What you are reading here is the beginning of this blog’s 500th post. I worked it out so amazingly well that it falls dead in the middle of another bunch of posts and so it will be buried for weeks on end. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to do a list of my top anime. The humiliation won’t last all that long because of when this is scheduled thankfully.
What better way to mark the halfway point in this decade retrospective than to take a look at a desolate wasteland of a season that pretty much sums up malaise era anime. I’m taking a look at four items today, and it’s bad to the point where I’m going to give a look in to something that is borderline hentai just to make up the numbers and that’s probably not even the worst part.
Saishuu Shiken Kujira
- For once in this series the animation and music direction are pretty much passable and I don’t really have any complaints
- I was able to complete this in under an hour via YouTube.
- It isn’t post apocalyptic…for the most part anyway
- Watched this immediately after watching the Ani*Kuri NHK shorts/adverts which seemed to have a bit more continuity than this.
- The lack of unintentional comedy made this much harder to watch without slipping into a coma.
- The VA’s using pseudonym’s while working on this is never a good sign is it?
The process of choosing this once again came down to the misuse of the MAL Top Rated list tool with the qualification that I would choose the lowest one that did not have any sort of post-apocalyptic overtones. After eliminating about the bottom 25 or so I stumbled on this.
Saishuu Shiken Kujira is the story of Kuonji Mutsumi, the girls who happen to surround him almost immediately and the strange city they all live in (it’s always summer and there’s a whale floating in the sky). The girls are pretty much harem cliche and the format doesn’t exactly lend itself to character development or even any idea how the protagonist feels toward any of them.
The character designs themselves are fine and the art and animation are by far the best of any of these terrible series I have viewed so far. Using those as a baseline is obviously misleading, so mediocre would be a better way to describe it. The music is starts to get a little repetitive, but there isn’t enough time for it to get annoying.
However, where this whole series fails is direction. I did watch the Ani*Kuri shorts immediately before I watched this. For those out there who do not know, they are basically 15 one-minute shorts from different directors advertising NHK. Narratively, those made more sense than Saishuu Shiken Kujira. The series seems to go from one unfunny character introduction to another before a couple beach episodes and concludes with a Saikano-esque ending without the depression seemingly coming from nowhere.
While it is possible to get away with seemingly aimless series direction intentionally in this format (Di Gi Charat comes immediately to mind), but this only works well with execution which is almost absent. The character introductions included an episode with Mutsumi’s younger sister, which ended up being more uncomfortable than it should have been. Then there was an episode in which the humor was based on Mutsumi looking up at a helpless girls panties as she hung from a pole. It doesn’t work spread out over 4 minutes. There’s an episode where the humor comes from faint possibility of cannibalism, and I could go on for longer than I watched the actual series.
The most disappointing thing out of all of this, however, is probably the fact that it was simply mediocre. The minimal enjoyment of watching something terrible just wasn’t present in this series so I was simply left with a forgettable series of shorts that have no lasting impact. While it is clearly the best of the 4 terrible series I’ve seen, it’s probably the one I’ve regretted most having actually watched.
Next Time (Whenever I complete another 9 series): I’ve already had the currently airing Arad Senki ~Slap Up Party~ nominated for the next terrible series. While I would prefer to stay away from more recent material (to give ratings time to settle), unless I get other suggestions it will have to watch that or this. Maybe recent stuff isn’t so bad.