12 Days of Something III: Randomized Anime Sampling

I had this idea before when I went through all of the dropped anime I had to find whether I would watch the next episode and actually like it. This post shall imbibe some of the holiday spirits and expand on that even further by including even those shows that I dropped. Streaming anime makes ideas like this possible, whether that is a good thing for one’s health and sanity will be found out below. The following is my day of randomized anime sampling.

It’s pretty early in the morning when I’m starting this. Having already narrowed down the list of shows to 269 from a certain big streaming site that I have philosophical problems with. Maybe I’ll get on to that point as I’m watching. The first draw is number 21 that happens to be Bleach. The problem with this show is that I completely forgot where I last left off. I was definitely done with the Soul Society arc so I’m going to put that down as having left off at episode 63.

Anyway, this is an episode of all sorts of explanation on why everyone had vanished during the summer break. Like how Ichigo had put on 20 pounds of muscle in a month. Now all the people in his previous life are showing up in his normal life. Oh, the comedy. I had also forgotten the dumb stuff about the bodies they have to leave behind. Anyway, I can definitely see why I dropped this show because Orihime is as dumb as a box of rocks and suffering from PTSD as well. Why did this show have to contrive to drag out like this. Also, this is already such a dated show that they use pagers for stuff. This hasn’t aged well at all. This first episode of the day is heading for a dramatic conclusion because Orihime has put herself in such a spot of trouble. Come on, choosing to get sucked into a hellish portal? Really? That’s how this next arc starts? Ugh.

The 2nd episode of this long day brings me some harem action. Shinsengumi harem action in the form of Hakuoki. It’s easy to see why I dropped this. Mainly the setting is ridiculously boring and the characters were exceptionally one dimensional. These guys are celebrating the fact they can eat with a woman. How nice of them. My goodness, this guy leading them is a dick. Hijikata is just so face-punchable, but everyone defends his being a dick. The drama of that little story concludes by having one-armed guy decide to eat because the harem lead brought food to him. Ah, and she just got wrecked, and yet that was good enough for her to get approved. And now she’s happy to be told if she screws up they will kill her. I really don’t know what to make of the politics of this show or if it is simply the fact that perceived attractiveness lets one get away with being a dick in a harem show. Probably that. And that episode ends with our protagonist Chizuru going down THAT road. Leaving behind her escort without having to actually fight anyone. I wonder if that changes.

On to episode 3 and if happens to feature…a woman surrounded by unexpectedly attractive male characters in traditional clothing. I get the feeling I’m being trolled already. Anyway, just like Hakuoki this was a one episode drop due to my becoming bored of it. This is an episode titled “Ominous Dark Clouds,” but in the middle of this inclement weather I’m experiencing outside, it’s really the never ending grey clouds one has to worry about. As far as the episode itself, I don’t know if this verbal contract is binding to this kid who is seen as a traitor. It’s clearly under duress and he’s too young to be able to commit to it. Don’t they also have cooling periods or whatever they call it for any contracts like that? As for the rest of the episode, I’m pretty sure the square root of feck all happened. Maybe I will get something better next draw…

koimusou02aAnd so it happens I draw Romance of the Three Kingdoms as played by girls in costumes that would never work in real life. Yes, it’s Koihime Musou. And immediately I spot a problem in this 2nd episode. With Kanu’s breasts hanging out she’s not seen as attractive by the men guarding this settlement. It’s time for some forced comedy negotiations and introducing the other girls via montage and hearsay. So the challenge ends with Kanu just standing there. I guess they didn’t want to animate that. Then came the sexual assault scene as hinted at in the picture above. Choun making fun of Kanu’s body now. Because she can’t help it if she was designed for an eroge. Oh boy, a diversion that I haven’t seen since watching post-war cartoons. The episode then concludes with Kanu and Choun coming closer together and defeating the hundreds of bandits in this cave. So the latter has also decided to join the party.

On to the next show and it’s something I dropped from this season. I even accurately predicted the ending:

Samurai Flamenco has taken a bunch of knocks for utterly taking the guillotine gorilla piss out of itself. In this case, I think out hero is just being a dick. Some more thoughts as this story isn’t really going anywhere.

So this guy’s work is interfering with his night job, and that other model knows his secret clearly. I just hate this main character so much. Is he intentionally bad so that every other character looks good by comparison. Regardless, this episode eventually came down to the morality of stealing umbrellas. Not really worth all the drama and while the drama was building up, I can’t pick that back up because I find it morally troubling. It would also help if the main character had redeemable qualities.

Next up is a short anime. Poyopoyo is about a really round cat that is more a pillow than a cat. I’m watching the first episode of this and it is basically Poyo doing cute stuff and abusing this other guy who wasn’t the one who brought it home. The episode is already over in the space it took to write those two sentences.

The next show I would have drawn on Big Anime Streaming Site was Toriko. Unfortunately, they only put the most recent 4 episodes up. I would have still done it if one of those was a final episode, but I don’t think starting at episode 133 of X would have been entertaining enough for you.

Next up is a 2002 OVA called Cosplay Complex. This is going to be unbelievably shit, isn’t it? I don’t understand how this character that is 5 cm tall fits into this, but I guess she has magic costume powers. You can tell the budget on this is high because they reused scenes from the episode in the OP. Wait, they put the one male member of the club in a sealed off area within the room? That seems pretty dumb and he also managed to destroy the room with his powers. There’s also this slow moving owl that flying around. The flow of this series is pretty obvious. The point appears to throw in as many references to other shows as possible. Then you get moments like this:

coscon01aThis show is rubbish. What will I get next?

It begins with a magical girl in a fish costume and I have no idea how many episodes this show really is, but the name is Mahou Yuugi or Magical Play in the terms of what Big Anime Streaming Website calls it. Anyway, it’s a magical battle gag anime. Expecially when you have the main character pulling part of the fish costume she’s wearing out to feed someone else. And now we also have a girl whose clothes are made up of cats and that leads to a victory against a boy who is too easily aroused for his own good. There’s also something else that bothers me about this. They throw in scenes from a 3D animated version of this series. The character designs still look much better than something like Arpeggio of Blue Steel. That was 12 years ago and they had no thousand yard death stares. As far as watching the episodes tick over, the quality just dies quickly. Only the segment in the “first” episode that features the police officers Ketchup and Mustard has any quality. That’s the malaise era of anime I guess.

mjp03aUp next is Majestic Prince. This was a spring show I grew tired of after 2 episodes, but has quite the following. Again I struggle to understand why. As I tweet in the middle of the episode, it has all to do with the mecha battles. This third episode is anything but a mecha battle episode. Nope, they are going on vacation. I guess they can’t do beach episodes in space though. The flow of these episodes just seemed odd in the first couple episodes. Like they bolt on dramatic scenes involving the main group with action scenes and dark scenes involving the people throwing them into battle. Oh wait, there actually is a beach scene in this. Then, it switches back to a mission briefing where the commander is a dick and everyone is depressed before finally they are thrown into a suicide mission because the dick commander doesn’t want to look bad. Thanks internal military politics. It might be a show I would consider picking up again now that I’ve had another look.

For the tenth episode of the day, we go back to a 2006 series I didn’t watch for obvious reasons. Ramen Fighter Miki just has a plain dumb name, but seems to be from the same school of thought as something like Sparrow’s Hotel although the art is much better. Anyway, the title character of this is a complete hothead. A lovable terribly violent hothead. I can also go for a vomit joke in the first episode. I can also tell you from experience that the fight going on is typical of work in the service economy. During the brief break in action between Miki being in a fight and almost getting fired for the 4th time in this episode, I did have enough time to find out the voice actress for Miki also voices Touma from White Album 2. That makes this series worth existing alone. Then again, the rival character voices the main character from that undeservedly popular show from this season, so maybe not.

Now into the next set of episodes is the 3rd episode of Mushi-Uta. I don’t remember much about watching this one to be honest. It’s been over 6 years, but I do know that Kanazawa Hana voiced the main girl. I’m surprised early at just how light-hearted this series seems to be. I’m also surprised at how well Hanakana seems to be restrained in this role. And that girl with the balloons is kind of an ass just releasing the balloons instead of giving them to kids. And there’s instantly a point where this episode turns silly. I guess golden insects appearing always equals comedy gold. There’s also something striking about a guy in a mask sending out his bug to do battle like it’s a Pokemon. I really have no idea what I’m writing at this point. I don’t know how anyone could have made this and not been under the influence of some especially powerful hallucinogenics. And that episode ended up on a bit of a downer with goggles guy literally shooting a young girl’s dreams to death.

mushiuta03a And so we move on to Kamisama Dolls. An action series from 2011 which a few people like. It’s apparently an indication of poor taste to like this, so I’m going to end up liking this aren’t I? The show opens with a little preview of the action that will happen in this series. I don’t know what will happen in the scenes where there is no action happening. The real opening is this Kyohei trying to drunkenly ask out Hibino at a goukon only to get cockblocked by her friend. Then the fun comes to an end when you see a brutal murder scene in an elevator. But why not use this chance to go on the pull young man then losing his testicles when it really matters. Come on man. The first episode went on to try to make the village where they came from into some insane dictatorship where even the brutal serial killer Aki can seem like a logical actor. That also led to the big contrivance that Kyohei now lives at Hibino’s place since his younger sister sort of blew up his old apartment. In conclusion for this episode, I’d say that the bad taste bias is confirmed. I’d watch more of this.

Now onto Natsu no Arashi, a Shaft-directed mess of a series that got 2 seasons about 4 years ago. At least that’s what I remember of it. I’m trying to remember what happened in the first episode all those years ago, but I’m probably best not even trying. Now I remember, Arashi is some kind of ghost and MC-kun falls in love with her. And she lost her job because he’s terrible at guessing odds or even. This episode actually got pretty boring quick, even Shinbo must have as well since there are so man Shaft shots in there. No neck cranking back though. I don’t think I’d willingly continue this one to be honest. Maybe with better direction this could have had some potential.

And inevitably, I end up back where I started with another episode of Bleach. I hate you random number generator. Really, I do. Anyway, the group runs around town trying to answer phones to save Orihime, but it ultimately means jack at the end since she just reappears anyway with no damage or memory. What exactly was the point? Anyway, it all ends with someone else getting sucked in and an interminably long arc beginning or something. Next.

Gonzo went with English episode titles because the font was cheaper.
Gonzo went with English episode titles because the font was cheaper.

It’s now Blue Drop, a yuri sci-fi drama from 6 years ago produced by Gonzo. This would be the broke, out of money Gonzo obviously. Hell, they probably couldn’t afford to produce an OP for this first episode. The designs look pretty much Gonzo as well as the CG being as poor as possible for a TV anime. Amidst all the yuri flags is a sense of how run down the world is. Because it is in the eyes of Gonzo. Those flags disappear pretty quickly when Hagino suddenly turns on the death flags when she first shakes hands with Mari. That later escalates to essentially a bar fight in the cafeteria later where Hagino shippers decided to fight Mari. Real shipping wars should work like that. Otherwise, it was a really tame first episode that I would have dropped if I had seen it at the time.

Next up is the 2005 reboot of Glass no Kamen. The narrator seemed about as interested as I was in describing the protagonist Maya’s situation. Working at a Chinese restaurant at 13 is just soooo hard. She’s also apparently able to sneak into movies. At the very least, Maya is an aspirational character, but I’m just waiting for the first moment someone displays the trademark face. I actually stopped caring about writing in this post for a while while the action was going on. Maya’s job situation got to a point where she was so determined to get a ticket to watch a theatre performance that she did 99 deliveries on a single night then swam in the frozen Yokohama Bay to get the ticket. Unfortunately, the exposition at the end of the episode delivered by a bored narrator kind of ruined it. Oh well, it was probably the best episode I’ve seen so far.

And that is quickly followed up by another episode of Gender Equality’s Hakuoki. Time for Chizuru to take more verbal assault from the Shinsengumi and like it. You know, because she’s a woman. To be honest, I wasn’t paying attention to this episode other than Chizuru managing to win over the rest of the group. I was more concerned with the most hilarious triple-doubles in NBA history. Jason Kidd’s November 17th, 2000 effort where he turned the ball over a league record 14 times is clearly the winner there. But I digress.

So we move on to Natsume Yuujinchou. Surprisingly I’ve never watched this. Maybe the whole “Book of Friends” thing threw me off, or the fact that it seems like non-threatening crap from people I’ve read. Anyway, time to see what the hype is all about. As I was watching this episode, I had this little thought I tweeted:

I pretty much came out of it thinking it was just like that. I guess it would be nice as a show to have on in the background while I was doing other things, but I can’t see it as something I would give tons of attention to while watching. I can however understand why there are people out there who do love shows like this. It’s calm, relaxing and with little insights into a part of Japanese mythology without going too much in depth.

And so we move on to Space Bros. If I’ve been following the chatter correctly, since I dropped it Hibito has developed a drug problem and Mutta is close to getting a mission to go into space. The latter got sick here in the middle of the Texan wilderness, so that would be a bit of a problem. Just blame Reiji’s hikkikomori brother for all of this. That’s the easy thing to do. So they ultimately ended up getting out of the desert only to be further screwed by the fact that they didn’t have a choice of engineer for the next part of the test. Plus, that engineer ended up being the drunk lazy bastard that is Vince’s brother. I swear Vince’s last name would be McMahon with this level of screwjob.

And so the 20th episode of the day is a return to Mushi-Uta. I don’t know what the odds are of generating a three numbers the same from 20 out of 268, but it seems pretty low. Anyway, this show is still clearly directed by a person on drugs. Like it just turned into one giant insect battle where I struggled to understand what the hell was going on. I understood the previous episode much better even with years between having seen the last episode.

After a bit of a break, the random number generator gave me this short from the Toyama Tourism Anime Project. Needless to say, it’s safe to assume that the amount of money spent on this was not very large. This episode was about 2 rubbish musicians taking a trip to the mountains with one of them waiting for a girl at the top of a mountain. When the moment happens, it is one of the least romantic encounters I have ever seen.

toyamatourismNext up was this 10 minute short about a stuffed toy left behind at an airport and the journey it takes to get home. Traveling Daru is a pretty remarkable bit of animation. While its owner settled into life in New York City and grows up, Daru travels around the world looking for her. It’s incredibly sentimental in nature, but it has an incredible amount of charm. I’d go as far as to say it’s a little too sentimental, but I’m way too much of a sap for that kind of thing when it earns the right to do so. This definitely did. The conclusion is really nice and I’d recommend this to anyone who wants a nice short story.

And this is the convenient time where I have a break for the terribad watch. So time for an intermission:

And I’m back. It’s time for the harem eroge adaptation Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo. This is also in omnibus format since each episode is named after a girl. It’s about time I get a trashy harem show to fulfill my quota. Our MC-kun opens by looking at a girl sleeping in her bra and panties because classy. After punching him in the face, this girl jumps out a 2nd floor window with her clothes in hand. This is set in some island where a defense contractor moved in and there’s rapid population growth. Anyway, this plot centers on the main character trying to have sex with the girls who live in the same dorm before they have to leave the island. Of course they have to start with the new girl who all but declared that she’s not there to make friends. This is definitely a harem show I would have dropped since there’s no sign of it going the full School Days.

This guy is watching a girl sleep.
This guy is watching a girl sleep.

Now onto what is actually my 29th episode of the day. For those wondering what was in the Terribad call this week it was the following episodes:

  • Diabolik Lovers Episode 3
  • Walkure Romanze Episode 2
  • Infinite Stratos 2 Episode 3
  • Coppelion Episode 4
  • Galilei Donna Episode 6

On that disastrous note, I should mention I’m watching the 2004 reboot of Black Jack. Our title character was disfigured in a bomb that also injured his mother. So now he enters the brave world of illegal underground medicine, because he apparently couldn’t go to real medical school with his oddly colored hair and scar on his face. Anyway, I have to make this my last episode since people are worrying about my health now

Anyway, our illegal doctor got in a situation where he had to treat a baby, an Iriomote cat and a rich guy willing to pay him in cash. The fact that he treated the rich guy last meant that he was pulled up on charges of practicing without a license among other things. And being the brilliant doctor he is that means he gets off scot-free.

And that is that. I’m pretty much burned out by now and all I completed was a single new anime while dropping more than I can remember. So hopefully this is a lesson to all of you that watching in a random pattern is a really bad idea.

9 thoughts on “12 Days of Something III: Randomized Anime Sampling”

  1. Quite an interesting exercise you have there!

    With Samurai Flamenco I’m getting the feeling that it’s either gonna go down in anime lore as the worst of the terribad, or that a twist is coming that will leave us in awe at the sublime mastery of it’s storytelling. I’m not holding my breath for the latter.

      1. I’m pretty certain by now that there’s no ‘quality’ writing there at all. I think a director with a great track record got a bucketload of money to do whatever he wanted, and that’s exactly what he did. With catastrophic facepalming results.

      2. I think that tends to happen a lot and I can understand why it keeps happening. Just letting creative talent go wild with money is a way to get them on board for a project and good editors and producers that are willing to clamp down on them are too rare indeed.

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