Anime Summer 2017, part 2

Our torment is moving on!

Aho girl

As the name suggests this anime is about a completely brainless girl. She likes bananas, games, dogs (apparently) and sincerely considers herself as the cutest girl in the world. Of course, her childhood friend is her antipode: he is smart, calm and isn’t going to show his underwear every five minutes. The first episode was funny enough, even though it was stupid enough as well. The second episode was not so funny, and added even more stupidity. To make everything worse, the patient demonstrates all symptoms of being a harem.

However, it’s watchable – thanks to 10-minutes episodes.

Made in Abyss

A fantasy anime about a city located on the verge of a huge crater – Abyss. All citizens’ activity is related somehow to this, hm, hole – but the most important and praised job here is being a raider. Raiders go down where they’re looking for artifacts and fighting beasts. Our main heroine, who is just 12, is learning how to become a raider. One day she’s found a robot – and this discovery might become the most important one in the city’s history.

Very nicely drawn anime about kids, I’m not expecting its story to be serious or deep but it’s much better than most shows we have pleasure to watch this summer.

Hajimete No Gal

One more comedy about a looser who’s ready to do everything – just to finally get a girlfriend. His friends suggested asking a gyaru out, because, you know, such girls wouldn’t refuse.

Pretty stupid and vulgar comedy that, I think, eventually will become a harem show. First episode managed to provide a couple of good jokes so will try to watch one or two more episodes.

Tsurezure Children

Anime, which is, I’d guess, based on yonkoma. We’re observing how boys and girls are trying to confess, successfully and not so much. Surprisingly cute anime that, so far, made me smile regularly. And again – just 10 minutes per episode!

 

Anime Summer 2017, part 1

Even though in my opinion current anime season is one of the weakest in the last few years, we have watched several shows.

Ballroom e Youkoso

Once again we have a stereotypical spineless main hero, who doesn’t know what he’s going to do with his life. All of a sudden, he founds himself on a ball dance lesson and feels that this is the activity that’s going to change everything. Nice visuals (Production IG) but characters are unbelievable and, in general, the first episode was boring. I’m skipping this show.

Keppeki Danshi Aoyama-kun

It should’ve been a mix of “Haven’t you heard? My name is Sakamoto” and <insert the name of your favourite sports anime here>. Unfortunately, its either part is weak. Sports half isn’t, hm, vigorous enough, not mentioning the animation. I wonder if soccer is more difficult to show than volleyball or baseball? Comedy half isn’t funny and no one cares to explain why, for example, all girls are in love with that Aoyama.

Centaur No Nayami

A comedy show that couldn’t even make me smile. The world of this anime is filled with mythical creatures of school age, who, of course, run marathons and make preparations to festivals. Probably, the main character is supposed to be cute, but even if she is (for someone) this isn’t enough to save the series.

Hitorijime My Hero

The only reason to watch this anime is if you haven’t watched shounen-ai in years and need to watch anything of this genre. Stereotypical characters, stereotypical situations, stereotypical pairings and all that drawn stereotypically.

Huh, seems that this time I’ve repeated the word “stereotypical” million times. Next post is going to be about shows, which can’t be called “great” but at least it’s possible to watch them without fighting yawning every minute.

 

 

 

Uchouten Kazoku 2

Writers from other studios should take lessons from P.A. Works’ creators who were working on Uchouten Kazoku. My first impression was: “Well, even though it’s been rather pointless, still, it has been great.” My second impression: “Not so pointless, actually!”

Despite being reckless and easygoing anime, anime whose motto is “You should cause troubles and have fun” Uchouten Kazoku managed to show a complete story, involving basically all the characters and containing some twists (not that those twists were really unexpected…) It’s strange to me to say such things about a show whose characters can transform and fly, but Eccentric Family is unusually logical, especially comparing to all that other mess we watch. If we saw an object and characters did accent on this object – we could be sure that it would play its role, sooner or later. If there was a character in the beginning – it won’t be just forgotten by the end of the show. And so on.

This is an urban fantasy, a show where Japanese reality is tangled with Japanese legends and, even deeper this time, with tanuki legends and traditions. This part is one of the strongest “selling points” of Uchouten Kazoku (the second one, maybe, after its peculiar character design.) But the most important part, at least to me, is its characters.

It was absolutely fascinating to watch how Yasaburo and Kaisei were building their relationships. The story about Yaichirou and Gyokuran’s wedding – wasn’t it cute? Don’t think that I need to say anything about Benten, perhaps, the most popular character here, she was just amazing, as always. I can’t remember any tengu or tanuki in this anime, who was just a name without personality.

Uchouten Kazoku’s design and visual… I think it’s better to find some images on the Internet and take a look. They are beautiful, all of them. But my personal prize for an episode with the best graphics is going to the one dedicated to Yasaburo’s travel to Hell.

Are there many differences comparing to the first season? I can’t say that I remember the original anime well, but guess that the second season’s plot is more complete, holistic. We saw more characters and, luckily, they didn’t form a huge colorful stain like it happened with last Durarara’s seasons.

Would I like to see more seasons? I will use my standard answer – no. Sooner or later all series with many episodes end up being boring and predictable, so I’d prefer to remember Uchouten Kazoku as a great anime, consisting of two season, and whose second season was even better than the first one.

P.S.

Kado: The Right Answer

Finished this anime today and my only two thoughts are:

“What has it been?” and “Why have I spent my time on it?”

The idea itself is rather fresh and intriguing (though when we’re talking about anime saying anything about freshness and novelty is rather strange, we saw all kinds of weirdness). There is a mysterious alien who comes to Earth, brings new technology and explains what this is “the right answer” and will push humanity forward. All these ultra-new devices have been brought to the Japanese territory and we’re rubbing our hands already in anticipation – how all this will be resolved. The first half, despite being slow and, frankly, a bit boring, at least was logical.

The end of the show was a mess. Zashunina, who’s embraced human feeling just during few month on Earth, starts acting as a badly written villain – turns out that humans have amazed him so much that he immediately needs to transport them to his world or dimension. But! Actually, the only person he really wants to see there is Shindou-kun and it doesn’t matter if other people simply die on the way to the new bright future. What does make Shindou-kun so special? Why have they become friends with the alien? Hmm… Okay, let’s think that this are moments which were offscreen. Although Shindou-san is the main riddle here.

Always, constantly we’re reminded that Shindou is great, is talented, seems that people of both sexes fall in love with him and all people (no exceptions) follow him and do what he suggests. The only explanation why all this happens might be some kind of a parallel story that’s going on at the same time behind the scenes. Let me see. What has Shindou-san done during the show? He believed in guys on the factory and they managed to make a new “super-metal”. He happened to be on the plane that got inside Kado and… didn’t panic there? Looked so confident that even the plain’s crew delegated all work to him? Maybe he showed some enormous negotiation skills representing Anisotropic side in the dialog between Earth and Zashunina? Ah, I see – he has some sense of anisotropy! Yes, that explains everything. But his sense of anisotropy didn’t help much to even think about alien’s intentions! Yes, he might look smart but only because others around him act even more stupidly. The biggest issue with characters here is that they’re supposed to be “the best negotiator” or “a genius scientist” but are unbelievable in their roles – all these loud words aren’t proved with anything but accidents. They somehow managed to create this. Or they somehow understood how that works. Main characters are awful, all of them.

Back to the end of the story. We have another alien here. Who has been observing the life in our universe for millions of years and she (yep, it’s Saraka and that’s, probably, why she can do something against Shindou’s will) doesn’t allow anyone to move progress artificially because… she likes this planet? She doesn’t care much about people who’re going to die or just want to become anisotropic..? Seeing this dilemma, the authors resolved it gracefully, making Zashunina to act like a maniac and instead of finding people who want to move to his dimension (he’s been waiting for millions of years anyway, why does he need to do it right now, all of a sudden?) Zashunina started this process for the whole population of our planet, tried to kill Shindou and, ideally, he should’ve also laughed with, you know, some kind of demonic laugh.

Saraka and Shindou save the day (accompanied by that “genius scientist”) using a plan that finally reveals what kind of power Shindou has in his possession. He can make children! Our couple was going to surprise Zashunina but instead we had just another “deus ex machina” – their super-daughter who is a half-human, half-anisotropic. Being just 16 years old she is somehow much stronger than the alien with billlions of years of experience and just kicks his ass. Going to surprise him? Surprised, yes. Was it their grand plan? Mix DNA, give their daughter over to Shindou’s idiotic friend, wait until she’s 16 (why 16?) and hope that by this age she will be capable of destroying a guy whom she’s never seen and she will have to do it because she was told so by her parents she’s never seen either. Sounds logical. Brilliant plan. Shindou one more time proved that he’s smart (and funny (c)).

We shouldn’t forget that all devices, obviously, were connected to Kado and with its disappearance all those Wams, Sansas stopped functioning. Why? Well, that’s all alien fancy stuff, you know, it always stops working.

Kado would’ve made an okay movie but as a 12 episodes series it’s untenable. It tried to look serious and pretend that there’s more inside than it seemed. That it might make us think about serious questions. Unfortunately, to me all good things that were in this show have been broken with its characters and its ending. Hadn’t the authors made accents on humans but on humanity instead, had they removed the second alien, had they left the ending open and it might’ve become something bigger.

kado2

Little Witch Academia

Trigger tried to take the world by storm, releasing “Kill La Kill” as their first “big” title. Was their attempt successful? I’d say yes. Even though Kill La Kill suffered from many issues it was very bright, fresh, unusual, Gainax-type show.Unfortunately, next several shows weren’t as great. Inou-Batoru was nichijo-keu no Naka de – can anyone recall this anime? Kiznaiver had intrigued with its plot idea and then disappointed. Luluco, Inferno Cop? Well, I’m sure they have their fans but unlikely can be considered as a valuable asset for a studio.

Trigger had taken the bull by the horse and instead of coming up with new ideas went through all obstacles using a simple way. “Hey, all people like our OVAs about little witches. Why won’t we be so damn generous and give them 25 brand new episodes about Akko?!” Has this idea turned out to be worthy?

Yes and no.

Trigger can do mainstream animation as no one else studio. Kill La Kill was simply brilliant in terms of animation and even three or four years after its release people still post gifs with Mako or Ryuko. Little Witch Academia keeps carrying that bar – it’s more simple but still colorful and, the most important, unusual for the modern world of making stereotypical camera angles and character movements. This anime is very easy to watch and it has some lovely heroines and… and probably that’s it.

On the other hand the show is so fond of the idea that even if you’re a stupid, impudent, nosy, have no talent whatsoever, don’t know where to stop – anyway, you will find friends who will put up with all your peculiarities, you will have enough luck to solve any problem and so on. And you shouldn’t try to change yourself, no, no! On this feast of uniqueness even Diana, who’s a stereotypical  good girl from her toes up to the point of her pointy hat, even that Diana looks like a decent character and you care about her much than about Akko.

The plot is too straightforward, to childish. There are no, you know, bad guys – be the end of the anime you should understand and forgive all the villains. Professors in the academia are constantly demonstrating that there are not so many people who want to teach young witches, otherwise they, with all their lack of knowledge and reckless behaviour, would’ve never gotten their positions.

Probably, this story hasn’t ended. It’s always possible to find a new threat for the magic in the world, for the witches and for the academy. I hope that, at least, Trigger is going to wait some time before triggering a new season (I’m a terrible punster, hehe).

In addition, soon we’ll get a game dedicated to Akko and her friends:

 

Eromanga-sensei

This anime is not as bad as you might have guessed. Harem? It could’ve been worse. The name promised something about tough daily life of a manga author but concentrated mostly on his relationships with girls? But there are even a couple of manga editors, not even mentioning other manga authors! Jokes about dicks? Well, at least it allows Eromanga-sensei to stand out.

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend this anime to anyone but at the same time I wouldn’t say that it’s horrible or anything like that. Despite its countless flaws and weaknesses Eromanga-sensei is watchable. The story focuses on how Izumi-kun (or Izumi-sensei, because he is a manga author) is building his relationships with his stepsister who doesn’t leave her room, at how, the same time, he’s trying to politely turn down all dating offers from all his female friends – this story is absolutely ordinary but did we really expected more from a romantic comedy whose author wrote “OreImo”? And I don’t think that Eromanga-sensei is worse than the story about Kirino, her brother and Kuroneko. Characters? We’ve seen them thousands times. Jokes? A few really good ones but others weren’t “meh”, just okay.

One more note – if this anime hadn’t been made by A1 than I would’ve skipped it just after reading the synopsis but unfortunately I’m keen on shows from a few studios and A1 is one of them (probably, that’s a bad habit)

Saekano 2

Analyzing my thoughts about anime this season it looks like I’ve become a kind of old geezer and soon going to yell at kids something like “get off my lawn!” Can’t help it – today’s post is another rumbling (very short one), dedicated to the second season of Saekano.

This is an anime about a high-school student, Tomoya-kun (aka Rinri-kun) who is an otaku and positive that relationships with 3d girls are impossible. Despite his attitude he’s constantly surrounded with girls (very 3d) – cousins, childhood friends, classmates – and all of them demonstrate astonishingly strong affection for him. After all, Rinri-kun isn’t just an ordinary student because he has a Dream! He wants to create the best dating sim game in the world. The team who was going to make the game, hmm, teamed up in the first season.

Have to admit, the first season was good enough for me. Thanks, mostly, to Kado-san, a girl who becomes a model for the main character of the game. The second season… if it weren’t for Kado we would’ve dropped it pretty quickly, I think.

The game has been made. It even demonstrated some success. But before the release and after it – there were so many nonsense scenes, where characters were stubbornly ignoring any logic and acting weirdly just to create some “drama”! Artists losing their muse and Rinri-kun believing in them. Eriri, deciding that only painting with watercolor in the middle of nowhere can save the project. “Let’s redo the plot in last minute” twist. Rinri again who hasn’t made a single attempt in a month to find out why Kado is mad with him. And, of course, the winner is Tomoya-Rinri who shows inhuman, nearly Araragi-kun’s level skills in avoiding sex, in spite the fact that all the girls are willingly stay with him for a night and don’t even try to hide their intentions (hey, Kasaminagaoka Utaha-sempai!) Even Kado in the last couple of episodes wasn’t that Kado we’d like to see (character development™)

I don’t have even a faintest doubt that we’ll get the third season but I’ll be smarter next time. Saekano, get off my lawn!