Version 5.2-ish ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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26 February 2015: Aldnoah.Zero postpones Slaine's looming catastrophe by another episode

Asseylum and Eddelrittuo
I guess it could just be gas.

The standard Aldnoah.Zero caveat about megas spoilers applies again. The following addresses concerns and questions through the first 19 episodes and once more engages in considerable speculation.

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20 February 2015: War is all Hell, even on a healing anime such as Aldnoah.Zero

Slaine
Slaine's pistol in episode 13 looks the same as
the one Asseylum waves around in the first OP.

Guess what's about to hit the fan on Aldnoah.Zero. Go on, guess. The rest of this entry contains substantial spoilers for both seasons of Aldnoah.Zero and quite a bit of speculation as well. If you're not prepared, avert your eyes, etc.

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17 February 2015: The Changing of the Cures was the highlight of my visit to Buckingham Palace

Window
Sure, Window, go ahead and sit this one out. Cure Lovely has got this.

After more than 10 years of Pretty Cure, it's sort of amazing how quickly its one-year seasons pass now. It seems as if it wasn't that long ago when Window was busy making a name for herself as the new Worst Cure Ever. She turned out all right, though, and of that I am glad. A girl can go a long way once she starts distinguishing herself by punching people in the face. As a series, Happiness ChargePrecure! distinguished itself in three major ways: (1) Its filler episodes were actually pretty good, which is fortunate because its high marks didn't hit all that high. (2) It reminded viewers that Pretty Cure as a franchise is decidedly in favor of heterosexual schoolgirl crushes on older boys, no matter what manner of lesbian dreams some of its male viewers might have. (3) There were shit-tons of scrub Cures from all around the world—enough that I fell into despair when I thought about trying to keep my Cure Rankings list updated.

Cure Flora, Aroma, and Pafu
Relax, kid, you'll get used to it.

Following the HappinessCharge Precure! conclusion (which was fairly lackluster in my view), Go! Princess Precure sprang into action, ushering a level-up in CG integration. Thus far, I have a fairly positive view of the new series, partly because of the gokigenyouing, partly because of the ballet, and mostly because it seems to be more about beating ass than cultivating feelings. I know I'm supposed to be opposed to the CG integration as a matter of principle, but so far it's been a net gain. None of the characters seem to stand out all that much for me, but that's the sort of minor complaint they can cure by devoting a few episodes to kicking deadbeats in the neck. If they keep up their early episode aggression, these erstwhile princesses and I will get along just fine.


10 February 2015: A tail of two catgirls

Kanako
A catgirl doing cat things.

If you know anything about anime, then you're at least aware catgirls are a common fetish, and may even be familiar with the various controversies surrounding them. Are they furries? What if their paws and tails are real? Should they also have human ears in addition to their cat ears? This entry casually compares the catgirls in Isuca and The iDOLMASTER Cinderella Girls as an excuse to introduce these Winter 2015 shows and to revisit some of my grievances regarding catgirls.

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4 February 2015: Kantai Collection for the casual landlubber

Kongou
Kongou sure knows how to make an entrance.

Everything I know about Kantai Collection (also known as Kancolle) comes from secondary sources. Specifically, I have absolutely zero first-hand knowledge of the popular game. Of what I do know, I gleaned probably eight percent from anime heads on The Twitter, various bloggers, and IRC drones.  The remaining 92% I learned from hydrodynamic fan art. Some of these illustrations, no doubt, potentially promote misleading characteristics of various Kantai Collection boats, if not the franchise as a whole.

Shimakaze
Apparently nobody has had the heart to tell Shimakaze
that she mistook a shampoo hat for a skirt.

Through the first four episodes, it's apparent some knowledge and enthusiasm for the game is necessary in order to fully appreciate the Kantai Collection anime. The show is wall-to-wall cameos clearly intended to stoke ardent fans of underappreciated boat girls. The characters also occasionally holler non sequiturs that are obviously catchphrases from the game's voiced components. Some of the game mechanics also found their way into the show despite not making a whole lot of sense from a narrative standpoint. Still, the project seems well done and there's a palpable sense of affection that comes across so that I at least feel as if people in the shipyard care about the fleet.


27 January 2015: Cross Ange second cour: Let's Get This Rondo Started

Salamandinay and Ange
Oh, Sunrise.

I'm not sure precisely when Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo (Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons) went off the rails, but it's pretty much just headed straight towards where the fuck ever now. There's a post-apocalyptic parallel universe populated with randy dragon girls, for crying out loud. P.S. Spoilers.

Ange and Tusk
I'm starting to think Ange and Tusk are both bar magnets.

I've seen some viewers claim that it's worse than Kakumeiki Valvrave now in terms of making sense, but that's honestly an unfair and misleading characterization. Whereas Valvrave suffered from lots of annoying bullshit that didn't make any sense, Cross Ange is packed with amusing bullshit that doesn't make any sense. It's an important distinction, okay. Blessed Haruhi, this is a great show.


19 January 2015: Slaine is still a fuck up

Slaine
You may want to upgrade to a better side arm.

By now, if you've had any interest in the second cour of Aldnoah.Zero, you likely already know a number of spoilers that could be quite disconcerting in their own right, merely from a narrative perspective. Pretending it's possible to talk around some of the specifics to preserve some modicum of spoiler avoidance, I'm going to address one of my concerns while ignoring the bigger problem(s) entirely.

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13 January 2015: Qualified praise for Akatsuki no Yona

Hak and Yona
There's also a lot of this sort of thing.

Akatsuki no Yona is really good for sufficiently broad definitions of good. This is a backhanded compliment, but I do admit it's not for everyone. Now in its second cour, this anime adaptation remains true to the original shoujo fantasy manga. Fans of the manga will likely enjoy the anime a great deal, but neither the tonal shifts nor the reverse-harem cast will likely appeal to anime fans who may have expected a more typical princess-in-distress series of canned adventures. Viewers don't need to be primed for squealing, KYAA! BISHIES! in order to enjoy the show, but they'll be better off if they at least aren't put off when more and more spikey-haired boys with large hands keep joining the cast.

Yona
Back away from the princess and nobody gets hurt.

That cast does keep getting bigger, though. An entire cour has passed and Akatsuki no Yona still hasn't finished introducing characters. I hope the anime isn't set to conclude with this second cour, because it's just getting started in relation to the manga. It really is a good adaptation, though. Saito Chiwa is perfect as Yona, and the anime communicates all the emerging fire-hair staredowns perfectly. That's the real reason to watch Akatsuki no Yona. Yona's transformation from a spoiled helpless fugitive princess to a leader of warriors is quite satisfying. I just hope the anime runs long enough to cover it all.