The Return of the Recap 40

Yeah, this isn't the sort of thing that makes my top 5.
Yeah, this isn’t the sort of thing that makes my top 5.

In a little under 2 weeks time I will be heading to one of those other popular conventions with at least a couple of those unidentified figures I used in the Anime Boston post. In the meantime, that means having to deal with making sure I’m not going to end up with a building on fire when I return from work and at least getting somewhat comfortable with the shoes that people are actually watching.

Also on my mind this week was the topic of discussion of anime. My views just so happen to be so far out of touch as to not get anything like that on social networking sites or forums. Then again, those people have to want to care that I exist so it’s really a complete failure on my part. My own relevancy is something I’ve touched on here many times before, but it seems more than ever I watch shows no one else is, and of those I do watch no one else really can be bothered to express a simple opinion. I guess that’s my lot in life.

Currently Airing Top 5

Kuuko, really?
Kuuko with the Nyaruko-esque line here.

Nyaruko-san

The key thing with this series is something called self-awareness. That being the fact that every character knows that something that was said at the beginning of the episode will resolve everything. Was it the War of the Worlds reference, or the rather left-field Mars Attacks! reference that would save the day? Ultimately it would prove to be the latter, but it makes for an interesting experiment in viewing a series.

If you care about this series at all, and why would you still be watching this series at this point, you have to pay attention through the entire episode. The foreshadowing is there, and there is plenty of fun to be had in misdirecting the audience in where exactly that moment will come. Nyaruko-san has silently built this reputation for having a predictable plot each week that can only be discovered after it all plays out. Unfortunately, few are left still watching this.

Suzuno, you are so innocent.
Suzuno with her traditional sensibilities despite carrying a big hammer to kill things.

Hataraku Maou-sama!

Maou-sama had something of a return to form this week. For the first time, there was an episode with plenty of serious elements that managed to pull me in. So this week’s episode was about Maou convincing Suzuno of his merits before they all rushed off to save Emi and Chiho from Sariel. I guess my issue with it was rather predictable it all was.

It was the best episode of the series in a while, but it seems to be lacking a special quality it had in the early episodes. I’d say that it didn’t really handle the transition from a show about people adapting to an entirely new world to one where special people exist among the rest of humanity very well. I don’t know if they are going to make a second season of Maou-sama, but there will have to be changes made to it to really work.

This week's mandatory Origami pic, coming in the actual top 5 this week.
This week’s mandatory Origami pic, coming in the actual top 5 this week.

Date A Live

This series signed off on its first season by announcing season two with more characters and the whole issue of Kurumi left completely unresolved. While it wasn’t really spectacular in any sense, I can’t help but think that the Kurumi arc really ruined what little that did work before.

What it had was a different and somewhat interesting attempt to attach visual novel script writing to life-and-death scenarios. It felt fun as it was doing this and there wasn’t much in the way of danger at all. That’s especially true after the reveal of Shido having super healing as a result of Kotori’s power. With Kurumi and Mana being introduced, it suddenly became a show about death and massive conspiracy with the dating stuff simply a distraction. I don’t think there’s enough substance to support that, but they will get another 12 episodes to try.

Don't do drugs.
She’s tripping balls.

Photo Kano

While not officially the final episode, this Tomoe episode was really the last episode. It was last for the reason that going back to the first episode they had to have an episode devoted to her. This felt more like an episode that was made because they were obligated to make it because there is so much time spent on the other girls who had their own episodes instead of Tomoe.

That said, this wasn’t a terrible episode in any way. It was simply an episode about Kazuya trying to let Tomoe experience the high school life she’s never been able to experience because she has to move around so often. It also never felt like a love story this time until the scenery-chewing incident on the train platform. Kazuya runs for what must be 10 seconds and that many meters trying to yell something Tomoe wouldn’t hear. Then, completely out of ideas, they flashback through the entire show. So next week’s real final episode is about Kazuya’s younger sister, because everything these days has to have a younger sister angle.

Poor Hinagiku
Best girl loses in one key area to 2nd best girl.

Hayate Cuties

Finally, the Maria episode that everyone has been waiting for and Manglobe managed to avoid botching this one. Sure it’s all contrived to have Hayate and Maria go on a date because Nagi wrote a scenario for it, but they completely dropped the reason for it happening in the first place.

Yes, there’s this yandere girl after Hayate’s affections who then vows to kill him in a letter written in blood. That character never appears in the end. So yes, it’s really an episode about Maria and Hayate going on a date with Hinagiku and Ayumu trailing them. It’s so simple that it’s almost impossible to screw up.

The Rest of the Week

Why didn't you do it?
TRUE END.

6. Yuyushiki

– Really wasn’t feeling this week’s episode. I think Chiho ruins the dynamic with the rest of the group.

7. Oregairu

– The final, but not really, episode signs off with Hachiman not really learning anything in the end. Life just passes him by.

8. Oreimo.

– Even harem shows have their limits on how dumb everyone falling in love with the main character is. Oreimo didn’t get the memo.

9. Aiura

– Saki taking off her wet socks is all this show has going for it.

10. Gargantia

– My God, the stupid is strong with this one.

11. Muromi-san

– First-to-last in the space of a week. Well done all sex jokes in every scene.

Updated Seasonal Average Episode Ranking

  Season Rank Overall Rank
Hataraku Maou-sama 1 1
Yuyushiki 2 3
Suisei no Gargantia 3 5
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W 4 7
Photokano 5 8
Date A Live (complete) 6 13
Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san 7 14
Oreimo. 8 17
Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties 9 19
Oregairu 10 20
Aiura 11 24
Attack on Titan (dropped) 12 27
Space Brothers (dropped) 11

Terribad

I literally took this screenshot randomly without having seen this.
Varohl likes to choke things.

Legend of Lemnear

This week’s terribad looks familiar to anyone who has unfortunately fallen into the world of 80s character design doujins and animated porn. It’s a fantasy adventure story about a female warrior trying to rescue her brother from an evil entity who turned into a monster simply because he different. Making him like the antagonist in Princess Lover! only without the whole turning into a dragon or giant stone monster.

The first thing one would notice when watching this is since it was made in 1989 there are lots of guitar riffs throughout the action. Lots of very bad guitar riffs in the action. There’s also the tendency for scenes involving loads of identical looking women wearing basically nothing. So if you watch this on Youtube, there is a censored version where you will have scenes where you are just looking at a full-screen mosaic. So that’s countless breasts and terrible guitar BGM for those of you keeping score. In addition, the English voice actress playing the role of the title character put in a career-ending performance.

As for the story itself, it’s really just boring apart from the gigantic budget-effected plot hole put in at the end. Up to that point, it’s a lot of talking about Lemnear, known as the Silver Champion by everyone else, trying to rescue her brother Mesh, known as the Bronze Champion from the clutches of the Gold Champion, Varohl. Thanks to Nyaruko-esque foreshadowing from a blind prophet, you will know exactly how this ends. However, I was more concerned with the whereabouts of the Tin Champion, the Palladium Champion and whether the Francium Champion had an unfortunate encounter with a pool.

There’s really not that much to get behind as a terribad watcher. Visually it looks fine and the story isn’t entirely horrible. Yet, with breasts filling the screen and music that made me want to pour molten iron into my ears it wasn’t pleasant either. I know I say this too often, but this is yet another one for the terribad completist only.
Time of first female nudity: 11:36
Rating: 42.7

6 thoughts on “The Return of the Recap 40”

  1. Yeah, Devil is a Part-Timer was even more predictable* than I expected it to be for this story arc, but I still like the characters at least so it was okay. I think it helped that I watched the last three episodes in one go, but the three devils were in top form for this latest one. They each had some amusing moments, at least.

    *Actually, I was almost expecting James (from Sentucky) to *not* be the villain, since there was just so many obvious hints toward it. One of those, “Ah, even Devil is a Part-Timer can’t be *this* obvious… right?” But it was. Loooooooool. XP

    1. Urushihara was in good form. I did like the reveal that they knew Suzuno was from Ente Isla the whole time. Divine power in the food, heh.

      As far as the reveal, I would have had a major problem if he wasn’t the villain. Why introduce him as Maou’s fast food rival then?

  2. Oreimo didn’t get the memo indeed. Nice line there. This last episode also felt terribly rushed. I think we’re heading for a terribad ending for this one.

    I wonder how anime fans 20 years from now will look at this “imouto” phase. It seems every series has to have a sister character with which there’s some kind of sexual tension. I get the feeling that the people who write these scripts don’t actually have sisters of their own.

    I keep on wondering how you’ve dropped some shows that are pretty decent, but keep on watching Photokano. The world is full of surprises.

    1. I think in 20 years imouto shows will look like giant robot shows do now. Just a sign of the times I guess. As far as Photo Kano is concerned, that’s a case of a show that hasn’t bored me despite the fact that it is basically a less perverted Amagami. I don’t think it should be that surprising considering my shocking taste.

  3. This week’s Photo Kano was pretty rote, not bad, but down in the bottom half (I am probably very alone in putting Mai at the bottom, but when I spend half my post writing about their choice of Rhythmic Gymnastics apparatus, that might be a sign that I didn’t really connect with the romance part of the show). It wasn’t a bad ‘series recap’ show, but when it’s supposed to be a romance episode for Tomoe, it does feel a little like she got shortchanged. And yet, they managed to tell more of a compelling story about how they fell in love than they did with Hikari, who just all of a sudden transformed from “I don’t like people” to “I love Kazuya.” Ahh, the power of the Thriller dance!

    1. I don’t know about that. I thought Hikari’s story was a bit more subtle than Kazuya dressing up as a cat and suddenly she falls for him. There was really noble intention on his part to get her to open up after her past experiences. Tomoe’s story just felt more like all he had to do was go through parts of everyone else’s story and suddenly she was in love with him at the end. I still haven’t thought through how I would rank them though.

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