Aldnoah.Zero

I just re-watched this. I’m hopeful for some reason to finding the second season and wanted to re-watch the first season beforehand.

What a wild ride. This was for me, far and away the best show of 2014. I know this isn’t strong praise since 2014 was a poor year for anime quality. Offhand, other than Noragami, I don’t think there was a show that could be called good.

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First Glance at the Fall Season

The fall 2014 season is now underway and I’ve had a chance to watch a few shows.

Alas, so far, nothing seems too exciting.

One amusing note however… I just watched the first two episodes of Ai Tenchi Muyo. While I was looking up the character list for the show, I noticed on the Wikipedia page that the show was sponsored by the city of Takahashi to boost tourism to the region.

So what was the first episode about? A guy, running through the woods because he’s late for something, whose first sight of the main female is of her panties. He doesn’t actually see her face.

What’s the second episode about? The same guy, who turns out to be a teacher at an all-girls’ school, is about to be tortured by the student council of said school.

What exactly is their hope in promoting tourism here? What are they expecting any new tourists to do?

Summer 2014 Continues its Roll-out

Well, I’ve had a chance to watch a couple more shows, of which one looks very good, two okay, one not so good.

Aldnoah.Zero looks really ambitious and is off to a rousing start. I can’t wait to see the next episode.

Sabagebu, which I keep seeing as Saggybaggy, is a bit weak, reminding me most of D-Frag. Zany characters who aren’t very interesting mixed with superficial recalcitrance, mediocre humour and some total immersion moments. I didn’t really enjoy D-Frag and I don’t expect to enjoy this.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun was mostly good. The female lead seiyuu is very new and excepting for her occasional internal histrionics is pretty good. Nozaki-kun is voiced by the very veteran Nakamura Yuuichi, currently playing Tatsuya in Mahouka but some of his past credits include Kosaka Kyousuke, Clannad’s Okazaki and Ryuu from Kimi ni Todoke.

The show had a couple of good lines, which mostly spring from the gap in their awareness of Sakura’s feelings. My favourite was when he asked her, “Do you think love could arise from this?”, and her response was, “I think trust could arise.”

Finally, there is Akame ga Kill, a high-energy, violent show which oscillates between being light-hearted and a gore-fest, and then adds some really clumsy writing. The bad people are so bad that being evil, torturing, psychopathic mass murderers isn’t enough. Sigh.

Ratings:
Aldnoah.Zero – 4
Sabagebu – 2
Gekkan Shoujo – 3
Akame ga Kill – 3

Summer 2014 has just begin

Well, I watched my first shows of the new season. So far, two shows look enjoyable to me, out of seven. Those being Tokyo Ghoul and Rail Wars.

Of the others, Glasslip is on too slow burning of a fuse. I think that the viewer should be able to make some connection to a show’s premise in the first episode. This show could have taken place anywhere. There appears to be a lot of history between the characters which might be natural in such a setting but it’s painful to watch if it’s not done well. There are too many pained expressions that only the other characters understand. Not off to a great start but that could easily change after another episode or two. Looks nice.

The second biggest show of the season must be Sword Art Online II. First episode was dreadful. Asuna looked nice. Didn’t get to see Suguha. The bulk of the show seemed to be a truly tedious discussion between Kirito and some nameless fellow that mostly consisted of lines like, “I’m leaving!”, “No, please stay!”, “I’m really leaving this time!”, “No, please stay. Have some cake.”

The biggest show of the season would have to be the remake of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal, which appears to have a 26 episode run planned. On MAL’s site, they indicate that it will air two Saturday’s a month, which is a little different. One would think that they would do that with 24 episodes but… whatever makes them happy. As an aside, MAL fails in that they actually don’t have the main character on the front page (as only four names make the front page).

One of the stories around the show is that they brought back Mitsuishi Kotono, the original seiyuu to reprise her role as Usagi, but none of the other members of the cast; Seems weird. Unfortunately for me, I can’t help but feel that they would have done better with a new seiyuu in the title role. I have watched but a handful of the original series so I might be completely imagining this but she seems to be voicing the role in exactly the same way, including what is to me, a painfully irritating voice whenever Usagi gets flustered. The show has modern visuals and modern audio but is it otherwise going to rest entirely on its laurels?

Oh yeah, I forgot about this but I have to say that I was underwhelmed by the transformation sequence.

Tokyo Ghoul is tense and dangerous and filled with anxiety. I have no clue what the full story will be but the show’s creators delivered a great first episode and I can’t wait for more.

Rail Wars looks like it should be a fun show.

Ratings:
Sailor Moon Crystal – 2
Sword Art Online II – 2
Rail Wars – 4
Glasslip – 2
Tokyo Ghoul – 4
Bakumatsu Rock – 1
Argevollen – 1

Mahouka – 3

Rating meaning:
4 – Enjoyable and look forward to the next episode
3 – Decent
2 – Bearable at current level but needs to improve
1 – Hopeless