By Nomad Otto
Alright, the first midterm in the class I’m teaching is over, so I have a break in the grading, moreover, I was a good person, and did a large chunk of my homework over the last couple of days, so I have time to watch things, and, then, now, to write about them. This new season is fairly short on Nomad shows, but heavy on Bign shows, so don’t expect to see lots of positive reviews. Also, though fall is my favorite season, the fact that it’s not flipping cold enough means that I can’t enjoy the main benefit of the colder temperatures, the ability to wear heavier clothes without seeming like a terrorist or thief. Finally, the joys of teaching are somewhat mitigated by the fact that some of my “kids” are lazy sacks of shit, and since my continued funding depends on the mercy of my reviews, both from the prof and from the kids, if they don’t do well, I look bad, and I might have to get a real job.
Anyway, enough with the live-journal-esque ranting and on to the anime blog shaz. Reviews are done in the format better known as “I write what I want without having some artifical format holding me back.” There’s a slight deviation from the non-rule, in that I’ll try to rate each show in some aspect. Ratings go from 1 to 20 in arbitrary units. Now, for happy fun times!
Neuro: When I first heard about this show, I thought, “awesome, it’s about a demon that eats mysteries.” After all, it’s got Koyasu as the demon dude. Then I watched the show. Way to screw up, whoever was in charge. I don’t get the reason why Koyasu’s gotta hide behind some worthless schoolgirl; I don’t get the reason why the detectives just sit there and watch the story unfold. Most of all, the plot of at least the first episode was shit. I could tell who the culprit was, and, moreover, what the trick to the murder was from about 5 minutes in. Even worse, it had a stupid twist about an evil chef who makes food with drugs in it, which he then eats, and becomes a big, black man. Casual racism for the lose. In short, lame.
5/20 on a scale of wasted voice actor, with 20 as Weisskrus
Rental Magica: So there’s a company of mages from different traditions. The president is a useless sack of crap (With a secret power, oh le gasp) who, notably, is still in high school, along with the love interest/ best witch working for the company, and many other characters. It doesn’t even pull off the aesthetic well, with magic seeming like…somehow… run of the mill. May be worth watching if you don’t have anything better to do and it’s already on. Also, can I get some shows in which the main characters are not in primary/secondary schools? That’d be peachy.
9/20 on a scale of “Have I seen this show before, but slightly different?” with 20 as Ken Akamatsu
Blue Drop: Alright, listen up. I can put up with a show in which nothing happens if nothing happening is the point of the show. I’ll watch slice of life and not instantly gag. Great, now, I’d like to point something out. You have (maybe) 26 episodes to make an impact with a single show. There are things that various episodes must do. For example, the first episode should set the stage for the action. In the case of Blue Drop, which is, theoretically a sci-fi show, about half way through, I needed to stop and make sure I wasn’t watching FREAKIN’ MARIMITE, a show famous for two things 1) lots of yuri doujins 2) NOTHING FREAKIN’ HAPPENING BUT GIRLS STARING AT EACH OTHER. The only thing saving this show is this man’s moustache and hairstyle combo and that doesn’t even help much.
13/20 on a scale of “I don’t know why this picture is hilarious, but it is” with 20 corresponding to the entire comic works of Monty Python
Sketchbook: It’s about a group of girls who go to highschool and belong to the drawing club. Unlike many other shows of this type, there are actual male characters who do more than stand around in the back at crowd scenes. The reason why I took a gander at this show in the first place is because a mutual friend of Bign and I was a huge fan of the manga, and it’s no surprise, as one of the characters is pretty much him. That said, it’s not a bad series, and I’ll probably keep watching it, but it’s not really my thing. It is good slice of life, but that’s not uncommon this season, and it’s not strictly better than Minami-Ke, the other slice of life show about girls in highschool (Why does every slice of life series outside of maybe genshiken have to focus on the ladies? It’s weird. Normally, the role of female characters is fairly restricted, but, in slice of life shows, the situation is reversed, with male protagonists being a rarity. ) That said, it focuses on the characters’ interactions at the school, rather than at the home, as Minami-ke does.
13/20 on a scale of irrational anger, with 20 being Lewis Black.
Minami-ke: The other big slice of life show. It’s about a family of girls, all of whom are about highschool age. They live and have amusing non-adventures. Also, the main character is an idiot, as in common for these types of shows. I think I either read some of the manga at some point, or this show is remarkably unoriginal, because I think I remember a couple of the scenes. Anyway, it’s not bad, just a lot like Sketchbook, which means that, combined with the fact that I’m not a huge fan of slice of life, means that I won’t be watching both of them. Out of the two, I like sketchbook, a bit better, mostly because of the irrational anger from one of the club members. That’s about it.
9/20 on a scale of idiotic main characters, with 20 representing the Fool from fairy tales.
ef: As people could probably tell, I’m more of a seinen or shounen man than a shojo or jousei man. This is because I find a lot of Shojo/Jousei stuff to be, “boring shit.” That said, the one thing that Shojo/Jousei stuff does have going for it is that it’s pretty and, frequently, arty. I like pretty and arty. Ef, done by Shinbou, is pretty and arty without being full of “boring shit.” That said, its not an action-packed thrill ride. It’s about young people and relationships and moe, moe, moe heronines. But whoa man, is it pretty and arty. If you’re willing to watch a show about love and that shaz, this show won’t kill you, and it’s super pretty. Look below for evidence.
This show rates in at 4 milli-Helens (a milli-Helen is the unit of beauty required to launch one ship)
Kodomo no Jikan
So, yeah, how about baseball. Seriously, isn’t there some post-season game on tonight? You don’t really need to know about this show. Instead, look at some more picture of ef.
Still there? Alright, Kodomo no Jikan is the show most likely to get your party-vanned. It is the number one excuse to cut off ties with Japan, sort of (I should note here that even Japanese television has balked is showing this show). I assume everyone is familiar with the Answerman controversy that was big a couple of months ago. Basically, Kodomo no Jikan is a series about a screwed up forth-grader who wants to bang her teacher, sort of. The reason why I keep using sort of here is because despite the fact that the series is based on a very, very creepy premise there are some interesting things going on. However, it’s difficult to get over the fact that the whole series is based around a girl who is trying to bang her teacher. Like, seriously bang, and not in the light-hearted love comedy style of “kiss” or whatever; hardcore, serious, should be between consenting adults, bangin’. If you can get past the creepiness and the risk of getting vanned, it’s probably not a bad show. I will not be watching it, however.
15/20 on a scale of holy crap, they’re actually making this show? with 20 representing a show about a serial-killing six year old who wears a coat made of human skin, has sex with bears, and eats feces (this film is currently under production by Fox Entertainment).
Last, but not least,
GENSHIKEN 2: (Electric Boogaloo): Whoa man so awesome. Seriously, so awesome. My biggest worry about this series was that it was going to be a low-budget attempt to cash in on a classic. So it was much to my surprise that the production values on this series are about as high as the previous one. Of course, the models are a little off from the old ones, but the key frames are spot on model, which is nice. On the other hand, the inbetweening could use a little work. The OP song is so-so, but the animation of the OP is fantastic. The ED is great, and there’s a lot of little things scattered around that reward careful watchers (look for Ohno figurines in the back of the clubroom, on top of the TV). In short, watch it, my battle-monkeys, and be amazed!
19/20 on a scale of Genshiken, with 20 being Genshiken manga, with the limited editions, including the super bonus comics contributed by other manga authors.
That’s all for now. Enjoy your lives and I’ll get back to reading papers. Joy.