Category Archives: Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata

Half-way Into Spring 2017

I’m still watching anime.

I did finish the main OVA series of Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, and it was good. Feels like a very literal map between TV cartoon from book, even though it’s a home-video only release. Like its content, that release is a bit ahead of its time; I think it would have been a killer IP for a Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. If I was working for those groups this is the kind of content I would try to secure.

Saekano S2 – This is at least astute to a degree, but misses the point entirely. I think of the story of Saekano as a bunch of problematic people coming together, with the joke being that the boring girlfriend character is actually the most interesting person among a bunch of weirdos (to put it mildly). It is full of good, subtle, meaningful fanservice and to me, coupled with Misaki’s designs, makes this top notch in that department. It is a story between battling emotions and emotional people, and really repurposes the harem aspect to describe a creative process.

Tsugumomo – Only really watching it because Sanpei Yuko told me to, but also it turns out to be another kind of fanservice show that are not too common these days. At first the subject matter doesn’t seem to be my cup of tea but it is pretty easy to get along, especially there aren’t any shows this season like this. If anything the porno-ish aspect found in the manga doesn’t get played up as much in the anime, maybe for the best…

Renai Bokun – I started to enjoy this show more to think of it like, trash tier episodes of Ranma 1/2. It might as well be. Haramii’s character is pretty extreme! It was hard for me to watch actively, but really fun to play it in the background while I do something less attentive, such as eating.

Re:Creator – I hope it keeps going, because so far it is doing nicely to escalate. The first handful of episodes were fun to watch in the same ways Aldnoah Zero (at least S1) was kind of fun to watch, in that it is a competent production and the story moved along smoothly. The subject matter actually is still kind of problematic. But I think there are some cool places this show can go.

Twin Angel BREAK – Sins of seiyuu watching brought me here, but somehow once the Russian twins were introduced, this series stopped being as hard to watch. Maybe it’s because I’m watching it for the twins, but I don’t think the story was getting any better than it was before. I guess someone has to give it a nod for laying down all the details in the early going that can come around towards the end of the series.

Tsukigakirei – I LOL’d at the book publishing part. Otherwise it’s just very comfortable cute romance I guess.

Akashic Record – Rokuaka is the kind of trash LN that works in the TV anime format, it’s got some dramatic things that map well to a more cinematic mode of storytelling. It’s enjoyable.

Hinako Note – It’s cute but the fanservice in this show sure is jarring. It has a plot so the show is kind of enjoyable at least in terms of tracking the narrative.

Natsume S6 – It’s still going, but I’m behind. Will probably catch up soon. Have to say after 5+ cours this show is just more of the same and one episode doesn’t always differentiate from the next significantly at times. To me it isn’t about what happens, but the atmospheric quality and the way it entertains me. It’s like a box of chocolates, just because I like said chocolates it doesn’t mean I will finish the whole box in one setting.

Uchoten S2 – Still very enjoyable, but it isn’t as compelling as the latter half of S1. The way the anime plays off the highs and lows with almost equal import throws off the storytelling a little. It’s like if you enjoy passive aggression, you would love this show right now.

Eromanga Sensei – It’s such a fun show to watch, I look forward to it every week. What has been surprising is that I thought I was going to get my best bang for the buck from the meta, but the core material is plenty enjoyable too, unexpectedly.

Attack On Titan S2 – Every episode is more fun reveals, so it’s pretty solid thus far.

SukaSuka – WorldEnd is just too confusing of a name… But the setting is really the shining part of the show. I’m just glad to see Koroazu in a lead role of a show that doesn’t suck… or at least it doesn’t suck that much.

Granblue Fantasy – The first couple episodes were great, but the show really tanked after that; not only it was really too cliche, none of the great part of the game got nice highlights until this past couple weeks. I’m still on board but it really needs to pick up the pace.

PiriPiri Chi-chan – In another page of watching cartoons for seiyuu I am totally watching this for Mocho, but I think this is actually a must-watch for any Rieshon fans. The production, the OP/ED themes, and the general makeup of the show are all really fun and pleasant, so it has been surprisingly enjoyable.

Cingeki – Sometimes I forget how eroi some of the comics are, and I’m glad they decided to make them into anime.

Alice & Zouroku – It’s got a thriller opening set but now things are just kind of normal-ish? Not sure I like the change but it hasn’t been bad. The mid-season breaks this cour has been a little more obvious than usual isn’t it…

sin Seven Deadly Sin – Want to watch ep2 but haven’t gotten to it yet, it’s a little obnoxious and I think Renai Boukun is taking up my quota on obnoxiousness this season.

Clockwork Planet – I actually enjoyed this thoroughly chuu2 show to a degree, but it’s also equally insufferable so I haven’t been able to go past 3 episodes.

Danmachi Side anime – On the back burner, haven’t even tried… But I will!

Bahamut Virgin Soul – I’m glad people are getting what they always wanted! /s When I watched the first series I was pretty annoyed, and I find this one a little less annoying but true to form. But I’m also behind on this because I just haven’t gotten that time for a show I’m only mildly interested in.

Busou Shoujo – One and dropped. I probably would enjoy this show but ain’t got the time.

Anonymous Noise – One and on hold I guess. I enjoyed the pilot but I might need to get in the right state of mind to keep going, so maybe it’s worth a binge watch later.

Silver Guardian – This is OK for a Chinese cartoon. Pass.

Atom: The Beginning – Too uppity for my tastes but worth watching at least one. Might go back to it…after I finish other equally uppity anime in my backlog?

Frame Arm Girls – I was fine with the 2 episode I watched but it wasn’t compelling enough to overcome the jetlag induced backlog. Maybe later.

ID-0 – After just one episode I wanted to watch more, but I didn’t want to mess with another subscription service. I think my habits have largely tilted to watching stuff legit if it meant following it week to week. Two exceptions in the form of Re:Creator and Saekano buck that trend, but I’m sure I would rather watch ID-0 over a lot of the other shows on my list.

On a couple notes in terms of trends, this is the first season in the States where Amazon streaming has some specific exclusives I care for, and Netflix still has their usual bags that they lock up for binging only. Chris from Fandompost has sort of laid it out, although the monetary figure will vary on how you approach the system. Honestly I use streaming so I can avoid making my life more complicated, so I’ll just stick with CR (and Daisuki) for now and ignore Netflix and Amazon until they make their offering more compelling.

And it’s not like their products aren’t compelling. I’m tempted to do a month of Netflix HD just to watch the rest of Sidonia and Blame (and LWA if…they had it). I would subscribe to Amazon’s Anime Strike, too, except I’m in Amazon Prime limbo due to free F&F shipping perk. I’m basically already a leg inside Amazon’s system habit-wise. What needs to change is providing a way for people who can’t get the shipping Prime straightened out, which might mean a more ala cart thing (which makes sense for everyone, not just my case). The second thing is I want more of a commitment from Amazon on anime. If I switch to paid Prime that is one year of commitment (I’m not going to bother with monthly subs with this, sup, the new Amazon credit card), so they better not suck 6 months later. Overall the jury is still out on Amazon and I am in no rush to join until there’s some track record first. (Well, there IS IDOLM@STER.KR waiting but so far that’s just the K-Drama-fying of the literal concept, which one’s mileage will vary on how they feel about k-dramas.)

PS. At this rate, I’m probably going to spring for a Amazon.jp kindle unlimited membership before Anime Strike. LOL.

PPS. I’m headed to Anime North! Just going to chill out in Toronto for a while, as the freight train that is AX prep continues to run unabated. Come say hello!


Saekano on Clickers

I was messing with Spaceplan, a popular clicker game, and it was pretty fun. Then I watched Saekano Flat episode 4.

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Saekano

I don’t remember ever giving my 2c on Saekano on the blog, so when I read Evirus I felt a response here is apropos. It is likely the most meta late-night otaku bait in recent memory, after all.

Saekano employs regular meta nods and winks. It also peers past the fourth wall periodically. It does these things successfully, but the show teeters precariously while doing so. In fact, the show is constantly on the verge of disaster but manages to avoid calamity each time.

Isn’t it a mistake to say Saekano employs regular meta nods and winks? Isn’t Saekano, on the whole, an exercise in the meta? When the story is wholly meaningful on its own but yet predicated on the meta, is it still meaningful without taking into account that how baked it is? I guess if you approach this story on different wavelengths, you can arrive at the same conclusion. But if, say, Seitokai no Ichizon was the story of a bunch of people talking both about and being harem otaku narratives while being a harem otaku narrative, is it even meaningful to say Seizon employs nods and winks about meta things? Like how Shirobako is an anime about making anime, would references in Shirobako about making anime (or better yet, reasons why anime are poorly made) worth talking about? I guess neither has to be the case. I suppose it is fair to say that it does such things, but at the same time saying it doesn’t really describe it, or mean very much.

Rather, maybe it is a measurement of how meta it is, I guess. How “yo dawg” is a meme about putting what you like into something you like. Like, visualizing it like a series of “o”s after a “y” in “yooooooooo dawg.” Versus “yo dawg.” Like as if the number of the repeating characters can mean something. There are those of us who read a blog post without really going into that level of a read, and some who do. Or even the same person who does and does not on a whim. I feel the worth of expression about meta regarding Saekano is about the depth, the how deep, that you can go within its inception. That’s the dimension in which Saekano, probably, earns its spot on noitaminA. Well, who am I kidding, given the main attraction of the show comes from its ludicrously well-executed fanservice moments, capping off some competent character narratives that shoots through the heart of a bunch of circus tricks befitting an otaku property getting a second season.

[Insert your imagined impression of me doing the ANIPLEX bumper.]

Maybe this is where Evirus and I agree: I think there’s a certain amount of class that our well-starched potato-kun of Saekano can impact the series. Ethics-kun or whatever she calls him. (And honestly you can’t get more starched than ethics, I’d think. If you want to meta some more in the meta, isn’t Saekano largely about ethics in journalism and video game development?) But maybe that’s it. That our doujinshi-making heroine draws ero and finds BL a little harder to deal with is suppose to do what in this context? Are we still talking about noitaminA? How does Saekano “manages to avoid calamity” mean something beyond the finer digestive elements of a modern consumerist “pig”? Who will go “buhii” when Megumi/Utaha/Eriri/Izumi/Michiru asks you to do so? I mean, it sounds like all the hand-wringing of these sad people who are forced to watch something good. At least the pretense is pretty thin for Evirus.

Happy Birthday Tomoka!

As you can see, Saekano is in the wheelhouse of my wheelhouse, yooooooooo. And I didn’t even mention the fact that this meta-anti-meta duplicity is the crux of Saekano’s success, in that by its meta-fantasy-fulfilment it also achieves per se fantasy fulfilment. How good (or ethical?!) that actually is remains an outstanding question, but I don’t think the popular discourse surrounding Saekano is going to drill through all those layers any time soon.