Category Archives: Spring 2014

Atelier Escha & Logy – 1

I am seriously so behind in these games. I still haven’t beaten Atelier Totori, or even gotten past the first few hours. I am the worst person ever but you know you still love me maybe at least a little bit (Ok, so maybe not at all (maybe just a little more than that? (ok, I am getting a bit greedy))).

Let me say with 100% certainty that I love Atelier and all of the assorted games; the less serious stories, the light-heartedness of its tone, the cute, fun, exploration – there’s a lot to love here. Let me share with you a description that I wish I was creative enough to say I’ve crafted myself, but that isn’t true. Here it is anyway: Picture yourself playing an old RPG. You’re in the last dungeon and it’s been hours since you’ve last fully recovered or had the chance to buy items; yup, it’s one of those areas. You’re seconds before maybe the fourth sub-boss you’ve fought in this dungeon and you see a merchant in front of you. The usual questions ensue, but the most primary of those would be “How the fug did this guy get down here alive!?!?” Atelier answers that question for you; you play as that merchant.

Atelier Escha & Logy is undeniably cute and quaint, which is everything I was expecting from a show based on the Atelier games. Hoping not to relive the horrors of the fucking bread of happiness, I delve in and come out pleasantly surprised; this show took the source material, matched the tone well, and even throws in a bit of foreshadowing and intrigue. How badass is a floating island that nobody has ever explored? You can ask Melissa; I spoke out loud about how awesome I thought this was as soon as they mentioned it. Hopefully they triggered a plot flag that will ensure they will return or visit it near the end of the series.

Doesn’t anyone think it’s incredibly cool that an android that’s been in the family for several, several, several years has been raising Escha? I did think her speaking mannerisms slightly strange. She seems very loving and caring to Escha, so I doubt there is any issue.

It may not be in the cards with this show, but I’m hoping we also get a bit of action; after all, combat is an integral part of the Atelier series. How else are they going to trek 3 days to the farthest plane to gather that piece of dead herbal grass?

Soul Eater Not! – 2

Man, this show is just too damn cute, seriously.

We had no cameos this week but that’s fine; they likely crammed them all in last week to be like “Hey, remember Soul Eater? This show is like that!!! Except not really!! But dude seriously remember these characters, damn our show was awesome *pats self on back*.” I am more than ok with that, but I do kinda miss them. I know pretty much everyone will hate me for saying this (everyone who doesn’t hate me already anyway) but I hope we see more of them!

Our girls made their way to their dorm this week and met the crazy woman that runs the place. And boy, is she one for the loony bin. Murder is apparently a light sentence in these parts as she seems to get away with attempted murder quite frequently (and in the middle of the night, nonetheless). I thought she was creepy from the first moment we saw her; must have been the fox eyes.

Our girls actually go and get a job, not unlike our fellow usagi’s. Why? The one chick that bailed them out very unkindly asked them to cough up their entire allowance. What does this mean? They have no money at all. Great! Well, they get to dress up in cute uniforms, so I guess it’s not all that bad. Those two “cool guys” from the first episode seem to be keeping watch over them (like true gentlemen!) and decide to get a job with them, which of course causes a bit of sexual tension. While on paper this sounds annoying as shit it was really cute and charming.

Who knew our very own hime-sama actually always wanted to have a part-time job? She probably enjoyed it more than anyone else did. Man, she is so tsun it hurts sometimes. Unlike several other tsunderes, she’s never really come off as annoying to me. I like her. I like all of them though!

Who’d ever thought that combining Azumanga Daioh with Soul Eater would be successful? Ok, they’re certainly not the most unusual combination, but this works better than I care to admit. Looking forward to the next episode!

No Game, No Life – 2

I get probably way more excited than I should when I see that the RSS feed has downloaded a new episode of No game, No life. After the strong showing in the first episode, I just can’t wait to see more devious mind games and high stakes craziness, and this week hasn’t let me down. In this episode, the show attempted to establish the “norm” and our main goals; to become “king” and defeat the other races by bringing humanity from last to the top.

Why are we at the bottom anyway? Apparently, humanity can’t use or even detect magic and this severely hampers their ability. Sora isn’t exactly intimidated by this (which is exactly what I was hoping for) and seems to think he’s got what it takes to take them all down in his wake. It’s funny to see them take such interest in the real world when it was all they couldn’t stand previously. It could be argued that the “real world” here bears so little in common with ours that it’s technically a higher staked game. It could also be argued that you’re thinking way too hard about chinese cartoons.

I have to say that Sora is absolutely awesome. He’s so psychologically intimidating and intense that even I got uncomfortable from the other side of the screen watching him posture his way to victory each time. Sure, we’ve seen some great psychological masters in anime, but I feel the distinction with Sora is that he seems to use it only when necessary; when it comes down to game time, like a switch, he activates it and does whatever he must at any cost to win. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the fighter’s mentality, and it’s crucial to victory at higher levels of play.

Interesting to note that when losing, one is forced to uphold the stakes that they bet at the beginning of play. That’s right; you do not have the choice to decline or be duplicitous, if you lose, you lose. The finality of that definitely worries me as Sora has a habit of betting his life every goddamn time. Hubris is not a great feather to put in your cap in a work of fiction.

Now that Sora’s aspired to be king, things are going to get even more interesting. I would have been happy with just watching him outwit everybody and get nothing done, but this is even better, of course.

Captain Earth – 2

So, I’ve read some reviews and comparisons that have likened captain earth to the obvious: Star Driver with a bit of Eureka Seven mixed in. Given the studio that produced and developed this show, I think that is a pretty fair comparison. Let’s explore that for a bit. Mech and character designs aside (and the questionable use of the word “libido”), I’m even less convinced than ever before that Captain Earth really has much in common with star driver, save the superficial. Themes, feel, presentation; Star Driver bowled you the fuck over if you were in its way. It was flamboyant, flashy, and cool as shit. Captain Earth is also really cool, but it doesn’t revel in its own flashiness and I don’t really feel the similarities in the narrative.

I enjoyed our little insert song last week, but I can’t help but miss the flashy boisterousness Star Driver had when it came to battles. I’ll never forget the hype I felt as Takuto geared up to face his first challenger in the first episode. That said, it’s unfair of me to compare the two when it’s clear by the tone that Captain Earth is attempting a very different feel in story and pacing. That said, given these aspects, I feel it is most fair to compare it to Eureka Seven.

In any event, this week further developed things by throwing tons and tons of jargon, allegiances, and perogatives our way. It’s not hard to make sense of them, but of note is the fact that Teppei and Hana are being used as research subjects and are being contained by an “electric fence.” It’s the sort of treatment that is usually reserved for dogs and it’s completely unnecessary, but of course there is one royal jackass in GLOBE that is, for some reason or another, goes out of his way to be a colossal jackass. I know sometimes a show needs someone to be the asshole before the antagonist shows up but this guy is annoying. Here’s hoping he drowns in a bathtub.

It looks like the show is really going to begin now that we’ve got Takuto, Sugata, and Wako together. Er, you know what I mean. I think you know what I mean?

Nah, you know. I see that look in your eye. Don’t wink at me, ew.

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? – 1

If it ain’t a zombie, IT’S A BUNNY. I AM THE FUNNIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD.

So, bunnies. Let’s talk about them. As chinese cartoon afficionado’s, we’re familiar with several types of bunnies. Some bunnies are of the Aoi variety. Some bunnies drop. Some bunnies are vampire loli’s with some sick ass corner mixups and george XIII oki shit. Uh, I think that concludes our talk on bunnies for now.

Anyways, I should probably talk about the show, huh? Ok, maybe not! Haha, gotcha!

Seriously though, we should probably talk about the show. This show is damn cute and doesn’t seem to venture to do anything we haven’t seen before in a moe SOL. What sets it apart, in my opinion? The setting. It has a very turn-of-the-century bloody ol’ England feel to it that makes everything feel quaint but yet adorable. It a set of funny circumstances, our main blob ends up living with the family of Nu-13 in her coffee shop, where she learns about how to do things like make latte art, which I was not aware was actually “a thing.”

Save our main blob and Nu, there is also our tsukkomi/tsundere pig-tails girl who is, in fact, quite lonely. She reminds me strong of our friend Noire from the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. She has her moments, but the show makes note that she is only a part timer; once it’s lights out, the girls part ways until tomorrow. What makes this bunny coffee shop badass?

At night it turns into a bar. Pretty freaking cool. Interestingly enough, the girl’s grandpa is apparently a fluffy little critter that resembles a single peep after being in the microwave for a bit too long. I wonder how that happened? I wasn’t expecting any fantasy in the series but I look at that as a gateway for wacky SOL hijinks hahaha.

The show is cute to a fault. They’re already like sisters despite just having met. I’d be more than content for a cute SOL show; nothing else is really necessary. We’ll take some well-handled drama if you’re serving it though.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 2

Brnyhildr (What a damn name, seriously) continues this week as we discover our heroine lives in Hinamizawa. Seriously, she lives in the most Hinamizawa-ass villiage I’ve ever seen. It’s so urban-japanese-back-woods that they may as well be clawing at their throat while they’re there.

…Except for the fact that no one actually lives there. Yup, this village is completely abandoned save our heroine and her paralyzed co-heroine. Yup, she’s the one who can actually predict the future, not Kuroha. Interestingly enough, she can’t speak without a text-to-speech synthizer on her left hand, as it appears the procedures to make them magicians left her paralyzed. Most obviously, the show is not attempting to paint the one’s who experimented and created magicians out of our friends in a sympathetic light (Sorry, Okabe; scientists are rarely sympathetic in anime). To make matters more extreme, Kuroha exclaims that if they were ever found, they would be killed in addition to MC-kun.

I’m a bit unsure as to whether or not Kuroha is actually Kuroneko, although her reaction in the previous episode where she told MC-kun to bugger off was suspect; she looked slightly upset. I theorize that it actually IS Kuroneko and she’s made every effort to make it so that MC-kun can’t tell who she is, because as she said herself; the closer he is to her, the more danger he is in. In fact, it’s doubtful they ever would have met if he hadn’t been fated to die in the avalanche the previous day.

Another theory? When she fell from the dam, she got amnesia and no longer remembers who she was; she was re-purposed as a magician. Or perhaps this is just a clone of her. The theories get wild and baseless from here. Nobody can really say for sure although my bet is on my first point.

I must concede I found it disturbing and upsetting witnessing one of their friends being liquidated by the science goons. It’s bloody obvious it was supposed to be sad but I found something particularly somber about it.

I find the dichotomy between our MC and Kuroha to be particularly more interesting that in your usual show with a similar setup (Boy meets girl, girl has powers, etc.) for some reason. Is it because Kuroha actually has a bit of dimension to her? Not sure, but it appears to be quite interesting. Hopefully the potential isn’t squandered.

I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t infiltrate the scientist-esque facility to save their friend; that would have led to some interesting circumstances (and likely, bad circumstances.) The show has thus far captivated my interest. Looking forward to the third episode next week.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 1

Ok, before I begin, I want to highlight the superficial process that enters my mind when choosing what anime to watch for a season. Step 1: Look at anime chart. What is Production IG/Bones/JC Staff doing this season? Oh hey, that looks cool! Step 2: Anything that does not follow into category one will be determined soley by badass art style, sequel continuation of show I’ve seen previously, or cool cover photo. Congrats, I am now the worst ever!

Brynhildr is actually pretty interesting for something that appears to be steeped in the ordinary if one were to judge solely by the description. This wouldn’t be fair. Enter our blonde haired MC who enjoys looking at the stars and is constantly haunted by the death of a childhood friend whom he blames himself for. He didn’t know her very well but was enchanted by her nonetheless; the only thing besides her supposed name (Which is Kuroneko) that he can recall is her strange moles under her armpit.

Enter the present where a girl very similar to the younger one I just described appears. So, what’s her deal? Apparently she isn’t Kuroneko despite the similarities and lo and behold – she’s a magician! Wait…this is sounding familiar. Yup, except this show is actually good; the first episode delivered enough intrigue to pique my curiosity. Why is “pique” only used in conjunction with the word curiosity? Can someone give me an example sentence that utilizes this word differently?

Apparently our Kuroneko lookalike is able to (directly or indirectly; it is uncertain) predict the deaths of others. This leads to an interesting first episode with a surprisingly dark twist. Where do we go from here? I feel as though we’ve barely gotten a full teaspoon worth of content from this show. My knee-jerk reaction is that it’s taken a simple, done-before premise and made it quite interesting. Consider me intrigued.

Oh, and apparently the man behind Elfen Lied made this. I’ve never seen Elfen Lied.

Soul Eater Not! – 1

Let me first mention how much I love the title of this show. They were probably like “Hey, this is set in the soul eater universe. But there’s no action and it’s about stuff dat isn’t as serious!” “Haha, it’s like Soul Eater, except not!

There’s the title! Haha, it’s not soul eater, but it’s kinda like it, funny title right.

Anyways, the show is surprisingly cute and likeable. Remember Maka and Black Star? They’re moe as shit now. They are so blobby they would melt under direct sunlight. Given this is the show’s style, I am okay with this; I feel as though it’s done tastefully to fit the theme of the show. Our main characters meet under unlikely circumstances (don’t ALL main characters, what a riot) and quickly become friends. Interestingly enough, only one of them is a weapon while the other two are meisters. So who’s going to wield the weapon? The episode does nothing to address this and instead has the two meisters fighting over her possession at the very end.

It was nice seeing all our friends again after 6 or so years and I’m looking forward to this new adventure in the soul eater universe. While I’m at it, let me mention that the show also addressed the awkward “Wait, this is in North America right?” thing, including how it plays into normal life, which I thought was quite interesting.

While I love the show, it just deepens the feeling in me that we should get a “brotherhood”-esque re-invisioning of Soul Eater that’s more accurate to the source material. Although I must admit, I do love what we got.

Where do we go from here? Like, shenanigans and antics! I mean that in the best way. I’m quite excited for more of this show.

No Game No Life – 1

This show wasn’t originally on my watch list…Until about two days ago. Madhouse had kinda left a bad taste in my mouth from Mahou Sensou where it became apparent to me that this wasn’t the studio that produced Claymore or Trigun. I was a bit too knee-jerky and critical in my evaluation of them because this show delivers on an interesting albeit nothing special premise…and it delivers well.

Creating an anime starring a NEET? Nothing really new there. But there is more to a show than simply it’s premise; No Game, No Life wastes no times in executing and throwing our protagonists into unfamiliar territory and thrusting a new world upon them. Being the “best” at games, known collectively as Blank, they would do well in a world filled with their forte. Enter Sora and Shiro, our protagonists. Sora laments that the world is dull, harsh, and uninteresting. One thing leads to another and they are thrust into a world run entirely by games.

Naturally, being Blank, they do quite well for themselves. They do so by gambling the only thing they have; their lives. In doing so they successfully aquire clothing, money, and four night’s stays. Let me add that the nights at the inn were obtained by some very aggressive posturing that I would not expect from a NEET, but it was one of the most entertaining things in the entire episode. Holy shit. Love your style, Sora.

Sora also reveals that he cheated to win poker against the woman who’s money he took. Hey, but isn’t cheating against the rules? Sora postulates that as long as he is not caught, it’s as though he didn’t cheat. This will likely bite him in the ass later in the show.

What happens next? Inevitably, Sora’s overconfidence will likely get him in a hairy situation, likely by betting something costly like his life or even worse, his sister’s. We shall see. I look forward to what comes next.

Captain Earth – 1

This show has gotten me way more excited than it probably should have, honestly. But coming from those that made Star Driver, my hype guage is at total maximum. Like, that shit is broken, son. That meter ain’t tellin’ you the air pressure no more.

By the way, in case you weren’t able to tell from my previous entry, I’m intending to try a different blogging style; summarizing the episode was a lesson in tedium and I honestly didn’t enjoy this (This isn’t goddamn school, ok.) In addition, if you’re reading this it’s likely because you’re interested in the show to begin with or have already seen the episode or show in question, so you really don’t need the bloody thing summarized anyway. That said, expect this format from now on (including shows that haven’t finished like Nobunaga).

So what’s Captain Earth’s deal? Well, for one, who even is Captain Earth? I have no idea. Let’s talk about the episode, shall we? As far as intro episodes to mech shows goes, this one is pretty typical but still awesome. Much like Star Driver, the show takes place on an island. Uh, ok. It also involves MC-kun sneaking into a secret facility. Uh, ok, just like Star Driver. It also features sequences where the MC gets armed into mechs that is similar to the approvoise sequence in Star Driver. This lead Missi and I to speculate as to whether or not they take place in the same universe. As interesting as that would be, I don’t think that is the case here. Cybody’s in Star Driver were unable to approvoise outside of closed space without their supposed phase 4. Interesting similarities, nonetheless.

MC-kun’s backstory with the young boy was interesting and does spark curiosity as to who the boy is, even if it was nothing particularly special. The obvious bets would be that he’s an “alien” or “lab experiment”; my money’s on the former. Where do we go from here? Looks as though MC had inadvertently become the protector of the earth. I’m ok with this.

Please show me more.