The 2nd week of the new season pretty much finished off most of what new shows were airing this season. The last one remaining is next month’s start to the new PreCure series, but I defer to others in hyping that one up. It was also another week where I happened to continue to pull the trigger on some shows too quickly. It’s become a little cliche out in the community to say that this season is terrible, but for whatever reason it does seem like it’s a little worse. At least there was a returning group of shows to make everything seem better, right?
Currently Airing Top 5
The first thing I’ve seen from Self-Confidence’s Yamamoto Yutaka since he saved anime with Fractale. Needless to say, that didn’t actually go so well, so he’s returned with this series about the descendent of a legendary hero and his attendant who couldn’t give a crap about anything. It actually works really well as I have believed for a while that comedy is the one thing that Yamakan does do very well. In a little over three minutes, it did a great job of establishing the basic premise, recognizing how absurd it was, establishing the role each character would play and concludes with an ending by JAM Project. I don’t know what more I could ask for. Continuing
This week’s episode focused entirely on the crisis on the moon and the memories Damien and Hibito had of the late Brian Jay. The lesson they both remembered was about triage, but at the end of this episode, Hibito gets caught up trying to be too much of a hero. It was a pretty good episode with a narrow focus and was in close to real time. That’s in a good way, unlike the episodes where they were in the capsules which felt like real time at points. I would guess the point of this arc is to show that space can be a dangerous place and that the support team that helps astronauts safely get places is invaluable in solving crises as well.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
This week’s episode continued on a social commentary kick about life in its Middle Ages-type setting. At the beginning, we meet Maid Chief who happens to have a strong sense of morality and of human dignity at the same time. She finds a pair of runaway serfs, who she treats as non-human until they gather the courage to want to take on a role within civilization, even if they are maids serving under her. Meanwhile, Demon King has difficulty spreading her ideas to a wider audience. She finds that she has to be teaching the nobles to have any have her ideas taken serious. Those same nobles prove resistant to new ideas that fall outside of “Men Fight With Honor to the Death” and “All Nobles Feed Their People.” I think epistemic cloture is probably the right term to use here. I think a lot of the focus from this episode will be on the scene with crop rotation, but it’s really just part of making the case that people and societies are hard to change. On another note, it’s nice to see Demon King and Hero being more honest with their relationship. They are married, even if there is no documentation. They just haven’t come to emotional grips with that idea yet.
Ishida to Asakura
This was probably the first short series I had seen this season that had me laughing hysterically. There are shades of Cromartie in this from my standpoint. The opening episode featured Asakura, who is inexplicably loved by everyone in the school, thinking about what he wanted to do in the future. He wanted to be a teacher at a girls school for the rather deplorable reason that he could be surrounded by school girls with large breasts. This is convenient because every girl in this show seems to fit his ideal, and they are all attracted to him. However, that gets in the way of his friend Ishida, who wants to run a flower shop with him. Plus there was also a character with buckteeth that were a meter long. Continuing
The Rest of the Week
This week’s episode was a bit of a distraction from the grand conspiracy, though that did provide the starting point for this week’s episode. As Kai tries to obtain the next Kimijima Report, he has to awaken one of the robots in Jun’s grandfather’s shop. He happens to be hospitalized, so they have to break in. What followed after that was a story about Jun getting closer to her grandfather while trying to overcome her fear of robots. This didn’t have the instant overcoming of fear that the plot of Vividred Operation had since Jun still was afraid of robots after all. I just thought for a stand alone story it worked pretty well. Now to find out what was in that 4th report.
As for dramatic changes in tone, I think it’s hard to beat this series. The title character in this show has the ability to read others’ thoughts. The entire first half of the episode was about how this had caused her parents to divorce, her mother to disown her, friends at school turning against her and every new person she meets wants nothing to do with her. That was until she reads the mind of the boy sitting next to her in class and this turns into a romantic comedy. Surprisingly, I went along with it. Of course the female lead Haruka is going to be afraid of getting close to people, and there will be people who are attracted to abnormalities in society like her. Plus, I think the pairing is interesting enough to pull off the romantic comedy bit combined with drama much better than last season’s Chu2koi. Continuing
Zetsuen no Tempest
There isn’t much to say about this week’s episode of Tempest. The first half was entirely recap material of the first half of the series. The second half was a what happened in the two months in show after the last episode. Pretty much the world was saved by the Tree of Genesis. However, Mahiro hasn’t solved the mystery of his sister’s death. So the world makes no sense to him. Even the happiest ending for the world at large will not bring him peace. He needs to end the tragedy of Aika’s death with another tragedy. That simple fact really saved the episode for me. There is an awareness there that having everything work out just isn’t satisfying for the participants involved. This series almost demands that Aika’s death be resolved as it is at the center of everything.
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuruba Sugiru
We’re still building characters in this particular harem series. So this episode was largely about developing Chiwa as the girl who wants to be with Eita and absolutely nothing will stop her until it’s impossible to do so. However, I’m still struggling to see what Masuzu’s motivation is in creating this false relationship. Well, I lie there. She just wants to live like a normal person, but that comes later. For now it’s about drawing Eita ever closer to her.
From the additional research I did on this show, apparently the source material is a series of 4-page short stories in light novel form. I think in this adaptation, there was a good enough job done in making that as seemless as possible into a consistent telling of a day in the life of the Good Job Club. It’s really just a group with a bunch of girls and one token male doing random things as they are all pretty one-dimensional. Yet, I think I found some of the joke setups entertaining enough to keep watching. I’ll give this one another week to disappoint me. Tentative
Love Live! School Idol Project
A girl worries about her school closing because of declining enrollment, spots that other schools have idol groups and then hopes to form one at her school to save it from closing. This first episode had the same sort of world construction that led me to dropping Garupan after that opening episode. The school idol group is pretty ubiquitous to the world of Love Live, yet why does it seem like so many of the characters have never heard such a thing. If one is willing to suspend disbelief that a school with declining attendance would be host to a group of characters who all have the talent and ability to be idols without training, then this is probably enjoyable. Since I seem incapable of that, I really just see this as a pretty plain school life effort with idol cut scenes. Dropped
The latest episode from The Jun Maeda Experience continues to focus on trying to bring Mio back to life, or something. Well anyway, the plot of this episode was how much Riki can have his mind manipulated by Midori. Then, he finds the tanka that Mio wrote out of the conversation they had on the beach. This convinces Midori to allow Riki to save Mio from eternity. Then it got all melodramatic with backstory as Mio was believed by her family to suffer from Key scurvy (they don’t have Vitamin C in the Key world). Basically Mio saw Midori as an imaginary friend, that continued on until society decided that wasn’t appropriate, and so on. So the episode leaves us with Riki trying to save Mio and remember Midori. How long before this series jumps the carnivorous aquatic animal?
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
And Sorata’s emotional roller coaster returns to it’s absolute worst again. Buoyed by what he thought was a successful project in bringing the Nyaboron project to life, he tries again with the game creation competition only to fail. That means lots of taking out his frustration on Mashiro, who inexplicably has fallen for him when he is at the most down. More than even the most bland of the bland harem leads, it doesn’t feel like he deserves any part of the love triangle he is in. Yet, he’s being rewarded by being dragged on a Christmas Eve date with Nanami and probably something happening at Mashiro’s manga event that will turn into a date. Misaki’s all out attack on Jin seems to be the only thing holding this show together as a piece of entertainment.
Mondaijitachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo
The only interesting moment this opening episode had was a cat trying to pick up a cat girl. That doesn’t work on so many different levels that I’m not even going to think about it much further. So, this was the last of the newly airing shows not named PreCure and what is it about. It’s about a trio of kids who have special abilities, who are then transported to another world to participate in a series of games. Unfortunately, these aren’t the type of games that peoples lives could be potentially threatened in, like that brief moment in Dog Days first season. Instead, it’s just pure non-threatening fun that will pass by 10 episodes without anything memorable happening. None of these characters are anywhere near as interesting as those in Dog Days either, and that’s maybe making that series feel better by comparison now. Dropped
Rather than continuing to build on a story that was becoming ever dumber by the episode, Psycho-Pass went back and did some back story on Yayoi. She used to be a state-approved musician, who then made friends with someone who was not approved to be a musician, but did so anyway. After being institutionalized, Yayoi is given another chance by becoming an enforcer and ends up discovering that her supposed friend was actually trying to bring down the government. Actually, judging by the nature of this show, opposing the Sibyl system is actually rewarded by lowering that hue thing that causes people to be arrested/blown up graphically. That’s about the only thing that was reinforced by this episode. To think this show had so much promise early on.
I guess this could be considered the sort of more modern setting of Strike Witches. The setup is that a girl who lost her mother in a tragic accident is taken care of by her mad scientist grandfather. There’s also a perpetual energy machine at the center of this that cause the death of her mother, but has also solved world hunger, cured cancer, eliminated the need for a debt ceiling, etc. So the grandfather creates something that allows her to transform into an as yet unspecified magic thing, but that caused his mind to be transferred into a plush doll. That led to the only real moment of comedy where her grandfather’s body has to be moved into a fridge. I may end up hanging around to see where this is going, but I don’t envision watching past episode 2. Tentative
At this point, the franchise isn’t as entertaining for what is actually happening on screen. I’m actually beginning to derive more entertainment in just how bad the quickest subbers have done. There’s even a scoring system out there for them. It really racks up points when you get a situation like this. This week they attempted to get back to gender issues with regards to Touma and Makoto. The latter is pretty much stuck forever cross-dressing. Touma, meanwhile is being shoved back into traditional roles like making clothing and hand crafts. Because why would this show do anything apart from the traditional anyway. I keep watching in the hope that maybe that will be addressed, and that nothing can be as bad as that 2nd season when that terrible character was forced in and quickly written out of the story.
The latest attempt to capture life in a strange small town from Kyoto Animation had me wishing I was watching Nichijou again. That series did a much better job than Tamako Market in both being funny and entertaining. All I got out of this opening episode was a tropical bird falls for an uninteresting girl called Tamako, and that everyone else is terrible at giving her gifts for her birthday. The bird proved constantly annoying beyond belief, and its constant presence only served as an attempt to distract me from how dull every other character was. Dropped
Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun
It’s always a dangerous thing to put “Touhou” in the title because it can lead to certain misunderstandings. This was never going to be about that particular franchise because that would have been too exciting. Instead, this ended up being the story of 3 kids living in isolation that have to be wary of anyone getting too close to them. Turns out that even with years of knowing that it still happens, so the secret of the crow/magical sword that one of the group possesses becomes a target for the always popular Generic Evil Organization. Once again, this was a show that bored me more than anything else. Dropped
On one level this is the story of the goddess Amaterasu and the Imperial Regalia as told through a hikkikomori bro-con girl and a trio of strange sisters. As far as I saw it, it felt as though Shaft took the riches it made off the Madoka movies and proceeded to spend it all on making an expensively assembled and very shiny example of, to put it crudely, shit on a stick. I have no doubts that this will be popular because the episode itself is almost literally a database. I think it represents the zenith of trying to cram as many references as possible into every scene that began with Pani Poni Dash and has escalated from there. Every part of the show doesn’t have to be a reference to work and trying to compile a magic number of database hits in each viewer is hardly an aspirational goal at all. Even the high concept onii-chan/imouto in the title series aren’t as pandering as this. Dropped
Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman
I think a lot of the focus on this before hand was on the Monkey Punch connection. While most associate it with the Lupin franchise I see it differently. I went in thinking “from the name behind Gundoh Musashi” because that actually sounds more absurd and funnier in my head. So what does Roman give us anyway? It’s pretty much a period Robin Hood-esque story with a main character that is designed to appeal to kids, but really shouldn’t be. Yes, he transforms with the power suit at the end in a ploy designed to get kids to want the merchandise. At the same time, he gambles away money like it’s candy. However, for me the worst part was that it was all rather boring as I was already mentally looking to the next thing to watch. Dropped
Unlike the new shows that bored me this week, this one had me laughing hysterically at just how bad it was. I think this raised the bar on just how much a character can be designed with self-insertion in mind as possible. The story behind this one is that a nameless girl loses her memories when a spirit collides with her soul. She then has to get them back by talking to the attractive men and the faceless evil women who surround her. It wouldn’t be that bad, but for the fact that everyone ignores the fact that she seems to have no memory of anything just to allow the plot to move forward. There’s also the spirit who provides helpful hints to the self-insert called Heroine, which gives the show the grand effect of watching her play an otome game completely without irony. You know, I may just continue watching this for comedy value alone. Tentative
Attack of the Supermonsters
This week it was yet more dinosaurs in the exact same style as last week. Fortunately, this was far more entertaining in the way terribad anime should be. That is lots of repeated use of cut scenes, being able to talk with others on jokes that were never meant to exist in the terribly compiled footage and unintentional comedy gold. The best example of this was the same power station exploding under assorted dinosaur/rat swarm attacks leading to loss of power for paying customers. Wouldn’t that be insured, or at least shouldn’t they build it up to code? Also there are two robot siblings who fuse together to form this Gemini-thing. That gives them the ability to transform the jet that can stop in midair to also us a drill and buzzsaws. After cutting up the dinosaurs they also exploded. I guess this is one of those where you had to be there to find it entertaining. (56.7/100)