Anime Winter Season 2017 – Early Impressions

New year, new anime! After the massive autumn season it feels a little weird to have such a small season to deal with. I think there’s about a dozen less shows total, and there’s several sequels, so there wasn’t really that much for me to check out this time.

I’d also say it’s perhaps a somewhat weak season. While there are several good shows, there’s a lot more that are bad, mediocre, or just dull. And of the good ones, there’s maybe only two or three I think have the potential to be great. I don’t think I’m going to have much problem finding enough stuff to watch though. It just probably won’t be quite up to last season’s standard.

Back to normal procedure with both [Dropped] and [Maybe] tags again applied. I was tempted to also give them a grade, like from A to F, but that’s more effort than it’s worth. If you missed it, I also wrote about last year’s most noteworthy shows here.

BanG Dream is not on here because it’s still a week out, and I don’t want to wait. With that said, let’s get started.

Starting Up

Birb

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka [Maybe]

Aka ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department

In the great United Nation of Twitter, the organisation known as ACCA manages public services in all the 13 territories. Police, fire service, hospitals, and so on. Whatever it is, some branch of ACCA does it.

Naturally a large system like this requires some oversight, hence the Inspection Department. Formed long ago when the 13 territories were newly joined and there was still a lot of unrest, the Inspection Department’s job is to inspect and audit the various ACCA departments all across the nation.

But now they’re in modern and peaceful times, and the Inspection Department has been deemed obsolete by the nation’s ruling council. When going on his last business trip of the job, Jean uncovers some corruption with another territory’s local Inspection branch, and upon his return is informed that the Department isn’t being shut down after all.

Why the quick turn-about when the decision had already been made? I suppose that’s part of the mystery the show wants to entice you with.

Honestly I think it did a pretty good job setting up an interesting world and laying the groundwork for an interesting story. From what I’ve seen of the characters so far they seem well-realised enough. Seems like this one has potential to turn out well.

I also find the art-style very interesting. It almost seems French. Which might not make sense to you if you didn’t grow up with a lot of Francobelgian animation and comics. There’s just something about that style which evokes that feeling in me. Great moustaches too.

I don’t quite feel like it’s my kind of thing though. A little too sombre and serious.

Surprisingly fun

Akiba’s Trip: The Animation

Aka Akiba Strip

While I haven’t played it, I have of course heard of Akiba Strip. The game where you defeat vampires by tearing their clothes off. That sort of thing gets infamous really fast.

So when I saw they had made an anime of this, I fully expected this to be an absolute shit-show when I went in. And it’s… not. I had a lot of fun with the first episode.

It probably helped that I knew more or less what I was in for. I was certain there would be a lot of fan-service, and there is, but it doesn’t feel like as big a deal here, really. It’s almost treated very casually. There’s just something about the tone that makes it feel more okay, I guess.

Apparently the cast from the game is not the same as in the anime. We have the main dude and nerd Tamotsu, initially powerless, but heroic to the point of recklessness. There’s the female main Matome, who already has the job of hunting and defeating these vampires, powered up as she is. There’s Tamotsu’s little sister Niwaka, who is an adorable nerd. There’s strange and super-strong (and possibly Finnish) Arisa, who is also a nerd and really into cosplay. I guess everyone’s a nerd except Matome. Poor girl.

Of course things happen that thrust all four of them together, and Tamotsu gets wounded so badly that Matome decides to give him powers like hers to save his life. Of course it turns out he adjusts to the new powers pretty much instantly, and defeats all the vampires that had nearly taken down Matome.

On the one hand it seems like yet another “powerless newbie dude meets powered-up experienced girl, he also gets powers, and she has to train him until he’s better than her, because only a man can be the true hero”. Yes, that is basically a genre.

On the other hand it seems like it could be really fun, so I’m willing to keep up with it for now.

A little different.

Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari [Maybe]

Aka Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas

This show opens on a very climactic battle. You know, the sort you expect at the end of a series. Loads of awesome-looking characters doing awesome things, clearly a large alliance of people from all over, fighting the final battle to take down the big bad. Just a whole host of characters that get no introduction beyond some brief scene of them being badass.

So I fully expected this to be some sort of “future prequel” or whatever you want to call it. A taste of what’s to come. And that at any moment it would cut back to “how it all began”. But as it kept going I became less and less sure of that.

While outside the castle a fierce ground battle was raging, inside the Hero’s party were facing down the big bad, the Black King. Who looks eerily a lot like King Garron from Fire Emblem Fates. The Hero’s final attack happens, the roof is blown off, and then it turns out… it didn’t work. The Black King shrugged it off, and gets his hand on what he needs to end the world. The titular Chain Chronicle.

The book tears in half, and corruption spews forth. The Black King’s Age of Darkness begins. Our heroes have lost. They retreat with their injured, and the question stands: what now?

The alliance breaks apart, as the agreement the Hero and his party had managed to forge was that after this battle the alliance was over. No one thought they would lose, but now they have to go home anyway. They have no way of making another assault right now, especially with the Hero heavily wounded.

I am interested in this because it is approaching the subject from a direction I’ve not seen before. They lost; what now? No time travel to go back and start over, no alternate reality to jump to. They have to deal with the consequences of their failure, and still find some way to try again. I’m not sure I’ll have the time, but I would like to see at least a couple more episodes to see how it develops.

Though I will say that the Hero really blew it. He had a perfect attack of opportunity with the Black King’s back turned, and completely threw it away by yelling his approach. Idiot.

I don't know.

Choboraunyopomi Gekijou Dai San Maku Ai Mai Mii: Surgical Friends

Aka Ai-Mai-Mii: Surgical Friends

Short.

I have absolutely no idea what I watched, or how to describe it. I have been told it’s the third season of whatever this is, but I can’t see how watching those would give me the context to understand this. Context is not the problem.

I will watch some more to see if I can in any way understand it, or at least appreciate the very absurd comedy here. Might also watch the previous seasons. We’ll see.

Cuties.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Aka Interviews with Monster Girls

While I have not read the manga, I had heard of it, so when I saw the English title pop up in the OP, I got really excited. I knew this was either going to be amazing, or a complete disaster. I definitely think it’s the former.

This is set in a world where demi-humans are known and fairly common. Vampires, succubi, dullahans, and other creatures from various mythologies and folklore actually exist (though not always quite as in the old stories). They are typically caused by mutations in fetuses, and born from regular humans. We are informed that they prefer to just be called demi, as that’s “cuter”, to quote the vampire Hikari.

The story focuses roughly around Tetsuo Takahashi, a teacher at a high school who wants to write a thesis about demis, but hasn’t been able to find any to interview. Requesting interviews usually puts one in a very long queue where common people like him don’t have much chance at all.

Then all in one day he discovers his school has four demis. Another teacher, Sakie Satou, begins work that day, and reveals as part of her introduction that she’s a succubus. Then he runs into a student who’s a vampire, Hikari, who leads him to a dullahan, Kyouko, and also informs him there’s a snow woman, Yuki, in the school. He feels rather overwhelmed.

After getting his wits back together, he decides to ask them for interviews. He strikes out with Sakie, as she is very wary of people approaching her. He doesn’t even get the chance to explain. However, Hikari is very eager to help out on the condition that she can come to the biology prep room whenever she wants. She doesn’t like the sun or heat, and the bio room has to be kept dark and cool due to the samples and specimens in there. Takahashi agrees, and off we go!

I was really charmed by this. It’s very cute, Hikari’s a very good girl, and there’s just something very warm and nice about it. One of the two shows I’m most looking forward to this season.

Cock-snake.

ēlDLIVE [Dropped]

This title made no sense to me. Thought at first it was like e ID (id) LIVE. But no. It’s a lowercase L, not an uppercase i. el DLIVE. Which made more sense when I heard them actually say it out loud. It sounded like they were saying “el DRIVE”, which actually sounds like it might be a thing.

This is not a very good show. It barely manages to border on being fine.

The opening hypes it up a bit. It seems to be like Men in Black, expect with Women in Blue, and them going after aliens seems kinda cool. Then it cuts to our actual protagonist.

Chuuta is a berk attending middle school, who has an invisible friend that won’t stop talking to him. Even though it’s been that way his whole life, he has no self-control on whether or not he talks back to it. So it just seems like he talks to himself A LOT. The show handles this really poorly, and he really comes across as an obnoxious idiot. Plus the one time he should have actually listened to the voice, he doesn’t. The one time he manages to ignore it is the one time he really should have paid attention. All the other times he should have known better, he doesn’t.

Then he gets drafted into the titular el DLIVE because Mother Brain, having given up her life of space piracy, said it would be a good idea. Soon it turns out that Chuuta’s invisible friend is an alien entity that has possessed his cock and turned it into a magical talking snake, and together they have super-powers.

This is not a good show. Don’t bother.

Side-note: One of three appearances of Shirayuki’s VA, Saori Hayami, I’ve found this season. She plays Misuzu. She has a very distinctive voice, and seems to always do the same voice no matter who she voices. It’s become a fun game to make note of spotting her. I’m glad she’s getting a lot of work, but she doesn’t seem to make her way into that many good shows. Though she was in Shirayukihime and Hibike Euphonium, so it’s not all bad. (Even though my feelings on both those shows soured.)

I. Hate. This. Show.

Fuuka [Dropped!]

I hate this show.

Main dude Yuu has just moved into town to live with his sisters, and it’s not long into the episode that the titular Fuuka appears. She yells “get out of the way” about 2 seconds before she leaps straight into Yuu, when he’s standing in a fairly open area where she could have quite easily gotten around him. He has no chance to actually dodge. Then she falls on her ass and exposes her panties, and while Yuu looks away right away, Fuuka doesn’t buy it and breaks his phone. Without even checking. I hate this show.

See, Yuu is really into Twitter, so he had his phone out when she charged right into him. She took this to mean he had taken a photo of her panties, even though there had been no camera noise, and she didn’t even check to see if the app was open. In fact, the way everyone walks around with their phones held up like that makes it feel like this was written by a 50-year-old with a chip on their shoulder towards “kids these days”. I hate this show.

Yuu’s sisters really like hanging out around home in just their underwear, just because. I hate this show.

I actually developed sympathy for Yuu because of how he kept getting shit on without deserving it time and time again, and I hate. This show. So much.

I had to quit halfway through the episode because I was losing my mind. Then I got filled in on how the manga turns out and…

I.

Hate.

This.

Show.

And I hate that manga. I hate the person who created this awful thing, even though I have no idea who they are. This is the worst, most infuriating thing I have seen since… I don’t even know. I can’t remember the last thing I hated this much. I hate this show.

Angels and demons, oh my.

Gabriel DropOut

This show begins on graduation day at angel school in Heaven. Gabriel and Raphiel are both graduating and heading down to Earth to live among humans and attend school there, to understand them better so they can become better angels.

For Gabriel this goes south fairly quickly as somehow her computer had opened up a free-to-play MMO without her knowledge, which ends up pulling her in, and she does an Umaru not long after, basically becoming a lazy fallen angel with no interest in school or even humanity.

Her neighbour is the demon Vignette, who puts more effort than it’s probably worth into looking after Gab. Vigne is about as demonic as Gab is angelic. She does manage to convince Gab to go to school, though getting her to shape up would be a much bigger task.

At their school is also Satanichia aka Satania, future ruler of hell, and the most evil moe you have ever seen. Her fiendishness knows no bounds.

When we finally see Raphiel again, it turns out she’s… well. She’s a twisted sadist, basically. With a clear indication that she has just always been that way, and no one in Heaven picked up on it.

My writing probably gives it away, but I’m not a fan of Raphi as we have seen her so far. Vigne and Satania are very good though, and Gab herself is good.

Now onto the awkward part. This show seems to have basically everything it should take for me to be totally on board and looking forward to more, and yet the first episode didn’t really click with me. I can recognise and appreciate several good parts in there, but as a whole I wasn’t feeling it. And it genuinely bothers me that I didn’t.

This looks like something I should love, so why does it make me feel slightly uncomfortable? Raphi is one thing, but I had that feeling even before she showed up fairly late in the episode.

Did I want it to be something else? It quickly made me think of Pita Ten, but it’s not like Pita Ten at all, really. Only very superficially. Did I want it to be more like that?

This is going to keep bothering me, so I’ll have to check one or two more episodes to see if it clicks in place, or whether I just have to give up on it.

Ugh...

Hand Shakers [Dropped]

This show physically hurt me.

I believe the premise of the show is that the so-called Hand Shakers (aka Wankers) are a bonded pair (all of boy and girl I think) who are able to manifest supernatural abilities within some alternate world. It doesn’t seem very good from a story or story-telling perspective, but the worst part is actually how it looks.

Hand Shakers is physically painful to watch. All the awkward and unnecessary camera panning, the weird 3D animation, the simulated lens effects, and on top of all of that just how bright and busy everything looks. After the episode was done my eyes hurt, I felt nauseous, and I had only barely managed to avoid an oncoming headache.

This is one of those instances where I just think: “Who thought this was a good idea?” Clearly some people involved in this had talent. Take the backgrounds, for instance. They’re gorgeous, at least when the shot actually stays still and lets you appreciate them. The character models don’t go well on top of them, though. It all just seems very dissonant and ugly.

It’s not the worst premise, so this might have maybe been okay if it wasn’t literally painfully hideous.

Can’t recommend it in any form, unless you want to test your tolerance for the pain it deals out.

Very strange.

Idol Jihen [Maybe]

Aka Idol Incidents

So this is a show about Idol Dietwomen. As in, idols who have seats on the Diet, which I’ve been led to understand is the Japanese parliament. Even with everything else this season, this might be the weirdest concept of them all. As if someone desperately came up with the elevator pitch: “what if idolmaster, but ruling Japan?”

I am not sure to what extent all nine of them will share the focus yet, but the first episode focuses on red-haired Natsuki, essentially an unofficial local idol in the farming area where she lives. When a previous Diet seat is vacated, she is asked to try out to become the Heroine Party candidate for the seat. She passes the challenge to become the candidate, but then she has to actually get elected.

The leader of the Heroine party instructs one of the already sitting Idols to help coach Natsuki, and that’s how she and Shizuka meet.

The first episode essentially fast-travels through the whole training and election process, which ends in Natsuki and Shizuka having a live show together. This both gets Natsuki elected, and eases some of the tension between the two. I feel like the show wants to get on with the “they are Idol Dietwomen” concept as soon as possible.

This is bizarre and cute enough that I wouldn’t mind watching some more of it, if I have time. I’m wondering how the actual politics are going to fit in and hold up. Could still tip either way quite easily.

Friends!

Kemono Friends

Aka Animal Friends

How do I even describe this… I mean, it’s not a hard concept, I’m just not sure how best to convey it with words.

There’s this park, Japari Park, where all the animals have turned into Friends: Humanoid versions of themselves. They’re all a bunch of furries, basically. They hang out in their territories, do their things, and according to the promo blurb, the park gets a lot of visitors coming to see these strange Animal Friends.

Our story opens as one of the Friends, Serval, happens upon a human child. After establishing that Serval isn’t going to eat her, the child says she doesn’t remember who she is, what she is, or how she got there. Serval decides to temporarily name the girl after the bag she carries, and says she should go to the Library to find out what kind of animal she is. Serval can take her as far as to the end of the Savanna Area, but from there Bag-chan has to go alone.

Spoiler: Serval has a change of heart and decides to keep going with her.

This is really, really cute, and I want more of it.

What even

Kuzu no Honkai [Dropped]

Aka Scum’s Wish

As soon as I saw the noitaminA splash screen at the start, I had a feeling what I was getting myself into. I believe that’s the same as appeared at the front of Zankyuu no Terror, and Subete ga F ni Naru.

Artsy bollocks? Yup. Way too serious? Yup. Awkward romance? Hoo boy yep. Overly philosophical? Yup yup. Average-looking bloke in glasses? Yep. All that and more!

I didn’t get very far in. I watched the pre-OP scenes, and the OP itself, where it just looked like this was a show about everyone being miserable, everything being bad, and nothing good happening to anyone. Not to mention the really high creep factor about these relationships and desired romances. That is really not the kind of thing I want to watch at all.

Plus just the whole thing with the main “couple” only dating because they share a secret about how each of them is in love with a teacher, and is using the other as a replacement. I mean, maybe it’ll be about them learning to love each other instead of who they want the other person to be, but… I can’t watch it. It looks so depressing and creepy.

I think the most succinct way of describing Scum’s Wish is to remove “‘s Wish”.

Dergen!

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon

Aka Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

This was the only thing I saw a PV of before the season started, and I have to say the PV didn’t sell it well, because I expected something cringy and awful. Turns out Maidragon is actually quite delightful.

It all starts with the titular Kobayashi-san waking up with a hangover, and getting ready to go to work, but when she opens her front door, a giant dragon-face is waiting for her. The dragon transforms into the mostly human-looking girl you see up there in the middle: Tohru.

Tohru is a dragon, old and powerful, who has fallen in love with Kobayashi and wants to live with her as her maid. See, the night before Kobayashi had gotten really drunk, somehow ended up in the mountains, found Tohru, pulled out a sword stuck in the dragon’s side, and sat down to chat. There she told Tohru of her love for maids, before saying “wanna come over to my place?” And now Tohru is here!

This is so cute and lovely, and Tohru is a delight. I am tempted to give it an early “Anime of the Season” award just for how happy it’s made my friends who watched it.

A lot of the fun comes from how Tohru doesn’t really know anything about being a maid, nor how to live with/as a human. I’m also happy about how the show states in plain text that Tohru is actually in love with, and sexually interested in, Kobayashi. I’m not sure how human-dragon intercourse would work exactly, but I know I’ll be saying “please kiss the dragon, Kobayashi” and “please sex the dragon, Kobayashi” a lot this season.

This is the other of the two shows I’m really excited for.

Wheeee!

Little Witch Academia (TV)

Little Witch Academia is probably my favourite Studio Trigger property. I greatly enjoyed the first short film, and The Enchanted Parade. So when I heard they were doing a full series, I thought they’d pick up after Enchanted Parade. They did not.

The TV series goes back to the beginning, and seems to be a reboot. All the same characters are there, but otherwise it seems like they are starting a new story about how Akko got into Luna Nova Magical Academy. The start about her seeing Shiny Chariot’s magical show seems to be the same, but from there on out it starts doing its own thing. I suppose it makes sense to want to keep themselves open to people who haven’t seen the short films.

The characters still seem to be the same though, even if the story is different. Akko is still full of enthusiasm and drive, while lacking skill, self-awareness, and discipline. Sucy is more interested in her studies of poisons, potions, and dangerous stuff in general, than anything else, including other people. Lotte tries her best, but seems to still be stuck getting dragged around by the other two, Akko especially.

While I’m not exactly thrilled to see everything reset, I still rate this first episode highly, not far behind Demi-chan and Maidragon. Hopefully it works out well.

Unfortunately boring.

Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang [Dropped]

Aka MARGINAL #4 the Animation

Marginal#4: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is yet another boy idol anime. I have a bit of a hit and miss history with those. Unfortunately this seems to be another miss.

Considering the opening, I was wondering if this was going to do the “and this is how it all began” thing, especially with how it brought up the history of one of the members, but it does not. It basically just opens with their debut, and takes it from there.

I refuse to believe these guys are using their real names though. No way did their parents name the twins L and R, and I don’t buy for a second that the redhead is actually named Atom. The blue-haired one being called Rui is the only one I will buy is using his real name. Also how do the identical-looking twins have different blood types?

It feels like the show is also trying to be school slice-of-life, showing how their growing idol status is affecting their high school life. Which is a neat idea, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was so dreadfully boring. I tried my best to stick with it until the end, but I got so bored that I just switched it off when there was 6-7 mins left. There was just nothing there that managed to engage or excite me in any way.

I’m sure this has an audience, and I’m sure that I’m not part of it.

Does it even try?

Masamune-kun no Revenge [Dropped]

Aka Masamune-kun’s Revenge

Masamune used to be rather chubby as a child, and got turned down by the first girl he had a crush on. Fast-forward to high school, and he’s been working really hard to get handsome. He’s worked out, changed his diet, taken everything seriously, and become quite the pretty, muscly boy. And absolutely obsessed with the calorie-count of everything.

So he gets himself transferred to the school he knows his old crush goes to, with the aim of finding her, making her fall in love with him, and then turning her down to break her heart the same way she broke his. So far, so creepy.

And find her he does. She has become known as the Cruel Princess. She is the most sought after girl in school, but every time some boy confesses to her (which seems to have become a spectator sport at the school) she turns him down in the cruellest way, assigning some mocking nickname to them in the process. Going by the first episode, I’d say she’s come to enjoy her role. But in a way I can’t blame her for having come to despise every boy in the school. They hound her so much and talk about how they will definitely be the one to “break her down”. As if that’s how it works.

Once Masamune finds out that is definitely the girl he has been searching for, he starts working to find out more about her, and how to get closer to her. He even discovers a secret about her: that the reason she always eat lunch alone is because she eats a lot. She has hypoglycemia, which gives her a massive appetite in an attempt to keep her blood sugar levels up. (I’m not sure it works exactly as the show portrays it, but that’s what they’re going with.) Of course the show’s angle towards this seems to be to shame and make fun of her for it.

Maybe there is more to this than meets the eye, but it really seems like a rather mean-spirited show, and Masamune is a Grade-A Fuckboy. It really seems like Nice Guy™ The Anime, which I don’t have a terribly huge interest in.

It does have another of the three appearances of Saori Hayami, as Kojuurou. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen her playing a boy. Who is of course very effeminate, and as such his nickname at school has become “the designated bottom”. Such hilarious jokes this show has.

Not quite Long Riders.

Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-Bu

Aka Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club

I’ll be honest: Until I was reminded of it yesterday, I had completely forgotten this show even existed. I was able to dig up the memories and brush off most of the dirt though.

Hiromi is a girl who has just moved to Kamakura with her mother, and is about to start high school there. She has decided that she wants to get back into cycling, which she remembers loving as a child. A very young child, it turns out. Hiromi can’t actually ride a bike. She only rode with training wheels when she was very young, and her attempts at cycling to school don’t go well.

On the way she runs into Tomoe, another girl about to start at the same school as Hiromi. Tomoe ends up helping Hiromi figure out the basics before they both walk to school together, figuring that’s safer for now. They get there just in time for the opening ceremony, and find out they’re in the same class. This is especially a relief to Hiromi, who was worried she wouldn’t make any friends at all.

Going by the show’s title, I assume that they’re going to join the school’s cycling club. Or perhaps start one. We’ll see.

There is also a post-ED segment that aims to teach people how to get into cycling, the first segment being about picking the right bike frame for your needs. Going by all the brand names on display, this seems to be a sponsored show.

I guess the first episode didn’t leave much of an impact on me considering I completely forgot the show existed after a couple of days. It clearly wasn’t completely wiped, just… buried. It’s not Long Riders, though. I have a feeling it’s not going to reach that level either. But I have at least heard that episode 2 is a step up from the first, so I plan to at least have a look at that.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee

Nyanko Days

Short.

It’s a show about cats that are actually tiny catgirls, and it’s so beautiful I could cry. I squeal every time they’re onscreen.

The fact that show is only 2 mins long is frankly a crime. I’d happily watch 20 mins of nyankos.

Creep alert!

One Room [Dropped!]

Aka Male Gaze the Anime, aka Creep Simulator the Anime.

Short.

This is a point-of-view first-person anime where the protagonist is never seen, and never heard speak. He seems to mostly stare at the boobs, butts, and thighs of the girls in the show. This sort of self-insert shit is disturbing.

VLC actually stopped working when I tried to watch this. It just stopped responding, wouldn’t play any further. Even closing and reopening it didn’t work. I can take a hint.

Even with that being said, I can’t decide which I think is actually creepier of this and Scum’s Wish.

Seems really good.

Onihei [Maybe]

A period drama set back in Japan’s Tenmei era, more specifically the 1780s. The show is centred around Heizou Hasegawa, who is the Chief Officer of the Arson Theft Control in Edo, which seems to be the equivalent of a police force at the time.

This show is not shy about showing blood and gore, in case that’s something you’d rather avoid. It opens on a torture scene.

The first episode follows a thief that Heizou arrested, and failed to interrogate. When word is out that the thief’s old boss has been slaughtering people while committing robbery, the thief’s pleads to be let go to hunt down what he believes is an impostor. The man he knew would never do such deeds, as he explicitly taught him not to.

I’m not sure how much of an overarching narrative there is going to be, but I think this might be aiming differently. Going by the structure of this first episode, it seems highly possible it could be episodic. By which I mean each episode is basically its own stand-alone story that don’t necessarily directly connect to each other. This remains to be seen.

I also want to note that this show is gorgeous. The art-style is very distinct, the animation flows well, and certain effects like rain just look amazing. The fights-scenes might not be quite as smooth and clean as something like One Punch Man, but it’s still generally easy to keep track of what is going on. I believe the sense of chaos thrown into it is deliberate.

There is also a hint of the kind of art Kagewani used thrown into the character designs. The way they seem a little bit stiff, papery, and flat, but only just enough to make them stand out. Another effect I rather believe is deliberate than a result of laziness or poor skill. The whole thing looks very stylish.

While I am impressed by the show, whether I keep watching it is entirely dependent on whether I have the time. I’m not going to make it one of my top picks, but it seems solid enough that it’s an easy choice to fall back on.

Food!

Piace: Watashi no Italian [Dropped]

Aka Piacevole: My Italian Cooking

Short.

High-schooler Morino Nanase decides she wants a part-time job, but unfortunately she doesn’t really have much in the way of skills.

When she finds an Italian restaurant with a help wanted sign not far from home, she decides to go in and apply. Somehow she gets hired, and has to work with a young prodigy of a chef who is way too full of himself. Also, he’s like 10 and only a metre tall. And the owner’s son.

Even though it’s a short, I’m not really interested enough to keep up with this.

Has potential.

Schoolgirl Strikers Animation Channel

This really feels like a show based on a game a la KanColle or something in that vein.

The basic gist seems to be that we have a bunch of girls who go to school by day, but by night they are Strikers, who patrol an otherworld that is like a middle ground between our world and somewhere else that contains alien entities that keep trying to break through. The Strikers’ role is to intercept, stop, and defeat these invaders.

Going by the set-up, I have to assume this school is only one of many Striker Schools, but this is not really brought up in the first episode.

This school has three Striker teams, all of whom seem to have a certain outfit theme. The two veteran teams are one of maid costumes, and one of bikinis and camo. Yes, it’s kinda fan-servicey. The story seems centred around the final team though, the newbies here. Their costume theme seems to be magical girls, and are by far the least revealing of the three.

They have yet to have a successful defeat of an invader, but they have managed to at least drive them off. I think it’s safe to assume that we’re going to follow them as they gain experience, and learn to get better.

While the first episode wasn’t terribly impressive, this feels like one of those shows that might just be a slow burner. It seems like it has the potential to grow into something really good, but of course only time will tell.

I have heard some criticisms towards how the otherworld looks. It’s faded out and empty, devoid of any interesting characteristics, but I sort of felt that was the point. It’s a pale mirror-world, hidden on the back of our own reality. The same, but not. Eerie and uncanny. Empty of life, light, and noise. The only things moving and making sound being intruders, be they Strikers or aliens. Somewhere I can easily imagine being unsettling to walk around in.

Not as funny as it thinks it is.

Seiren [Dropped]

Another show it took me a minute to even remember what it was.

Shouichi is your fairly typical high-school male anime protagonist. Not that good at studying, ostensibly good at heart, too nosy for his own good. One of his classmates, Hikari, and her friends love to tease and make fun of him. The excuse given is that Shouichi’s sister beat Hikari in last year’s Miss Santa contest. Apparently she is taking her grudge out on him.

Shouichi has a proper friend who helps him study, and when said friend invites him to come to a study camp with friend’s cram school over summer, Shouichi says he’ll think it over rather than refusing outright. In the end he decides he wants to change himself, and agrees to go. After making some really judgemental statements about Hikari without knowing shit about her.

At the study camp, Hikari shows up in the strangest possibly way for some reason that is not given in this episode, because it then cuts to ED. I don’t care enough to watch the next episode to find out.

Just another het romance high school thing, for people who like those. I do not. Seems like a fairly accurate representation of how shit teenagers can be though, I’ll give it that.

Bad bad bad.

Spiritpact [Dropped]

While I find it slightly interesting that this seems to be a Chinese show, there really isn’t much worth taking note of here. This is a bad show.

You Keika is the heir of what was once a revered family of exorcists, and he is also absolutely unlikable in every aspect. Not a great start for the main character of a show.

One night while he’s out in the local junkyard looking for parts for his computer repair business, he stumbles upon a battle between a proper exorcist and an evil spirit. Where he establishes himself as even more unlikable. Shortly after he is hit by a truck that veers off the road and kills him. I’d call it karma, but the show hints that there might be supernatural forces behind it, because of how many people that have been killed in similar ways lately.

You wakes up as a spirit, and the exorcist is waiting for him, saying he wants to form a spirit pact with You. I can’t for the life of me understand why, especially since You keeps being utterly unlikable in every way.

This is one of those rare shows where after watching it the only real thought I have is “that was bad”. It wasn’t offensive, or disgusting, or otherwise off-putting in any special way, it was simply bad. Bad characters, bad writing, bad execution, etc. Just bad.

Cuties.

Urara Meirochou

Meirochou is a town full of fortune-tellers (urara), and a lot of girls head there when they’re aged 15 to learn how to become fortune-tellers themselves.

This show focuses on four such girls: Chiya, a rather feral girl raised in the mountains with animals as her companions. She has some unorthodox views on proper etiquette and behaviour; Kon, a more serious girl who Chiya runs into, and who gets roped into Chiya’s antics; Koume who has a love for western things, even though she seems to know very little about them; and Nono, a super-shy girl who gets assigned to the same team as the other three after they are rescued by her older sister.

Why did they need to be rescued? Well, this show is a bit ecchi, and one of Chiya’s unorthodox views is that when you apologise, you have to show your stomach. So she ends up starting to undress Kon and Koume in the street, which leads to all three of them nearly getting kicked out of Meirochou for good, until Kono’s sister intervenes.

In spite of the ecchi things, I had a lot of fun with this show. The cuteness of it makes me feel more okay with the lewder parts, plus it has a cheerful energy to it that is quite charming. I have such a soft spot for moe that I’m often willing to put up with a lot more than I otherwise would.

Who even comes up with these ideas?

Youjo Senki

Aka Saga of Tanya the Evil

Possibly the show that achieved the most infamy before the season even started. I had heard of it, but not the name, so I didn’t recognise it for what it was until I she showed up.

The setting is Not-Europe during Not-WW1 in the Not-Prussian empire. It does feel like they have some WW2 mixed in, because some of the imagery does feel nazi-ish.

Part of this alternate world is that magic exists, and as part of the armed forces of most countries they have magic users. The most infamous witch of Not-Prussia is Lieutenant Tanya Degurechaff, a little blonde girl with blue eyes who possesses a large amount of magical power, and immense cruelty to go with it.

I find the design of the magic users interesting. Like it takes elements from Strike Witches and Izetta, adds a few things of its own, and lets them have trousers.

The promo blurb says that she is actually a Japanese salaryman who got reborn as this little girl after angering a being calling itself God, though this isn’t really touched upon in the first episode.

I’m not going to mince words here: This is trash. It takes itself way too seriously, wants to be all grim-dark, and tries to maintain a tone that doesn’t at all match how ridiculous it all actually is. Somewhat like Warhammer 40K. But it’s entertaining trash, and I want to watch more of it just to see what’s going to happen. It’s such a ludicrous premise that I find it rather fascinating.

Also has the final of three appearances of Saori Hayami, as Sergeant Viktoriya Serebryakov: A girl who looks like she has a constantly melting face. Unfortunately for her, she’s also Tanya’s subordinate.

Actually, the art-style of the show is… peculiar. The environments look good, the animation flows smoothly, there’s a very consistent theme, and generally everything looks pretty good. What is strange is the character designs, where every other person seems to have a face that looks like it belongs to a different anime. Very strange.

Not Watching

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen: I have not watched the prequel.

Chaos;Child: Sequel to a nine-year-old show called Chaos;Head that I have not watched. The reason for a sequel now is that a new VN in the series has been released.

Gintama (2017): Last I looked, Gintama had some 300+ episodes already. No way.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2: I’m not sure I even lasted 10 minutes into S1. I lost patience with the main characters so quickly.

Reikenzan: Eichi e no Shikaku: I have not watched the prequel.

Rewrite / 2nd Season Moon-Hen/Terra-Hen: Hahahaha, no.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen: I’m happy for those who liked S1, but it wasn’t for me.

SUPER LOVERS 2: Nope nope nope nope nope.

Tales of Zestiria the X 2: In the end got really bored of and didn’t finish S1.

Yowamushi Pedal: NEW GENERATION: Not watched the previous two.

And that’s it. Feels like a very small season, but I see my word-count is still pretty high.

I am going to do my best to keep the amount of shows I watch this season to a max of 10 (not counting shorts). And currently I have 4 shows I definitely want to watch, and 6 more that I want to see a bit more of before deciding. If any of those drop, and I fully expect some of them to, I might look at my small maybe pile.

See you again for the mid-season update!

~Wulf

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Posted on January 14, 2017, in Games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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