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13 of 13 episodes seen
So, the premise is sort of typical for the franchise. Some demons invade the word and some teenagers fight them with their own demons. The problem is that despite the apocalyptic set up, nothing seems to make sense or feels important enough for you to care. You are just thrown into this mess and no real hooks exist for you to give a damn. I mean the main three characters look so dull and typical. As retarded as that other show with cell-phones and future predictions was, Future Diary had a very wimpy boy and a very psychotic girl; extreme enough for you to notice them. Plus you had a freaking god giving them a clear picture of what they have to do right away. This doesn’t happen in DS2 since it has bland main characters and the premise is not anything special or even clear.
Another problem is the action part. It is so simple and boring to the point you again don’t give a damn. They just summon random monsters to fight each other and after a couple of energy attacks it is all over. P4 had similar battles but even there the choreography was more colorful, the bosses were relevant to the main characters, and the characters themselves were funny enough for you to care. Over here you feel nothing, even if the demons kill people by the hundreds in each battle. Who are these people for you to care? Who are these mass-produced identical demons with no relation to the main characters? So what if hell takes over Earth?
Another thing which annoyed me are the cell phones. In this setting they are gateways to hell and all demons invade with portals created by them, or in other cases computers with access to the net. The heroes just press buttons on them and POP appears a monster to fight for them. They can do that as many times as they can and then they expect you to think it is hard or taxing. I mean, ok, in the game you have magic point consumption but the show doesn’t show that and all you get is a bunch of cardboards saving the world by playing videogame applications on their cell phones. GAH WHAT’S UP WITH ALL THE VIDEOGAME SHOWS? When I was a kid you needed to know martial arts or be affected by gamma rays to become strong enough to defend the world. Nowadays it is always about skinny dorks button-mashing consoles. WHERE IS THE FARTING CHALLENGE IN THAT?
The facepalms continue with the obligatory secret organization which is fighting the demons. They have all this super technology and they still are unable to do squat next to three bland gamers. It doesn’t even seem that hard enough to stop them anyways; if the internet is a gateway to hell, then why don’t they simply cut the internet? Or if necessary, the electricity too. Yes, it would throw the world back a few centuries but it is still better to mankind be chopped to little pieces by demons, right? And you know what? It would make a bloody good conflict if that option was available but the corporations or addicted gamers were vertically against cutting the internet or the electricity. WE DON’T GET THAT!
Yet another BS is the artwork itself. Not only the budget is rather low but the character designs are generic and the only thing that stands out is the fan service. Yes, you have demons from hell killing screaming people being less eye-catchy than some random cleavage shots. The main heroine has a huge rack, the videogame has a cosplay mascot girl and the secret organization is run by a half naked slut. JUST BECAUSE! Well if that is the case, then the anime should instead be called Drooling Saliver 2DEEP4U!!!
And even if you somehow endure all the sleep-inducing plot, and the completely uninteresting revelations, you reach to a final showdown where the whole world is basically destroyed and made anew… exactly as it was before. Yup, they took the retarded time reset route where everything is back to normal and the apocalypse is like it never happened. Boy, that sure made the world to realize technology is not to be toyed with. Oh wait, it didn’t since NOBODY REMEMBERS IT!
Meh, what a waste of funds. Atlus, go adapt Persona 2 and make sure to include Hitler. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
… What? What is that you say? Some people liked it? It has lots of cool stuff in it? It’s very entertaining? Oh, that’s right, silly me, I was talking about myself all this time while writing a review that is aimed at everybody; I should take both ends of the spectrum if I am supposed to be objective. Even though objectivity does not exist. Anyways, let’s go over the several amazing traits of this show which apparently managed to mesmerize thousands of people.
1) The manga is good.
Well, I guess that is good for the manga. This though is a review about the anime, so it doesn’t really manage to prove anything to its favor, especially when they omitted a lot of scenes during the adaptation.
2) The premise is interesting.
You don’t say; the premise is interesting, let’s give it an 11/10 then. And here I thought you are supposed to DO something with it, aside from making it interesting. Wait, what is the premise again? Mankind is prevented from traveling through the seas because magical evil girls which turn to battleships are shooting at them. Since Japan is an island nation, they are trapped there, until a bunch of teenagers with hax powers save the day. Well, that’s interesting if you are still 10yo I guess. If you aren’t, well, it’s completely retarded. Not to mention, a rehash of Attack On Titan, which aired a few months prior to this, so it can’t even be considered an uncommon premise. Furthermore, we get so little exploration of the setting the story takes place in, that it doesn’t even manage to excuse its silliness. A ton of technobabble may have made the whole concept of magic girl battleships more plausible, and it turn would allow better immersion to whatever else there is in it. And nope, there isn’t any. Instead of that you get lots of badly fitting comedy and fan service, which makes impossible to take seriously a story about humanity being annihilated by doomsday devises. So no, besides a couple of interesting ideas, you get nothing else.
3) The battles are tactical.
They sort of are. They don’t simply use raw force but occasionally head for stealth and deception. But then you realize only the lead ship, controlled by a cooldere schoolgirl, is the only magically powerful enough to defeat the other evil ships, which are controlled by stereotypical girls of all fetishes. You know, that sort of renders everybody else in the world useless. Tactics mean nothing if they are used only by a handful of people and work only against a handful of girly personifications of battleships. Or do you think any of these strategies have any effect if they are used by a normal ship? Without a universal usage, you are left watching hax superpowers versus other hax superpowers with the illusion of brain power thrown in. Sort of how Code Geass is plain retarded and just pretends it is smart and full of tactics. And of course let’s not forget how bad the CGI looks, which makes the battles even harder to like.
4) The characters have internal struggles.
Yes, both the human military and the evil battleship waifus occasionally argue and are concerned with one another. Because humans are afraid the good battleship waifu may turn against them since it can easily beat them all, while the evil waifus have a thing called personality, which makes them not following their programming all the time. That manages to make the cast 2-dimensional at times. Emphasis on “at times” since they follow the stereotypes pretty close and even their supposed development is predictable. It’s not like they are gray, or complicating, or something more than just not autistic to their surroundings. This detail is hardly enough to make them worthy to remember, especially when there is very little character development to back it up. Heck, the evil waifus get more development than the main crew, which remains as a barely explored bunch of teenagers throughout the series. You have a main character who boasts being super smart, and a main heroine who is an emotionless girl battleship, and that is pretty much all you get. The rest of the human characters get even less to remember them for. So yes, the villains get the entire spotlight, and even then it is hard to like them when the show treats them as sluts in need of a psychiatrist.
There you have it, a show which did everything wrong and ends up being bad. Have fun not watching it. read more
22 of 22 episodes seen
Set in the Noitamina timeslot, you of course need to expect the characters to feel sort of feminine, since it is aiming at middle aged women who prefer things to be easy going, regardless of how post apocalyptic the stories may be. Right off the bat, don’t expect excitement of the sort of Hollywood action flicks, nor expect manly brutes.
The biggest quirk this show has is its several genre shifts. It will constantly be switching from normal, to superhero campiness, and then back to a normal world. The reason for that is because the protagonist really wanted to be a superhero, and because there were no supernatural stuff in the world, God created them for him. And that is the explanation you get in the end of the show, and I have to spoil it for you if you don’t want to drop the show because of the genre shifts. For you see, when the show began everybody thought it would be a realistic take on how heroes would look in a typical world. Of course and it is embarrassing to have a guy dressing like a clown and going around preaching to people how to behave properly as if they are still in the kindergarten, and of course most wouldn’t take him seriously and try to kick his ass. Of course and the media or the police would try to unmask and ridicule him as a troublemaker. All that felt at place in the first episodes and you were made to think that, well, it may not be exciting but at least it is trying to depict how ridiculous it looks to try bringing lame idealism in a cynical world.
But when gorillas with guillotines in their bellies started appearing (aka Gorillatine), most of the audience was very confused. Many dropped it because it became ridiculous and others thought the whole thing was either special effects or the protagonist dreaming the whole thing. THERE IS NO WAY SUCH WEIRD STUFF CAN HAPPEN IN THIS SETTING. Well, turns out there can happen if God said so. Thus the ultimate deus ex machina is supposed to excuse your discomfort of having a realistic setting turning to Disneyland. As long as you can bear with it, you will like the show for the silly nonsense it is.
As for me? Well, I like exciting shows and this one never was. It remains all the way as nothing more than a light comedy about a zero turning to hero casually fending off gradually more ridiculously powerful enemies that popped into existence because God said so. Also, if you are waiting to see another Sunred or One Punch, or Kickass you won’t get that either. The daily lives of our heroes are filled with lots of silly moments one would expect to find in a fluffy shojo romance and not in a dynamic coming of age teen story. And indeed, what most of the viewers were more concerned about was if some of the girls were lesbians, or who was the secret girlfriend of one of the guys. Yeah, talk about being afraid of monsters that are trashing cities if you are wondering that sort of thing.
The way I see it, the show could have ended as a 1 cour mediocre parody of power rangers most would remember as a nice filler anime between better things. But nope, the show decided to head for 2 cour and the only way it for not becoming boring was to keep throwing in more and more absurd things to keep the audience guessing of what could possibly be causing all those supernatural stuff in a typical world. And it was God…
Now you may be wondering why I make such a fuss about the Big Cheese. The reason is, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE if God feels like it. There is nothing to take for granted, all conflicts are rendered useless, and what is worse, the hero didn’t even know he was given a playground for his petty dreams. It’s like he unknowingly almost destroyed the world a dozen times because he was a brat, and nobody was telling him it was his fault. How childish and disgusting is this? How doesn’t that contradict the premise of a show where a superhero wants to protect the world, when he is the one endangering it, and then treat the whole thing as a joke?
Of course there will be those who will try to defend the show as EVERYTHING IS FORESHADOWED and that IT MAKES SENSE in the same way they consider Clannad to be the most realistic anime there ever was. Wish fulfillment doesn’t slide with me and what I mostly care about is excitement and consistency. This show has neither. I would have given it the base score if it remained a plain anime about a normal guy pretending to be superman. But it didn’t, it turned to a farce because God said so. There you go, have another Gorillatine. Now go stalk those lesbians. read more
10 of 10 episodes seen
Kyousougiga could have been a show ranking alongside highly acclaimed titles such as Tatami Galaxy, or Furi Kuri. It had the themes, the budget, the set-up, and the liveliness to achieve greatness.
… And messed it all up.
First things first; the 2013 version is a remake of the older one from the previous year. No reason to watch that one, other than scratching your head with Toei doing 3 versions of the EXACT same thing so close to each other (since there is an even older single episode set in the same universe).
Upon watching THIS version, be prepared to see 90% of the plot in the first episode. I am not kidding; the first episode is basically one huge infodump; introducing a cast of a dozen people, a bizarre setting where pictures can create alternative realities, a world that is like a second feudal Japan where nobody can die or nothing can break, and a bunch of themes that go deep into religion, philosophy, and existentialism. After you are bombarded with a gazillion things happening in a short amount of time, you are just left there wondering what the devil they can do with all that. Because they could do a heck of a lot, expand to anything they like, combine it with everything else, and create a 1000 episode series that is about everything and everyone. And what do they do with it?
… A 10 episode slice of life comedy about a goofy Japanese high school girl breaking stuff with a magic hammer. ARGH!
I am not saying it is not an enjoyable watch. There is a lot of stuff happening in each episode, accompanied by lots of jokes, and motion, and pretty colors, and weird imagery. We get to see how each character feels and acts and how his beliefs affect the world he is living in, a place where nothing changes, everything is perfect, and yet feels boring and sterile. It seems like everybody is looking for someone as means to fill the void in their souls.
… And they do so little with it.
It seems like while everybody REALLY wants to find salvation, they aren’t really looking for it. Each episode shows them being sad and depressed but they are otherwise just fooling around to the most part, taking part in all sorts of silly events and just talk about it. Meaning, they aren’t taking the whole situation seriously and by extension ruin the themes they set up so well in the beginning. Shame, since although it is a fine slice of life comedy, it doesn’t really do much with what it has, and essentially uses the interesting themes as dressing for plotless randomness. Granted, it is way more interesting and memorable thanks to its catchy animation and themes. It has lots of dialogues that offer immersion to the setting and a touch of existentialism pouring through everything. Yet it fails to be something truly amazing in the longrun for not being serious about its own premise. That is what made SE Lain and Haibane Renmei so amazing; the very fact that they weren’t comedies. And if some of you find them boring, well, you are not supposed to be watching them for what they were made to be. Kyousougiga was never made to be a bigshot series; it is sadly nothing more than a nice time waster. Why? Because instead of being about the exploration of interesting themes, it ends up being about a goofy Japanese high school girl breaking stuff with a magic hammer. ARGH! read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Me? Just looking at the premise I knew right away it will be a big failure. I mean, SCHOOLGIRLS IN THE ROLE OF RESCUE RANGERS! How much more obvious could it be to smell the BS from ten miles away? Something about the voice actors being amazing, or that they delayed the creation of this show for a year because of that tsunami that struck Japan, so it has to be great for having all this time to work on it. If you ask me, they should have canceled it the second someone proposed the idea of actually making a show out of this anecdote of a premise.
Oh, but wait, maybe I was just being too biased and the show is actually good! Maybe they actually did something with the premise later on and I was wrong to condemn it immediately! So what if we have schoolgirls instead of properly trained military personnel sent to do these rescue missions? This way we will have far more emotional responses out of them and each mission will be more about survival/horror than just guns blazing.
… Nope, the obvious failure was obvious after all. All these attempts to make the series more “humane” as some hoped it would be, ended up being its undoing. You think there is any other reason than fan service for these girls to be sent in school uniforms and not proper military uniforms?
“Maybe this way the survivors will find them cute and trust them easier than if they were scary looking soldiers.”
… Nope, it was the usual bullshit that plagues modern anime and nothing else.
“Oh come on, there is definitely a lot more going on that this. The girls are not normal! They are immune to radiation, and their skin is very pale, and they are probably part of some sinister human experiment.”
Even if they are, does it even mean anything? All we see them doing is acting completely inappropriately for the mission they have, like typical immature schoolgirls instead of the specially bred and trained super soldiers they are supposed to be. The whole mystery and conspiracy theories are just background noise if all we see is that nonsense. There is absolutely no immersion to the themes of the story. Something about being treated as objects and not as people? Who cares? Not even the girls do; they cry for a few minutes and then forget it and move on before they remember they have to cry again about it. It would be lovely if they were actually doing something about it, but no, it all amounts to ephemeral mood swings. Said mood swings just come out of nowhere and there is no time invested on their doll issue. Even if you get a gasping revelation later on, you just don’t give a damn because you were never made to take anything seriously. And the worst part is how the series is not supposed to be comedy but a sociopolitical drama.
“Well, at least the girls are cute this way and not some uninteresting military brutes. And you must keep in mind how they don’t have radiation-immune adult soldiers yet, and they were forced to send these teenage girls who are at a very sensitive age. It is normal for them to be acting a bit emotional and not following orders.”
Whatever, all I see is inappropriately behaving (and dressed) people sent to the wrong mission. All that fuss about they have no time to send others or that the government is pressuring the military to take action, or that thousands may die if they don’t act now, THEY MEAN NOTHING! I can’t take it seriously! I mean can you imagine a news reporter trying to describe this situation without laughing his ass off? And it’s also supposed to be a serious situation!
Even if you don’t mind the ludicrous plot, you can’t even enjoy it for the characters. Not only is the characterization bare bones, not only you are facepalming with the way the heroines are dressed, not only you are cringing your teeth every time they cry for close to no reason (that is, all the time), but you are also left with essentially ONE girl doing all the work, while the other two are just crying in a corner, or eat rice cakes and comment on how pretty the lake looks. There aren’t even any other interesting secondary characters to take notice; most disappear after a single episode. Throw in some plot twists that make no sense, such as creating rescue rangers out of clones of psychotic mass murderers, and huge mecha hiding inside a city. Why did they throw such thing in there? Because it would make things more interesting, and not because it makes sense whatsoever. And as always YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO TAKE ALL THAT SERIOUSLY!
Well, I can’t. I couldn’t do it ever since I saw the entry picture and red the synopsis of the story. And so should anyone who even attempts to watch it. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The premise is about a young man who is looking for the killer of his family. In this setting, it is common for scientists to create automatons to control in battles. Thus, after he creates his own death machine, he learns about the whereabouts of the killer and heads to get his revenge.
I made it sound interesting; didn’t I? It’s all about the way you present it and sadly for the audience the premise is ruined by the usual tropes that light novels are filled with. So allow me to rewrite the above; this time on how it is actually presented.
The premise is about a generic shonen lead whose purpose in life is described in one line. In this setting, it is common for people with random superpowers to create waifus. Thus, after he creates his own sex doll, he enrols in a school and begins to create his harem.
Doesn’t sound so well now; does it? Well that is the harsh reality and if one needs to hope of enjoying this show, he should lower his bar a few centimetres away from the ground. The plot is basically random missions where the lead is showing off his hax superpowers, seduces girls, and then has sex with his doll, which is one of the biggest anime sluts you can ever hope to encounter in a non-hentai title. The damn thing is a nympho and can’t stop craving for more sex with the only person she cares for. Every episode will feature at least 3 scenes where she is naked and rubs herself on the lead, who of course acts like he is about to be murdered. And then there will be at least a couple of more scenes where she is jealous of him talking to other girls and resorting to all sorts of deviant fetishes in order to attract his attention. The show will desperately try to excuse that as a “normal” fascination of a robot towards its creator. Plus all the sex scenes are “supposed” to be about a robot recharging its batteries by plugging into its energy source, which so happens to be its creator. And we are supposed to actually believe that...
So as you can imagine there is very little time left to actually offer some sort of plot other than softporn nonsense. The whole revenge business is just an excuse for the lead to be doing something other than orgies with super hot babes who fall for his boring personality. There are for example some side stories where one of the girls has a very heavy duty to fulfil, or her pet dragon is accused of being a savage beast. They are supposed to build drama and tension but good luck doing that when they are kicked to the side every 3 minutes for some overdone ecchi scene you can find in any harem show out there. Hell, even the guy the lead want to kill, the part which is supposed to be the most serious one, is controlling several automatons, and they are all (SURPRISE) also sex dolls.
Not that it would make much difference in saving this wreck of a series, but even the production values are that good. The animation is done by a minor studio which seems to like erasing outlines to the point shapes seem to blur and tire the average eye. The colouring of the skins seems to be too pink or brown and with the simplistic look everybody is drawn you end up looking at a bunch of shapes that are supposed to make up a human being. And no, that is hardly artistic or appealing. As for the music, it is barely something you will care to pay attention to.
So there you go, yet another show that is just forgettable fan service instead of ... you know, something worth of your time? Perhaps a story about revenge and existentialism regarding the value of human lives in a world where people can be manufactured? Straight up hentai? A dating simulation? Anything besides this wreck. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
And now that we clarified the different types of viewers this show creates, let’s proceed to what it really is. It is a zany action comedy about fighting teenagers. Yes, later on they try to make it seem like it’s a lot more by throwing in a convoluted conspiracy about clothes eating up humanity because aliens and shit, but it all boils down to neurotic teenagers yelling and beating the crap out of each other. Yes, it does have a plot that escalates from a simple revenge story to a war for the salvation of the planet but it happens in such a random way that you are better off not paying attention to how things move from point A to point B. The heroine, Matoi, can pretty much level any opponent past the school president since episode 1 and after episode 3 feels like the she forgets her revenge issues and just goes to school like nothing much happens, while her nemesis is not destroying her right away just so to stretch the series to 2 cour. And lots of other similar stuff like that happen later on.
But who cares about that; in terms of style Kill La Kill (KLK) is pretty much eyegasm for retro fans, as it offers a tribute to several dozen titles from earlier decades. The animation is fairly jerky to the most part but stuff will be moving around so fast, you won’t really mind that after awhile. It will keep your eyes constantly wide open, and your willies constantly hard and upwards, and that is more than enough to keep a big portion of the audience entertained.
Of course as good as it is as dumb entertainment, it is equally bad as a well written story with deep characters. You are not going to be watching it for any deep thinking; unless you are one of those overthinkers out there who will be writing a wall of text for every bouncing pair of hOOters being some sort of pro-feminism message. And as much as the show attempts to foreshadow major events in a lazy attempt to make you think it knows what is doing, when the gloves come off it all comes down to “I win because I said so”. Which is no surprise coming from the same creator as Furi Kuri, Tengen Toppa, and Panty & Stocking. Compared to those KLK shares the same zany style and has the highest amounts of entertainment, but is also the most barren in content and planning. Also the nudity is so omnipresent that it will either make you disgusted early on, or eventually give you immunity to it. Which in a way is double lose for me, since it is also supposed to be its main theme and gets treated like a joke that gets tiresome after awhile.
What the show manages to achieve is being the most entertaining fighting chicks anime I know of. And I know all of them (most famous being Cutey Honey, Ikki Tousen, Queen’s Blade, and Freezing). In terms of campy fun it also has nothing to be jealous of famous live-action movies such as Kill Bill or Sucker Punch, thus it manages to be a sort of cult classic overshadowing most of the earlier competitors almost instantly. Which is not a small feat I must say.
It isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the word and it definitely didn’t save anime, like most yell while chuckling. It is not for everyone, since lots of its content is plain bizarre and gross to non-fans, while its nudity is too much even for many who already are fans. It is just silly fun and should not be viewed as anything more past that.
There is nothing left besides some fairly simplistic (just like the show is) scoring system.
Art/Sound: 8/10 (good artwork, but jerky animation; good dynamic songs but not amazing to relisten to every so often)
Script/Cast: 4/10 (stuff happen because you yell a lot, character growth is hampered by random twists)
Value: 8/10 (easily memorable and rewatchable, but still the worst of Imaishi’s works to date
Entertainment: 6/10 (depends on how much you are content with brain dead action and fan service; I personally, am not that much)
Overall: 6.5/10 read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
Many say that a show should be judged based only on its own merits and not how it compares with others of its kind. Nothing can be more far away from this concept that Log Horizon, which will forever be compared to Sword Art Online.
So yeah, here we are again with a premise where people are trapped in a videogame. Only this time, death is not permanent, since you will just respawn in the nearest temple. You know right away it is not a grave issue, like SAO pretended it was before throwing in tentacle fan service. It is light conflict where the trapped players just try to get along, many of which don’t do that and just loot and pseudo-kill others for fun. Here is where our main heroes come in to save the day because… erm, because they are good people. Yeah, that is the whole conflict, some guys who are bored and do nasty thingies with no real repercussions, and some other guys who try to stop them because they have nothing better to do. That’s all there is to it, really. They try to make it seem more intriguing at points by mentioning how you lose some of your memories every time you resurrect, or how the NPCs actually have personality and are not drones. Despite those attempts, it still remains a comical and light fantasy adventure all the way.
The story is based on light novels by Touno Mamare, the guy who also wrote Maoyuu Maou Yuusa. He never tries to create a serious story, and loves to make parodies out of stereotypes. Despite the light approach, he still manages to have better characterization and immersion than SAO, since over there it was just some generic super perfect dude doing everything, while being surrounded by people who can’t do anything without his divine presence. Over here, you get teams of players, each one having a certain role in battles. Nobody can solo armies and big bosses like that asshole Kirito could; over here you need teamwork and coordination to win. Thus it offers a much better feeling of what MMO battles really are like.
Of course lots of things are still quite off in terms of realism. Many of the players don’t seem to know very fundamental powers even if they are at maximum level. Yes, you heard right, the main players are at max level since episode 1 and just raise their secondary classes, which have no real impact in their happy-go-lucky adventures. Thus nobody can be stronger than them in terms of statistics and it all boils down to strategies and teamwork. And since the heroes happen to excel in those elements, they are basically flawless and you are just watching them casually showing of their mental superiority as they overcome with ease all challenges. So all the fancy terminology they use during action scenes is just there to confirm their status as the picture perfect super team. Again, not exciting, but at least it is about brains over brawns. And they sure don’t try to make it seem like equipment or items play any role, since nobody seems to wear something that gives him extra durability, or does spells that the others even heard of.
Exposition is by far the weakest aspect of an already weak story, since everything is explained exactly when it happens, a thing which makes it sloppy. For example, they explain the game terminology in the middle of the battle, as if there is no other way to let the audience understand without rubbing it to their faces. Opponents and on-lookers will be stand still while the heroes are infodumping the hell out of everything, even for things everybody should have known in-series. It looks ridiculous when you see how all the strategies they use in battles are based on skills and spells the audience never heard of up until that moment. It does make sense after they explain it to you but it is by no stretch of the word smart; it feels like the author is just making them up as he goes along based on what the plot demands.
The characters are just ok for the type of style this show goes for, but are not deep or complicating in any way. They are easily defined by a few quirks and a simple mentality, which is usually there just for laughs. Thus we have the assassin chick acting like a slave to a bookworm mage, who is friends with a pervert paladin (talk about acting out-of-character). Any attempts the setting does in order to present a world where anarchy rules and people do stuff out of boredom is rendered useless when you see how nobody seems to care much about whatever happens. They act scared when someone is looting or killing them but that means absolutely nothing if you can’t really die or you just lose a few trinkets. They are all still defined by very well-established archetypes and fetishes, so you never feel like they are real people. They are fairly cartoony and goofy, lack backdrop stories or long term objectives to offer some openings for character development, and take it too easy considering their situation. So they might seem cool and funny at first, but down to it are very shallow and easily forgettable.
The one aspect SAO beats it at, but then again if you are watching a show just for the visuals and music, you really don’t care about what the show is all about. Not that they are bad; they are just ok, nothing fancy, better than most of whatever a small studio like Satelight can offer. It’s enough to get a good feel of a virtual fantasy setting but you are never going to be mesmerized.
It will never have the sales or popularity of SAO, just because it is easy going and without awesome production values. It will still be remembered as a better version of SAO, since it did a far better job at showing how online communities work, and how social skills and strategies are more important than grinding monsters out of screen, and then having time skips every 20 minutes just for the heck of it. I can even say how we were all expecting it to be a SAO clone instead of being hyped to the moon, and thus when we go to see something better fleshed out with less expectations, it ended up being an overall better experience. Log Horizon does not betray you, since it remains the same as what it shows you in the first episode. It doesn’t promise you to be a scary action survival before soon turning to a harem with tentacles, rape, and incest like SAO did. That is something quite respectable. Although it still isn’t exciting, so unless you are in for the comedy and the gaming terminology you will get bored of it very soon. I still consider the best of “trapped in a videogame” anime to be Hack//sign for down to it NOT being about videogames but rather about isolation and a critique on escapism through a fake persona. It might not have been funny or exciting, but it was serious and moody throughout its run. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
… And that is literally all there is to it. It is one of those slow burner shows of the likes of Cashern Sins or Kino’s Journey where the atmosphere is more important than plot or characters. And for the same reason it is quite boring too if you expect action, suspense, or shocking revelations. It is also quite retarded if you try to make sense of it.
At least the atmosphere part is done right, as it makes good use of the premise and it’s not there as background decoration, like some shitty Dog Days variant. Most of the plot is dedicated to showing you how people are trying to cope with this new way of life (or should I call it unlife?). It also does that by having a balance between sad and cheery; meaning, not depressing and inhumane like Technolyze nor goofy and trashy like Neptunia. It stays true to its gloomy premise and makes everything to feel sad and even elegiac in a way without resorting to the overused goth fad we had a few years ago. Forget that macabre style of Nightmare before Christmass everybody was ripping off for almost a decade. It actually looks quite bright and colorful with the only indication something is off being the moody background music and the dull way everybody acts or lives. It even does a good job at keeping you wondering what is going on with this whole “God has left the building” issue as means to keep watching.
Aside from the atmosphere though everything else is barebones. The characters lack any real charisma and pass as too obvious plot devises to care about. They are also contradicting themselves every 5 minutes. It is also questionable if you can even tolerate Ai for more than 10 minutes, since she is yet another oblivious loli that is occasionally presented as a fetish for pervs.
As for the mystery part, the show is only 13 episodes and most of it is spent traveling to different places and meeting different people instead of focusing on fleshing out the main characters. That may feel like placing a lot of focus on world-building but only manages to leave the cast as empty shells and the setting as random ideas with no continuity. Meaning, there is nobody at the epicenter from which we can see the world. Ai has barely any personality that goes beyond that of a stupid girl going alone in dark alleys full of crooks. She is not worthy to cheer for and worths not even SE Lain’s pinky finger. The rest of the characters don’t even represent some ideal or mentality, since they change their perspective on live completely every 5 minutes. You can find several scenes per episode where a character says one thing, only to contradict it a few minutes later. Even the mystery which seems so strong at first fades away fast when you realize nothing is making sense.
What gives the gravediggers the power to kill the undead?
It can’t be God, that’s for sure, and there is no other reason given. “Ah, but they will explain it later” one may say but even then that means you are supposed to believe anything they tell you. If the whole setting is a mystery and you are supposed to gradually learn about it, you have no other source of information past what the characters are telling you. And they are almost deliberately contradicting themselves as means to confuse you and by the end of the episode not really telling you anything. Here are a few examples:
Ai: I am a gravedigger. Actually, I am not. Actually, I am a hybrid. Actually, I am too one of a kind to explain what I am, so just take it as granted. Humphrey killed all my friends and beats me up all the time. I guess he is my new best friend. Let’s have fun together.
Humphrey: I can’t die. Oh, now I can. Gravediggers are emotionless robots. But Ai’s mother was a kind woman. And she was also a gravedigger. And gravediggers can’t have babies. But she could. I want to kill Ai. No, I just want to beat her up. No, I just want to give her a piggy ride and do silly comedic stuff with her 5 minutes after I killed all her friends and family.
Yuri: I want revenge. Actually, I want to die. Actually, I am fine and don’t want revenge or to die, so let’s travel the world together.
The above mood swings don’t happen gradually throughout the show. They happen within the SAME episode. How can the viewer be interested in a mysterious setting that is changing every 5 minutes? There is no truth to look forward to if they are constantly trolling you like that. There is nothing to accept as granted and no time is invested on something for you to care about. And even if you manage to make sense of it all in the end, there will be no reason to wanna revisit such a series that is mostly trying to fool you with red herrings and fake claims. It is essentially making you feel like an idiot and it’s a very good example of bad storytelling. Also it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the answer to most of the mystery is Ai herself since she was born special; so again I am not made to feel I should care about the revelation if it has to do with a sexualized plot devise.
The show is not even being subtle about its topics to the point it trashes them, despite the good balance in atmosphere. It does not try to integrate the everyday lives of its main characters to the main conflict; since they are always on the move and their goal is to basically kill any undead they meet instead of using them as means to offer a steady way to learn about the world. And the themes are way too heavy and edgy, as they have to do with rotting corpses and occasionally mutilation while occasionally switching to Ai doing some moe-moe nonsense. This is nowhere near the masterful way Haibane Renmei used to show some really deep themes through basically nothing more than everyday life.
Bottom line: If you want to watch a show with good atmosphere, this one is a good pick. But everything else from characterization, to excitement, to subtlety are quite weak. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
… It was the production values, ok?
AIC is no SHAFT. They can’t throw a mountain of money at it, nor do they have overrated anime creators in their disposal to hype the damn thing six months before it even begins to air. And this is why despite all the good efforts the artwork of Gen’ei doesn’t look very good and the soundtrack is just ok at best. The character designs are practically laughable and the motions during battles are very crude. The action bits that SHOULD feel epic for the build-up they get, end up being nothing but a random line of magic attacks with no real strategy and an excuse for the heroine to use the power of friendship.
Anyways, as a stand-alone show it is not bad but sure becomes sort of repetitive in its plot very soon. Some person is lured to the dark side, turns to monster, does bad things, and the girls are sent to kill it. The theme of how you are willing to do murder in order to fulfill your deepest desires can be interesting but not when it is done in an episodic manner. Every episode is essentially 15 minutes of fuzzy slice of life, followed by 5 minutes of photo-epileptic battles full of gore and death around people we will never see again. It is hard to get attached to any of the characters since every conflict is resolved in the very episode it is created. Also, they resort to that stupid amnesia gimmick where the monsters and the victims of the monsters are erased from everybody’s memories. Their deaths are treated as accidents, which is a cheap way to maintain the status quo but also removes the drama from the setting. And sure, the main characters, the mahou shoujo themselves, remember everything but even they seem to get over it by the next episode.
Once again the main heroine ends up being the most basic and dull of them all, constantly trying to reason with the monsters and save everybody with the power of love and all that crap. It doesn’t work to the most part (thank God) but it still makes you wonder why they even have her in the demon busting team. She constantly refuses to fight, which results to many lives being endangered, hers included. I mean I would understand if they kept her in the sidelines until she gains experience; but moving her from JUST GOT SUPERPOWERS straight to FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE is overkill and helps nobody in the longrun.
I am also not fond of themes that are rubbed in your face, something which all dark mahou shojo do. They end up having depressing stuff along with cute moeblobs in order to manipulate emotions in the most obvious and lazy of methods. In case you have watched Blood C, Black Rock Shooter, or Symphogear, you will recognize that unsettling feeling of the uncanny valley. Now it’s cute. WHAM. Now it’s gory. WHAM. Now it’s loli fan service. And yes, that is too an issue in case you don’t take pleasure in watching naked moeblobs with squirrel voices for a few minutes before blood starts splattering all over the screen.
What I do like a lot though is the attention they gave to slowly explain what is going on. The monsters have motivations, and the magic comes from an explained source, something which beats having no real reason than being evil and having magic. It is also not trolling you to think it is a fluffy show for 3 episodes before it throws in someone important dying. In those departments, it blows Madoka Magica out of the water. The problem still remains though; the drama and conflicts are piss poor and rushed, always resolved with brute force and mind control. Nothing matters past the episode it takes place in.
The show is not bad in overall but lacks tremendously in tension. Despite being dark and violent, you just can’t get into it when they throw lolicon fan service amongst silly drawn characters and expect you to gasp at the tragedies they face before they forget them in 5 minutes. So in the long run it fails to be something actually memorable and poignant. Hell, I can even throw in the fact that Madoka also worked because most had never seen a deconstruction of the genre before, so they were taken by surprise. The same trick will never work with any show that tries to pull the same rabbit out of the same hat so soon. And boy, does this hat look ugly by now. read more