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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Summer 2018 Anime First Impressions: Part 1

Island:  The plot, setting, and male protagonist all suck.  However, the heroine is pretty and voiced by Yukari Tamura (who sings a lot in this series, and she's a great singer on top of a great voice actor).  That will suffice for now.  Maybe other things will improve in time, who knows.  This clearly isn't going to be a great anime though.  Pass.

Yuragi-sou no Yuna-san:  A poor man's hentai.  If that's what you're aiming for, you may as well just go full tilt.  Fail.

Shichisei no Subaru:  This feels like a mashup of other people's much better stories.  SAO, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, Anohana, etc, etc.  The girls are cute and I like VRMMORPG's so I guess it will do for now.  Pass.

Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu:  The useless male protagonist ruins any potential this series had.  The moment he could compel his elf and catgirl slaves to do whatever he said he should have formed a harem.  Anything short of that is absurd.  And what really gets me is that the story continuously titillates that very development but turns away at the last moment, presumably to avoid censorship.  It just ends up feeling like a very unnatural and unfulfilling train wreck.  Fail.

Harukana Receive:  The production value of this series really goes all out.  It shows a proper respect for the beauty of its heroines in their scanty attire.  It also gives off a great impression that all those beautiful lines, muscles and joints exist for a reason, like a well oiled machine.  The reason being to play beach volleyball.  Pass.

Sunoharu-san no Kanrinrin:  I couldn't make it through the first ep.  The girl is a cocktease and the boy is one of those hopeless cowardly good for nothing's who spends all his time blushing and stammering and running away.  Among anime's awful tropes, Sunoharu-san stepped on virtually every single landmine possible.  Fail.

Ongaku Shoujo:  This series is way too ambitious.  Introducing so many characters at once, who on Earth could remember them all?  Giving them all some dumb distinctive trait that's unrealistically exaggerated is a good mnemonic, but it also undermines the quality of the characters because then they all act like annoying idiots.  The only way to have a large cast that isn't annoying is to have a long series that can treat them all like real people via long character arcs for everyone, ala One Piece.  At the least, though, it has good art and music, which is all it takes for now to be entertaining.  How long will that initial charm last and the story have to take over?  Who knows.  Pass.

Planet With:  This show has insultingly bad art, an extremely annoying male lead, and no plot or setting worth a damn.  Is this anime even trying to win fans over or is it just some dumb artist 'expressing himself' through weird nonsense?  What is this, modern art in anime form?  Fail.

Hyakuren no Haou to Seiyaku no Valkyria:  An interesting take on the isekai genre.  In this story, he relies more on his knowledge of the modern world to get by instead of any magical powers, and still even keeps in touch with his family back home on Earth.  Like usual a giant harem of willing girls are crawling all over him, all of whom he randomly refuses to indulge (isekai stories tend to suffer from this trope), but at least they're cute so it's not all bad.  Pass.

Hataraku Saibou:  Never anthropomorphize.  This is because non-sentient objects do not have thoughts or feelings, so it makes no sense to maintain the same setting as their real world counterparts while attaching sentience to their actions.  For instance, if a 'person' is mindlessly and reflexively carrying out the exact same activities every day until they split in two and/or die, that isn't a story worth writing about.  And yet the moment you have the 'sentient' cells with thoughts and feelings not doing what a real cell does, you lose the entire conceit of the story.  There's no story left, because it's no longer a story explaining cells' lives.  It's a catch-22 of failure all created by the initial mistake of anthropomorphization.  There is a proper behavior for non-sentient actors and a proper way to treat them, and another proper behavior for sentient actors and a proper way to treat them.  It creates painful cognitive dissonance when a sentient actor is treated like a non-sentient actor, and likewise when a sentient actor behaves like a non-sentient actor.  And yet the story is stuck by definition doing both of these things non-stop.  So it's going to be an eternal journey of painful cognitive dissonance.  No thank you.  Fail.

This will do for part 1.  Part 2 will cover the remaining series with potential that haven't aired yet:  Grand Blue, Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki, Asobi Asobase, Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight and Lord of Vermillion.

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