I started using The Cosmopolitan Prayers more than 10 years ago as a metric to measure the lower limits of tolerably bad anime. Long-time readers will recognize the familiar invective, "WORSE THAN COSPRAYERS" which started out somewhat facetiously, but evolved to become a standard I've applied regularly where appropriate, albeit usually for shows I've quit watching. Through the first third or so of the current season, I'm somehow still watching the following three shows which fall below the Cosprayers Line of dubious quality: Masamune-kun no Revenge, Seiren, and Hand Shakers.(more…)
No, not the teacher who is a succubus. She's just another Christmas cake virgin, same as practically all female teachers in anime. (P.S. Spoilers.) I'm referring to the male teacher, who is perhaps the rarest of anime creatures: The adult male lead in a harem comedy. Or, more specifically, he is an adult male anime character who behaves like a goddamn grown-up despite being the lead in a harem comedy.(more…)
Dated 5 November 2015: I'm not sure if Saekano succeeds because of its source material or in spite of it
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.(more…)
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.(more…)
For years I've lamented the lack of anime romances wherein couples get together early on and spend the rest of the series developing their relationship. Typically, an anime "romance" will either be about unrequited love in the form of tsundere bullshit, or (more commonly) simply not commit at all. There is the occasional Kare Kano, but such shows are quite rare. Amazingly, the spring 2015 anime season gave us Ore Monogatari!!, a show which basically does everything I wished for all these years. And yet, perhaps predictably, it's still a little unsatisfying.(more…)
Dated 3 March 2015: Maria the Virgin Witch is pretty good even if it is a show about virgins and witches
Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch) is quite different from what I was expecting. It's turning out to be semi-serious fare with actual stories and sub-plots about different factions involved in Maria's little war instead of a lurid fan service comedy. (Maria does seem to spend a lot of time on screen being very blonde, very aerodynamic, and mostly nude, though.) Thankfully, her hatred of war and entirely emotional approach to it, though idealistic and childish, manages to not annoy the shit out of me like the other occasions when obtuse anime pacifists carry on about some sort of nonsense or other. Oh, hi, Cagalli. I didn't see you standing there.
The witch part of Maria the Virgin Witch is interesting enough, I suppose, except that none of them appear to be evil. I guess from the point of view of the show's religious leaders, many of the witches are bad—oh, so bad—but from a modern anime viewer's perspective, I have to say they're pretty good. Especially the Noto Mamiko witch. The virgin part hasn't gotten annoying yet either. Where it goes from here will depend on how it handles its "Stop Using Sex as a Weapon" plot. Like My-Otome, nearly 10 years ago before it, characters in Maria the Virgin Witch have figured out that you can rape away an uppity girl's magic powers. (P.S. Spoilers.) I get the feeling Junketsu no Maria won't simply shrug this off the way My-Otome did, but I hope it also doesn't suddenly turn into a morality play about the Otaku Virtues.
Despite being consistently good and reigning as my top-rated show all season long before being nipped at the very end by Hitsugi no Chaika (indeed, it would get a No Bad Episodes ribbon except I've decided not to award that anymore for shows with less than 20 episodes), there's something unsatisfying about Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin (Nanana's Buried Treasure). Don't get me wrong, I certainly liked Nanana a lot as a whole. I was particularly impressed with its master detective character character, Tensai, and relieved that the male lead, Juugo, wasn't a passive, craven, potato. However, I was disappointed in its titular character, Nanana herself.(more…)