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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall 2015 Anime First Impressions: Part 2

Hidan no Aria AA:  I had concerns about this series, since it was a spinoff written by someone other than the main author of Hidan no Aria.  Honestly, it doesn't seem to be as good as Hidan no Aria was either.  That shouldn't come as a surprise because fanfiction will always be worse than people who can come up with their own original ideas.  Even so, the animation studio, Dogakobo, has never failed to make a beautiful series, and Rie Kugimiya is still voicing Aria, so how bad can it be?  Even if this just has random violence and cutesy hijinks every episode, I think I'd still enjoy it, because of the great art, animation, character designs and voice acting.  The story is kinda tropish and retreaded, the idea of a kouhai starting weak and eventually growing into a strong and independent hero like her sempai (Soul Eater Not was a great example of this, but it happens all the time really.)  But it's not a bad idea for a plot.  Overall I expect this show to be mediocre and watchable to the very end.  Pass.

35th Platoon blah blah:  Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did go wrong in this episode.  The random out of place and poorly drawn bunny suit fanservice, combined with the guy immediately 'tripping' and falling into the perfect position of groping the new girl's breasts, and the random bouncy boobs on all the girls who apparently forgot to wear bras because they're all out of control like independent martian alien parasites lodging on their chests. . .  Please.  Does anyone even consider this stuff attractive as opposed to grotesque?

On top of the horrible art, all the characters are either rude or stupid.  The doctor in the white lab coat was sadistically torturing the sniper with threats of uploading pornographic videos of her to the internet for no reason.  The 'father' in the white lab coat was prancing around and raising his voice like an idiot even though he was conducting official duty and in the process of serious business.  Has he no dignity or sense of professionalism?  The sword guy refuses to actually cut anyone with his sword so he has no right to wield it.  It's like Kenshin said.  Swords are for killing.  Swordsmen are those who kill.  A shitty swordsman like the protagonist who only magically blocks bullets with his sword doesn't deserve to sully the hilt of a blade.  Everything is bad about this show.  Silver Link really lowered its standards to make something this bad.  Maybe they ran out of quality staff and budget because they put all their good people on the Calvary series.  Fail.

Subete ga F ni Naru:  Aside from the cool name, this series has nothing going for it.  It has a concept of how smart people think and act, but its totally false.  Smart people are not cynical assholes who smoke and say random meaningless phrases in order to look cool.  Smart people are not 'above it all' losers who care nothing about anyone or anything and just wander through life making smarmy comments.  Smart people are the very people who love life and care about it the most, because they can penetrate through the beastly pleasures and material interests of the lower classes and get to the real meat of life that lies behind it.  The sacred.  While dumb people are content to wallow in sex and drugs and obesity, smart people are investigating truth, beauty and love.  Smart people are proven to have more successful and longer lasting love lives with their significant other.  They are proven to care more about their children and are less likely to abuse them or abandon them.  They are proven to be less likely to do crime and treat strangers better (they don't catcall girls as they walk by, etc.)  Smart people are nice people.  The terms are almost interchangeable.  They are curious people, which makes them interesting people.  Rather than being above it all, they tend to be totally engrossed in things, even stupid things like triangles and bugs.  They can find virtually anything to be non-boring by just inspecting it closely enough.  This story has no idea how to portray a smart person, but I can assure you they wouldn't be smoking.  Smart people are not idiots who would give themselves cancer while relying on narcotics to get through the day.  Only dumb, low class people smoke anymore.

If you want a good portrayal of smart people, watch Valkyria Chronicles.  Welkin and Faldio were originally college students interested in science and history, but when the war began they turned their prodigious intellects towards solving tactical battlefield decisions and leading their platoons to victory by outsmarting and outmaneuvering their opponents, who always had a material advantage in terms of straight battle power.  These smart, nice, outgoing and inquisitive kids saved all of Gallia from a horrible fate and became heroes.  That's what you'd expect from smart people.  That's how smart people roll.  This isn't a tale about smart people.  It's a bunch of dumb people who think they're smart spouting pseudo-intellectual bullshit and they're too dumb to even realize how dumb they all sound.  The only people this story will appeal to is other dumb people with the pretension of being smart who think any of the dialogue in this episode sounded cool at all.  Like flies to a midden heap.  Fail.

Shomin Sample blah blah:  The initial premise of this series was awful, so I shouldn't have expected much.  The idea that a guy is kidnapped and threatened with castration unless he pretends he's gay in the middle of an all-girl's school is absurd.  It would never happen.  However, I hoped that Silver Link, with its fantastic art, could somehow make this story good anyway.  Silver Link tried its best.  The girls are extremely attractive and the lewd and lascivious camera tries its best to capture that charm.  But in the end, the room temperature IQ's of the female students makes you want to vomit.  Who's attracted to sex with institutionalized retards?  That's basically the premise of this show, and it just isn't that appealing.  Women have to be smart to be attractive, not the lobotomized idiots displayed before us, no matter how sexy their thighs might be.  I'll also note that I'm tired of male fantasy escapism where totally normal guys are fawned over by harems of high class attractive women even though they don't do anything to earn it.  It's silly.  It's not realistic.  There's no point even dreaming about it.  Instead of waiting to be kidnapped by an all girl's school, why not try to work a little harder such that girls will find you appealing naturally?  Stories that spread that moral theme will be more beneficial to boys in the long run than useless promises that even if you do nothing you'll still end up with 72 virgins in an all girl's school heaven.  Fail.

This concludes the reviews of all of the possibly good new shows for the fall season.  The result was a weekly watchable anime timetable that currently looks like this, but will probably still be morphing for many weeks to come:

1.  Owarimonogatari
2.  Utawarerumono:  Itsuwari no Kamen
3.  Fairy Tail
4.  Yuru Yuri San hai
5.  Rakudai Kishii no Eiyuutan
6.  Heavy Object
7.  Go! Princess Pretty Cure 
8.  One Piece
9.  Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls
10.  Hidan no Aria AA
11.  Gakusen Toshi Asterisk
12.  Lance N' Masques  

Twelve good shows.  Idolm@ster will be ending soon, but there's also a remaining tv special of To Love-ru Darkness upcoming, and a Working tv special which should also be coming, so even with Idolm@ster ending it feels like 12 shows will be airing at any given time for at least the first portion of the fall season.  This is a far cry from summer's 20+ shows, but that was an exceptional season.  This is more like what you would expect on average.  Owarimonogatari and Utawarerumono are so good that it makes up for all the missing other shows anyway.

The big question for this season is whether Rakudai Kishii no Eiyuutan continues to build on its wonderful first episode and reaches my rankings or not.  All eyes are now trained on this dark horse.

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