Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 16 December 2015: I'd probably like Hidan no Aria AA more if I had watched the original series first

That stock is just for looks.

Pretty much as a matter of general principle I won't watch a sequel without watching the original first. However, I do make exceptions when I don't expect to enjoy a show, or if I'm fairly confident I wouldn't like the original. In these situations, it's likely the new series has some hook or meaningful changes that distinguish it from the earlier series. This was the case with Futakoi Alternative, a fantastic series which took the basic framework of (I'm told) a dreadful harem comedy and turned it into something interesting. I was hoping this would also be the case with Hidan no Aria AA, but my impressions of the show through 11 episodes are mixed at best.


Dated 8 December 2015: So many Aikatsu! episodes remaining

Idol activities are no joke.

Following up on this entry, I've started watching Aikatsu! again, starting over from the initial 2012 episodes but also jumping ahead to the current new season. Aikatsu! is a children's show about girls at some sort of magic middle school for idols. One significant characteristic of Aikatsu! that distinguishes it from, say, THE iDOLM@STER, Love Live! School Idol Project, AKB0048, or Wake Up, Girls! is that the show is nearly always incredibly upbeat and everyone seems to have a fantastic time doing idol activities. I can easily imagine 6-year-old girls watching these episodes every week and thinking, "Aww, I wish I were an idol." Hell, I can easily imagine 36-year-old salarymen watching these episodes every week and thinking, "Fuuuck, I wish I were an idol."


Dated 21 November 2015: She's not heavy, she's my Object

Eyes on the road, toots.

I first learned of Heavy Object when I encountered an enthusiastic blog post celebrating the light novel's manga adaptation probably about five years ago. I hadn't heard of the title previously, but the blogger's excitement inspired me to at least give it a try. I gave up in disgust after five chapters, coincidentally also the end of the (first) manga's publication, as it turned out. Ostensibly, Heavy Object is a science fiction story about pitting fantastic huge fighting machines against each other in a futuristic war. Unfortunately, it was clearly written by someone who didn't know fuck all about war and didn't give a shit about conducting any research or addressing even the most obvious and painfully distracting plot holes. (I didn't know at the time that the author also wrote A Certain Magical Index. Man, that explains so much.) Given that the currently airing anime adaptation covers the same source material as the manga adaptation, it was obvious I would be predisposed to dislike the Heavy Object anime as well. Well, yeah. I do sort of loathe this anime. I'm still watching it, though, even though with eight episodes down I'm only about a third through its two-cour run. I'm not watching it "ironically" and I don't typically hate-watch shows, but there's something about it that prevents me from simply ignoring it, and I think I've figured out what it is.


Dated 23 October 2015: If you're not watching 35th Platoon for Ueda Reina, I can only assume you're watching it for Itou Kanae

Mari and Ouka
I don't understand why they wear belts with suspenders,
let alone TWO belts with suspenders.

Wondering why a company has 35 platoons is the least confusing part of Tai-Madō Gakuen 35 Shiken Shōtai (Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon). Indeed, most of the show makes no sense to me, largely because I find it difficult to remain engaged enough to follow along with what's happening. Everything about it seems rather low-effort and perplexing. Why is the sniper girl even a character? What does she bring to the show? She's been dead weight through three episodes, so I guess she's there for comic relief. (Read: Random breast groping, because it's definitely not sexual assault as long as the perpetrator is also female.)


Dated 8 October 2015: The low-hanging fruit of autumn 2015 anime blog posts

On the plus side, Kakuma Ai sounds pretty good as Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt.

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.