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Summer Anime 2018

There’s a few interesting shows this season, though none of them are in what I’d call excellent. Also, most of them feature more profanity than is necessary, except Phantom.

Banana Fish – A film-noirish look into the seedy underside of NYC’s gang scene. Touches on the awful connections between pedophilia and homosexuality as well.
Hatarku Saibou (Cells in Motion) – A typically Japanese look at the daily life of cells in the human body. Quite bloody. Almost too much for me.
Lord of Vermilion – A futuristic vampire tale that makes more sense than the usual Japanese demonology/spiritism or vampirism (Shiki excluded of course).
Phantom in the Twilight – London urban fantasy featuring creatures of the night (twilights) and the spunky emigree from Japan. Refreshingly innocent.

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Spring Anime 2018

Yes


Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai (Tada Never Falls in Love) – humorous, heart-warming, school/work story with a classic animation style

Maybe


Nii Admirari no Tenbin – Teito Genwaku Kitan — interesting story but what’s up with the ecchi closing sequence?

Nothing else was worth commenting on; really who cares about all the shows that suck anyways? I think I’m tired of wading through the sewer just to comment upon the disgusting things you find there.

Winter Anime 2018

And here we are again, a new season. The usual caveats apply — if it’s a second season or something I’m not into, it’s not here. That means no: Love Live!, Precure, Idolmaster, etc.

Yes


Gakuen Babysitters — heart-tugging daycare / orphan / school setup. Not overly cutesy. I wonder how this will go?
Koi wa Amegari no You ni – ohmigosh yes – Romantic/stilled time/introvert/doomed love yes!
Kokkoku — gritty time-stop modern day. Looks good, but the ending theme is prurient.
Mira no Kaikata — humorous and kawaii
Toji no Miko — demon-hunting shrine maidens — better than it sounds and it gets better past the first ten minutes
Violet Evergarden — turn-of-the-century war/romance.
Yuru Camp — Wistful, pastoral, romance of camping

No


Basilisk – Ouka Ninpouchou — Historical ninja drama. Boresville.
Citrus — Yuri — at least the intro told me, so little wasted time
Death March kara Hajimar Isekai Kyousoukyoku — Log Horizon rip-off
Grancrest Senki — a bratty mage and her project boy knight — yeah, no thanks
Hataraku Onii-san — cat delivery service — this could have been fantastic, but instead it’s stupid, shallow, and drawn by people who didn’t care
Marchen Madchen — the main character pulls at my heart, but the erotic twists and turns destroy the experience
Micchiri Neko — ultra-short and aimed at the pre-school set
Misuboshi Colors — Lucky Star, the jr high version
Pop Team Epic — Absolutely moronic. I feel much less capable of thinking after watching half of this.
Ryuuou no Oshigoto! — board game drama = boring
Sanrio Danshi — Schmaltzy
Slow Start — Ecchi

Houseki No Kuni is one of those shows with a fantastic premise, but which takes forever to unwind while only one character in the cast ever undergoes any character development. Each episode is semi-autonomous in that few characters return from episode to episode, so even at the end of twelve episodes, you know very little of the characters. I’ve never seen something quite as frustrating. It begins with heaps of promise and it ends with heaps of promise, but no delivery.

It’s so static that it’s bewildering. Large spans of time are covered and yet the obvious questions that the audience has are never asked by the characters. Ideas are introduced in an episode which are never explored. Plot threads never connect.

Here’s an example — Rutile, the doctor, has been working to restore a character to life. She has been working on this for 321 years. This fact is only mentioned in episode 11. So for 10 episodes, you have one impression of Rutile, then you have a completely different impression after this episode, again, not because something happens to her, but rather an important fact about her was hidden until nearly the end of the season.

If this was based on a manga, did they leave so much out to focus on the simple plot? Was there just not enough there? If this is an original effort, there’s so many things wrong that I can’t imagine how it go through editing. Sentai Filmworks aren’t newbies either, so what happened guys? This is a fail on four cylinders.

Why did I watch it this long? The old familiar reason — I kept hoping it would turn the corner. It wasn’t trashy. Great premise. It just went nowhere, and really, although episode 12 is no ending, I don’t care what happens next because ep 12 was such a ridiculous and unnecessary cliffhanger. The soup is too thin, guys; you’ve stretched it and my patience, long enough. So even if you’re enchanted by the premise, there’s nothing for you there after twelve episodes.

Welcome to the graveyard, Houseki no Kuni.

The Depravity of Inuyashiki

Sigh. This show started out so well — interesting main character, great concept, and it slowly lost it all by coarsening the content until you became aware that maybe that was the point. There were indications of laziness and unbelievability mixed in, too. In short, don’t bother unless the sadism of Corpse Party is your thing, and if it is, get help.

Episode 1 — a great beginning. Basically you have a man who appears older than he is, Inuyashiki, who is despairing of life. He is ignored by his self-absorbed children, treated as an object by his wife, and in poor health. An alien craft visits the hill that he and a youth are standing upon and vaporizes them both, but in an attempt to cover up the visitation, reconstructs them with the technology they have on hand, which is weapons-based. Inuyashiki then discovers how to use his powers and in the end, saves a guy’s life from a gang of middle-schoolers.

Episode 2/3 — if you ever wanted to see a graphic depiction of evil, here you go. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep watching (and I suspect most people wouldn’t). This shows the other main character, a schoolboy, murdering an entire family including an infant. There’s no deeper meaning here, except the horrific nature of evil. This could have been depicted a hundred other ways with much more effect; in fact, when you do see this character strike again (ep 3), it’s handled with a minimalism that is chilling.

Episode 4 — homosexual rape, possibly rape-murder. Enough is enough.

OO verdict — avoid at all costs.

Welcome to the graveyard, Inuyashiki.

Winter Anime 2017

Here it is anew, a short listing of this seasons anime` and my initial take on them.

I didn’t bother with Love Live (sigh), or Id@lmaster, because I’ve already given up or disliked their predecessors.

Yes


Animegataris — Cute, funny show about anime fans.
Inuyashiki — Wow. I can’t wait to see how this develops.
Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau — Fantasy with an interesting milleau

Maybe


Houseki no Kuni — Interesting and well-thought-out concept, characterization is good
Two Car — Main characters are cool and I watched it all the way to the end, so that’s something.

No


Black Clover — Yuno is too annoying. I hate his voice and his personality is like a caricature.
Blend S — Basically porn
Dynamic Chord — Band animes don’t usually work unless they’re really good. This is not. Shallow, too much music that’s not any good.
Evil or Live — Interesting idea, but lame non-animated elements and profanity
Garo – Vanishing Line — Stereotypical shonen-fest
Himouto! Umaru-chan R — Chibi. No.
Imouto sae Ireba II — Incest.
Juuni Taisen — Sadistic. This is the kind of show that creates psychotics.
Kekkai Sensen & Beyond — An over-the-top gory comedy that unsurprisingly isn’t funny
Onyakapon — I hate the anime style — mechanical and computer-generated, shallow, and probably aimed at jr high folks
Osake we Fuufu ni Natte Kara — Romance of alcohol. I think this has already been done enough in American culture, even though I really like mixed drinks myself.
Sengoku Night Blood — Medieval country unification, again. Boring.
UQ Holder — Happy porno vampires!!! Uhm, no way.
Wake up Girls! Shin Shou — Slightly better than Love Live, but still not good enough. Shallow.

The Return

I haven’t had much time to watch anime` lately. It’s weird and it’s unsettling, the way that life has intruded and suddenly, I’ve found my weekends occupied with home repair, travels to the in-laws, church, cleaning up the house, pet duties, financial concerns, and so many other nuts and bolts of real life. What I have recently rediscovered though is something which I knew all along — I need an escape, a place of healthy imagination and stories that inspire and transport me. I’ve always known this, but I haven’t taken the time to nurture my own spirit in this way.

It began with a weekend that my wife was visiting her folks and I plopped down to watch When Marnie Was There, a Studio Ghibli film. I think it was the film that drove me to finding something more meaningful. Long story short: like most of their films, it fails to ignite and it misses nearly every opportunity to deliver a meaningful impact. That left me unsatisfied, so this week, I rewatched Plastic Memories, and found it somehow healing. Yes, it’s a heavy show, but its purity and its perspective on making your life count linger.

I had felt like something was missing, and anime was one part of that. There are others, I know, but I’m back to write more about anime`, purity, and truth.