Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Blog Archives:

Dated 13 February 2013: Notes taken with a voice recorder

To be honest, Rei is taking this relatively well.

With apologies to ani-nouto for stealing its shtick, let's give this a try.

I'm going to start calling her Cure Sam Spade and hope it catches on.

In re Dokidoki! Precure episode two:

  • What are you doing? She'll be fine. I'm pretty sure Cure Sam Spade could survive a fall from orbit.
  • Cure White Lie.
  • I'm pretty sure introducing gold and spreading it around a closed mercantilist economy with no external trading partners will only produce inflation. And apparently it also kills swallows.

Vividred Operation should just frame an entire episode
with the POV centered between Rei's thighs.

In re Vividred Operation episode five:

  • When this baby gets to 200%, you're going to see some serious shit.
  • Why didn't you take her to a hospital?
  • I'm pretty sure Akane is just using this as an excuse to continue stripping her naked.
  • Rei's life doesn't suck enough. It should be more like...Kotoura's life. Well, like Kotoura's life before it got better.
  • I'm also pretty sure that bird is Lieutenant Hayase. [P.S. Spoilers.]

Masuzu and Eita
Does that mean they're not pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore?

In re Oreshura episode six:

  • Oreshura, adding a new girl is almost never a good idea.
  • This must be the episode where they couldn't spend any money.
  • This girl kinda sucks.
  • Fight the power.
  • This is a pretty lackluster episode.
  • Chiwa still sucks.
  • I'm going to be really disappointed if there isn't more bullying this episode.
  • This girl actually sucks more than Chiwa.
  • It's kinda comical how little effort the bodyguard has to expend to keep Eita away.
  • Does this mean that everyone is now aware of Eita's chuuni past? I'm not exactly clear as to how that all played out, and I'm not familiar with the corresponding sequence of the original light novel.

Dated 8 February 2013: Dokidoki! Precure didn't make my heart pound, but it's all right

Works in theory.

Preliminary expectations for Dokidoki! Precure appeared to fall into one of two camps: The first group—viewers who had no strong feelings about Smile Precure! one way or the other—appeared to be mostly ambivalent about Dokidoki! Precure based on what little information was available before it aired. The second group—people who were huge fans of Smile Precure!—seemed determined to hate Dokidoki! Precure on general principle, and found only negative things to say about the promotional materials and pre-broadcast information.

Mana and Mimura
A boy and his purse.

The latter attitude didn't surprise me at all, since the same thing happened to Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star after Max Heart ended. Indeed, I was guilty of this churlish prejudice as well, unfairly reviling Splash Star for being what I assumed would be a blatant ripoff of the originals, only with inferior character designs. (Turns out Splash Star is really good in its own right, and is in some ways the best series of the franchise.)

Yashima and Mana
Drink water; drive on.

Based on its first episode, Dokidoki! Precure appears to be off to a good start. I am pleased the main heroine (Aida Mana) is a solidly competent girl in apparently all aspects of her life. She's basically the opposite of Nozomi from Yes! Pretty Cure 5. I've heard some fans accuse the Dokidoki! characters of being "Mary Sues," but this seems a silly position to take in light of the fact that most Pretty Cure heroines are extremely competent and capable in at least one aspect of their civilian lives (the hapless Nozomi, Tsubomi, Miyuki, and Ayumi contingent notwithstanding). I'm all for a year of Cures that kick ass and take names.

Street vendor and Mana
This dude was all hands.

One thing I don't quite figure is all this jazz about Cure Spade, I mean, Cure Sword being the "last" Pretty Cure. That's going to make for some awkward explanations during the next All Stars movie when an entire battery of fully armed and operational Cures fall in behind Cure Black and Cure White. Except All Stars movies are not canon, so I guess they'll handwave it away. Nice to see Cure Sword soloing those critters in the intro. She didn't do too hot, but I guess she did better than Cure Moonlight in the Heartcatch Precure! intro. Goes to show Cures shouldn't work alone.

Dated 3 February 2013: I started watching Kotoura-san

Some teacher and Haruka
Good ol' rock. Nothin' beats that!

First of all, is it strange to find it unusual that the show is simply called Kotoura-san and not something Moll Flanders-ish like Kotoura-san Whose Life was Rotten until She Made a Friend and Now It's Better? I guess it is only an anime adaptation of a manga (a 4-koma, no less) and not an anime adaptation of a manga adaptation of a light novel. Anyway, yeah, that's what happens. At least that's what's happened so far.

Doughnut of shunning.

Kotoura Haruka's life does start out pretty rotten. She develops psychic powers as a small child, but instead of being viewed as a medical and scientific marvel, she is shunned and despised and alienated by people who somehow don't realize this little girl HAS PSYCHIC POWERS. It's established later on that at least one other person with similar powers existed at one time, so I keep waiting for Professor X or some other psychic mentor to show up and teach her how to use her powers for good instead of using them to unintentionally antagonize everyone around her.

Manabe and Haruka
This counts as a meet-cute, right?

I'm mostly okay with the melodrama about Haruka's suffering. Between Kotoura-san and Oreshura, it's a good season for wanton cruelty. I'm not sure what direction Kotoura-san plans to take, though, since the arc about Haruka's horrid life seems about over, and the preview for episode five suggests the show will be about wacky good times from now on. It makes the tone of the show a little uneven, and I am still waiting for more psychics to show up. Maybe since Male Protagonist is not a potato, Kotoura-san figures there are already enough freaks in the show.

Haruka and Manabe
It's because he's a teenage boy, Haruka.

Manabe is a decent fellow who sort of reminds me of Nenji from Nanaka 6/17 in how he watches over Haruka. It's a sad comment on the state of the contemporary anime male protagonist that someone as self-assured and direct as Manabe is so unusual. Hopefully, random-ass convenient cockblocking won't prevent Manabe and Haruka from initiating a romantic relationship until the final episode. I say "hopefully," but let's be realistic here: He likes her and she likes him, but it's only been four episodes. Of course there's going to be random-ass cockblocking.

Dated 26 January 2013: Vividred Operation is three for three

Akane and Momo
I'm surprised there wasn't a Momo POV shot immediately after this.

Vividred Operation is not exactly a high-brow show, but it is consistently entertaining and there have been no occasions to complain about its production quality or execution. I'm also very pleased with its pacing through the first three episodes. Some people felt Vividred rushed Wakaba's introduction and integration in episode three, but while I would agree in the context of a 26-episode series, I don't think there's any time to waste during what will almost certainly be a 12- or 13-episode run. Hopefully, Himawari's introduction in episode four will be similarly quick.

Where did her bow go?

After these introductions, Vividred can get down to business devoting the remaining eight episodes to unfucking Rei's shit, and befriending the Bejesus out of her. Or maybe Rei ends up killing them all. It won't happen, but I'd be okay with that. Rei is going to be the lynchpin behind the success or failure of Vividred. If you can suffer another not-necessarily-apropos comparison with Strike Witches, the Alone appear to be as unengaging and faceless as the Neuroi. I'm sorry, but you can't try to build action scenes around bland opponents that nobody cares about.

I re-watched this to confirm it was a sunrise, not a sunset.

Using cardboard bad guys didn't work in Strike Witches, it certainly didn't work during the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS training arcs, and it won't work in Vividred with the Alone if Rei doesn't instill some life into the fights. It's possible to have have emotionless enemies that the audience finds engaging (see, for example, the first two Terminator movies), but they'll at least need to be menacing or unique in some way.

I promise this is the last time I will make this joke.

As long as Rei ensures there will be an antagonist we care about in future episodes of Vividred, then the show will basically have everything. You want fighting? It's got fighting. You want flying girls hitting things with giant hammers? It's got that too. Standing-in-circles magic and fancy transformations? Yes. Bridge operators swiveling around to holler SITREPs to the commander? Well, yeah. Befriending enemies? Count on it. A talking weasel/otter/ferret/probably-not-a-mink thing? Of course. Butts? It's got butts. Fresh fruit? Holy shit, it's got fresh fruit. And how. (Tomato is a fruit, okay.)

Dated 21 January 2013: Oreshura has almost nothing to do with jirgas

For one thing, only one person's opinion matters.

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga shuraba Sugiru (My Girlfriend and Childhood Friend Fight Too Much) seems to be doing all right so far in a fairly tough category: The Harem Comedy. I find most fans' tolerance for harem comedies declines with each one they watch. Assuming they ever enjoyed them, enthusiasm quickly transforms into hostility after one too many comely girls inexplicably throws herself at a bewildered, unremarkable boy. The male love interest is nearly always to blame. Despite his harem's collective questionable taste, ol' Potato-kun's lack of assertiveness or any other redeeming characteristic is the reason why viewers find harem comedies increasingly frustrating. In this regard, Eita from Oreshura is at least is off to a semi-decent start.

Eita's future is so bright.

First of all, he's not "normal" unmotivated slug. He's at the top of his class and aspires to become a doctor. Prior to Masuzu's shenanigans, he studied constantly. Secondly (and technically these constitute spoilers from the light novels and the manga), he's not terrified of girls. Sadly, harem comedy leads literally frightened of girls seem to be the contemporary norm. Why? Is there no other way to drag out a dozen episodes besides ensuring Male Protagonist and First Girl He Sees cannot canoodle early and often? Or is it so a stereotyped target demographic can identify with him? Are Japanese otaku really as "herbivorous" as certain tabloids accuse? It's not even harem comedy leads who act this way; ol' Hero from Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is a potato, and humans in his world didn't even have potatoes until Demon King planted some.

Masuzu and Eita
Confederates in "I Can't Believe That Shit Worked."

So Eita is not afraid of girls. This is good news, right? Well, you'd think so. It means he doesn't have any reason not to romance his childhood friend except, well, he just doesn't see her that way. Chiwa sympathizers will likely find Oreshura extremely frustrating in this regard, because he friendzones the Bejesus out of her. Sucks to be Chiwa. Personally, I'm pleased with the show so far because it hasn't been about a bunch of airheads vying for his attention. This does mean Eita ends up being the anime-dense one instead, though. And he is pretty dense. I can only assume towards the end of the show (if it doesn't punt with a non-ending ending), there will be some cathartic moment where he realizes he doesn't only love Chiwa as a friend, but also wants to rail her until she can't walk straight. The end.

If you advance this scene frame by frame you can
catch the exact moment Chiwa's heart breaks.

Sadly, this conventional formulaic ending is probably the best we can hope for. Personally, I'm expecting a non-ending ending (because the anime will run out of episodes before the light novels conclude), but I believe all these early examples of Chiwa's suffering are intended to promote her placement as the principal love interest. Yeah, Masuzu might be better in every way, even though she doesn't wear any underwear, but Chiwa is a sweet kid and her life kinda sucks, so it's better if she wins. That's good, right? I'm not buying it. Fuck Chiwa. And if she wants people to stop calling her "chihuahua," she should stop wearing a dog collar around her neck.

Dated 17 January 2013: Initial impressions of the winter 2013 season

If you haven't seen this by now...

This is a little earlier than I typically like to post initial impressions for a new season, since I consider it premature to make assumptions about shows after only a couple of episodes. However, I'm already more or less familiar with most of the shows I'm following this season because they are either continuations or adaptations of things I've read. Only Vividred Operation and Love Live! School Idol Project remain unknowns at this point.