The Return of the Recap 12

Football Manager 2013 is out. As if I didn’t already have enough distractions

Well that was a particularly long time off from this blog, probably the longest since I was averaging erm, 2 views a day. Personally I needed a bit of a break from real life as there’s lots of change going on there. So off I went to that country that is most famous for being the setting for the K-On movie, and some other more minor contributions in the last 1000 years. But enough about that, this is the column about what I watched in the last week. And it’s a lot, so let’s just get started.

Currently Airing

As I was catching up on 3 weeks worth of shows in a single week, I elected to throw out the order from best to worst to just stick with alphabetical order. I did, however, continue to rank these according to the week they aired, and the season to date table makes its first appearance of the fall at the end of this.

Joke 2 of the opening minute of episode 5.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!

This series has continued to just feel smug as though the producers are too in love with the subject matter at hand. There’s the fact that pretty much every character in this series seems to be completely infantile beyond belief. This is acceptable for the most part though the lack of a straight man seems to make the jokes run off longer than they should. The thing is, I thought this was a romantic comedy, but there’s been almost nothing of the sort. There’s just been time spent in delusion after delusion. I could accept it the first time when the battle in Rikka’s imagination contrasted with what was actually happening. Now that it happens in every episode, it just feels tired. So what this series needs is less chuunibyou and some romance if it really wants to be a romantic comedy.

Now that is one way to get out of paying for food

Hayate no Gotoku Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

This was a bit of a surprise to catch up on as the character designs continue to be appalling, and characters were introduced that would only be familiar to readers of the manga. The last 2 episodes were really impressive in my eyes from a comedic level, hitting that balance between entertaining and truth well. The trip to Akiba brought all sorts of revelations like Hayate’s love of anime that see main characters die. The restaurant in the last episode had a strong moral message even as I laughed at the slapstick humor. I was really missing this from the 2nd season of this series in particular.

That’s not disturbing at all, and she forgot to take off her glasses.

Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb

I can’t say I’ve been bothered by this show at all. It just has a mailed in feeling to it. As I watched the last few episodes of it, it felt like a time filler for a bigger project. Then again, I’ve been told I don’t understand these healing type shows. Yet, it feels like even I could direct this series and get a similar result. Each episode follows a simple formula. Match each pairing of characters, put them through an event and react according to their personalities and let the audience handle the rest. The end result isn’t bad, but it can’t be anything more than average to anyone but the most die hard of fans.

All that destructive power just to kill one person. Someone pissed off the wrong woman.

Jormungand

This has been 1 of the 2 shows I’ve truly been impressed by this season. This season has been about Koko being pursued by a number of people. This stretch in catching up included the conclusion to the Undershaft arc. R’s demise was ultimately touching while Hex’s story was well constructed even as she quickly entered and exited. Also, the fact that death isn’t romanticized at all creates a fantastically melancholic mood over the series that I enjoy. The series has headed to Japan, and Jonah’s filler episode with Kasper wasn’t particularly good, however I still look forward to what’s next.

It sure seems easy to do things like this at the school

Little Busters!

I think this series so far has captured the banalities of high school life. Then again, it’s only a matter of time before we get into the character specific arcs and we end up with bizarro endings that only make sense in the mind of one Maeda Jun. The 3 episodes I saw in catching up all seemed to be similar in structure. Introduce a new character, have them in some sort of conflict with one of the gang, then join the crew. It’s really hard to screw that up, but there are still many episodes to go, and the baseball team will be complete eventually. Unless they are building a full farm system, and we would be talking 100s of episodes, but I digress.

A rare banana being eaten normally.

Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne

Oniai as it is known in some circles has actually grown on me a bit. Maybe it’s the fact that this harem lead’s rejection of the girls’ advances on him are brutal, garish and short that makes it so appealing. The real standout character is Anastasia, who delivers varying levels of perversion in the same tone without hesitation. As for the rest of the girls, Ginbei got her own uninteresting character, Akiko continues to be a passenger despite the title reflecting her affections. And I couldn’t possibly forget to mention the OP animation for its classiness.

Psycho-Pass may just be the most moe anime of the year.

Psycho-Pass

The first of the Noitamina shows in this post, happens to be the enemy of the term moé, or is it? Yes, a lot of people know that the term was banned during production, yet it can’t avoid going for those tropes, even if it may not be intentional. My theory on this show is that it isn’t actually about crime, but rather about the human condition. The main character Akane does bother me though. Mainly, it seems as though she’s just a self-insert character of the modern human being placed into a world governed by technology. Plus, there was the beginning of the 2nd episode which had me thinking that this was a sequel to Kuragehime.

If only Mister Pleiades was a regular character

Robotics;Notes

The next Chaos;Head continues to not do much of anything. There was that battle robot tournament which revealed the true extent of the time issues the two main characters have, but it doesn’t feel as though anything important has happened yet. When it does, I have this feeling that it could turn trainwreck with the focus on events like Chaos;Head rather than the character-driven Steins;Gate. Either outcome is possible, or both even considering the universe this series inhabits.

This show isn’t terrible? Why am I crying?

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

I went into this series thinking it would be a plain character taking care of an autistic girl. That may actually prove to still be the case, but this ended up being endearing in a way. There’s 2 sets of couples that are at the heart of everything in this series, but you have male characters who feel unworthy of the attention of the women in their lives. The most recent episode saw Sorata overcome that hurdle as he found the thing he wanted to do with his life. Game design isn’t exactly glamorous, but it’s something to target beyond continuing to exist. Some nice character development is very much appreciated by myself.

Pornography: The Cure to All Memory Ailments

Seitokai no Ichizon

They replaced half of the main girls on the cast with different voice actresses, but this continues on in the form of an ONA. The two episodes in this were the same self-referential stuff that this series always delivers. Ken’s determination to obtain the harem ending was the subject of the opening episode, but it was back to normal for the first proper episode of the season. So the nature of second seasons and whether to change was the subject of one episode. Then after electing to stay the course, the student council was back to a mystery involving Kurimu’s missing cake and Ken suffering amnesia. The comparison is easy to make between this and Hidamari Sketch. It may simply be a case that the random conversations in the same room appeals more to me than girls doing cute things.

The cool part of this is that this was a real astronaut having his lines recorded from the International Space Station

Space Brothers

On one of my flights for my holiday, I caught the Space Brothers live action film and probably spoiled myself as far as what will happen later in this series. There was a particular scene from that version that came up in one of the episodes; the launch that was viewed from the top of the abandoned tower. The anime version just used an older NASA employee while the live action version managed to find Buzz Aldrin to play himself. That was a curious decision considering he would have been over 100 when the film ended. Also, because of the very nature of this being a Japanese film, he played himself terribly because no one actually speaks like he does. As for the anime, it dragged along with Apo disappearing and Hibito’s rocket blasting off. The real excitement waits.

Yamato doesn’t even have to be involved in this show’s special moments.

Sukitte Ii na yo

The other of the series I have been impressed with this season. There’s just so much to like from this series that I don’t think I’ve seen in shoujo anime in a long time. The most obvious difference from most series in this genre is the amount of casual sex between secondary characters. It has the effect of making Yamato and Mei’s relationship standout as special to the audience while appearing strange to the rest of the characters who are driven by fleeting emotions and desires. I think I’m just going to leave my thoughts at that as I could write much more than what should be in a recap post.

This scene only gets dirtier from here.

To Love-Ru Darkness

And transitioning from one series where sex is well used to another one where it can feel like its entire reason for existing. There are two simultaneous plots happening in this series. The one involving Yami and Mea’s interactions with other people on Earth works pretty well. Momo’s plan to build a harem around Rito works at times, but completely loses the plot whenever the episode length needs to be filled. The white cloud of censorship has essentially become the lead character in this show because of it, leading to 3 minute scenes of animals licking the white cloud as an example. Despite that, this story is miles better than the original.

Sadly, the more interesting of these two characters is already dead.

Zetsuen no Tempest

I was initially optimistic about this show. Production values were excellent, there seemed to be an action filled story and overall it just felt like it would be good. Then, when I got back from my vacation and began watching this, I really got bored. It looks and sounds really good. Yet it just felt like the dialogue dragged on and on until the next action scene. Even then, there’s no danger to any of the main characters. Hakaze really needs to get off that island soon.

Average Weekly Votes for Fall Anime

Season Rank Year Rank Change Anime
1 1 - Sukitte Ii na yo
2 10 ↑1 Jormungand
3 12 ↑11 Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
4 13 ↓5 Zetsuen no Tempest
5 20 ↑10 Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
6 21 ↓3 Uchuu Kyoudai
7 24 ↓7 Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai
8 29 ↓2 Robotics;Notes
9 30 ↓2 Little Busters!
10 33 ↓1 Psycho-Pass
11 35 ↑5 Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb
12 36 ↓2 To Love-Ru Darkness
- - - Seitokai no Ichizon Lv. 2
- - - Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!!

This basically points out the problem of recency bias that this ranking has. Just by having a single good episode early in the season, a series can shoot up the charts. Also, Jormungand‘s positioning takes into account the first season that aired earlier this year. This doesn’t affect Hidamari Sketch, To Love-Ru or Seitokai no Ichizon as their earlier seasons aired prior to this year.

Terribad

Just an example of the psychedelic experiences the main cast goes through on their road trip.

The Dark Myth

For a terribad anime, this was one of the more boring ones. The English dub had about as liberal a pronunciation standard as I can remember. The only reason I mention that is because there is far too much emphasis on Japanese archaeology. The basic premise is of a boy traveling around the country accumulating snake like scars that are critical in his eventually being able to control an evil god. But like I said, that’s all rather boring.

So instead, the group I was watching with kept in mind 2 running jokes. The first was historical inaccuracies ranging from modern Japanese being used in ancient scripts to the more absurd like nebulae that weren’t visible until the late 19th century being visible to the ancient Japanese. The better one in my opinion was that this entire OVA was actually an acid trip between a kid, a strange man in a pink sweater vest and a homeless old man with a beard. They were on a road trip waking up on rock formations, or maybe they were just sitting in the same car dropping acid as they pleased. Either way it was totally rubbish and once again I recommend only astute terribad viewers to watch this. I also added a new item to the review since it always comes up in the group watches.

Time of First Nude Woman: 43 minutes, 45 seconds
Rating: 21.4/100

10 thoughts on “The Return of the Recap 12

  1. Suki-tte Ii na yo. with a year rank of 1 is a pleasant surprise. Although I’m not sure if I agree with that yet, it is in my top 5 of the year. It’s nice to see a shoujo like this one instead of something with a glacial pace or one with absolutely no sexual tension whatsoever.

    • I’m pretty sure that will come down. After all, it is really just competing with the rest of the season in that average. I do agree with the sentiment though, it’s a refreshing shoujo drama.

  2. Nice to have you back in business.

    I’m surprised you have Psycho-Pass ranked so low. Is their lack of consistency on the ‘moe’ issue to blame perhaps?

    • I actually think Psycho-Pass is at its best when it isn’t focused so much on the crimes that are committed or were prevented. That part feels incredibly derivative. If Urobuchi was more patient in building the world rather than launching into a plot involving a massive conspiracy, it would be higher up.

  3. “The white cloud of censorship has essentially become the lead character in this show” — Funny!

    Robotics;Notes seems like it is falling apart to me. Most of the main characters seem like they are bored with life, especially the guy we have to follow around constantly. I can not imagine how this show would head in the direction of character development, because the male lead has no apparent interests outside of playing the same video game over and over.

  4. I actually think the opposite when it comes to Chuunibyou. I wish it would remain where it is, a gentle comedy of delusional kids, because I can’t see a romance developing yet. If they force it, it’s going to look real bad.

    • I didn’t think it had to be forced. Maybe nudged in that direction gently would be a better way of putting it. It’s already halfway over, so there isn’t as much time as it looks like. Unless a 2nd season is sprung out of this, that is.

  5. You already have quite a load on your plate. But you’re missing out if you aren’t watching Girls und Panzer. It’s turning out to be the surprise gem of the season. Every episode seems to be better than the last.

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