Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 20 October 2020: More more Autumn 2020 first impressions

The childhood friend has good hair.

In addition to the shows described in the first and second installments, I am also following Kamisama ni Natta hi (The Day I Became a God). I find its comic timing better than the jokes themselves, but that already makes it better than most other anime comedies. This is also a Key anime, so some sort of trauma is assured by the show's end. It's probably not for everyone, but it's one of the better offerings this season so far.

Rena seems sort of upset about something.

I only watched the first episode of the 2006 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime, and basically know nothing about the franchise except that it involves lots of murder and possibly time loops? However, I am willing to give 2020's Higurashi no Naku Koro ni - Gou (Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou) a try even though its first three episodes haven't especially impressed me. I'm not even sure why the Gou part of the title needed to be hidden until after the second episode. In any case, it's an excuse for more Yukino Satsuki (see also YashaHime), and I'll presumably enjoy the show more as the mystery develops.

I still don't know why specifically a bear suit, though.

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear (localized as The Bears Bear a Bare Kuma in English because each Kuma is written differently in the original Japanese title) is a silly show. Events within the first two episodes occurred non-chronologically, but I think that made the first episode more interesting. It's not really fursuit One Punch Man, but I at least enjoy Yuna's unconcerned reactions to fairly absurd events. Incidentally, I'm also enjoying Kawase Maki as Yayoi in Major 2nd S2, so she could be a seiyuu to watch for in the future.

Chicks love handkerchiefs.

Kimi to Boku no Saigo no Senjou, Aruiwa Sekai ga Hajimaru Seisen (Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World) is sort of terrible. Like, I don't even feel motivated to point out the parts it really gets wrong. I will mention, though, that it cast Amamiya Sora in the sort of dignified princess roles she was initially known for (e.g., Asseylum from Aldnoah.Zero) before everyone realized Tenchan's true calling was loudmouthed shitbag roles (like Aqua from Konosuba). I'm pretty sure I'm only giving the anime a chance because someone on the Twitter said something nice about the light novels once, but there's also a good chance I've mixed it up with a completely different title.

Dated 20 August 2019: Dr. STONE is neither a doctor nor a stone

Yuzuriha and Taiju
Guess who gets to be Eve and Adam? Go on, guess.

I wasn't really planning on watching Dr. STONE, but its premise involving mankind (and one particular species of bird, for some reason) being petrified for eons before re-emerging in a new primitive society sounded too weird to completely dismiss. Then I kept seeing reports that it was legitimately good, so that's basically how I got myself into this mess. It turns out the anime is pretty good (I have no idea about the original manga), despite my general loathing of shounen jive. Unfortunately, one of the lead characters shouts all of his lines (which, it seems from the Twitter, is a trait some people actually enjoy?!) because he's constantly excited or agitated about something. God, just chill out a little bit, okay? At least he's not as bad as Zenitsu from Kimetsu no Yaiba, since at least Taiju isn't a shithead. I swear to Haruhi, these two are the evil opposites of Momo from Machikado Mazoku who is wonderfully chill all the time. Maybe there is a Law of Conservation of Indoor Voice that I don't know about.

Kohaku and Senku
Senku pretends he's not trying to impress the
first blonde girl he's met in the new world.

Despite this, Dr. STONE manages to be interesting, if absurd. This is very much a cartoon, but it doesn't ignore the fundamental questions a viewer will likely come to ask. For example, why did everyone turn to stone? Why was Senku the first one revived? If you start drawing the girls with Key eyes, does it increase the likelihood one of them will contract Key AIDS? These are the sorts of things a sophisticated anime audience demands to know of its shounen anime. Dr. STONE doesn't actually answer all of these questions right away, but it acknowledges they exist. It seems I can expect to be watching this show for at least two cours, and it is paced accordingly. After seven episodes, the anime is only just now starting to introduce outside characters. Thankfully, they don't seem to be shouting literally all of their lines. One of them does appear to be totally dying of Key AIDS, though. P.S. Spoilers.

Dated 13 March 2017: BanG Dream! dropped

This is a good season for hair horns.

I never actually did any research to verify these impressions, but I gathered BanG Dream! was another salvo fired in the idol war in support of the sort of full-spectrum operations adopted by the Wake Up, Girls! project. That is, it's an anime about a girl band which corresponds with a real life girl band presumably comprised of the seiyuu who will do crossover events and whatnot. The anime part at least started out sort of amusing, with high genki determination and amusing moments peppered with actual gags. I particularly liked Arisa's American approach to trespassers. Kasumi best not try that shit in Texas.

"Live Alive" this ain't.

Unfortunately, the more recent episodes took a more serious turn involving a mother on the verge of dying from Key AIDS and people feeling guilty about not being good enough martyrs. I can understand why the show might want to introduce some drama in an effort to get viewers more invested in the outcome, but it's not at all successful for me, at least. The tonal shift is not jarring exactly, but I think it's still unnecessary. And then the show added another twist which I guess will be the final obstacle they'll all have to overcome. Even a show as good as Hibike! Euphonium did not pull off all of its bits of band drama flawlessly; BanG Dream! is having a much rougher time of it. This is not something I want to continue watching, anyway. It's not bad, exactly. I've just lost all interest.

Dated 28 October 2012: Initial impressions of the autumn 2012 season

Erwin, Caesar, Oryou, and Saemonza
This scene was awesome.

Autumn 2012 so far: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (1-4) > Smile Precure! (34-36) > Sword Art Online (15-17) > GIRLS und PANZER (1-3) > Medaka Box Abnormal (1-3) > Busou Shinki (1-4) > Aikatsu! (1-3) > Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (1-4) > Little Busters! (1-4).


Dated 11 April 2010: Picking sides in the Angel Beats! war

Otonashi and Yuri
Potato-kun Otonashi and Yuri flirt some more.

I can't fight the hype. All the Angel Beats! talk, both for and against (mostly against) made me curious enough to watch it just to see how derivative it really is and find out whether or not Jun Maeda really is a snow-cancer-writing hack. Full-page Haruhi palette swaps aside, Angel Beats! isn't really any more derivative than most anime. You can't tell me there aren't shitloads of cookie-cutter shows every season.

Iwasawa and Yuri
Yuri introduces Iwasawa, Otonashi's enlistment bonus.

My biggest problem with Angel Beats! is I have zero faith in Yuri. I'd follow Haruhi on an ill-conceived Crusade any day of the week, but Yuri is just going to get soldiers killed for cafeteria food someday—even though they are already dead so they won't die if they are killed.

Shiina tries really hard to be goth even though
she has to wear a school uniform in Hell.

On the other hand, were I caught in the Angel Beats! battlespace with my loyalty up for grabs, I'd be fully on board with whatever Tenshi orders. Take that hill? Buff that floor? Clear that building? Police call all these God damn meal coupons and NPC condom wrappers? Got it, ma'am. I'm all over it. Whatever it takes to not be on Yuri's side with the rest of those yahoos, deadbeats, and douchebags. Hell, I'd be pissed enough the afterlife means being stuck in a Japanese high school until the career counselor turns me into a barnacle on Mio's side of Tsumugi's boat. Might as well stick a feather in my cap and join up with the winning side.

Poser Haruhi


The Shrike.

Dude, this is a no-brainer.

Dated 14 January 2005: Air

Against my better judgment, I watched the first episode of Air. I wasn't at all interested in this show, since the promo looked terrible, but it is one of the most hyped shows this season. Apparently it is based on a very popular hentai game, which accounts for much of the excitement over the anime, and helps explain why something like half a dozen fansubbing groups are all putting out their own releases.

Air was not as bad as I was expecting. The pacing is very good, so the story moves well. The animation is also surprisingly good, although I find the art very unattractive. Also, the character I thought sounded like Aya Hisakawa on a bad day turned out to actually be Aya Hisakawa, so it's got that going for it.

Seriously, she has a fish's face.

However, I feel no need to continue watching it, as I had no real interest in the show itself except for its technical curiosities. I guess I'll keep an eye out for it in case I hear it becomes awesome later, much as Popotan turned out to be much better than its first episodes led me to believe.

One final note: I am not at all enamoured by Air's "GAO" catchphrase. It is too obviously an attempt to create a catchphrase. That's a level of pandering I can't stomach from a show that doesn't have enough charisma going for it. Now, Mahoromatic's obvious attempt to create a catchphrase—that's different.