Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 15 May 2017: If you give a Pretty Cure a cookie

Ichika
Fruits Basket Face.

I think it's reasonable to expect a few changes to Pretty Cure now that it's been running for more than 13 years. Its current iteration, Kirakira☆Pretty Cure à la Mode, deviates a bit from typical Precure norms, but not too drastically. For one thing, this is a "furry" Precure in that the transformed forms incorporate a few animal-based cues. We're still talking about the sort of thing children play at, and not lifestyle choices. We also have a couple of high school students as Cures again. There's precedent for this, but they're pretty rare. Nearly all Cures (and there are a shitload of them now) are 14-year-old middle school students.

Cure Custard
That tail is too big.

The biggest change, however, is that they are no longer "legendary warriors," but are "legendary pâtissières" instead. Yes, those of you who remember this entry, baking is back. It works, though. The war has got to end at some point, right? Magikal girls might embody Peace Through Strength, but maybe its okay for them struggle against something other than chaos and destruction. Cure Whip does suck at baking, though. Considering that Peace Through Baking is supposed to be the underlying theme of Kirakira☆Pretty Cure à la Mode, it's a bit sad that she's so terrible at it. Cure Bloom and Cure Rhythm must feel so bad for her. Saki and Kanade can't ever appear in a crossover bake sale with Ichika. They'd stand there baffled by her ruined batch of chocolate chip cookies (some of which are still on fire) and have to pretend people will still buy them.

Dated 3 April 2017: Hand Shakers CHECK

Tazuna and Koyori
Front view.

It has been more than seven years since the last Karmaburn.com CHECK, but inspired but the upcoming return of more Cardcaptor Sakura, I hereby present Formerly Mute Doll's battle costume from Hand Shakers. (Again, with apologies to Kero-chan and Paiway.)

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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.

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Dated 20 March 2017: The waiting begins for Konosuba season three

Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness.
They should put Megumin in charge of naming all the weapons.

The second season of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! ended after 10 all-too-short episodes, just as the first season did. Unfortunately, unlike the first season, the second season finale did not conclude with the announcement of a sequel. Given that Konosuba S2 sits comfortably on top of my list of winter 2017's best shows, above even Little Witch Academia TV and Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen, I'm certainly hopeful for a third season someday.

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Dated 13 March 2017: BanG Dream! dropped

Kasumi
This is a good season for hair horns.

I never actually did any research to verify these impressions, but I gathered BanG Dream! was another salvo fired in the idol war in support of the sort of full-spectrum operations adopted by the Wake Up, Girls! project. That is, it's an anime about a girl band which corresponds with a real life girl band presumably comprised of the seiyuu who will do crossover events and whatnot. The anime part at least started out sort of amusing, with high genki determination and amusing moments peppered with actual gags. I particularly liked Arisa's American approach to trespassers. Kasumi best not try that shit in Texas.

Arisa
"Live Alive" this ain't.

Unfortunately, the more recent episodes took a more serious turn involving a mother on the verge of dying from Key AIDS and people feeling guilty about not being good enough martyrs. I can understand why the show might want to introduce some drama in an effort to get viewers more invested in the outcome, but it's not at all successful for me, at least. The tonal shift is not jarring exactly, but I think it's still unnecessary. And then the show added another twist which I guess will be the final obstacle they'll all have to overcome. Even a show as good as Hibike! Euphonium did not pull off all of its bits of band drama flawlessly; BanG Dream! is having a much rougher time of it. This is not something I want to continue watching, anyway. It's not bad, exactly. I've just lost all interest.

Dated 6 March 2017: Demi-chan wa Kataritai is a cool show


I wonder where they got the water.

SDS of Ogiue Maniax fame recently remarked that his circle of friends and co-workers "automatically gravitate towards pairings" and that they were skewing his perception of anime fandom. This struck me as somewhat odd, but the more I thought about it, the more I had to admit the practice is much more commonplace on, say, the Twitter, than I had noticed. Because I am not a 'shipper, I guess I never appreciated how prevalent 'shipping happens to be, and that fans who reflexively 'ship characters of shows they watch might respond with greater aversion to implications that I might ignore.

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Dated 27 February 2017: Welcome to welcome to Kemono Friends and the future of anime

Bag, Lucky, and Serval
Toonces, watch out!

If you've been paying attention to anime at all, you've noticed Kemono Friends exploded in the past month into an international phenomenon that's not entirely easy to explain. From the looks of it, it's popular because it's popular, but that's not to say this popularity is unjustified, because the show itself is quite good.

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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.