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Posts Tagged ‘Anime’

Nearly late, but not quite!

Probable Must Watches

Monogatari (III)

2013JUL-Mongatari

Well, naturally this is the top of my list. It was teaser’ed at the end of the Nekomonogatari movie earlier in the year. I’m a little concerned that its covering more books than its predecessor series, but I also haven’t read those, so maybe it’ll all be ok. Anyway, it’ll involve Mr. Shinbo’s psychotic direction again no doubt; but thats ok, its real strength lies with its unconventional approach and its philosophy. The action, cute girls, and Araragi being an awesome lead male character are just icing on its cake. Of course, Nisemonogatari has us wondering about how he’s going to keep the harem maintained. Sengoku is especially a powder keg waiting to explode.

However, I am kinda annoyed they STILL HAVE NOT DONE the Kizumonogatari movie, which we were waiting for back when they released Nisemonogatari, never mind a year later for this. The prequel backstory on Araragi becoming a Vampire and the backdrop for his relationship with Shinobu is kind of important. Fortunately, the book is translated HERE, thanks to Baka-Tsuki, so go read it if you haven’t already.

Fate/Prisma Illya

2013JUL-Ilya

A gaiden/side story for FSN that naturally focuses on the sillier aspects! This an alternate universe where Iris and Kiritsugu (from Fate/Zero) are living like a (vaguely) normal family with their children Illya and Shirou. At least, until Rin and Luvia, who are magical girls in this setting, are abandoned my their magical sticks (of Zeltretch!) because they’re always fighting each other rather than doing their jobs properly. Naturally, one of the sticks chooses Illya as its new master, and tutored by Rin, she is thrown into a quest to retrieve the escaped Servant Cards, which like in Cardcaptor Sakura, give her various powers later.

I’m a little concerned that the preview focused entirely on the moe element though. You shouldn’t expect deepness of Illya, but it’ll be a nice, lighthearted romp paying homage to every standard magical girl trope in the book, just with FSN characters and settings. A guilty pleasure, if you will.

Cautiously Optimistic About

The Neptunia Anime

2013JUL-Nep

Everyone’s favourite niche console-wars piss-take PS3 game is finally getting itself an anime. All of the main girls in the foreground above are goddesses of the video-games industry and represent consoles and handhelds, including the never-released Sega Neptune and Nepgear.

Frankly, the first game was pretty freaking terrible with comatose inducing battles and plenty of grinding barely buoyed by an average plot, but the second was a nice reboot of the franchise, and Victory (recently released) has continued the trend of being decent. It’s been basically confirmed that this is an original story though, rather than an anime adaptation of one of the games.

Kami Sama no Inai Nichiyoubi

2013JUL-Kamisamaaka. “And so god abandoned this world on Sunday”. Follows a loli-gravekeeper (!) in a world where no one new is born. She has prepared 47 graves for her village just in time for a serial killer to come around and slaughter them all. It also just so happens this man may well be her father.

Err… yeah… talk about morbid descriptions of an anime, eh? In any case, its based on an award winning novel, so perhaps it could be interesting.

Uchouten Kazoku
2013JUL-UchoutenPA Works doing an anime in a world where humans and Tanuki live side by side? That could be marginally interesting. Though they’ve been a little less inspiring lately; TariTari was merely solid rather than excellent.

Well, in any case, I’ll be giving it a look.

Maybe worth a look

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui
aka. “It’s not my fault I’m Unpopular”. Apparently it has /a/ on 4chan to thank for its popularity. That isn’t exactly… comforting; though the concept has potential.

Kin’iro Mosaic
Oh my: “The Japanese/British girls’ mixed comedy follows the lives of Shinobu, Alice, and other girls from both Japan and Great Britain.” Mainly this is here because I’m interested in how much fail they can pack in their representation of Britain. It may shoot up my listings if it can handle the UK in a way that is funny without being hamfisted, since, being a brit, I love taking the piss out of my own country…

Servant x Service
A 4koma-ish anime about the civil service in Japan. Because that sounds SO BORING, who knows… it may actually work!

NO! Just NO!!!

Free!
Sparkling Bishounen go swimming…

Inu to Hasami wa Tsukiyou
A dog… and girl wielding scissors… (sigh)…

Kimi no Iru Machi
I’ve heard too much horror about the manga…

Fantasista DollRozen Maidens play Yi-Gi-Oh…

Quite a spread from bad to good I guess. There is more, but if I’ve not mentioned it, it’s probably so generic as not be worthy a mention, I’ve missed it, or it has very little information at this stage.

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Just another rapid art post today, including another A3 scan of doom.

Suddenly, a Wild Maiden of the Trailing Rose Appears!
b-2013-A3-Rose-Nectar

Yes indeed, I play Neo-Nectar in Cardfight Vanguard; currently with a decent Maidens deck; and anticipating Blue Storm Armada’s release so I can try a Musketeers or Divine Forest Dragon Sephiroth deck as well.

Anyway, I had the idea to draw Rose basically out of nowhere; but it appealed to me straight away; she’s the apparent leader of their nation and has a rather awesome Persona Blast (when you can get it to go off) which allows you to effectively throw out 4 attacks in a turn.

As for the picture, she has very beautiful artwork on her card and I tried to capture that (though obviously not as well). Although unlike her card she’s not in a combat pose here; but rather walking through and inspecting her lands. The background ended up a bit sketchy with that fort ending up a slightly crazy angle, but ah well.

Anyway, here’s the Wallpaper size-version:
b-2013-Rose-Nectar-WallpaperEnjoy!

The Two-Week Anime reviews should be up soon (about 5-6 days once everything has had its second episode as usual).

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LAAAAAATTTTEEEE!!! I know. No excuses. Just laziness this time. There’s alot of sequels and sci-fi this season; not that this is neccessarily a bad thing.

Probable Must Watches

Shingeki no Kyojin (aka. Attack on Titan)
2013APR-GiantsThe Manga of this is ludicrously popular; mostly for being dark, bloody, visceral and heavy. Crapsack future world where humans have been mostly eliminated by giants who eat people for lolz. The few survivors managed to do so by building a city with a huge wall that giants couldn’t see behind (apparently they’re pretty dumb). Of course, eventually, one of them happens to be taller than the wall, and goes on a rampage, eating the protagonists mother. He goes on a vengeance quest afterwards, vowing to elimate the giants from the world.

First attempt of a new studio too, so here’s hoping they can pull it off. I imagine it could end up a massive flop if they even think about rose-tinting it, though. Any censoring or plot alterations to remove the excessive violence will kill it dead. It needs to be at least as violent as Claymore and Muv-Luv Alternative to work.

Suisui no Gargantia
2013APR-Suisei
The protagonist has spent his life as part of the galactic human alliance fighting against an alien race called the Hideous (REALLY?!?) when in one battle he is suddenly sucked into a time-space wibble and thrown across the dimensions to land on Earth. Which was apparently mostly forgotten about long ago; and is now an oceanic lost world after the polar caps melted. He now has to learn to live in a suspiciously peaceful place along with a genki thing called Amy.

So, this is what happens if you put Waterworld and Urobuchi Gen together? Though I have to say Psycho-Pass was a bit of let-down from Gen considering his previous good works. As a result, I’m a little more suspicious of him now, rather than instantly paying attention. I also don’t believe for a minute (go on, surprise me, Gen) that this is going to stay peaceful. Ah well, it has some good potential, so…

Railgun Season II
2013APR-RailgunIIWell yeah, this is of course going to be here, I’m a raving Index and Railgun fanboy for reasons I can’t quite discern sometimes. Though mostly I like Kuroko more than Misaka. Gotta love her raving lesbianism. Ahem, in any case, this season is covering the Sisters arc from Misaka’s perspective, which could be REALLY good, since it was arguably the best arc of the original Index. Besides, we get to see the point where our railgun starts crushing on Touma heavily from her point of view. And of course, Accelerator being a dick makes everything better.

Devil Survivor II The Animation2013APR-DevilSurvivorIIOh Really? I actually wasn’t aware that there ~was~ a second Devil Survivor game (goes to check~ OH right its usual thing of Europe being horribly screwed over with releases… apparently we’re getting it THIS MAY, over 14 months after America… and holy s**t we’re finally getting Overclocked as well, at the same time. Jeez, there might be a reason to dust off my 3ds, what with Fire Emblem 13 finally coming out as well).

Anyway, rants about nonsensical release dates aside I can say that anything Shin Megami Tensei related is usually at least decent. Although, I do wonder how they can present the multiple options in any given game and push them into an anime. Part of the appeal of the games (besides collecting and fusing demons) is making moralistic choices that are quite often selections between bad and worse. So anyway, I think it could turn out very well, but it could also flop.


Cautiously Optimistic About

Hataraku Maou Sama
2013APR-Maou-SamaJapan loves shows about demon kings at the moment. This one is another exile; just prior to him conquering the world, of course. And now his admin, strategic and logistical skills from that event are now entirely useless, apparently, and he has to start a new conquering spree of earth by working in a family resturant… huh… Well anyway its a rather idiotic concept, but worse concepts have turned out better and I have a good feeling about it, so we shall see.

Nyaruko Season II2013APR-NyarukoIIThe return of the cutest lovecraftian horrors to grace this earth. If the show had maintained its early season power; I’d be throwing this up in the Must Watches, actually, because gods alive the first episodes of the first season were comedic genius. Sadly it lost its momentum as it went along and nearly fell into generic harem territory by the end. Not that I don’t like Cthuga and Hastur; they were actually funny characters (especially Kuuko/Cthuga) but somehow I got the idea the show was trying too hard. Anyway; it still has good enough potential, so lets see.

Photo Kano
2013APR-PhotoKano#Considering the entire premise is “boy gets a camera, boy uses camera to get girls”, I ~really~ should slap this straight into the NO category. However, it is working off the rather excellent pedigree from Amagami; which was one of the few decent romance shows to grace our screens in recent years. We can only hope that it can follow up that act; and to do so, I do hope they use the same omnibus format with resets every few episodes, each block telling a different story. It was part of the reason its predecessor worked as well as it did.

Zettai Bouei Leviathan
2013APR-LeviathanI know, I should stop deluding myself into believing Mobile Games can be made into successful anime’s; so far I’ve been burnt by every similar prediction so far, but I can’t help it. And it’s Gonzo, so yeah. But… but dragon girls! It stars the personification of Bahamut, Jormungand and Leviathan out to stop evil aliens invading their world using meteors. I mean seriously, that concept is so idiotic I can’t help but chuckle at it. Go on, surpise me, be a sleeper hit on me, Zettai.


May Possibly Look into

Red Data Girl
Can’t say the first teaser episode really inspired much of… well… anything in me. I know I’m supposed to feel sorry for her, but I think they’re playing that card too soon.

Aku no Hana
Could be interesting; but it sounds rather dark, which is not typically my cup of tea. Can’t say I’ve actually read the Flowers of Evil either so for once I don’t have much of a grounding on the literary side of things.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince
Seems a rather generic mecha show. Since that’s not my thing, the only reason its really in this category is because it has the director of Katanagatari.

Karneval
Fabulous guys everywhere; and the circus. Oh deaar… Still; the premise is mildly entertaining and I’m willing to give it a chance, at the very least.

Samurai Girls Season II
Though it had style, it had no substance. But who knows, maybe the second season will redeem it.

Ore no Imouto Kawaii Season II
Honestly, the adaptation of the first season was pretty dubious, especially with its direction choices. If I recall, the novels also become ponderous rather than light-hearted too as they go on, so I can’t place this season any higher, really.

Azazel-San Season II
Its short episodes and frankly disgusting sense of humour were marginally amusing, but I honestly don’t see myself tuning in for a second season.

Date A Live
Even though its based on a light novel; it just totally screams generic harem at the top of its lungs, so I’m afraid I can’t rank it any higher. I heard it starts funny and then loses it though, so I’ll at least look at it.


No, Just NO!

Dansei Bunri no Crime Edge
What is the current trend with hair fetishes in Japan? Eeesh. Magical scissors too…

Mushibugyou
The Shinsengumi fight giant bugs… wait what?

Aiyura & Yuyushiki
I just don’t have any faith left in 4koma adaptations. That is all.


Well, at least there’s not as much obviously suspicious stuff this season, but there’s also alot in the ‘meh’ category too, so whatever.

As always, my viewpoints are biased and have about a 15% chance of being totally wrong. I’ve also probably missed some things.

Well, even when you’ve been watching anime for as long as I have, things still surprise and dissapoint you; though my sensor for junk and jewels is more accurate than most.

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Almost precisely two weeks to sort it out from the gold stage this time. I guess that wasn’t too bad. It’s a Valentine’s present, haha!

Anyway, the hardback book is out, and can be obtained here.

The PDF electronic version can be obtained here.

The webpage for Aniventure in general will also be updated shortly to reflect this release.

So, what’s next for the system? Well, the plan is to eventually combine the original and the supplement into a monster volume including both; and also getting one of my friends (who’s a better artist than I am) to provide illustrations for this combo version.

Of course, this is quite a way off. I’m taking a break from it for at least a couple of months; and the amount of formatting and re-formatting I’ll need to perform to get the two books to play together nicely will be actually quite staggering, especially since I seem to have lost the font I originally used for the first book, so its all horribly out of proportion in its source file now. On top of that, since I can’t exactly afford to pay my friend any commision for his art (he’s currently throwing things out for it since he really likes the system), I’m definately not in a position to impose any sort of time-limit on his work.

As a result, I can say with easy certainty that your shouldn’t expect “Aniventure EX” to be out this year. Nine to twelve months is a barely plausible timeframe.

Anyway, to decorate this post a bit, I’m also posting a wall-paperized version of the latest Mondaiji End card featuring Shiroyasha:
Shiroyasha-card

This, as you can imagine, has been my desktop for a few days. Still a darn decent show even if it’s protagonists are hilariously overpowered. In the end, considering I’m still following Tempest, Magi, Sakurasou, Robotics;Notes and Shin Sekai Yori from last season, I could only manage to keep watching Mondaiji, Sasami and Maouyu this season and that’s already quite alot to keep track of.

Well, in any case, hope you enjoy Shimaihen, and stay tuned!

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Phew, that’s right. Though a little bit over my initial schedule (ideally I wanted to get it out by the end of last year, but alas…) I’m still proud to announce that Aniventure’s expansion volume is now 100% complete and has gone to gold-draft today!

Here’s the front cover:
Shimaihen-Front-Cover-blog

Featuring Itsuki from my current Aniventure Campaign in her fanservice-y pilot suit lounging around her specially modified 3-seater Kikka.

Shimaihen is intended as a massive expansion to the Aniventure 5 core system, adding a huge variety of new powers, archetypes and magics for the system, amending and updating the system with errata and expansion material. It also includes system mechanics to create your own race, craft wonderous items and summon creatures. All supported with handy table reference and a full bestiary of creatures.

It should be out as soon as I can confirm the quality of the draft, so hopefully that’ll be in about 2 weeks, possibly less. Chances are it’ll only be in hardback format, since the paperback of the original was a mere footnote compared to the hardback’s popularity (I guess most roleplayers prefer their books to be tough, which is fine and dandy I suppose).

If you’ve not picked up a copy of this rather bemusing Pen & Paper Anime RPG system yet, there’s no time like the present! If you’re skint, the PDF is still available for just £1.25 / $2, and will be now forever.

Stay tuned for more exciting news…

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And here’s my thoughts of what’s going on with the current anime season, compiled into a handy table once more: Anime2013-Spring-Table

As I noted in the initial preview, there’s a lot of shows I wasn’t even going to attempt to bother watching with more than a cursory glance to see if I’d underestimated them. Fortunately, for the most part, I didn’t. From the frankly spastic tonal changes of Koutoura-san to the moe equivalent of cheap sausage-meat that is Love Live, I’m not going to even give these shows a space on the table. I somehow managed to get through GJ-Bu’s first episode though, so that’s on there, though I’m not going to follow it.

The only one truly underestimated was OsaShura; primarily because our main hero seems stronger spined than most, and Masuzu seems pretty awesome, though it’s setting many flags that I often recognise as death-flags for a show already, so I’m suspicious of it, but its got enough to keep my attention for now.

The surprisingly good dark horse was Mondaiji. I’m glad I didn’t instantly dismiss it; highly competent (even overpowered) leads who immediately come to an understanding with one another is a rare and beautiful sight. There’s hints of a bigger story being seeded too, and subtle touches, like the suggestion that our heroes are from different era’s/times.

Yama no Suzume kinda sabotages itself with its own shortness. Three minutes is really too short. But I suppose if you want a saccharine shot, go for it.

Tamako Market does indeed look like its generic KyoAni. Shame, as Hyouka was good; but all this really has going for it is the talking bird, which is relatively bemusing.

Season II of Boku wa Tomadachi ga Sukunai continues without missing a beat, as if it was never off-air at all, which is commendable. It’s still got a good sense of the absurd; though I have to say the first episode wasn’t one of its funnier ones.

Hair Detective Inaba has absolutely no sense of comedic timing, sadly. It seems to think a joke minute == a laugh a minute, which is not really the case. It is impressively derp-worthy that you can fast-scan to any point in the episode and have a good chance of going “Wut?” though; and it doesn’t take itself seriously at least.

Be Mine Hero… well it’s solid adaptation; and the director was at least conscious when they made it; since some good choices were made in explaining the material with various shots, rather than keeping the hardcore exposition. But the character art has indeed ended up as suspicious as I originally feared; and Maou’s ‘useless meat’ was given centre stage, whereas it was a side note in the original. That’s not unexpected, I guess, but its still a little dissapointing.

Finally, Sasami-san. Shinbo’s still on form, though he’s actually restrained himself for this one, I think (perhaps I wasn’t paying attention, but no over shoulder head-tilts were spotted!). Its also completely different to what was advertised, which is pretty surprising. After all, I completely didn’t expect the entire world to turn to chocolate and the sister trio having to fight off a hydra made of fudge in the first episode. Sasami herself is a bit odd too. Clearly a wielder of the ‘Significant Brother Lover’ and yet tsundere about it. Go figure.

And a reminder: this summary is just my opinion so far. A +0 tends to mean “you’ve got one more episode to prove yourself”, whereas a +1 means I’m interested, and +2 means I’m already bemused. -1 or worse tends to mean dropped. They rarely show up if I’m doing my initial impressions correctly though,  since I tend to have a decent sense of what is going to instantly be a bad idea, and what has some vague potential.

That’s about all for now. Hope you find this handy if you haven’t yet decided on a schedule for the new season.

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Probable Must Watches

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
(aka. ‘Be Mine, Hero!’ ‘I Refuse!’) 2013JAN-Maou-YuushaI briefly mentioned this in the last post. The Manga is rather good; but I’m rather peeved that the art style for the anime adaptation looks pretty terrible. Its about the hero who goes to fight the final boss (the demon queen), only to find she’s not interested; and in fact carefully argues several lucid points to him that if he kills her, the world’s economy will collapse. So they decide to make up a story that they were both seriously wounded in a fight, and go off together to try and improve the economy and technology of the world in secret.

It has Spice and Wolf vibes to it; but is a little bit more action-oriented. However, if you don’t like discussions about medieval economics on a national level, you’ll probably be bored senseless. I like the fact that none of the characters actually have names in it (he is constantly referred to as ‘hero’, she as ‘demon queen’ or the ‘crimson scholar’; there’s ‘big maid’ and ‘little maid’, and his old compatriot is just called ‘female knight’ etc.). Also, our hero is stupendously powerful (like in Hagure Yuusha, he’s definately epic-level), as he demonstates later by single-handedly taking over a fortress, harrying an army, and soundly beating everyone in duals.

Anyway, if they pull it off right, it’ll be good. At least the background art in the PV’s seems ok.

Sasami-san at Ganbaranai
2013JAN-HikikomoriAbout a hikikomori girl who is utterly unmotivated; but is taken care of by her brother. She hates his attitude, but uses him as a window into the world she doesn’t want to step into with her patent program ‘Brother Surviellance Tool’. With this she discovers the sot is in a love square with three lovely sisters, and hijinks ensue.

Actually, normally I would have this lower on the list were it not for the magic words of “Akiyuki Shinbo”. They’ve let the crazy sod out of his cage again to head this project up, and thinking about it does have some similarities to Denpa Onna, doesn’t it? I expect it to be considerably like that; and as a result, it shifts way up into my must watch list.

Cautiously Optimistic About

Cuticle Tantei Inaba
2013JAN-WeredobermansAdventures of a were-doberman who arrests a mafia don who just so happens to be a goat, and then fights with that mafia’s henchmen.

No I’m not smoking anything, that is indeed the plot summary of this anime. It’s so obscenely ludicrous it just might work.

Frankly I really don’t have anything else relevant to say about it; so yeah….

Tamako Market
2013JAN-MarketAn unusual anime original from KyoAni. At the very least, you’re assured of some vague quality from them under most circumstances (K-ON, Hyouka, etc.) so this one can stay in the cautiously optimistic area of the list.

It’s naturally about a Market Street’s inhabitants. I like the chicken’s daft design.

Hmm, I appear to be strapped for words today on this section, go figure.

Boku wa Tomadachi ga Sukunai NEXT
(aka. I still don’t have any friends… just a harem)
2013JAN-StillNoFriends

Yeah, I know, I don’t normally post sequels, blah, blah. I really needed something to buff up this section, go figure. But if you didn’t experience the lunacy of the first season, you should go back and check it out. It’s decent. Here’s hoping season 2 will keep the same energy, and give us more UNIVERSE!!!! AND delicious MEAT!!!

May Possibly Look Into

Yama no Susume: Loli’s go mountain climbing. I want to put this in the No category, but for some reason I can’t dismiss it. Though frankly I don’t see how they can make mountain climbing interesting to watch (it’s something you do, not watch); a perverse masochistic part of me want’s to see them try, and that saves the show from instant grill.

Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?: Guy is summoned into an alternate world by a bunny-girl who wants to overthrow the devil along with a pair of girls. Sure; whatever. Sounds like a fap-fest to me, but things with weak plots like this can occassionally be entertaining, and its based on a light novel, so I’m not instantly dismissing it.

Vivired Operation: Loli’s in hotpants delivering newspapers on a hoverbike. Wait what? Actually, there is very little information on this, so this entry is purely here because the bike in the promo-image looks cool. Call me shallow if you like, its entirely true. Made by somebody associated with Strike Witches. It will therefore likely be a meaningless fap-fest, but oh well.

No, Just NO!

Amnesia: “The boy’s name is Orion, and calls himself a fairy.” What he does in his own time is up to him, BUT NEED I SAY MORE?

Mangirl: You killed me dead with “Japan’s cutest manga editors”. Please leave and collect your bounty. Let’s not even go near that Engrish title.

Ai Mai Mii: Not Strawberry eggs. Is that an octopus in your pot or are you just pleased to see me?

Love Live!!: Idols saving the world again. Merely an excuse for moe. Page me when you get to the point.

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru: Harem. Generic. I’ll be reading the dictionary over here; I’ll get more jollies out of it, KTHXBYE.

Koutoura-San: I’m a psychic, hear me roar.

GJ-Bu: Another 4-koma chibi nonsense show without a plot. Please.

Senran Kaguya: Tits and Ninjas? You’ve met each other before right? Lets get along again this time!

!!EIGHT!! SHOWS IN THIS CATEGORY IS CRIMINAL.

What’s going on, Japan? Especially after such an exemplary Winter season, I think they must have assumed the apocalypse was really hitting yesterday night and not put any effort in.

Yeah, I have to say, it’s looking a bit grim this season. But at least we’ll still have at least Robotics;Notes, Psycho-Pass, and I think possibly Zetsuen no Tempest carrying on with us. That’s all for now. Tune in again soon.

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