Anime Roundup — January 2017

Let’s make this more of a monthly thing for now, shall we?

So I spent the last few days catching up on a bunch of this season’s shows. Honestly, I think I’m going to stick with the monthly watch in terms of anime for a little while as I’d rather burn through them at once, but at the same time I’m still keeping up with a bunch of bad shows and would rather digest them in manageable chunks. Plus it gives me an excuse to not participate in weekly discussions, which isn’t a bad fan hobby, but sometimes people take it way too far. Especially on Reddit.

Just to remind you guys, I’m not watching a good chunk of this season’s big anime (Kobayashi Dragon Maid, Little Witch Academia, Rakugo S2, Konosuba, Tanya the Evil Dictator) due to the fact that they belong to genres I’m incapable of saying anything about, let alone enjoying. Also, I haven’t caught up on Onihei, Scum’s Wish, or Hand Shakers as of this time of writing. I’ll get to them later, but right now I’m not in the mood to see how they’ve progressed. What can I say? My priorities are shot.

Akiba’s Trip: The Animation

Like the video game I just reviewedAkiba’s Trip: The Animation’s main problem is that the stripping combat is absolute ass (when it bothers to show up) and the otaku satire is pathetically shallow. All of it boils down to “oh they like military”, “oh they like idols”, “oh our audience has no life”, and all I can say in response is “uh…so? Also, I don’t care about military or idol stuff, so how about picking a trend I enjoy like video games?”. Without the satire as a crutch, the plot is pretty much non-existent, the characters are shallow stereotypes, and Gonzo’s awful production values/presentation aren’t exactly helping matters. Yawn.

Masamune-kun no Revenge

Energetic, but predictable and very toothless to boot. I know that’s to be expected given it’s a light novel adaptation, but let’s ignore that for the moment (and let’s also ignore the stupid twists I read on Wikipedia) and just groan at how this show wastes the concept of a guy getting into shape due to a girl bullying him by making multiple girls fall in love with him, along with said girls being totally lame to boot due to their stupid blushing habits. Why can’t anime writers come up with characters in relationships who have real problems?

Seiren

I guess the idea of the first arc isn’t bad, but the actual narrative is so dry and bare-bones that it’s hard to summon enthusiasm for what happens to these characters. Plus, I’ve never been a fan of these omnibus formats, so I’m not really looking forward to how the main dude will suddenly be in love with one of the girls for the next few weeks.

Rewrite S2

Admittedly it’s not as bad as the first season, but Rewrite still fails due to its over-complicated plot that makes Square Enix look like Spike Chunsoft, its inability to mesh anime cliches with serious storytelling, and its lackluster production values. Seriously, did anyone feel any tension from the climactic battle last week given the lame action and how we’ve seen these characters die like ten times by now with no consequence?

Fuuka

Of all the shows I’m watching so far, this seems like the worst. The romance is not only childish, it’s also painfully padded due to the characters saying or doing the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time, along with “forgiveness” apparently not being an endearing trait to the audience for Fuuka. Also, how am I supposed to relate to this Twitter dude when he has girls falling for him left and right over the most convenient of reasons combined with his unnatural ability to grope them in the most forced of circumstances? And just to hammer things in, the music aspect is also crap. Everyone just happens to be conveniently talented and we don’t see any actual practicing. In a world where Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, Nodame Cantabile, and Sound Euphonium exists, this half-hearted musical tale doesn’t fly.

Chaos;Child

From what I’ve heard, the fans of the original visual novel admit this isn’t a very good adaptation of the source material. They also think the new Rewrite is good, so take that for what it’s worth, but regardless of comparisons, Chaos;Child is really boring. The only interesting aspect to it is the whole Internet thing, but too much time is spent on these bland characters circling around a vague mystery that it can’t be allowed to shine. Just another lackluster visual novel adaptation.

ACCA: The 13th District

Here’s my big problem with ACCA once you disregard the cold presentation, the flavorless dialogue, and the banal slice-of-antics: everything that happens in it, you can say about any government story ever, real or fictional. It’s not like a John LeCarre film adaptation where the spy antics are centered on real locations and politics, which in turn drive the characters’ motivations. ACCA is a fictional government, and yeah I notice the British uniforms and all, but the connection to British government is so loose (especially considering you could easily compare this apparently corrupt dictator to Trump, along with the coups to the numerous protests we’re having in the states at the moment) that it doesn’t matter. Where’s the flavor? The deep political metaphors? The personal problems regarding the balance of work and social life? Something to Jean besides the fact that he smokes cigarettes and has the emotions of a robot? I don’t expect a fucking cartoon to have an answer for government problems, but you have to at least acknowledge them in a way that a normal sixteen-year old wouldn’t be aware of.

Minor Quips

  • With both ACCA and Taboo, I’m really wondering how people can overlook slow pacing just because the presentation is confident.
  • Yes Fuuka readers, I know what happens later, but this is the anime. I’m only interested in what’s happening in it now.
  • Aside from the main character being a relatable otaku, what exactly does Dragon Maid have besides the cute girls?

15 responses to “Anime Roundup — January 2017

  1. >Aside from the main character being a relatable otaku, what exactly does Dragon Maid have besides the cute girls?

    In the KyoAni adaptation? Nothing, really. Some dry humor once in a while. The manga has a bit more of a twisted vibe to it. Not to a huge degree, but enough to give it an off-kilter vibe that KyoAni have reduced to a “cute girls” sludge. I’m just wondering if they’ll avoid all the more.. odd aspects of the manga or not. Seems likely at this rate.

    • I don’t even like Azumanga Daioh, so hearing that there’s some off-kilter humor that may or may not be coming isn’t enough to get me interested. Doubt Maid Dragon has anything on the level of Chiyo’s father.

      • No, it’s more weird than quirky. For instance, chapter 29 gets surprisingly risque, in the way that I can see surprising lots of viewers (if I thought KyoAni had the nards to animate something like that).

      • I wouldn’t necessarily blame them for not animating that particular bit. Not really their(Kyoani’s) target audience. Might cause some issues, too, and would definitely put people off of the series in general. Said chapter is not surprising at all if you look up the author.

        That said, such issues were inevitable with choosing to adapt something like Maid Dragon, given the magazine it was published in.

    • Can’t really agree. It’s still a decent show with nice interactions. Obviously not something Flawfinder would like, but that’s fine. The adaptation is tamer, I will admit, but some of the risque stuff feels like fanservice for no other reason than to fill a quota. It does work sometimes, though. So I don’t mind them not touching on it.

      And there are still undercurrents of darker aspects to each of the Dragons.

      • I’m just surprised by how well it’s gone over with the community. I remember a lot of people thinking it was going to be another Phantom World when it got announced, but boy did that pre-opinion get flipped when the actual product showed up.

      • Phantom World’s issue, from what I’ve read, was that it had its head stuck up its own butt in terms of the promised premise. Something like that. It was all pretty, no substance or character. Maid Dragon has the benefit of at least having fun characters, and not pretending to be something it isn’t. It had modest expectations, so it easily lived up to them and people kinda enjoyed it.

      • Phantom World actually does the same “modest expectation/not pretending to be something it wasn’t” thing after the first two episodes, but people weren’t exactly going to stick around that long, plus the premise still managed to fool them afterwards when it was clear during the incident in the teddy bear world that it was just aiming to be a standard comedy show. Not a great one admittedly, but people complaining about a plot that never existed in the first place was confusing.

  2. I have to agree with Fuuka. I kind of thought at episode 2 that the show might find its feet but then it got worse. I’m done with it for the season.
    ACCA on the other hand I’m really enjoying. I’m not looking for a message about government but really just enjoying seeing the world and the intrigue take shape with Jean at the centre of everything and yet also slightly removed from it. I know it isn’t for everyone, but I’m being very entertained by it at the moment and there isn’t a lot else this season to get in to.

    • One thing I had in my ACCA argument that I had to remove due to the latest episode making things happen (sort of) was that the show has a bit of slice-of-life overload. It shifts from conversations about government to banal dialogue over chips to Jean’s cigarettes to topics that may or may not be related to the coup, and all I can think is “uh, what do half of these conversations have to do with the setting?”

      But yeah, the presentation isn’t for me. I don’t even like any of the Ghost in the Shell adaptations for the exact same reasons, although I do think ACCA’s world is kinda underdeveloped even by those standards due to the lack of detail regarding the government’s practices. If it does that later, then I’ll consider giving it a passing grade.

      • There is definitely a lot of conversation to take in during those first episodes and without knowing what is significant and what isn’t a few people have found it hard to take. Again, I’ve been intrigued so I’m loving relistening and watching to scenes trying to see if I missed something in it but I will be terribly disappointed if the show ends up going nowhere.

    • Also, I think Jean is dull. His expression never changes, he doesn’t have any real personal stake regarding events that doesn’t seem arbitrary, nobody seems to challenge his personality, and I don’t know a thing about him besides he likes to smoke cigs and has a sister.

    • I’m pretty sure the screentime where James actually started to take action in the latest episode (stealing the saltpepper, killing that one assassin) didn’t even reach the ten-minute mark. The show is going to have to work really hard in that 2nd half to make it all worth it, Steins;Gate-style. Otherwise it’ll just be like Westworld again.

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