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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lost World Anime First Impressions: (Part Two)

D.N. Angel:  I'm really excited about this story.  It's a shoujo story, but it wasn't terrible from the very beginning!  In fact, it was actually good!  The story is about this cool guy who somehow always ends up looking bad despite himself, his unrequited love for a girl who's put him on the friend ladder, his sudden relationship with her twin he ends up kissing by the end of the episode, his own evil twin from a past life who's a detective trying to capture him, his crazy parents who throw him into the world as a well-trained phantom thief and demand he goes out and steals rare treasures while also notifying the cops that he is about to do so, and, well, as you can see it can only get better from here.  Man, what a great start.  I love the art style for the town, the beautifully drawn characters, and the music too.  Despite all the hijinks, it felt much more down to Earth and realistic because the people in the show trained for the things that happened to them, so it makes sense they are good at them.  This show has so much potential!  I can't wait to see how it turns out.  Pass.

Doki Doki School Hours:  For a 4-koma based series, it's truly amazing when a show doesn't evince a single laugh.  This series is rock bottom.  I can't believe anyone thought it would be a good idea to bring these characters to life.  Humor is complicated and intelligent, relying on irony and other tricky things.  This is just stupid, and all it does is show off how stupid everyone is.  Thank God the first episode is over so I don't have to watch any more.  Fail.

Grenadier:  Shonen story, so stear clear.  It's a zero calorie formula.  Big breasts, bathing scenes, badass fight scenes, refusal to actually hurt anyone so it clears the 'violence' censorship in shonen manga standards, humor that's really just stupidity, swords, guns, blah blah.  Mushibugyo is better than this.  If you're going to be a typical, worthless, empty, vapid shonen action story, you may as well just watch Mushibugyo.  Fail.

Yami to Boshi to Hon no Tabibito:  I couldn't figure out what this series was even about.  Lesbians?  Mutes?  Trains?  Sliders? (ie, dimensional travelers).  Who knows.  Maybe these mysteries will be resolved in the future, or maybe mysteriousness is part of the show's schtick and will never end.  But on one side you have good art and on the other hand a bad story, which makes for an overall negative impression.  Fail.

You're Under Arrest:  I don't like police or car chases, so this show is immediately thrown out.  The art and execution and characters are all fine, I just hate the theme.  Nothing is more inexcusable to me than thrill seekers endangering others for the sake of driving fast cars or motorcycles.  Fail.

Yumeria:  What's with this trend of infantile newborn girls who fall out of the sky into our heroes' laps, generally nude, with only a single word to chirp with?  Fully grown bodies with animal brains, newborn brains, no-brains-at-all, anything will apparently do in Japan.  So long as their women are stupid the men are happy.  It's like DearS but with worse art, no thank you.  Fail.

Yume Tsukai:  These are apparently dream detectives.  Like Sherlock Holmes they get cases involving dream mysteries, they have to unravel the true hidden meaning of the dream, then fight the dream in mortal combat to return it back to its proper dreamy self.  A very abstract and basically very dumb idea for a story.  It would have been better if the whole dream stuff had been left out and they were just normal detectives solving murder cases.  And even then most of those stories suck too.  So I guess the plot was just hopeless from the start.  Fail.

I My Me Strawberry Eggs:  This is the story of a somewhat retarded female student and her seemingly lesbian crush on an actually crossdressing male teacher.   The comedy isn't any good, I don't believe crossdressing can be so effective that the guy 100% looks like a girl like is shown, and I'm not a fan of this apparent fad for retarded-female-heroines-only that must have been the 'it thing' in the early aughts.  Fail.

Suzuka:  This story has some really annoying side characters, but the female and male leads are alright.  A somewhat realistic story about track and field is an interesting twist as well, a lot more original than another mecha anime.  More than anything else, no girls fall from the sky while only being capable of a single word, which is a drastic improvement above the average.  I can't say this will be worthwhile in the long run, but at least for short distance it should do.  Pass.

Figure 17:  I went into this show figuring it was about pairs figure skating.  Wow was I in for a surprise.  The first half of the episode set itself up to be one of the most touching, subtle, majestic, and beautiful dramas of all time.  I was already comparing it to Clannad in my head.  Then, boom, out of nowhere, an alien spaceship falls out of the sky, carrying a tentacled monster, which our 10 year old heroine, who had previously been fighting problems like loneliness and shyness, has to defeat in mortal combat by donning a bionic suit ala Guyver and battling it out with super moves.  Are you kidding me?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Was the scriptwriter for this show on drugs?  You take this beautiful, Ghibli-movie quality show about a young girl learning to fit in to her new environment, a story about rainy days and umbrellas, about fish tanks and dog food and parents who work too late, and turn it into Guyver vs. Predator?  What were they thinking?  Why?  Whyyyy?

At the end of the episode, there's suddenly two of our heroines, the original and the Guyver bionic twin, ala Fate Kaleid Liner Prism Ilya Zwei.  Since the original heroine is one of the most beautiful girls in anime (as expected of a show largely done by Kyoto animation), I can't really complain about their decision to feature two of her simultaneously.  The more Tsubasas the better I suppose.  But again, why?  Why the crazy plot twists?  Whyyyyy?

The voice actress for Tsubasa is so wonderful, perfectly portraying a subdued 10 year old's voice.  She really channeled being a child, which means being powerless and afraid about even the littlest things, but her feelings not being any smaller than anyone else's, her heart pumping just as hard as adults and her brain thinking just as sophisticated thoughts, struggling with just as complicated things.  I love Tsubasa.  I love everything about her.  Why did they make her fight space aliens????

I can't believe this show.  Obviously, I'll have to follow this train wreck until the end now.  I've got too much invested to suddenly quit now.  But this went from a show I thought was going to be in my rankings to a farce in one sudden jolt.  What an awful, terrible waste of potential.  Pass.

Happy Lesson:  This may be the worst series yet.  It was torture watching the first episode through to the end.  For no apparent reason, a high school boy has five girls fly out of the sky and land in his house, all of whom happen to be his teachers at school.  They randomly lavish love upon him for no reason since they aren't related and he didn't earn it in any way.  However, they're all retarded, so everything they do is contrary-to-their-designs destructive and ridiculous instead of pleasant.  Honestly, this could be a perfect encapsulation of everything bad about anime.  Retarded girls, random relationships, humor built around indecent behavior and violence instead of anything mental.  No one acts like this.  No one.  It's not funny when you just do stupid, insane stuff.  It's funny when people do things that make sense in a way, but are totally ridiculous from another point of view, like in Working or Galaxy Angel.  Just doing flat out retarded things, that serve no purpose and make no sense from any point of view, isn't funny, it's just annoying.  There's a huge difference between the two.  Fail.

Sister Princess:  Somehow, a guy ends up failing his high school entrance exam by bubbling a row down from where he should all his answers.  They don't allow him to retest or just hand grade the test or anything.  Instead they kick him out to a random faraway island.  There he meets a series of girls for the first time, all of whom randomly like him, all of whom are randomly gorgeous, who turn out to be his long lost imoutos.  He moves in with these four (only four girls?  what a waste, it should have been 365.) and their days of sibling love begin with a party and presents.  So many things wrong with this premise -- the unearned affection, the girl-guy ratio, the stupid way to be forced into this situation by the plot always relying on things that wouldn't ordinarily happen, etc.  Looking up the series on Wikipedia, it turns out this season is even filler and not based off of the original material that inspired the anime.  No wonder I had so many complaints.  Fail.

Captain Tsubasa:   This story sucks.  The art is on level with stick figures.  It's so retro it hurts to just look at.  Meanwhile, everything is so melodramatic it's absurd.  "Impossible, no one can kick a ball from that distance!"  Listen to yourself, man.  It's just a dumb ball.  It doesn't matter if it can be kicked or not, no one gives a hoot.  "You're challenging Wakabayashi the goalkeeper?"  Gasp!  Is that like fighting Frieza or something?  Because, even if you lose, there's zero possible harm to your life, so why do people gasp in horror like it's some big deal if Tsubasa even tries?  Now if they were betting their lives on the result I could see why I would care, but since they aren't betting anything, why is everyone treating it like a Z fight?  I could go on and on, but the point is these characters aren't realistic, they're melodramatic sports-blobs who reduce the whole world down to sports, then turn sports into 'duels' in order to up the drama even further.  This may be fine for a kids' audience, but I expect more of anime for myself.  It doesn't matter that this is one of the most famous manga/anime series of all times, if something sucks it sucks.  Fail.

This Ugly Yet Beautiful World:   Here the art is good, but that's it.  The plot is the dumbest possible.  A retarded space alien girl falls from the sky with a vocabulary of about five words.  She acts like a newborn chick observing the world for the first time, is interested in playing with everything in it, while being unaware of the implications of her sexy nude body she's showing off to our lucky male protagonist.  Not only has this ideal girl fallen into his lap, but just in time, he's developed random superpowers to turn into a demon, just the sort of thing you need when slaying a space monster who's apparently been pursuing the nude girl space alien.  How many more  convenient twists can a story have?  This gives a bad name to men everywhere.  We shouldn't want nude girls to fall from the sky into our laps.  We should want them to love us for a reason.  We should not want them to be retarded, and care about them only because they're nude and pretty.  We should want them to be smart, and want to engage in genuine conversations with them.  We should not want to develop super-powers meant only for killing our personal foes.  If you're going to aspire for a super power, it should be the power to cure cancer or provide free energy to the world.  Everything about this show makes us look bad, and anime fans especially for drinking this kind of drivel up.  Thank God this is an old series.  In the present day, both our protagonists and their love interests are made of much better stuff.  This is like a perfect example of why anime sucked until just recently.  This retarded girl from the sky formula is seemingly 1/2 of all shows made in the past, it was like a freaking pandemic.  What were they thinking?  I've never been more thankful it's the year 2013.  Fail.

Futakoi:  What a great story.  Twins have always been a good idea in virtually every series -- Kobato, Higurashi, Clannad, Ef, Idolm@ster, virtually every great series has twins in it to make it even better.  But I've never seen a story based entirely around twins.  What a great idea!  If we made everyone a twin, what would life be like?  What would families be like?  How would relationships go?  How cute would the girls be if they wore different colored ribbons but everything else was the same????  Everything here is so cute, so sweet, so funny, that you just want to hug them forever and ever.  This show might be a contender for actually joining my rankings.  The protagonist, by being nice to kids and getting along with adults responsibly, has really won me over.  I understand why all these twins are falling for him, he's such a great guy.  What a contrast between this, a good first episode of anime, all all the series before now.  It's like an oasis in a desert.  Thank God, I was beginning to wonder if my journey through the past was pointless.  Pass.

Ichigo Mashimaro:  A story about a heartless girl who throws another girl out into space to die while smoking cigarettes isn't very appealing, even if it is just meant as a silly joke.  Fail.

Steel Angel Kurumi:  Another awful series.  An annoying whiny brat of a kid is being pressured by his 'friends' into sneaking into a mansion for them, something he doesn't want to do, but does anyway because he completely lacks a spine.  After reluctantly wandering into this mansion, a random earthquake accidentally pushes him into a kiss with a female robot maid, which then activates and acknowledges him as her master.  So essentially, another retarded, newborn (except this time 'newly activated') unearned girl has fallen from the sky into this worthless whiny wimp's lap.  Life sure is easy in Japan, apparently retarded girls of all stripes, robots, aliens, etc, are available for every last male in the country, since this seems to happen every day on television.  Thank goodness this fad is over, it's so lame every time I come across it.  Fail.

Gigantic Formula:  For no apparent reason, the world has been devastated by 'climate change' in the near future.  So, obviously, the best thing to do in this case is for the survivors to fight a world war with each other using giant mechas as champions of their military forces.  Each nation gets one mecha and whoever wins wins the war.  It really makes no sense, why fight in the first place?  The mecha tournament in place of war was already done by Gundam, and better.  Plus, this series has really terrible art, animation, and CG.  Everything about it is ugly.  I was just counting the seconds until the episode finally ended.  Fail.

Sumomomo Momomo:  This has a promising premise.  A girl who cares only about strength happily agrees to the proposal of her father that she should seek the strongest martial artist in the world to marry so that they can have mighty children.  However, the story quickly falls apart when she chooses as her husband a guy who actually has no martial arts prowess, and wins every fight through lies, bluffs, taunts, etc.  The girl is so simpleminded that apparently this system works, but you just feel bad for her for being lied to by this worthless guy.  Furthermore, the guy should have just set her straight long ago.  He protests against her attention so vociferously, and yet his actual actions show he really likes her attention and will always trick her to stay around if possible.  As a comedy, it's extremely important that your characters are likable, good people.  This show fails that initial, basic test, so what should be comedy just feels like scumbags being scummy instead.  Fail.

Lemon Angel Project:  No hope here.  A show about aspiring idols has to be more kira-kira and doki-doki.  This is just a clutz acting lame and stumbling upon a 'mystery' that makes the plot all the more melodramatic, as if it weren't bad enough already through the speech of the really annoying head singer.  The art is awful too, which should be a huge point of interest for a show about idols.  Stick to Idolm@ster, Love Live and AKB0048.  There's plenty of good idol shows without resorting to this mess.  Fail.

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