Category Archives: Classroom Crisis

Keiretsu In Space

Suddenly a post about Classroom Crisis and Elon Musk? LOL. Maybe this is overdue really…

Shinkai's new film...

It’s hard to take seriously, in any anime setting, the existence of keiretsu systems. It’s a gross exaggeration, but Japanese society today is not a whole lot different than its feudal era self, at least when it comes to socieo-economic blocs that control the large majority of its economy. You have these vertically and horizontally integrated companies that controls everything from top to bottom–finance, retail, distribution, manufacturing, and more–and these keiretsu groups literally own the majority of wealth in the country, and is the beating heart of the Japanese economy.

What is a keiretsu? It’s basically a network (more precisely, a cartel) of companies, either horizontally or vertically integrated, or both, that have connected interests and interlocking ownership. Usually at the center of these businesses are a holding company and a bank to make financial transactions feasible. How they operate is similar to how Elon Musk’s associated major businesses operate: Solar City, Tesla, and SpaceX. Solar City sell bonds from energy investments and create demand for home batteries and get more people off the grid; Tesla sells battery to Solar City to scale its operations (justifies the “Gigafactory”) and home solar makes buying electric cars more appealing; and Space X takes its paid-up-front contracts and invests in Solar City bonds which perform much better than safer but low-yield bonds Aerospace contract money goes into typically. Meanwhile the chief himself buys stock and sells his stock options and provides personal loans from his net worth to finance the various businesses during times of need, providing liquidity and a safety net.

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Autumn 2015 Anime

But first some thoughts for the last season:

Sore ga Seiyuu: It was good, but I’m not sure how they lined up their use cases. It felt like if we enjoyed things like underground idols, it would be more fun. But I think that could be said in general, if we enjoyed everything like idol otaku enjoying underground idols… Where does fantasy end and reality begin? Where does consumption end and…non-consumption begin?

Overlord: My favorite of the season, but it felt like it didn’t have enough time to breath.

Charlotte: My other favorite of the season, but it could’ve used another cour.

Classroom Crisis: My guilty pleasure of the season, but this one definitely needed another cour.

So yeah, what the hell Japan. Two of them are even original.

I still enjoyed Ace of Diamond, I have not fallen behind, and it is the first 100+ episode show I’ve watched since a god-knows how long ago. It didn’t go the way of Space Brothers, so that’s something very positive to be said about that project.

Monmusu was great. Fanservice-harem anime will always be welcomed if they are executed like this.

Non Non Biyori is still excellent. I think it might even be better than the first season.

Rokka is terrible and you’re all terrible for liking it?

GATE was OK. Not that good to be honest but worth watching for some highlights.

Food Wars was lovely, and I hope more of it happens.

Still need to wrap up on Million Doll (2 eps behind lol), Working S3, Gatchaman, Ilya, and Shimoseka. I don’t know why I stalled on Ilya, probably because there is no drive for me; I don’t really get it on watching this particular gang of little girls, and Rin’s side is not much better thanks to all this exposure lately from UBW. (How do you top that last episode?) Shimoseka is a really weird watch for me in terms of how to position it as both comedy and entertainment, and as a serious work of narrative. The first half (where I stopped) seemed like a good stopping point, and I don’t know if it gets any better. I might brave on if I go on a trip. Working just makes me sleepy which is why I’m a few episodes behind, and Gatchaman, too.

Well, there’s more.

Tokugawa matsuri

Now, new stuff…

Osomatsu-san and One Punch Man are both shows that probably won’t sustain the vigor episode 1 has showed us, so I’m not saying much about those besides, go watch the first episode. I like them also as gateways to explore these cultural artifacts, so you can get that even at 1 episode.

I enjoyed both Asterisk Wars and Chivalry (of a Failed Knight or) whatever, but not enough to take them beyond 3 episodes. I think the latter is more interesting because it is more different and more self-conscious, but that’s jaded people talk. What I found problematic, heh, is the execution of the fanservice elements in Chivalry is weird? I don’t know, had a hard time putting a finger on it. Asterisk War feels more sterile and tepid, kind of like Mahouka minus the obvious setup.

The real action for me is in Lanmas. The show features Suwa Ayaka as a horse (and has speaking lines) whose name is Shirohime. I cannot pass this up. There are also other factors to make the show compelling so far, even if at core, it still surrounds a potato and a bunch of girls. Holding my breath on this one in case it degenerates into a duty watch rather than for enjoyment as well.

The best show overall this season has to be Utawarerumono False Faces. The rebirth of Underwater Ray Romano is so far delightfully self-aware and curiously curated to please. Can’t ask for much more.

The new Gundam is what old fogies liked. Why do people hate 8th MS Team? I guess we can find out soon. For the record I enjoyed all that stuff. I even enjoyed 00 and Wing. I like Gundam, I think.

I tried watching DD Fist of the North Star II, I don’t get it.

Comet Lucifer is the first show that reminded me of those Bones original IP in a long while. But I guess this also means I should say I haven’t caught Concrete Revolutio yet. Maybe tonight.

Heavy Object: How can you screw up this badly. Oh wait nevermind, Index-heritage. Sigh. The concept is interesting but only because it triggers my Mechwarrior internal logic.

More Yuruyuri is always good.

K – Hahaha that action sequence.

Thanks to this post now I can’t stop making boner jokes about that Bone Detective anime. Sakurako anime. Whatever. It wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure I am in the mood for something like this. Maybe.

F anime, the one about the Insider? It’s really hip but yet probably ultimately will piss me off in a Nisioisin-can’t-write-well sort of way. I’ll leave myself open to its interpretation of murders and mysteries, because the production is good and it is something very Noitamina-y.

The slightly hard-boiled anime with Ueshama as lead female? It isn’t entirely terrible but I think this is what I dislike about otaku-database-driven stories. I thought we’re well beyond this, so when it’s straight up served it bothers me too much.

I avoided mentioning the shorts mostly in this post but just want to end with Hackadoll. It’s great and the WUG fanclub is selling the OP/ED single LOL.

And we’re not even done yet.

PS. Sakurako is a woman who gets a boner on esoteric bones?

PPS. I forgot to mention but we’re doing a DereSute wiki too. Thanks Rop &co!

Early Decisions: Summer 2015 Season

If SAO is our standard bearer of Mary-Sues in recent memory, what makes of GATE and Overlord? This is a rhetorical question I suppose. But I find myself honing in on the political undertones first.

Million Lives

Even before that though, there needs a hook, sometimes. What is the hook in Gangsta? Crime and violence? Sex and violence? Grit? Ha. Hahaha. Maybe the whole dogtag thing? Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in but it almost felt like the show is an insult of actual criminals and gangsters? Which may be okay. Perhaps even more okay, if it turns out that way, is if Gangsta becomes an insult of the genre. I don’t know and wouldn’t know, though, because I missed the hook; a reason to watch the next episode. Other than Mamiko’s character not dying in the first episode? Didn’t these people watch Cowboy Bebop? I guess if you were one of those people who watched Bebop as a result of its critical acclaim, maybe I’ll join you on Gangsta.

On that note, if Haramii is the standard bearer of “boob voice” then that could explain why is she in another MMORPG anime? I mean don’t get me wrong I love her role in Overlord. It’s a lovely hook. That show is also my favorite of the season for some reason. It’s like Log Horizon for me. If Log Horizon for you was shipping and the adoring of a little assassin character, maybe Overlord is not for you. Still, the two have some strong similarities in the narrative approach and setting. I realize people don’t prioritize these things the way I do but I feel Overlord is an improvement on the setting building aspect of Log Horizon in some ways.

Speaking of hook, I thought School Alive had a wonderful pilot. It’s the perfect embodiment of that famous(?) fan fiction about Bottle Fairies and split personalities. It doesn’t go that distance however, and I’m pretty meh on zombies. And maybe even more so on crazy (in a clinical sense) anime characters. It does seem quite entertaining so I’m not hung up on the fact that I haven’t gotten around to it. Another season with no time to watch everything I want to watch, is just a fact we have to deal with.

I’m not even hung up on the fact that I didn’t get around Prison School. I thought I would by now but I guess I thought my time would be better used to make maids in eroge or something. Probably not too different than being up to date to the Wife Is the Student Council President except more time consuming.

I feel good about the Hackadoll anime next season–believe it or not it’s my most hyped upcoming show that I can remember off the top of my head. The other shows on the same anime blocks this season are all pretty okay, and they are all served well by the 8-minute format. Even Wooser… I guess. That one seemed a little borderline because some of the recent episodes felt it went on for just too long. In a weird way I’m also looking forward to the cameo they could mix. I mean it’s clear that Miss Monochrome and Wooser are shows that are open to straight cameos. Hackadoll is even more so when the “IP” itself is about discovery of other IP, to the degree that it outright endorses and what not. Kind of like if Gamers or Animate made their own serious shows, what would be in them? I mean the Hackadoll namas… If you are into the WUG seiyuus (and Ueda Reina) they’re a must watch, and you’ll get what I mean by cameos (maybe).

Supposedly that Hayamin anime with Red Riding Hood naming is good. That’s like people saying Oremonogatari is good. It would be nice if someone can go into details and elaborate on how they could be relevant.

I am also watching Rokka. It’s not that good, in fact every episode felt off-putting. It does serve well with a choppy pace of things, so in this instance I enjoy the plot more so than anything. It takes its time during these “unusual” moments, almost awkwardly, so that could be why every week it feels off-putting. It’s like you  know a cliffhanger is coming but the show misses its timing in telling you what you already know. Maybe I’ll drop at some point, but I’d like to give all the new characters a chance to make an impression. So far only the main dude guy is of any interest… Pikasha playing the lead female is well-deserved but the precarious princess probably won’t get her day in the spotlight until much later.

The opposite problem happens in Million Doll. The concept and story are both right up my ally and the level of meta-ness is perfect, but the anime is lacking to say the least. I kind of hoped the animation is at least good enough so I remember everyone’s names by like 5 episodes, but given the very short length I can cut it some slack. Crunchyroll recently streamed episode 5.5, which means we now get to see Yuiton’s full length legs with English subtitles. That I can accept, since she is just there the whole time, but of the entire length of the fan meeting, why those segments? Specifically, why the segment that points out she’s from Osaka? LOL. I guess it works.

That nicely segue into Sore ga Seiyuu, which is obviously a must watch for me. It’s sad people compare it to Shirobako when the two are actually nothing alike. Of course, they are also entirely alike in their glamorized/deglamorizing view of the industry, but why would anyone watch something like that? Joke aside, it’s nice to finally see some drama this week. It’s funny to see how Kugyuu and Hocchan are in their cartoon flesh. It’s especially amusing if you think about the various versions of herself that Horie had to play in the recent years. That said unless you are a seiyuu otaku of some measure this is not exactly going to be enjoyable. In a lot of ways, Sore ga Seiyuu gives you the inside look at a voice actress’s internal thoughts rather than the internal working of an animation project. It’s much more personal and also a lot less compelling/hit or miss, unless you have already a hook there.

[Here’s an aside. Take Yoshimura Haruka as an example. She’s still a “newbie seiyuu” in the technical sense, soon to graduate out of that bracket. It seems that she shares some of these exact anxieties our protagonists share, if you read this interview. Even the way she name dropped Pe and Nu, or her coleads from Shirobako… Also, thank goodness for IDOLM@STER, right?]

What is always enjoyable is great seiyuu performances. I feel like that every time I watch Monster Musume because there is nothing else redeeming about the show. The voice acting is carrying it. Well, maybe one other thing: the political undertone. I mentioned in a chat once but if we think about MonMusu as a harem with fantastical creatures combined with harem characters, we realize isn’t the only IP on the market with that concept. Even Bakemonogatari and the like, really, is merging the plight of a young girl with the notion of some eastern phantom. And it’s not alone. Normal, quiet guy’s life gets upended by rowdy and over-excited young women trying to bone him? Except this time, they’re not Cat Planet Cuties. The monster fetishes aside, isn’t this what we can call, for the lack of a better term, a “gaijin harem”? The immigration issues too certainly highlight this. How does a normal, if model, Japanese specimen deal with these foreign intruders? They clearly mean well but they’re a handful, as they gaijin smash into your heart. What to do?

Joke aside, Monmusu doesn’t deserve 2 paragraphs, let alone faint praise in the form of thematic exploration of its parallel with western notion of liberty and romance (and other aspects of everyday life…Cat Planet Cuties does, though). Maybe Charlotte does, but I can’t watch that show objectively devoid of my Mocho biases and tendencies. It’s a great show and her character is decidedly similar to her business persona. The story and characters are who you expect them to be, knowing Charlotte’s Maeda Jun roots. I hope for the best, and PA Works so far is doing a good job. And knowing that, we are way too early in the game to pass any real judgment on it, even if the story has been placing hints along as expected.

The other original title I like this season is Classroom Crisis. It can be really good, it can be mediocre, but it probably won’t be bad. It’s a little boring but I’m ossan enough to enjoy that kind of boredom. Cobalt is a great song and probably my favorite this season. There’s also some social commentary as undertone here that’s pretty enjoyable, if kind of wrong-headed.

Shimoseka is clearly socially interesting, but it’s also interesting from the seiyuu perspective. And beyond that, the story is a little interesting. I don’t think it’s tapping into the full potential of the premise and I’m not sure I like how it exists in the school context because that puts the weird things it can pull in line with other stories in the same setting, but I’m willing to let it prove me wrong. At the very least it can be fun on the basis that the anime is about a bunch of perverted jokes.

I tried the first episode of several shows above and dropped them, but also Aoharu x Machinegun, Actually I, and Ushio & Tora (which had a really good episode 1 that’s just like the one I saw 15+ yr ago). I don’t think I would mind watching more but there wasn’t anything compelling. Actually the first one up there was particularly tough, since it’s not my kind of thing? I probably would be watching Symphogear except I cannot be arsed to undrop shows from years ago. Praise it more guys, maybe I will change my mind (lol).

On the notes for sequels, I am enjoying Non Non Biyori a lot, and this take is brilliant. Less brilliant is Working season 3. It puts me to sleep. In fact it inspired me to track often each show this season has done so:

[Title]: [Ep count that I fell asleep on]/[Ep count watched]

Working!!!: 4/5
Monmusu: 2/6
Classroom Crisis: 0/6
Gate: 0/6
Non Non: 0/6
Rokka: 1/5
Gatchaman S2: 1/3
Charlotte: 0/6
Shimoseka: 1/3
Sore ga Seiyuu: 0/6
Overlord: 0/6
IMAS CG: LOL/Every episode twice

I think I fell asleep on an ep of Wakaba Girl. Anyways, I ignored the short stuff because of the obvious reasons. Back to Working. I think it’s the A/B format each episode uses, it would mean the slow part of the ep puts me away and I would wake up on the good part or vice versa. Not much I can do besides trying to watch it not when food coma is coming or at a time when I am not tired. I guess a positive way to spin this is that Working is disarmingly funny, and relaxes me. The negative way to spin this is that it’s just a boring same-recipe-every-time gag that has expired last season.

I’m also of two minds on Gatchaman Crowds Insight (two different minds), so I’ll keep that to myself for now and make a call later once I am more caught up. It’s on the to-watch list for sure.

Still up to date on Food Wars and Baseball A.

Yeah I’m watching IM@S CG. Lately it’s been good. Not sure that is because the episodes are good or I’m still under the influence of 10th. Most likely both.

Last but not least, Teekyuu backlog ever increasing. And I don’t mind the least.

Classroom Crisis

At the second episode, Classroom Crisis explains itself to us. The one big thing that strikes me as interesting, for better or worse, in episode 2, was the way it lays out a future of space travel and human expansion in the solar system by the means of a manufacturing company’s expansion. The focus of the show is a school system, that allows a rogue band of elite students to do their own thing as a way to make a breakthrough.

If you ever read the news on Japanese economy and social order, doesn’t this sound a little too close to home? I mean the reason why a bubble happened in the Japanese economy largely stems from its inability to shift gears from manufacturing to information. The Toyotas and Sonys of the country can match pace with the Fords and GEs of the world, but there is no equivalent of Apple or Microsoft in Japan. And with Google poised to be the next wave of things, in another 5-10 years Japan will be two revolutions behind, at least speaking in nationalist terms. (Although companies like Google are increasingly borderless…which can pose another problem for Japan.)

TL;DR – Japan was stuck as a manufacturing society in the 90s, unable to catch on to the information revolution. It may or may not be stuck today, but people’s minds sure still are.

Classroom Crisis E2

I’m sorry. I weep for the geniuses who are groomed from a young age so they can work for some megacorp doing manufacturing. Shouldn’t they be, you know, doing something more scientifically advanced? Don’t they let robots make stuff in this future? Does Japan not believe in automation?

In that sense, this history of Classroom Crisis’s future is written like an old man’s pipe dream. It might as well talk about how the cave man rule the world with a magical club. I also think this setting just gave away the thematic thrust of the show, about youths and revolutions and what not.

And depends on your perspective, that too can be sort of a silly old man’s pipe dream. I deeply believe in the power of iteration; geniuses who grow older and grow more experienced in the right environment are, well, more potent and more revolution-causing than younger geniuses who has not have the education of experience. There is nothing magical about youth (other than practical reasons like sales of the series I guess). Physically, sure, there’s a biological factor, but as brilliant minds? Not really. In that sense, the culprit, if we want to point fingers, is not just human tendency of unable to see outside the box (which I just don’t think is something young or new people are better at inherently), but the oppressive and conforming environment, this institutional focus, in which defines a core component of Japanese society.

Which is to say the fact that they are in schools at all is hilarious. And since Classroom Crisis does not point fingers, let’s not.

PS. TrySail OP! New ClariS ED! Can’t throw money at screen hard enough.