40 Seasons in 40 Days: Spring 2001

Would this completely one-sided affair be of any interest without the scenery?

As I’ve said before, the early part of this decade really should be considered the malaise era. There’s not a whole lot going with new series, and not very much of it is good at all. This season would prove no exception.

I start with the OVA Animation Runner Kuromi for this installment. It tries to take a look inside what animation production looks like from the perspective of someone running around behind the scenes trying to put things together. If only they had done some introspection and looked at the wages some of these people are on. On second thought, reminders of the cruelty of real life usually do not sell to well.

Angelic Layer was a fun little show for me as I’ve written about before. It was one of the first series I was able to follow near the end as it aired. Yes, I know it’s basically a generic story of friendship and family played out through the medium of dolls fighting each other, but that does not mean it cannot be entertaining. I also remember some of the visuals in the later episodes being absolutely fantastic as well.

Galaxy Angel is next and for the final time in this retrospective. I still do not remember why I ended up watching the first season of this, maybe it just happened to be near the top of the list on a certain popular aggregator site. I found this series to be very good at sticking to minimal character development and slapstick comedy. Even in the later episodes it was obvious that lost technology was just a crude plot device for comedic purposes, but I thought it did a pretty good job. My second favorite of the series I’ve watched in the franchise.

The penultimate entry this week is Hanaukyo Maid-tai. This is pretty much harem in every sense it can be. There’s the harem lead who is a kid who has suddenly moved into a world where he is rich and has everything he could possibly ever want, surrounded by maids to service his every need. The lead is pretty pathetic to fit genre standards, but the vast wealth and ease in his life make it rather hard to really find this entertaining.

Finally, it’s the Love Hina Spring Special. It doesn’t really do anything at all but serve as character development in a tropical location. I would have thought with the hot spring setting there would hardly ever be a need to change location, but what do I know? In the context of the series, it’s passable. Nothing more to say really.

Highlights from Unseen or Unfinished Items

For movies there was Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Post-apocalyptic vampire sagas aren’t especially things I handle well given past experience, though I did see the original 1985 film while not exactly sober. If that was anything to go by this must be good. Noir looks like a signature Bee Train work. Why isn’t “Girls with Guns” considered a genre at this point?