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Dated 13 February 2017: The momentum behind Gabriel DropOut

Vigne and Gabriel
So that's what Gabriel's hair looks like brushed.

Gabriel DropOut is a sort of clever "cute girls doing cute things" show and about what I expected from Doga Kobo based on my impressions of its previous shows. There are huge gaps in my familiarity here, so don't give too much weight to that assessment. The setup behind Gabriel DropOut involving a former Angel School star turned lazy deadbeat is amusing, but is basically still just one joke, so the show started losing steam well before its mid-season mark.

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Dated 30 January 2017: I've got three shows below the Cosprayers Line

Tazuna and Koyori
Dude sure loves gears.

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.

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Dated 23 January 2017: The most uncommon character in Demi-chan wa Kataritai is the teacher

Tetsuo and Hikari
Dude has really long fingers.

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.

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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 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 26 December 2016: Keijo!!!!!!!! is better than Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume

Nozomi
Walk it off.

Keijo!!!!!!!! is not just a better sports anime than Shakunetsu no Takkyu Musume (Scorching Ping Pong Girls), it's a better show overall. This is probably contrary to conventional expectations from prior to the start of the autumn 2016 season, but I think most viewers now accept that Keijo!!!!!!!! turned out to be much better than anyone reasonably hoped before the season began.

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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 24 October 2016: Autumn 2016 progress report: So far, so good

Shizuru, Kinoa, Kogane, and Raijoudou
Do not question Shizuru's methods.

Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin leads the shows I'm watching this season. I was a bit skeptical about bringing Kaoruko back to the show after being absent for essentially all of the first season, but I think it works with her as a mouthy antagonist. I particularly hope we'll get to see her get stomped by Reoko.

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