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

Dated 26 December 2018: Golden Kamuy and SSSS.GRIDMAN are among the best shows of the year

Asirpa
This is the sort of happiness you can only achieve by eating animal brains.

Some questionable publicity concerning some really jarring 3DCG got Golden Kamuy off to a bad start, but the strength of its source material pulled through. I'm one of those people who believe it's better to watch an anime first before reading its source manga, so basically all of the second cours was new to me. I'm told that the show truncated quite a bit of material in order to reach the second season's climax (and that it also cut out scenes that would have otherwise included more 3DCG animals). And what a climax it was. Basically, without going into spoilers, CRAZY SHIT HAPPENS, and there are real payoffs regarding characters that the viewer has gotten to know over the course of 24 episodes. With so many strong episodes this season, the second cours of Golden Kamuy is even better than SSSS.GRIDMAN.

Akane
It turns out Akane was the show's real protagonist. P.S. Spoilers.

Hopefully, word has gotten out by now that Studio Trigger did an excellent job with SSSS.GRIDMAN. I was a bit hesitant going in, since Trigger does falter somewhat frequently, and I was entirely ignorant of the GRIDMAN franchise. In fact, I'm ignorant when it comes to the entire genre, for that matter. Basically everything I know comes from posts by @TheIvanhobe on the Twitter. It turns out SSSS.GRIDMAN is satisfying even for viewers like me. I can only imagine how stoked people who recognized the various callbacks and references must have been. I should probably point out that while I put the second half of Golden Kamuy over SSSS.GRIDMAN, I find SSSS.GRIDMAN to be better if you compare its 12 episodes to the full 24 episodes of Golden Kamuy.

Shirase
That is one blue sky.

I should also mention that while I regard SSSS.GRIDMAN and Golden Kamuy to be among the best shows of the year, both were surpassed by five other shows from earlier in 2018. At the very peak is Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than the Universe), an anime that even The New York Times recognized as being one of 2018's best. I put Hinamatsuri not too far behind, and then (for pretty different reasons), Hanebado!, Yuru Camp△, and Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight. Overall, a pretty good year for anime. I can't claim that Winter 2019 looks ready to compare with Winter 2018, but maybe there will be some surprises coming up again as well.

Dated 29 October 2018: There are other reasons to watch SSSS.GRIDMAN besides Rikka's thighs, you know

Rikka and Shou
She'll make point five past lightspeed.

If you've been paying attention to the anime Twitter, you've probably noticed the flood of Takarada Rikka pictures. Rikka is a character from SSSS.GRIDMAN who is notable for having unusually large thighs for a tiny anime girl, and also for wearing a long sweater that makes it appear as if she is not wearing any pants. It seems The Fandom deemed this to be a noteworthy combination, and fan artists took note. P.S. Fuck pants.

Akane
You know, I should probably get some blue-light-filtering glasses.

With regard to SSSS.GRIDMAN itself, there is also a bit of buzz about the show since it is a Studio Trigger production that adapts the '90s television series Denkou Choujin Gridman (Gridman the Hyper Agent). I'm not familiar with this series, but I am familiar with Studio Trigger staff's penchant for moments of occasional greatness. (Likewise, I'm also familiar with their penchant for disappointing overly optimistic fans.) Through four episodes, I am enjoying it more than I liked DARLING in the FRANXX from spring and summer 2018, at least.

Akane
This railroad apartment was the perfect place.

The highlight of SSSS.GRIDMAN for me, as you might expect, is the Ueda Reina-voiced Shinjo Akane. I am 100% Team Akane, although she does occasionally kill innocent anime girls. Even more concerning, she's a bit of a slob and inexplicably seems to never take out her garbage. I guess at least it's all bagged, but sheesh. To tell you the truth, I'm not entirely certain whether I find Akane appealing because she's voiced by Ueda Reina or if it's because she's a psychopath, but I suppose there isn't any reason why it can't be both.

Dated 10 August 2018: Here we go again (Umimi 2018)

Umi
Okay, this is getting out of hand.

Dated 4 September 2017: It's Google Sheets' fault I did not blog about Kuromukuro

Yukina
I wanted to like Kuromukuro. It didn't work out.

Spreadsheets killed anime blogging. At least that's my excuse for not even having a Kuromukuro category until now. I wanted to like this show, but it turned out to be too irritating to watch. I mostly bitched about it on the IRC and probably also the Twitter when it aired in spring 2016. (I dropped it before the second cours began summer 2016.) Anyway, here is a tardy, low-effort collection of gripes for y'all to skim over.

(more…)

Dated 10 August 2017: Umi 2017

Umi
What, another year already?

Dated 24 April 2017: I've already dropped 10 shows from Spring 2017

Nono and Fudou
This is not Re:Zero.

There are a lot more shows each season these days than there used to be. I'm willing to give a lot of them a try, but I'm not quite as willing to slog through something in hopes it gets more interesting later. Lest you think I'm being too negative because I dropped 10 shows before the fourth week, bear in mind I'm still watching 17. Cripes, that is a lot. No wonder I never make any progress through my sizable backlog of anime I'd like to re-watch someday.

(more…)

Dated 27 March 2017: Sudden urge to bicycle around Kamakura

Hiromi
Definitely not Hane. Definitely not Haruka, either.

Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu (Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club) is a blatant attempt to promote tourism in Kamakura as well as encourage more people to ride bicycles (read: buy bicycles and bicycle-type accessories). The show caught my attention because it stars Ueda Reina in the lead role, effectively making it Bakuon!! except with bicycles instead of motorcycles. Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu is not nearly as good as Bakuon!!, but it does have some real charm as an introduction to bicycling and to the Kamakura area.

(more…)

Dated 20 February 2017: Fight the power with Idol Jihen

Shizuka and Natsuki
Go on, Shizuka, curse the bitch out.

I started watching Idol Jihen (Idol Incidents) because Ueda Reina is in it. Unfortunately, she's not in it much, although the OP suggests there will be more to her character later. The show itself is all right, but just barely. It frankly plays out like a rejected Aikatsu! arc, which is fine for a few episodes, but maybe not enough for a whole season. I was also expecting the entire Diet to consist of idols, but instead the idol parliamentarians are just various members of fractured idol-based opposition parties trying to challenge The Establishment comprised of old, unpleasant, corrupt politicians and uncaring corporate assholes.

Mika
Rocket Nerd promotes her vision to her hallucination.

Idol Jihen has its moments, but through seven episodes there's only been one episode I fully liked (the one with the gosurori ghostbuster), but that was mostly due to execution. I am a bit tired of the constant struggles against Old People. The show falls flat when it tries to present these battles in a semi-serious fashion involving such weapons as Children's Feelings. The show is much better off when Old People instead get swayed by idols doing idol things and everyone realizes how much better off the world can be after their idol epiphanies. Well, at least the OP and ED are catchy.