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Dated 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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Dated 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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Dated 10 April 2015: The most fucked-up moment of Shirobako

Sakaki
This one is only medium-fucked-up.

No, not this one.

THIS ONE:

SEGA DREAMCAST 4
I would pre-order one.

Granted, the show is not meant to be entirely realistic, but this is just dirty.

Dated 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.

Dated 30 December 2014: Fate stay/night: Unlimited Blade Works is still good even though it's no Carnival Phantasm

Rin
Nice couch.

The first cour of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is quite good despite all the problems in its source material. This is a testament to ufotable's deft execution, because that source material is sufficiently flawed that it could easily turn into a train wreck in less capable hands. The mythology behind the Holy Grail War is so preposterous that it seems more appropriate for any Fate/stay night adaptation to play it safe and simply be a straight-up farce like Carnival Phantasm. It's a credit to ufotable that I don't spend every moment of every episode asking perfectly reasonable questions such as, "Why hasn't Berserker killed them yet? Why isn't he killing them now?"

Shirou and Saber
Saber could use some coaching.

The first cour of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works legitimately is good, though. The action sequences are exceptionally well done, the production values are great all around, and (most amazingly) Emiya Shirou does not come across as a shitheel. Unfortunately, this is a split-cour series, so we're going to have to wait until spring to find out what manner of CGI euphemism we'll get this time around. Who knows, maybe ufotable will actually animate the sex scene? J.C. Staff did that with Shingetsutan Tsukihime, the first anime adaptation of a TYPE-MOON game (Internet memes notwithstanding), even if it turned out that vampires don't have nipples.

Dated 9 December 2014: ufotable's Fate/stay night would be a lot better if it wasn't for Fate/stay night

Saber
Saber works better as a supporting character than as a lead.

I'm not entirely convinced Fate/stay night needed a remake. Whipping boy Studio DEEN's first adapted this TYPE-MOON game in 2006 with the Saber-centric "Fate" route, followed by a 2010 movie based on the Rin-tastic "Unlimited Blade Works" route. Logically, the Sakura-suffering "Heaven's Feel" route should be next, but it appears ufotable plans on adapting it (as a movie) after animating their own "Unlimited Blade Works" project, this time as a television series that sort of succeeds ufotable's 2011 Fate/Zero prequel.

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Dated 24 November 2013: All right, I'm ready to rewatch THE iDOLM@STER TV

Miki
Miki has pretty good hair for someone who sleeps so much.

As you might expect, THE iDOLM@STER TV anime is a bit different if you're already familiar with the characters, their songs, and the dances. The first time I watched the series, I merely had a general understanding of the franchise at best, with most of what I knew coming from (once again) the fan art or from criticisms I had heard of the "apocryphal" Xenoglossia series from years back. I'm still largely ignorant of the gameplay, but I've at least been exposed to the music, more of the fandom, and Haruhi knows how many hours of all-singing, all-dancing videos on YouTube and NicoVideo. I've also played enough Shiny Festa to know I'm pretty terrible at it.

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Dated 9 September 2008: The Idolm@ster: Live For You! Yes, you

Iori
Minase Iori either has a good sense of humor, or none at all.

My first exposure to Idolm@aster came via its fan art, most of which consists of the game's characters behaving inappropriately.

Haruka
Someone else has already made an "It's all right if it's you, Imber" joke.

My second encounter with Idolm@aster was the Xenoglossia anime, a post-apocalyptic love story between a girl and her giant robot. Or maybe it was the other way around. It's so hard to tell when true love is concerned.

Chihaya, Haruka, and Miki
This is not the Miki from Idolmaster: Xenoglossia. Oh, wait...

My third experience with Idolm@ster was the Idolm@ster: Live For You! OVA. This is a one-shot anime based on the game, using game-type character designs and featuring no robots at all. It has pretty low production values, and some very squeaky voices. Chihaya is the best Live For You girl, incidentally, probably because she seems the most ordinary. Actually, none of the girls really look like idols, if you ask me; they all seem pretty normal. Hell, any one of them could be the girl next door.

Miki, Haruka, and Chihaya
This is definitely not the Xenoglossia Chihaya.

The most recent chapter in my Idolm@ster education comes in the form of myriad all-singing, all-dancing (and sometimes riding) video game clips on YouTube and NicoVideo. This is probably as close as I'm ever going to get to the games themselves, unless I acquire a Japanese XBox 360 in a game of chance or import the PSP port on a whim.

Chihaya
LISTEN TO MY SONG!

In re the game and Live For You! character designs: I'm not used to Makoto looking so feminine. Sure, she's the boku-saying tomboy character, but compared to her Xenoglossia counterpart, video game and Live For You! Makoto is positively bubbling with estrogen.

Makoto
That's not estrogen.

To tell you the truth, THE iDOLM@STER game play looks oddly compelling. At the very least I'm convinced it's a lot more interesting than suffering through a season of American Idol. Speaking of which, maybe I would be inclined to watch American Idol if the studio and/or television audience had some say in determining song choices, costume changes, and choreography. Okay, that would probably be counterproductive for the front-runners, but I can see adding interactive components for the contestants who don't make a cut. What do they have to lose?