Spring 2018 Anime Selections

Here are some impressions, as per usual. On a personal note, I recently signed up for HiDive, and it doesn’t have Apple TV support, which is what I use to watch probably 75% of anime these days. It also doesn’t have Chromecast support, which is what I use to watch ~15% of anime these days (only usually because I’m at a friend’s house or Apple TV is having issues). The two technology platforms are kind of interchangeable, since I use both at home for various things. The rest of the time I watch either on my phone (because I’m on an airplane) or on my PC (because I happen to be in front of it), in that 10% remainder. It also means HiDive is kind of worthless to me right now.

The problem with HiDive is that it doesn’t support how I watch anime most of the time. If it takes less effort to me to XDCC some files and watch it on Apple TV via Plex, than load up the video I want on HiDive, cast my whole phone, then hit play, this competing product is just a waste of my time that happened to cost money. Would it be OK for me to subscribe and not use it? I guess so. For now, the only real way to watch stuff on HiDive, short of inside a browser, is that I can dial up a video on my phone and stream my phone Airplay/Chromecast-like, but this sucks if all you have is your phone, and not a second device to play with in your living room. It is very much a first world problem, but this entire blog is more or less a first-world-issues only site.

That’s not even mentioning all the bugs in the Android app. And how the web version is making the same mistakes that plagued FUNi’s website back when they were solo on the streaming. Anyways.

On a less ranty, but still ranting, note, I picked up the EN version of BanG Dream game, administered out of Singapore. It’s perfectly fine and provides an updated experience than my first run-ins with the original JP version so long ago. They fixed most of the tuning issue with stamina usage and event point system. The more fleshed out exchange system now has some balance with grinding up character training mats. There are more songs you have access to right out of the gate, if just the newer covers alone.

Playing it also reminds me what I didn’t like about the game, which is having to put up with songs you don’t like or don’t want to listen to during multiplayer. This is why I almost never choose Random for song selection, anyway. Oh, and the usual abusers in the game that coast or outright cheat.

Then again, I get why some people instant-disconnect after the song selection screen. I really don’t have to want to put up with one more listen of Shuwarin. I’ve not fallen that far yet but it’s getting close. It would be really great if the game lets you blacklist a few songs!

OK, enough sidebars. Here are the initial offering (which is bound to shrink as the MLB season wears on).

Hinamatsuri delivers the humor because of its excellent character animation. It was a treat from the sakuga end, for me. The content is surrealist humor at times, just plain funny in other moments, and fairly easy to digest despite the high level content.

Real Girl is a fairly easy-to-digest romance, for once? Not sure where it’s going but it has a certain sweetness tailored to nerds.

Wotakoi on the other hand is like, I’m not sure if I like this or not. I appreciate the Japanese take on these nerdy attitudes, I guess, as it is its main redeeming feature. That, and the hand dancing in the OP (Nigehaji should just get an anime IMO. And on that note, this is about stories that channels that Millennial zeitgeist than aping fandom like BBT), will keep this on twitter all season long I hope.

I think the centerpiece this season ought to be Megalobox, but I have to hedge carefully here, this could be a load of nonsense in the end. It probably has set the bar low enough in the first few episodes that it can surpass without issues. However, its strength in visual narratives cannot be missed! Just hoping it won’t be disappointing.

I was more or less ambivalent on SAO, but definitely the later sequels didn’t curry much favor to me (other than I guess the fanservice). Gun Gale Online on the other hand starts strong. It’s an anime about a game and its players, and I hope it stays that way and not stray into the adventure that defines SAO and its ilk.

Gurazeni is my soul food this season. Too bad it didn’t come out last season because now it runs up against actual baseball viewing. That said, this doesn’t hit a home run in my book because there’s this cultural gap: I don’t really know NPB that well. My run-ins with it has been sporadic. The meta is like, me trying to comprehend an episode of Rei & Yui’s Bunka Housou Home Run Radio, so first I have to decipher the language, then the baseball references and baseball language. At least Gurazeni frames everything cleanly so it’s easy to understand. The only hiccup is that it presumes you know how NPB works, and sometimes that is different than MLB.

PA Works branch of the Umamusume media-mix is definitely the dark horse of this season. This may be the only horse joke I make in the next 3 months. Someone should hold me to this. How can the game stand up to this anime, though? Maybe it’s a good thing it hasn’t launched yet. It’s likely the reverse story behind BanG Dream?

Until I abbreviated FMP:IV I didn’t know the joke in Invisible Victory. That said, I never really, really liked FMP, even though it was fun and enjoyable, despite flaws. The series still peaked at Fumoffu and this is at least a bit more cinematic than Kyoani’s version. Guess I’m in for the ride if it can keeps its stuff together.

The best thing about Steins;Gates 0 is the cast, and thus it might be hard to recommend it to anyone except fans of the original. I’ll stick around because now that I’ve seen it, I didn’t realize I miss them.

I was expecting the worst, but Last Period turned out to be a fun romp in a non-derogating sort of way. It evokes fully that trash Asian mmorpg/socialge nonsense fun, so I may be sticking around a bit. The jokes on gacha is dumb (and I laughed), but Wisemen keeps my hopes up for the future.

I didn’t play the game when it came out, so all I knew about Persona 5 was the localization issue and that it follows a lot of the modern social vices in Japan. Both are a bit not relevant to me, so it’s not surprising that P5A largely misses. It’s pretty at least. I will try to stick around for a bit, so this will be a challenge.

On a related note, it’s unfortunate that Caligula airs the same season as P5A (there’s a writer connection to the original Shin Megami Tensei series), but to me it scratches that trashy Chiyomaru SF itch better than SG:0 or P5A. It does help a whole lot that Ueda Reina puts on her cute manic fairy songstress act for this work, and Asapon always makes a fun mascot character. This seiyuu cast in general also take me back to a slightly earlier era…

I was pretty gung-ho for Comic Girls after 1, but the 2nd episode reset my expectations. It’s a show that wears self-awareness on its sleeves but unless you are into manga I don’t think you might get it? I guess. I sure kinda don’t, and yet does… The leap from comic to anime does what to this work, I wonder. Like, for example, how it is a 4-panel comic is not a fact that readers of the comic will ever lose sight of while reading said comic, but there’s no way for an anime viewer to truly know.

Gundam Build Divers let me down compared to GBF, but hopefully they’ll move past the mobage setting and into something worthwhile story-wise. Also, GBD is really kids oriented this time, which doesn’t help unless it ratchet up the whacky factor more. Not a knock against 00 Gundam but where’s my windmill srsly.

Mahoushoujo Ore – It’s okay, not sure if I will stick with it if it is a really shoujo-y tropy kind of thing. The two-episode pilot helped keep my attention but I really don’t have the patience anymore for this kind of a comedic vehicle. I would probably still be watching Gintama if I were…

The new LOGH is okay! It’s okay! I think it’s not as bad as I thought. Which is not saying much, given how during the ramp up promotional period, each bite of news would take a bite out of my spirit, as the decline of humanity continues. It is like a candle burning from both ends; one side is the nonsense coming from the US White House, the other the nonsense posed as a remake of easily the (2nd?) most influential Japanese SF ever. The joking exaggeration aside, the story has survived intact in 2, but at the expense of some character development and setting the pace and place of the larger drama. It would pass mustard if you are familiar with the source material, which greatly surpasses “ugly, utter train wreck” as my expectation going in. Well, it’s not a done deal yet.

I’m not sure what to think about the Hokkaido adventure story Golden Kamuy to be honest, but first episode was compelling. And now I get the meme.

On the food front, Isekai Izakaya irks me. If someone made an anime about how good Budweiser tasted with buffalo wings, I don’t think anyone is gonna watch it. But this anime is almost literally that. Too bad it comes with this awesome live action part…so I felt compelled to watch. Maybe I’ll just skip, since I got a season of Food Wars to cope with.

I dropped Dances with the Dragons after 1, not because I didn’t want to watch episode 2, but I realize I wouldn’t really enjoy this show if consumed whole. I hope it has a good hook for those keeping on, though, it could be promising.

Miscellaneous items, mainly as they are shorts:

  • You don’t know Gunma yet – Only funny if you already knew Gunma.
  • Love To-LIE Angle – I really don’t get it, but there’s fanservice, so yay?
  • Tiramisu – This is okay. It’s a trope I can get behind.
  • Crossing Time – This is okay. Doubly so if Komagata Yuri gets some love.
  • Alice or Alice – I guess Nekopara got an anime. It’s not this but it’s basically the same.
  • Akkun to Kanojo – My Sweet Tyrant is my seiyuu duty this season. Good job Nontan! Also, dig how the actors self-narrate.

For the record, I’m just continuing:

  • Grancrest Senki
  • Card Captor Clear Card Is Friends Shipping Friends
  • Food Wars (Uncontroverted best food anime every season when it’s on)
  • Amanchu
  • Darifra
  • Toji no Miko

Lastly:

Want to watch Magical Girls Site: who is streaming this?

I might spot check the new DxD anime. It looked pretty bad but hey, boobs. Also the Fist of the Blue Sky anime. And also the new Lupin. And also the new Major, why not (well I have real baseball to watch).


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