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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring 2013 Anime 3rd Take:

This season's watchable list has to be adjusted again based on the new data of last week.  Surely it will stabilize someday, but until then, it's better to be accurate than inaccurate:

Before I mistrusted Mushibugyou because it was too generic.  Now I can lodge some genuinely formal complaints against the series.  The mainstay of any shonen action series is its fighting mechanics.  In Naruto you have chakra, in One Piece you have devil fruits, in Hunter x Hunter you have nen, in Bleach you have bankais, in Fairy Tail you have magic, in Dragonball you had ki.  For fights to be interesting, they have to be structured.  There has to be a reason why one guy lost and the other won, and it has to be because he used the battle mechanics more skillfully than his opponent did.  There's nothing interesting about a fight with no rules that just sort of vomits forth onto the screen.  One guy wins and the other loses, and you have no idea why or how.  A fight like that could have occurred just as easily off screen, we're no better off either way.

This is precisely the situation to be found in Mushibugyou.  The people use attacks with no structure, of no defined battle power, which doesn't rely on any 'resource' nor does it have any manipulable 'mechanic.'  As far as I can see they're just slashing their swords and throwing bombs.  And yet it isn't anywhere near as realistic as the sword fights from Kenshin, so it can't be called a samurai story either.  It can't be called anything.  We just see them do their weirdly named moves, and then see the result afterwards -- there's nothing more to the fight than this process.  When action is at the heart of why your story is fun to watch, making the action sequence boring is lethal.  I hate the fights in Mushibugyou.

Is there anything else good about Mushibugyou?  The characters aren't terrible, but they aren't interesting either.  They aren't funny, they aren't charming, they aren't anything.  Just a bunch of bug stompers.  Who cares?  In contrast, the amount of character Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke had shown by episode 4 was much greater.  The same for Luffy, Zoro and Nami.  I already liked those characters.  I don't like these.

I don't mind ecchi, heck, I like To Love ru.  But the ecchi in Mushibugyou is so out of place and wedged in to the story for no reason that it's distracting.  It's like the shonen action pauses for a minute to show random unrelated pictures of half-clothed girls, then resumes the bug fight as before.  When you watch To Love ru, you know what you're in for.  The same for Strike Witches or History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi.  Those stories were built around the constant ecchi scenes distributed liberally throughout.  Mushibugyou though is supposed to be about bug squashing.  It's the furthest from sex and romance possible.  Bugs are icky.  Where do boobs get involved in a story about bugs?  It's just too much.

As such, I'm dropping Mushibugyou.

Next up, I'm dropping Photo Kano.  This is because the main character is a bad person.  Why does he still associate with a club he believes is evil?  Why does he continue to blackmail a girl to do unfair things for him when he had promised he would stop at his first demand?  Why is he so nervous about being seen with magazines if he really was just studying them to learn tricks of the trade?  It's just too tiresome.  I don't like following around and watching this guy's life.  Furthermore, the continuous emphasis on the girls' bodies is just too graphic.  Especially all the zooming in on the girl with big boobs, you just feel bad for her.  She's being shown off like she's an animal in the zoo.  Completely objectified, completely soulless lust incarnate.  Nor do I find it reasonable that so many of these girls randomly love the main character boy, since I hate him.  I know there's no accounting for feminine taste, but really?  Why?  Why fall for him?

I'd drop Hentai Ouji as well for his constant sexual molestation of the girls around him, but I hesitate on this front.  2/3 of the girls he molested actually like him and want him to do these things to them, they just don't have the courage to say so, in which case he's really done no harm.  Second, the art is so good that I'd miss seeing these two girls every week.  It's also believable that these girls would like him.  The one girl, Azusa or whatever, was friendless and depressed when this boy approached her and confessed to her.  He made her feel better, which is a good enough reason to love him.  The other girl spent lots of time with him when they were younger and received lots of good advice from him, so gradually falling in love with him isn't out of the question either.  There's no harm in watching a little longer.

Shingeki no Kyojin is getting better, especially at the end of the latest episode, after yet another time skip.  It's off probation for now.  Maybe it will even become good some day.

The new spring anime, Miyakawa-ke, was hilarious.  As expected of Lucky Star, this is high quality stuff.  It may just be five minutes long, but it's better than nothing.  I've been looking forward to this show starting.

Furthermore, we have a strange situation where the 2nd season of Haitai Nanafa is airing in Japan with no one translating it, while the first season of Haitai Nanafa has just been translated for the outside world.  This means that a series is both airing and being translated, which means it's a spring anime series, it's just that the eps being translated and the ones being aired are different.  Oh what a tangled web we weave. . .  In any case, this adds the cute and fun Haitai Nanafa to our spring anime viewing list to accompany the rest, bringing us back up to 20 shows.

With the Miyakawa-ke and Haitai Nanafa additions, we get:

1.  Railgun
2.  Oreimo
3.  Hayate
4.  Hunter x Hunter
5.  Leviathan
6.  Hataraku Maou-sama
7.  Dokidoki Precure
8.  One Piece.
9.  Chihayafuru
10.  Suisei no Gargantia
11.  Shingeki no Kyoujin
12.  Yahari Ore no Seishunn Love Come wa Machigateirru
13.  Valvrave
14.  Namiuchigiwa
15.  Majestic Prince
16.  Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko
17.  Miyakawa-ke (5 minutes)
18.  Haitai Nanafa (5 minutes)
19.  Gundam SEED Destiny (Remastered)
20.  Saki Achiga (just 1 episode left)

Naruto seems to want to stay filler until summer so it probably won't be appearing after all.

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