This kind of post is something I’ve considered doing for a while, and now that I’ve had the time to marathon some shows recently I decided to go through with it. Basically, what I’ll be doing is these occasional posts on a selection of anime, games, or albums*, alternating between them from one post to another (so the next one will be games, then albums, then back to anime). For this one, it will cover a few anime I’ve watched over the past month that I feel are worth talking about, but not particularly shows I want to write full reviews for.
*This is taking the place of my “Albums of a Week” posts. They were very infrequent, so this will allow me to have more music-related posts without forcing myself to stick to some type of schedule.
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete / In Search of Lost Future
Some of you may remember that I covered the first episode in my initial Fall 2014 post on airing anime. And I did not have nice things to say about it. However, I came across something that drew my interest back towards it that may or may not have been very NSFW. Regardless, I am glad that I revisited the series.
Right off the bat, you will see the main reason I dropped this – the visuals. The animation is not only bad, but a weird mix of CG and traditional that looks terribly awkward, especially with the unnatural character movement, inconsistency in the level of detail, and bland backgrounds that certainly don’t help. The above screencap is actually one of the better moments, as there were many points where it got much, much worse.
The characters were nothing special, but I definitely enjoyed the story once things started happening in the last four episodes. A lot of the foreshadowing was too blatant, and other events were generally easy to predict, but I liked the ending and would say the show was worth picking back up.
Rating – 6/10
Recommendation – Although I did end up appreciating this altogether, it’s difficult to recommend. It’s ugly, and the story takes a long time to really draw the viewer’s interest. If you can get through the first three episodes, I would definitely say to settle in for the rest.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san / Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos
The synopsis alone guaranteed that I would watch this show.
This show is strange. The Cthulhu Mythos is pretty serious stuff, so the initial concept alone throws a wrench into any expectations based on Lovecraft’s material. Most of the supernatural elements exist just to set up situations where some conflict has begun and Nyaruko, Kuuko, and/or Hasuta need to clean it up, normally to save Mahiro, the as-always average protagonist, as is tradition.
Nyaruko’s poorly explained affection for Mahiro is very weird, as she’s always doting on him in unusual wish fulfillment-esque ways, but I think it actually got to me… I ended up feeling bad for her at many points when she would be coldly rejected for being annoying. Throw in Kuuko’s one-sided affection for Nyaruko, and Hasuta (a trap) liking Mahiro, and it’s one hell of a love polygon.
Rating – 6/10
Recommendation – Say Nyarlathotep five times fast, then look up the Japanese pronunciation and say that five times fast. Good luck.
Oh yeah, if you’re in the mood for a bizarre supernatural/light ecchi/comedy combination, this will work.
Glasslip (AKA two delusional students learn to love)
After hearing it universally panned, I expected utter shit out of this show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly bad, but far from the worst I’ve seen.
The characters were pretty bland, but the nightmare of an attempt at romance was just terrible. I don’t think I’ve ever shouted “JUST BONE ALREADY” at a TV before. The only character I really dislike is Kakeru, the homewrecker. What exactly does Touko like about him anyways? His only defining characteristic is that he’s an apathetic douche. Also, they took far too long to explain that Yukinari and Yanagi are step-siblings, as some things were very awkward without that detail. And the tragic glasses girl’s hair is crooked, which is distracting.
The story. Well, there’s sort of a story, but it’s just a bunch of ideas without any purpose or progression. It starts off with meh slice-of-life, then transitions into this weird combination of bad romance and… supernatural? And the supernatural aspect is never explained and feels really stupid, just kind of there as a tie between Touko and Kakeru, and a weird way to add drama. Those two should have been checked into a mental hospital since they were seeing and hearing things.
It wasn’t regularly painful to sit through, but there is no doubt it was bad, so you should not bother watching it.
Rating – 3/10
Recommendation – Skip it.
Hataraku Maou-sama! / The Devil is a Part-Timer!
This is a bit of an odd story (as the title would imply): Dark Lord Satan (Maou Satan), from the land of Ente Isla, chooses to stall his conquest of that land and recuperate elsewhere, sending him right to modern-day Japan. Except, along with his trip there, he loses his demon form and most of his magical power. With no other obvious way to regain his powers and return to conquer Ente Isla, he and his partner decide to try and fit in with those around them for the time being. Of course, their link to the land of heroes and demons keeps them from getting much peace.
The entirety of the show is pretty silly, mainly because of the very strange cast and a rather unusual “fish out of water” story. Throw in the conflicts with those from Ente Isla and a weird rivalry between MgRonald’s and Sentucky Fried Chicken, and it’s consistently weird, but thoroughly amusing.
My biggest complaint is that there’s no smooth transition between Maou the demon and Maou the MgRonald’s employee. Within five minutes of showing his forces slaughter people in Ente Isla, he’s just trying to fit in with everyone else in contemporary Tokyo. This can sort of be explained away, but it’s still an annoyance that I think more time should have been devoted to. Or at the very least an “X days/weeks/months later” so that the viewer has some idea of how much time actually passes between their arrival in Tokyo and where the story picks back up.
Rating – 7/10
Recommendation – For a very goofy comedy that does a good job of infusing a story that is complemented rather than hindered by the comedic approach, I definitely recommend it.
Hanasaku Iroha (plus the movie)
What I expected when I started this show was a slice-of-life set in a hot spring inn, focusing on the daily lives and work of its staff. What I got when I started this show was a slice-of-life set in a hot spring inn, focusing on the daily lives and work of its staff, along with a bunch of sex jokes, supposed “yuri baiting,” and the despicable mass media.
For the most part, the story following Ohana and the other staff of the Kissuisou was very entertaining, especially following the development of the main characters as time passed. The central drawback of the show is that the drama typically consisted of shouting matches without concrete resolutions, and even the main romance of the show was never properly brought to a close. Either way, I enjoyed it a lot, and thankfully the bizarre comedy never drowned out the rest of the show, serving instead as a seasoning.
As for the movie, it doesn’t really work. It basically feels like something that should have happened during the span of the TV series, and is just out of place to watch after the show’s conclusion. Seeing more of Satsuki was nice, but otherwise there was nothing particularly great about it. They also managed to make Tomoe extremely obnoxious.
Depending on my free time, I may end up writing a full review for this, but don’t count on it.
Rating (series) – 7/10
Rating (movie) – 6/10
Recommendation – For a good SOL with some unexpected comedy mixed in, give it a shot.
With other posts in this format in the future, they won’t necessarily be things I’ve watched/played/listened to recently – just whatever’s on my mind or worth mentioning for whatever reason. There’s also a decent chance that I’ll rename these posts down the line when I will hopefully think of a better/more clever title.