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Community Discussion: Blog by Lifesong | Glorio Fall 2012 Anime Impressions GuideJapanator




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Anime nerd, occasional gamer and Japanese figure collector. Recently I've been digging into visual novels, and using that as an excuse to blog. I will read and blog English language visual novels for my feature on request; hit me up on theglorioblog.com(or here on Jtor) if you have something you think I should read.

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Hello again, that group that takes anime way too seriously is back again to tell you all about this Fall season! We are doing things a little bit differently this time as our crew wrote a ton of words for this season's anime. If I were to take all the words we used and stick them into cblogs it would probably fill up like six of them all at once; filling up six cblogs with a single post is for people who suck, and we don't want to be people who suck so instead I am going to take highlights from all the words we wrote. I get to suck less, and you have to read less to get to all the good stuff; we all win!

If for some reason you want to read our tons of words you can find them at The Glorio Blog I know what you are thinking... "you traitors started your own blog site!?!?!?. Yeah, we did, but Jtor is still a home for us. We all started out blogging here, and Jtor is totally awesome so we want to continue sharing our stuff with you all; hope that is cool.

Introduction time for you new folks; basically we have a tradition at glorio of watching a little bit of everything when the new anime season starts up, and writing about it. This started as something I was just doing on my own, and kind of spiraled into this massive thing all at once that everyone wanted to get in on. At first we tried to watch an episode of EVERYTHING that aired. When I say that I seriously mean it; some of us even watched raws to fill in the blanks. As time went on we decided it was kind of pointless to watch all the various two minute shows, and stuff made for ten year old boys or girls, and just focus on the stuff that is actually relevant to our interests; we have all become happier people as a result.

Joining me for this guide are @Dragonzigg; our resident British skeptic, @irothtin; our picky old man who is actually one of our youngest members, @MarlinClock; our shoujo lover, and gag anime fan, @Gee0Man; our MANLY man who loves righteousness, and believes that with enough hard works, and guts that his drill will pierce the heavens, @ItsaTimmy who loves moe little girls; especially when they are armed to the teeth, @Aquagaze; our resident hipster, and also a lover of cute things, @brannewlovesong; also known as a Jelx he is the one who keeps us all in line, and lastly myself, @Lifesongsoa; the weeaboo who hates dubs, and hopeless anime nerd who is always wrong about anime.(at least if you ask the rest of these guys) Now that we have that boring intro stuff out of the way; lets dig into the anime!



Blast of Tempest
Manga Adaptation by BONES
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: A young witch is stranded on a desert island, and strives to get help. In Japan, the senseless murder of Mahiro Fuwa’s sister drives him to bitter revenge, and by chance, to the witch. With the help of her powers, he plots to find and punish her killers. This leads him back to his home town, where he saves his old friend Yoshino right before a mysterious magic claims his town.

@MarlinClock There are a lot of serious No. 6 vibes going on in this production. Long-estranged friend comes back to save another from magical city-wide destructive power, hunted down by a government agency, there’s more than a little to draw parallels between.

@Lifesongsoa We kicked things off with a lot of exposition, but the mystery worked well enough that I never felt bored. The magical powers show cased here were a lot of fun, and the one big fight scene in the middle of the episode was expertly crafted.

@brannewlovesong I didn’t see No. 6 so I’m coming into this with a fresh slate and I have to say I enjoyed it. The magic powers vs. guns stuff was pretty cool and I think the mysterious tie-ins with both Mahiro’s dead sister and our stranded mage have a lot of potential. It feels like they’re making a very concerted effort to be different.

@irothtin I’ve heard this manga has a thing for not explaining much, and we have plenty of that this episode. Busty mages trapped on desert islands, giant floating eyeball creatures, and Shakespeare references abound, this show is definitely trying to sell itself pretty hard.

Glorio Verdict?




Pretty Cool




BTOOOM!
Manga Adaptation by Madhouse
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: Ryota Sakamoto is a 22 year old NEET who lives with his mother. Despite his mundane life, he’s one of the best players in the world at the online game Btooom! One day, he wakes up on a tropical island with no recollection of how he got there. However, it turns out that a real life version of Btooom! is taking place on the island and Ryota will have to survive against the other contestants if he wants to find out how he got there and escape.

@Gee0Man The main character, despite supposedly being the 10th best player of this particular game in the world, finds himself completely incapable of figuring out what the mysterious cubes in his bag are, despite the fact that these cubes are identical the ones he sees in the game he spends all of his time playing.

@Lifesongsoa I will often say that realism is overrated, and that exaggeration is part of the magic that makes anime work; however, there is a clear difference between exaggeration that plays well with the theme of a story, and exaggeration that does not; the explosions of Btooom! clearly fit in the later category.

@irothtin This guy is in the top ten BTOOOOOOOOM players in the entire world, and he couldn’t figure out how to use his own bombs? Are you fucking kidding me? And then he manages to survive half a dozen explosions in close proximity, when every single one of those should have killed him.

Glorio Verdict?




Complete Mess




Busou Shinki
Toy Line Adaptation by 8bit
Stream Pending on The Anime Network

Premise: Shinki are 6 inch tall robot girls built to assist their masters with incredible devotion. Busou Shinki are a special type that can equip weapons and fight. A set of three Busou Shinki join their master as he returns to Japan for high school and try settle in to their new life.

@brannewlovesong I figured Busou Shinki would be a little creepy based on the premise but I didn’t think they’d go all in with sexualizing tiny little toys that come to life. It’s certainly not Queen’s Blade levels of perversion going on here, but as an example one scene has the main girl robot thing carrying a milk carton and accidentally spilling it all over herself.

@Lifesongsoa On the one hand I can totally nerd out fantasizing about my toys coming to life; I will admit that, on the other hand the episode itself was fantastically bad on so many levels. I’ll be watching for now, and honestly I suspect that even if this anime is absolutely awful in the long run; I will find a way to enjoy it regardless of the quality.

@MarlinClock Every single part of this show was so stupid. The sexualziation of the toys is so creepy. The utility of these toys is utterly pointless. The animation outside the fight scenes is so bad I almost thought they were using 3d or something. It is just so bad in every possible way.

Glorio Verdict?




Humanity Has Declined




Code:Breaker
Manga Adaptation by Kinema Citrus
Simulcast on FUNimation

Premise: Sakura Sakurakouji witnesses a bizarre murder in which several people are killed with blue flames. The next day she confronts a new transfer student in her class whom she believes to be the killer.

@brannewlovesong I just don’t see anything to be excited about. There was a whole lot of general anime stupidity like “let’s transfer the important guy into her class THE NEXT DAY”, “let’s say big dramatic things to look cool (see the whole “do you want to be a vigilante…” line)” or my favorite “let’s run at the guy that just set my friend’s face on fire!”.

@MarlinClock A lot of super generic tropes were on display here, which really did not help the show’s case. The heroine is kinda cool and I like her no-nonsense attitude, but learning about how she comes to affect the story on the wiki page, she really comes off as lame. Basically she has Touma powers, except it seems to be just she cancels anything, instead of having to touch it first.

@Lifesongsoa I kind of wanted to like this, the heroine’s warrior like personality, and sense of justice remind me of Saber of Fate/Stay Night fame, and I can see room for some interesting contrast between her moral views, and the moral views of the male lead; the male lead who happens to be a cold blooded vigilante for hire with magical fire powers. All the right pieces are here to make up an interesting shonen story, but I’m just really not feeling it.

Glorio Verdict?




WUT




Even If He Is My Brother, It Doesn’t Matter As Long As There Is Love!
Light Novel Adaptation by Silverlink
Simulcast on FUNimation

Premise: After six years apart, Akiko Himenokouji is funally going to see her brother again, but therOH GOD STOP NO YOU CAN’T MAKE ME DO THIS I’LL GET OUT OF HERE AND ESCAPE THIS NIGHTMARE YOU’LL SEE THESE CHAINS CAN’T HOLD ME NO STOP WHAT ARE YOU DOING AAAARRRRRRGGGHHHH

@Dragonzigg Even if the entirely repulsive concept didn’t turn you off already, the appalling execution of every part of this endeavor will. There’s not even the barest hint of a story, of any sort of likeable personalities or, god forbid, any humour or irony. Just a cheap, ugly container for a bunch of creepy as fuck fetishes.

@brannewlovesong This is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever watched. There is ZERO attempt at story or characterization along with some half-hearted incidental attempts at humor. It’s like a hentai setup without the hentai, there’s absolutely nothing of value whatsoever.

@Lifesongsoa This anime is by no means something anyone outside the imouto fan-base will enjoy. For those initiated there may be a sense of this is so bad it’s incredible, but if you are not so inclined then I will say this clearly: Avoid with the power of a thousand suns!

@irothtin Hentai manga without the sex. Nothing to see here. Move along.

@MarlinClock Considering how these other girls act, maybe by the end of the show we’ll learn that it was all actually about an insane asylum and the high school aesthetic was only the delusional construct of our sick little imouto.

Glorio Verdict?




Love is over; only darkness remains.




From the New World
Light Novel Adaptation by A-1 Pictures
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: A thousand years into the future, humanity has developed psychic powers. 14 year old Saki has recently finally grown into her powers, allowing her to graduate and join her similarly empowered friends in the ‘Unified Class’. But mystery and intrigue surrounds the whole system and indeed the entire world they live in.

@Dragonzigg There’s a fascinating atmosphere permeating the show, one that’s equal parts intriguing and unsettling, which makes watching it a slightly uncomfortable experience, but in a good way.

@irothtin This seems to be one of the artsier-looking shows this season, and one of the weirder ones. They’re clearly trying to build a horror vibe here, and it works for the most part, but this first episode amounts to a bunch of strange and unsettling stuff happening with no real context.

@brannewlovesong The most immediately striking thing about From the New World is the setting. The designs of the buildings and character’s clothing is a really cool mix of old and new, I still am not totally clear if the events we saw take place in the past, present, future or all of the above. Beyond that not a lot of details are given, which makes it a little hard to latch on to anything and want to watch more.

@Lifesongsoa I am a little concerned simply because of how little this episode established. There was little connection with the cast, and the magical stuff is largely just mubo jumbo at this point; however, the setting itself feels refreshingly fantastic, and is wonderfully crafted.

@MarlinClock I have to say I’m really impressed by this first episode. It does all the right things to pull you into this strange world without giving too much up. If I had to compare it I’d have to I can see a bit of a similarity to Another in how it builds up its dread through its backgrounds and through the bleak character interactions.

Glorio Verdict?




Pretty Cool




Girls und Panzer
Original Work Animated by Actas
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: In a world where operating a tank is considered a traditional martial art, Miho Nishizumi, who dislikes tanks, transfers to a high school that specifically doesn’t have a tank club.

@ItsaTimmy Overall what you will get out of this will depend on how much you like watching girls be cute and tanks. My enjoyment will probably be directly proportionate to the amount of time they spend outside the school but if cute girls being cute is your thing you may find some substance here no matter where the location.

@Lifesongsoa Girls und Panzer has some good things going for it; chief among them is the fact that it feels genuine, and cute without being creepy. To give you an example of what you can expect from this anime: One of the tanks in the opening sequence is hot pink. The premise is incredibly silly, but if this anime can keep up the fun with the tank combat, this might make for a decent action show in a very cute wrapper.

Glorio Verdict?




Pretty Cool




Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb
Manga Adaptation by SHAFT
Stream Pending on The Anime Network

Premise: There are still six art students living together in an apartment building and they still don’t do jack shit on a daily basis. What did you expect?

@Aquagaze If you expected me to write anything more than “It’s more Hidamari Sketch and this is always a good thing” then you were expecting way too much.

@Dragonzigg For me, the main draw is Shaft’s usual superlative artwork, which breathe fantastic, brightly coloured life into this sleepy world. It’s not just the animation, but also the delightful design touches, like the art deco arrangement of the apartment doors or Yuno’s named footprints pattering across the screen.

@Lifesongsoa I was a little bit creeped out by the bathing scene; It feels like they are so aware of how odd their artwork is that they can just show anything they want. Most likely this is just Shinbo being Shinbo; everyone knows the man is a lolicon at this point, and just don’t care because hes an incredibly skilled director.

@MarlinClock The atmosphere is perfect, really portraying these girls as a pack of adorable girls without a care in the world.

Glorio Verdict?




What is this wonderful shiny thing? Can I take it home?




Ixion Saga DT
Online Game Adaptation by Brains Base
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: Kon Hokaze meets a girl in an online game and thinks he’s about to get lucky, but instead she catapults him into a fantasy world where he gets caught up in a chase between a fleeing princess and her fabulously attired pursuers.

@Dragonzigg I’ll happily confess several jokes in this episode got me to laugh out loud, including the ridiculously snazzy boots and Kon’s amazingly brutal crotch kick. If they can keep me chuckling, then I’ll be happy to keep watching.

@Lifesongsoa The thing with Ixion is that it is so generic it hurts, but at the same time it subverts so many of the tropes it pulls out ever so slightly with something amusingly self-aware. For example we also have a bad guy who’s name abbreviates into “ED for short”, and several other hard to miss generic RPG jokes that fit the theme here painfully well.

@brannewlovesong Brain’s Base must have had so much fun adapting a mobile game with presumably no story the last time they did it that they had to come back for more. This go-round they’re taking on a game that hasn’t even been released yet and based on what I’ve seen they’ve once again taken a LOT of creative license here. Given the results, I am totally OK with that.

@irothtin I was prepared to dislike this, whether it was because of the generic looks or the mostly unimpressive production values, but I rather enjoyed this first episode. Brain’s Base manages to make the show self aware enough to barely avoid being obnoxious, while still being funny.

Glorio Verdict?




What is this wonderful shiny thing? Can I take it home?


(Lifesong's note: Ixion Saga is the one, and only anime everyone who watched it enjoyed. Yup, a season full of high profile anime, and our top collective pick for the season is a mobile game adaptation; irony is cruel sometimes.)



JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Manga adaptation by David Production
Currently Unlicensed

Premise: In the 1800s, Jonathan Joestar (Jojo for short) is the carefree son of a nobleman, but his life is turned around when his father adopts orphan boy Dio Brando, who plans to usurp Jojo’s position as heir. Throw in ancient Aztec artifacts, psychic martial arts, and supernatural beings, and things only get more bizarre from then on.

@irothtin This first episode has shown me pretty much everything I could have possibly wanted from a Jojo adaptation. Crazy poses, dynamic manga sound effects, and silly color overlays abound, basically everything about the presentation fully embraces the campy tone this series thrives on.

@Lifesongsoa I don’t know what I was expecting, but everything about this anime, the setups, the characters, the insults, and even the manga effects that take place on the screen; I hated all of it. There was nothing here that appealed to me.

@brannewlovesong I imagine there will be two very steadfastly opposed camps on this: those who shun its lack of cute animu girls, complex storytelling and “logic”, and those who see it as a breath of fresh air from the status quo.

@Dragonzigg I know intensely likeable camp when I see it and this falls right into my wheelhouse. It’s refreshing to see something so unashamedly over the top and which revels in its old-school roots. The men are manly, the villains are intensely boo-able and the romance is accompanied by the narrator proclaiming ‘ROMANCE!’ in a dramatic voice.

@MarlinClock I can see potential, but Iro and others keep talking it up on its camp factor. For me, Mobile Fighter G Gundam will always hold a special place in my heart as my favorite camp show, as well as my favorite Gundam in general; however, I really can’t see all the best parts of camp from that show that made me love it in JoJo.

@Gee0Man Believe me, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure wrote the book on campy crazy shonen. I won’t lie though, the beginning of Jojo is a slow burn, and it doesn’t really build up speed until about a third of the way into the first arc. However, this episode does a great job of adapting the first few chapters and honestly, establishing the only piece of information that matters.

Glorio Verdict?


Battle Lines Drawn!

(For when there is no consensus among the collective.)


@irothtin, @brannewlovesong, @Dragonzigg, and @Gee0Man, Verdict?




Pretty Cool


@Lifesongsoa, and @MarlinClock Verdict?




WUT




K
Original Work Animated by GoHands
Simulcast by ViZ Media(USA) and Animax Asia

Premise: In the near future, in the not-so-near city of somewhere in Japan, seven esper Kings, each backed by a colour-coded gang, fight for absolute turf control… or something. Yashiro “Shiro” Inaba, a local high school student, heads into the city to run an errand, but ends up being chased by the gang of the Red King, as well as a mysterious third party. Meanwhile, the enigmatic “colourless King” starts raising hell…

@Aquagaze Where do we go when this curtain of gorgeous visuals rises? What the hell are you, K? You are so full of yourself it becomes ridiculous, rockets off to the moon and crashes right back in a blazing inferno. You are so cheesy in a completely uncampy way, juggle the trashiest of 90′s aesthetics with a completely straight face and burn what seems to be thousands of yens on vomiting out some of the most insane angles a camera can pull off.

@irothtin Gang wars with magic flame, color-coded “Kings”, and modern-day samurai, all twenty minutes into the future? Sounds ridiculous (and it is), but judging from the first episode, K is going to be fairly fun. Also, it’s scratching my urban fantasy itch, and I’m all for that.

@brannewlovesong K is just oozing with style. The slick visuals and smooth soundtrack certainly are a treat for the senses, but whether or not the show also ends up a treat for your brain and/or heart remains to be seen.

@Lifesongsoa This is one of the most exciting anime this season in my book. There is something special about an anime original that adaptations just can’t pull off, and I am looking forward to seeing if K can capitalize on that advantage, or if we are looking at a show that is all style and no substance… So far I say we are off to a good start.

@MarlinClock The somewhat bland main character is a bit of a warning flag, but I’m assuming this end-of-episode development is going to grow into something that allows us to see his character more clearly. I really like this whole supernatural gang war feel that’s going on, and having pseudo-Shizuo around is never a bad thing.

@Dragonzigg Aesthetically and artistically this show is a mess, and unlike Aqua I don’t find that endearing but rather irritating. Instead I see sloppy, ill focused directing, throwing in every possible angle, shot and cut in a maddening mishmash of styles that utterly fails to establish a coherent look for the show.

Glorio Verdict?




Pretty Kool




Little Busters
Visual Novel Adaptation by J.C. Staff
Currently Unlicensed

Premise: A group of close friends decide to challenge the mediocrity their mundane lives by playing baseball before one of them graduates, and is forced into to join the work force as a salary man leaving the group behind.

@Lifesongsoa I am okay with what Little Busters is. It may not be Kanon, or even Angel Beats, but Jun Maeda’s magic is still alive and kicking here. Sure the animation is a bit stiff at times, but it is at least consistent, and no this director/studio combo does not have the finesse of KyoAni, or PA Works; however, the charming characters, and nonsensical fun that mark the start of all Jun Maeda stories is still here!

@irothtin This was apparently one of, if not the, most anticipated anime this season. I assume this is on Key Visual Arts brand name alone, since the first episode didn’t do much to impress me. I’d probably enjoy this a lot more if I liked anything Key produced, or if I had played the game beforehand, but as it stands Little Busters! has left me a little wanting.

@brannewlovesong Knowing that this is a Jun Maeda tale and it will no doubt have plenty of twists and turns ahead, I am not going to write off Little Busters after one episode. I will say however, this was not the best made introduction. It does accomplish it’s purpose of introducing our main characters and how they are connected but it does so with little sense of purpose or direction.

@Dragonzigg This episode was a sad parade bereft of everything it strives for – empathy, pathos, or anything beyond a sort of half-hearted stab at slice of life, with none of the skill or pacing the best of the genre can bring. The cast are a piled up collection of clichés, the angry violent girl, the dumb muscle et al showing no charm, depth or variation from a well worn template, and no reason to be interested in their lives or root for them.

@MarlinClock I’m not into frail girls and the sheer volume of waifs that seems to be on display is really off-putting. What’s especially strange is that this is a group even including our main character, who is honestly more girly looking than some of the girls, which is seriously saying something.

Glorio Verdict?


Battle Lines Drawn!

(For when there is no consensus among the collective.)


@irothtin, @Dragonzigg @MarlinClock Verdict?




Complete Mess


@Lifesongsoa, and @brannewlovesong Verdict?




Pretty Cool




Magi
Manga Adaptation by A-1 Pictures
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: Aladdin and Alibaba meetup and become bros in an Arabian Nights tale.

@Lifesongsoa This first episode of Magi was nothing short of gorgeous; every other frame makes for a beautiful screen capture. Aladdin and Alibaba are both characters that managed to really create a warm atmosphere right off the bat with some great chemistry, and an a good deal of humor as the powerless Alibaba deals with the not quite human Aladdin and his Djinn.

@irothtin Ali Baba is slowly working up cash to make an expedition into the local cave of wonders, keeping one jump ahead of the bread line and one swing ahead of the sword, until he meets Aladdin. Aladdin has djinn Robin Williams at his side, so Ali Baba is brought into a whole new world of Arabian Nights since he’s never had a friend like him, and they quest to get their eternal reward.

@Gee0Man No way around it, Magi is a pretty fun anime to watch. It looks great, the setting is interesting, and the characters stand out, even if I’m not a huge fan of them all yet.

@brannewlovesong For what it is, Magi was quite entertaining. The premise of a couple of kids going out to find treasure and adventure is so simple that it really boils down to execution and this episode delivered. Everything looks, moves and sounds great, and the fated meeting between Aladdin and Alibaba did a nice job of setting the tone for their relationship. As long as they keep the giant fighting Djinn action and body slamming tigers coming at us, I’m sure it will be a fun watch.

@Dragonzigg Both Aladdin and Alibaba show off a surprising depth to their character under the pressure of the monster attack, with Alibaba realizing he’s been living a lie and leaping to the rescue; a cool and unexpected way to establish him as our hero. Meanwhile, there’s something beautifully naive about Aladdin’s wish for friendship, and his last minute save was very endearing. I’m also drawn by the surprisingly dark heart here – the slavery angle looks to be a dramatic one if they keep exploring it and the shot of Alibaba frantically reaching for the girls while the merchant dived for his barrel of wine was a deliciously dark juxtaposition.

Glorio Verdict?




What is this wonderful shiny thing? Can I take it home?




My Little Monster
Manga Adaptation by Brains Base
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: After bringing worksheets for a suspended classmate, Ice Queen Shizuku Mizutani finds herself entwined in the life of delinquent genius Haru Yoshida. As they come to understand each other, a strange friendship and an unlikely romance grows.

@MarlinClock These characters are really off the wall and I’m really enjoying this quirky vibe they are giving off. Now, the huge elephant in the room is that one line. You know what I’m talking about. I don’t really know what possessed the mangaka to use that line or the writer to keep it in, or really even CR to translate it that way. Still, I’m not going to let that one line ruin what was otherwise a cute first episode. (Lifesong's note: There is a line where the to be love interest threatens to rape the protagonist.)

@irothtin The Most Socially Awkward Guy meets Apathetic Straight-Laced Girl, and cue cheesy romance at rapid speed. It’s almost a bit depressing just how ridiculously awkward this guy is, to the point where he can barely function in school. While I can appreciate the unorthodox progression of the relationship, I’m also not interested enough to keep watching.

@Dragonzigg The whole ‘delinquent guy meets straight-laced girl’ plot has been done before, but there’s a winning charm and surprisingly sharp sense of wit to this endeavour, with more care paid to the details than you’d normally expect from the average boy-meets-girl setup.

@brannewlovesong I kind of liked how this episode threw a lot of romance anime conventions out the window, particularly the forthrightness of our incredibly strange male lead. That being said, he reminded me of Yui from K-ON! if you swapped her personality into some good looking, book-smart dude.

@Lifesongsoa Frankly I was fairly impressed with this first episode. I usually hate shoujo anime, especially shoujo manga adaptions; it’s the pacing, drives me insane. The first episode actually had a full self-contained story right off the bat, and managed to avoid most of the cliches I expect to see shoujo manga fall into; color me impressed.

Glorio Verdict?




What is this wonderful shiny thing? Can I take it home?




Pet Girl of Sakurasou
Light Novel Adaptation by J.C. Staff
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: Our young protagonist attends a prestigious art school. He is caught tending to a cat he adopted and forced to move into Sakura Hall; a dorm for the schools more eccentric kids. As time went on he adopted more cats, and now has six of them under his care, but hes not done finding cute creatures that need taking care of just yet.

@Lifesongsoa Pet Girl reminds me a lot of Toradora; following the same basic premise, and setup that Toradora did with it’s first episode. Protagonist boy reflects on his melancholic life, goes to school where some comedic antics ensue, and then has a run in with a girl who can’t take care of herself worth a dime setting himself up as care taker. All this inside a melancholic-dramatic atmosphere that mark most of Mari Okada’s works.

@Dragonzigg Maybe I’m a prude, an old man shouting at the kids to get off my lawn. But there’s something that inherently disgusts me about a show where the entire point is that the female character is a helpless, borderline autistic child who is entirely dependent on a man to work her life for her. And if that makes me wrong, I don’t want to be right.

@brannewlovesong I’m sure a lot of people are immediately going to be turned off the by the concept of a “pet girlfriend” as mentioned in the title. It’s possible there’s something lost in cultural translation there somewhere, but regardless I think it will make a lot of people want to hate this before even watching it, myself included. So in a way I was relieved to find this episode was pretty inoffensive overall, with our main heroine’s lack of attention span more curious than degrading.

@irothtin Harem show with eccentric-yet-generic cast, and the main heroine cannot function as a human being without the protagonist doting over her like a parent dressing their toddler. Presentation was good for what it was, but I have no interest in this. Pass.

Glorio Verdict?


Battle Lines Drawn!

(For when there is no consensus among the collective.)


@irothtin, and @Dragonzigg Verdict?




Humanity Has Declined


@Lifesongsoa, and @brannewlovesong Verdict?




Pretty Cool




Psycho-Pass
Original Work Animated by Production I.G
Simulcast on FUNimation

Premise: In the future, a citywide system allows law enforcement to instantly read the latent criminal level of any citizen and act accordingly. They employ a squad of Enforcers who are themselves latent criminals to catch the most dangerous of the lot. As a fresh face on the force, Akane Tsunemori must adjust to the brutal and indifferent methods the city uses to deal with its seedy underbelly.

@irothtin The first episode here did what a first episode should do: established the setting, characters, and the main concepts the show is going to run on. The city can measure a person’s Psycho Pass to determine their crime level, the guns only shoot depending on the crime level, the society has lost sight of justice, yadda yadda yadda. They’re interesting concepts, if somewhat cliche, it’s just that the show would ideally set it up in a slightly more engaging way – apparently a lot of people were bored.

@Lifesongsoa Creating a sense of doom that never comes up for air can easily encourage a stiflingly atmosphere for the viewers who disconnect from the dark broody nature of the work. Madoka got around this by throwing cute little girls at us, Fate/Zero had an intriguing world that played off the philosophy of kings, servants and chivalry. This first episode of Psycho-Pass had self-indulgent gun porn, and generic broody criminals which instead of contrasting with the stifling atmosphere actually encouraged it.

@Dragonzigg The entire ‘rookie female cop’ thing needs to die right now – Akane is a ludicrously incompetent character who appears to have no idea what the hell anything is about. The idea that she graduated top of her class yet is entirely oblivious to the way the system works is laughable, and she’s nothing more than a weak, ineffectual shell of a character throughout this episode. Urobuchi also indulges some of his less savoury habits here, such as nasty brutal violence against women, and the kill shot on the target is so ridiculously gory it had me laughing at the stupidity of it all.

Glorio Verdict?


Battle Lines Drawn!

(For when there is no consensus among the collective.)


@irothtin, @Gee0Man, and @Aquagaze Verdict?




Pretty Cool


@Lifesongsoa, @Dragonzigg, and @brannewlovesong Verdict?




Complete Mess


(Lifesong's note: Psycho-Pass is probably our most clearly divisive first episode of the season. Not to patronize, but I've noticed that the younger teen audience seems to love this show both inside our group, and elsewhere on the net, while all us slightly older anime fans are a lot less forgiving. Maybe we are just getting too old for this stuff?)



Regardless of My Adolescent Delusions of Grandeur, I Want a Date!
Light Novel Adaptation by Kyoto Animation
Stream Pending on The Anime Network

Premise: As Yuuta prepares to enter high school he makes every effort to forget his time infected by Chuunibyou or “Eighth Grader Syndrome” – an affliction that made him believe he had special powers. His plan is interrupted when he meets Rikka, a girl still very much affected by the disease.

@brannewlovesong What a moving, insightful take on the pain of searching for your identity anPFFFF HAHAHA OK I couldn’t keep a straight face on that one. I certainly would like to see the series take a turn in that direction, but for now this was simply a fun little comedy about crazy mixed up teenagers with a healthy dose of moe for good measure.

@irothtin After I enjoyed Hyouka, I was hoping we’d get something I’d like from KyoAni again this season. I was quickly proven wrong – this is more moeblob comedy involving girls who are clearly out of their minds and character designs that look like elementary schoolers.

@Dragonzigg The premise is sort of the thing you’d expect from bargain basement fanservice comedy, but the typical KyoAni spit and polish is in full effect here and this thing looks just gorgeous, especially in background detail.

@Aquagaze Yes, I too pretended to open automated doors with my “psychic powers” (Zigg’s note – I totally do this too) (Iro’s note: you’re both fucking crazy)(Marlin’s note: Sorry Iro, you just musta had no imagination as a child.) and used umbrellas as a makeshift weapon of mass demolition. In fact, I still do.

@Lifesongsoa This anime is like a mirror into my past reminding me of why I so easily relate with escapist culture. It’s not even that this is even particularly deep, but it manages to capture what being a delusional child is like with a degree of finesse that only KyoAni can bring to the table.

@MarlinClock I can’t say I really had much of these delusions outside of force-opening doors, but there was a very short period where I believed the Harry Potter world was real, so I guess that counts. We’ve still been shown nothing substantial as to why these other three girls are a part of the plot whatsoever, but I suppose that’s going to be remedied quickly.

Glorio Verdict?




Pretty Cool




Robotics;Notes
Visual Novel Adaptation by Production I.G
Simulcast by FUNimation

Premise: In the near future, nonplussed lackey Kaito Yashio and adorable nerd Akiho Senomiya are trying to build a giant robot for their high school robotics club. Somehow, as we are told, they will save the world.

@MarlinClock Akiho is absolutely adorable, and her energy really carries this episode. I have a soft spot for hopelessly optimistic characters and she really takes the cake. On the other hand, Kaito is a very boring protagonist. I really don’t like how indifferent he is about the proceedings and his almost snobbishness at his position in a video game really make him unlikeable.

@Lifesongsoa Really not too much happens in this first episode. We are introduced to our cast in a somewhat typical way, but the futuristic setting does a lot to give it a fresh feel, and did I mention the heroine? She is a cutie. This is one I will not allow myself to miss.

@brannewlovesong Of all the things I’ve watched this season, I think Robotics;Notes may have the broadest appeal. The premise of saving the Robotics club is inoffensive and creates a pretty cool near-future setting that anyone could get behind. I mean let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Giant Fighting Robots?

@irothtin Peppy heroine, bored guy, high school club antics, giant robots – all the typical anime trappings. The execution is solid, so chances are you won’t hate this.

@Gee0Man Seeing Akiho’s passion for her club and dreams is inspiring and reminds me a lot of myself. She definitely carries the show and her enthusiasm is inspiring. So far, the show itself has been on the slow side, but it’s charming and I never found myself being bored while watching. (Lifesong's note: I kid you not when I tell you that Akiho says things word for word that we hear out of Gee all the time.)

@Dragonzigg I am really, horribly sick of apathetic male high school protagonists. Characters are not made of a void of personality, but there’s nothing interesting, likeable or worthy of note about Kaito here – he’s a boring, slightly jerkish cipher. Akiho on the other hand, plays into the genki girl cliché but nevertheless remains a bundle of energy and inspiration, almost single handedly raising this episode to watchable status.

Glorio Verdict?




What is this wonderful shiny thing? Can I take it home?




Say ‘I Love You’
Manga Adaptation by ZEXCS
Currently Unlicensed

Premise: As Yuuta prepares to enter high school he makes every effort to forget his time infected by Chuunibyou or “Eighth Grader Syndrome” – an affliction that made him believe he had special powers. His plan is interrupted when he meets Rikka, a girl still very much affected by the disease.

@Dragonzigg This is a fantastically produced show, one which offers beautiful, classically styled characters, smart background art and a moody soundtrack which fits perfectly with the slightly melancholic air. The proceedings are treated with a seriousness and straightforwardness that’s refreshingly down-to-earth and though we’re not given too much time to learn these characters they still manage to make a strong impression.

@Lifesongsoa This introduction was trope filled to the max, and really did nothing to sell me on it’s cast or characters, instead relying entirely on trying to appeal to my inner fragile teenage girl; which for the record does not exist. Maybe this is an enjoyable experience for a young teenage girl? I won’t pretend to know.

@MarlinClock Honestly I didn’t hate this show. I think most of the things negatively affecting my views on it came because I watched the show with Life, who kinda accentuated all the negative aspects; however, its not really doing a whole lot of new things.

Glorio Verdict?




WUT
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