Books And Covers, Summer 2012

From a consumption perspective we can look at our intake of anime like a diet, where some semblence of balance and moderation go a long way to make what you watch more enjoyable. But that’s kind of not applicable to describe the voracious: people like me, who are always following a dozen or more shows at any given time. The episodic grind, to some, probably parallels more to a race. Each racer is some title and whoever makes it to the end, in first place, wins. I find this survival-of-the-fittest paradigm easy to latch to real-life practice. Take AX weekend–the 5-day ordeal significantly limits my anime intake. It happens to take place at the week where a lot of shows are ending and some shows are starting, so I have a slimmed pool of finales to choose from. Those I reach for first (in this case Tsuritama if you wondered) “wins” this figurative race.

Honestly, both analogies sound like jokes from Jintai as human society declines through its overly sophisticated detachment from reality and greed-based irreverence of consequences, from commercialism to consumerism. Anime is not created for the sake of people consuming anime, right? Chicken are not born because people would eat them, right?

Where is my sentient toupee?

I think people who are capable of this kind of introspection will get a kick out of Humanity Has Declined, or Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. Or just Jintai. Mai Nakahara’s wry delivery is dry and grit-free like the pastel artwork and children’s storybook-style designs, evoking enough of a dissonance once the viewer gets beyond its seemingly candy shell. Or in this case, chicken skin.

PA Work’s next original high school rom-com Tari Tari does not disappoint. Granted, I didn’t expect very much of it going in–much like how I didn’t expect very much of True Tears at first–but so far the show simply has a mind of its own and blazes its own path. The characters remind me of my friend Vinny, who does not take whining for an answer and would only bitchslap someone in his head, not in real life. (Let alone on the butt.) In this case Sawa-chan is a superior creation worthy of his adoration. I, on the other hand, find the entire experience on the oddish side of things and, as Hyouka would have it, 気になります. Also, you do note that Sawa is treating Konatsu like her equine friend, right, with that “pat on the back”? I guess that is C83 material.

I did watch the first two episodes of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse at Anime Expo, so with episode 2 now airing this past weekend I can spoil some beans. Well, first off, it was not a huge shock that we’re rid of Yui’s friends, but it’s kind of gruesome. The real show doesn’t start until episode 3, so I really have nothing to offer here besides a good luck to those of you braving the games as a result of the anime adaptation. Oh, I guess I really like Kuribayashi’s ending theme. Finally something that doesn’t sound like every song she does.

Oda Nobuna no Yabou so far is inoffensive. Any show with Kanetomo-sensei deserves at least 3. That said I’ve only dropped one show thus far after 1. But watching 2 concurrent shows featuring warring-state generals as nubile anime girls may be too much; we shall see. At least in Nobuna’s show there are plenty of dudes, even old ones. Having at least tried my hand at the game (oh gosh which platform was it IDK), the whole thing is not entirely unfamiliar.

I dropped the Chiaki Kon-directed La storia della Arcana Famiglia, because Mamiko might be the only thing worth watching for me in the show. The lead girl is a bit too much like a typical reverse-harem lead. It’s not my sort of thing anyway.

If I needed more crappy Italian riffage, there’s Yoko Hikasa in Campione! if you swing the other way. Action, fanservice, a bit of a potato-kun action, it’s not much to riff on, actually. At least there’s some car-service. I mean, seriously, let’s put the “sha” in itasha. Or Pikasha for that matter. A bit of a personal anecdote: On Friday, I picked up this month’s Super Dash & Go! for the Yoko Hikasa photoshoot. I didn’t realize she was actually wearing some Campione-inspired outfit in that shoot until I saw the first episode about 12 hours later. Great way to leverage that 2.5D stuff in your mix-media focused mag, yeah? I think they’re doing it right if I am buying this magazine. Which now means I can take a look at how horrible the new ROD reboot is.

I rather enjoyed Kokoro Connect. It doesn’t look as stunning as, say, Hyouka, but if Hyouka was half as interesting as Kokoroco it would already be the show of the year. That said, Kokoro Connect is also an off-beat piece, and besides the plot device that makes me kind of cringe on the inside, I don’t see anything wrong with it. The voice cast is solid and I think they’re set up for some pretty cool drama. My only real concern is just how will they handle the humorous streaks…so far it’s kind of too subdued for my liking. If you can get through Natsukise, this is easy-peasy.

Like Jintai, I enjoyed Utakoi in a real-life kind of way. It’s by far the most educational anime I’ve seen in recent memory. However unlike Jintai, Utakoi just makes me cringe half the time. Plus, traditional love stories are usually not that funny; in that sense I applaud the show’s attempt to spiffy them up for entertainment. It’s way more palatable than Folktales from Japan.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a solid romance that represents the rock noitaminA is built upon. I’ll keep along; the Kuo Matsuo direction + Ken Muramatsu music combination is easy to go along with. Too bad I get the feeling there won’t be a spontaneous musical episode? As long as it’s not too sappy. The NTR joke is well-done.

So, I Can’t Play H is not quite the same as Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai, so “I Can’t Do H” sounds much better. There’s a lot of plain nudity in this show; it’s kind of the schtik (in a High School DxD sort of way). I admit the “transformation” scene when the fire burns away Risara’s clothes is pretty cool actually. But is it cool in a “LOL Guilty Crown” sort of way or “LOL Queen’s Blade” sort of way? I think it might be the latter. Aya Endo lending her voice probably does not help.

Sword Art Online is probably my least favorite new show this season. It’s way too chuu2. From what I understand the first episode is just set-up, so I’m perfectly happy to give it three. So far there are little else that bothers me about the show, but nothing grabs me either. I guess with Accel World airing at the same time, I have another source to tap into that fantasy genre-turned-shounen-formula. The plot and device of SAO is better fit for a joke than anything actually intriguing. I mean, how can people take it seriously? I enjoy the jokes way more than the anime thus far. Like the one about Korea. Or Brazil. Or China.

Nakaimo is… WHO IS IMOUTO? THERE IS A SISTER AMONG US. Who is imouto indeed! I mean, this. It’s a harem anime this time, straight-up with the Mom character saying “Dude, bag a girl, get married, win your massive inheritance, you’re already deemed talented enough.” It’s not my favorite sort of setup for harem, but I’m going to take it like a man for Jtor here.

Koichoco is short for Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, which means love, election and chocolate. It makes no sense unless you watch the show. I guess going in the show I know it only by name and by heritage, which is to say I was expecting something closer to this. But I should’ve known better and see it may be more like this. Well, the voice cast is intriguing so I’ll give it a spin. Most likely I’ll be entirely off base anyway, why fret?

That’s it for now. Meanwhile I’l leave you some food for thought about the decline of humanity.

PS. I was going to link it for the Tsuritama post, but odP’s PV about fishing that debuted at AX is appropriate in the decline of humanity sort of way.


2 Responses to “Books And Covers, Summer 2012”

  • Stef

    I thought I wasn’t going to watch anything this season due to the burnout the last one did to me, but damn you Omo! You’ve convinced me again!

  • omo

    Personally I’m looking forward to the comedy-based offerings more, and coincidentally there are a lot of decent options this season. For serious stuff only Tari Tari and the 2nd season of Rinne no Lagrange get me excited at all.

    Joshiraku (which aired after I wrote this post) also deserves a mention.

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