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23 January 2017: The most uncommon character in Demi-chan wa Kataritai is the teacher

Tetsuo and Hikari
Dude has really long fingers.

No, not the teacher who is a succubus. She's just another Christmas cake virgin, same as practically all female teachers in anime. (P.S. Spoilers.) I'm referring to the male teacher, who is perhaps the rarest of anime creatures: The adult male lead in a harem comedy. Or, more specifically, he is an adult male anime character who behaves like a goddamn grown-up despite being the lead in a harem comedy.

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16 January 2017: Youjo Senki and the Moshidora of reincarnation anime

Tanya
Shouldn't she be wearing some goggles?

On its face, Youjo Senki (The Saga of Tanya the Evil) should be absolute light-novel garbage. According to those who have investigated the source material, the original light novel really is the sonorous trash you get in these sorts of reincarnation stories. The actual execution, though, is surprisingly deft. And while its appeal is somewhat niche, it does appeal to me, and it safely stays out of the uncanny valley of military anime. Notably, the air battles are quite good, and are a great deal more satisfying than what we got from Brave Witches or Strike Witches. It's easy to accept this is the way witches and warlocks might fight, particularly when one is clearly stronger than the others.

Tanya
Duckface.

However, there's still the issue of Tanya's backstory. Through two episodes at least, there's not really a compelling reason why she needs to be a reincarnated Japanese salaryman. I can at least appreciate that the flashback to her previous death was executed in a clever way. Then again, at this point, just not getting hit by a truck sort of qualifies as being somewhat clever by default. Possibly the story will actually include Tanya's past life's corporate experience as a way to improve her chances on the battlefield, but I'm not expecting any sort of Moshidora epiphanies. Really, trying to make a Moshidora connection to Youjo Senki is tenuous at best, and I confess I only bring it up here and in the title of this post so I can pretend to casually mention I read an 800-page Peter Drucker book from the '70s in 2011 for a baseball anime which hardly anyone watched. Good times.


9 January 2017: KOI DANCE KOI DANCE KOI DANCE

Kaede
Kaede is also the same age as Mikuri.

I started watching Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu (literally, Running Away Is Shameful But Helpful, but officially, We Married As a Job!) because of the above piece of fan art of Kaede posing curiously. It was obviously a reference to something, but I wasn't familiar with its origin. Thankfully, the Twitter pointed me towards the JDrama source.

Mikuri and Hiramasa
That is a lot of yellow.

Since this occurred during the downtime between anime seasons, I figured I'd give the show a try. I'm not quite halfway through its 11 hour-long episodes, but it seems pretty good so far. The production values do have that sort of home video lighting which seems characteristic of Asian television shows. The male lead also seems unusually staid for a man in his thirties. I'm not sure if this is because the show is based on a manga, or if he's supposed to represent a caricature of the so-called "herbivorous" man, or if people like him actually are fairly common in modern Japan. In any case, the cast is good, not overly large, and there are no school-aged spazzes in sight—at least, not so far.


2 January 2017: All Fate/All the Time

Ritsuka and Mash
This means you're married now.

There are two Fate/stay night TV anime series and the first of three Heaven's Feel movies coming out in 2017. In addition to this, Fate/Grand Order also dropped its 72-minute -First Order- commercial on the last day of 2016. It seems...excessive. It also doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me to learn Fate/Apocrypha is based on a light novel series. Fate/Extra at least is going to be a SHAFT x SHINBO show, which I suppose is good news for those of you who like that sort of thing. I'm at least sort of optimistic because it features the Tange Sakura-type Saber, who was at least pretty great in Carnival Phantasm.

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30 December 2016: Shiho Standings 2016

Top-Tier Shiho

Iwasaki Shiho
Wake Up, Girls! I-1 Club Shiho.

Great Shiho

Kitazawa Shiho
The iDOLM@STER: Million Live! Shiho.

Good Shiho

Shiho Huit
My-Otome Shiho.

Bad Shiho

Shiho Munakata
My-HiME Shiho.

Know your Shihoes. The life you save could be your own!


26 December 2016: Keijo!!!!!!!! is better than Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume

Nozomi
Walk it off.

Keijo!!!!!!!! is not just a better sports anime than Shakunetsu no Takkyu Musume (Scorching Ping Pong Girls), it's a better show overall. This is probably contrary to conventional expectations from prior to the start of the autumn 2016 season, but I think most viewers now accept that Keijo!!!!!!!! turned out to be much better than anyone reasonably hoped before the season began.

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19 December 2016: Bubuki Buranki is best if you've seen it already

Kinoa, Shizuru, and Kogane
Also, the faces are top-rate.

The first time I watched the first season Bubuki Buranki, I didn't think it was very good. It wasn't until after Epizo's introduction that the show really clicked for me, although I enjoyed the fight between Kinoa and her ex-boyfriend during which his attacks consisted entirely of literal flashbacks to their Meet Cute and early relationship. Upon re-watching the first season, though, I loved the show and its absurd excuses to feature giant robots punching things at the whim of angry teenagers making faces. Perhaps I was just late in appreciating the motivations and relationships among the various factions.

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12 December 2016: Autumn 2016 mahou shoujo SITREP

Jill and Rinne
You can tell this is a flashback because Rinne has barely any weight on that thing.

I'm following five mahou shoujo anime this season. Arguably, I'm following six if you include Brave Witches, but I'm not counting that one here. Surprisingly, ViVid Strike! is comfortably on top of these five, with Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (Magical Girl Raising Project) second, and Mahou Tsukai Pretty Cure! (Maho Girls Precure!) bringing up the rear. At least that's how the ranking looks if you count separately the two shorts: Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara. Second Season and Nazotokine.

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