather innovative at some times.  Moving a pumpkin using Egyptian rock moving equipment was interesting. The episodes are not bad to most are reasonably entertaining, the only one I groaned about was the Christmas episode all the rest were watchable.  The animation and CG is sharp and nice.  But it is just not anything to write home about.

Ixion Saga DT, B-

Ah, the good old Fantasy Comedy, one of those great genres that's more about showing the normal being done in an insane way.  The plot, gamer gets transported to a fantasy world to save the princess.  It feels like Gintama added to Rune Soldier and it takes the best of both.  And it works much better then Gintama ever did.  The main character preaching creationism theory as the console wars, the princess turning into a beast when annoyed, the knight and cats... It's just funny.
The animation isn't that great it seems to have more of a weekly anime feel then a high end anime.  I still don't get how DT == virgin, Japanese trying to do English just confuses me.  But if you liked the slayers or the stranger in a strange land plot.  This is a good anime, well worth watching, the main reason for the minus rating is that it had a couple filler episodes that could have been done without.

Kotoura-san B+

This show is an emotional rollercoaster you'll laugh and cry in just about every episode.  Which is definitely a good thing, feeling an emotional connection makes for a good show.  The plot, Telepathic girl who can't tell the difference between talking and peoples thoughts basically destroys her family and friends until she moves to a new school.  Also that all women are evil, every female character in this show is evil, got to love it.  The animation is top notch the music is good, one of my new favorite character songs...


You got to love it.

Sasami-San@ganbaranai, C+

This series starts out as a confusing mess.  While it gets better as it goes along and the ending ark was actually pretty good it doesn't stop the fact that you had to wade through so much to get to something that made sense.  The plot... I'm still a little head scratching on that one, but basically Sasami-San is a run away priestess with the power of a goddess who taken up the life of a hikikomori.
The animation is by shaft which is usually pretty solid but in this one it doesn't work that well so much has a soft unrealistic feel that's just annoying.  Add to that the second episode already leaps to an MMORPG episode that has everyone staring at a computer for about 1/2 the episode.  Not the best way to make a good impression.  Also as mentioned before GET OVER THE EIGHTH GRADE SYNDROME!!!   Yep its used again in this series.

 Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan, D

A bunch of 4 minute episodes making fun of Osaka natives way of talking.  There is nothing here really.  I'm not sure why Osaka is like the deep south of America and must be picked on by stereotyping at all times.  So going to move on, I am not anywhere near the target audience.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, B

Basically a coming of age story wrapped with a love story. The plot, the only "normal" person in a dorm full of weirdos gets stuck taking care of a girl with aspergers.  My tentative and non medical diagnosis, genius girl who can't manage social interaction.  The show is pretty solid lots of laughing and crying.  The misfits are interesting and the plot moves along well.  The main character though irritates every so often as he needs to think before speaking, but it is his coming of age story so I guess learning that basic rule could be said to be the difference between a child and an adult.  It's a good heartwarming show might as well watch it.

Little Busters, C

This was supposed to be one of the best of the season and I just don't see it.  Also it's only season 1...  Genre Tearjerker by Key.  Plot Little Busters was a group of child hood friends now in high school, decide to become a baseball team, but since there members short they get all the basket case cute girls in the main characters classroom.  When I try to recruit a baseball team, I go for the harem route as well, lets face it who cares if you win as long as your out field is full of cute girls each with deep emotional scars you can exploit...
Normally the girls subplots are the highlight of a tearjerker.  For Little Busters they aren't this would actually be a more interesting anime if was a pure base ball anime.  ( Go watch Taisho Baseball Girls or for an awesome and underrated baseball anime One Outs, though it is lacking in the cute girls.)  Ragtag team of misfits is always a good genre.  If you want to watch better tearjerkers there are a number of much better ones (Clannad, Kanon, Air, EF - A tale of Memories to name a few.)  I think what I am trying to say is Little Busters is average in a genre full of excellent series.

Senran Kagura, B

Finally some T&A.  This entire season has been lacking overall in that category.  Plot the good ninja girls must fight the evil ninja girls.  No I'm not exaggerating they actually are split into good camp and evil camp.   Who cares though they bounce well the combat is constant and entertaining.  The animation could have pushed it up a notch in both quality and nudity but then again it still is not bad in both.
This was one of the titles I had been looking forward to since the Dojinshi's for the game had been out the last year and were interesting at the very least.  The show didn't disappoint and was fun to watch and isn't that what counts more then anything in the end?  By the way if your wondering what I consider an A rank in the T&A fighting genre go watch Air Master... I'm thinking about re-watching it now.

Well that caught me up on most of the anime that came out this season.  At least there was one A rank series out of 13.  Still have a few left over to watch Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Magi, and Zetsuen no Tempest...  Well the night is still young.



    for GPO

    And DT is short for Doutei (童貞), which is slang for a male virgin. Literally translates to Juvenile Chastity

  2. Thanks for the GPO link seems like a good torrent.


  3. "Tearjerker" games usually don't reflect well in anime/OVA form because they have to cut out some routes and side stories that add to the overall stuff. Granted, I never touch Key stuff (for a certain frivolous reason) so I wouldn't know about either version, but that's often the trend with VNs getting into anime, whether they are 18+ or not.

    As a side note, I hate the baseball side of the ending Taishou Yakyuu Musume (not that it is the main focus). Refusing to intentional walk Akiko was absolutely stupid, as it risks losing to girls, which would make the entire team lose face, instead of the pitcher himself. Trying to score on the play was also stupid. It was basically giving the finger to the next batter. "I'd rather try an impossible play than to have you representing the last out." (A long side note but TYM references really aren't too common and I got this rant saved up inside me for years.)

    /end rant

  4. Yeah, MaoYuu and Psycho Pass were the only worthwhile ones this season. Shame really. Make sure to play Virtue's Last Reward though (Vita or 3ds, borrow one or something). Great VN.

  5. Incidentally, while I'm shocked that a transition to Anime as complicated as something in the Muv-Luv universe managed to get better than an F, the source material actually covers the artillery angle.

    Specifically the fact that Laser class BETA are just as capable of shredding artillery fire as they are of shredding airplanes. In fact a lot of the mecha deployments can ultimately be boiled down to an objective of "Kill the Laser BETA so artillery can be used"