Version 5.3 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

21 November 2015: She's not heavy, she's my Object

Eyes on the road, toots.

I first learned of Heavy Object when I encountered an enthusiastic blog post celebrating the light novel's manga adaptation probably about five years ago. I hadn't heard of the title previously, but the blogger's excitement inspired me to at least give it a try. I gave up in disgust after five chapters, coincidentally also the end of the (first) manga's publication, as it turned out. Ostensibly, Heavy Object is a science fiction story about pitting fantastic huge fighting machines against each other in a futuristic war. Unfortunately, it was clearly written by someone who didn't know fuck all about war and didn't give a shit about conducting any research or addressing even the most obvious and painfully distracting plot holes. (I didn't know at the time that the author also wrote A Certain Magical Index. Man, that explains so much.) Given that the currently airing anime adaptation covers the same source material as the manga adaptation, it was obvious I would be predisposed to dislike the Heavy Object anime as well. Well, yeah. I do sort of loathe this anime. I'm still watching it, though, even though with eight episodes down I'm only about a third through its two-cour run. I'm not watching it "ironically" and I don't typically hate-watch shows, but there's something about it that prevents me from simply ignoring it, and I think I've figured out what it is.

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13 November 2015: I sure hope I don't need to watch every episode of Aikatsu! to appreciate it

Akari here is my go-to meteorologist. True story.

I may have made a terrible mistake dropping Aikatsu! back in 2012. Its start didn't impress me very much, but I've seen some pretty radical screenshots over the past three years and now I'm 150 episodes behind.

5 November 2015: I'm not sure if Saekano succeeds because of its source material or in spite of it

Nice hat.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend) is an anime adaptation of an ongoing series of light novels about a group of high school kids developing a visual novel game for Comiket. It's a harem comedy and relies heavily on tropes and common character archetypes. Tomoya is an unapologetic otaku clad in birth-control glasses. His tsundere childhood friend is hopelessly in love with him, but naturally he's completely oblivious. Since she is in a harem comedy, Eriri has plenty of competition from more aerodynamic rivals who offer Potato-kun the green light early and often. Really, the only reason the "YES" embroidery on his bedroom pillow isn't completely worn down is due to the preservative powers of the Otaku Virtues. The damn shit's better than Woolite.

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29 October 2015: It turns out Inou-Battle is a pretty successful harem comedy

Tomoyo and Jurai

I put Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de (When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace) on hold halfway through the autumn 2014 season to watch different shows, but I came back to it and finished it off a year later. There wasn't anything particularly bad about the series when I put it on the shelf last year, except I felt it was a rather unremarkable effort by Studio Trigger, a company better known for KILL la KILL and the Little Witch Academia movies. But now that I've finished Inou-Battle, I believe it is a excellent show—not relative to anime in general, mind you—relative to other harem comedies. You see, harem comedies tend to be mediocre at best and typically cursed with one or both of the following typical flaws: (1) Uninteresting harem candidates, or (2) an unlikable male lead.

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23 October 2015: If you're not watching 35th Platoon for Ueda Reina, I can only assume you're watching it for Itou Kanae

Mari and Ouka
I don't understand why they wear belts with suspenders,
let alone TWO belts with suspenders.

Wondering why a company has 35 platoons is the least confusing part of Tai-Madō Gakuen 35 Shiken Shōtai (Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon). Indeed, most of the show makes no sense to me, largely because I find it difficult to remain engaged enough to follow along with what's happening. Everything about it seems rather low-effort and perplexing. Why is the sniper girl even a character? What does she bring to the show? She's been dead weight through three episodes, so I guess she's there for comic relief. (Read: Random breast groping, because it's definitely not sexual assault as long as the perpetrator is also female.)

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16 October 2015: I watched Hanayamata for Ueda Reina

Ueda Reina was fine as Naru, but I think I like her better in more assertive roles.

After learning Ueda Reina won a rookie seiyuu award in 2015, I decided to watch Hanayamata, since voicing Naru appeared to have been her first starring role. Ueda Reina is good enough to continue drawing my attention in other roles (such as Mikan in Jitsu wa Watashi wa and Loose Cannon Witch Killer in 35th Platoon), particularly as Kousaka Umi in THE iDOLM@STER: Million Live! where she appears to be the best idol (at least on paper), now that Shiho has stopped being a bitch to everyone else. As far as Hanayamata itself goes, it was a pleasant enough show about a bunch of girls getting interested in yosakoi and becoming better friends as they improved at it.

Hana was less of a nutjob than I was expecting.

The anime had a somewhat contrived crisis for its ending, but it wasn't too offensive. Any Hanayamata viewers should probably have expected by that point that things were going to work out all right. This was a pleasant anime where good things happened to good people, so I didn't really have any meaningful complaints about the show itself. With regard to minor gripes, I guess I wished the OP hadn't so obviously spoiled who was going to end up in the club, but spoilers are an anime OP & ED staple. I also would have liked to have had more interaction between the teacher and "Umibouzu," but it wasn't their show. I'd definitely watch a second season of Hanayamata, but these 12 episodes are probably all we're ever gonna get.

8 October 2015: The low-hanging fruit of autumn 2015 anime blog posts

On the plus side, Kakuma Ai sounds pretty good as Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt.

Conveniently, there are two shows this season with similar premises and comparable first episodes. Both feature high school boys who meet half-naked tsundere pink-haired girls and duel them for unnecessary reasons putatively related to their magic school's magic business. The first of these, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water) aired first to, well, not acclaim, but at least without outrage. It looks suitably pretty with shiny cityscapes and bright colors sort of similar to the Toaru Majutsu no Index and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun bullshit academy cities. The second show, for reasons I'm too weary to pursue, has a number of different titles. It's sometimes known as Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, Chivalry of a Failed Knight, or alternatively A Tale of Worst One. Yeah, I'm just gonna use Asterisk and Cavalry respectively.

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29 September 2015: Chaos Dragon would have been better as a documentary

Ulrica and Meryl
I don't know why Ulrica has wings on her boobs,
but they're probably for generating downforce.

I'm tempted to describe Chaos Dragon as the broth of too many cooks, but I'm not quite optimistic enough to believe that. More likely it's just your regular ol' half-assed train wreck. As I understand it (and certainly do not rely on my impressions as the truth, garnered as they were from the rumor and conjecture of various secondary sources), Chaos Dragon is an anime adaptation of a real-world Red Dragon role-playing game campaigned by esteemed writers and directors including Nasu Kinoko (Fate/stay night), Narita Ryohgo (Durarara!!!), and Urobuchi Gen (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika). The actual anime itself is incoherent and frankly terrible in wholly unremarkable ways. I have no interest in the lead character, Ibuki, and never agreed there was a good reason to make this kid king. I also didn't care about that nonsense about the Red Dragon's powers, or killing suicidal friends, and definitely not the bewildering responses to news about his sister.

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