Category Archives: Shingeki no Kyojin

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 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!

Some Summer 2013 Season Thoughts

Shoot first ask questions later style post.

Honoka Mutsu

I generally like Servant x Service. I think in a lot of ways it is an improvement over Working, but it lacks magnetic characters. I think taking on adult sensibilities gives it a new flavor but at the same time brings too much into play that shaves away the charm of a simpler punchline and makes it harder to embrace. “It” here being both the jokes and characters.

I think Silver Spoon anime comes across just a little heavy handed, but at the same time that’s probably necessary to drive the deeper points of the story. I’m not sure how the manga handles it, but this Silver Spoon feels like it is a pretty deep work. I also think that this could have been a very cultural-specific sort of a thing, but the saving grace is that processing basic raw ingredients in agriculture isn’t so different this day and age, across different countries, thanks to scientific advancements. In other words, the core message is somewhat universal, and moreover a lot of them don’t have anything to do with agriculture. The pizza episode was a great example of a modern day stone soup story and it definitely was the best one out of them all.

Out of all the shows I couldn’t make it out of episode 3, I’m most intrigued by Kaminai and Monogatari series. I’m pretty sure I will catch up on the latter series.

I really enjoyed Tamayura ~More Aggressive~ episode 6 and 7. In the end of 7 Potte took a photo of the fireworks and the backs of her friends. What ISO was that film? Did she change it from her camera at some point after the competition? That said I’m kind of behind so hopefully I’ll get to catch up in the coming week.

MJPR ending was a sea of flags. I mean, it totally pulled an Evangelion in terms of the joke flags. Too bad the story came across as too simple, for me. It’s like a Hollywood cliche. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t executed well enough to be enjoyable. It was enjoyable, for sure, but a little too shallow for my tastes.

The two Oonuma Shin series were a riot to watch. Good for him. They executed well, and despite the obvious and usual resource-saving techniques used everywhere, Illya delivered all that action and Watamote was a very clever show. They exceeded expectation in a good way, but that forces me to examine my expectations for Watamote and Prisma Illya to begin with–admitted they were somewhat low. Still there were some obvious bright spots in both shows. Izumi Kitta simply was perfect as Tomoko. Besides the convincing action scenes of Illya, Mai Kadowaki by now has a ton of Illya speaking time, so she wears that role like a comfy sweater.

Compared to her performance in Genei Taiyou, at least, Ilya was simply delightful. It’s not to say Day Break Illusion would’ve been helped by that, but in the end it was a weird way to highlight how different the two magical girls show were. The weird thing is, as bad as Genei was, it still had a lot of good points to it. Otaku media, I guess.

Titan and Railgun remain as the two top least serious business anime on my watch list. Especially Railgun. I see people taking it seriously all the time, though… I don’t get how people can do this without making a fool out of themselves.

Free is a fun watch on its own merits. The manservice for the most part can be side-stepped easily. I don’t think the rest of the show is really that noteworthy–about on par with Tamako Market I guess. My complaints still stand, but the animation and story is enough to keep my attention.

Kaminomi is also a lot of fun, as a non-manga reader. It’s not often you hear Asumin and Ayachi in roles like these. This third season of Kaminomi changes the gambit of the show for me–my favorite episodes in the last 2 seasons were the filler ones. By pumping the plot forward like season 3 they removed some of my complaints about the forced pacing, but it also took those charming down-time moments away. I guess I can’t say I like it, but it certainly can be a lot worse.

Eccentric Family is my top show this season and easily a top 5 candidate for 2013. No need to waste my breath at this stage, lots of other people are doing it. I’ll take my time to think about it…

The surprise hit this season is actually Love Lab. I really dig the way it gives a normal girls-be-girls kind of a setup, a backbone. It also has boys. It’s overall just delightful. If anything it could be funnier.

Genshiken Niidaime is as good as I expected to be, which is a high bar to clear. It’s still one of the best meta anime out there in recent memory. But because I expected this, it’s not particularly delightful since it can’t quite surprise me. Even if I have the manga and have been saving it until I’m done with this anime. I really enjoy some of the cross-cultural jokes especially.

Well, I probably should watch K3 before making those claims about Genshiken. I saw some cool caps from that show. But it doesn’t distinguish itself beyond the really nonsense stuff. Is this show any better than Kinmoza?

C3-bu, on the other hand, is a big surprise  in a different way. I also really enjoyed it but I had a hard time talking to people about it because following that show on CR is basically following it a week behind. It comes out on Mondays and the new episode airs Thursday–given how busy I was this summer I basically end up watching the episode usually on the weekend, Thursdays being the earliest. Sorry Crunchyroll, please never do this.

As for the show itself, in a way I like how it approaches the pathos from the “negative” side of things. You can state the problem in a negative way or a positive way, and the solution would feel very different depending on how you approached it. I think it’s a great litmus test. I also love how it gives Yura all these “reality marble” sort of way to show whatever it is C3-bu was trying to get across. Anime no Chikara yo. In a lot of ways this is a great show, in the way that, for example, MJPR fails to achieve.

I thought I would be all over Kinmoza, but this show didn’t have a higher gear to kick in to so it lost against the other shows of this season for my viewing time. It’s like I need to save certain times of the day when I am awake enough to take in these low-tension shows like Tamayura and Uchouten Kazoku (at least earlier on) to enjoy them fully, bumping out shows like Kinmoza and K3.

Gatchaman Crowds is the odd ball of the season. I guess that is only expected given that it is a Kenji Nakamura anime. However it is also a pretty fun show carrying the same kind of weirdo-yet-progressive ideas Nakamura has been sprouting. Whoever lets him have the freedom to make weird shows like this, God bless you and I hope you keep doing it for another 50 years.

Anyways, Gatchaman Crowds is also kind of the show that could “go wrong” really easily. It’s like Fractale, basically, that if the execution dropped something important, it’ll lose all credibility. I guess we have one more week to find out.

If there is one guilty pleasure this season for me, that would be Ro-kyu-bu SS. SHOW YOU GUTS COOL SAY WHAT saikou daze. No, more like because it is a koushien story after all. Kanae Itou is being her usual self in that show too, which is something getting rarer by the season. I also have to say it has a weird effect watching this right before/after MJPR. Iguchi!

I’m going to marathon Rozen Maiden…from episode 6. It’s fun. But probably less fun than marathoning Senyuu and Teekyuu back to back. Or interweaved. Which is something I’ll have to do too.

Bonus round:

  • Favorite OP: Servant x Service. However C3-bu’s final sequence is woaaah moeeeee. Also, kz song is so kz.
  • Favorite ED: Drowning in saudade in fhana’s Che Sera Sera, although I will reserve 10% for LOLI LOLI GROWING, whatever that means.
  • Most surprisingly good: C3-bu
  • Most surprisingly bad: MJPR
  • Funniest: Love Lab…or Teekyu.
  • Most surprising: Gatchaman Crowds
  • Most Mamiko: Uchouten Kazoku
  • MVP: Rento Kirishima

Summer 2013, < Three Episodes After

The anime blogging ritual continues.


Overall I thought this season yet again features a lot of solid shows. Even questionable entries like Fantasista Dolls or Inuhasa (for different reasons) give me reasons to want to watch it week after week, even when I wish just the opposite. The problem, if there is one, is that the shows with the most potential, the ones I like best, can only be engaged at an arm’s length.

By that I mean it’s hard to cheer for them. Let’s take Genshiken Niidame or Watamoe or the Monogatari series as a counterexample. These are pure otaku fodder. I can sleep with them in bed, carry it with me and read it on the train, what have you. That’s the typical case for late-night style anime. But entries like Gatchaman Crowds and Uchoten Kazoku, both fascinating pieces of work, require a level of rigor in order to engage them fully. It feels wrong, for example, to indulge in making dirty doujinshi of, say, Benten (but maybe not Utsutsu). Not that it won’t be done, of course, but there’s just something off kilter about theses two works. Maybe it’s the visuals? Maybe it’s just me? Probably it’s just me. It makes me want to watch them in theaters, or talk about it at cons with like-minded people. Or blog about them in a way to distinguish them.

I can’t say how it feels to engage all these works from a distance further than that, though. It must feel kind of ordinary and boring when, at a large enough distance, invariably everything seems to be the same thing, day in and out.

Continue reading

Mikasa Goodman

This guy thinks Mikasa Ackerman is a good girl. I’m not so sure. But while I was listening to that gaggle of voice actors sing along to the intense audio trope of a song the other day it dawned on me: Mikasa is played by Yui Ishikawa, who is in my mind, just Princess DNAra. A quick look on ANN says that Mikasa Ackerman is her second lead role for animation voice-overs. That’s a long time, relatively, in between. It’s also another incredible opportunity, to play a big role in a big show.

The thing is, Princess Dhianeila is also a “good girl.” In fact she is supposedly the literary parallel of some Greek mythological ideal for human goodness. I mean it in the “in contrast with, say, Gundam’s Relena or Lacus” but a force of nature pushing humanity into the next evolutionary level of existence, to join up with our space brothers and sisters; to chase after that mythical ancient race of gods or Qs or Precursors or whatever. In essence, DNAra is That Newtype. It’s about superhuman feats for an age where only such things can propel us forward, to overcome the other giants of the world.

It’s not too different, in that sense, from Shingeki no Titan. So what makes Mikasa Ackerman, and her muscle density? Or her voice actress? I have no freaking clue. It’s just yet another row in the database, where we bloggers run join queries and create nonsense for our entertainment. Ours and yours, hopefully.

And while sure, Mikasa, like Princess Dhianeila, are good girls, they’re also symbols in a way where a sense of flawlessness crusts over their humanity, their weaknesses. In my mind that is a great thing but it’s also not my cup of tea. In other words, I prefer girls who are more, shall we say, human.


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.