Dec 3, 4:39 AM
Wot I Thought About Wat I Watched: November
Anime Relations: Chobits, Chrno Crusade, Peace Maker Kurogane, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World, Vampire Hunter D (2000), Chobits: Chibits, Chrno Crusade: Az demo Wakaru Chrno Crusade Kouza, Peace Maker Kurogane Special, Girls & Panzer Movie, Manaria Friends, Urara Meirochou, Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism, Hitorijime My Hero, Citrus, Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku, Made in Abyss, Mitsuboshi Colors, Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight, Houseki no Kuni (TV), Just Because!, Boku no Kanojo ga Majimesugiru Sho-bitch na Ken, Gin no Guardian II, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Alice or Alice: Siscon Niisan to Futago no Imouto, Dagashi Kashi 2, Hakumei to Mikochi, Takunomi., Mahou Shoujo Site, Shichisei no Subaru, Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai, 3D Kanojo: Real Girl, Nanatsu no Bitoku, Jashin-chan Dropkick, Release the Spyce, Kemurikusa (TV), Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet, Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, Happy Sugar Life, Akanesasu Shoujo, Yagate Kimi ni Naru, Ueno-san wa Bukiyou, 3D Kanojo: Real Girl 2nd Season, Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru, Jashin-chan Dropkick Episode 12, Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo.
The Silver Guardian 2
It's like one of those OVA's that adapts various points in a long running arc from a manga that they assume you're already caught up on.
Dagashi Kashi 2
Getting kids interested in "old" sweets is neat, I guess. I just wish I found it funny, something even the shorter runtime doesn't help. Doesn't seem like it's a good thing that it gets better when Hotaru leaves town.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
Increasingly goofy crime thriller with some fun characters & lacklustre action. The first four episodes would have made for a good film; but while it's not all downhill from there, it's never as good or interesting.
Death March of the Parallel World Rhapsody
Spice & Lolis. Trapped in the dream of an overworked game designer is a pretty fun idea. Then the slave-harem starts forming & one realises that this isekai takes place in an RPG Maker hentai game. Not that I'd know ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). The dub va's all sound like they're having fun, at least.
Clearly ruffled some feathers; but honestly my biggest problem is that it's "taboo" in the tamest possible sense, like it's there because an editor thought it would spice things up a bit in an otherwise very basic romance story. Indeed, its most watchable parts are when its not indulging in a twelve year old's idea of salaciousness.
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan
Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi! It's a shame OVAs have more or less died out, because shows like Dokuro-chan were best suited to them - too episodic to work as a film; but not enough to it to stretch out into a full length TV series. Four episodes of stupid, violent, pervy comedy is all it needed to be.
Peace Maker Kurogane
Violent, samurai, shoenen action. At its best, like the multi-episode Ikedaya raid, it's chanbara gold. Unfortunately, it never quite pulls off being a typical shoenen story about an annoying kid who wants to get stronger for :reasons: on the one hand; & being a violent period drama that often seems to want to be about the flaws & limits of the samurai ethos on the other.
Dropkick on my Devil
Lame meta-humour aside, it's okay as gory slapstick gag manga anime with a vulgar main character go. It's no Dokuro-chan, though (excaliborg gets a reference) Might have liked it more if the episodes were shorter.
Tatsuki & Yaoyorozu return with another show about cute characters in a strange post-apocalyptic world that deserves better than to be left forgotten on Amazon Video. It isn't quite as endearing as Kemono Friends was; but it's still a solid follow up that hopefully won't be the last.
Magical Girl Site
The most miserable magical misery girls. Reminds me a little bit of Akuma no Riddle but it's more like Akame ga Kill! in that it's fun when fully embracing its stupidity; & a bit boring the rest of the time. The underwhelming production quality also takes the edge off a lot of the violence & "shocking imagery."
Seven Senses of the Re'Union
Yeah, yeah Anohana in SAO & yeah its often lacklustre in execution. But you know what? I liked it. Trapped in its not trapped in a MMO setup is a neat little fantasy-adventure story about kids using videogames to come to terms with their friends death.
Boarding School Juliet
Gets a lot of mileage out of its main duo trying to have a relationship despite external obstacles & it's always nice to hear Hiroshi Kamiya sound like he's having fun. Otherwise, though, it's business as usual for this type of romcom; which means not a whole lot actually happens & its attitude to romance can get rather borishly conservative & macho.
When Marnie Leapt Through Your Evergarden. Pretty bog standard high school drama with a dollop of magic & time travel added as much to distract from as add to the other goings on. It's watchable; but I can't imagine watching it again. Very much one for which you need to take Basil's advice.
Happy Sugar Life
What if Ryu Murakami wrote a high school anime. A darkly comic, violent, thrilling, taboo-ridden psycho(melo)drama that from the first scene makes no secret of what it is & where its story is going. It's not an overlooked masterpiece & clearly isn't for everyone; but I was pretty much hooked from start to finish.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Yoshiaki Kawajiri & some of his pals from Ninja Scrolls return for another fantasy action film with lavish environment & character art, intense action scenes & I guess there's also a plot to stop it just being a series of gorgeous screenshots & gifs.
A wacky, grim, occasionally a bit edgy but otherwise enjoyable series; with gunslinging nuns & Greg Ayres. Its finale is a bit rushed & is bleak even by the standards of the time; but it fits with the show drawing heavily from Christian theology & its exploration of faith, sin & atonement. In other words, there's a lot more to it than you'd expect from a show with an old man who likes looking up teenage nuns habits
Rise of the Planet of the Persocoms. There are good reasons that Chobits is still remembered when so many ecchi rom-coms from before & since have been consigned to the dustbin of history. It can be one hell of a slog to get to them, though.
Somber reflections on humanity that none the less strive to avoid the easy step into nihilistic cynicism. The world is not beautiful; but there's beauty in it. The acutal plots of each story are quite simple & the occasional action looks rough even by 00's standards. Then again, if you're watching for the twists & gunfights, you're missing the point.
How Clumsy You Are, Miss Ueno
Ha ha ha, pee. Ha ha ha, pants. Ha ha ha, she wants him to eat her pants & drink her pee. Ha ha ha, oh no!
Aria: The Bahamution. The parts that are just Anne & Grea being "special friends" & chilling around magic school together can be really sweet. The parts that aren't mostly just get in the way.
Oh Maidens in Your Savage Season
Mari Okada unbound; which means high highs, low lows, little warning & no brakes. I don't blame anyone for hating the repeated tonal whiplashings that are the final few episodes; but I wasn't surprised by it. After all, it's Mari Okada: hammy melodrama that somehow usually teeters on the right side of cliche is what she does.
Run With the Wind
The final race is good - maybe even great. The problem is that it takes 18 episodes to get there & I can't imagine wanting to watch them again when I can skip ahead & not miss a whole lot. Think of it as an 8/10 finale in an otherwise 5-6/10 series.
Girls & Tanks: The Movie
More girls. More tanks. More girls & tanks.
Release the Spyce
I watch these b-tier action shows because sometimes they turn out to have more to them or are at least dumb fun. More often, though, they're like this, starting out entertaining enough but becoming an increasinly boring, formulaic, edgy slog, with lacklustre action, that tries to "subvert" your expectations in the most predictable ways.
The Girl in Twilight
In a word: messy. It's not the worst entry into the magical misery girls subgenre; but, while there are some interesting ideas, it's mostly executed in the most obvious, least interesting ways. The final episode somehow manages to both be the most visually & thematically interesting while also having almost nothing to do with the previous eleven.
Tada Never Falls in Love
Mamoru Miyano's performance is really annoying & Tada very much can fall in love (I suppose "Tada Likes Taking Photos Sometimes" is a less catchy title). That aside, it's an okay comedy-romantic drama that's easy to watch; but just as easy to forget.
Bloom Into You
At first it seemed a bit like Say "I Love You;" but it gets more complicated than simply being about a one-sided relationship that gradually becomes more equal as the main character overcomes their insecurities. It's good, yet there was still something a bit unsatisfying about it that I can't quite explain.
Hitorijime My Hero
It's a bl romance about a student - teacher relationship. So, ya know. However, accepting that & that it's rather slow to watch, it's a pretty solid romance that doesn't pussyfoot around being about gay guys in love.
Armed Girls' Machiavellianism
Edgy crap; but at least it's honest. After all, a lot of anime are ultimately just about a guy beating up people - especially girls - who try to make him feel inferior; & in so doing becoming more desirable to those same people once he's asserted dominance & put them back in their place. This show just sheds all pretense of there being anything more to it than that.
Don't arrest me, officer. I know she said she's 15 but, if you convert that into dog years, it makes her positively geriatric. Do ba do ba do-do-do ba do ba do ba do jum jum.
Real Girl Season 2
It's great that the relationships develop beyond hand-holding & we get some actual closure to them. However, the conflicts that propel that development are all so contrived & reslolved in such easy, unsatisfying ways; whle Hikari's self-absorbed denseness never stops being tiresome.
My Girlfriend is Shobitch
Buried deep beneath the tryhard title, low effort production & tired, though admittedly occasionally funny, ecchi-harem (but not really) "comedy" is the germ of an interesting idea about a girl whose perverted preconceptions of what boys want have left her unprepared for the more wholesome pleasures of an actual relationship.
The Seven Heavenly Virtues
Kill me now.
Alice or Alice
I want to die.
A terrible opening episode leads into a opening season that had potential to be a novel gender-swapped shoujo romance before becoming bogged down by formula & cliche. It doesn't deserve the vitriol hurled at it by many; but nor does it really get you excited for the second season.
Hakumei & Mikoshi
Almost dropped it after episode one because of the overuse of gags & the director's annoying fondness for manga-panel style split-screens. Glad I didn't, though; because it quickly settles down & watching the characters live their idyllic little lives is just adorable.
Remember this Carlsberg advert? It's basically that except Lawson are trying to convince 20-something women to buy branded alcohol from their stores instead of going to bars like a pleb. Still, despite its purpose being obvious, it's a pleasant enough watch to not just feel like a 90minute beer commercial.
Cute kids playing detectives. It can be very entertaining watching the Colours' skylarking & how the town humours them. However, the lackluster production does detract from the fun to the point that it leaves the series feeling like a real missed opportunity for something more special.
Trains & teenagers. The animation is pretty stiff & it won't win any prizes for originality; but its more low key, more naturalistic take on high-school romance provides all the wanted drama that comes from teenagers making love harder than it needs to be - without much of the usual anime histrionics.
Made in Abyss
Takes the formula of classic children's fantasy adventure stories - most obviously ones associated with Takahata & Miyazaki - & keeps the child's yearning for adventure while adding a real sense of peril & forlornness, yet managing to avoid the tiresome edgyness & blind cynicism some "not for kids" stories revel in.
Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight
Star Driver for the Love Live! generation. You can tell the director has worked withIkuhara; but also that Bushiroad are on the production committee. Still, it's fine if you don't mind being able to tell most of what will happen just from a character's hairstyle; or are after something less esoteric.
Land of the Lustrous
The sheer number of cute crystals can leave it feeling like a gacha girl game adaptation; but the excellent visuals & engaging main character overcome the underdeveloped side characters & subplots.
Girls' Last Tour
Two cute girls & the end of the world. In theme & tone it's more like something from the early 00's than the late 10's. So if you've been craving something more quiet, contemplative, & bittersweet, give it a shot. I might just be saying that to to avoid calling it Kemono Friends without the friends, though.