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Dated 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.

Dated 25 September 2016: Looking forward to autumn 2016 anime

Kogane
Who's ready for more BBK/BRNK faces?

There are a surprising number of shows I'm interested in scheduled for autumn 2016. Most of these are sequels of some sort, but there are a few new properties that have caught my eye. Notably, I've yet to do any concerted investigating into the upcoming season, so the following only include titles that I noticed at some point and deemed worthy of preemptively annotating in my anime spreadsheet.

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Dated 12 July 2015: Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri feels like Bush Doctrine: ~The Animation~

Gate
The Gate appears.

The military otaku in Otaku no Video made me wonder if Japan has a subculture of military-aged males who don't really have an outlet for such interests, unlike their counterparts in other nations. To this 21st century American, it seems as if the warrior culture embraced by Japan's soldiers during World War II vanished after their surrender and disarmament, forcing them and their descendents to refocus (or repress) these drives. It appears as if the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) must do fuck all because Japan's constitution now prohibits offensive engagements, and defensive conflicts seem extremely unlikely because ain't nobody fucking with Japan without fucking with the United States too. Consequently, perhaps the Japanese military otaku demographic remains underutilized because this paternalistic alliance prevents their team from having any away games and they don't have much of a home game either. Even an anime JSDF has to ride the pine unless the show breaks out some fancy dancing.

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Dated 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.

Dated 23 November 2014: Anime triage

Conan and Sera
As if there is any chance in Hell of Sera turning out to be bad.

Because of "circumstances," I find myself dropping about half the shows I was following this season. Well, perhaps not so much dropping as putting on hiatus for the time being. Maybe I'll catch back up during a particularly lousy season that coincides with greater anime-watching opportunities. (Won't be next season, because next season looks pretty sweet.)

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Dated 9 January 2013: I got some more stuff

The iDOLM@STER 2013 calendar
Hell yeah.

Shipping took longer than I expected, but I received my 2013 Idolm@ster calendar, err...2013 THE iDOLM@STER c@lendar. The calendar is two months to each single-sided page, and you have to tear them off to change to the next sheet. I'm pretty sure the paper is A2-sized, so it should be pretty easy to get frames. The colors seem a little less saturated than the scans you may have seen, but I'm pretty happy with the calendar as a whole. I probably could have just gotten it from Kinokuniya, but I was ordering something else anyway.

Chihaya model
OH, HELL YEAH.

I'm pretty stoked about this, although it's been ages since I put together any sort of model airplane. I'm probably going to practice first on some other kit (maybe a tank!) to get used to it again. I want to be more confident of not messing it up.

Dated 22 July 2011: There are too many mahou shoujo in Pretty Cure All Stars DX3

Cure Black, Shiny Luminous, Cure Mint, Cure White, and Cure Rouge
Here we go again.

If the first Pretty Cure All Stars Deluxe movie was the home run derby, and Pretty Cure All Stars DX2 the all star game, then Pretty Cure All Stars DX3 is the benches-clearing brawl. There are simply too many Cures (and Not Cures) for one movie. 21 by Nozomi's reckoning, which is surprisingly accurate, given that Nozomi only has 10 fingers. (Three Max Heart characters, two Splash Star characters, six Yes! characters, four Fresh characters, four Heartcatch characters, and two Suite characters. This total excludes Kaoru and Michiru (who appear, but get shafted from the movie once again, relegated to gawking from the peanut gallery with Bunbee), Cure Flower (who also has a cameo), and the Suite Precure characters Cure Muse, Cure Beat, and Cure [SPOILERS] who had not been introduced yet when the movie was released.

Cure Rouge, Cure Moonlight, and Milky Rose
One of these is not like the others.

As a result of this massive cast list, All Stars DX3 is not as good as the previous two Pretty Cure All Stars movies. Most people seem to like the first movie the best. I'm not sure if I do or not, but I do believe DX2 had a better narrative. Despite only being 70 minutes in length like the two previous movies, DX3 seemed too long even though it split a lot of this time switching among four separate settings.

Cure Rhythm and Cure Egret
Get Cure Egret to show you how to stick a landing
before the next movie, Cure Rhythm.

Dividing the Cures up into teams was a good (and necessary) idea, but not entirely effective. Really, what Toei should have done—and what it needs to do if Toei intends to make more All Stars movies in the future—is select a small handful of characters for the movie and focus exclusively on them. Whether this means All Stars DX4 (Pretty Cure Team Up 1?) will feature only the Splash Star and Fresh Cures, for example, or possibly only feature the "leader" main character Cures, I can't say, but it would make for a better movie despite the risk of disappointing fans of the omitted Cures who may have to wait who-knows-how-long before they get their turn. The team-up idea is basically what DX3 does by dividing the characters into multiple camps, but by making time for all of them it really made time for none of them.

Cure Dream
Guess what happens to people who don't get
out of Cure Dream's way. Go on. Guess.

Probably the greatest casualty of this megas crowded movie is, unlike the two previous installments, I am unable to identify the most telegenic attack. At least there is no clear winner. If pressed, I'd have to nominate either the scene where Cure Dream does that thing where two people exchange blows while leaping past each other and the winner refuses to turn around until the loser falls, or the one where she plows through a giant pile of grunt suits, with an honorable mention for the MARBLE SCREW MAX that Cure Black and Cure White execute while in midair. Speaking of which, I noticed the Cures that are able to fly conveniently forgot about this ability when it would have quickly resolved their predicaments. Eh, wouldn't be the first time.

Dated 4 July 2011: Strike Witches side arms

Charlotte Yeager
Shields. Shiiieeelllldddssss!

It kinda bugs me that when Charlotte Yeager's BAR jammed she (1) didn't make any attempt to clear the malfunction, and (2) didn't have a side arm. Okay, sure, a real-world .45ACP would be useless during an air battle, but Yeager still could have drawn a Colt 1911 in that situation. I'm pretty sure they're all using magic weapons anyway—at a minimum, ones with unlimited ammo and barrels that don't overheat.

Update: ani-nouto adds...

Most of the shooting was rather magical, but in the beginning of the original GONZO SW we saw Sakamoto's gun overheating (just so that she could switch to sword).