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Monday, September 30, 2013

Lost World Anime Second Look: (Part Two)

Continuing my review of Lost World anime, I dropped some more series that survived the first impressions cut --

Kita e, DDD.  In the end I really hate how this romance ends up.  The girl runs away to the sexy guy with a saxophone.  Even though 99% of guys would have screwed her right then and there, this unearthly gentleman does nothing at all with her, even though she announces she wants to marry him.  He then flies off to America to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz club musician.  So absurd.  None of that would ever happen in real life.  And then, to top things off, the guy she tried to cheat on forgives her and promises to try and become a more attractive spouse so she won't cheat anymore.  Well isn't that nice.  Again, 99% of guys at this point would have discarded her as used goods and never looked her way again, but this milksop is ready to pick up any leftovers left lying anywhere on the street, even though he's rich and could get any girl he wants, and she isn't even a college graduate.

If the girl had been screwed and then abandoned by both boys and her family for betraying them, and left crying on a curb somewhere, I would have liked the anime, because that's what should have happened realistically.  However, this fantasy result to her stupid fling is just far too forgiving and doesn't give the right romance advice to kids at all.

Kurokami.  This show started as a fascinating horror story.  But by episode 2, it had descended into a typical shonen chuunibyou sci fi esper fighting series.  Actually, at this point, it wasn't much different from E's Otherwise.  Random villain b reveals psychic ability c and our heroes have to overcome it with flashy move z.  What a waste of the mythology they had built up so carefully in the first episode.  Furthermore, the amount of coded words that don't really mean anything is around 50% of the dialogue, which is endlessly frustrating to the audience that has intentionally being kept out of the loop at all times.  Would it have killed them to take some time off with a narrator and explain the meaning of each new term as it came up?  Since the anime is filler anyway and doesn't follow the manga, it's no wonder the show is a letdown.

Izumo Takeki Tsurugi no Senki.  The second episode to this series descended into pure crap.  For one thing, the budget seems to have completely fallen off a cliff.  There's virtually no good art or animation anymore, everything is still frames.  Second, the plot switched from a character and emotion driven story to a pure survival fight or flight ala Devil Survivor 2 tale.  Run away from the bugs!  Oh no, evil mages are approaching!  So stupid.  When you take all of your characters' decisions away by just making them continuously avoid danger in order to live, you don't have any story anymore.  You just have a bucket of stupid.  The only reason why fighting is meaningful is because people choose to endanger themselves for the sake of something greater.  If they have no choice in the matter, because they are the thrust into the situation against their will, it loses all meaning and ceases to be noble but is instead just reflective of the primitive wild.

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto Natsu no Sora.  Now that I've gotten a second look, I really can't stand the art style for this series.  Interposing live camera photos and videos inside an anime is absurd.  It completely breaks your immersion.  Either the animated portions look too phony, or the pictures themselves look phony because they don't fit with the animated things.  Whichever way you look at it there's simply no way to get involved with the story.  You're too busy staring at buildings and signs and wondering "why on Earth wasn't this animated like every other anime in history?" to even follow the plot.  I don't even know if you can call this an anime.  If an anime is 50% live video is it even an anime anymore?

Alternatively, the following series continued to pass with flying colors -->

Jigoku Shoujo, Kamichu, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight, He is My Master, Lovely Idol, Kannazuki no Miko, Kokoro Toshokan, Maria Holic, Mokke, and Moetan.

A lot of these series are just cute or sexy.  I'd classify Kokoro Toshokan under the cute category as well this time around.  One of the only series that stood out was Jigoku Shoujo, which felt a little repetitive and episodic this time, but at least had a very original and unique theme compared to all other anime.  The question is, can sending a new guy to hell every episode really make for a good series overall?  It feels like there's no difference in quality from watching just one episode and watching the entire series plus all of its sequel seasons.  There was also Maria Holic, which has a pretty hilarious cast in the constantly aroused lesbian and the sadistic male cross dressing roommate.  Somehow the formula works really well.  Maybe because Shaft pulls its usual directorial tricks throughout the show.

That covers the second batch of Lost World anime.  The third and final post will cover the remaining shows I 'passed' the first time but still have to check again to see if they survive a second look.  Once that second look is completed, I'll finally have the chance to watch a third episode of the surviving Lost World series and add them to my rankings.  What a long, hard journey it's been.

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