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Dated 12 July 2015: Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri feels like Bush Doctrine: ~The Animation~

Gate
The Gate appears.

The military otaku in Otaku no Video made me wonder if Japan has a subculture of military-aged males who don't really have an outlet for such interests, unlike their counterparts in other nations. To this 21st century American, it seems as if the warrior culture embraced by Japan's soldiers during World War II vanished after their surrender and disarmament, forcing them and their descendents to refocus (or repress) these drives. It appears as if the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) must do fuck all because Japan's constitution now prohibits offensive engagements, and defensive conflicts seem extremely unlikely because ain't nobody fucking with Japan without fucking with the United States too. Consequently, perhaps the Japanese military otaku demographic remains underutilized because this paternalistic alliance prevents their team from having any away games and they don't have much of a home game either. Even an anime JSDF has to ride the pine unless the show breaks out some fancy dancing.

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Dated 30 July 2015: 5¢, please

<~cathead> can i sign up for rory's army
<~cathead> where's the Emroy Recruitment Center
<~cathead> it's just like a poorly constructed table and sign like lucy's thing in charlie brown
<~cathead> THE RORY IS: IN

Rory
Sure, why not.

Thus, I made this.

Dated 10 September 2015: Overlord is about peace through strength

Enri, Nemu, Albedo, and Momonga
Here, try this. All the cool kids are doing it.

I was a bit surprised to learn the Overlord anime is apparently quite popular. I had assumed everyone else would have dropped the show after a somewhat slow first couple of episodes. And when I say "slow," I mean the first episode literally only covered the material found in the one-sentence synopsis found in pre-season write-ups for the show. Pretty much the only reason I kept on watching it is because the director, Itou Naoyuki, also directed Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu (although admittedly he was not responsible for episode three, the one I really liked). There isn't anything in the show that's bad necessarily, although I do think Hara Yumi is overacting Albedo's Turbo Dere comic relief moments. The episodes on a whole, though, are generally consistent, so I'm guessing most viewers will enjoy it about as much towards the end as they did at the start.

Narberal and Momonga
Narberal is pretty good at killing people but sort of shit at keeping her trap shut.

With regard to what Overlord is actually about, it's technically another player-trapped-in-an-RPG story, but it doesn't play out quite the same way as other anime with this setup. For one thing, Momonga doesn't even make token attempts to escape back into the real world. Granted, being a super powerful skeleton dude in charge a bunch of also super powerful steadfastly loyal undead folks is probably a lot better than whatever it was he had going on back home. Technically, all of these characters are supposed to be fearsome and evil, but ol' Momo (or Ein's Own Goal, depending on what he's calling himself on whatever particular day) goes about taking care of business in a fairly pragmatic sort of way, basically only killing people who need killing. (Naturally, Momo doesn't seem to have much trouble finding people who need killing.)

Momonga
You can tell Momo is going easy on them because he's using swords instead of his bare hands.

In a way, Overlord is not unlike Gate in that both shows take place in fantasy worlds where the "good guys" crush the living dog shit out a bunch of scrubs who thought they were badass until some Japanese folks came along and redefined what it actually takes to be badass in that world thereafter. With 10 episodes already complete, I'm not expecting Momonga or his minions to face any serious challenges, but watching Momo and his maids demolish random jackasses isn't actually as boring as it might sound. Considering how much people bitched about the JSDF exercising overwhelming force against armies of chumps with swords, and how many viewers argued Kirito was overpowered in Sword Art Online, I wouldn't have expected Momonga to get a pass. He's constantly overestimating the abilities of his enemies and dismantling them with embarrassing ease despite handicapping himself time and again, yet nobody seems to have any qualms about that. My theory is that it's because he's really tall and speaks (externally, anyway) with an authoritative voice. That and being a big skeleton guy. I'm pretty sure Tony Robbins had a chapter on that.

Dated 3 January 2016: In re Winter 2016

Hotaru
Yeah, Hotaru's eyes are always like that.

I'm not going to watch all of these shows, but here are the ones at least on the radar. They're even sort of in order.

  • Dagashi Kashi: The original manga about cheap ass candy is fucking delicious. I don't see how anyone could screw this up as long as the anime keeps the crazy crossed eyes and incredulous reaction faces. This is your best God damn show, right here.
  • Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri second cour: Yeah, I know most viewers have a fairly negative opinion of this show. I'm almost inclined to say they're opposed to it as a matter of principle because it glorifies the military, sort of like how some readers loathe Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers because they find it "fascist." Whatever, man. This is some good shit.
  • Aikatsu!: I only gave Aikatsu! another chance fairly recently, but I'm totally on board now. Bring on the idol activities!
  • Go! Princess Precure and Mahou Tsukai Precure!: The current season will end in about a month with episode 50. I'll be sad to see it go, but the next iteration is frickin' WITCH PRECURE for crying out loud. We're there.
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: I don't really know what this is about. Something about an ex-con who just wants to tell stories? In any case, it seems different, and probably won't have any of that "moé shit" people love to cry about.
  • Dimension W: I'm going to watch this for Ueda Reina and the Toyota 2000GT.
  • Luck & Logic: ORIKASA FUMIKO. Holy shit. Omigawa Chiaki, Kayano Ai, and Ueda Kana are in this too, as are Uesaka Sumire, Taneda Risa, Touyama Nao, and Minase Inori. I hope this doesn't turn out to be too much bullshit about the trading card game or whatever, but I'll at least give it a chance thanks to the cast.
  • Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season: I'll watch the second cour if I ever get around to finishing the first one. I stopped watching because I was tired of watching Snow White getting conveniently rescued from would-be rapists every week, but I heard the show stopped being about that.
  • Detective Conan: Yep, here's my control.
  • Hai to Gensou no Grimgar: Eh, it has pretty watercolors.
  • Prince of Stride: Alternative. As an avid runner, I have to watch this. I'm also guaranteed to drop it in disgust the minute someone does something unrealistic, like I did after the first chapter of Suzuka.
  • Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm: I know at least one person who's psyched about this, so I'll give it a try. Something about flying kids.
  • Oshiete! Galko-chan: Something about three girls fucking off in class. Based on a manga which I've not read.
  • Ajin: The manga is sort of interesting. Kaji Yuuki is in this, though.
  • Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: It's DEEN, but it has girls who twist their bodies a lot, at least according to the promo art. That's something, right? Really, though, I am curious to see what Studio Deen is up to these days, and Deen is responsible for the best anime of all time. Besides, the people who were loudest at jeering, "LOL DEEN," were the ones who worshiped SHAFT until Madoka went mainstream.
  • Divine Gate: I guess it would be interesting to watch TWO shows called Gate in the same season, right? Besides, Ito Kanae is in this.
  • Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut: I really wish this would have come out three months ago so we could have had a triumvirate with Cavalry and Asterisk. It's the same setup.
  • Musaigen no Phantom World: Eh, it's Kyoto Animation. I'll keep watching if it involves ghost girlfriends.
  • Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu: This sounds like a shittier Saekano.
  • Ooya-san wa Shishunki!: This is a three-minute show, right? I ain't watching if it's not a three-minute show.
  • Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara.: I think the period is part of the title. How bad could it be? It has Mahou Shoujo right in the title!
  • Sushi Police: This looks too shitty to not at least try.
  • Ojisan to Marshmallow: It's got an old dude as the love interest. That never happens.
  • Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R: Eh...it's not Momoi as Komugi. But she plays her mom instead. Is that good enough?
  • Nijiro Days: Shoujo about three dudes? I guess one is in love with some chick and the other two dudes cockblock him for sport?
  • Bubuki Buranki: I have no idea what this is, but it's an original anime. That still counts for something, right?
  • Boku dake ga Inai Machi: I'm not especially interested in this time travelling manga artist mystery thingy, but whatever. Really, I'm just not up for another noitaminA show right about now.
  • Heavy Object: This show is hot garbage. I should really just stop watching. Seriously. Hot garbage.

Christ, that is a lot of shows. There are also a bunch of specials and OVAs. I hope you weren't relying on me to keep track.

Dated 29 February 2016: My favorite shows of winter 2016 so far

Cure Miracle and Cure Magical
Get pumped, witches.

As you can see from my per-episode chart, it took a while for Dagashi Kashi to secure the top spot I predicted, but it's in good company. Konosuba is my current number four show, but its rating is higher than what I gave my top show, One Punch Man, autumn 2015. I certainly disagree with people who claim this is not a very good season. Besides, there are at least three "NOT KID'S STUFF" serious shows worth watching1 in addition to some entertaining lighter fare, so I'm pretty deaf to most complaints.

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Dated 19 March 2016: AIRBORNE! P.S. Gate spoilers.

F-4 Phantom II fighters
FOX ONE.

Episode 23 of Gate: Jietai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri featured the most realistic depiction of an airborne operation I've ever seen in an anime. Although I guess I need to qualify that statement by mentioning the second-most realistic depiction of an airborne operation I've ever seen in an anime is the first episode of, uh, Coyote Ragtime Show. You know, the part with the maids. Nevertheless, the mere fact that the Japan Self-Defense Forces conducted the operation in phases—eliminating air defense and establishing air supremacy first before dropping paratroopers into Empire territory—is leaps and bounds ahead of the sort of thing you see in most anime ostensibly about war. Heavy Object, I'm looking in your direction....

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