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Monday, September 9, 2013

Lost World Anime First Impressions: (Part Five)

Tsuki ha Higashi ni Hi ha Nishi ni:  Another series about a girl falling from the sky, but this one has a good excuse.  The guy apparently won her over in the past, but due to his amnesia, he can't remember anything that happened more than five years ago.  So an angel girl falling into his lap and hugging him isn't anything special, every child wins over an angel or two in their life before getting amnesia and forgetting it all.  Our main lead, who's actually an outgoing, nice, and cool guy, is also lucky enough to have a childhood friend and a kinpatsu twin-tail itouko who lives with him at home.  Surrounded by so many 'auto-win' girls, his life really does seem like a carousal through paradise from here to the ending of the show.  I can see why visual novel players would love to simulate his world for a while.  No harm here, just cute girls and romantic fun.  Pass.

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue:  Rarely does a series make me cry out in protest and frustration more often than the first episode of Daphne.  A girl who aces all her tests to get a job with the government is randomly turned down while lesser qualified girls beneath her are accepted for the job.  To make matters worse, apparently in this world if you can't find a job your right to your own home is immediately revoked, so she's made homeless.  When she struggles to find a job well beneath her qualifications in terms of education, everyone turns her down saying she wouldn't 'fit in' well with the jobs being offered.  As she wanders the streets homeless and it's getting dark, a pickpocket steals her last remaining savings right off of her person.  Now, homeless and penniless, she sits under a bridge trying not to cry, when she's suddenly taken hostage by a knife wielding thug.  The police don't care at all about this homeless girl, however, and shoot her in the chest out of hand.  The last words of this girl, who went from a college graduate with a great job prospect to fatally injured with nothing to her name in a single day, is 'so na,' or in English, "it can't be. . .'

To which I wholly agree.  This can't be possible.  How could they make a show like this?  This is the most unfair, horribly cruel treatment of a perfectly nice girl I've ever seen.  I can't believe what I'm seeing.  I want to sue somebody, file a protest with the government . . . What kind of world does this girl live in?  What kind of future is this?  A world with hover cars, but without justice, isn't needed!  We finally got the first glimmerings of justice in the England of the 1700's, and it was worth far more than the industrial revolution ever was.  Now we have all the trapping of the industrial revolution, but jobs are given out arbitrarily, the law doesn't protect you from crime or government abuse, there's no welfare net for the needy poor and innocent girls are left crying under bridges.  It's a dystopia every bit as bad as Avenger, but it still looks sparkling clean from the outside.  It's just grotesque.  Wrenching.  Painful.  I don't know what the purpose of this series is, except maybe for people in the present day to count their blessings and realize life isn't nearly as bad as Maia's is.  But volunteering to be tortured isn't my idea of entertainment.  Fail.

Honey and Clover:  Absolutely worthless trash.  God I was so bored.  A group of unbelievably eccentric people, who are all obnoxious and contemptible in their own way, are supposed to be the main characters for this 'slice of life comedy.'  But all we have is guys who smoke, girls in high heels, an overly protective meddler, a guy who would fall in love at first sight simply because the girl is good looking, a guy who, despite having a job, so mismanages his money that he only has 70 cents left to his name, a guy who won't wake up no matter what you do to wake him, steals other people's stuff, lies continuously, harasses girls, and is annoying in every way.  And the absolute pointlessness of it all.  There's no plot, there's no theme, there's nothing.  I wish a nuclear bomb were dropped on the whole lot of them.  Fail.

Izumo Takeki Tsurugi no Senki:  A great start to an interesting idea.  We often see one person teleported from the modern age to a fantasy world, but I don't think I've ever seen a group of modern people who know each other all teleported together.  Our main hero, Takeru, is a guy who's extraordinarily lucky with girls.  He's got a step-sister who's already proclaimed her love for him just returned from America (thus avoiding the Westermark effect), plus two neighbors who also call him onii-chan and are clearly ready to hop into bed with him the moment he gives the sign.  On top of that, it seems like some additional classmates are also pining for him.  What's a guy to do?  Not only is he popular with girls, he's also the best in the kendo club.  However, he keeps this a secret from his male friend because he doesn't want to steal everything from the guy, who only has kendo and nothing else to be proud about.  Unfortunately, when his grandfather demands he treat his opponent honorably as otherwise it's looking down on your friend, he takes the guy's advice and easily crushes Takeshi.  But just as expected, Takeshi's jealousy then explodes, as he gets frustrated with one guy having all the luck and everyone else having none.  ((Heck, I'd explode too, that many fiancees-in-waiting is totally unfair)).  His mental breakdown leads to a sudden warp to fantasy land with both guys and all the girls in tow.  Now the plot really thickens, as it seems the two friends are meant to fight each other in some destined war in this new world.  That's a good way to reel an audience in.  I can't wait the sailor seifukuu clad girls suddenly donning ninja outfits and the like.  They were already good looking, but it's only upwards from here.  Pass.

Jigoku Shoujo:  This is the best series I've reviewed so far.  It's definitely going to be in my anime rankings once I've fulfilled the required three episodes watched condition.  First off, it's absolutely gorgeous.  Artistically, and musically, it's enthralling.  On top of that, it shows just how clearly evil is truly evil.  How much harm people do when they hurt someone else, they tear them down until there's just nothing left, from a promising and happy life, to someone who would rather burn in hell than endure another second of persecution.  The slow and steady deterioration of this girl's soul, the slow and steady accumulation of hatred for her enemy, the righteous pleasure we get in seeing these awful girls get their dues through supernatural retribution, it's like a fine steak meal we get to relish with every bit as she's slowly tortured to death in front of us.  By the time the evildoers are punished, I hate them so much I couldn't think of a greater pleasure in life than seeing them in pain.  I totally understand the girl who made that deal.  A braver fellow would have just handled it himself, without making any demonic contracts, but girls are cowardly by nature and hate doing violence on their own.  This was her only resort, which was made clear across the length of the episode.  Even though a rational person could have seen many other outs, the emotional state they had put her in was so beaten down and so bullied that it was impossible to think rationally anymore.  The only thought left in her head was a desire for revenge against the injustice that was done to her.  It was all she had left, the one thing they couldn't take from her.  And because of it, she won and they lost.  Justice was served, and the absolute joy that suffuses her face afterwards proves just how valuable vengeance really is to the human soul.  God I love this show.  This is a must watch.  This is a jewel.  Pass.

Joshikousei:  An embarrassment to anime.   It's not even ecchi.  Ecchi implies the animators have some skill in titillating their audience through careful, measured doses of girls in compromising positions.  This show is just vulgar and lifeless, like throwing meat out for maggots to feast upon.  It's supposedly a comedy, but there's nothing funny about it, it's all just offensive or stupid instead.  The art is terrible, which is especially dumb given they're trying to show off girl's bodies.  What more do you need to know?  Another show that hopefully will be forgotten by time.  Fail.

Kagihime Monogatari Eikyuu Alice Rondo:  This story has good art, but a lame plot.  A bunch of girls are fans of some sort of magical author, who wrote a magical book whose pages are distributed across all their hearts.  Only by stealing the pages from each other can they compile the finished book, sort of like Highlander, in the end there can only be one.  For this ridiculous reason all these girls are going around fighting each other, which is already stupid enough.  But when you add in all the fanservice scenes where the totally unnecessary bystander boy is involved with the girls it's even worse.  Plus, there's even more fanservice scenes where they're just showing off the girls' bodies for no reason at all.  It just gets wearisome.  I hate fake violence like this where it pretends to be a fighting show but in the end no one gets hurt.  Violence is hurting.  Hurt people are truly hurt.  There's no way to sugarcoat violence and it just demeans the topic when you play around with 'key swords' and the like that only strike at the opponent's 'book souls' while leaving their bodies unharmed.  I hated all the fake violence in Date A Live as well, the two actually are pretty similar to each other -- dumb guy, fake violence and tons of fanservice.  Terrible formula.  Fail.

Kamichu:  This story is so weird.  I'm not sure what to think of it at this point.  What kind of plot is waking up to find you're a god, accidentally starting a typhoon, and then putting it out in time?  What will later episodes be about?  How she makes money by spinning windmills and charging people for the electricity bill?  It's not even clear if she will ever gain control over her powers.  Sigh.  What I can say is the main character is adorable, and the animation is strangely movie-film quality for no known reason.  I kept thinking I was watching a ghibli film, with all the kami around and the endlessly detailed motions of just climbing ladders and walking and the like.  Well, for people who are into that avant garde stuff, this is probably the show for you.  Pass.

 Kannazuki no Miko:  What started off as some sort of Maria-sama ga Miteru replica suddenly changed midway through to a fantasy story where priestesses were being hunted by ancient demons.  However, even this changed into a sci-fi where giant mechas fought each other as they towered over the skyline.  But all of this was kind of obliterated by the much more sensational girl on girl kiss shared by the two mikos at the end of the episode.  It made the exploding robots and floating islands and all that seem rather insignificant compared to the fireworks going on between those two girls' lips.  Does anyone know what this show is about?  Or is it just ecchi for ecchi's sake?  Honestly, Himeko is drawn so well I'm fine with that, so I guess I'll just stop worrying and enjoy.  Pass.

King of Bandit Jing:  Retch.  Everything I hate about shonen series.  The humor is childish and stupid, there's really no humor at all.  Jing is ridiculously cool, badass, good-looking, and so on.  He's also the smartest, strongest, prettiest, kindest, etc.  Everyone else is ugly, stupid,  and weak compared to him.  He can do anything.  He's a free man who does whatever he wants, comes like the wind, and leaves like the wind.  The art style is awful, and exists solely to show off how cool Jing is with his badass trench coat and giant boots and super-cool exotic weapons. . .  Ugh, I don't even want to recall this adolescent wish fulfillment nonsense.  This makes Blood Lad look good.  Fail.

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