Friday, 11 May 2012

Spring Anime 2012

It's been a while since I last posted anything, I'm needing something to do while I let other thoughts stew so here's a derivative post about BLAH anime series currently airing.  So far a lot of really awesome stuff has aired. Still struggling to keep up with stuff (Hyouka for instance I still haven't got around to watching, nor AKB48 or Natsuiro Kiseki), but this isn't a bad thing.

Yuuko is a miracle of the universe
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (The Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) is still my favourite show by a long shot. In case I haven't waffled on about how awesome this is to you, it's basically about a ghost (Yuuko) who enjoys trolling people and having a somewhat romantic relationship with a living guy - much to the jealousy of her own living descendant.  Thematically, the story is about a paranormal detective club who - like most clubs in anime - rarely do what they're actually meant to be doing, instead spending time fooling around with various things. 

As said above, the focus of the show is the dere-dere relationship between Yuuko and her love interest - which occasionally drifts into glorious (but completely tasteful) fanservice.  Animation is nicely handled (though occasionally has moments of QUALITY) and the character designs are pretty awesome, going for a semi-realistic look which also somehow manages to be moe.

Oh god
Acchi Kocchi is another show I'm still getting a lot of enjoyment out of. It's a moe-moe SOL that ditches the usual 4 girl character roster, placing instead a mixed group of friends (guys included) who like to troll or outdo each other.  Much is made of central character Tsumiki being in love with one of the guys - though he's entirely oblivious to her intentions. Said guy carries a great deal of swag and awesome, so pretty much everyone drops to his feet... only for him to trample over them again.  Cool guy.

Whilst this may sound like a tedious boring show in print, it really isn't.  The timing and delivery of humour is tight, story and scenarios are relatable (whereas many other recent SOL series have come up with less and less realistic scenarios) so the whole thing feels pleasantly fresh. Just don't mind the fact that Tsumiki looks a lot like Konata.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is a bizarre parody of HP Lovecraft and popular culture. Cthulu driving a flying Delorean? Yep. Moe anthropomorphism of Lovecraftian monsters? Check.  Summoning magic pokemon style? You get the idea... 

Long story short, you get a moemoe show about a Nyarlkothoep (or Nyaruko as the show calls her) and wacky goings on as she tries to police the behaviour of other cthonic monsters, and when she isn't doing that she's aspiring to be the wife of the tsuntsun MC.  It's a waferthin plot which basically serves to setup various nerdy jokes and or fanservice - and I love it.  It's not a show that will be for everyone, but if you "get" the humour you should find plenty of enjoyment to be had here.

On a related note is Upotte! which is produced by the same studio, and features a similar style of humour (though it is much more subdued in Upotte).  I don't need to say much about this since it's pretty widely known about anyway, but I really enjoy the character development, pacing and scenarios.  The current battle arc makes for a great break from typical school scenarios, I'm glad it doesn't feel like they're rushing things at all. 
Hopefully this will sell well enough in Japan to bring about a second series - at 10 episodes this will be a very short series.

Speaking of school settings, there was a Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA released the other day.  Was not expecting that at all.  It's a fun series but the sex jokes become somewhat repetitive after a while, so I guess occasional OVAs suit it better than a full blown series. 
Medaka Box on the other hand is just... bah... boring.  This is an accusation you could place on many JUMP series, but this is astronomical levels of dull.  It's supposed to get better - just as Gintama did, but at least the early Gintama episodes were in someway funny or entertaining; Medaka Box doesn't even try to get past generic scenarios.  Purportedly it is written as a troll series, but honestly if that's the case why even bother?

Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka II is a great deal of fun, so far spending its time on slapstick-parody-harem antics which were the strongpoint of the first series.  For those who don't know, the series is about a zombie who also happens to be a magical girl (despite being a guy), thus when he needs to fight monsters he is forcibly required to wear a frilly dress and wield a chainsaw...

Normally this passes without incedent, but the second series begins with all the MCs friends discovering him in frilly uniform, so he seeks out a drunk loli who can hear out his problems, whilst his friends attempt to cure him of his perceived perversion... So yeah, the show doesn't take itself seriously at all - if anything it generally likes to parody atypical battle-harem scenarios (not even FMP is exempt from this).  Even though it does parody harems, the harem of the MC is god tier with more waifus than you can count.  Oh, and there's fanservice aplenty.  As with Upotte this is only going to be a short run show, so hopefully it'll be back for another series next year sometime.

Fate / Zero keeps getting stupider and stupider. What went wrong? Series 1 was damned good, but this is just... not.  Ridiculous plot devices pop up everywhere, which is a real shame because I'm wanting this to redeem itself somehow.
What really bugs me is that a lot of filler material has been inserted - stuff which is entirely unnecessary. Yes, we know that Kiritsugu and Kirei are asshats, we don't need to see lengthy generic exposition about why this came to be.

The weakest thing so far was a character claiming to have developed an elixir of life which induces immortality. Of course, magical potion for eternal XYZ makes generic flesh eating zombies. Zombies. Seriously? This arc is still ongoing too.  Bummer :\

Om nom nom
Sankarea takes the zombie angle to a similar direction to KoreZombie, insomuch that it crafts a romantic relationship between the MC and a zombie (Rea).  Oh, there's also a zombie pet cat and a busty cousin (Wanko) who doesn't seem bothered by the concept of romantic relations with uh... related people.

It's pretty passable, I'm only watching it for the shenanigans of Wanko and whyboner (the last episode had full on zombie-yuri, should not want).

That's probably enough for now, I haven't covered *everything* I'm watching but that's pretty much the gist of what I'm watching.