Version 5.2-ish ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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9 September 2014: I guess I'm dropping JoJo's Bizarre Adventure...oh, and Space☆Dandy 2nd Season, too

Joseph and Kakyoin
Joseph is the only member of the main cast I find amusing.

I'm about eight weeks behind on JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders. That's far enough back for me to decide it's probably not worth making the effort to catch up. There's not actually anything wrong with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure aside from a subset of its fans that appears to partially base its self worth by deeming itself superior to anime fans who don't enjoy it. The show itself is entertaining, providing you're in the mood for that sort of thing. The show really does feel as if someone watched a bunch of grade school boys playing with action figures and then made an anime out of it. I'm sure the creative process behind the original JoJo manga is much more sophisticated than I give it credit for. After all, contemporary readers were just as critical of Jame's Joyce's serialized manga Ulysses before his childhood friend convinced him to turn it into a light novel instead.

Scarlet
Maybe I'll just watch episodes featuring Scarlet or Honey.

There's a decent chance I'll pick up the series again someday after it's complete. I'll just have to somehow remember that I left off at the episode where Enya forces Polnareff to lick a dirty toilet. I'm also dropping the second cour of Space Dandy because I lost interest in following the show week-to-week. At least I won't have to worry about continuity with Space☆Dandy 2nd Season since all the episodes appear to be standalone canned adventures. Well, unless I discover Honey quits Boobies and joins the crew to hunt for unregistered aliens instead, I guess.


4 September 2014: In re Aldnoah.Zero episode nine spoilers

Asseylum
I still don't know where this is. I hope it's not her bathroom.

I don't often indulge in text-heavy blog entries, but the events from the most recent episode of Aldnoah.Zero provide an opportune moment to deviate from my normal fare. I have a short window in which to speculate and ruminate before the next episode drops on Sunday. Obviously, this entire entry is emphatically spoiler-heavy for events leading up to and including episode nine. Moreover, the spoilers in questions are substantial enough that anyone who doesn't already know what happens and retains even a modest interest in watching Aldnoah.Zero should avoid reading this post altogether.

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1 September 2014: You know Akame ga KILL! will have killing because of the capital letters and the exclamation mark

Tatsumi
It helps that Tatsumi is pretty okay, relatively speaking.

I discovered Akame ga KILL! after being introduced to the manga by Baka Raptor in his roundabout sort of way. (Spoilers for that blog post, I guess?) I enjoyed the chapters I read, but I wasn't nearly as enamored with it as he was. In fact, I'm pretty sure I stopped reading before even reaching halfway through the available chapters. Nevertheless, I was fairly looking forward to the anime when I heard it was announced.

Bulat
When he points the finger, it means you're a rival.

Through eight episodes, I'm still on board with the show despite my usual aversion to shounen jive. Thankfully, there is more fighting than talking and standing around, so I haven't gotten bored with it yet. Akame ga KILL! does require the viewer to suspend his disbelief on numerous occasions and refrain from second-guessing certain decisions the characters make (some of which are quite boneheaded for the story's sake), but as long as the viewer is willing to wave off criticism he should be able to find parts to enjoy. Plus it's got killing and stuff.


28 August 2014: Catching up with Detective Conan

Sera
It helps that Sera has awesome hair.

I'm finally caught up with Detective Conan again. (Well, I'm "caught up" if you disregard the hundreds of episodes I've missed from several years back.) I'm rather pleased that Sera is appearing more often. In the current episodes, Sera is growing more prominent as the mysterious and previously vaguely threatening girl detective of the group. Naturally, this is likely leading up to some revelation about her mysterious background (alternatively, an effort to drag it out indefinitely), but it's a good excuse to have another detective on the show so Conan doesn't have to solve every single convoluted murder in Creation by himself. Contrary to some unconvincing red herrings when she was first introduced, it's pretty much guaranteed that Sera will not have any sinister motives, even if it turns out she has ties to nefarious unpleasant types. She is far too likeable as a character and too embedded with the group already for the show to suddenly transform her into a credible villain—not even a halfhearted one. It ain't Urobuchi Gen writing this story, you know.

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24 August 2014: I like Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun because Chiyo is remarkably orange

Chiyo
Tiny pictures are the way of love.

I got a late start on Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, but was convinced to give it a try after being alerted that it invoked the the Ayako Doctrine. Not that you need to be an Ayako fan in order to enjoy Nozaki-kun. The show is quite clever and funny. Really, the only reason why I wasn't already watching it was because I ran out of space in my schedule while I was following dreadful wrecks such as Rail Wars! Besides, I sort of already had a general idea of what Nozaki-kun might be like simply by the way it looks. (Hint: Chiyo's enormous polka dotted head ribbons never stop being amusing.) Specifically, I trusted that it was the show's execution more than its setup that would make or break the series for me. I was willing to wait to hear how other people responded to the initial episodes first.

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20 August 2014: I'm basically only watching Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Bullshit out of general principle

Sailor V
Sailor V is here to chase ikemen and kick crooks in the neck.
And she's all out of ikemen.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is one of those franchises that I sort of want to like but can't genuinely enjoy most of the time. This is reflected in my halfhearted efforts to watch the original series (stalled at episode 93 for years). I'm also mostly unimpressed with the original manga, with the exception of Codename Sailor V. I'm totally down with Sailor V, mostly because (as I am wont to attest on The Twitter), she's sort of fascist. I also find Aino Minako (at least in her garish Sailor V form) a more engaging protagonist than Tsukino Usagi. Sailor Venus isn't as good, but is still okay providing she's kicking crooks in the neck instead of thrashing dudes with her "Love Me" chain (which, incidentally, has been redesigned to look like a long string of, um, round beads, at least in the Crystal Marital Aids promo art). Also, Artemis > Luna.

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16 August 2014: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei isn't as good as Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya E1n

Illya
The faces do seem slightly less knobby this season, though.

The first season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya was unexpectedly good. The TYPE-MOON universe is so filled with overwrought narratives it's no surprise viewers who are fans (but, importantly, not fanatics) of TYPE-MOON enjoy its parodies so much. (See, for example, the brilliant Carnival Phantasm.) The first season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya hits its marks almost perfectly. It had clever juxtapositions of familiar elements, funny inversions of standard mahou shoujo stereotypes, and outstanding fight scenes.

Kuro
Hey, a bow.

Unfortunately, Prisma☆Illya stumbles in its second season, perhaps because it has become too familiar. Rather than simply being a Fate/stay night parody, the Prismaverse now has its own emerging myths and canon. It hasn't outright bogged itself down with its own "overwrought narratives," but it is neglecting much of what made the first season so good. This may be a roundabout way of saying that the second season is slow, but I'm not sure pacing is really the issue. I think the actual problem is I don't care about Kuro as an antagonist. She's also not likeable enough to sympathize with as an inevitable "frenemy" character, either. Many viewers also complain about the fan service. Although I generally won't criticize a show for its fan service, no matter how aggressive it is, there is a desperate quality to the fan service this season, to the show's detriment. On the plus side, episode six demonstrates that Silver Link can still do cool shit with the fight scenes, so there is that.


12 August 2014: Sabagebu! has more in common with Upotte!! than Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C³

Kayo
Traitorous otaku.

It's natural to compare Sabagebu! with Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jo-Gakuin Kōtō-ka C³ because both shows are ostensibly about airsoft survival games, but they're really quite different. Sabagebu! basically makes no effort to adhere to any sense of realism. (Well, some of the firearms handling is surprisingly adept—way better than most anime.1) The airsoft component in Sabagebu! is merely an excuse for peculiar gun antics in an otherwise shoujo (well, sort of shoujo) comedy. C3-bu, on the other hand, was perhaps a bit too realistic. It accurately reflected some of the real concerns and faults encountered within the airsoft community.2 Sabagebu! doesn't care about any of that. Sabagebu! is just an excuse for teenage girls to shoot their frenemies in the face as blood splatters freely. As free as a burning brassiere. (There's more blood in each episode of Sabagebu! than in two cours of Noir.)

Urara and Momoka
An important consideration when purchasing furniture is ensuring it is bulletproof.

With its "imaginary" firefights, Sabagebu! is more like Upotte!! because it depicts reckless gunplay and sharp acts of violence without repercussions. (The Sabagebu! girls get back up and resume bitching each other out after dying.) Really, shooting each other in the face is hardly the worst thing the Sabagebu! characters do to each other. Although the Sabagebu! anime deviates from the manga, it remains true to the spirit of shoujo in the sense that there is real cruelty in these friendships and rivalries. Considering that teasing other girls into developing eating disorders is an accepted way to reshuffle a girl's social pecking order, the inconvenience of waiting to re-spawn after taking a bullet to the noggin is fairly insignificant.


Note 1: In re Sword Art Online II: We'll see if the Sword Art Online II anime fixes the mistakes made by the original light novels regarding the Colt 1911 grip safety.

Note 2: In re C3-bu: For example, characters in C3-bu observed real world meatspace codes of conduct and standards of fairness that rang true with veteran airsoft players. Likewise, the story arc involving Yura's growing competitive streak crowding out her ability to simply enjoy herself was portrayed accurately enough to take a lot of the fun out of the episodes themselves for viewers with distasteful memories of the same.