Blog Archive

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer Anime 2015 Second Look:

What the hell is wrong with Charlotte?  No Key work, no work by Jun Maeda, has been anything but stupendous up until now.  By episode four of any other Key series, any other, you would be falling over backwards by how amazing and unprecedentedly full of emotions this show is.  It would be funnier than any other show, happier than any other show when things are going well, and sadder than any other show when things are going poorly.  It would already have introduced tons of lovable characters whose names you remember for life and are more dear to you than anyone living.

As for Charlotte?  Nothing.  The first episode was interesting and funny as it introduced this new world and this somewhat scummy guy.  It looked like the series would be another key masterpiece like all the others.  The art and music were top notch, as expected of a key show.  What could go wrong?

What went wrong is that for the last three episodes not a single damn thing has happened.  A 'power user' of the week is fought and defeated every week, leaving no change in the actual cast before or after.  It's as though the events never happened at all, they're of so little importance or relevance to anyone.  In addition, 50% of each episode is wasted on repeat jokes and repeat scenes that are almost 1 to 1 copies to some previous scene in a previous episode.  Of course everything is repetitive, since it keeps showing the student council solving the same old problem over and over again by rote.

Charlotte is boring.  It's lifeless.  The characters are all annoying, not lovable.  I don't know their names.  Any of them.  I don't care about anyone in the show and they've done nothing to make me care about them.  The plot comes out of some awful b-horror movie 'evil scientists are experimenting on us!'  And that's it.  That's the entire story.  Random people are being hurt by random, cartoon villains with absolutely no depth.  There is no reason to care about anyone in the show because all of them are just stupid or rude and none of them care about each other in the least.

The best part of Charlotte is its opening and ending, where only the art and music reigns.  The moment it gets to the actual story it's horrible again.  How much more of this can a man reasonably take?

If this were any other show than a show written by Key, I would've dropped it long ago.  Instead it's in my freaking great anime rankings.  Because I can't imagine, I simply can't imagine, Key making a bad show.  How is that even possible?  Previously, Air was the worst Key show ever made, and it's ranked 63rd out of 175!  It is impossible for a key show to be anything but perfect.  How do you go so long producing nothing but classic masterpieces, and then delivering this piece of garbage after years of total radio silence?  This is the only thing key has been making since Rewrite Harvest Festa, which came out like four years ago.  And this was what they came up with?  Really?  Couldn't they recognize how awful the show was from a mile away just reading over the script themselves?  Did anyone actually like this story as they were writing it?  Who thought this was a good idea?

Charlotte had better have the most massive turnaround in all of anime, or it will be the biggest disappointment in all anime history.  Key has been working four years on this?  We got Charlotte instead of a Rewrite anime?  We got Charlotte animated but not Rewrite?  Not Planetarian?  Not Kude Waffe?  Not Tomoyo After Story?  Charlotte?  Really?  I'm talking the most massive plot twist in the history of anime, like they all get warped to a dinosaur island or something.  There's simply no excuse for even a single further episode of this absolute crap that we've gotten out of the last three episodes in a row.  I would have dropped this show so long ago if I didn't love and respect Jun Maeda so much that I'll go through anything to see this piece of shit through to the end.

Meanwhile, The Last: Naruto the Movie was a major disappointment.  I don't acknowledge it as a satisfying romance story or a satisfying action story.  It's just a complete mess.  The only good thing about it, much like Charlotte, is the art.

Meanwhile, Fate/Kaleid Liner resumed with an amazing first episode, that was so good it left you laughing and smiling the entire episode through.  It had more great moments than every other anime that aired this week combined -- excluding Fairy Tail and Joukamachi which I'll praise next.

Fairy Tail just spent an entire episode highlighting Wendy's beauty.  I took something like 20 screenshots of her and added them all to my beautiful anime girls portrait gallery today from just the latest episode.  I did the same for her during last week's episode.  And I'll do the same for her again during next week's episode, wreathed in the gorgeous power of Dragon Force as she is now.  Wendy is hands down the most beautiful 'anime/manga/japanese culture of any sort' girl ever.  Every little thing she does is glorious and perfect from the top of her hair to the tips of her toes.  Satomi Satou provides a perfect voice for every single one of her perfect lines that make her the standout protagonist in all of Fairy Tail.  Even the plot is modeled around giving her all of the best scenes.  This is in no way disguised, as for instance in the Magic Games arc the announcer stated outright that he thought the Wendy vs. Cheria fight was the best thing he'd seen.  The opening and ending to the Oracien Seis arc was just one long panegyric to Wendy's beauty, brightness and glory.  They knew what was good about this arc, we knew what was good about this arc, and no one even bothered to try and hide or muddle it.

Fairy Tail may not always be the best anime airing each week, but right now it is, because it's focused on Wendy.  If you can't admire Wendy Marvel over the past couple eps and the next couple eps incoming, you're not a human being.

As for Joukamachi no Dandelion, there hasn't been a single weak episode in the series so far.  Everything has been charming, hilarious, and adorable about every single character.  The previous episode, which was a retelling of the Emperor's New Clothes, is one of the best comedy pieces I've ever seen.  If anyone hasn't started watching Joukamachi no Dandelion yet, they need to start now.  This show came out of nowhere.  I'd never heard about it before.  But it is at the top or near the top of the entire summer season, which is packed with 27 good shows all airing at once.

I'll also reserve some time for Gate.  Gate had a pretty bad first episode, but because it was famous I gave it the benefit of the doubt.  That was rewarded grandly from the second episode forward.  The guy's annoying otaku behavior fell away and he became just a genuinely compassionate and able soldier doing his job.  The geopolitical struggles are completely realistic on both sides of the Gate.  If an entire new inhabitable world were discovered still living in a Medieval culture and easily conquered by anyone on Earth, can you imagine the ramifications, the scramble for colonization that would ensue?  Like they said, this place has a good climate, completely untapped natural resources, and is completely defenseless to modern weaponry.  Has anything ever looked so salivating?  Does anyone seriously believe the natives would be respected and their territorial integrity would be respected?  They'd be conquered as soon as you could say lickity split, and that's just what's transpiring in front of us.  The only question is if, somehow, the more compassionate people in the story can find a way to let the natives adjust to their new reality without too much disruption.  They'll lose political power and their previous way of life, but they may not have to lose their lives or their pride if they learn how to assimilate and get along with their new overlords sooner rather than later.  That's all one can hope for at this point, that it won't be a full on genocide, because the chances of them holding on to their own land with swords and bows is exactly zero.

If any single country manages to conquer this planet, the landmass of their nation would exceed all the rest of the nations of Earth combined.  They would be richer and more powerful than everyone else on Earth.  They could, subsequently, conquer the entire world without any problem soon thereafter.  Just imagine if you evacuate your civilian personnel to the other side of the gate, then start a nuclear war, wiping out all life on Earth.  What can they do by way of reprisal?  Nothing.  You're safely in another dimension, where none of their weapons can touch you.  Then you just move back in after a couple hundred or thousand years when the radiation dies down, and you're the owner of two worlds, not one.  You've won at life.  No one is left to oppose you.  The balance of power that currently controls what nations are capable of geopolitically speaking has been completely toppled over.  Anything goes now.  World War III looks entirely possible, almost necessary from a survival standpoint.  Gate's just so interesting.

Dragon Ball Super doesn't plan on having any new content for apparently ages, which has been a huge disappointment.  I have no idea why they feel turning the Battle of Gods movie into a tv series is worthwhile.  I'm sure all of us have already watched that movie multiple times by now.  Why re-air it now?  Just skip the movie and get to what happens next, or if there is no plan for what happens next don't bother with a new tv series at all.  What were they thinking?

Classroom Crisis is much better than I originally thought it would be.  As a sort of business/humor/drama it really stands out as unique as far as anime goes.  Amagi Brilliant Park may be its only competition in the same niche.  Kuusen Madoushi is also better than I expected, but I still wouldn't say it's as good as Mugen no Fafnir was so. . .

Gakkou Gurashi is no High School of the Dead.

Prison School is still gamely hanging in there with its horribly raunchy humor that somehow just works.

The rest of the lineup has been pretty much as expected, what you see is what you get, humming along at about the same worth as the first episode every episode.  I don't think I've ever seen 27 shows all surviving into their fourth episodes like this summer season has produced.  I'm watching more new anime per week than any previous time in my life.

If Charlotte doesn't live up to its reputation as a Key work, I'll drop it from my rankings.  Gate, or some other genuinely good show, can quickly take its place.  I won't forgive this show forever.

No comments: