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…)
I would not have watched Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni "Shomin Sample" Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken (Shomin Sample: I Was Abducted by an Elite All-Girls School as a Sample Commoner) except for the fact that Hara Yumi (the voice of Takane in THE iDOLM@STER and Yuuko in Tasogare Otome x Amnesia) is in it and somebody (whose trustworthiness is now shot) insisted the manga is funny. As it turns out, Hara Yumi is barely in it at all, and the anime—regardless of how the manga or light novel might be—is not funny. At best, I can merely say that it could have been a lot worse.(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…)
Dated 16 August 2014: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei isn't as good as Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya E1n
The first season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya was unexpectedly good. The TYPE-MOON universe is so filled with overwrought narratives it's no surprise viewers who are fans (but, importantly, not fanatics) of TYPE-MOON enjoy its parodies so much. (See, for example, the brilliant Carnival Phantasm.) The first season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya hits its marks almost perfectly. It had clever juxtapositions of familiar elements, funny inversions of standard mahou shoujo stereotypes, and outstanding fight scenes.
Unfortunately, Prisma☆Illya stumbles in its second season, perhaps because it has become too familiar. Rather than simply being a Fate/stay night parody, the Prismaverse now has its own emerging myths and canon. It hasn't outright bogged itself down with its own "overwrought narratives," but it is neglecting much of what made the first season so good. This may be a roundabout way of saying that the second season is slow, but I'm not sure pacing is really the issue. I think the actual problem is I don't care about Kuro as an antagonist. She's also not likeable enough to sympathize with as an inevitable "frenemy" character, either. Many viewers also complain about the fan service. Although I generally won't criticize a show for its fan service, no matter how aggressive it is, there is a desperate quality to the fan service this season, to the show's detriment. On the plus side, episode six demonstrates that Silver Link can still do cool shit with the fight scenes, so there is that.
I'm watching fewer shows autumn 2013 than I usually do. I suppose on average it's still about one episode each night, but with less time watching anime and less attention devoted to The Twitter, I do have noticeably more time to pursue other interests—to include updating an anime blog that's nearly in its 13th year.(more…)
Dated 8 October 2013: What Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya have in common
At first glance, Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya probably don't appear to have that much in common, but I can think of at least one thing. Okay, TWO things if you include the fact that I finished watching both of them at about the same time and thus went looking for an excuse to force both shows into a single blog entry, but really ONE thing that I wanted to discuss: PERVERSIONS. Oh, baby, let's get it on.
So, Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō. Dog and Scissors. This show made no God damn sense. And I'm not talking about the part where a boy who loves books is murdered, gets his soul trapped in the body of a wiener dog with telepathy, and is adopted by his favorite author. That part I get. What I don't understand is what the deal is with his psycho kid sister and her MAGURO EATAH kitchen knife or the part with the singing maid or Maki the SHINING! idol rival author. And who was the broad in the wheelchair? Really, Dog & Scissors is terrible and somehow only managed to work in three jokes: (1) Natsuno Kirihime (Akiyama Shinobu) is insecure about her small breasts. (2) Natsuno frequently physically abuses Harumi Kazuhito (the dog) with a pair of scissors after he insults her. (3) Natsuno wants to have sex with the dog.
Okay, not really really, but yeah, really. I mean, sort of really? There are a lot more bestiality jokes in Dog and Scissors than I was expecting, okay, even if most of them are just about tsundere bullshit. And while the show does end with a non-ending ending (which is probably why none of the things I mentioned earlier made any sense—they're probably explained in the light novels), it does sort of try to resolve the "romance" sub-plot at the, uh, climax. [SPOILERS] Natsuno gets drunk one night and takes the dog into bed with her, but ralphs all over him before she can force him into doing her human-style. Yes, Kazuhito narrowly avoids inter-species coitus from beyond the grave.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya started late, ended early, but is coming back for more. I had relatively high expectations for Prisma Illya because I liked the manga chapters I sampled. I'm glad that it is returning for another season, because I felt the show only scratched the surface with regard to exploiting the subject matter or letting us know the characters.
Most of us have probably formed some general impression of who Illyasviel von Einzbern is based on the Fate/stay night game, anime, and movie, as well from her appearances in Carnival Phantasm. Still, I think it is accurate to claim that viewers don't really know Ilya very well at all, since much of her personality comes from fairly stereotypical characterizations. Yeah, yeah, I was going to talk about how Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya are similar because of perversions. I'm getting to that.
As I was saying, even after Kaleid Liner, we still don't really know Ilya. Probably the main thing viewers will remember about Ilya is her fetish. As an aside, it was at this point in the entry that I struggled to find a way to use the word "cis" as a pejorative in the same sentence as the term "maid-sexual." I suppose it's not that strange of a fetish. I mean, for example, I bet being maid-sexual is a lot more mainstream than being obsessed with cake sex. It's just that Illya's encumbrance is particularly violent.
<&Nakar> To be fair raping maids is a Nasuverse tradition
I guess there's a third thing Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya have in common: Both shows could have looked better. Dog & Scissors was obviously low-budget and would have suffered quite a bit from this had the show not already been so low-tier. Prisma☆Illya had really jarring character designs, although I guess it's probably a good thing its mahou shoujo weren't blessed with superlovely character designs. Kaleido Ruby in particular probably would have been too dangerous. Besides, maid rape is easier to play off as a gag when everyone has knobby faces. (See also K-On!) I do want to point out Prisma☆Illya had rad fight scenes like three episodes in a row, though. Because of it, I'm looking forward to more from Silver Link, although I guess this means I might have to watch Strike the Blood now.