Spring 2014 Anime

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 8 Jun 2014 - 15:23

@Awinnell wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:
@taerkitty wrote:Oh, ow.  Brynhildr did it again to me.

As for me, I'm out. They would not commission a new OP for a show with 2 or 3 more episodes left, so I have to assume this is actually going to be 24-26 episodes and not 12-13. And if this show is going the route I believe it is, it's not for me.
This seasons only supposed to be 13 episodes long, Valkyria, the new girl introduced this episode, is kind of important to the series

Weird that they would commission a new OP, then.

In that case, I guess I'll slog though the rest of it, but have to say in general the more I have seen the less I have been impressed.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Wed 11 Jun 2014 - 2:45

Seeing as we've seen her and Neko duel it out with massive urban-renewal-level splash damage in the old OP this long, I've been waiting for her.  I'm just curious how they'll add in the other two or three that show up with her in those brief glimpses with only a few episodes left.

===

Switching to Black Bullet for a while.

Whoa.  This show almost didn't make the train.  It was a last-minute "Eh, I don't feel like these shows.  Let's see what this Black Bullet is all about."

First episode, frankly, sucked.  Over the top action.  Very thin excuses for inter-character interaction.  Almost punted it.

Actually, I did, until some *cough*Alfisti*cough* mentioned that there was a possible analog to my beloved deathclock in this show.

It's had some excellent moments (and some real dogs), but episode 10 nearly broke me into tears.  Actually, my eyes did 'leak'.  More than a little bit.

Inbetween the rom-com and the we're-too-broke humour, mixed in the over-the-top action and excessive over-emoting, there's a lot of what I like in a story: decent people trying to live up to their personal creed, no matter how sucktastic the world surrounding them.

===

Brynhildr isn't nearly as focused.  It does lay honor at the power of friendship, of an innocent's wish to somehow save the world.  However, he's just too naive, too terminally clueless for me to embrace the show as strongly as I do Black Bullet.

That's not to say Brynhildr isn't without it's moments.  It too has two absolutely stellar moments that laud friendship, though both do it with heroic sacrifices.  Yes, it's cliche.  Yes, it's sappy. 

Yes, it got me crying.

I have two shows that hit me where it counts - extolling the better side of humanity.  Mere tragedy doesn't move me so much as what a good person does in that situation, either as the survivor or the sacrificial lamb to the Almighty Plot.

This is a good season.  In fact, this is a great season.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Thu 12 Jun 2014 - 23:47

Mid Season Update.  Not a complete list of what I've been watching but it covers some of the better shows.

Coffin Princess Chiaka has for the most part been serviceable but not great, however the latest episode really kicked things up a notch.  The question of course is how things are going to play out from here.  The series will be getting a second season in the Fall, so are they just hiking thing up a bit for the end of this season, or is this a sign that we're finally getting into the meat of the story?
Nanana's Buried Treasure also kicked things up a notch with its latest episode.  Overall that show has a certain charm to it, but unfortunately it can also be a bit of a confusing mess to try and follow.
No Game No Life is a very mixed bag.  Some of Sora's gambits are pretty interesting -even awesome.  On the other hand, the show also has a lot of otaku pandering that can be pretty eye rolling at times.
The World is Still Beautiful has had its ups and downs but at this point its back in my good books.
Captain Earth, while not perfect, is generally pretty solid and is my current pick for best of season.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 15 Jun 2014 - 8:38

All caught up with Captain Earth and despite five more episodes, I only have a bit more understanding of what's going on aside from that one glasses douche getting pwnd by Emo Git and Chesty Loli over there. Regardless, this series is solid and I'm gonna stick with it as the character development is superb. So good in fact that I am entirely invested in wanting to know how they turn out.

Now I'm on to the second place recommended series Black Bullet, wish me luck.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sun 15 Jun 2014 - 9:37

Good luck!

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Mon 16 Jun 2014 - 11:59

Two episodes into Black Bullet and damn does this show comes heavy with them feels early.

So far I'm drawing a strong resemblance to Hidan no Aria, the action sequences and humor in particular. However the dramatic feel of the show seems a bit of a tribute to X-Men, specifically from the 1960's.

The tension between Kisara and Rentaro is sweet, yet ominous at the same time. As if there's more to the two of them then what was so far revealed in their past and most likely has something to do with one or the others present state.

The relationship/partnership between Rentaro and Enju so far is half of the equation in me thinking this one might be a keeper. Not only is it diabeetus inducing, but after the second episode you can practically feel how much they care for each other, especially in how Rentaro despises those who regard the Cursed Children as anything less than human.

The other half of the equation is the antagonist(who's name I seemed to have forgotten at the moment). Through his actions and lines, he comes across as a man who has nothing to lose and everything to gain. As a result he appears to be potentially less of a direct antagonist and either more of a puppeteer working to assemble his pieces before enacting his master plan or as someone who knows what the real deal is and is working to fight against it.

Regardless...things are looking good so far. Good storytelling don't fail me now.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Mon 16 Jun 2014 - 15:19

Episode 10 made kitty cry...

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Wed 18 Jun 2014 - 12:31

Alrighty now...

Six Episodes into Black Bullet and I must say that even after the loss of a quite unique antagonist, the show seems to be going strong. So far a new and potentially more dangerous antagonist has made himself known and the show now seems to be taking cues from Dance in the Vampire Bund.

Also despite going the Dr. Who route and having smaller arcs within a bigger saga, this show just keeps coming with the tension. Whether it's the fact that some of the main players might not be around for much longer due to reasons not their own, or the fact that Rentaro as the black sheep in life (no, really) seems to be the only one with the skill, heart, and drive to save them all; the emotional hits just keep on coming.

On the home stretch with a few more episodes to go before catching up and arriving at determination time. Gonna be crossing my fingers in hope that this show doesn't go south.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Wed 18 Jun 2014 - 16:38

Going south is a subjective judgement, but Black Bullet has become the show I most anticipate each week.

That said, the show still annoys me almost every episode with its forced humor. On the positive side, there isn't any fan service, or not enough for me to notice.

I'm at ep 11, and I'm going to miss it when it concludes in 2 more episodes.

At least there's the scanlated Manga...

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 19 Jun 2014 - 9:28

I intensely disliked how the characters were presented in the first episode of Black Bullet to the point I was pretty much ready to stop. However, I watched the next four episodes and they held together a fair bit stronger.

Not much of a fan of Enju Aihara, but she doesn't annoy me to the level Chaika did in Chaika: The Coffin Princess. And I have liked the other Cursed Children introduced so far (Kayo and Tina).

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Thu 19 Jun 2014 - 9:34

Same here.  First episode was a total dud.  Alfisti brought me back to the fold by hinting that
Spoiler:
the Cursed Children initiators had something that's equivalent to a deathclock

As with most things, I blame Alfisti.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 19 Jun 2014 - 22:28

@taerkitty wrote:Episode 10 made kitty cry...

It made me want to rage-quit.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Fri 20 Jun 2014 - 2:10

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@taerkitty wrote:Episode 10 made kitty cry...

It made me want to rage-quit.

While it didn't make me cry I can honestly say that I can empathize with the rage-quit ethos as it was a pretty damn fucked up attempt to inspire sympathy for the Cursed Children to the viewer. I mean I can understand that the world of Black Bullet is a fucked up world and thus needs to be portrayed as such; going THAT far in mindless violence is just a cheap-shot of near epic proportion.

Personally; I would've went with heroic death. Rentaro gets cornered by the Gastrea with him and Enju having slim odds of surviving being separated from their group. Enter the Cursed Children class with homemade costumes mimicking the "Tenchu Girls" (considering that Enju would've shown the girls the DVDs in this continuity) and they go on the assault against the Gastrea allowing Rentaro and Enju to rejoin their group. Now say the defense succeeds and the Monolith is officially commencing to be built to 'proper' specifications.

Rentaro and Enju then look long and hard for the Cursed Children that helped them escape. What they find is that the Gastrea have been eliminated in the small area, pieces of their remains everywhere. However, they find only one remaining child. That child then tells Rentaro and Enju that the ones who didn't die in the battle had contracted too much Gastrea poison. So one by one they commit suicide or help others in their euthanasia so that they wouldn't hurt anybody; especially Rentaro, Enju, or Tina.  She is the last one left, but only because she is too small and has become too weak to finish herself off. Rentaro prepares to finish her, but Enju suddenly steps in. Stating that this was her last chance to say goodbye to the girls who she could call her 'true' friends(harkening to Enju's treatment from her peers in her previous school). And with her last words, the girl says, "Rentaro-sensei...Enju-kun...aishteru..." and with that Enju ends the little girl. Afterward, Enju begs Rentaro to talk to Seitenshi about erecting a memorial for the girls sacrifice with Rentaro agreeing. After all; with the Tokyo-area once again safe due in no small part to the Cursed Children, they are owed this much.

Now THAT is how you inspire sympathy for the Cursed Children. That alone could've been an extra two episodes easy!

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Alfisti on Fri 20 Jun 2014 - 2:54

@boomer_gonz wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:
@taerkitty wrote:Episode 10 made kitty cry...

It made me want to rage-quit.

While it didn't make me cry I can honestly say that I can empathize with the rage-quit ethos as it was a pretty damn fucked up attempt to inspire sympathy for the Cursed Children to the viewer. I mean I can understand that the world of Black Bullet is a fucked up world and thus needs to be portrayed as such; going THAT far in mindless violence is just a cheap-shot of near epic proportion.

Personally; I would've went with heroic death. Rentaro gets cornered by the Gastrea with him and Enju having slim odds of surviving being separated from their group. Enter the Cursed Children class with homemade costumes mimicking the "Tenchu Girls" (considering that Enju would've shown the girls the DVDs in this continuity) and they go on the assault against the Gastrea allowing Rentaro and Enju to rejoin their group. Now say the defense succeeds and the Monolith is officially commencing to be built to 'proper' specifications.

Rentaro and Enju then look long and hard for the Cursed Children that helped them escape. What they find is that the Gastrea have been eliminated in the small area, pieces of their remains everywhere. However, they find only one remaining child. That child then tells Rentaro and Enju that the ones who didn't die in the battle had contracted too much Gastrea poison. So one by one they commit suicide or help others in their euthanasia so that they wouldn't hurt anybody; especially Rentaro, Enju, or Tina.  She is the last one left, but only because she is too small and has become too weak to finish herself off. Rentaro prepares to finish her, but Enju suddenly steps in. Stating that this was her last chance to say goodbye to the girls who she could call her 'true' friends(harkening to Enju's treatment from her peers in her previous school). And with her last words, the girl says, "Rentaro-sensei...Enju-kun...aishteru..." and with that Enju ends the little girl. Afterward, Enju begs Rentaro to talk to Seitenshi about erecting a memorial for the girls sacrifice with Rentaro agreeing. After all; with the Tokyo-area once again safe due in no small part to the Cursed Children, they are owed this much.

Now THAT is how you inspire sympathy for the Cursed Children. That alone could've been an extra two episodes easy!
Oddly enough, that is sort of what I was expecting the series to do, or something similar. The monolith goes down, the defenders find themselves out-gunned and with their backs to the wall, enter the cursed children to save the day, the first steps toward reconciliation begin, and I would have been happy with that, but...


...to be honest, I preferred the pointless death: it darkened the series significantly, makes the "heroes" question whether the city is worth protecting at all, and I'll be interested if that effects them in the upcoming episodes (I certainly hope so... not watched ep11 yet). Either way, for me at least, the pointless deaths gave the series significantly more credibility than the girls going down heroically would have. This way I think I'm more satisfied with the it as a whole. Put it another way: taking this path it's given itself a chance not being thrown into my mental "light entertainment cheese" folder.

Might have something to do with the fact that stunning heroics don't do much to make me sympathise or empathise with a character either.  sweat

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 20 Jun 2014 - 8:27

@Alfisti wrote:..to be honest, I preferred the pointless death: it darkened the series significantly, makes the "heroes" question whether the city is worth protecting at all, and I'll be interested if that effects them in the upcoming episodes (I certainly hope so... not watched ep11 yet). Either way, for me at least, the pointless deaths gave the series significantly more credibility than the girls going down heroically would have. This way I think I'm more satisfied with the it as a whole. Put it another way: taking this path it's given itself a chance not being thrown into my mental "light entertainment cheese" folder.

Since you have not seen Episode 11, I shall post this with spoiler tags:

Spoiler:

It has absolutely no effect. They just ignore it and move on. 

And that really honked me off. Because it makes the deaths pointless. Their deaths don't advance the story in any way. As boomer noted, it's just the writers putting their fist up my ass and trying to work me like a muppet.

It didn't darken the series for me. It cheapened it.

 
I knew something bad was going to happen in Episode 10 based on taerkitty's comment and I was really afraid they were going to kill Tina. I love her and my motto for this show is "No Sprout? Than I am out." But once Rentaro took the girls on the field trip and they all said they loved him, I was afraid this might happen.

So when Rentaro and Enju were walking toward the school and I saw the cops and the tape, I was like "you lazy, talentless hacks."

"Oh look at us! We're so edgy!"

No, you're just lame.

I was damn near ready to take a page from The Stig and walk away. I'm already watching Brynhildr under duress ( a show that also suffers from ham-fisted attempts at invoking "feels" from it's audience) and I'd rather not have to do the same with Black Bullet.

I do agree that having the Cursed Children die heroically would not have been a path I'd been impressed with. Instead, we could have had Kentaro, Enju, Kisara and Tina with their backs against the wall during the defense of Monolith 32 and Rentaro could have rallied them by reminding them they need to live so they can get back to their friends at the school.

Or if you want to kill them in a way that actually has meaning, when they detect that element of Gastrea trying to flank them, rather than make the decision to run off an engage them, have Rentaro ask permission from Gado's son and be denied. He then has to make a decision to disobey orders or stay and in the end he stays. The next day, after the battle, he learns that those Gastrea made their way to where the school was and the JSDF finally stopped them by calling in an air strike - with the girls unfortunate collateral damage. Then rather than having Rentaro coerced in going alone to engage Pleiades to save his adjuvant, he would have done it out of a feeling of guilt for not following his gut and to ensure that nothing bad happens to Kisara, Enju and Tina.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Fri 20 Jun 2014 - 9:01; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Alfisti on Fri 20 Jun 2014 - 8:53

Well, I have seen ep11 now and...

Spoiler:
...yeah, not happy that there so far does not appear to have been any roll-on effect from episode 10. I'm certainly not saying the execution of it was perfect, far from, but I was hoping it would, I dunno, mark a change of tone for the rest of the show? Be used to add an extra layer or two? Part of me is still hoping that something will come of it, especially with Enju's expression so dead when she came out of the identification room, but it's a fading hope.

The collateral damage angle is a good one though. Taer can probably tell us how true this current approach is staying to the manga. In many ways I'm finding Black Bullet horribly frustrating: it gets so close to making something of itself over and over again, before seeming to chicken out and return to satiating the lowest common denominator.

I'll still be watching next week though.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 20 Jun 2014 - 9:04

Spoiler:

@Alfisti wrote:Well, I have seen ep11 now and...

..yeah, not happy that there so far does not appear to have been any roll-on effect from episode 10. I'm certainly not saying the execution of it was perfect, far from, but I was hoping it would, I dunno, mark a change of tone for the rest of the show? Be used to add an extra layer or two? Part of me is still hoping that something will come of it, especially with Enju's expression so dead when she came out of the identification room, but it's a fading hope.

When Doctor Moroto noted that that "Enju is a lot stronger than we think. She'll be fine" I knew that we'd not be re-visting it.

@Alfisti wrote:In many ways I'm finding Black Bullet horribly frustrating: it gets so close to making something of itself over and over again, before seeming to chicken out and return to satiating the lowest common denominator.

Watching shows like this really makes me appreciate shows like the first Gunslinger Girl series or Another where the writers execute perfectly with none of the nonsense or bullshit we see in so many shows now. I know that baloney is there to appeal to the otaku and get them to buy the Blu-rays, but when you've seen it done right, it grinds my gears a bit when I see it not done right.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Sat 21 Jun 2014 - 0:00

@Kiskaloo wrote:I intensely disliked how the characters were presented in the first episode of Black Bullet to the point I was pretty much ready to stop. However, I watched the next four episodes and they held together a fair bit stronger.

Not much of a fan of Enju Aihara, but she doesn't annoy me to the level Chaika did in Chaika: The Coffin Princess. And I have liked the other Cursed Children introduced so far (Kayo and Tina).

Personally, I found Enju's blatant obsession with trying to get in her big brother figure's pants vastly more annoying than Chaika's broken speech patterns.  I really don't like those kinds of characters.  (Though to be fair she wasn't the only thing that put me of Black Bullet.  There were a number of things in that first episode that put me off.)

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 21 Jun 2014 - 0:05

@Piero wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:I intensely disliked how the characters were presented in the first episode of Black Bullet to the point I was pretty much ready to stop. However, I watched the next four episodes and they held together a fair bit stronger.

Not much of a fan of Enju Aihara, but she doesn't annoy me to the level Chaika did in Chaika: The Coffin Princess. And I have liked the other Cursed Children introduced so far (Kayo and Tina).

Personally, I found Enju's blatant obsession with trying to get in her big brother figure's pants vastly more annoying than Chaika's broken speech patterns.  I really don't like those kinds of characters.  (Though to be fair she wasn't the only thing that put me of Black Bullet.  There were a number of things in that first episode that put me off.)

Fortunately, they ended that train(wreck) of thought very quickly and from the second episode on Enju's affection for Rentarō is now far more palatable and believable.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Sat 21 Jun 2014 - 4:03

@Alfisti wrote:Well, I have seen ep11 now and...

Spoiler:
...yeah, not happy that there so far does not appear to have been any roll-on effect from episode 10. I'm certainly not saying the execution of it was perfect, far from, but I was hoping it would, I dunno, mark a change of tone for the rest of the show? Be used to add an extra layer or two? Part of me is still hoping that something will come of it, especially with Enju's expression so dead when she came out of the identification room, but it's a fading hope.

The collateral damage angle is a good one though. Taer can probably tell us how true this current approach is staying to the manga. In many ways I'm finding Black Bullet horribly frustrating: it gets so close to making something of itself over and over again, before seeming to chicken out and return to satiating the lowest common denominator.

I'll still be watching next week though.

Agreed. Black Bullet has made enough of an impression in me that I'll stick to it and hope for the best.

Which makes my final main lineup:

-Baby Steps
-Bokura no Kawaiso
-Akuma no Riddle
-Captain Earth
-Black Bullet

With these thrown in as flavah:

-Little Busters Ex
-Marvel Disk Wars (reserved for end of the season marathon and final assessment sweat )

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 22 Jun 2014 - 3:02

Bokura no Minna Kawaiso
-Final Assessment
-From beginning to end this story was very cute. Although the pairing of Usa and Ritsu was a center plot; it in no way felt forced or contrived. Remarkably, I was also surprised to find that every secondary character held their own quite well despite the undertone of a central pairing.

However I suppose the best way to describe this series as a whole is that of a mixed batch of stories loosely tangled together. At least as opposed to a single continuous saga peresay. Unfortunately, that's where the show falls a bit short. The character development is solid enough, but aside from the main pair, not much gets elaborated upon. This eventually gives the sense that the secondary characters (with the exception of Awesome Granny) the feel that they are all in their respective ruts and enjoy them as such. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course. sweat

All in all, it was a very good series, but nothing in particular stood out in order to make it more than an above average slice-of-life piece with a quite adorable pairing at it's center.



Final Grade = C+

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 22 Jun 2014 - 17:10

So with the next to last episode Gokukoku no Brynhildr finally decides to explain the plot…

…and my dislike of this show only grows with the reveal.

I don't know if the fault for this train wreck lies with the creator, Lynn Okamoto, being a talentless hack who has no clue about plotting and character development or if Screenwriter and Series Composer Yukinori Kitajima is just hopelessly incompetent at adapting the original manga for television. 

Either way, this has been four hours of my life I won't be getting back and honestly, I feel a bit ashamed with myself for sticking with it through it’s entire run.  Embarassed

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Mon 23 Jun 2014 - 2:00

Akuma no Riddle
-Final Assessment
-Now I must say...this is a fine example of how to compact a saga that is many layers deep into a 12 episode series. From the first episode the shows intrigue as to the main plot was shown and not told. In fact quite a few minor questions I had with the plot became clear in the last two episodes and I even smacked my head wondering how I missed them.

Though many of the characters received only one episode for any progression; this show did a surprising job of elaborating on their backstory and delving further into their psyche. A feat of accomplishment considering that the writers had only 1 episode in which to do this in. The crown jewel of the series however was the two-episode series finale which again surprises with a twist that the show itself gives away in the 11th episode, but only becomes clear in the 12th.

If there was one flaw I would put on the show it's that the final roll call showing the characters one last time. Although a somber moment, it does take a lot away from the emotional impact that had been building up into the last episode.

Unless Black Bullet (or the long runs of Captain Earth and Baby Steps) comes swinging out loud; then I preemptively call Akuma no Riddle as my Pick of the Season.

Final Grade = A-

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by crazyidiot78 on Mon 23 Jun 2014 - 20:23

Um I know I'm coming late to the party and this is going to be a bit odd, but I am looking forward to seeing Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage three eternal friends
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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Thu 26 Jun 2014 - 1:36

Here are my top four picks for the season.

Captain Earth: My top pick for the season.  Consistently enjoyable with good production values.  Still ongoing since its a two cour series.
Coffin Princess Chaika: This show may not have been jaw dropping for most of its run, but it was generally solid and the last three episodes were pretty awesome.  It has some otaku pandering but it's not as bad as some other recent shows.  Looking forward to season two.
The World is Still Beautiful (Soredemo): I've actually still got one episode to go on this one, but I think I've seen enough to make a judgement.  This show has had its ups and downs with some parts being much better than others, but overall its a pretty decent show with a good pair of lead characters.
Nanana's Buried Treasure: My opinion of this one might have been higher if I had rewatched it like I've been rewatching Chaika.  As it stands I think its a rather charming little show with some likeable characters but is difficult to properly follow.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by 0utf0xZer0 on Thu 26 Jun 2014 - 2:59

@Kiskaloo wrote:So with the next to last episode Gokukoku no Brynhildr finally decides to explain the plot…

…and my dislike of this show only grows with the reveal.

I don't know if the fault for this train wreck lies with the creator, Lynn Okamoto, being a talentless hack who has no clue about plotting and character development or if Screenwriter and Series Composer Yukinori Kitajima is just hopelessly incompetent at adapting the original manga for television. 

Either way, this has been four hours of my life I won't be getting back and honestly, I feel a bit ashamed with myself for sticking with it through it’s entire run.  Embarassed

I was loving the show in the episode 2-9 because I liked Kanna and the show was doing an good job at keeping things tense... but certain "wham" moments in recent episodes have me a little more apprehensive about it. I'm not above the occassional "cry here" moment, but they don't work when you're that ham-fisted about it.

In other news, based on my experience with the first season of Infinite Stratos, Unbreakable Machine Doll and now Seikoku no Dragonar, all it takes to make me enough a fanservicy action-harem with so-so plot is to through in a blonde girl who has decent chemistry with the male lead.  Which is a bit odd since I'm not much into blondes IRL.

Granted, actual romantic chemistry usually works wonders for me, I'm just surprised where I'm finding nuggets of it these days.
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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 26 Jun 2014 - 12:13

@Piero wrote:Nanana's Buried Treasure: My opinion of this one might have been higher if I had rewatched it like I've been rewatching Chaika.  As it stands I think its a rather charming little show with some likeable characters but is difficult to properly follow.

Did Nanana ever put down the pudding and leave her room?

ANN just put up their review of the show and they were quite favorable. I may have to put it back on my watch list and marathon it.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Thu 26 Jun 2014 - 18:00

Nanana is still bound to the room she was killed in.  Which actually sidelines her quite a bit because Juugo spends a lot of time outside of that room interacting with other characters.  Tensai seems to be pretty popular with fans (there's actually a spin off of the original novels that focuses on her).

My biggest problem with the series is that I found it difficult to follow and keep track of everything.  I might understand it better if I rewatched it (I probably should at least rewatch the early episodes since Juugo isn't the ordinary high schooler he initially appears to be) but at this point I'd rank it below the other three shows because of that issue.  Also the ending teases at a sequel that's apparently unlikely to get animated.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 26 Jun 2014 - 18:11

@Piero wrote:Nanana is still bound to the room she was killed in.

Then I think I will pass, at that was kind of the reason I dropped it in the first place. She looked like a great adventurer in the first episode flashback and that would have interested me if she'd continued on as a ghost.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Fri 27 Jun 2014 - 0:33

Spoiler:

This season, I have three shows, all that others have panned.

Irregular at Magic High School is going to end with so-so recommendation, unless it can pull a miracle. The male lead is a god-mode character, It looks to be a 25-episode run, so there's still time.

Brynhildr in the Darkness has a pretty predictable backstory, so I didn't miss the absence.  I think they're hoping for a second season to untangle everything that's inevitably going to be left hanging next episode.  Still, there are enough heart-hammers for me to think my time is worth it.

Black Bullet started with a total dud and has genuinely surprised me with how good it became.  And, in episode 12,
Spoiler:
they bring back a really strong echo of episode 10.  In wasting the immediate follow-up, episode 11 was an off-key note, to be sure.  Let's see what episode 13 does.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 1 Jul 2014 - 21:23

The World is Still Beautiful [ Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii | それでも世界は美しい] - A

My favorite show of the season. Yes, Nike Remercier carried the show a fair bit, but so did Horo in Spice and Wolf, Nanami Momozono in Kamisama Kiss and Maō in Maoyū Maō Yūsha and those shows were none the worse for it. And like those other shows, the remainder of the cast were pretty solid, as well.



Knights of Sidonia [ Shidonia no Kishi | シドニアの騎士 ] - A

The best hard sci-fi anime I have seen in probably decades. Absolutely stoked that it has been granted a second season. I’ve purchased all of the translated manga, as well.



One Week Friends [ Isshūkan Furenzu | 一週間フレンズ。] - B+

The opening episode was very strong and wielded the “heart hammer” with aplomb, but said hammer was put in the closet and the show settled down for the rest of it’s run into a pleasant, entertaining teen romance (even if the two protagonists didn’t really express said love until the final episode).

I was very much not impressed with the “reset” that happened to Kaori with the arrival of Kaori’s elementary schoolmate Hajime Kujō in Episode 9 as it just again struck me as lazy writing and needlessly complicating a story that seemed to be in general moving along smoothly towards it’s denouement. 

Still, overall it was strongly entertaining and enjoyable and I will be buying Sentai’s BD release.



Captain Earth [ キャプテン・アース ] “First Half” - B+

At 25 episodes, we’ve effectively crossed the halfway mark and the remainder of the show will drift into the Summer 2014 broadcast schedule.

I’m impressed with the casting, both of the children and of the adults. Daichi Manatsu is the most competent and confident male lead I’ve seen from BONES, but then at 17 he is a fair bit older than Ao Fukai and Renton Thurston from the Eureka Seven universe. All of the Midsummer Knights seem to have their acts together and the adults are at least as good as those in Eureka Seven AO.

If Captain Earth is falling short anywhere with me, it is with the story. Yes, we’re only halfway there at the moment, but by this point in it’s story there had been many times that Eureka Seven AO had me out of my chair going “f**k yeah!” and I have not felt those moments with Captain Earth as of yet. Another weak area is music - this show has not used music to anywhere near the effect the two Eureka Seven shows did. That being said, it does have the best OP of the season:


 

Is the Order a Rabbit? [ Gochūmon wa Usagi Desu ka? | ご注文はうさぎですか? ] - B-

Fulfilled my seasonal requirements of “moe moe kyun!”, but overall was about average as a 4-koma anime adaption.



Brynhildr in the Darkness [ Gokukoku no Buryunhirude | 極黒のブリュンヒルデ] - D

The turd in what otherwise was a punchbowl of good shows. I was rolling my eyes so much with the final episode I went dizzy. Truly some of the worst writing and story plotting I have ever witnessed in three decades of watching anime. They should just post the scripts to Godawfulfanfiction.net because it's that bad.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 1 Jul 2014 - 22:14

Black Bullet [ブラック・ブレット] - B

If they'd played it as a serious drama, might have been an "A", but they didn't, so it gets the "B". Entertaining overall, but not overly memorable (the ending was solid, however, as it decided not to follow the standard "everything is alright" ending).

That being said, I want Tina Sprout as my sniper.  snipe

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sat 5 Jul 2014 - 12:55

I don't count Brynhildr as a total waste of my time, but it's not a series I would recommend after seeing how the season ended.  
What hurt it most in my eyes was the lack of evidence of any planned plotting.  Two things contributed to this: the ending itself was very weak, and the lack of anything that hinted to the big denouements in the ending in the previous episodes.

I also understand why I am only mildly disappointed in the show while so many others totally loathe it.  I consume fiction for potential plot / scene / character ideas.  Shows I hate are ones that I can't see myself writing some way out of their perceived flaws, be it lack of action, inexplicable internal in-consistency, pointless and boring openings, or absence of originality.  

A show that has something interesting, something powerful, that will get a lot more forgiveness from me. 

But, that's probably for the On Writing thread.  

Bryhildr is not something I can recommend.  I do intend to make the most out of the time I spent watching it by pilfering concepts, though.

===

Black Bullet is a very strong show.  I agree with Kisk - the shounen humour is really misplaced, but not all shows can be as magnificent as GsG.    I hope this one comes back.

===

Last and certainly not least, Knights of Sidonia is every bit as good as Kisk raves.  Be warned that the creators are very cruel in where they choose to cut the episodes, so you need to either be ready to watch the whole thing in 6 or so hours, or spend time between episodes wondering how they'll get themselves out of whatever fix they were dropped into.

The story is not without flaws.  
Spoiler:
- The MC is The Chosen One.  They do a great job of torturing him to overcome my dismissal of threats to his life.

- The photosynthesis timeline doesn't work.  The Fourth War made photosynthesis essential because the food factories were destroyed, and it's implied that photosynthesis is the result of manipulating zygote DNA, so there's no reason the Captain could use it.

- At the distances they're claiming, they show no comms lag.  That's something I consider separates hard from soft science fiction.  (I can ignore the Cube Rule for mass vs. scale that many people use to argue against mecha because ... mecha!)  This last nit is a very small one, and one that the show uses for dramatic effect.  I'm mentioning it because I'm afraid I don't consider it hard science fiction for this gaffe.

TL;DR - TSM, it's on Netflix.  Go stream it already!

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 6 Jul 2014 - 15:25

Black Bullet
-Final Assessment


Wow...where to begin. As I mentioned before, this show comes with the feels early, however as the show continues it seems to fall just short on captalizing on that emotional center. Whenever something new would be introduced, I would expect it to contribute to, or at least overlap, with the current flowing structure of the story only to be greeted with "nope, this is going on too and it's more than that other stuff". As it rolls from one dramatic moment to the next, the previous moment never gets resolved or elaborated upon. If there were an F1 relay race where the driver had to leap out of his ride and hop into another one in mid lap, this would be the anime equivalent of that.

As a result of this ever leaping narrative the overall story gets somewhat convoluted at times and the structure suffers as a result. I will admit however that for the majority run, each story fabric intertwined very nicely and added to the overall "this world is fucked and we got to unfuck it" narrative...and then there was Episode 10. This is where the story got really cheap as if the writers wanted to shove in stuff they really liked, but had only three episodes to do it in. Which would actually explain the 13 episode length as opposed to 12...hmm.


The characters themselves however are in fact unique apart from each other which seems to be a bit of a hallmark for this spring season. Aside from the 'villains' of the story, not one of the individual characters seems to be generic and they all get a fair bit amount of progression throughout the series. However some of that progression feels forced, but again I'll chalk that up to the writers trying to put too much in with too little time.

Surprisingly, the character with the most progression was a secondary character in the form of Tina Sprout. With her own emotions and desires conflicting with her orders and abilities as a mere tool; Tina alone among the cast rose above her original detailing to become a protagonist frontrunner.

All in all the series was quite good despite it's shortcomings in the latter episodes. If I could change one thing however, it would be the ending. Cutting off the episode where Rentaro says he might become Kisara's enemy would've been a nice way to segway into a second season.

Final Grade = B

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 6 Jul 2014 - 18:31

Captain Earth - Episode 14

Most shows use the “beach episode” to generally just overdose on the fan service.



Captain Earth uses it to reveal their first real “F**k, yeah!” episode.



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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Wed 9 Jul 2014 - 19:52

OKay I've just finished episode 14 of Captain Earth and I have to address something that I can neither understand or get over.

Why do all the females in this series have what appears to be incredibly muscled crotches. I mean is it a particular art style from the creators or is it just something to toss in for the lack of fan service? Okay there...I said it...I'm done.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Alfisti on Thu 10 Jul 2014 - 6:54

So, with MiI out of the way, I've finally got around to finishing Black Bullet. Overall rating: good-meh-ish.

That is to say, I did enjoy it, but it stopped short of being really good by continually shooting itself in the foot for all the reasons noted previously, particularly a seeming lack of identity as to whether it wanted to play as a proper drama or as a light, otaku-friendly, romp.

I would agree with Boomer as well that it also felt like the writers were trying to cram too much in, into too short of a time frame. I think it may well have worked better stretched out over 26 episodes, with time for events/world building/characters to distil and find their place in the viewer's mind naturally. Without that however, we're stuck with the show having to try and get the severity/magnitude of the above across by cranking everything up to eleven which is rarely, if ever, an effective tactic... so the viewer (or, at least, this viewer) is left with a cocked eyebrow and inability to suspend disbelief for the "big moments" with no basis.

So, yeah... overall I enjoyed Black Bullet, but I'm not going ga-ga over it either, and my God was its inability to go the extra 20% frustrating.


Also: I don't know if the original creator is drawing on GsG, or if it's just co-incidence, but that the initiators are injected with additional Gastrea virus in order to help heal them when badly injured, thereby shortening their lifespans, certainly seems to have it paralleling cyborg programme more than a little.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sat 12 Jul 2014 - 22:00

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2014/07/11/poll-most-satisfying-tv-anime-in-the-spring-of-2014


Japanese anime/game news site Akiba Souken has announced the result of its recent web poll "Satisfaction Ranking for the TV Anime in the Spring of 2014" as always. 

On-going series are not included, such as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders and The Irregular at Magic High School. 
 
1. selector infected WIXOSS

2. One Week Friends
 
3. Yowamushi Pedal

4. The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior
 
5. Riddle Story of Devil
 
6. Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
 
7. Is the Order a Rabbit?
 
8. (tie) Knights of Sidonia
 
8. (tie) Black Bullet
 
10. Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii

11. No Game, No Life
 
12. Blade & Soul
 
13. Love Live! School Idol Project Second Season
 
14. Dai-Shogun - Great Revolution
 
15. Mushishi Zokushou
 
16. Ping Pong
 
17. Nisekoi
 
18. Broken Blade
 
19. Brynhildr in the Darkness
 
20. Kamigami no Asobi
 
20. Chaika - The Coffin Princess
 
22. Nanana's Buried Treasure
 
23. The Comic Artist and His Assistants
 
24. GJ Club
 
24. Pretty Rhythm All Star Selection
 
26. Daimidaler the Sound Robot
 
27. Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara
 
28. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
 
29. Mekakucity Actors
 
30. Soul Eater Not!

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 21 Sep 2014 - 12:09

Baby Steps
-Final Assessment


-After 25 episodes, this series is finally done and it left me a happy Boom Boom. Many people have compared this series to Prince of Tennis, and much to my enjoyment, the only thing it had to do with PoT was tennis. The story flows naturally and in it's 25 episodes and even though a suggested pairing and eventual love triangle emerge, it doesn't get in the way of the story.

Eichiro is a respectable character who is honestly relatable, while the secondary characters hold their own in the background subtly coming forward when it is necessary to do, a prime example of this is in Natsu.

One thing that surprised me was how the central theme of the story emerged to reveal that tennis was only a conduit through which the central message was told. That central message being that "hard work pays off though there are many ways to get there".

Although it won't standout as a central franchise-killer, I found this series to be quite enjoyable and I look forward to the next season in 2015.

Final Grade = B+

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sun 21 Sep 2014 - 15:23

WIXOSS - It tries to do to card games what Madoka Magica did to magical girls.  That said, it's hampered by two things:

1. Madoka already did the 'evil deconstruction', and did it well.  Any other deconstruction attempt of any other anime genre thereafter will have to somehow handle the "Madoka Effect": you have to either acknowledge you're doing an evil deconstruction and it's nothing new, or you have to lampoon the fact it's an evil deconstruction (a.k.a. lampshade it).  

Either way, you have to be conscious of the questions that the Madoka Effect poses: why is this happening?  Who benefits?  What is the pseudo-science behind it?  What logistics are necessary for this deconstruction to happen?  Why not be up-front about it?

2. Card games deconstruct poorly, relatively to magical girls.  MG has a much larger body of work from which to pick and choose, and at least one if not two generations of past viewers who are in some way familiar with the work.  CCG anime isn't nearly as broad, nearly as deep.

Either way, there's not as much to be done, and, as such, not as much potential to turn into something sinister as is required by an evil deconstruction.

In all it's not bad.  It's hard to watch it and not think of Madoka, and it's hard to compare it favourably to Madoka, but it tries very hard (and sometimes really succeeds, too!)

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Mon 22 Sep 2014 - 7:58

Captain Earth
-Final Assessment

I was hoping that this show would finish strong and it did not disappoint. With a solid blend of action, intrigue, and feels; Captain Earth never feels like a run-of-the-mill story.

Although there are a few ecchi moments (i.e the incredibly muscled crotches on all of our younger protagonists/antagonists and "belly button forte") the show seems to use these moments as more of a break from the action and oddly enough, to utilize some standard character development.

However, while the story succeeds for the most part in trying to be "everything at once", by not concentrating on any one aspect Captain Earth doesn't quite reach cinematic excellence and thus falls just short of my "Best of Season Award".

A great show with something for everyone, I highly recommend a purchase of the media should it come to your territory.

Final Grade = A-

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 22 Sep 2014 - 13:01

@boomer_gonz wrote:Captain Earth
-Final Assessment

I was hoping that this show would finish strong and it did not disappoint. With a solid blend of action, intrigue, and feels; Captain Earth never feels like a run-of-the-mill story.

A great show with something for everyone, I highly recommend a purchase of the media should it come to your territory.

Final Grade = A-

Agreed. The second half was even stronger than the first and I will definitely be buying the US blu-rays.

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Re: Spring 2014 Anime

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