Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 24 December 2012: Filler blog post not actually about GIRLS und PANZER

Manami and Aoi
Well, I guess they weren't exactly worried about their getaway.

A discerning GIRLS und PANZER fan questioned the accuracy of showing tanks moving as fast and as nimbly as they do in the show. I'm okay with seeing these tanks drift through corners during an action scene. (There was snow.) On the other hand, any car chase involving a HMMWV requires the suspension of quite a bit of disbelief on my part. Military Humvees are pretty slow. For example, in episode two of Asobi ni Iku yo!, err, Cat Planet Cuties, Aoi's Mustang Shelby GT500 should have lost its pursuers quite easily without resorting to Spy Hunter tricks. P.S. Spoilers.

Dated 9 October 2010: Summer 2010 season wrapup

Summer 2010 wasn't an especially good season of anime:

Major season six > Asobi ni Iku yo! > Strike Witches 2 > Detective Conan (579-590) > Seitokai Yakuin Domo > Shiki (1-11) > Amagami SS (1-13) > Heartcatch Precure! (20-33) > Shukufuku no Campanella.

Dropped: Legend of the Legendary Heroes (1) | Worse than Cosprayers: Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi (5) > Mitsudomoe (1).

Major was easily my favorite show from summer 2010, although I felt the "yips" arc went on too long.

This was my favorite part of the OP.

Asobi ni Iku yo! was a lot better than I was expecting. It stayed fun the whole way through, but I would have liked to see more of the evil-type Momiji. And they never explained what the deal was with her older younger sister.

Minna and Mio
Not this shit again.

To some degree, I enjoyed the second Strike Witches season more than the first one. Nevertheless, it really did feel like a re-hash of the first season.

Detective Conan is Detective Conan. I continue to enjoy it as I plow through the hundreds of unwatched episodes I have remaining. As you can see, I've long since realized there are no meaningful spoilers in Detective Conan, so I've started watching the currently airing episodes along with my backlog of older ones.

Aria, Tsuda, Shino, and Suzu
The rules segments with the drum and whistle were my favorite parts.

I really enjoyed Seitokai Yakuin Domo and its relentless stream of sex jokes and short jokes. It was probably funnier to native speakers, though; it's tough to adapt verbal comedy to different languages.

Shiki hit a long skid of tedious episodes, but the recent ones are quite good, especially if you enjoy hollering directions to idiot B-movie characters. E.g., "Don't go in there!"

Amagami SS is pure cheese. That said, I still look forward quite a bit to each new episode as Potato-kun attempts to trophy-love every girl in the school.

Obi-Wan Kenobi supplants Tart as the least annoying Precure mascot.

I'm still not a huge fan of Heartcatch Precure! but it is growing on me.

Shukufuku no Campanella kinda sucked, but all the scenes with the Tortilla sisters or Agnes made it worth it. Also, "ARMAGEDDON JA YO!"

I tried watching Legend of the Legendary Heroes which I figured would be tongue-in-cheek, but it wasn't very interesting. Dropped after one episode.

Now, two shows I not only dropped but considered to be, ahem, WORSE THAN COSPRAYERS: Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi was inexcusably terrible. How J.C. Staff fucked this up, I have no idea. I dragged my way through five episodes. Finally, I realize I'm in the minority in not enjoying Mitsudomoe, but the only thing I saw in the one episode I managed to watch was ugly children doing horrid things.

Dated 22 September 2010: This Mid-Autumn Festival Asobi ni Iku yo! entry is not about Manami's mooncakes

Aoi and Manami
These are the worst disguises, ladies.

Remember that part in the movie Beautiful Girls where they talk about tits and asses? Not the scene with the preternaturally precocious Natalie Portman, but the one with Rosie O'Donnell arguing about how God is fair.

Evil is such a strong word.

Yeah, apparently Futaba Aoi never got that memo. Either that or I've discovered where that suit hides its power source.

In other news, I don't understand why Aoi doesn't use that teleportation power of hers to snatch weapons and bomb triggers away from her opponents.

Dated 10 September 2010: Stupidity over shyness in Amagami SS episode 11, Sae part three

Turns out that's not a petticoat.

Calling Sae shy would be an understatement. This is a girl who started out being too shy to talk to herself. Lucky for Sae, the brother of her only friend appears willing to overlook that particular disability of hers if it means better opportunities for copping a first-year feel.

Sae and Junichi
She's waiting for you to drop your salute first, Potato-kun.

Through two and three-quarter Amagami SS arcs, I submit only Sex Hair had any believable chemistry with Junichi. Sae and Junichi do have more chemistry together than Morishima and Junichi did, but that's not really saying much. Their burgeoning relationship still feels very contrived.

My God, it's full of stars. At least I hope they're stars.

I guess I can kind of appreciate that Sae might develop a crush on ol' Potato-kun as he's the only person to pay attention to her, but his obliviousness to her attraction seems so implausible. It's a silly excuse to use merely to keep them apart. They couldn't come up with a better way to cockblock for three episodes?

Junichi, Sae, and Umehara
Had he rubbed the black obelisk, Junichi might
have had a 2001 moment of inspiration.

Still, Sae would be all right were it not for her squeaky K.C. voice. Her extreme meekness actually makes Junichi appear assertive for a change. It's a nice improvement to his character, even if he inexplicably does remain too stupid to bend Sae over a kotatsu.

Dated 10 August 2010: I'm losing interest in Shiki

I'm not sure I want to know what Megumi has in that enormous purse.

I was mildly impressed with the first episode of Shiki, and really liked it after watching it a second time, but after that initial episode I've kind of been waiting for the show to get more interesting. Mostly I've been waiting for Haruka Tomatosauce's character to reappear in earnest.

Look, it was either this screenshot or one of catdude.

Let's get a four things straight, okay:

  1. It's vampires. It's completely obvious, and if you haven't figured it out by now you clearly are not trying very hard.
  2. If vampires weren't bad enough, this village has the bad luck of having the worst doctor. Where in Hell did you go to medical school, guy?
  3. The people in this show have either the best hair or the worst hair I've ever seen. I'm undecided.
  4. That dude with the cat ears that leaned on the horn in the middle of the night in order to wake up a complete stranger so he could ask for directions? He's lucky he didn't try that shit in America. He would have gotten a first-barrel-rock-salt, second-barrel-buckshot response.

Swing and a miss.

Really, I can sympathize with Megumi and her intense frustration at being trapped in a small-town Hellhole she can't wait to escape. None of this ever would have happened to her if that dude she liked had taken lessons from Bing Crosby. Poor kid.

Dated 8 August 2010: Seitokai Yakuindomo is the surprise of the season

Hagimura, Aria, and Shino
My favorite parts are the announcements
accompanied by whistle and drum.

I only started watching Seitokai Yakuindomo because of its angela ED. The show's description in all the promotional material prior to the start of the season sounded dreadfully uninspired. However, this is not your ordinary anime student government. Amazingly, the female members are dirty as Hell. Hardly anything they say should be repeated in polite company. One of them drops two f-bombs (in English) during one episode. The comedic timing is pretty good, so the jokes work even if there's not much variety.

Tsuda, Shino, Aria, and Hagimura
Wide angles are funny.

Seitokai Yakuindomo is based on a four-panel comic strip, so I can't claim its wall-to-wall sex jokes are part of B Gata H Kei's legacy, but I do wonder why we haven't seen more of these kinds of shows before. You know, B Gata H Kei was also a 4-koma first. Maybe there's a whole slew of yet unexplored comic strip sex comedies waiting to be animated.

Hagimura and Tsuda
A bedroom as boring as Tachibana Kanade's.

Sex jokes alone aren't enough, though. Seitokai Yakuindomo thankfully includes small moments of character interaction that show there's more to this cast than just stereotypes. Although Hagimura is the butt of relentless short jokes, by isolating her with Tsuda for moments of friendship power-ups, Seitokai Yakuindomo really does add an element of tenderness to an otherwise crass show. It's a good mixture of sweet and sour in this surprisingly hot soup.

Dated 6 August 2010: Asobi ni Iku yo! is awesome

Chiba, Kin, and Aoi
And I'm not talking about Aoi's birth-control glasses.

I was initially confused because at first I thought Chiba was the one that won. In other news, I love Aoi's appearance here. Look at the way she's dressed, for crying out loud.

Dated 4 August 2010: Strike Witches 2 is better than ever

Barkhorn is awesome because she's always serious.

After re-watching the first season of Strike Witches while waiting for more episodes of Strike Witches 2, I've concluded that the sequel surpasses the original—at least through the latest four episodes. The real problem with the first season of Strike Witches is the show takes a tremendous dive during the final third of the show. The instant Wilcke pulls out that pistol the show effectively gets shot out of the sky and goes down in flames. The final three episodes of the last DVD were especially bad.

Yeager and Barkhorn
I love it when Barkhorn calls Yeager "Liberion."

Season two, on the other hand, returns to the elements that made the first season enjoyable. I am in favor of a retcon that wipes the "plot" episodes of the last season, merging the rest of what's left into a single continuous arc. True, in some respects the second season has been too much like the first season. For example, the recent episode about Karlsland's experimental striker unit evoked many of the same elements found in Charlotte Yeager's supersonic episode from the first season. But c'mon, Gertrude Barkhorn with JETS! The very idea brings a tear to my eye. So beautiful.

The very recognizable Charlotte Yeager.

Besides, it's not all the same. There were numerous problems with the broom-training episode, but don't overlook the positive aspects it brought. First, it reminds us that the Strike Witches really are witches, as opposed to traditional magikal girls or true mecha musume. Second, it brought Perrine-H. Clostermann into the Lynette Bishop and Yoshika Miyafuji clique. Gallia's haughty witch was a bit of an outcast the first season, so it's nice to see her with friends this time around. It's easy to forget she's also one of the younger members of the wing.

Yoshika and Ursula
Hopefully Ursula isn't a complete slob like her sister.

Minor changes are the keys to success here. All too often sequels seem all too eager to screw up a good thing by making it bigger and better. Cameo appearance by Ursula Hartmann aside, I'm really glad Strike Witches 2 has not fallen to the temptation to overload the show with more and more witches. There's no question Strike Witches 2 could still crash and burn, but as long as it stays the course, I'm content to let this war go on as long as it has to.