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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mahouka Dropped:

I waited three episodes for this show to display any tiny reason why it's popular.  There was none.  It was awful from beginning to end of every single episode.  The little sister is psycho, the main character is a psychopath with no human emotions, and everyone else in the show is an idiot that no one would ever act like, because it's just too pathetic.  This might well be the worst written story of all time.  There are no sympathetic characters, every single one of them should just lay down in a ditch somewhere and die.  A guy who saves a girl from being gang raped yells at her savior and kicks him, then suddenly changes gears and demands a date?  What?  Are you serious?  I don't even care anymore.  Maken-ki is better than this crap.  There wasn't a single humorous moment across three episodes of this crap.  An hour and a half of story telling and they didn't manage to include even one moment that might possibly impart a smile on someone's face.  That's got to be a new record for terribadness.

Meanwhile, Mekaku City Actors isn't doing itself any favors either.  The story wanders around aimlessly, never explaining itself or introducing the characters it keeps shuffling about and presenting in the limelight, so you never know what exactly is happening right in front of your eyes.  The random 'artsy' moments are completely incongruous to the plot, the setting, and the characters, and are just thrown it at random because the director seemingly has no idea what he's doing so he just tells the animators to add in random artsy elements just to waste our time.  The animation of this show is just awful.  Only the main characters are drawn, and it's mostly still frames anyway.  It looks like they made this series on a shoestring budget out of some garage.  The only thing going for it is the interesting unique characters and the music, both features the music videos already had in spades.  In other words, the anime, far from being an upgrade from the music videos, is just an enormous downgrade from the original source.  If it was going to look this ugly and be this disordered, why not just watch the original videos instead?  The purpose of anime is to improve source material, but apparently Shaft thought the purpose of animation was to add in weird pans, head tilts, and slow motion effects between moments of actual purposeful dialogue.  That's all they're doing with the material, and it's all just a complete waste of time.  What works in Monogatari does not automatically work in every other series.  These features have to fit the mood, the setting, and the atmosphere.  In Monogatari these scenes are great, because they were originally created expressly for Monogatari's sake.  They belong to Monogatari.  Any other series which copies it just looks stupid and should be sued for copyright infringement.  After Monogatari ends, none of these directorial techniques should ever be used again -- head tilts -- long weird pans -- non-detailed backgrounds built out of seeming building blocks -- slow motion -- quick snippets of thoughts that flash on the screen and then disappear again before anyone can read them -- etc -- etc.  These techniques belong to Monogatari and no other show.  They work only in Monogatari and no other show.  I don't want to see them anywhere else.  I never want to see them again.  Every show that these techniques invade, whether it's Mekaku or Nisekoi, is instantly ruined as a result.  In fact, after Monogatari is finished, I wish Shaft would just go bankrupt and die because I'm sick of them ruining good source material with all their worthless, stupid, artsy crap that they keep recycling in every single show they make, no matter how completely out of place these techniques are.

I'll keep watching Mekaku City Actors, but no thanks to Shaft.  Simply because I want to know the story and anime is a convenient way to imbibe things.  If any other animation studio had done this show, it would have been a dozen times as good.  If it were UFOtable, they would have drawn a beautiful background to every scene, like in Fate/Zero.  If it were Diomedea, they would have animated everything fluidly, like in Mikakunin.  If it were A-1 Pictures, the color scheme would have been right and realistic and a pleasure to look at, rather than pure grey.  I've never seen a studio butcher an otherwise good series this badly before. 

Meanwhile, Soredemo's third episode created a confusing dynamic where a girl who had previously cheerfully consented to her arranged marriage is now doing everything possible to distance herself from an actual marriage -- ie, sex with her husband.  She's unwilling to even kiss her own husband.  In that case, what was the point in agreeing to marry him?  It's idiotic.  This isn't what they advertised the show to be.  As a result, here's what my excitement caliber rankings look like now:

1.  No Game No Life
2.  Gokukoku no Brynhildr
3.  Atelier Escha & Logy
4.  Black Bullet
5.  Fairy Tail
6.  Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
7.  Dragonball Kai
8.  Hitsugi no Chaika
9.  One Piece
10.  Hunter x Hunter
11.  Isshukan Friends
12.  Happiness Charge Precure
13.  Soul Eater Not
14.  Love Live 2. 
15.  Soredemo, Sekai wa Utsukushii
16.  Mangaka-san to Assistant-san
17.  Tonari no Seki-kun
18.  Break Blade
19.  Mekaku City Actors

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