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Dated 28 November 2016: The End of Aldnoah.Zero ~Air/Slaine Did Nothing Wrong~

Asseylum
I'm going to assume Asseylum has lots of copies of this same dress.

Last week's "The Uncanny Valley of Military Anime" post did not explicitly name Aldnoah.Zero as one of the shows safely on either side of the valley, but I at least thought about it. Omitted for length constraints, I also did not address it because I've—for over a year now—been planning on writing a series of posts addressing various aspects of it. I think I have to admit at this point it ain't gonna happen, just like I'm never going to actually write that Pretty Cure primer or the rest of my Iriya v. Saikano comparisons. So let me at least address the part that bothers me most: The Ending. (Considerable spoilers follow.)

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Dated 21 November 2016: The uncanny valley of military anime

Jonas
Damn it, Private Death Flag, where is your rifle?

The so-called "uncanny valley" occupies the spot between the clearly artificial and the standards accepted as (or indistinguishable from) genuine articles. This concept is generally applied to automata and realistic human robots which generate a sense of uneasy revulsion on the part of the viewer because they're "just not quite there." However, I am applying this concept to explain why I can't quite accept military-themed anime such as this season's Shūmatsu no Izetta and last season's Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin.

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Dated 2 August 2016: I hope I don't need to like Ikuta in order to enjoy Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin

Ikuta
Would you really want a hammock that high in the trees?

I've only seen two episodes of Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin (Alderamin of the Sky). So far all I know is the show involves some supposedly genius teenager who becomes a general in a magic/steampunk war. I also know he's a pompous, sophomoric, condescending ass who acts as if he's doing everyone a favor by deigning to acknowledge their existence with his jibber jabber. Additionally, I also learned THE SPOILER, which basically sapped most of the interest I had in the show to begin with.

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Dated 20 May 2016: At least there aren't any icebergs in Haifuri

Akeno
Why aren't you on the bridge?

Nova addressed this in his indictment of Misaki's incompetence through five episodes of Haifuri (High School Fleet). I'm happy to pile on because she didn't fare any better in episode six. Misaki has absolutely no business being captain of her little boat and really just needs to throw herself overboard to save everyone else the trouble.

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Dated 12 July 2015: Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri feels like Bush Doctrine: ~The Animation~

Gate
The Gate appears.

The military otaku in Otaku no Video made me wonder if Japan has a subculture of military-aged males who don't really have an outlet for such interests, unlike their counterparts in other nations. To this 21st century American, it seems as if the warrior culture embraced by Japan's soldiers during World War II vanished after their surrender and disarmament, forcing them and their descendents to refocus (or repress) these drives. It appears as if the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) must do fuck all because Japan's constitution now prohibits offensive engagements, and defensive conflicts seem extremely unlikely because ain't nobody fucking with Japan without fucking with the United States too. Consequently, perhaps the Japanese military otaku demographic remains underutilized because this paternalistic alliance prevents their team from having any away games and they don't have much of a home game either. Even an anime JSDF has to ride the pine unless the show breaks out some fancy dancing.

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Dated 3 March 2015: Maria the Virgin Witch is pretty good even if it is a show about virgins and witches

Maria
Maria's orbs are huge.

Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch) is quite different from what I was expecting. It's turning out to be semi-serious fare with actual stories and sub-plots about different factions involved in Maria's little war instead of a lurid fan service comedy. (Maria does seem to spend a lot of time on screen being very blonde, very aerodynamic, and mostly nude, though.) Thankfully, her hatred of war and entirely emotional approach to it, though idealistic and childish, manages to not annoy the shit out of me like the other occasions when obtuse anime pacifists carry on about some sort of nonsense or other. Oh, hi, Cagalli. I didn't see you standing there.

Joseph
Somehow not a potato.

The witch part of Maria the Virgin Witch is interesting enough, I suppose, except that none of them appear to be evil. I guess from the point of view of the show's religious leaders, many of the witches are bad—oh, so bad—but from a modern anime viewer's perspective, I have to say they're pretty good. Especially the Noto Mamiko witch. The virgin part hasn't gotten annoying yet either. Where it goes from here will depend on how it handles its "Stop Using Sex as a Weapon" plot. Like My-Otome, nearly 10 years ago before it, characters in Maria the Virgin Witch have figured out that you can rape away an uppity girl's magic powers. (P.S. Spoilers.) I get the feeling Junketsu no Maria won't simply shrug this off the way My-Otome did, but I hope it also doesn't suddenly turn into a morality play about the Otaku Virtues.

Dated 20 February 2015: War is all Hell, even on a healing anime such as Aldnoah.Zero

Slaine
Slaine's pistol in episode 13 looks the same as
the one Asseylum waves around in the first OP.

Guess what's about to hit the fan on Aldnoah.Zero. Go on, guess. The rest of this entry contains substantial spoilers for both seasons of Aldnoah.Zero and quite a bit of speculation as well. If you're not prepared, avert your eyes, etc.

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Dated 4 February 2015: Kantai Collection for the casual landlubber

Kongou
Kongou sure knows how to make an entrance.

Everything I know about Kantai Collection (also known as Kancolle) comes from secondary sources. Specifically, I have absolutely zero first-hand knowledge of the popular game. Of what I do know, I gleaned probably eight percent from anime heads on The Twitter, various bloggers, and IRC drones.  The remaining 92% I learned from hydrodynamic fan art. Some of these illustrations, no doubt, potentially promote misleading characteristics of various Kantai Collection boats, if not the franchise as a whole.

Shimakaze
Apparently nobody has had the heart to tell Shimakaze
that she mistook a shampoo hat for a skirt.

Through the first four episodes, it's apparent some knowledge and enthusiasm for the game is necessary in order to fully appreciate the Kantai Collection anime. The show is wall-to-wall cameos clearly intended to stoke ardent fans of underappreciated boat girls. The characters also occasionally holler non sequiturs that are obviously catchphrases from the game's voiced components. Some of the game mechanics also found their way into the show despite not making a whole lot of sense from a narrative standpoint. Still, the project seems well done and there's a palpable sense of affection that comes across so that I at least feel as if people in the shipyard care about the fleet.