Since there’s little in the way to talk about this week from the currently airing shows, I embarked on an experiment yesterday. By MAL’s reckoning, I’ve dropped 362 series and those would have been for a variety of reasons. So what would happen if I gave some of these shows another shot? In all seriousness, it sounds like a better idea than talking about every show that I have dropped this season. So how would this experiment go?
The basic ground rules for how this experiment worked were these:
- The decision on which show to watch would be decided by a random number generator (after a few users from Twitter picked numbers to be chosen for the first series)
- The series had to be available on a streaming site (this experiment used Crunchyroll, Netflix and Youtube if I couldn’t find it on the other two. Future experiments may add other sites)
- I would be picking up from the next episode after I had dropped the show to avoid the reason I dropped it in the first place.
And now for what got selected
Senkou no Night Raid
Season Aired: Spring 2010
Episodes Watched Prior to Drop: 1 of 13
Reason for Dropping: Boredom
From what I could recall, Night Raid was a show about Japanese operatives with special powers working in mainland China in 1931. So this had the potential to be a sort of pre-war X-Men type deal except that I recall the first episode was just a bunch of talking and moaning about the situation everyone found themselves in. The second episode of this series involves a plot of a Jewish musician working as a spy.
I think the episode summed up well why the Anime no Chikara block this show was a part of never took off. Like Sora no Woto before it, there are grand ideas in this show as well, but those ideas took precedent over making an entertaining series. This second episode pretty much lost me when it came to talking about anti-Semitism in Russia and Germany at the time as though it were a surprise. Then came the concert scene after the musician’s cover had been blown and how he kept playing. Part of me wanted to see that episode of Golgo 13 where he shot the string out from absurd range. So in the end I was still bored with it above any other reason.
Cuticle Detective Inaba
Season Aired: Winter 2013
Episodes Watched Prior to Drop: 1 of 12
Reason for Dropping: Insufficient Laughs for a Comedy
The random number generator threw something more recent at me for the 2nd series. I remember the first episode being one of those gag shows which tries to throw a joke in every 10 seconds. A comedy series needs an excellent strike rate on the humor to make that work, which the first episode clearly didn’t have. The first half of the 2nd episode actually worked pretty well. The plot involved a scroll turning into a sadistic board game through time which got a few laughs out of me. I may have continued on to episode 3 had the 2nd half of the episode in which Kunihiro’s wife and daughter are introduced relied entirely on a single unfunny gag. If anything it shows the pitfalls of gag comedies from my perspective. I can’t be bothered with long stretches where I’m hoping the episode ends quickly when it should be entertaining.
Battle Spirits: Sword Eyes
Season Aired: Fall 2012
Episodes Watched Prior to Drop: 1 of 29
Reason for Dropping: Children’s card game show that isn’t ironically hilarious
So it’s a children’s card game series where the young protagonist is learning the ropes of how to play the game. What this means in watching this episode is that there is plenty of time devoted to explaining the game to small children while it’s also wholly unrepresentative of how it’s played. The battle in this episode lasts 6 turns and there’s no explanation on how the hero is able to summon multiple monsters on his first turn. It’s not even like he’s rich so he can screw the rules. There’s also a funny moment when the hero Tsurugi ends up obtaining a motorcycle from the old couple whose house was destroyed as a result of the card battle. Completely logical there. I think this series would work better in the abridged format.
Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat
Season Aired: Winter 2002
Episodes Watched Prior to Dropping: 2 of 48
Reason for Dropping: Lack of Availability followed by Time Passing
I had to watch the English dub of this one, which made me question why anyone licensed this in the first place. I’d like to imagine the sessions all those years ago when they recorded the dub. The voice actors questioning why all of their lines end with “nyo” or “nyu” or some other silly thing and being told that if they wanted their $50 to do it. Anyway, about this series, this is a prequel to 1999’s Di Gi Charat and is targeted at a younger audience. This is disappointing because Dejiko is no longer as abrasive a character as she was in the original series. It has all the edge rounded off and is pretty much cat princess girls doing cute things which is a real shame. The dub doesn’t make things much better either.
Devil Survivor 2 The Animation
Season Aired: Spring 2013
Episodes Watched Prior to Dropping: 2 of 13
Reason for Dropping: It’s pants
So I picked this up in the middle of an attempt to break in to the system that is protecting Osaka from being attacked. It’s very much watching CG graphics and a counter of how broken the system is. The actual battle in the middle of the episode is pretty much like watching someone play a JRPG only without it making much sense in why they have to fight that way. That’s followed by the asshole character from the first 2 episodes suddenly deciding to sacrifice his life for the others because it’s not like he was less effective than Io. Basically the big problem is that the wrong people get killed off leaving behind the least interesting characters. While I’m sure the game is fun in the sense that I generally find JRPGs, there’s really no point in this show still.
Polar Bear Cafe
Season Aired: Spring 2012
Episodes Watched Before Dropped: 1 of 50
Reason for Dropping: Not funny enough
Remembering the first episode of this series wasn’t that difficult. Panda was annoying as hell and generally useless. Polar Bear was the only responsible person around and Penguin was just a raging alcoholic. And so it was in the 2nd episode, but less Panda made this a much better watch. Unfortunately, I don’t remember laughing at all. This didn’t feel like one of those iyashikei shows either. I don’t even know what it is trying to be. I know it’s not for me, but it’s just plain unoffensive everyday stories only with animals instead of people.
Final Thoughts: I hate to think that I’m not able to change my opinion on things, but this lot of shows pretty much failed to change my mind. There are probably others in there, and there were others that were randomly selected. However, it seems I ran into a bit of a problem in trying to watch those. The streaming sites are fine with newer stuff. Beyond that, it’s very hit-and-miss. I even ended up drawing Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure with one of the draws, and nothing. Maybe the next time I do this I will have better luck.