Category Archives: Hataraku Maou-sama!

Year in Review 2013: The Junior High Second Year Bridge Across Escapism, New World Disorder

When I was watching episode 10 of Yuushibu the thought dawned on me: this is about a new world order. If we take the narrative about the lost generation of Japan to heart, the young adults of Japan has to prime themselves to a new reality where job security is an unicorn and living the life their parents do 40 years earlier is just how things not going to be–until they find the wind beneath their wings. It’s the reality today’s Millennial are dealing with in America, but things are trickier out in Japan.

The big picture view is that Asia, on the whole, are still banging out explosive growths. You can say China may have “landed” but it’s still growing hella fast. India is probably going to get caught up. On the other hand Japan is like the edge of a Red Giant, where fusion go beyond helium and into the heavier elements, eventually crunching back into something more suitable for a dying star. I guess things may go to hell if China and India crash hard enough? I guess that’s kind of a grim analogy.

But that’s exactly how it feels for our protagonists who had to swallow their dreams and go live a part-timer’s life working in a big-box electronics store. And in some ways this is what is truly adult about that sort of a story, it’s not about people living their dreams, doing anything they can. It’s about finding out about yourself as you find a place for yourself in the world. Like a good football defense: bend but not break.

In Hatarake Maousama, the story plays itself out differently but the concept is the same. A fantasy big shot learns to be a great McD assistant manager. But here’s the thing: if you make it as a shift manager at a Wal-mart or Best Buy, you can surely make a decent living? It’s a real salary, although you may have to work a lot of off hours. It’s like Yuusha’s job doing customer service for DoCoMo. I don’t know, but some of these jobs are not entirely terrible.

It’s a much more telling story for All A, I guess.

Here’s exactly the thing. Torn between, say, an inaka narrative, where we always give a lot of face for farmers, doing service jobs or even blue-collar type jobs in today’s cities and suburbs just don’t get the same kind of respect, even if said jobs are often much better and preferred than farming. Or any of the traditional arts of the land–brewing sake for example. Unless you got electron microscopes for eyes? I am not sure what makes the disenchanted feel better. However as far as head tricks go, you can do worse than Yuushibu and Hatarake Maousama. You can do worse than Kyon in Haruhi or Goto in Samumenco. You can do worse, only because it’s like everybody is doing it. Log Horizon? Outbreak Company? LOL Maoyu?? Maybe this is me looking like a hammer because everything seems to fit like a nail, but in 2013 everything looks like it.

All of this just goes and point out Yet Another Reason Why SAO is problematic. It’s the difference between a new world and an old one: it’s a world where the meek conquers the strong as lion rest next to the lamb. As far as fantasies go, it’s a classic, and herbivores sure eat it up. And this is also why nobody is procreating; it’s some new world order. (Versus just jamming it in as if you haven’t done it for two years. Virtually.)

And of course, unless you’ve seen Yuushibu up to episode 10, you might not know what I’m even talking about. Let’s just frame it real-quick-like–domesticated devil queen heiress decides to apply big box retail to the demonic world in a stereotypical fantasy hero-versus-maou setting, people think she’s a fool, but the idea comes across brilliantly.


And this is why Love Lab is one hella good anime that y’all should watch.

Year in Review 2013 Index:

Season Ending Blog Anthology

A chain of short blog posts about their subjects. The last one is a run-on about Moenovel. The rest are about currently-ending or airing anime.

Waiting for a Levia-sama joke

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Mid-Season Update, Spring 2013

Anime blogs are suppose to blog about anime right? Can I stop being one?

Before I begin I just want to talk about the APR. The anime  power ranking is a lot of fun and if you are a regular simulcast-y type viewer, maybe Kevo would have you give him your 2c every week. I’m a major slacker and wish I could be home and send emails about anime on the weekends, but that is usually not typically possible after Friday night and until Sunday night, when the APR is calculated.

Guilty plug aside, I guess I’ll keep it simple: Up, steady and on hold/dropped. Links to viewing portals. Ordering is semi-random.

Same Same


Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – A veritable science fiction healing factory. Hanaharu’s character designs alone might be worth the trip by itself.

OreImo Season 2 – I think this season is really bringing the pain, and for sisucons pain is not always a bad thing. The awkward exchanges between Kyousuke and his friends is at least less painful than Aku no Hana’s painful exchanges, which is good; that’s a sanity check. But it’s not a sanity check every seishun rom-com would pass. It’s probably up because we’re in the middle of the Shironeko arc.

Flowers of Evil – Since I am going to Animazement I probably should watch this to field questions for Nagahama. But it’s also just kind of an amusing show in that the bouts of fear, doubt and madness are baked into the atmosphere, only to be punctured by the visuals. The rotoscoping works both for and against the whole endeavor in a strange way. The story will continue to descend into insanity and who doesn’t love that? At least it’s an easier watch than, say, Texhnolyze.

Muromi-san – It’s half-length, but only if all gag anime was like this. It’s well-paced. It’s also the sort of Yukarin role that, well, is the best. Only if she plays characters like this all the time. That and people like this.

Attack on Titan – Well, it’s a fun show how despair continue to be front-and-center to the plot and theme. I just don’t know if that despair is for us or for the characters, because there is clearly a separation between “getting into the show” and “enjoying the show” in this case. Maybe this is because it does not focus on the plight of a single character.


Devil is a Part-timer – It’s a fun show, with solid comedy both ways. I’m 1001% in Yusa’s camp though. Chiho is adorable but I feel she’s the weakest link so far. With the addition of the new character in the romantic formula and the end of the “introduction” arc, however, I’m not sure where this show is going to go.

Valvrave the Liberator – The problem with making a show that has clear call cards from all your past hits is that the audience expects your past hits in your new shows, and it is really difficult to surpass all your pass hits. At this point I half expect Valvrave to go the way of Geass R2. Will it jump a shark? It already has. But will it jump a dozen sharks? Will it jump over a shark pyramid? Will it jump over shark Starfleet? I don’t know, but I know I will find out soon. That said, it would be a very considerable feat if it can replicate all that shark jumping in Sunrise’s back catalog while remaining coherent, and arguably it is on the way to do just that.

Fly like a bird, I mean, bat

Majestic Prince – Great show, for the Tatsuo Sato disciples among us. I think it’s going through a dull period but hopefully things will come together much better than Rinne or Pirates. After all it resembles the Stellvia template, which is probably the more successful line of shows. Unfortunately it’s kind of a wash for everyone else.

Space Brothers – Really glad that I had this backlog to work through, thus enabling me skipping all those recap episodes. Also now that the show is back to civilization, the full blown expectation of Japanese people hoisted upon unrealistic American experiences is again on display, highlighting yet again the real barrier between human and space exploration is human. And I mean it in the jaded, ironic, culturally hilarious kind of way.

Nyaruko-san W – I can’t really be bothered by this show but the shotgun jokes do still find their target week after week. It’s definitely a drop from last season and to me this is now a drop-worthy show that I’m still watching partly because of blogging obligations.

Henneko – The cute factor increases or at least keep steady weekly. I’m going to get diabetes watching this anime, but I look forward to it anyway.

Photo Kano – I was going to drop this show until I watched the photo shoot with the student council president. I am not sure what that says about me (probably nothing flattering) but the visuals are worth a look. I think this is really an “anime no chikara” example because without the animation direction this show is totally crap-tier. I like how it makes me feel like a dirty upskirting otaku without being one, but at the same time some really enjoyable visuals, with or without fanservice. I hope that one photography girl’s episode is all about dutch angles or something.

Sparrow’s Hotel – It’s a sin to be watching this without finishing Inferno Cop. I probably should finish Inferno Cop. Maybe same can be said of Nin Nin Shinobuden. Half-length. I’m actually a couple weeks behind but I think Minori Chihara’s greatest power is leveraging her natural ditz.

My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU – OreGuile as I call it, it’s like a more pleasant version of Haganai in my mind. Which is probably a good thing. Also, what’s up with making Hayami Saori do the chew-you-out routine? I hope some enterprising people have made a cliip of it circa Tari Tari. I mean I would pay for this. Seriously.

Railgun S – As long as it continues to dish out things I want out of this franchise, I’ll continue to watch it I guess. The set of things I want out of this franchise may include beam weapons, awesome combat scenes, and that nostalgic, early 90s “winners don’t use drugs” mentality and themes. What I have to put up with kind of evens out with what I get, so I’m not in the greatest hurry or most wanting of this series.


Yuyushiki – I want to like this show and for the most part I do like it, it is likable, but the pacing suffers greatly. I might still stick with it, I don’t know.

Zettai Bouei Leviathan – Same can be said of this show. It’s way weaker than the other anime with Leviathan in it. Other than for the seiyuu, nothing is lost by dropping this one so it made a quick out.

Date-a-Live – I really enjoy the premise and they started off with a nice, earnest-type tsundere character, which is a very safe bet. I hope the show lives up to its creative premise. It’s on hold because there’s too much on my plate so this anime will take a back seat; also I don’t feel I have a good grasp of this show at 3 episodes in.

Chihayafuru S2 – I decided to put this off because it is really easy to marathon later. The funny thing is, after I got back from Japan I was going to catch up, but the word of a recap episode kind of put me off. So it continues to be put off. It’s going to be fun to watch either way you do it, so I think it’s no big deal other than having to mute everyone who tweets about the show.

The Severing Crime Edge – I just want to hit up all the fetishes every week. Not enough of a reason to continue I guess.

Red Data Girl – I probably would be watching it every week if I didn’t have to dodge people who are watching the pre-release, and as a result unable to talk to anyone who is watching this show. I mean, I know many of us are not watching the pre-release but this totally ruins the overall discourse. That said I’ve not dropped this show, although it’s up in the air if I will end up finishing it.

And that’s all folks! Actually, I’m probably missing something, not including the shows I didn’t want to include (I did skim through some Carnival and Utapri). But oh well…

PS. Aiura – This is, like a teaser/demo/sampler right? It’s both funny how people whine about its length, and how cruel because it’s so good yet so short. At the same time I think I’ll be okay if every episode has a shot of the back of the leg of someone lying down, the whole time.