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

Dated 4 January 2022: Sorairo Utility needs a longer course

Minami
This is product placement, isn't it?

Sorairo Utility (Sky Blue Utility) is only a single 15-minute OVA? That's it? You're kidding me! Well, that leaves me with one less show than I was expecting to follow during the Winter 2022 anime season. That's unfortunate, because it was nicely done. There is no shortage of shows about girls who obsess over a particular hobby, but this felt much more natural and realistic than the typical fare.

Ayaka, Minami, and Haruka
It happens.

I learned of Sorairo Utility from one of the hundreds of artists I sort of follow on the Twitter. Specifically, the director, Saitou Kengo occasionally mused about wanting to make a girls-playing-golf anime, and then suddenly it became a reality. I have no idea if there is ever going to be any more, but I'd certainly be in favor of it.

Reines and Waver
I did appreciate Reines sassing Waver.

Sort of unrelated aside from also coming out on 31 December 2021 is Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note - Tokubetsu-hen (Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace note TV Anime's Special Edition), a short movie about magic shenanigans involving Waver's classmates from his pre-Fate/Zero days. I feel like I would have liked this more if I had a greater grasp on TYPE-MOON lore in general, but possibly not understanding is the normal and expected state.

Dated 28 December 2021: I think I'd like Demon Slayer more if I had more interest in shounen jive

Tanjirou and Inosuke
Y'all are unconvincing girls.

Now that the second season of the Kimetsu no Yaiba anime is past its Mugen Ressha-hen (Mugen Train movie repurposed as TV episodes) arc and has aired four episodes of the Yuukaku-hen (Entertainment District) arc, I'm afraid my interest in the series remains well below the heights reached during the anime's first two cours. It's fine, but I feel as if I'm the wrong target audience.

Daki and Tanjirou
I do appreciate Sawashiro Miyuki's addition to the series.

This is not unexpected, since my interest in Demon Slayer has always been something of an outlier for me; I don't typically watch or read popular shounen properties. I presume my disinterest with the current arc is because it is building up to its next big moments and it is complementing its narrative journey with the sort of flourishes and gags that I don't care for. I don't know how many episodes remain in this second season, but I believe it is continuing uninterrupted into the Winter 2022 anime season. I'm definitely still going to watch it, and not just because I don't currently have a lot other Winter 2022 shows on my radar. It's just unfortunate I'm not the right person to fully appreciate the series.

Dated 21 December 2021: I dropped Blade Runner: Black Lotus after four episodes

Elle
One of the rare scenes not set in the dark.

I never felt Blade Runner needed to expand into a franchise. Consequently, I had a lot of reservations about the 2017 sequel. That it turned out to be good (and arguably better than the original film) is something of a miracle. Unfortunately, the Blade Runner: Black Lotus 3DCG anime doesn't come close to reaching this bar. Not that it would be at all reasonable to expect it to, of course, and I'm not suggesting Black Lotus is a bad series necessarily. However, I am suggesting it didn't need to be made, or that it at least doesn't need to be a part of the Blade Runner world.

Elle
These umbrellas are so fresh.

Admittedly, being a Blade Runner property is the only reason I gave Black Lotus a chance, and it was sort of neat recognizing the callbacks in the setting and general atmosphere of the show. Catering to fans of an existing property will only carry a series so far, though, and there just wasn't enough in Black Lotus to keep me engaged. Maybe it got a lot better after I stopped watching, but its first four episodes were merely all right. How about next time, instead of setting something in the Blade Runner world, y'all set it in the world of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? How about that?

Dated 23 November 2021: Demon Slayer's Mugen Train arc is better as a movie than a TV series

Nezuko
Nezuko gets to do something.

I enjoyed the first season of Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) and also thought its Mugen Train movie was good. I'm hardly alone in having this opinion, as the series proved hugely popular, resulting in enormous sales for the manga on which it is based. Similarly, Gekijouban Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen did extremely well in theaters, surpassing Spirited Away to become Japan's box office champion. The movie follows the events from the first anime season, and there was initially some concern the second TV season would pick up from where the movie left off, thus making it required viewing from a continuity standpoint.

Tanjirou
You sure about this?

Instead, the Mugen Train movie is being spread out over the first nine episodes of the second season of Kimetsu no Yaiba. After this arc concludes on Saturday, the entertainment district arc will reportedly begin, although I'm unsure how many episodes that will run. Re-watching the movie as television episodes has not been ideal. It doesn't seem as if there are major edits or changes to the ordering of scenes to accommodate the time constraints of television episodes, but the experience seems flawed.

Rengoku
These are some eyebrows.

As far as I can tell, the reason for this effect is because of the weekly interruptions breaking up the impacts of both the narrative and the action scenes. It's a fairly obvious or at least foreseeable consequence of repackaging the movie into a different format, but more pronounced than I anticipated. Nevertheless, I don't think it would have made sense to re-create the entire arc with the television format in mind, so this probably was the best option. Besides, it's not as if the arc is actually bad this way—it mostly just fails to match its own standard.

Dated 11 May 2021: Godzilla Singular Point seems to have more than one point

Mei
Mei stares a lot in this show.

I don't actually know that much about the Godzilla franchise, but I'm under the impression that the movies typically start with people noticing something unusual, and the something really unsettling happens, and then everyone gets their shit wrecked, sometimes by Godzilla, sometimes by whatever Godzilla is fighting. This at least holds true of the few Godzilla properties I have seen, and it seems to hold true in the Godzilla Singular Point anime.

Jet Jaguar
Have harpoon gun. Will travel.

Godzilla doesn't appear in the first six episodes of Godzilla S.P, but there is a nerdy grad student who wears birth control glasses that are constantly on the verge of sliding off her face. There's also an AI that's probably technically malware, and an old man with a bitchin' car and a totally sweet garage-built robot, and some regular dudes who don't have the greatest survival instincts, but are getting by so far nevertheless.

Yun, Gorou, and Haberu
You have to be the size of a child to fit in this robot.

As an anime, Godzilla Singular Point is pretty good so far, and is probably worth your time once it hits the U.S. Netflix at, I dunno, some later date. Or at least it's worth your time providing you have any sort of interest in either Godzilla or nerdy girls who wear birth control glasses. At a minimum, it's better than the three-movie 3DCG thing that's already on the Netflix. That one just wasn't very compelling. I did feature Ueda Reina, though.

Dated 14 April 2020: At least I'm not buying three copies of each disc—well, not deliberately, anyway

< Evirus> I remember hardsubbed signs on Nadesico DVDs which I still own.
< Evirus> Actually, still the last way I ever watched Nadesico. I've still never opened my Blu-rays.
<@Divine> It sounds like you have more unopened blurays than ones you've actually watched
< Evirus> This may, in fact, be the case.

With things the way they are now, you would think I'd be making some progress through my stack of unopened Blu-rays and DVDs, or my backlog of unwatched shows and planned re-watches. However, it turns out I already watch so much anime on a weekly basis that any additional free time get quickly consumed by all the other things that get displaced by anime watching and the pursuit of anime accessories.

Ayame and Yukina
Why are you wearing such a heavy jacket, Yukina?
Is it so you can dramatically strip it off later?

I do still see value in purchasing physical media, though. I think most people recognize that the oh-so-convenient streaming-based environment that we have presently is also somewhat capricious and occasionally prone to confounding moments of unavailability. The landscape itself is also less than ideal. For example, I was able to watch the Koutetsujou no Kabaneri compilation movies on the Crunchyroll, but I had to switch to the Netflix to watch the third movie.

Hopefully, all of these Blu-rays and DVDs will still be playable when I finally do get around to watching them. I have had CD-Rs die on me, but I haven't yet had an actual CD, DVD, or Blu-ray fail on me yet providing they've been properly handled and stored. (And not counting Manga Entertainment's End of Evangelion fiasco.)

Mumei
You know things are serious when bayonets are involved.

I plan to continue buying Blu-rays of shows I like, even if the odds I'll ever actually watch them seem sort of low. I guess I am at least less likely to buy Blu-rays on release now, unless I really like the show. Since there's a good chance I won't watch them for years, it makes more financial sense to wait until the price drops later. The exception to this, however, are my occasional imports of Japanese releases, since they typically pack in a bunch of cool extras—something I wish U.S. releases would include more often, even if the prices increase.

Dated 24 June 2019: Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! takes us behind the lines of the War on Pants

Mio
Sakamoto is more of a nutjob than I remember.

It's been more than 12 years since the first Strike Witches OVA. Since that time, we've gotten a proper television series, a sequel series, a spinoff series, a movie, more OVAs, and this season's Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! (Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!) comedy series with half-length episodes. Additionally, I understand there are more sequels and spinoffs in the works, so it seems we'll continue to wage the War on Pants for some time to come. The weakest aspect of the Strike Witches universe (now actually the World Witches universe) has always been the Neuroi—the boring, vaguely threatening opponents with no personalities that our stalwart witches must fight. Fortunately, Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! is entirely Neuroi-free, as the show is strictly about the 501st Joint Fighter Wing fucking around in garrison.

Barkhorn and Hartmann
Go on, Barkhorn, curse the bitch out.

Surprisingly, this setting worked quite favorably for Erica Hartmann and Miyafuji Yoshika as characters. I wasn't fans of either of them going in, but I like them both a lot better now. I'm glad Hartmann in particular got more to do than merely be a lazy slob. I wasn't expecting her to be the focus of so many of the show's best gags. In Miyafuji's case, I think being free of her Main Character baggage made her scenes a lot better. Miyafuji stopped being on my shitlist after the Strike Witches movie, but she's still better off in a supporting role.

Yoshika
This style probably takes less time to draw, I'd imagine.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the character design changes. I'm not a huge fan of this style. I can understand why they're different for this sort of show, but the effect isn't as successful as, say, the changes for Isekai Quartet. Also, I do wish Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! had brought back casual nudity, which used to be a staple of the franchise. Sure, these character designs are not quite as...aerodynamic as the normal ones, but I think it would have made for some amusing gags. Casual nudity has been missing from the World Witches universe for quite some time now, so bringing it back unexpectedly in this guise would have been quite the bombshell in the War on Pants.

Dated 25 June 2018: Anime product placement strikes again

Asuna
I also own Sony phones.

I bought AKG K701 headphones in 2011. These are the same headphones Mio wears in K-On!, but I think I can at least claim I did not buy them because of Mio since I sort of hated what few episodes of K-On! I even watched. (I did like the movie, though.) But, on the other hand, I did at least know these were "the Mio headphones" when I bought them. Sure, I was already considering these AKGs before I even learned of the K-On! connection, but I can't necessarily argue that the increased awareness generated by the buzz following their appearance in the anime had no influence on my decision to ultimately buy them.

Sony MDR-100ABN h.ear wireless headphones
NFC pairing is also magic.

Then there's the Sony MDR-100ABN headphones that I bought in 2018. Their appearance in Sword Art Online: The Movie —Ordinal Scale— most definitely factored into my decision to buy them. Sure, I was in the market for both wireless and noise-cancelling headphones, but the fact that I specifically purchased the Asuna-flavored version was absolutely influenced by the handful of seconds they appeared in the anime. (Wireless headphones are great around the house and having noise cancellation on a plane may as well be Goddamn magic, incidentally.) They were actually a little difficult to find because I bought them after their newer WH-H900N successors had been out for a while already. Hey, at least I didn't hunt down the insanely priced SAO-limited-edition ones (since I'm not not actually an SAO fan, despite appearances).