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Dated 26 June 2017: I think I would like Atom: The Beginning more if it did not start at the beginning

A106
Well, it makes sense given that it's the sixth of the "A Ten" series.

I feel as if I should enjoy Atom: The Beginning more as a matter of general principle. After all, it has such highly influential and historically important roots that I feel compelled to watch it regardless of its merits. Never mind that I'm only passably familiar with the original content, and have basically watched or read none of it. It's a backwards approach to things, to be sure. Nevertheless, Atom: The Beginning is airing now (well, soon ending now at this point), and getting into the franchise out of order seems okay since it's a prequel.

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Dated 22 May 2017: Only one character remains on the Saekano balance beam

Megumi
The face of a Best Girl trapped in a harem comedy with a loathsome protagonist.

Despite some very questionable components, I liked the first season of Saekano a decent amount. Unfortunately, its Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata♭ sequel (How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Flat) isn't working for me. All of the problems I have with the show were present during the first season, but either the execution was better or I was simply more willing to accept its shortcomings, something I acknowledged when I blogged about it. Ultimately, it's Potato-kun being a shitbag and the show's proselytization of the Otaku Virtues that kill my enthusiasm for Saekano Flat. These are the sort of bits that can sort of work from a meta perspective when lightly used, but the heavier a show relies on these tropes, the less meta it feels and the more bona fide it becomes. And then you just end up with regular ol' tsundere bullshit and a harem comedy gravity well which pulls inversely proportional to its hold on reality.

Utaha
I bet those boxes are empty.

What I'm left with is loathing for Potato-kun and open disdain for every other character on the show with the sole exception of Megumi, who has rocketed so far ahead in the show's Best Girl standings that she can almost assuredly boat race the rest of the competition from here on out. And this is nearly entirely a consequence of her (thus far, through six episodes and one pool-romp prologue) refusal to go along with Tomoya's high-intensity idiocy. That said, I'm still not quite as hostile to the show as these couple of paragraphs might suggest, so it's not as if I intend to drop it. I'm just disappointed Saekano Flat keeps tumbling into avoidable pitfalls. The show is unworthy of its animation and its Misaki Kurehito superlovely character designs. I guess it does deserve the glare of displeased long-hair Megumi, though.

Dated 15 May 2017: If you give a Pretty Cure a cookie

Ichika
Fruits Basket Face.

I think it's reasonable to expect a few changes to Pretty Cure now that it's been running for more than 13 years. Its current iteration, Kirakira☆Pretty Cure à la Mode, deviates a bit from typical Precure norms, but not too drastically. For one thing, this is a "furry" Precure in that the transformed forms incorporate a few animal-based cues. We're still talking about the sort of thing children play at, and not lifestyle choices. We also have a couple of high school students as Cures again. There's precedent for this, but they're pretty rare. Nearly all Cures (and there are a shitload of them now) are 14-year-old middle school students.

Cure Custard
That tail is too big.

The biggest change, however, is that they are no longer "legendary warriors," but are "legendary pâtissières" instead. Yes, those of you who remember this entry, baking is back. It works, though. The war has got to end at some point, right? Magikal girls might embody Peace Through Strength, but maybe its okay for them struggle against something other than chaos and destruction. Cure Whip does suck at baking, though. Considering that Peace Through Baking is supposed to be the underlying theme of Kirakira☆Pretty Cure à la Mode, it's a bit sad that she's so terrible at it. Cure Bloom and Cure Rhythm must feel so bad for her. Saki and Kanade can't ever appear in a crossover bake sale with Ichika. They'd stand there baffled by her ruined batch of chocolate chip cookies (some of which are still on fire) and have to pretend people will still buy them.

Dated 31 August 2016: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable is MAMIKORE

Yukako
Domesticity Is Unbreakable.

I am enjoying Diamond Is Unbreakable quite a bit more than I enjoyed Stardust Crusaders. This is not to say Stardust Crusaders wasn't good, but rather its strengths involved a lot of shounen jive. I got my fill of that pretty quickly. On the other hand, Diamond Is Unbreakable does not seem to involve inflated power levels or a bunch of stalling with mini-bosses. Rather, it seems to be more about the Bizarre than it is about the Adventure or even the JoJo.

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Dated 8 February 2016: I sure hope 4D anime turns out better than 3D anime

Kei
At least he's not also voiced by Kaji Yuuki.

There sure seems to be a lot of freaky-looking 3D anime characters this season. I assume this is due to advances in technology making the technique viable enough from a financial perspective (and not abhorrent enough from an artistic one) to make 3D production attractive these days. Whatever the reason, this season you'll find 3D characters used 100-percent of the time in Ajin and Bubuki Buranki, and at least some of the time in Luck & Logic, Aikatsu!, Pretty Cure, Gate (if you count the dragons), and probably a couple other shows I'm either forgetting or not watching.

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Dated 8 December 2015: So many Aikatsu! episodes remaining

Akari
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."

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Dated 20 August 2015: Million Doll is a gripping idol civil war melodrama

Monona, Yurino, and Rina
Chaste local idols don't go around flashing naked armpits.

I ordinarily would have dropped Million Doll already, but instead I re-watched its first six episodes in preparation for the show's final stretch. This was only possible because each episode is four minutes long. Million Doll has entirely too much frightful 3D CGI for me to watch six full-length episodes, let alone re-watch that many. Even aside from the 3D CG, the show looks cheap as Hell. (Are we still allowed to claim a show looks "cheap" in a post-Shirobako world?)

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Dated 24 May 2015: Idle compilation of idol measurements

During a span of drunken Symphogear confessions, @zoid9000 happened to share the following:

Well, it so happens that I already have a spreadsheet handy with similar data for idols from various anime and games. Technically, these Symphogear characters are idols of a sort too, so I included them as well. As a caveat, the data found here is not necessarily accurate, because I relied almost exclusively on secondary sources. So if people hand-jamming idol bust sizes onto the various wikis I consulted got their information wrong in some way, I'm potentially compounding the problem by further republishing incorrect data and/or introducing new errors myself.

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