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Summer 2015: First Impressions July 8, 2015

Posted by navycherub in Anime, first impressions.
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Or is there just more anime than there needs to be? Huh Wooser?

I’ve watched a lot of new cartoons this past week. Here are my unsolicited thoughts on them.

As you probably know, every season there is a veritable deluge of new anime to choose from. As you probably also know, most of these shows are not worth your time. This has not stopped me, however, from watching just about everything I could reasonably get my hands on since the introduction of Power Ranks on this very blog inadvertently gave me possibly the worst habit of all time.

The bright side is that my bad habit is to your benefit, and I can sift through every single new premiere and let you know if I think they are worth checking our or not. As you’ll see, that will come in the form of a couple paragraphs and a dreaded score. Fear not, though – these scores are more like guides, and each one has a basic meaning attached as follows:

  • 1/5 : I found nothing salvageable about this show. Even if you are a fan of the genre, the studio, or the writer, it is probably in your best interest to give it a skip.
  • 2/5 : At the most, a genre recommendation. There probably isn’t anything special or exciting here, so it is easily skippable, but if you really like shows like this you might give it a shot anyway.
  • 3/5 : Solid attempt at whatever this show is trying to do. Very little or nothing outstanding can be found in this show so far, but it has established a solid base that a decent show can be built from.
  • 4/5 : Great premiere. Captures your attention, keeps it, has the requisite hooks that make you want to come back for more next week. The only reason I can see you not trying this out is if you absolutely hate the genre or something similar.
  • 5/5 : Watch this now. There are little or no missteps whatsoever to be found here; load this show up right now and bask in the glory of what is surely the beginnings of something magical.

Pretty simple, right? So with that in mind, let’s jump into these shows.


Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

3/5

mirror 4

Also known as: Snow White with the Red Hair

In this unapologetic take on various fairy tales, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime stars the titular Shirayuki, a girl with unnatural red hair. Her hair has caught the attention of a skeevy and completely over-animated prince by the name of Raji, but being the independent Disney princess she is, she won’t have any of that. Cue a more likable prince charming by the name of Zen, his helpful duo of friends, and an abandoned house they can easily call home base, and you have the makings for a traditional shoujo fantasy story.

What makes this show stand out to me, then, is Shirayuki herself. From beginning to end she takes matters into her own hands, whether that mean running away to escape a creepy stalker, bruising herself to prove her medicine isn’t poison, or being smart enough to not eat a bad apple (unlike hapless and naive would-be boyfriend Zen). The setup also charmingly introduces those fairy tale concepts in natural but obvious ways, from our “Snow White” finding her “dwarves” to the poison apples delivered from Raji. The production values are also decent, featuring very beautiful background art and some bits of nice character animation. If you like that kind of shoujo indulgence, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime could do much worse.

You can watch Akagami no Shirayuki-hime on Funimation.


Aoharu x Kikanjuu

2/5

aoharu games 3

Also known as: Aoharu x Machinegun

Our protagonist is an androgynous, aggressive student council president by the name of Hotaru. Horaru isn’t one to take perceived transgressions lying down, so when she learns that her best friend Kanae has had her money swindled by an opportunistic host club worker, she takes it upon herself to go there and set things right. A few misunderstandings later, Hotaru ends up losing in a “survival game” against her “perverted” neighbor Masamune, indebted to the host club for breaking a lot of expensive furniture and alcohol, and forced to join Masamune’s survival game club for the foreseeable future.

If you’re having flashbacks to Ouran High School Host Club, you aren’t wrong. Aoharu x Kikanjuu follows in those footsteps very closely, but with a twist: now the pretty boys are shooting at each other with BB guns! This first episode was mostly unexciting and clearly only exists to establish this basic premise, and so isn’t anything to write home about. However, it is anything but incompetent, and though it is barely animated anyone into this kind of psuedo-shounen battle mixed with shoujo designs and concepts idea will find plenty to enjoy here. Even if you are really only in it for the survival game stuff, the preview and ending themes seem to indicate that the tone of the show will shift heavily in that direction. If it does that, I will be one happy camper. If not, well, we still have Gainax’s Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu, right?

You can watch Aoharu x Kikanjuu on Crunchyroll.


Aquarion Logos

2/5

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Also known as: Someone, Somewhere Wanted This, Right?

In a world where words hold power, Chinese characters are the strongest of all. So strong, in fact, that sometimes they go berserk and turn into human-killing monsters not unlike those found in a monster of the week show like Precure, complete with an inability to say more than one word (“roll!” in this episode’s case). But such a world would not be complete without a team of teens with giant robots capable of saving humanity whenever one of these monstrosities pops up, right? Enter DEAVA, an organization under a nondescript coffee shop set up to quickly deal with said monsters, and our single-minded protagonist Akira who interrupts to save the day because, in his words, he is “the savior.” Cue combining and infinity punches to the credits.

If you are familiar at all with the world of Aquarion, this first episode will not surprise you, which is a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing because, if it goes like either of the previous two outings, things will speed up and we will get to know our lovable cast fairly soon. Bad because, like either of the previous two outings, there is basically nothing to be invested in right now, as usual. The entire episode is spent setting up DEVEA, showing us our two inevitable lovebirds, and ending on a traditional middling mech battle. If you’re into Aquarion, you might as well stick around a while longer and see if it keeps that weird charm Aquarion is known for. If not, skip this and just watch Aquarion EVOL instead. You’ll thank me.

You can watch Aquarion Logos on Funimation.


Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Seneki

1/5

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Also known as: Exposition: The Animation

I’m just not going to bother giving a synopsis of the events of Chaos Dragon, because to be honest, there is way too much going on here and if I started on one thing I would end up going into another and another and another and – wait, this is exactly what happened in the show, isn’t it?

Yeah. The entire first episode is spent going from expository dialogue to expository dialogue, endlessly, and unless you are particularly interested in learning about this fantasy RPG world you have suddenly been thrust into, none of that wealth of information will really get to you. Instead, you’re just going to be annoyed and wishing this particular half hour of your life was over. That is, until the end of the episode, where a particular event occurs that really sets off what is sure to be a traditional D&D adventure story.

Really, anyone with any experience in tabletop RPGs will understand right away what this episode is conveying – the long, boring introduction your GM (or their book) has concocted as an excuse for you and your friends to go out and kill some zombies and such. And, like your poor GM, it is clumsy and tedious, making you want to get the facade over with so you can start slaying vampires. To that end, I can see fully how this is just about as boring as someone regaling you with the story of their latest paper and pencil session can really be. That is, ironically, the one thing that is keeping me interested in this show, though – if things go right, the adventure proper will begin soon, and good times will be ahead. After all, the episode ends with the rest of the inevitable adventuring party arriving in town, muttering various versions of “aha, so this is why I was summoned here” to themselves. But, maybe I am just an optimist.

You can watch Chaos Dragon on Funimation.


Charlotte

4/5

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Also known as: Yet Another Key Anime

In an otherwise normal world, our protagonist Yu has an unusual ability: he can take over someone else’s body (while losing control of his own) for a grand total of five seconds at a time, as long as they are within eyeshot. Of course, being the unlikable jerk he so naturally is, he uses this to his advantage; first to take advantage of girls, or get back at bullies, but eventually to cheat his way to the top of the education system and even win over the prettiest girl in school. It isn’t long until he is caught, though, and by none other than other teenagers with similarly specific and limited powers who give him an ultimatum: join us at Hogwarts nondescript school for magical teenagers, or we expose you to the whole world.

From the mind of Jun Maeda of Clannad and, more relevantly, Angel Beats! fame, Charlotte begins as a surprising departure from what fans may know him for – there is essentially zero drama to be found in this premiere, only his other signature, his quick humor. If you are a fan of his style of humor – especially that found in his previous anime attempt at P.A. Works, Angel Beats! – you are sure to be a fan of Charlotte, which absolutely revels in that specific brand of slapstick humor, and you Maedas well check it out.. Not that there doesn’t seem to be some drama brewing, as the very last scene vaguely hints at, but for now we’re comfortably in some sort of happy Little Busters! world where nothing is sad.

Also particularly appreciated is the treatment of main character Yu. He starts the episode as a mean kid with an advantage, and builds himself up to be some sort of Lelouch wannabe, but about halfway through the show slowly takes him down peg after peg. By the end of the episode he is already much more tolerable a person than he was at the beginning, so it is pretty obvious the show has no agenda in promoting this kind of selfish behavior. I will kind of miss his chuuni smugness, though.

You can watch Charlotte on Crunchyroll.


Classroom☆Crisis

2/5

ss+(2015-07-08+at+06.41.58)Also known as: I Hope This Isn’t As Bad As Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata

In the future, humanity hasn’t only gone to Mars, we have colonized every single planet in the solar system. There are colonies everywhere, including the one that happens to be the focus of this particular story – Tokyo 4 on Mars. Here we follow a group of highschoolers and their young energetic teacher as they train to become pilots, which makes sense I suppose given the setting, right? They get involved in a problem, one might call it a crisis in the classroom, and we see a glimpse of their lives as both highschoolers and employees.

Really, there just isn’t much to be said about Classroom Crisis so far. Despite the futuristic setting, we are still dumped right smack dab in the middle of a high school plot, but with space ships, and that’s about it. The plus side, which kept it watchable and even enjoyable for me, is the characters and their interactions – nothing outstanding so far, but if Maruto Fumiaki knows anything it is how to write engaging character interactions. Otherwise, as far as I can tell there is no hook to be found here unless you really like colonization. Perhaps there will be more to this show in the future, but right now I can’t say there is much here.

You can watch Classroom☆Crisis on Crunchyroll.


Durarara!!x2 Ten

3/5

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Also known as: Durarara!!x2 The Second Arc

Jumping right in where the last cour ended, Izaya finds himself in the hospital with too much time on his hands. He decides to spend this extra time contemplating the events that have transpired in the last arc or so of the show, pretending to be a normal person around nurses and doctors, and eventually getting so lonely he starts a few phone calls with his old friend Shinra.  Eventually he is confronted by a girl he harassed in the past, and his natural urge to troll comes back in full force.

And yes, that is about as recap-y as it sounds. Not that this is really a bad thing – first of all, it isn’t 100% recap, as we do get a peek into our new antagonist’s plans as well as some cute anecdotes from Shinra and Celty about the vampires and werewolves they apparently encountered on a recent vacation. Even the more obviously recap segments nicely frame the events from Izaya’s point of view and how they directly affect him, which is something that is essentially all-new as Izaya was all but absent from the last quarter or so of the previous season. This episode also comes with much more confident and inspired direction that harkens back to the original show, a definite step up from what many felt was a large problem in the first cour of Durarara!!x2. Nothing amazing, but this was a solid step back into the quirky world of Durarara!!.

You can watch Durarara!!x2 Ten on Crunchyroll


GANGSTA.

4/5

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Also known as: Gangsta.,If you don’t want to sound loud and angry while talking about this show.

Like so many stories before it, GANGSTA. stars a duo of men living in a world where the police just aren’t enough, and there are some jobs that no one else will take. Nic and Worick, though, are no strangers to danger, and under the name of the “Handymen”, they do exactly what no one else will. Insert a poor town, gangs, sex workers, and a lot of money, and you have the makings for exactly the kind of show you probably think GANGSTA. is.

I like it a lot, then, because so far it is pretty slow and understated. Scenes progress naturally, with small endearing moments from the Handymen as they interact with locals and some brief kinetic action as they take on said jobs. This first episode also did a wonderful job of stepping through all of the basic beats you expect from this kind of story – this is particularly noticeable simply by following along with how the show introduces Nic to you, from picking up the phone at the beginning until his almost incoherent rant at the end. That plus the wonderful atmosphere of the show as a whole gives me great hope that GANGSTA. knows exactly what it is and will take great strides in becoming something memorable. Even as a standalone story, the first episode of GANGSTA. is not only watchable but entertaining. I am looking forward to more.

You can watch GANGSTA. on Funimation.


Gatchaman Crowds Insight

5/5

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We’re in a post-Gatchaman Crowds world, and in that world people have come to terms with crazy concepts like CROWDS and Gatchaman. The kind of world where, upon seeing a real-deal UFO in the sky, people respond by chatting about it on their phones. It is peaceful – that is, unless you are a dissenter, in which case you are liable to be labeled a revolutionary and stamped out of the discourse. The alien from that UFO I mentioned thinks this uniformity is particularly important; she can make visible the otherwise hidden emotions of the people around her and if everyone isn’t happy and the same, she gets quite upset. Cue a new antagonist who seems to recognize this disconnect, starting an organization called VAPE to fight the prevalence of CROWDS, a new Gatchaman who is as similar as she is different from our hero Hajime, and even the introduction of smart phone elections, and we have ourselves the recipe for what is sure to be an absolutely packed season of Gatchaman Crowds.

Oops, did I just give the synopsis and my feelings at the same time? That’s probably because that’s just how good Gatchaman Crowds is, and this sequel has already stepped up to the plate and proved it has even more ideas to unpack as we watch Hajime and friends don their bird suits and fight for their ideals. If you haven’t already seen the original Gatchaman Crowds, now is the time.

You can watch Gatchaman Crowds Insight on Crunchyroll.


Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

1/5ss+(2015-07-08+at+07.36.59)

Also known as: GATE. You know. Keepin it simple.

A mysterious gate has appeared in Tokyo, unleashing hoards of monsters and other fantasy tropes upon the unsuspecting Japanese populace. Luckily for them, the Japanese Self Defense Force is here to (mostly) save the day, pushing back this mysterious force and saving many lives in the process. Among them is Youji, a middle-aged otaku who was on a typical trip to buy some doujinshi when he was suddenly called in to help defend Tokyo; he is enlisted, you see. From there he is chosen to be the leader of a force sent into the gate to facilitate communications with the new world, for better or for worse.

Gate plays out much like one would expect any given blatantly nationalistic war movie to, only with elves and monsters and such instead of other people to fight. If you have seen Outbreak Company from a handful of season ago, this plays out similarly except there is a lot more violence. As in, Outbreak Company basically had none and this has people being slashed into windows by otherworldly creatures. If you’re into that kind of thing, have at this show, I suppose, but if you aren’t, it will likely just come off as an awkward attempt to recruit otherwise reluctant otaku into joining the SDF.

You can watch Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri on Crunchyroll.


Jitsu wa Watashi wa

3/5

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Also known as: Actually, I Am

Our protagonist Kuromine Asahi is a normal high school boy, with one exception: he can’t lie. Literally. He is incapable of deceiving other people. This is naturally a problem, as anyone who has lived for more than a couple minutes can attest. It is particularly an issue for Asahi as he has a major crush on one of his peers – the green-haired Shiragami Youko – and his bad habit of never lying makes this painfully obvious to his friends. One day, he decides to pull together all of his courage and ask her out, when – spoilers – it turns out Shiragami is actually a vampire! A lame kind of vampire that doesn’t die in the sun, but a vampire all the same. It takes a while to get to this point, but no time is wasted in proving the cute chemistry between Asahi and Shiragami for the rest of the episode.

Jitsu wa Watashi wa is “unique” in that it feels like it came right out of a time capsule circa 2004, from the jokes (reactions are inherently funny, right?) to the designs (blindingly, dreadfully colorful). That makes it, at the very least, feel different from its siblings in the same genre from around this time, which is a small plus in itself. The real strength comes from Asahi and Shiragami’s aborable budding relationship, though. It seems the show has some larger plans (and plenty of other girls to pine over the unassuming Asahi) but for now these two make it charming enough.

You can watch Jitsu wa Watashi wa on Crunchyroll.


Joukamachi no Dandelion

1/5

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Also known as: Castle Town Dandelion

The king of this unnamed place has eleven children, and apparently the next ruler isn’t decided by order of birth. Because that would make things easy, of course. No, instead, his children are constantly competing against each other in various ways, each aiming to be the best and ascend to the throne. Akane, seemingly our main character, has the ability to control gravity, and each of her siblings has a power in a similar way, such as her brother who can calculate the probability of absolutely anything. There’s just one catch – the prince and princesses are being constantly monitored, and Akane is too shy to handle that.

Yeah, the premise is pretty creepy. The competitions can also be pretty creepy already, too, and Akane is essentially told to get over the fact that she has literally no privacy instead of addressing the fact that this whole situation is pretty messed up in the first place. Even putting all of that aside, this show has zero personality and is not engaging at all; it kind of reminds of an even more boring version of last season’s Etotama. There isn’t much to be found here.

You can watch Joukamachi no Dandelion on Funimation.


Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou

3/5

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Also known as: MONSTER MUSUME EVERY DAY LIFE WITH MONSTER GIRLS

Kurusu Kimihito has his work cut out for him. As a volunteer liaison between the newly discovered monster species and humans, he is tasked with taking care of and showing around Miia, a lamia representative who has been assigned to live with our protagonist. It’s been some time, and now they really want to jump each others’ bones. Unfortunately, thanks to international law, it is specifically forbidden for them to do so!

Thus is the basic premise of this incredibly bizarre yet strangely likable romcom about a man and his monster (girl). What makes this show stand above other shows where fan service is essentially the main pull is its positivity – as I said above, these characters really do like each other, and they express that constantly. As it turns out, things are just more fun when the characters are actually both into it, too. It also helps a lot that they are decently fun to be around, and the exposition and worldbuilding really only exist to keep this as PG-13 as physically possible. As far as ecchi romcoms go, Monster Musume is one of the better ones.

You can watch Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou on Crunchyroll.


Non Non Biyori Repeat

4/5

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Also known as: Nyan-Passu

In this episode-long prequel story, Renge is becoming a first grader! This comes with all the usual trappings of such a plot – the new backpack, the entrance ceremony, the nervousness, and so on. It also comes with the Non Non Biyori-style country quirks we have come to love and enjoy, though, such as the humorously small class size, the bus ride to school, and even a few appearances from the brother character.

If you are new to the franchise and want a quick introduction to what makes it so special, this actually isn’t a bad place to start, since it takes place before any of the events of the first season. You’ll be missing some of the punch of the running jokes, but it is even a testament to Non Non Biyori‘s great writing that you probably can’t even tell where the running jokes are. If you aren’t new to this wonderful little show, enjoy – it hasn’t lost any of its home-grown charm.

You can watch Non Non Biyori Repeat on Crunchyroll.


Overlord

3/5

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Momonga is – was – the leader of an incredibly strong guild in the used-to-be-popular game Yggdrasil, and the time has come for the game to shut its servers down. Momonga, naturally, has an attachment to the game, and invites all of his old guild members to join him in watching the game in its final moments. Almost no one shows up, though, and no one else sticks around ’till the very end like he does. When the servers do come down, though, something strange happens; Momonga is stuck in the game that should have ended, and now he is basically delegated as a villain in the world of the game he is now trapped in.

Overlord was a weird thing for me to watch. The first half or so of the episode, even on a rewatch, is a surprisingly poignant and painful experience. Momonga’s relationship with his old friends, and intrinsically, his relationship with the game they all met and came to know each other in, is an incredibly relatable one if you have ever had a connection to an online community that eventually degraded as everyone went their separate ways. Momonga’s sadness that becomes anger that becomes resignation is something that rings incredibly true.

The rest of the episode is, well, not so good. It consists almost entirely of Momonga realizing he is stuck in the game world and talking himself through what that entails. This could have been more interesting – even going by the first episode having no other “human” characters for Momonga to interact with, his minions are shown to be essentially full-fledged personalities in themselves, so the possibility of some human-feeling interaction happening here was totally there. Instead we got a dull, lifeless half an hour full of one guy working logistics out to himself in a void. I don’t know where this show plans to go from here, but hopefully it isn’t much like this.

You can watch Overlord on Funimation.


Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

3/5

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Also known as: Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace

Based on the stories of Edogawa Rampo (get it? Edoga Waram Po? Edgar Allen Poe? eh? eh???) comes this adaptation celebrating(???) the 50th anniversary of his death, Game of Laplace. It, at least so far, stars genius detective Akechi Kogorou and wannabe Kobayashi Yoshio as they try to prove young Yoshio’s innocence in the murder(?)/suicide(?)/something of his teacher, who also had a creepy habit of turning bodies into chairs. There are also, presumably, going to be other stories from Edogawa Rampo adapted in this noitaminA show.

Production-wise, this show is a weird mixed bag. I am not really a fan of the “grayed out background characters” gimmick in this show so far, but at the same time there were a couple really cool stage-like mind sequences when the characters were working out their mystery game logic, as mystery story characters are prone to do. The story so far is also only, at most, halfway into this particular mystery, so it is also hard to judge that so far. However, the overall feeling I get from this show is that it is, in fact, shaping up to be a pretty nice mystery show, so I am keeping my eye on it and if you are inclined to these kinds of stories, you should too.

You can watch Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace on Funimation.


Rokka no Yuusha

3/5

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Also known as: Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers-

Aldet Mayer is one cocky guy. By that I mean, he is the kind of person who would interrupt a holy tournament that decides the heroes of the known world to prove he is, in fact, “the strongest man in the world.” This goes well for a while, but eventually his little rampage is halted by the royal army, and he is locked away for being a presumptuous and irreverent jerk. Soon, though, his wish comes true, and he is given the recognition he desired – turns out he is one of the six flowers, six people who are destined to save the world.

Rokka begins with a very impressive action sequence, complete with fun and engaging choreography and lovely little bits of animation. It is then followed up with the transgressor Aldet being straight-up arrested, which is not only hilarious but I also didn’t expect it at all; usually shounen heroes just get a slap on the wrist and their point is made. However, after that it became significantly less engaging, beginning with a long, boring, uninspired conversation between Aldet and a girl in prison about the mythos and such that governs their world, and this basically continues until the very end of the episode until Aldet receives his sign and is freed from prison. In short, the potential is there for this to be a rollicking, fun adventure, but the show also has a danger of becoming too wrapped up in its own lore for its own good. Here’s hoping it is the former.

Incidentally, I am consistently confused whenever I check and realize the main character’s name isn’t “Rokka.”

You can watch Rokka no Yuusha on Crunchyroll.


Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai

2/5

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Also known as: SHINMOETA: A Boring World Where The Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

You can probably glean what this show is about from the title alone, but I’ll humor it anyway. In Japan of the near future, dirty jokes have been banned. Dirty words have been banned. Chastity, in general, is policed by bands that everyone has to wear; these bands consistently monitor what everyone says so that no one breaks any of the ridiculous obscenity laws in place. Fighting against this is one girl, a pervert terrorist, who through plot convenience can avoid the censors and say whatever she wants for five minutes a day. She enlists the main character in her endeavors, and they plan on destroying the clean-archy.

There is actually something, under all the dumb and easy jokes, that is trying to be said here. Japan has had a recent boom in obscenity laws, after all, and they are only getting more stringent as the 2020 Olympics grow closer and the Japanese government desires to clean itself up for the media. In fact, the show even points out, in a funny and poignant way, how repressing these ideas and words actually causes people to become unfortunately and harmfully misinformed in various ways. However, all of this is covered in such a giant layer of ridiculous strawmen and repetitive, unimaginative humor that it almost might as well not be there at all. Really unfortunate, but the potential is still there – if the show tones itself down, it can be funny and a striking commentary about current Japanese politics. I doubt it will, though.

You can watch Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai on Funimation.


Sore ga Seiyuu!

2/5

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Also known as: Seiyu’s Life!

Ichinose Futaba is a young, fresh new voice actress looking at her first big job – the mascot character of a new shounen battle anime. However, she soon learns there is more to being a voice actress than she expects. From who she will meet to where she has to sit, plenty of trouble lies ahead for our hapless Nagato Yuki-look alike.

If that seemed short, blame the show itself, because there isn’t much to go on here. Despite the pretense, this is a moe slice of life show through and through with some fanservice for those of us who are particularly interested in the process by which our cartoons are made, and even then the way it is presented isn’t fantastic. If you are really into the process, this might be worth watching as an educational sort of piece. If not, it probably spends too much time in a meandering, bland middle ground to be worth the investment.

You can watch Sore ga Seiyuu! on Funimation.


Ushio to Tora (TV)

3/5

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Also known as: Ushio and Tora

In this weird take on Calvin and Hobbes, Ushio is a normal high school kid with a normal high school life, until one day he goes into his basement despite his guardian’s wishes and finds a demon there. The demon, Tora, has been locked away for quite some time thanks to a spear lodged in his shoulder, but he is also a terrible diplomat and can’t keep his mouth shut about how much chaos he will cause when he is released. Unfortunately for Ushio, his mistake leads to an onslaught of smaller demons, causing him to enlist Tora in helping him defend the peace in exchange for Tora’s “freedom”.

Based on a manga that ran in the early- to mid-90s, Ushio to Tora is a strange yet charming MAPPA production that has both promised to be three cour (with a break after the second) and cover the whole manga. Skeptics think this means cutting quite a few corners, but the fact that we are getting a proper adaptation of this manga after so long is a miracle in itself. This first episode promises that it will be adapted in all of its 90s glory, at least, and it is entertaining to boot. Unless you are particularly adverse to this kind of shounen action romp, Ushio to Tora is a show to look out for.

You can watch Ushio to Tora on Crunchyroll.

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