Version 5.3.2 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 9 January 2017: KOI DANCE KOI DANCE KOI DANCE

Kaede
Kaede is also the same age as Mikuri.

I started watching Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu (literally, Running Away Is Shameful But Helpful, but officially, We Married As a Job!) because of the above piece of fan art of Kaede posing curiously. It was obviously a reference to something, but I wasn't familiar with its origin. Thankfully, the Twitter pointed me towards the JDrama source.

Mikuri and Hiramasa
That is a lot of yellow.

Since this occurred during the downtime between anime seasons, I figured I'd give the show a try. I'm not quite halfway through its 11 hour-long episodes, but it seems pretty good so far. The production values do have that sort of home video lighting which seems characteristic of Asian television shows. The male lead also seems unusually staid for a man in his thirties. I'm not sure if this is because the show is based on a manga, or if he's supposed to represent a caricature of the so-called "herbivorous" man, or if people like him actually are fairly common in modern Japan. In any case, the cast is good, not overly large, and there are no school-aged spazzes in sight—at least, not so far.

Dated 5 December 2016: I guess Seiren is an Amagami SS sequel

Hikari
Maybe Seiren will just be about Hikari sitting on things.

Remembered mostly for its Battle of the Best Girls, Amagami SS was an all right 2010 harem comedy with an omnibus gimmick. That is, the series as a whole consisted of multiple short parallel-universe story arcs reflecting the Amagami game's different routes. This was a structure also used by, uh, Yosuga no Sora. I guess I liked Amagami SS and its sequel Amagami SS+ Plus all right, despite containing some high-level bullshit. They at least had reasonably charming girls. Potato-kun, though, was a pretty unremarkable putz, and it was not at all clear why any of the girls (aside from Rihoko, I suppose) were into him. I can only assume every other dude in that school was a cretin like Potato-kun's pervy friend.

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Dated 2 April 2016: In re Rainbow Days

Natsuki and Anna
Sure, just stand there watching her sleep. It's not weird or nothin'.

I only started watching Nijiiro Days (Rainbow Days) because I thought it was going to be about a dude getting cockblocked by his friends as he attempts to hook up with some girl from his school. It turns out I was dead wrong about a critical part of that premise (his friends are actually trying to help him get with the girl), but it also turned out the show is pretty good even without cockblocking, jerkface friends.

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Dated 21 June 2015: Ore Monogatari!! is about getting what you wish for

Rinko
This is how Rinko sees Takeo all the time.

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.

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Dated 30 September 2014: Summer 2014 season conclusion

Slaine
Slaine has seen some shit.

Aldnoah.Zero was far and away the best show from Summer 2014. I know a lot of viewers disagree with this opinion, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of its episodes. I've written a lot about it. Probably too much, considering I don't like it thaaat much even though it did almost get a perfect score on my little chart jobbie.

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Dated 23 September 2014: This is a pretty good season for asexual male protagonists

Nozaki and Chiyo
Never gonna happen, Chiyo.

I watched two shows during summer 2014 that featured male leads who were committed to their work above all else (three, if you consider Inaho instead of Slaine the male lead of Aldnoah.Zero). Despite being the author of a romance manga, Chiyo's titular crush in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun failed to see her as a potential love interest at all even after working in close proximity with her for months. Normally, this should probably be a pretty heavy blow to Chiyo's self-esteem, but basically all of Nozaki's interests are related to his manga itself, so I guess it's somewhat less insulting that even teenage hormones weren't enough to interest him in her.

Miwa, Tamako, and Seishuu
It's not a date.

As I mentioned earlier, Seishuu's case in Barakamon is a bit less straightforward because he essentially has no suitable potential love interests to pursue. Naru and Hana are seven, the nurse is married, and everyone else is old. Well, not everyone else. There's still Miwa and Tama, the middle school girls who hang around him every day. Both of them are appalled, by the way, that he appears not to have had any interests other than calligraphy even when he still lived in the big city. It's canon.

Dated 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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Dated 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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