Archive for the Category ◊ Anime Coverage ◊

Author:
• Sunday, June 30th, 2013

“I hate nice girls. Just by exchanging greetings with them will get them on your mind. Start texting each other, and your heart will be set a flutter. If they call you, you’re done for. Enjoy staring at your logs and grinning like a fool. However, I won’t be fooled again. That’s what your kind calls kindness. If you are nice to me, you’re also nice to others. I always end nearly forgetting that. Reality is cruel, so I’m sure lies are a form of kindness. Thus, I say kindness itself is also a lie. I always ended up with these expectations. And I always ended up with these misunderstandings. And before I knew it, I stopped hoping. A highly-trained loner is once bitten, twice shy. As a veteran on this battlefield of life, I’ve gotten used to losing. That’s why I will always… hate nice girls.” -Hachiman Hikigaya

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When the show ‘Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Lome wa Machigatteiru’ first aired, my very first reaction was “Great, just another romantic comedy harem anime’. Well, safe to say that I was DEAD WRONG!

No, this ain’t your usual “main protagonist is dense and can’t read the feelings of the girls” or “main protagonist is afraid of ruining relationships and pretends not to realize feelings of the girls” kind of anime, this is an in-your-face series that deconstructs your usual rom-com anime.

The anime’s setting is basically your average setting; Guy gets forced into club, meets beautiful girl, etc. but what makes this anime different is how the story goes along. It starts just like any other Rom-Com anime and moves on like a roller coaster ride, all because the main character is different from your normal Rom-Com hero, he’s a silent protector, a dark knight.

The main protagonist is Hachiman, a loner who LOVES to be alone. He hates society and basically bitches about everything. It seems like the only things he actually likes are his sister and the trap named Saika… Yes, this series has a trap and be very careful not to fall for it! He is quite the manipulative bastard and to get things done, he is known to commit “Social Suicide”. He has a very foul mouth and the over-all snarkiness of this guy out matches Kyon from “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya“. The only one who seems to be able to keep up with him is fellow loner Yukino Yukinoshita.

Hachiman_Anime

Then we have this complete and utter clone of ‘Haganai‘s Yozora; Yukino Yukinoshita (yes, that’s her name). Like Hachiman, she is a loner, but not because she likes it that way. She is very beautiful and is famous throughout the school. She was singled out in the past just because she looks better than everyone else. She has an acid tongue and would tear anybody apart with her words. She is the founder of the Volunteer’s club who Hachiman was forced to join in. Also like Hachiman, she is quite snarky and also quite athletic.

Yukino

Rounding out the main character trio is Yui Yuigahama (yes, I know!). Unlike the doom and gloom of the other two, she is that ray of sunshine within the Volunteer’s Club. She is quite ummm… well endowed and is generally very energetic. She rounds out the trio and releases all the negativity from the other two. Yui is also very popular and goes out with the “in” crowd, and because of her friendliness, she kind of makes Hachiman and Yukino a little bit more social. She LOVES to hug Yukino from behind and she clearly has feelings for Hachiman… [SPOILER]with tragic results.

Yui_1

The trio are often forced to help students with their problems from helping out a fat Chuuni with his novels to helping out the trap named Saika with HIS tennis training.

DO NOT FALL FOR THE BISHIE SPARKLE! This is a dude!

DO NOT FALL FOR THE BISHIE SPARKLE! This is a dude!

Over-all, Oregairu is a good anime, artwork is good but not that great but it’s the characters that make it good. It’s rare to see a series with all three members of the love triangle to lovable, especially the GUY. Hachiman as a character is on a class of his own and leaves those generic protagonists in the dust. I give the anime a 9/10 grade.

Author:
• Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
You never go full retard!

You never go full retard!

I think ore no imouto ga konnani kawaii wake ga nai season 2 can be summed up with this picture. About a year and a half ago, Kyousuke gave two shits who was banging his little sister. Behold, after all those months of abuse and being forced to play h-games, he has officially been brainwashed.

But that’s okay. Because incest isn’t the overlying theme of this show… right?

Japan is not a versatile country. Either things are too subtle, or over the top. I’m still trying to discern which end of the spectrum this anime falls. Clearly the incestuous obsession Kyousuke portrays while fawning over his cute little sister is actually Japan’s way of subtly displaying close familial ties. If that wasn’t the case, why did I waste my weekend watching this crap?

In any case, I hate it when plots turn ambiguous. A-1 Pictures spent 276 minutes of my life looking for the next piece of the story, but only discovered more merchandising opportunities. Damn those clever snakes!

OreImo 2 might as well be a hot young blonde who refuses to show you her ID as you get cock-blocked by your pedophile pals. I’m sick of blue balls and Taco Bell; and anime is not helping.

Author:
• Friday, May 31st, 2013

Hataraku Maou-sama! is the best anime of 2013, as of now.

Whoops, wrong show.

Whoops, wrong show.

I, like many others, am a fan of Third Rock from the Sun, where aliens come to Earth and experience culture shock due to the strange customs and laws humans observe. Every episode stars our extraterrestrials entering conflict with another facet of humanity; whereby most of us would answer with common sense, they ascertain their status as higher life forms by tackling the issue with logic and generally end up in hilarious unfavorable situations. During the first episode of Hataraku Maou-sama!, I thought this was the direction the anime was headed towards. I was wrong.

Here we have Devil King Satan roleplaying as Sadao Maou.

Here we have Devil King Satan roleplaying as fast food employee Sadao Maou.

One reason this show stands out from so many others is that the lead character, Sadao Maou (aka Demon Lord Satan),  is a member of the lower working class. He may have been a big wig in the world of magic, but here in ours, he is just another powerless human without a high school diploma. The moments I derive the most delight from this show is when nothing is happening. Imagine, a great and powerful demon lord, donning a MgRonald’s uniform to take our order of burgers and fries! The sheer dichotomy between the parallel worlds is enough to make me laugh.

Here we have the hero Emilia.

Here we have the hero Emilia, roleplaying as docodemo support, Yusa Emi.

By this point the show was already adequate, but the real clincher came a few weeks later while I was cleaning my house. I stumbled upon an old D10 die from my pen and paper roleplaying days and then Hataraku Maou-sama! became instant gold. Think about it: Let us suppose the fantasy backdrop that serves as the prop for this series isn’t real. Outside of the main characters, no one in the anime knows about the existence of the other world Ente Isla. The conflict and war from that universe has no influence on our own. For the most part, whenever something supernatural does occur in the show,  the memories are either erased or the event is adapted into something familiar or plausible. Imagine how many natural disasters on the news we take with a grain of salt. This anime could be happening in our own backyard and we would never be the wiser. Since nobody remembers at all, it would be logical to conclude nothing happened. In which case, the fact that these characters are still living out their fantasy roles while continuing their dull daily duties as working-class citizens can only mean one thing: Everyone in this show is a LARPER!

Here we have one of Satan's demon generals, Alciel roleplaying poverty.

Here we have one of Satan’s demon generals, Alciel roleplaying poverty.

Live Action Role Playing, usually shorthanded to LARPing, has a negative connotation associated with it. Easily because it’s the single most disturbing thing I’ve ever witnessed. I don’t believe it has anything to do with the action itself necessarily, but the fact some choice individuals take the game too far; usually incorporating elements of their fictional character into their real biography. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It doesn’t matter, he’s still an idiot. Essentially, I am watching a show about average every day people acting out fantasies in their free time. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, they actually believe in it. To me, this idealization makes this show a far greater than what the producers intended. For the first time I think I understand why people love to watch crap like Jackass, or America’s Funniest Home Video. It is FUN to laugh at other people make fools of themselves.

Here we have another Demon General, Lucifer, roleplaying a hikikomori.

Here we have another Demon General, Lucifer, roleplaying a hikikomori.

The show itself is still good, even if you don’t agree with my outlook. Sadao Maou proves himself time and again to be a hard working employee who cares for others and has a full grasp on responsibility. Perhaps leadership isn’t strictly inherited through genetics, but rather earned by gaining the respect of your peers… Oh, who am I kidding? You need to be born a badass to be a badass.

Here we have the Chief Inquisitor of the Church's Reformation, Crestia Bell. Showing off her flashy new debit card.

The Chief Inquisitor of the Church’s Reformation, Crestia Bell shows off her flashy new debit card.

It’s hard to tell from these pictures where the fantasy falls in, because there isn’t any. So here’s to high school girls and breasts!

Chiho is so adorable, it hurts when she's in the episode.

Chiho is so adorable, it hurts when she’s in the episode.

I think this shot better emphasizes her dimensions.

I think this shot better emphasizes her dimensions.

 

Author:
• Friday, May 17th, 2013

Sai from G Gundam
Icon Source: rainraven
It is Sai calling someone bro as he did in G Gundam’s dubs. Dreamwidth is a fork of LiveJournal by former LiveJournal staff. There are many forks, but Dreamwidth is the most popular with their users linking between the two sites. Pixiv source no longer exists.

Fire Candy
Icon Source: reccessional
Fire Candy has amazing character art with a very wonderful rough style. Above is “manga coloring” and not official art or from a cover.

Vocaloid
Icon Source: ukemilk
Original Source: Nico Nico Douga
The icon originated from a Nico Nico Douga video with the Vocaloid Kagamine twins Rin and Len.

Aventura
Icon Source: kazimierzi
Aventura was a formally licensed and published manga by Del Rey before Kodansha took over their manga publishing. It sported some of the most dreamy and excessive character (especially hair) detail. Safe to say Del Rey had much more interesting manga choices with Q Ko-chan, Alive: The Final Evolution, and Yozakura Quartet. Kodansha’s US division is far too timid and does not bother much with manga outside big hits.

Persona
Icon Source: mensenhater
Original Source: momocan.egoism.jp (a little NSFW)
Most of my favorite avatars or what LiveJournal calls icons have action, posing, or a bit of emotion. Just a character’s face is bland and not very creative. It is Ken cross-dressing in what the blond Aigis android is known to wear in Persona 3.

LiveJournal is a giant from a long ago era where people created communities of posting user avatars. Users had the ability to upload more than one icon (avatar) and choose which they wish to use when commenting or publishing a blog entry. In a way the site is very much like WordPress.com in where it is a network of blogs, but community and networking is much more stressed. Users created communities for anyone to post entries to and used them for massive image heavy posts with often a hundred icons. The community may not be Facebook, but it remains active and worth the membership.

Author:
• Saturday, February 09th, 2013

Every anime season comes accompanied with a competitive sport. Last season, animation studio Madhouse stepped up to take on the challenge with a card game played exclusively in Japan. I don’t mean Yu-Gi-Oh; I’m talking about Karuta.

Karuta is a game where the goal is to choose out of an array of fifty cards the second verse of a poem being read. The first to touch the card gains possession. But unlike Magic: The Gathering, the first to diminish his twenty-five cards wins the game. The concept is hard for many to take seriously, especially me, but like many sports before, once it is animated it takes on a new level of astringent discipline which is hard for anyone, especially me, to ignore.

Chihayafuru follows high schooler Ayase Chihaya, who dreams of one day becoming the Queen of Karuta. Considering the subject matter, it does  not seem like there would be many obstacles. However, with each episode the viewers are exposed to Chihaya’s weakness and shortcomings; and over the course of the series the viewers must watch as she works hard to improve and overcome. I don’t feel like explaining more of the story, since that would be completely pointless. Why waste time reading a blog when you can just watch it yourself? more…

Author:
• Friday, January 25th, 2013
Where do you think you're going? This ain't over.

Where do you think you’re going? This ain’t over.

This anime ended at episode 12. Yet it is still airing…

Many a people suggested this anime to me, based on two facts. One, they know nothing about me. Two, they assume I love eating shit. Now that we are done with the pleasantries, I can review this series more objectively.

Another healthy Saturday morning...

Another healthy Saturday morning…

Sakura dormitory is an aging building where the outcasts of high school are incarcerated, simply because they are too gifted for their own good. Our protagonist, Sorata, is not one of those gifted students. Sorata found himself under the roof of the Sakura dormitory when he discovered a bleeding vagina where his heart should be. This self-righteous little dick decided to pick up stray cats and feed them. Rule number one when dealing with stray animals is to NOT FEED them. As expected, he grows attached to the little pussies and is eventually evicted from the main dormitory. The only place that would allow these little flea magnets to run amok and breed is the asylum known to all the student body, the Sakura Dormitory.

This only makes sense if you watch this crap.

This only makes sense if you watch this crap.

Most of the running gags in this anime involve a standard slapstick called Tsukkomi and Boke. The intricate art involved in this Japanese-favored comedic routine requires detailed explanation and fine examples. I don’t have time for that, so I will apply minimal effort and butcher it as best I can. The “idiot” or “boke” will make a retarded statement, and the “fall guy” or “tsukkomi” will make a hilarious reaction along the lines of, “WHAT!?”

It’s… … … … actually not that creative.

Silly kid! Pumpkin panties are for toddlers!

Silly kid! Pumpkin panties are for toddlers!

So like I do with most sub-par anime, I became deeply engrossed and established high school social links with these fictional characters. I had a smile on my face at the end of the series, when everyone comes to terms with their own feelings. Yet the strangest thing happened two weeks later: Episode 13 came out. At first I was confused, since the beginning of the episode seemed to be a direct continuation of the story; but as it turns out everyone is suffering from a contagious form of amnesia. Nothing had changed to reflect the revelations of the past episode. No new relationships were spawned, no form of progress had developed, and the story had rescinded to an earlier part in the series where Sorata was still dealing with his own inadequacy and suffering from extensive jealousy towards the residents of the Sakura Dormitory.

I thought I had watched the episodes out of order, but I was wrong. This aggravating episode of pre-teen adolescence was the sequel to what I had assumed was character growth and self-discovery. My best guess is that someone out there is profiting by keeping this shit going. (Imagine that!)  I was starting to like Sorata by episode 12, but episode 13 reverted him back to the unlikable little dipshit that I always knew he was. As usual, without rhyme or reason, two hot girls are in love with the talentless little dunce. The only respectable male in this show — in my humble opinion — is Akasaka Ryuunosuke, who understands the dangers of unprotected sex and refuses the advances of slutty British hoes.

May all you boys grow up to be just like him!

May all you boys grow up to be just like him!

Today’s Lesson: If you want to be popular with the ladies, be an irresponsible deadbeat.