Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
karmaburn.com karmaburn.com

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.

(more…)

Dated 7 November 2016: I wonder if people are arguing over whether or not Nyanbo! is anime

Shiro and Kotora
Wait. They're basically standing in a giant toilet.

Nyanbo! is sort of anime, and sort of Yotsuba&!, but sort of neither. Specifically, it's CGI boxes who are cats integrated into real-world settings, sometimes with real cats, and sometimes with real boxes. Either way, it's an amusing short with some neat visual gags. It also has Horie Yui and Kugimiya Rie voicing boxes who are cats. Or are they cats who are boxes? I'm not really sure. Romi Park is in this too, so it's basically Fullmetal Alchemist except with boxes who are cats. And because Sanpei Yuko and Takeuchi Junko are also in it, it's also sort of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 as well.

Sabatora and Kitijora
Technically, Nyanbo! is also an idol anime.

In either case, it's totally worth your time if you care at all about photography, cats, or boxes. Because of the characters' scale, nearly every shot involves high-resolution close-ups of neat-looking things and places. It's not quite macro photography, but the show looks great. It's definitely worth watching the 1080 version over the lower-resolution choices. The cats who are boxes who are cats also yammer back and forth and have amusing little adventures. Do you need any more from a five-minute short?

Dated 7 September 2016: Amaama to Inazuma has a lot of sweetness but basically no lightning

Kotori
Kotori doing something domestic again.

Cooking shows aren't exactly a rarity in anime, but Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning) is unique in its slower pace and fairly unremarkable recipes. Rather than the usual over-the-top incredulous reactions to newly discovered flavors, Amaama to Inazuma focuses instead on the simple pleasure of preparing food and eating together. This, it does extremely well, and it's very satisfying watching the characters learning how to cook for each other. (Although it still bugs me they never wash their hands first.) However, there is an elephant in the room: the looming potential romance between teenage Kotori and her teacher, Kouhei, a recent widower. Nevertheless, through nine episodes, there has been no hint of any such subplot, so it's possible no such romance ever develops.

(more…)

Dated 30 June 2016: The End of Kuma Miko ~Air/My Purest Paralyzing Social Anxiety for Thee~

Natsu and Machi
Machi trying to prepare rice the newfangled way.

Many voices cried out against the anime-original ending to Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear, but Swabulous Max's response most closely reflects my own views on the subject. There are just a couple of additional points to underscore my opinions on the matter and to highlight where we differ.

(more…)

Dated 29 April 2016: This Monster manga has grown so big

Monster and Full Moon wo Sagashite
Monster Perfect Edition volumes compared to standard Full Moon wo Sagashite volume.

Monster is one of my favorite anime, but its DVD release was doomed to fail. If I remember right, the R1 release was a Viz license. Viz at the time already had a reputation for abandoning shows partway (e.g., Full Moon wo Sagashite) and even optimists didn't like the odds of a full Monster release. With replacement music for the ED and rumors of interlaced video, fans of the series were trapped by a Catch-22: They had to buy enough of the early discs to ensure a successful full 74-episode release, but the likelihood of that happening was so low that these fans would almost certainly suffer the same fate as FMoS fans. As you may have guessed, the DVD release as a whole did not go especially well.

Cardcaptor Sakura and Monster
Not quite as big as the Cardcaptor Sakura omnibus volumes.

Thankfully, the manga release appears to be in much better shape. Although also a Viz release, all 18 volumes did get releases. The last of these volumes came out in 2008, and I'm pretty sure they're out of print now, but Viz currently publishes the Monster manga in large double-length compendiums with the final (ninth) volume due out in July 2016. I haven't actually started reading these yet, thanks to my ever-prodigious backlog, but picking these up is a no-brainer, even if the manga lacks the anime's MAMIKORE voice acting.

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

Milinda
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.

(more…)

Dated 28 August 2015: I wasn't expecting a zombie apocalypse to be so aggravating

Yuki, Kurumi, and Yuuri
Kurumi is the Gakkou Gurashi! Best Girl because she's the
only one who's armed, and she's armed at all times.

I'd like to apologize for spoiling the twist and thus ruining the first episode of Gakkou Gurashi! (School-Live!) for you. I hadn't done it yet, but I've done it now, so if you didn't know already...sorry. That said, it's only a spoiler for the first episode. I learned from a season preview that this anime is actually a zombie survival story rather than a school life cute-girls-doing-cute-things morass, but I don't feel knowing this ruined the show for me. What did ruin the show for me was Yuki. I managed eight episodes before dropping School-Live! in disgust. Look, it is not cute for a high school senior to talk and act like a five-year-old child.

Yuuri, Yuki, and Miki
It's funny because she's easily amused and unable to stay on task. Also petulant.

I don't care that Yuki is supposed to be emotionally broken by the horrors she has witnessed. There are still entirely too many filler moments that serve no purpose other than to goose anime fans who enjoy the infantilization of women. See, there are flashbacks of pre-apocalypse Yuki, and she's just as fucked up there, so I presume this is her natural state. In any case, I've elected to read the manga instead of continuing to watch the anime. I simply can't identify enough enjoyable aspects unique to the anime to justify following it any longer. (The OP is sort of catchy.) Unless the manga and the anime are dramatically different, I think this is the way to go.

Dated 10 February 2015: A tail of two catgirls

Kanako
A catgirl doing cat things.

If you know anything about anime, then you're at least aware catgirls are a common fetish, and may even be familiar with the various controversies surrounding them. Are they furries? What if their paws and tails are real? Should they also have human ears in addition to their cat ears? This entry casually compares the catgirls in Isuca and The iDOLMASTER Cinderella Girls as an excuse to introduce these Winter 2015 shows and to revisit some of my grievances regarding catgirls.

(more…)