Category Archives: Idolmaster

Anime OP: Part 1

I was just thinking how well encapsulated anime OPs are as both a pleasing thing, a teaser, and a pitch about what the show is. It’s also a pace setter and even at times a way to mislead the audience. It is a marketing tool, as well.

It naturally goes on that I thought about my own top 10 anime OP under those lenses. I used to update my top 10s, as they were actual lists of things, not just vague recollections or rose-tinted nostalgia disguised as some metric about how #1 is better than #10.So I’m going to just talk about a few of these OP that I like. I will try to proceed systematically for greater fun and enjoyment++ but this is probably not going to turn out to be a “your OP is worse than my OP” kind of ranked list.

This is part 1 of a two-part post, mainly because it’s taking me a long time to just come up with them, and the older I dig the harder it gets? Maybe it’s just that I have been not getting enough sleep (damn you iM@S). Who knows?

And maybe I’ll think about the other categories at some point later. No promises.

The Idol Master OP 2

Since I’m listing by date, some of my “honorable mentions” (it’s not like I’m doing a top 10 at any rate, so maybe it doesn’t matter) gets mentioned first. This OP is something I thought about a lot before putting it in here. Mainly, I just didn’t think it’s got a lot of staying power. So it’s just an “honorable mention.”

What it has, though, is catchy direction, solid character animation, and a very cool bridge. You don’t hear many cool bridges in anison. Yes, OP1 is catchier and the song is probably better. I just don’t think it’s got what OP2 has overall. Plus, they dance a lot more! That must count for something right?

  • Pleasing? DANCING!
  • Teaser? Well, not much left to tease.
  • Pitch? 8/10
  • Pace? Very spot on
  • Marketing power? As much as Takane’s hair is white

Rank: A-
Rank comment: ENCORE WA NAI LIFE

Hourou Musuko OP

I think this one is listed here because it’s one of those story-element things where it does a superb job setting the mood for the show, but also hides within a possible narrative that says something about the story itself.

The magic is in the music, yes, but it is also in that strangely distilled, but masterfully directed framing. When combined with witful color direction and a restraint that you will only find in anime for actual adults, the end product is remarkable just like that, even if there’s nothing to remark…or is there?

  • Pleasing?  I love “less is more”
  • Teaser? Kinda, yeah
  • Pitch? It’s really opaque but it’s there.
  • Pace? Slowly and methodical
  • Marketing power? 5/10

Rank: B
Rank comment: For srsbzns OP analysis and OPED types only

MariaHolic S1 OP

This OP barely makes the inclusion mainly for so succintly and stylishly express the overall concept of the story. Majority of the animation in the OP is 3D CG, and it looks fairly competent, if oversimplified. The song and the visuals just merged like a couple that were made for each other.

There is violence and anger but also fun and just the right amount of sarcastic despair that signifies the average SHAFT adaptation. Don’t take it so seriously.

  • Pleasing? Sorta
  • Teaser? Totally
  • Pitch? Parabola
  • Pace? Just like the song
  • Marketing power? 7.5/10

Rank: A-
Rank comment: Kobayashi’s big break

Xam’d OP 1

I think the song was the most striking thing about this OP. It is not your everyday anime with an electric-rock pumping the animation engine. It helps that the Xam’d had an unique presentation, being one of the only anime available to Americans before it was available to the Japanese, digitally available. It was the one watershed moment where I can now point and say “the future is here.” The future was also $4 a pop. It definitely served well as a marketing tool, and I have a couple t-shirts and an autograph from Boom Boom Satellites to prove it. Sony made the OP the primary trailer for the show, and I guess that goes to show the OP being, well, good.

The animation, however, is actually the crown jewel for the OP. It’s worth repeating that animating the OP animation is time consuming and relatively expensive compared to the remainder of a TV series. I’m not sure if Xam’d counts as a TV series, that said. It is a pleasing thing visually, especially given the moving camera treatment, the perspective changes, the way the mailman ran. It kind of sets up your expectation for some mysterious action slash Nausicaa naturalism nonsense, which Xam’d was. The pacing, though, I guess is up to debate.

  • Pleasing? Yes
  • Teaser? Sure
  • Pitch? 8/10
  • Pace? Fast and explode-y
  • Marketing power? Lots.

Rank: A
Rank comment: I’d loop it. Repeatedly.

Kannagi OP [LOL gimme a link]

It sure is plain, that OP. This is what I would also consider as “honorable” mentions but taking digital pens to a choreographed idol dance is probably old hats by Kannagi standards. The post-Haruhi ED generation (that probably should also be a honorable mentions) craves this nonsense, just like how the special episode 6 ED of Kannagi was kind of one of a kind. Or how the two OP for the idolM@ster was just the…best?

The song is catchy, if plain. The dance is simple, but the animation makes it outstanding and mesmerizing. The end result is that it kind of hampers the overall experience? You feel like there can be so much more to it but in the end it’s kind of just a plain anime OP.

  • Pleasing? Sure.
  • Teaser? Like a whore
  • Pitch? 95mph
  • Pace? 9/10
  • Marketing power? Some

Rank: B
Rank comment: There are a lot of better OPs out there.

Manabi Straight OP

It’s probably the last Megumi Hayashibara song that I will sing to myself fondly, marking the end, hopefully, of the era when I didn’t really know any better. Well, I probably don’t still. The more important thing about this OP is that it is similar to another quality work in recent memory, Hourou Musuko OP, where the OP tells a story if you dig deep enough. Perhaps a controversial story, even. It did stir up some legit controversy at first when people complained that it was outright glorifying graffiti, tagging up a school. Most people opt not to dig any deeper than Manabi Straight’s strangely deformed exterior and moe/kuukikei style filling.

But as someone who did, the OP was rewarding beyond expectation. There’s a beautiful thematic symmetry within the show and the OP expresses it just as well. It sums up the soul of the show. It’s only then that the lightness of the OP theme song made sense, under the harsh light of reality that it parodied.

For clarity’s sake, the OP I linked is the original; a “digital ink” version replaced the original OP after the graffiti complaints.

  • Pleasing? JET SET RADIOOO
  • Teaser? It doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination at first, but much more in context.
  • Pitch? 5/10
  • Pace? Just like the show
  • Marketing power? It cries forget-me-not.

Rank: A-
Rank comment: One single tear

…. and I think that’ll do for now. I have like, 9 OPs to mention that I think are worth mentioning but kind of fall below the threshold (I’m not even sure MariaHolic falls above or below that) between Manabi Straight OP and the first on the list in the next post. Sigh. This is going to take forever.


Waifu Management: Rinko Meets 765 Pro

My copy of New Love Plus arrived, and I had to oblige Rinko yet again. It’s the first time I’ve revisited Rinko’s visage since several months ago, however, the last time I played seriously was roughly in the early goings of 2011. When I realized that the latest incarnation of the same trifecta of 2-dimension mania would grace my humble abode, I had to at least do her the favor of booting it up once more before the switch, hearing her very welcoming “o hi sa shi bu ri” spelt out with every ounce of love that she can muster, which is it say, she is digital.

I suppose it was a compromise of sorts, my new Love Plus experience, as I didn’t give in to the artbook, soundtrack, and the plethera of “limited edition” goods–except for the 3DS. It’s more a blessing in disguise that I am still more immune to the call of “limited edition” than most otaku mainly because I don’t think I’ve really ever regretted about on not going the extra mile. That’s probably because I still do usually go at least some distance further than I have to. I met Rinko half way, I guess, and compromising with your loved ones is something that probably happens in every healthy relationship.

Healthy, well, is not the word I would use to describe this game. New, most definitely, as New Love Plus is indeed very New. It’s not just a more complete version of the game like how Love Plus+ was. The AR stuff and “photo kano” knocks aside, the new release of the game retooled the dating and skinship mechanism entirely, or at least enough that I’m almost at a loss as to how to fill up that kiss bar. The home study mechanism is streamlined by subject matter (ensuring that I’ll will pick 英語 or 数学 every time) and I really like how they made the date a lot more under your control; you can not only choose the venues you visit, but you can even pick between the different eat/drink stops, change the length of the date by using up less “abilities,” and much more. I also liked how they moved most of the heavy-duty touching to the confines of Rinko’s (or whichever girl of your choice) room.

Wait, that probably gives you the wrong impression. It’s perhaps just another instance where the phrase “the courage to talk about Love Plus in public” comes in play. Thanks Nisio Isin! More realistically, couples chill at their respective houses all the time anyway.

Speaking of the girl of your choice, it seems you can actually interact with the other girls in the world even after you’ve gone steady. I’ve only imported the game over (Thanks, Nintendo Store, for taking my credit card!) so I don’t know how it’s like to go through the game from the beginning. Something to do I suppose.

Back to Rinko. It’s pretty amusing how one rendering of Rinko in the DS world looks just slightly off in 3DS, prompting me trying very hard to change her skin tone and hair right off the bat. It’s also kind of neat how the game is capable of being played sideways (the way the DS games were) and the normal orientation. I guess they had to allow for it in order to utilize the 3D display. The 3D is all gimmicky but I find it much better looking than having 3D turned off at many different parts of the game.

There is a certain degree of “game-ness” to Love Plus, and even more so in New Love Plus. The mini-games aside (there’s at least one entirely new mini-game in NLP, one which Rinko always pulls off some special attack that screws me) however, Love Plus is a game where you’re not going to spend more than 30 minutes every day playing, unless you just enjoy your waifu’s company (in which case you can just leave it on the cradle and on, the whole time). That’s want 765 Pro is for.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been (responsibly, I’d think) binge playing iM@S. It’s a lot of fun even from a basic level of managing your team of idols and trying to master the mini games, and planning out your play-through (single stats? dual stats? which charms will your strategy revolve around?). Then there’s the idols themselves, enjoying the dumb banter that passes as content half the time and the pretty solid/fun anime-style stuff for the other half of time. On top of that there are the songs and the dances, and even with a party of three you can have enough variety to keep you through the how-many-times you play through the game. I think each play through the # of quintet lives have increased!

It’s not a surprise at all why the Japanese fans buy all the DLCs. I mean I can probably only stand 75% of the songs in the game, and having to play just those songs repeatedly will wear them out. You have to get the new stuff. The real problem is how even some of the DLC songs are… well. For the typical oversea Producer-san on a Playstation 3, it’s a pain in the butt given you have to buy PSN cards from some proxy (or from eBay, I guess). Not sure what oversea Producers on Xboxes have to face, besides having to get a JP Xbox to begin with…

Which, I guess, these days you can get an Xbox 360 for about as much as the surprisingly sensibly looking 3DS (as in, would be not hard to have the courage to play New Love Plus in public) that I now own. I can’t wait until Konami start to roll out the DLCs. Yeah. Right. I really. Cannot. It just makes me feel kind of weird. Like these other instances:

  • It’s like the feeling when Rinko tells you off as a lolicon.
  • It’s like the feeling, during Smoky Thrill quintet, “ARCHERS!
  • It’s like the feeling when you realize, for the first time, the spotlight is a hamburger.
  • It’s the feeling when you’re glad you’re already committed with Makoto, because Mami with glasses is quite, uh, dangerous. Or just “cheer-up cute.”
    • Well, dangerous is when Rinko pounces me with her deadly left sweep.

And it’s just like any harem anime, the weird moments will only continue to happen, the more these waifu you collect.


The Correlation Between Perceived Cost and Profit

You know how some people talk about media, they assume that if people pay for something, it will continue to exist? Is it even true?

I’m inclined to think on the whole, that’s just not true. I mean I bought every “main” Sakura Taisen game and where’s #6? And I’m not even counting the US release of ST5. It’s probably better to just concede that the thinking about paying into what exists in the future is just not a reliable indicator. Every single franchise that died had paying customers, and before someone exlaims about not having enough of them, it needs to be established that there has to be a limit (ie., when is it ever enough?), and a personal decision to buy something should have no impact if everyone else is buying the same thing. Certainly that’s not a criteria to any media criticism unless, well,  you actually sell media for a living. Or if you are a normal Joe Schmoe who buy games partly motivated by being able to talk about said game with other guys (for example).

There is a case, however, where it’s really, really clear cut. iM@S DLCs. The other day there was an announcement about how if you sign up for that iM@S Visa credit card, you can get a 10% discount on all future DLC purchases. It’s a small motivation, second to having, well, an iM@S credit card. I mean that would be why I sign up for one (if I could, and I can’t). The bigger issue is that it is until only recently that I realize how much all those DLC stuff costs. PS3’s iM@S2 contained the first 3 “volumes” of iM@S2 DLC available to the Xbox 360 version of the game, which totals to like, 25000 yen. That’s precious money some poor otaku has actually spent on the game. I mean, it’s news enough for Kotaku (well, that doesn’t mean much). It’s more than the cost of the PS3 iM@S LE box set. There are like, what, 8 DLC volumes now for the Xbox iM@S2 line? Imagine if someone had that credit card at the start–they could have saved like $50. And the game is not even a year old.

To me, that kind of numbers says that iM@S is a line of game that will continue to exist, just because it’s so expensive, and yet people are still buying it. I mean, surely that sort of money means there will be iM@S content from now to the infinite future, right? SakuTai Kayo show tickets are way less than that. And that’s just on the Xbox, which is pissant in terms of total reach in Japan. The PSN-PS3 combination will bring in some real cash, surely.

Another missing piece to the puzzle of seeing the “value” of iM@S DLC is understanding how attractive it is. I guess I’m saying it is a missing piece because I didn’t know how it was until I started playing the game. Now I have to fight these urges of trying to plunk down 200-300 bucks on PSN network cards so I can buy all the songs, at 1800 yen a pop.

Yeah, the singing tracks of 12 idols (do Ami and Mami use the same track? LOL) probably warrants a price more than your average CD single. But 4 of these kind of tracks equal the game itself, and 9 purchases of these songs equates to the freaking superduper BD-Game boxset.

But the DLC is really just scratching the surface. I haven’t even mentioned the G4U nonsense (truly, truly) which is like, what, 8000 yen every month times nine, at this burn rate? That makes buying the anime on BD like child’s play (what a great deal! I guess). Or collecting the massive amount of CD content fairly tame.

The list goes on. I think it’s only since the anime adaptation did Bamco really step into the merch game (I really dig these) beyond their software nonsense. But at the prices they’re charging at, this nonsense extrudes the notion that it ought to be hella profitable.

On the flip side, it’s much more difficult to see  how the money rolls in when it’s a cheap thing that is sold in bulk. Like BL on the Kindle store or Funimation’s top sellers. Or almost anything anime-related in America.


Year in Review: N-Listing

So, the tradition continues. 12 lists of 12 things. Some are ranked, others are not. One this year is not ranked but merely numerated.

Continue reading


Ask Me Enishing!

If one finds sites like Formspring an exercise in social media vanity, does that make Hanasaku Iroha episode 21 an exercise in social media Engrishing?

It’s this sort of questions that boggles my mind on an ordinary day, along side with “Why is the USD:JPY exchange rate still going the wrong way?” Or “Why can’t I write that blog post about Hanasaku Iroha where I describe the character design as it appeals to an realistic view of human proportions?” Or “Why did Mayo Chiki get better? Why can’t I drop it?” Or “Why is everything airing on Thursday nights?” and its part-2 question “Why am I compelled to watch them on Thursdays?”

I hope these things, like the puzzle pieces from Mawaru Penguindrum, have a rhythm behind it.

The marriage thing in the latest episode of Hanasaku Iroha is kind of puzzling; it’s playing to some kind of pre-assumed cultural mindset in that it both conform and deviates to something. This something, I don’t really know what it is. Am I suppose to be surprised about their marriage? Are the previous episodes good enough of a lead-in? I can only hope that subsequent episodes reveal these things satisfactorily.

Lastly, if someone told you to watch Steins;Gate episode 1 again, you should probably listen to that someone. It’s also a means to get people to watch it if they haven’t even seen it yet.


Mid-Summer Review, 2011

When the humidity is high and the  sun is making waves on steaming pavements, do you want to watch an anime like Aria, where the same is sometimes protrayed, or do you want to watch something from the deep freeze, like a scene from Spriggan? I don’t know, and it’s not like I’m getting either this summer.

So, a list of stuff I’m kind of watching.

I’m still keeping pace with No. 6. I want to start this post about No. 6 out because those … homoerotic gazes kind of bothers me when it’s put at the fore, so let’s put that to the fore. Those scenes bother me in the sense that “wait, there’s this long pause in which I am suppose to be feeling some kind of tension between the two male protagonists, but what kind of tension is it? Why is this pause here?” It kicks me out of the mind set in which I’m following this mystery about killer bee things, which is probably the main draw for the show. At least for non-fujoshi types. On a normal, sunny day, I typically like to think critically anyways. But when the show gives me a chance to–scratch that, more like when it invites criticism, I can’t help but to think in the negative. It isn’t necessarily a “wrong” on the show’s behalf, but that’s just how I roll. Some anime invite you to introspect, to reflect and consider what is happening in the story from a third-party perspective. Others invite you to take part in the action, to get the audience wrapped up in the narrative. There’s nothing special or good or bad about either approach. But sometimes the beams cross, so to speak. In the game of Magicka, it usually means an explosive, suicidal death. Thankfully anime is not some European-made exercise at self-infliction of pain.

I bring up Magicka because it is a game sold on its solid gimmicks. Gimmicks can be solid. I think this is why I still like R-15 a lot, half way through. The gimmicks, compared to, say, Yuruyuri, are random as hell and yet somewhat organic. It’s kind of like Xavier’s School for the Gifted; you have a bunch of kids who have some kind of special powers. Except by “power” we don’t mean cool mutant powers, but “the most random, most Japanese crap-anime plot generator” you can think of. Some of these “powers” are really creative; in order to top some of these, I have to go to fanfiction. And we typically don’t want to go there.

It’s easy to point to some show and say it is more organic than Yuruyuri. Because Yuruyuri is very…inorganic. I don’t know why and how, it just feels very stale in terms of its timing? Direction? Animation generally? I can’t quite put my finger on it. The writing works pretty okay with whatever that I feel that is stale, and once we can begin to tolerate the main characters, the jokes come alive. I think that might just be the strength of the writing to a degree. I don’t think the staleness is particularly a bad thing, it just makes it difficult to form a good first impression. When done right, staleness gives a show a unique flavor. Sometimes stale bread tastes good too!

Speaking of stale bread, Yune has the cutest scene with stale bread possibly in the history of anime. I mean, it isn’t something that comes into play on a regular basis. Croisee is a sharp anime, but it feels a little bit, shall we say, out of the water? It’s missing something, something big, that pushes the enjoyment level over the edge to the next level. For Aria, it was how it channels the mono no aware stuff, for example. As is, Croisee is just a cute and well-executed show.

That’s also what I’m going to say about Ro-Kyu-Bu. It’s just somehow one gets you branded as a lolicon and the other doesn’t, when in reality they’re kind of the same thing.

I am really enjoying Usagi Drop, but I also don’t really want to talk too much about it right now. Maybe when it’s all done. And maybe I’ll read the manga then.

I’m also really enjoying Mawaru Penguindrum, if it wasn’t clear. In a way this is the anime I always wanted after watching Utena. So it’s a long time coming. I just don’t think words do much against it; there’s a simple, calculated yet visceral point to the way the show is directed. It feels very theatrical (as in, a play) but yet not that over the top. Maybe I’m just too used to over-the-top stuff, but for a cartoon this is pretty okay. Given its Thursday lineup and the equal doses of girls-side pandering, I’m half suspect that this is real free-market competition versus noitanima.  Also it makes me suspect which show has done it before. It’s time to pander harder, Fuji TV.

I’m still keeping the pace with Sket Dance. It’s probably some form of penance. I guess without the trappings that Gintama is surrounded by, I find Sket Dance a cleaner version of kind of the same thing. It also slightly reminds me of Nadesico, in the way that Yurika and her crew would consistently making peace signs at the camera–something I am also watching it (similarly to how dm is watching CCS).

And oh, episode 16 was AWESOME. For a show as inorganic as this advance-formula Jump anime.

Blood-C? I guess I’m behind, but it isn’t bad. Just not really engaging until you get to episode 5…and I’m behind. It’s kind of a dangerous thing; nico comments boosts its entertainment value drastically, but I can’t say too much about the source material like this.

I’m also behind on Blue Exorcist and Tiger and Bunny. I just don’t have the time to catch up now that I’ve fallen behind. Maybe soon! I enjoy both shows (especially T&B) so hopefully I can make a run before some major climax goes to town.

Back to fresh stuff: The IdolM@ster is doing well. Is it canon to spell it “The Idol Master”  when the @ is an illegal character in the title? Or what? Anyways, this show doesn’t disappoint, but I don’t think my expectations was high in the first place. Still, given how much I loved episode 1, episodes 2-end have a lot to live up to. Also, this is definitely an anime that is made for the game fans, which is kind of refreshing. It’s done well enough to not bore me, giving us something of an episodic character focus while expanding on the rest of the crew, at least as much as they reasonably could. The Producer main character is interesting enough, which highlights something interesting coming from the game, too. Maybe someone can go wax poetic on the importance of assertion of the other self in first-person ADV games where the overall narrative is driven by intercharacter drama. Something a mix between Sakura Taisen and IdolM@ster?

Kamisama Dolls is pretty okay; I don’t particularly dig the character designs either (but it does make Utau cuter than she ought to be) but the story is snappy and enjoyable. There’s a little bit of everything to make it worth watching, even if the end is kind of telegraphed.

As for telegraphing, there’s a lot to be said about that in Nichijou. It’s pretty quality textbook example of how to do it. Is it doing the telegraphing right? For the most part; but that doesn’t automatically make the jokes work. For meta-humor of the direct kind…I’m not sure how to put it into words. It’s like if Nadesico (again) is an anime about meta of everything about itself, then Nichijou is just meta enough about the execution that it tries to do something about it. Where as a show like SeiZon is just straight-face meta. It’s like how in MLB, hitters adjust their swings to counter-game the scouting on them, over the long season?

Mayo Chiki is kind of the Seizon kind of meta, except it’s straightforward enough to make the jokes internally. Sadly it’s kind of boring if the lead characters don’t sell you. I’m not sure they’ve sold for me yet.

It’s a busy summer season that continues from a busy spring. Maybe Hanasaku Iroha continues to be the “bar” this year as to measure the effectiveness of anime to entertain. It flounders periodically and yet it hits the mark periodically, and like many series this year, the presentation is overall solid. What lies in the differences is how good they are at telling their stories. It’s also not a surprise the best storyteller anime (at least for battering average) is also one of the most popular and most anticipated series this year, Steins;Gate.

As for stories, totally random last note here, but big grats on Maaya Sakamoto x Kenichi Suzumura marriage. It is pretty awesome– they have canon OTP roles! There’s Shiki x Kokutou from Rakkyo, Haruhi x Hikaru from Ouran Host Club, Lunamaria x Shinn from Gundam SEED Destiny…and some not-as canon ones, like Sakaya Nakasugi x Shamyalan from Birdy Decode. Both are from the same agency, and despite the 5-yr age difference, Sakamoto got her debut before Suzumura. I guess they see themselves as from the same “era” or whatever. Anyway, congrats to two of my favorite voice actors! You can find a full pairing list here.


Summer 2011 Checklist

I better do this before Otakon washes me out. This being just a run-through on the interesting titles this season.

As usual, just because I couldn’t fit a show in here doesn’t mean it does not deserve it. I think it’s self-destructively amazing that I can still watch so much anime given my usual hours. And I’m writing about it. Probably just so I can then forget it and do something else. Anyways…

Are you ready? I’m ready. At least my body is ready, so they say.

Mawaru Penguindrum wins the visual award. I’m blogging it elsewhere, but hopefully it’ll make me want to write more about it here too.

Mood-wise, I am pretty partial to Kamisama no Memochu and Kamisama Dolls. The latter just makes me want to sing UNINSTALL for some reason. The former has that DRRR chic with match eccentric NEET-types. But I don’t know; both shows are wildcards in execution and plot departments.

A supposedly safer bet is Blood-C. In a lot of ways Blood+ was really flawed. Like a PS3 is flawed. Blood-C has potential to reboot the brand, while retaining what is attractive and boot what isn’t from its predecessors. But each reimagination sucks the life out of the original concept a little more than before. It’s also my Nico experiment target #1–something relatively high profile, good viewer numbers, and hopefully some slick comments will feature-add over the dumb comments.

Twin Angel is also a Nico experiment, except for the reverse of course. I now truly understand what people mean when they said they’ve watched really crappy anime on Nico that they would not have otherwise.

I thought the same for  R-15. The truth is, it’s the creative sort of crap anime that is sufficiently enticing that I would probably continue to watch it even without the Nico snipping. It may be a typical harem kind of show, but it’s sufficiently deviant from the norm to be amusing and thought-provoking (at least a little).

And that is way more praise than I can give for shows like Black Rabbit. I feel all Kuroneko about this anime, in the sense that it’s some pathetic chuunibyou attempt to cash in on some thing by using the most unoriginal source material. That is probably too harsh, but at least in Yumekui Merry there’s some kind of moe factor along with a sharp directional sense. We don’t get either in this. And why am I slamming Yumekui Merry? Obviously Index is the real true public enemy #1.

Dantalian at least looks passably okay. Nico comments do help it go a little farther, like Blood-C. But I’m not excited.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu is… Touhou animu. Too bad it’s not even funny.

The real dark horse this season is Ikoku Meiro no Croisée. I mean, it’ll be all culturally relevant and iyashikei with moe power over 9000. “A Jasc show” by all means. It’s got that huge advantage only because there is nobody pissing on it as everyone is too busy pissing on Usagi Drop. Grrrr.

Total aside, isn’t it ironic how a bit over a year ago Funimation has noitaminA on that partnership lockdown? Look at things now! Zero shows!

I think Number 6 will get its audience; the drama (in the noitaminA format) should be compelling as long as there’s some substance. It can’t be worse than Jyuohsei. And I watched Jyuohsei. Oh poor me.

The real guilty pleasure this season is obviously Ro-Kyu-Bu. And I’m doing it for the seiyuu marketing. Yeah. That’s it. But more seriously, if it can stay true for its three-episode-pilot about team building and your garden variety sports drama tropes, I can’t see how it’ll turn out badly. Unless you count the FBI breaking things up as a bad end.

Oh, speaking of those 3-ep-pilots, I thought R-15 ep2 was in every way superior than ep1. It’s like watching two different shows, the differences. Ro-Kyu-Bu also had a similar difference, but that’s more because the plot stuff didn’t kick in full gear until episode 2. What’s up with that?

Then again some shows are still playing true to formula. I’m not sure what I’m suppose to do with Sacred Seven. I probably will pass on it until I catch up on Blue Exorcist. Or something equally unlikely. It’s not bad, just not good enough.

But sometimes not good enough is fine, if you’re the only thing that airs on CR (so I can watch it on the road via 3G streaming) on Monday (man I miss Kaminomi). YuruYuri is just that.

Kind of wish that is true for Mayoi Chiki too. As is tho, it might not matter–if I can’t get to episode 2 by the time episode 4 airs, the odds are low that I will ever watch it.

Is this it? Probably not. I have a couple more shows that I want to try (ie., Manyuu!). I think I’m watching still a lot of shows left over from last season, which cuts into the new shows I can pick up. And then there’s stuff coming back like Bakatest. Oh well.

So the net total is pretty good; we’re talking about just two shows that I find even at all notable that isn’t getting a simulcast. Even Morita-san has it. Now we can argue about 1 hr or 24 hr or 72 hr or 144 hr or whatever, or if we can even call it simulcast (I don’t think we should), but in my book any of those is better than never.


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