Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 4 December 2017: Wake Up, Girls! Shin Shō remembers that Shimada Mayu is first among equals

Shiho and Mayu
In unrelated news, I'm pretty stoked Shiho is in this too.

I can't remember where I first heard Wake Up, Girls! characterized as "failure moé," but the term has stuck with me as a fairly apt way of describing the franchise, notably for its upward swings from being the underdog as the only idol show without a Sunrise affiliation, to achieving solid triumphant moments, including what was reportedly a stunning performance at Anime Expo 2017 in Los Angeles (which I missed). Unfortunately, the current season of the anime, Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter, has fared woefully from an animation standpoint, giving the impression that the WUGs have taken a couple steps backwards. The Yamakan-helmed first season had its own problems at times, but nothing anywhere near this dire. Through seven episodes, extensive use of stills and slow pans turn much of the show into a radio drama, and it's obvious quite a bit of daylight separates reality and desire when it comes to production efforts. Problems plague even the official subtitles, which continue to display an incorrect name for one of the main characters in the opening credits even now.


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

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.)


Dated 5 November 2015: I'm not sure if Saekano succeeds because of its source material or in spite of it

Nice hat.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend) is an anime adaptation of an ongoing series of light novels about a group of high school kids developing a visual novel game for Comiket. It's a harem comedy and relies heavily on tropes and common character archetypes. Tomoya is an unapologetic otaku clad in birth-control glasses. His tsundere childhood friend is hopelessly in love with him, but naturally he's completely oblivious. Since she is in a harem comedy, Eriri has plenty of competition from more aerodynamic rivals who offer Potato-kun the green light early and often. Really, the only reason the "YES" embroidery on his bedroom pillow isn't completely worn down is due to the preservative powers of the Otaku Virtues. The damn shit's better than Woolite.


Dated 10 April 2015: The most fucked-up moment of Shirobako

This one is only medium-fucked-up.

No, not this one.


I would pre-order one.

Granted, the show is not meant to be entirely realistic, but this is just dirty.

Dated 16 March 2015: Idols need boats, idols need boats, idols idols idols idols idols idols idols need boats

Ayako Boat needs more lines.

I enjoy both Kantai Collection and The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, and I still look forward to the new episodes each week, but neither show is particularly successful at getting me invested in the characters. This is surely because both shows are adaptations of already successful games and are intended to cater to established fans. However, this means cramming both shows with simply too many characters that never get developed. They end up existing simply as catchphrase-spouting bits of scenery.


Dated 10 March 2015: Aldnoah.Zero in four words

Slaine and Asseylum. P.S. Spoilers.

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

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.

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 26 February 2015: Aldnoah.Zero postpones Slaine's looming catastrophe by another episode

Asseylum and Eddelrittuo
I guess it could just be gas.

The standard Aldnoah.Zero caveat about megas spoilers applies again. The following addresses concerns and questions through the first 19 episodes and once more engages in considerable speculation.