The Winter 2015 Floodgates have opened

Let the quality cartoons flow forth

Yuri Kuma Arashi

Seems it’s time for another wild ride with our good pal Kunihiko Ikuhara. For what it’s worth, you can’t exactly claim that this is a product of false advertising. There’s lesbians, there’s bears, and there’s more then likely to be a storm or two coming their way. Like pretty much everyone else whose seen the 1st episode at this point, the only reaction I’m getting here is befuddlement, and not the good kind. I have yet to finish Penguindrum, but if you were to remove the ridiculous amounts of symbolism from Ikuhara’s other previous work, Revolutiionary Girl Utena, you’d still have a coherent and highly enjoyable product. This though…seems pretty nonsensical so far and that’s all I’m seeing. I mean I get what’s going on but really, -“bears are effected by an exploding asteroid and go on horrible rampages and humans erected a wall to keep them out, also bears can turn into people and have bear court before eating lesbians”- is pretty out there. I also checked out the manga for this and seems to be way different judging by the first 2 chapters. I can’t say the simple yuri tale it’s presented to me so far is anything to get excited about. The start of the manga seems to have something that the 1st episode of the anime lacks,and that’s grounded focus on it’s leads. The first episode opts to push as much of it’s whackadoodle premise on us as quickly as possible. I’ll keep up with it, but I can’t say I’m expecting much from it as long as all the craziness isn’t reigned into a framework I can care about. As of yet, my desire to see this turn out to be more then just 12 weeks of straight, unfiltered Ikuhara jizz remains unfulfilled. Give me a story with characters first and a whacky puzzle second goddammit. If it turns out that this series does indeed suck a big fat lily, then I hope all the intellectual talk dies out as quickly as the topic of FEMALE EMPOWERMENT did for Kill la Kill

Handsome Highschool Defense Club LOVE!

Well this was pleasantly un-terrible. Seems like it’ll be an unabashedly corny marriage between your average Magical Girl and bishounen cliches with no shortage of terrible attack names, forced incantations, esoterically themed monsters, creepy mascot shenanigans and villainous schemers from straight out of Revolutionary Girl Utena (second reference to that show in one post, fancy that).  I’m not gonna tout it as being anything great just yet since humor-wise I’m hoping to see more then just how many ways the mainstays of the Magical Girl genre can be made to look stupid. Self-awareness on it’s own can’t sustain a comedy at all, in fact seeing one try to get by on that pisses me off (a bit more on that later). Also the onscure food jokes were not funny at all. Overall though, I did get some pleasant chuckles out of this one so I’m keeping hold of it for now.

The Irregular at…er…Absolute Duo

Absolute Duo is a product so bereft of spark or originality that I’d like to think it wasn’t a product birthed by human minds. Instead, I’d like to think that there’s a “Random LN Adaptation Generator machine in Japan that got left on overnight by mistake, tipped over by a janitor or something, and popped out this thing into existence by accident. In it are all your favorite tropes ranging from the oblivious shy-around-girls hero, the air-headed mentally stunted female lead that’s inexplicably drawn to aforementioned hero, awkward “comedy”, and characters explaining to each other the most basic aspects of their setting that they should’ve already known well before stepping on campus. The closest thing this series has to originality is the fact that the main character is named after the Norse God of Thunder, but not only do they pronounce it as “Tohru”, he wields a tiny shield with a hole in it instead of a hammer. Lame.

The Testament of the Sister New Devil

All that stuff I said regarding Absolute Duo being spontaneously born via a “Random LN Adaptation Generator” can be applied here, except this is more concerned with stringing together of a bunch of lame ecchi anime tropes without a school setting. If the words “High School DxD ripoff” or “from the write of Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero”  don’t turn you off immediately, I don’t know what will. The actual plot comes after the OP (which starts 14 minutes in) and transforms the series from a ridiculously by-the-numbers fanservice title, to something that was some what serious but was no less trite and stupid (and will more then likely return to being a ridiculously by-the-numbers-fanservice title next week). Why the hell didn’t the MC’s dad clue him in on the identity of his two “sisters” until they got attacked by some random monster? It’s not like he was trying to keep his son away from the crazy world of Demons and Heroes since he’s already a capable hero for fuck’s sake. Also the title is terrible, who thought “Sister New Devil” sounded good?

Maria the Virgin Witch

It’s not the type of show with a premise that’d get you excited just by reading it, but this was quite the competent premier. Solid production values, a dearth of of off-putting fanservicey tripe, adorable interactions between Maria and Artemis…. I can’t really think of anything that either makes me worrisome for the series down the road, or outright pissed me off. Seems fairly light-hearted with whilst hinting at enough seriousness to be, well, taken seriously. If anything I hope the series balances the sex-related humor and the other aspects of the stories well. Can’t wait to see more of this.

Saekano: How to Make an Anime Boring

If there’s anything I can credit Saekano, is that it’s absolutely spot on about how anime is dying and shit because of the complete dearth of creativity when it comes to scenario writing these days. One thing it doesn’t seem to realize is that there’s also been no shortage in recent years of generic tripe that expect to get away with adhering to convention simply because they are “self-aware” of their own tired tropes and that’s why this prologue is complete garbage. The problem with Saekano is that it seems to think of itself as “something special” for the simple fact that it points out it’s own cliches when in reality it’s just doing the same unfunny bullshit that other bad shows have been trying to pass of as actual humor for a while now. No Saekano, knowing how much you suck doesn’t make you any suck less. The fact that it’s parodying something that to me is inherently uninteresting doesn’t help either. I’ve been writing this post over the course of 3 days now and each day has given me one “worst show of the season” thus far, so I must say that I’m rather impressed to see Saekano clear the bar set by New Sister Devil, at least something of importance (no matter how stupid it was) actually happened in that one’s premiere.

Saving all the sequels for the nest post, and no I could not be arsed to give that Kantai show a proper chance.

One thought on “The Winter 2015 Floodgates have opened

  1. The fact that Absolute Duo is a factory-generated LN is almost a good thing in my mind if the alternative is that it would be like Mahouka.

    But yes, Saekano was definitely the most horrid show out of all of these. Couldn’t even finish it. I think part of me always hated that “look how much we suck” kind of show, but now that I’ve seen several of them one as blatant as Saekano was pretty much intolerable.

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