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.
Part 1 Here Ozma Space Bros Scarlet Fragment Zetman Accel World Kickoff to the Galaxy!! Queen's Blade Rebellion Saint Seiya Omega Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Of the Dead Medaka Box Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna Sengoku Collection Natsuiro Kiseki Sankarea
Part 2 Acchi Kocchi Fate/Zero Second Part Moe Moe Assault Rifles!! Kuroko's Basket Ball Mysterious Girlfriend X Saki: Side-A Dusk Maiden of Amnesia Moe Moe Nyarlathotep Jormungand Tsuritama Eureka Seven AO Kids on the Slope Shining Hearts: Bread of Happiness
Part 3 Hyouka: You Can(not) Escape AKB0048
Acchi Kocchi 4-Koma managa adaptation animated by AIC
Premise Cute people do cute things.
Irothtin's Thoughts Slice of life with typical anime caricatures. This a yonkoma adaptation, so presumably we're supposed to be laughing every thirty seconds or so. I could barely stomach ten minutes.
Irothtin's Verdict?Waste Of Time If you're going to watch a slice of life, watch something that doesn't suck.
Lifesong's Thoughts In a word, cute. There really isn't much else to say about this show.
Lifesong's Verdict?Muscle Relaxer Acchi Kocchi doesn't try too hard and it's quite obvious that the focus is on being low key like so many other slice of life anime are. This is a good anime to watch after a stressful day. I would compare it to muscle relaxer or sleeping pill. Unless you are stressed out and or need something cute and heartwarming before bed this doesn't have much value, if however you are under a lot of stress and just need something simple to unwind you might want to check this out.
Marlin's Thoughts In a world where Konata grew up introverted, Acchi Kocchi is born. I swear the girl is a dead ringer. I’ve always been big into good slice of life, and while this show wasn’t great by any means, I really enjoyed it. Its characters are cute and I had some genuine laughs through the proceedings. I most especially enjoyed the intercom bits. While it definitely isn’t the smartest show out there, I think I’m going to be using it as a nice relaxer after a long day.
Marlin's Verdict?Brain Slug I really enjoyed this show, but it definitely isn’t very smart in its comedy or cutesy mannerisms. I personally am very weak to moeblobs and our doppelganger is the moe-est thing I’ve seen this season.
Premise All hell has broken loose, the monstrous Cthulhu like being is headed for shore forcing a temporary alliance between other servants and masters. The time for the conclusion to the epic battle royale between the mages and their servant's is drawing near, things are about to get bloody.
Irothtin's Thoughts After the snore-fest of talky bits that was Part 1, Fate/Zero ramps up the action in a dash to the finale. At least, that's the idea. If it follows the novels, there should be a lot more action in this part and a lot less standing around and philosophizing. The season kicks off following Part 1's cliffhanger, starting strong with duels between magi, otherworldly dogfights, and a giant sea monster.
Irothtin's Verdict?Coooooool Either you're already watching this or you aren't, and at this point nothing I say is going to change your mind. But for the record, I think it's pretty sweet.
Lifesong's Thoughts I am going to miss caster when he inevitably loses. I enjoyed the first half quite a bit and considering the author at work here I can't wait to see how terrifyingly wrong and twisted things becomes before the end.
Lifesong's Verdict?Let The Battle Royale Begin! The first half of this show is all about the philosophy behind the cast and characters and is surprisingly without bloodshed, red-shirt's aside. I haven't read the light novel but I have read Fate/Stay Night so I know upcoming events can't be pretty, I am dying to know how it all ends, I'm counting on you Urobuchi! Don't let me down.
Jel's Thoughts This is EXACTLY what I wanted to see coming back from the break. Actually, this is exactly what I wanted to see since I was first introduced to the Fate Universe. High stakes drama, tense action and just about every servant and master getting their hands dirty.
Jel's Verdict?The Anime Of Promised Victory This is the safest bet of the season. Other shows may turn out to be something special, but I have more confidence in Fate/Zero than any of them. Definitely worth catching up on the previous season and getting in on the action if you haven't done so already.
Dragonzigg's Thoughts I was very much a skeptic of the first season of Fate/Zero, which tempered its shamelessly awesome moments with great deal of boring waffle. Here though we've got the advantage of leaping straight into the middle of the plot, and boy do ufotable take advantage. We've got it all here - epic battles, tense showdowns, sneak attacks and some seriously messed up monsters, all backed by some fantastic animation and top notch music and voice acting. In addition to the pyrotechnics we're getting some more juicy character development and the escalating conflict looks set up to deliver a series of explosive showdowns as we draw closer to the close of this conflict.
Dragonzigg's Verdict?Epic Fate/Zero is beginning to deliver on the huge promise that it showed from the beginning. I'm not convinced the problems are entirely gone, but this is a hugely promising sign for the rest of the season.
Aqua's Thoughts It's the second season of Fate/Zero. You’re gonna watch this if you watched the first part and you’re not gonna watch this if you haven’t. Life, why are we giving our first impressions on this?
Aqua's Verdict?It's The Second Season Of Fate/Zero It’s the second season of Fate/Zero, kiddo. Seriously. That’s it.
Gee-Man's Thoughts The best anime of the fall season returns with a vengeance. Leaving off where the first season concluded, we find our valiant heroes of ancient myth squaring off against the eldritch abomination created by Caster. You’ll find mythic dogfights, abhorrent ideology, and pragmatic combat here. So in other words, a return to glory.
Gee-Man's Verdict?Look At What Everyone Else Has Said Seriously, it’s the second season of Fate Zero. What more do you need?
Marlin's Thoughts The beginning of the second part really kept the action going. I really liked the dogfight even if it was really weird in context. More F/Z is never a bad thing.
Marlin's Verdict?You Better Still Be Watching Fate/Zero reminds me that the premise of the whole Nasuverse is actually pretty interesting if you actually have a decent writer. With Gen Urobuchi at the helm for the story I knew this was going to be an enjoyable ride, and that hasn’t changed.
Premise A new teacher has just transferred into an all girls school. This school is a special school for girls who are actually assault rifles. How will this human teacher fair? Will he learn to treat the girls with the delicacy and respect that guns deserve? Or will he cause their hammers to fire off prematurely?
Jel's Thoughts Part of the appeal of anime for many of us are those totally bizarre "WTF Japan" ideas that somehow get produced. This is one of them. Now don't get me wrong, it's still pretty terrible and I felt like I needed a shower after watching it. But I can't say I wasn't entertained by just how hilariously ridiculous and unapologetic the premise is.
Jel's Verdict?One In The Chamber If you have 24 minutes to kill it might be worth watching an episode for a laugh. But I can't imagine watching anything beyond that.
Lifesong's Thoughts I can still remember the first time I met sensei. He approached ready to fire with both hands firmly griping his gun, careful not to put too much pressure on the small stock. He shifted his center of gravity forward slightly to guard against the recoil as he prepared to fire his load, almost as if preparing to fire an assault rifle, just the sight of it nearly made my hammer fire... He took his shot, hitting me square in the forehead several times. I'll never forget that encounter.
Lifesong's Verdict?Skeleton Stock Lightweight pervy humor that's so bizarre it's hard not to find funny. This whole show is pretty much a bunch of sexual euphemisms with guns. It is actually quite funny in a I can't believe they are actually going there kind of way and may well turn out to be a guilty pleasure for many. Upotte!! is based off a 4-koma so you can't really expect too much depth from this, however if you are away from polite company and looking for a cheep laugh, you can't go wrong here.
Timmy's Thoughts Where the hell am I even suppose to begin with this. Given the premise I had my eye on this for quite some time expecting the most bizarre, insane thing I could possibly imagine. And that is pretty much what I got. Lots and lots of gun porn mixed with a whole heap full of crazy, over the top WTF anime goodness. Everything about this show is absurd.
Timmy's Verdict?Something To Get Trigger Happy Over And that is really its greatest strength. This show is cute, funny, perverted, bizarre, absurd, over the top, basically all you could ever ask of an anime. As long as it can keep its material fresh and doesn't start hammering out the same jokes every episode, this pervy gag comedy will be very much worth a watch every week.
TL/DR Watch this, love this, NO REGRETS! The show sure as hell doesn't have any.
Dragonzigg's Thoughts I really, honestly am lost for words when it comes to this show. It's like the Matrix - nobody can tell you what it is, you have to experience it for yourself. What I can tell you is that this show has some cute character designs and one or two decent puns. There's also a ton of neat references for gun nuts (which I, with my rudimentary weapons knowledge, just about grasped). And finally, there's tons of super inappropriate, stunningly creepy sexual innuendo. They even avoid showing the lead male character's face, like some sort of second rate porno doujinshi.
So yeah. If you're in the target demographic of crazy assault rifle wielding pedophiles then you'll probably eat this up. For everyone else it's probably worth seeing once just so you can again experience that feeling of 'Oh my God Japan, what the fuck did you DO?' that you thought anime had hardened you against forever.
Dragonzigg's Verdict?Major Misfire Without the fanservice this would be barely recommendable as a weird, demented spin on the cute girls genre. But with it it becomes a thoroughly unpleasant experience altogether. If you must watch this, take a shower afterwards.
Irothtin's Thoughts Gun jokes. Gun double entendre. Girls that are guns. She wants her teacher to grab her and shoot her off.
Irothtin's Verdict?A Bullet To The Brainpan
Marlin's Thoughts What the fuck did I watch? I would have half a mind to make this my oddity pick of the season just to turn off my brain but I already have three shows that would do a better job at that.
Marlin's Verdict?Off its Aim I don’t see who this is appealing to besides the otaku from High School of the Dead.
Premise A middle school basketball team called the miracle generation had a legendary player who was amazing at passing. Using his impressive ninja like lack of presence, he would fade from view and misdirect attention. Now in high school he has transferred into a new school and joined their basketball team. After teaming up with another player who's power level is over 9000, he has decided to live in that players shadow and push him to the top!
Jel's Thoughts If you think this is another ridiculous Shonen sports show that replaces fighting with basketball then you are correct. But it's a pretty well made one and as a big basketball fan myself I really enjoyed it. I may not like it all the time, but something about unapologetically defying logic with super abilities and power level readings warms my heart every now and then.
Jel's Verdict?Buzzer Beater I can't believe I'm saying this but I will most likely keep watching. I had every intention of laughing this one off and yet even though it is exactly what I thought it would be I still enjoyed it. Your mileage may vary depending on your tolerance of Shonen shows and sports in general, but I'm sticking with it.
Lifesong's Thoughts Ninja boy plays basket ball, his power level can't even be read by the scouter.
Lifesong's Verdict?Ridiculous I am no fan of sports anime and I'm often at odds with shonen so this anime really isn't for me. If you are looking for a ridiculous shonen sports show look no further, this has what you need.
Marlin's Thoughts Never really been a fan of sports anime. They always just seem way to unrealistic to me, and this one is no different. Weird scanner girl that can somehow determine your strength, mystery basketball player who has magic teamwork skills, it all screams superpower sports show. I think I’ll pass.
Marlin's Verdict?Low Percentage Shot If you like basketball maybe it’ll still gel for you? However, I doubt many others would enjoy it greatly.
Irothtin's Thoughts She can tell sports power levels. The one guy is over nine thousand, because he went to school in America. The eponymous character can turn invisible and is therefore super great at passing the ball.
Irothtin's Verdict?Silly In A Fun Way More enjoyable than that soccer show, though. This one is actually decent. I probably won't watch the rest, though.
Premise A mysterious girl transfers into a new school. When she is happy she vomits spit. A young boy tastes her spit and becomes addicted.
Lifesong's Thoughts I felt ill watching this. I don't get disgusted easily, I made it through Yosuga no Sora where the MC goes at it with his sister on multiple occasions and was still able to enjoy that story. I made it through Elfen Lied and was able to respect that for what it was.. I can't do this.
Lifesong's Verdict?Disgusting Filth I was utterly appalled watching this, much to amusement of others on skype. Gross things are my weakness. I only have a few buttons I really hate to have pushed and this pushed most them all at once. This may have some value beyond what I see it for but I am unable to judge it for that while being utterly disgusted by the premise.
At least there wasn't any scat...
Irothtin's Thoughts Uh, I like the art style, I guess. It has a sort of old school look to it. Expect for the lovingly animated saliva that kind of looks like nasty green syrup and how it just slides around like goo and is all just kinda nasty and unsettling and why does this exist why am I watching it.
Irothtin's Verdict?Unsanitary If this didn't have the whole exchanging-bodily-fluids angle and she was merely an odd person, I would be more interested.
Jel's Thoughts I'm torn here because the premise is disgusting and yet I really want to like it. The nostalgia stained presentation and blunt but effective dialogue made the episode feel barely exploitative at all. Rather than fetish fuel, I saw it more as a means of two lonely people making a desperate, base connection. I mean think about it: sure their method of swapping spit is bizarre and nasty, but is it that much different on paper than kissing your girlfriend/boyfriend? I'm sure it's still meant to shock and provoke but I am almost OK with that. Almost.
Jel's Verdict?Open Mind, Strong Stomach I am not sure I possess enough of either of those qualities to keep watching, but there is a part of me that wants to give it another episode. I very well may be reading into things too much and giving the show more credit it deserves, but I can't help but be curious where it goes from here.
Gee-Man's Thoughts As a fan of the manga, I believe I may be forced to accept that this is one that should not have been animated. Out of the many “romance stories with weird twists” that I’m a fan of, Mysterious Girlfriend X has always been one of my favorites. That said, the manga goes about depicting saliva in a much less creepy and disgusting manner. In the end though, it’s still a romance story about two strange people trying to find something special in life.
Gee-Man's Verdict?Check Out The Manga Seriously, I love the manga, and the anime would be great if they just toned down the depiction of saliva because as it is now, it’s kind of nauseating. It’s an interesting romance story without a doubt, but if you’re getting into this, be sure to keep an open mind.
Marlin's Thoughts Well that was certainly something. I’d have to say what’s tying me most to this show is its interesting art style. Its premise is really disgusting and the relationship is really weird. Maybe there are some twists that’ll make it more interesting but so far it’s just one of those shows people can show others and go “LOL Japan.”
Marlin's Verdict?LOL Japan See? It’s that easy.
Timmy's Thoughts Awkward boy meets awkward cute girl, This seems to be a slightly similar premise to last season's Another and I am getting similar mysterious vibes about Urabe that I got from Mei last season. Of course this time around the are tied together with spit instead of mutual isolation.
Timmy's Verdict?Unsettlingly Interesting I would liken this show to meeting a cute, generally attractive girl and then seeing her light up a cigarette in front of you. Some will be ok with this and some will not, I stand somewhere in the middle. While she may or may not smoke nearly as much as first implied, the only way to know for sure is to get to know her a little better. For now I will be proceeding with caution, and a strong stomach.
Dragonzigg's Thoughts ...
Has it really come to this?
Saki: Side-A Spin-off manga adaptation animated by Studio Gokumi
Premise Girls play mahjong at a small school out in the country aiming to be the best! And meet up with their old friend who moved away.
Lifesong's Thoughts Time skips, flashback and childhood drama all right off the bat? They barely even played any Mahjong. I'm entirely bored, the execution here is something I can only see as awful.
Lifesong's Verdict?Even Gonzo Can Do Better I watched the first few episodes of the original Saki and remember all kinds of crazy awesome with the Mahjong playing. There isn't a single bit of that personality in this spin-off. I am put-off and disappointed by how bland this is.
Aqua's Thoughts I have no idea about how you play mah-jong. Hell, I haven’t even seen the first season of Saki. Yet still, I adored this all-new spin-off. Why? Because I am a sad, pathetic, lonely teenage boy who is way too easily entertained. Am I going to admit that? Hell no. So here are a few excuses. The voice acting in this show is just amazing. If anything, the all-star cast really manages to portray just how insanely enthusiastic and passionate everyone in this weird universe is about mah-jong. Saki: Achiga-hen is a bit of a huge mess, but it is also a surprisingly cute mess.
Aqua's Verdict?Engagingly Adorable This rating comes with the Aquagaze Grain Of Salt Requirement™. For professional, unbiased advice, please consult someone with a Common Sense Certificate.
Marlin's Thoughts For a first episode, I actually liked how they developed the relationship between the main characters. I have no experience with Saki, but it was almost like an entire season being played out in a single episode. I thought they did it pretty well and made each character memorable. The weird part where they sexualized who I was told is the Saki main character when she is supposed to be 12 was really weird, but otherwise I thought they did a good job.
Marlin's Verdict?For Mahjong Lovers While I kinda liked this first episode, I don’t think the premise is enough to keep me. I’m sure fans of Saki will continue to enjoy more, but I don’t see it gaining that much of an audience.
Irothtin's Thoughts I don't understand mahjong and after watching this show I don't think I want to.
Irothtin's Verdict?Vapid Creepy sexualized elementary students and their creepy sexualized lesbian adventures. Count me out.
Premise A first year high school boy is a member of a club that investigates rumors of the occult. The twist is that the the president of the club is a ghost. Together they solve mysteries and search for her lost memories.
Irothtin's Thoughts A ghost girl with amnesia is the president of the Detective Club, and gets up to antics with the boy that she likes. One person can't see her and is entirely clueless. Apparently they're going to be spending time looking for her memories or something.
Irothtin's Verdict?Dead End This was incredibly dull - essentially nothing happens over the course of the episode, and the one joke they had wore out its welcome within three minutes. Pass.
Lifesong's Thoughts Club solves ghost myths with a unique twist to the usual formula? Count me in. Dusk Maiden throws a wrench in the usual occult formula by quickly establishing that the president of this club is in fact a ghost herself. We don't really get to see too much of it but the relationship between the main character and ghost girl has a romantic vibe about it, one that is actually quite endearing, or at least as endearing as a scene that ends with groping a feel can be.
Lifesong's Verdict?Better Starting Point Than C³ Dusk Maiden seems primed to go in a really interesting direction, giving off hints of things far more sinister in the future. That said, honestly not too much really happens in the first episode. I can only speculate how it will end up but between the gags and character dynamics I'm in this one for the long haul.
And hey C³ turned out to be pretty damn good after one of the most abysmal first episodes I've seen in a long time. If Shin Oonuma can pull off another maneuver like that Dusk Maiden could well be one of the better shows of the season.
Jel's Thoughts I'm going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and say they recycled half the episode for story purposes, but that doesn't mean it made an already slow episode any more interesting. I guess this is supposed to be some kind of romantic comedy but I didn't find it particularly romantic or funny and the concept not terribly original. It wasn't bad, I just found it boring.
Jel's Verdict?zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZ I'll admit this may have just been a dull episode and Dusk Maiden does have some potential to be entertaining. But with plenty of other shows to watch I don't plan on finding out.
Gee-Man's Thoughts The third of the three “weird romances” of the season, and quite possibly a direct competitor with Sankarea in the rather narrow-scoped “Paranormal Romance” genre, Dusk Maiden sets up an interesting premise, despite a somewhat mediocre opening episode. However, the main heroine, the titular ghost girl herself, manages to be one of the most interesting characters this season on merit of simply acting out of the norm. Her voice is sensuous and womanly, unlike the usual girly squeaks that dominate anime. And even better, she’s an individual who’s assertive and knows exactly what she wants: The main character.
Gee-Man's Verdict?Unorthodox With Potential I wouldn’t say Dusk Maiden is truly unique, but the fact that it displays two characters with romantic feelings for each other within the first episode in a manner that isn’t trite or overstated already puts it in my good books. As one who is sick of the usual tsunderes and moeblob wish fulfillment characters that comprise the majority of female anime characters these days, the main heroine is a breath of fresh air. I just hope it can make things more interesting than the first episode. A character this enthralling doesn’t deserve to end up in a bad anime.
Also, her voice. Absolutely. Amazing.
Marlin's Thoughts I really disliked how they basically made me watch the same scene twice but with a little bit of extra dialogue. Still, the second part of the episode had me intrigued. I think it’s worth one more episode.
Marlin's Verdict?Skip The First Ten Minutes Really that was my biggest complaint, I suppose it was good to establish who can see her and who can’t I guess, but it could have been achieved by just showing the second part.
Premise Nyarlathotep is an alien who takes the form of a young girl. She comes to earth to get laid and buy eroge.
Lifesong's Thoughts Derp, no really that is all that comes to mind, I was not able to think while watching this and am dumber for having done so.
Lifesong's Verdict?Man Was Never Meant To See This This may well be the most boring gag anime I have ever watched. I can't even tell if the anime is trying to be funny or not, the jokes are that BAD. Everything is an unfunny Lovecraft pun. This anime only got one laugh out of me the entire time and it was only because it ripped off pokemon for a joke that was so bad I couldn't help myself.
The one positive thing I can say for this anime is that Kana Asumi clearly had a lot of fun voicing Nyarlathotep, that said no amount of voice talent would be enough to save this miserable thing...
Irothtin's Thoughts "I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was perhaps a few weeks ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of Japanese animation of a mostly inoffensive and normal breed was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night.
I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard. A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places.
And it was then that Nyarlathotep aired. Sh said she had risen up out of the blackness of twenty-seven centuries, and that she had heard messages from places not on this planet. Into the lands of civilisation came Nyarlathotep, swarthy, slender, and sinister. Men advised one another to see Nyarlathotep, and shuddered. And where Nyarlathotep went, rest vanished; for the small hours were rent with the screams of nightmare.
Never before had the screams of nightmare been such a public problem; now the wise men almost wished they could forbid sleep in the small hours, that the shrieks of cities might less horribly disturb the pale, pitying moon as it glimmered on green waters gliding under bridges, and old steeples crumbling against a sickly sky." H. P. Lovecraft
Irothtin's Verdict?The Darkness Comes IT WILL DAMN US ALL
Jel's Thoughts This is not exactly an original or thought-provoking piece of art BUT I did find it pretty funny. Nyarko-san constantly rolls out self-aware, irreverent in-jokes at a breakneck pace. In that regard, it reminded me of the dumb but fun humor you'd find in a Disgaea game, just without the game part of course. It's confident in itself and it's audience, although that means it will probably be too weird or obnoxious for anyone else.
Jel's Verdict?For Otaku Eyes Only Nyarko-san is pretty funny if you can tolerate the hyperactive main character and otaku pandering. Still it has the moe incarnation of Nyarlathotep summoning pokemon and kicking a Nightgaunt in the nuts so if that sounds like something you would laugh at, check it out.
Marlin's Thoughts No.
Marlin's Verdict?Just No
Timmy's Thoughts Comedic gags delivered at the speed of light by a hyperactive alien. Reminds me a little of Dokuro-chan but without all the bloodshed.
Timmy's Verdict?A Little Overwhelming It feels like this show is throwing tons of different things at me in quick sucession with the hopes that something sticks. While some references I get and often do garnish a chuckle or two, most of the stuff seems to be flying right over my head. As for Nyarlathotep herself, she somehow manages to for the most part stay pretty entertaining without becoming an annoyance. Probably will keep watching as some of the jokes and visual gags that stick are pretty funny.
Jormungand Manga adaptation animated by White Fox
Premise Arm's dealers in Africa blow shit up for the sake of world peace.
Lifesong's Thoughts So many pretty explosions! The leader of the group seems be a moral compass of sorts for her band of mercenaries who are all very loyal to her. This show reminds me a lot of Black Lagoon right down to throwing morality around like a rag doll. The moral deal is the real kicker here, I imagine a few people might be up in arms over it. As for me?
Lifesong's Verdict?BOOM! Head Shot I find the action stunning and moral pondering interesting enough to want to invest more time into this and see where it goes. If nothing else the explosions sure are pretty.
Gee-Man's Thoughts The premise is like something right out of Black Lagoon. Koko is a bipolar mildly insane arms dealer leading her nine bloodthirsty and equally mildly insane mercenaries in their quest to sell guns and…bring world peace? Whatever, I’m still not exactly sure where the plot is going, but I can’t help but love a show that throws the moral compass out the window in favor of something more pragmatic. Overall, the impression it gives me is a lighter version of Black Lagoon. I doubt Koko could hold her own against the likes of Balalaika, but she’s delightfully dangerous enough to keep things interesting all the same.
Gee-Man's Verdict?Her Name Is Koko! She Is Loco! I keep bringing up Black Lagoon, but the comparisons aren’t exactly perfect. It seems like Jormungand is definitely going for a (slightly) lighter tone than the cynical nihilism of Black Lagoon. Throw in some entertaining gun fights and a rather…unique main character and we have a show that’s worth checking out if it keeps things interesting. If nothing else, it introduces a heroine that definitely falls outside of the norm of most anime. I look forward to seeing her and her motley crew mess up anyone that gets in their way.
Marlin's Thoughts This is the grittiest show I’ve seen in a long time. It pulls no punches on the nature of the arms industry or the use of child soldiers and mercinaries. The slapstick moments like when Koko was sleepwalking around were really jarring, but the rest of the episode had some pretty good action. I can’t think of many shows outside of a few crime dramas that have kids murdering other people, and I respect how it seems to respect how wrong it is.
Marlin's Verdict?Worth A Look I’m sure not everyone’s gonna love this show, but I find its premise intriguing and I’m definitely going to see where it goes from here.
Irothtin's Thoughts "HEY GUYS REMEMBER BLACK LAGOON THAT WAS COOL RIGHT"
Irothtin's Verdict?Gun Action If you liked Black Lagoon you'll probably like this, since it's pretty much the same thing but more anime.
Premise An alien with a telepathic fish, the Prince of Fishing and some ordinary kid who transfers school's a lot meet, become friends, and just might save the world.
Jel's Thoughts Having watched this immediately after its noitaminA block mate Kids On the Slope, I couldn't help but notice the thematic similarities. They both seem to be taking the social outcasts united by (insert hobby) route. But while that show seems like it will go a heavier, more dramatic route, Tsuritama plays its lighter, quirky counterpart. Maybe quirky isn't strong enough a word; things do get kind of weird and at times downright surreal. The look of the series has the stamp of artist (and Cencoroll creator) Atsuya Uki all over it, and I'm rather impressed seeing what he's capable of with a full staff behind him. Oh, and for my money, OP OF THE YEAR.
Jel's Verdict?Critical Darling While I think there will be a definite audience for something more straightforward like Kids On the Slope, Tsuritama seems a just a little too odd for mainstream acceptance. Still, it pushes all the right buttons to my artsy side and has potential to be something special. I could see it being a cult favorite in the same line as last year's Penguindrum although it seems to lack that series' flair for the dramatic. Either way I'm down for more.
Lifesong's Thoughts The "alien" has a water gun that can make people do as he pleases, I want one. This show.. first off I enjoyed it but damn is it strange. I know some people have issues making friends but maybe because I was home schooled the whole I transferred schools things and can't make friends thing just doesn't do anything for me. That said this show has a certain charm that is hard to put my finger on.
Lifesong's Verdict?Telepathic Fish! Want a verdict that means something? Sorry wrong anime, this thing is full of nonsense but still manages to be fun regardless. Since it's so strange I'm not really sure where it will be going but I think I will tag a long for the ride, if nothing else the WTF factor should keep me amused for a few more episodes.
Marlin's Thoughts Well, this show was confusing. I love the art style for this show, and I like how upbeat it is so far. I hope it continues its laid back style, as it really has me hooked.
Marlin's Verdict?Watch It To Wind Down For those of you who need to wind down but unlike me do not want to watch the Adventures of Introverted Konata will definitely want to check this show out.
Irothtin's Thoughts Something about fishing and aliens I guess?
Irothtin's Verdict????? I don't really like surrealism. Check it out for yourself.
Dragonzigg's Thoughts Anybody who knows me knows I like my anime weird, and boy, we've got a weird one here. Fishing, aliens, anxiety issues - it sounds like it should be a huge mess. Luckily though, the show knows how to parlay this into something worth watching, and the result is a series that looks to be trading on its wonderfully kooky charm. From the lush blue sea and sky landscapes, the energetically silly voice acting and the gentle lulling harmonica and banjo soundtrack, this is a slow, relaxing delight to watch. Utter space cadet (and the alleged alien) Haru is particularly fun, his goofy joy being utterly infectious. It remains to be seen if it can go anywhere with substance, but its charm and verve are enough to carry it for me.
Dragonzigg's Verdict?Catch Of The Day It's like fishing; a little slow, not for everyone and you have to be kind of weird to like it. But I do
Eureka Seven AO Original story that is being adapted into both manga and an anime by BONES.
Premise A young boy living on a small island suddenly finds himself in the middle of an attack on his home by Scub Coral. When a mysterious organization attacks the coral he activates a giant robot.
Lifesong's Thoughts The original Eureka 7 is one of my all time favorite anime. This first episode of Ao feels very much the same while changing up the formula just enough to be interesting. I am okay with that, I came for Eureka 7 and I got Eureka 7. I am a little confused as to which continuity this ties into if it is the movie or the original series but I think I will be okay with either.
On another note Bones pulled out the A Team for this one, Eureka 7 is easily the most gorgeous anime this season, in a season with some pretty anime I might add.
Lifesong's Verdict?Gorgeous So hey not too much is explained yet but Bones did what they do best here and went all out on making sure this show looked and felt fantastic, I am hyped.
Gee-Man's Thoughts The original Eureka Seven was one of my favorite anime in the past decade. AO so far seems to be playing itself relatively similar to its predecessor, but there are enough changes to keep things interesting. Still, just like Eureka Seven’s beginning, AO introduces quite a few characters with relatively little explanation. However, the buildup in this episode looks like it’ll pay off. Based on the preview of the next episode, it looks like we’ll get our true return to Eureka Seven soon. And just like its predecessor, AO is stunning to look at. If Lupin the third is the most stylish anime this season, AO is one of the best looking from a technical standpoint. True to Bones tradition, it looks great, moves great, and is full of life.
Gee-Man's Verdict?(Hopefully) The Sequel You Desire I won’t say this is the thing we’ve all been waiting for. The original Eureka Seven had one of the slowest buildups I’d ever seen in an original anime and I fear AO may do the same. That said, the potential is there for it to be just as great. If nothing else, AO is yet another showcase of Bones’ top notch animation. It truly is gorgeous.
Marlin's Thoughts It really has been too long since I last saw Eureka 7. Watching this episode, terminology that would probably have made perfect sense to me was confusing as I’d simply forgotten what it meant. I like the characters so far, with the descendant of Renton and Eureka having the same effect on me as his predecessors did. I do wonder if this means I will need to re-watch all of the original series though, because it didn’t seem like the old references are going to be explained with any great detail anytime soon.
Marlin's Verdict?Refresh Yourself First That’s really the only advice I can give at this time. It looks like it had promise the same way E7 did. At this point its hard to see whether or not it truly will be great, but I say it’s at least worth following so far.
Dragonzigg's Thoughts The original Eureka Seven is one of my favorite shows of all time, so it's understandable that I approached this sequel with some trepidation. Whether that's founded or not we shall see, but this first episode certainly does a good job of drawing in those new to the franchise. From the opening shots of a devastated city to the later attacks/appearances by weird scrub coral it's clear this is a very different beast from its predecessor. Lead character Ao seems a touch on the surly side, but there's plenty of interest to be had from the tantalizing bits and pieces of plot we're allowed to glimpse, while longtime fans such as myself will be happy with some intriguing possible links to the original show. Indeed, trying to work exactly where in continuity we are has been a lot of fun so far. And as ever for a Bones production it looks stunning, one area in which its already surpassed its (also very pretty) predecessor.
Dragonzigg's Verdict?Learn to Fly It's a promising start, but Ao will need to carve out its own identity in the next couple of episodes. Once we get airborne we'll see if its a worth heir to the Eureka name.
Premise Set it the late 1960's a kid transfers to a new school and discovers friendship, jazz and a new outlook on life.
Jel's Thoughts I'm not a fan of Jazz, but as someone who has dabbled in making music this really struck a chord (pun intended!) with me. They did a great job capturing that feeling when you first discover your desire to play music with others. It's something that's hard for me to describe in words, but I really got the impression whoever wrote this had been there before.
Beyond the music, who doesn't love a good social outcast story, perhaps with a dash of romance? It helps too that the show looks gorgeous. In my opinion, the beautifully mundane presentation of 1966 Kyushu stands out just as much this season as the ultra-stylized free-flowing visuals of Lupin. If I were to make one small criticism I'd say there some of the casting for the voice acting seemed a little out of place, but I got used to that pretty quick.
Jel's Verdict?Gateway Drug This has all the makings of a series that will be shunned in Japan only to find success abroad, right down to the jazzy soundtrack composed by Yoko Kanno. Even Sentai Filmworks (who recently licensed it) seems keen on this, announcing a Bluray and DVD release even though the series has just begun. Personally I already know a few of my non-anime-fan friends I would show this to. Let's just hope it lives up to its potential.
Lifesong's Thoughts I expected to like this more than I did, the first episode felt slow to me while it went about showing us how pathetic this main character is and how bad he is at dealing with people. The support casting are great but our lead just felt like a real drag. That was of course the point but I still felt bored because of it.
Lifesong's Verdict?Potential Cult Hit I was bored through most of this episode but I still want to watch more so I certainly can't call it bad. The supporting cast really helped to pull me in. I think that a few episodes from now I will be in head over heals with this anime, but right now? I could easily drop this and never look back.
Gee-Man's Thoughts For those familiar with Shinichiro Watanabe and his legendary works Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, Kids on the Slope already had a lot of interest generated before it even aired. I suppose I should get this out of the way, Kids on the Slope is an adaptation of a preexisting manga and if you’re expecting something like Bebop or Champloo, you won’t find it here. That said, the show managed to grab me nigh instantly with its down to earth storytelling and interesting characters. Within the first episode, we already have the dichotomy set up between our antisocial main character and the brash jazz-loving classmate who sits behind him. Watanabe ear for music shows and while only glimpses and murmurs of the anime’s jazzy potential are heard, one can tell there’s going to be some good music showing up in this show.
Gee-Man's Verdict?One To Both Watch And Listen To Kids on the Slope is a distinct departure from Watanabe’s past directed pieces, but it still retains his distinct fondness for music as well as introducing us to a cast that is both relatable and engaging at the same time. I won’t deny it; I’m a huge Jazz fan so anything that features Art Blakey’s jazz masterpiece Moanin’ is going to win me over instantly. Regardless, the potential groundwork has already been laid within the first episode; it’ll be exciting to see where things go from here.
Marlin's Thoughts This show came out with a lot of hype, but I have to say it’s answered it pretty well. I really enjoy jazz music, second only to my love of the great Romanticist works that preceded it. The first episode did a real good job establishing our three mains and I love how the music works so well to show someone struggling to learn how to play.
Marlin's Verdict?Platinum Record Everything about this show is gelling really well so far. You have realistic characters, an interesting setting, and Yoko Kanno making the score. What more could you want?
Irothtin's Thoughts Transfer student has vertigo, becomes friends with a delinquent, and they play jazz.
Irothtin's Verdict?Alright Good music, I guess. The premise isn't interesting enough for me to actively keep watching though.
Dragonzigg's Thoughts There's a lot to like about this. The smart, old-school style character designs, the strong animation, the cool soundtrack and the unique premise. Having siad that, this left me a little cold, and I'm not entirely sure why. It might be because we've seen this basic set up done quite a bit before (albiet not with jazz music) - shy oner finds the class bully actually has a soft side, teams up with him. I'm not particularly digging lead character Kaoru either - he's a little mopey, and his anxiety issues might have come across a little better if Tsuritama hadn't already played that card to great comedy effect. But class rep Ritsuko is a warm and affecting foil, and I would heavily bet that this is a show that will get considerably better as the characters are fleshed out.
Dragonzigg's Verdict?Low Key ...but all the better for it. Might take a little while to wind up, but already there's flashes of great character and style.
Shining Hearts: Bread of Happiness Roll playing game adaptation animated by Production IG
Premise A man who lives in a shored ship works with 3 beautiful girls baking bread. Shining Hearts is based off an RPG of some form so unless this is Recettear the anime something else must happen.
Lifesong's Thoughts This man has it made, 3 cute girls a job selling bread that everyone in town seems to love and just a generally happy life. Something must go wrong but I liked the way this show kicks off on a happy note, if I didn't know better I would call this slice of life as it did a good job of capturing that slice of life feeling, for me anyway.
It's kind of surreal seeing Tony Taka characters walking around that I have seen in figure form many times before being a collector and all myself. I am a fan of his artwork so that part really appeals to me.
Lifesong's Verdict?Hungry Perhaps this reflects badly on my taste but I enjoyed this anime full of cute girls and bread more than either of this season's notaminA shows. I suspect the slice of life feel must change a bit as things continue but I am okay with that if it means getting to see more of Tony Taka's girls in motion. I can't really recommend this without warning you of what you are getting yourself into, that said I am pretty excited for this show personally.
Jel's Thoughts I have watched much worse shows this season but something about this episode's unabashed happiness just grated on my soul. This being an RPG adaptation I imagine there will be some kind of conflict in the future, but none of it is present at the start. I had no idea who these people were or why I should care about them, other than they are cute and bake really good bread.
Jel's Verdict?Lost in Adaptation I have a feeling this would have worked better in the game since I could have kept playing until something actually happened. But as it stands now, no amount of pretty Tony Taka character designs will keep me watching this.
Irothtin's Thoughts Hey, remember the first couple games of the Shining series? Shining Force, Shining Force 2? Those were pretty cool games. Their plots weren't amazing, but they didn't need to be in the early 90s. They were fun. And you had werewolves, dragons, moles in steampunk armor, giant jellyfish, centaurs, mini-kaiju, old men with flying machines, robots, and ninja rats in your party. It was pretty awesome.
Now we get anime about pretty ladies baking bread.
Irothtin's Verdict?Stale Maybe I'm just way too crusty, but I did not enjoy this.
Marlin's Thoughts Well. This is the third craziest baking show I have ever heard of. I don’t know if that says more about this show or about Japan, but it didn’t do that much for me. I don’t quite understand the premise, as it seems like a strange slice of life show in a medieval bakery but then there’s elves talking about the moon and I was totally lost.
Marlin's Verdict?Bipolar The beginning has such a different feel to the end that I really had no idea what was going on. I don’t plan on finding out either, I recommend glossing this one over.
Timmy's Thoughts Admittedly the only thing I knew about the Shining series going into to this show as all the awesome character designs and the great figures crafted from them, many of which are carrying weapons of some sort. So the last thing I really expected this show to be about is making bread. Where the hell are the weapons? Ok, now that I look a little closer, many of the Shining Hearts figures don't have weapons. Hell, one of them even has bread. I should have expected this.
Timmy's Verdict?An Anime About Cute Girls Crafting Bread The show may be cooking up other things, the girls mentioned they did have weapons after all, but in the mean time what you see is what you get. Everything is also quite easy on the eyes, with most of the character designs looking great and the artwork generally pretty. For the time being I plan to stick with this one and see where it goes as at the very least it is 100 times better then Yumeiro Patissiere. God, that show was horrible.
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