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Dated 15 October 2019: I'm pretending to watch Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia for reasons other than Ishtar

Ishtar, Mash, Fou, and Ritsuka
Potato-kun, are you wearing capri pants on this expedition?

The actual story and lore associated with Fate/Grand Order is incomprehensible to me because everything I know about it comes from secondary or tertiary sources such as people on the Twitter talking about the game, or from its fan art, or from people on the Twitter talking about the game's fan art. And while I have a semi-coherent understanding of the original Fate/stay night game, the currently airing Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia (Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia) anime is so removed from those origins that what I do know doesn't help at all. Compounding the problem, the anime seems to be adapting the seventh major arc of the FGO game, so there's an implied understanding that viewers should be familiar with the equivalent of six previous seasons. After the prologue and two proper episodes (plus the Fate/Grand Order -First Order- OVA), I'm still sort of lost.

Ishtar
I can't rule out the possibility Marisa stole Ishtar's shit.

Thankfully, it seems recognizing references or knowing all the lore is not strictly necessary to enjoying the Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia anime. For one thing, it looks fantastic, and is probably the first solid example of a show where I can clearly identify 3DCG elements without having any of it bother me at all. (Okay, the lions bother me a little bit.) For example, flowing water actually looks as if it belongs in the same world. Additionally, the action scenes are entertaining, albeit rather busy. There is a lot of shit going on and a lot of cuts that seem designed to impress via fancy animation. Well, they are fancy, and I am impressed, but I think I'd prefer a less frantic style. Really, though, these are minor complaints on my part at best (even the stuff about the incomprehensible lore). As a matter of general principle, I'll almost certainly continue to watch Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia for as long as it runs, providing it periodically features Ishtar doing Ishtar-type things.

Dated 3 January 2016: In re Winter 2016

Hotaru
Yeah, Hotaru's eyes are always like that.

I'm not going to watch all of these shows, but here are the ones at least on the radar. They're even sort of in order.

  • Dagashi Kashi: The original manga about cheap ass candy is fucking delicious. I don't see how anyone could screw this up as long as the anime keeps the crazy crossed eyes and incredulous reaction faces. This is your best God damn show, right here.
  • Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri second cour: Yeah, I know most viewers have a fairly negative opinion of this show. I'm almost inclined to say they're opposed to it as a matter of principle because it glorifies the military, sort of like how some readers loathe Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers because they find it "fascist." Whatever, man. This is some good shit.
  • Aikatsu!: I only gave Aikatsu! another chance fairly recently, but I'm totally on board now. Bring on the idol activities!
  • Go! Princess Precure and Mahou Tsukai Precure!: The current season will end in about a month with episode 50. I'll be sad to see it go, but the next iteration is frickin' WITCH PRECURE for crying out loud. We're there.
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: I don't really know what this is about. Something about an ex-con who just wants to tell stories? In any case, it seems different, and probably won't have any of that "moé shit" people love to cry about.
  • Dimension W: I'm going to watch this for Ueda Reina and the Toyota 2000GT.
  • Luck & Logic: ORIKASA FUMIKO. Holy shit. Omigawa Chiaki, Kayano Ai, and Ueda Kana are in this too, as are Uesaka Sumire, Taneda Risa, Touyama Nao, and Minase Inori. I hope this doesn't turn out to be too much bullshit about the trading card game or whatever, but I'll at least give it a chance thanks to the cast.
  • Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season: I'll watch the second cour if I ever get around to finishing the first one. I stopped watching because I was tired of watching Snow White getting conveniently rescued from would-be rapists every week, but I heard the show stopped being about that.
  • Detective Conan: Yep, here's my control.
  • Hai to Gensou no Grimgar: Eh, it has pretty watercolors.
  • Prince of Stride: Alternative. As an avid runner, I have to watch this. I'm also guaranteed to drop it in disgust the minute someone does something unrealistic, like I did after the first chapter of Suzuka.
  • Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm: I know at least one person who's psyched about this, so I'll give it a try. Something about flying kids.
  • Oshiete! Galko-chan: Something about three girls fucking off in class. Based on a manga which I've not read.
  • Ajin: The manga is sort of interesting. Kaji Yuuki is in this, though.
  • Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: It's DEEN, but it has girls who twist their bodies a lot, at least according to the promo art. That's something, right? Really, though, I am curious to see what Studio Deen is up to these days, and Deen is responsible for the best anime of all time. Besides, the people who were loudest at jeering, "LOL DEEN," were the ones who worshiped SHAFT until Madoka went mainstream.
  • Divine Gate: I guess it would be interesting to watch TWO shows called Gate in the same season, right? Besides, Ito Kanae is in this.
  • Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut: I really wish this would have come out three months ago so we could have had a triumvirate with Cavalry and Asterisk. It's the same setup.
  • Musaigen no Phantom World: Eh, it's Kyoto Animation. I'll keep watching if it involves ghost girlfriends.
  • Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu: This sounds like a shittier Saekano.
  • Ooya-san wa Shishunki!: This is a three-minute show, right? I ain't watching if it's not a three-minute show.
  • Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara.: I think the period is part of the title. How bad could it be? It has Mahou Shoujo right in the title!
  • Sushi Police: This looks too shitty to not at least try.
  • Ojisan to Marshmallow: It's got an old dude as the love interest. That never happens.
  • Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R: Eh...it's not Momoi as Komugi. But she plays her mom instead. Is that good enough?
  • Nijiro Days: Shoujo about three dudes? I guess one is in love with some chick and the other two dudes cockblock him for sport?
  • Bubuki Buranki: I have no idea what this is, but it's an original anime. That still counts for something, right?
  • Boku dake ga Inai Machi: I'm not especially interested in this time travelling manga artist mystery thingy, but whatever. Really, I'm just not up for another noitaminA show right about now.
  • Heavy Object: This show is hot garbage. I should really just stop watching. Seriously. Hot garbage.

Christ, that is a lot of shows. There are also a bunch of specials and OVAs. I hope you weren't relying on me to keep track.

Dated 3 May 2015: Fate/stay spoilers matter

Saber
At least they didn't make her bend over the entire time.

I'm looking forward more to the upcoming Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz! series than I am to each weekly installment of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works. This is not because I think the former is a much better series. (I was only moderately impressed with the last Prisma☆Illya installment.) On the contrary, ufotable's adaptation of Unlimited Blade Works has been excellent thus far, so I should like it more than I do. True, the Fate/stay franchise itself carries a lot of baggage, but the fact that this baggage exists isn't what's affecting my anticipation so much. It's because I already I know what happens for the most part.

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Dated 30 December 2014: Fate stay/night: Unlimited Blade Works is still good even though it's no Carnival Phantasm

Rin
Nice couch.

The first cour of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is quite good despite all the problems in its source material. This is a testament to ufotable's deft execution, because that source material is sufficiently flawed that it could easily turn into a train wreck in less capable hands. The mythology behind the Holy Grail War is so preposterous that it seems more appropriate for any Fate/stay night adaptation to play it safe and simply be a straight-up farce like Carnival Phantasm. It's a credit to ufotable that I don't spend every moment of every episode asking perfectly reasonable questions such as, "Why hasn't Berserker killed them yet? Why isn't he killing them now?"

Shirou and Saber
Saber could use some coaching.

The first cour of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works legitimately is good, though. The action sequences are exceptionally well done, the production values are great all around, and (most amazingly) Emiya Shirou does not come across as a shitheel. Unfortunately, this is a split-cour series, so we're going to have to wait until spring to find out what manner of CGI euphemism we'll get this time around. Who knows, maybe ufotable will actually animate the sex scene? J.C. Staff did that with Shingetsutan Tsukihime, the first anime adaptation of a TYPE-MOON game (Internet memes notwithstanding), even if it turned out that vampires don't have nipples.

Dated 9 December 2014: ufotable's Fate/stay night would be a lot better if it wasn't for Fate/stay night

Saber
Saber works better as a supporting character than as a lead.

I'm not entirely convinced Fate/stay night needed a remake. Whipping boy Studio DEEN's first adapted this TYPE-MOON game in 2006 with the Saber-centric "Fate" route, followed by a 2010 movie based on the Rin-tastic "Unlimited Blade Works" route. Logically, the Sakura-suffering "Heaven's Feel" route should be next, but it appears ufotable plans on adapting it (as a movie) after animating their own "Unlimited Blade Works" project, this time as a television series that sort of succeeds ufotable's 2011 Fate/Zero prequel.

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Dated 16 August 2014: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei isn't as good as Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya E1n

Illya
The faces do seem slightly less knobby this season, though.

The first season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya was unexpectedly good. The TYPE-MOON universe is so filled with overwrought narratives it's no surprise viewers who are fans (but, importantly, not fanatics) of TYPE-MOON enjoy its parodies so much. (See, for example, the brilliant Carnival Phantasm.) The first season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya hits its marks almost perfectly. It had clever juxtapositions of familiar elements, funny inversions of standard mahou shoujo stereotypes, and outstanding fight scenes.

Kuro
Hey, a bow.

Unfortunately, Prisma☆Illya stumbles in its second season, perhaps because it has become too familiar. Rather than simply being a Fate/stay night parody, the Prismaverse now has its own emerging myths and canon. It hasn't outright bogged itself down with its own "overwrought narratives," but it is neglecting much of what made the first season so good. This may be a roundabout way of saying that the second season is slow, but I'm not sure pacing is really the issue. I think the actual problem is I don't care about Kuro as an antagonist. She's also not likeable enough to sympathize with as an inevitable "frenemy" character, either. Many viewers also complain about the fan service. Although I generally won't criticize a show for its fan service, no matter how aggressive it is, there is a desperate quality to the fan service this season, to the show's detriment. On the plus side, episode six demonstrates that Silver Link can still do cool shit with the fight scenes, so there is that.

Dated 12 August 2013: Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music... and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya both feature battle costumes

Yumi
This was awesome even though they gonged Anime-chan.

I had fairly high hopes for both Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music... and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya prior to the start of the season. Now—nearly halfway through summer 2013—I'm pleased both are turning out to be quite good. Symphogear G is a sequel to widely panned but wildly entertaining original Senki Zesshou Symphogear: Meteoroid-Falling, Burning, and Disappear, Then... from winter 2012. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya is based on the eponymous parody manga riffing on the Fate/stay night universe. It's pretty amazing how adroit it is at drawing out the best Fate/stay night has to offer. I liked the manga so much from the first few chapters that I stopped reading it so that I would not spoil myself on the anime. It does not disappoint. All around, even without including DokiDoki! Precure, this is a pretty good season for magikal girls trashing the joint.

Kirika, Shirabe, and Maria
You're going to need to give up more than some lunch money.

Symphogear G introduces the very aerodynamic Maria and her little cohorts, Shirabe and Kirika. As antagonists, they're approximately as sinister as the Velka Knights from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's and will almost certainly join Hibiki, Tsubasa, and Chris at the end of the season against a common enemy: Post-menopausal Belldandy.

Maria
You can tell Maria isn't really evil because her cape is awesome.

There's not much to say about the actual plot or story behind Symphogear G. You're supposed to watch it to see these girls thrash each other with preposterous weapons while singing. Moon debris features prominently in Symphogear G as a reminder that the collateral damage from the first season was quite severe, making it likely this season will also not end quietly. At a minimum, I expect the survivors will need to change schools again.

Illya
Don't worry, Illya. It gets worse.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya cynically takes the point of view of a reluctant magikal girl tricked into taking on the role after a recalcitrant magic wand divorces itself from its previous master. The jokes are not quite as frantic as they are in Carnival Phantasm, but Prisma Illya does reinforce suspicions that TYPE-MOON parodies are better than canonical TYPE-MOON properties.

Miyu and Illya
There sure are a lot of armpits in this show.

The character designs in Prisma Illa are quite different from Takeuchi Takashi standard typically associated with TYPE-MOON, but I think they work in this comedic context just as rounder designs served Carnival Phantasm well. I wasn't expecting the action sequences to be so energetic, particularly since I still associate SILVER LINK with the belt tightening it imposed during Tasogare Otome x Amnesia. Hopefully it didn't blow its Prisma Illa budget on the high-flying episode four.

Hibiki
Hibiki preparing to punch more things.

Like its 2012 predecessor, Symphogear G is the closest thing we're likely to get to a mahou shoujo opera unless someone actually talks Kajiura Yuki into composing The End of My-HiME opera I've been wishing for since 2005. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya demonstrates how much better a TYPE-MOON property can get if you sideline all the idiotic male characters. I'm certainly not one of those viewers who abhor male anime characters on general principle, but I have to admit a lot of these TYPE-MOON chumps are quite odious, particularly with regard to Fate/stay night which had Shirou AND Shinji, both of whom should have been recast as boat anchors. Things are so much nicer without them, even if Caster is still trying to kill everybody.

Dated 30 January 2010: Ueda Kana Wins Again

Ueda Kana's two devilcats
Oh God. Ueda Kana
has TWO devilcats.

I follow three basic types of seiyuu blogs: Self portraits, corporate, and food. Among seiyuu self-portrait blogs, Inoue Marina seems the most adept. Compared to, say, Akiyama Nana, the easy-on-the-eyes idol who voiced Makina from Shikabane Hime, Inoue Marina manages interesting composition and framing in her self portraits, while Akiyama Nana consistently relies on the same trademark pose except with different outfits. Corporate seiyuu blogs such as Hocchan's and Banana Mizuki's can be identified by the mere fact most of the photographs are taken by third parties. Seiyuu food blogs contain, well, daily pictures of whatever it is the voice actress happens to be eating. Among seiyuu food blogs, Ueda Kana is without peer. From the looks of it, nobody eats as well as she does. Nobody. UEDA KANA ALWAYS WINS.