Blog Archives

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Episode 2 – Review


Sasami Blood Classroom

You know, after the first episode of this show, I didn’t think it was possible that I could actually be more confused about the actual plot than I already was.  However, this episode certainly proved me wrong, providing very little detail about anything relevant while at the same time raising even more questions about the show than I already had.  Not only that, but the entire episode felt like a tool to force all of the characters to interact with each other instead of an actual attempt to expand the story.

The explanation for what the giant chocolate monster was in the first episode is very rushed and makes almost no sense.  All that’s given is that some deity is residing within Sasami’s brother for whatever reason and it uses it’s power to grant whatever random desire he has.  Also, apparently this world is full of god-things, which isn’t explained in the slightest; it only mentions the one in the brother is the strongest.  So, if that wasn’t enough to confuse you, it’s also revealed at the end of the episode that whatever kind of god is in her brother was at one point inside Sasami… or something like that.

drugs

So, I think it’s safe to assume that this is a show that isn’t going to be very adept at conveying it’s story, because even the actual story of this episode didn’t make too much sense.  They explain that a lot of students are missing from school and that they think a large number of them are skipping because they’re playing some MMO game. And so, they decide to pretty much play the game to find out why people are skipping, as stupid as that sounds.  I mean, what are they even trying to find out, if kids are actually skipping school because of the game or not?  Can’t they just ask the students themselves, or maybe their parents?  Also, why the fuck do they need to go to Sasami’s house to use her computers?  I’m pretty sure a robot-person would have a laptop or two lying around somewhere, and a school in Japan in this day and age has to have plenty of computers for faculty to use.   As a matter of fact, Shana-knock-off-girl was even playing some hentai game on one in the first episode.  So it makes no sense for all them just to go to Sasami’s house just for her computers, but like I said, it’s just an excuse to get the characters to interact with each other.

And in my opinion, the characters are all pretty weak.  Out of the three main girls, the blonde girl (who is apparently in elementary school) is pretty much a complete throw-away character.  The other two girls, whose names I can’t even remember, aren’t much better and aren’t really anything beyond what their appearances suggest about their obvious archetypes.  See, I can’t even remember their names, that’s how uninspired and stock they are.  Sasami’s brother is also very annoying and is practically more of a plot point than an actual character.  Sasami, though better in almost every way than the rest of the cast, still isn’t all that interesting in the end.  When everything is said and done, she’s a very standard smart but socially awkward hikikomori character who doesn’t seem to venture too far from that  trope.

Sasami brother fag

Despite Shaft being pretty as always, I really don’t think this will end up being that great of a series.  At this point I wouldn’t even be surprised that directors know they can probably coast on Shaft’s popularity and not try as hard to really make the story  all that great.  The characters are pretty bland and forgettable and there isn’t a much of a concrete story to be found in all of this.  One thing I will say is that I’ve liked a lot of the background music in this show, because for whatever reason there’s been a fair amount of blues/rock music in it, which is kind of odd, but it’s nice to see the show at least has some variety in that aspect.

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Episode 1 – First Impressions


Sasami computers

Before I begin talking about this show, I’d like to say that if you have access to any kind of illegal drugs, you should probably get on that, because this is one of the weirdest beginning episodes of a show I’ve seen in a long time.  Of course it stands to reason that Shaft would chose to do something weird like this, but even without taking the visuals into consideration, this whole episode is really insane.

To begin with, even the main idea of the show is odd, but seemingly rather simple.  It’s about some loner shut-in girl named Sasami and her creepy-ass ridiculously incestuous brother.  Not only does her adult brother obviously want to bone the everliving hell out of her, but for whatever reason he decides to never show his face, instead opting to hold his satchel (or whatever else he has in his hands at the moment) in front of his face.  Instead of going to school, Sasami spends most of her time watching her brother through an improbable system of cameras wired throughout her house, her street, her school, and pretty much every other place that her brother could possibly be at any given point in time.  Now sure this is all odd and quirky, and you know Shaft can’t get enough of that stuff, but just going by that simply plot description, you wouldn’t think it’d be that batshit insane.  However, you’d be really wrong assuming that – Just wait until the end of the episode when three other characters have to defeat a giant chocolate miasma/monster that engulfs the world.

gurls

Yes, the climax of this episode involves three girls – one who acts like a frog, one who is some kind of cyborg thing that shoots missiles from her boobs, and one with some black magic sword – fight a giant chocolate entity that takes over the world, and they bring the world back to normal by magically resting the world to it’s pre-chocolate form.  Apparently all this happened because Sasami’s brother was too obsessed with the idea of buying Sasami chocolate for Valentines Day or something.  I mean, I’m not even leaving out any of the major details about what happens to bring all this about; that’s honestly all they give you to go by.  But, Christ alive, could you even make something that weird if you tried?  I suppose the idea may be that Sasami’s mind is completely destroyed by her constant anti-social behavior and her complete withdrawal from real life, but that seems like a pretty weak excuse to have a bunch of weird stuff happening, and that still doesn’t give the series a concrete story.  That’s another noteworthy thing about this episode – even though it had plenty of stuff happen in it, there still is not actual plot, and quite honestly, this felt like could have easily been just some weird one-shot OVA thing.

The head tilt isn't even a joke at this point.

The head tilt isn’t even a joke at this point.

Despite all it not really having an actual direction, or much of anything in terms of explanation about what the hell is going on, it was still pretty enjoyable.  As you’d expect from Shaft, the show is really stylized, but to a much different degree in this case, seeing as how odd most of it is.   The action scene and it’s accompanying music was really cool, and the scene during the credits was pretty funny, but more than anything, I think the visuals just made it interesting to watch.  There really isn’t much else worthy caring about this season, so I’m holding out on this being good, or at the very least, able to hold my interest for a few months.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Episode 1 – First Impressions


Maoyuu Boat

You know, it’s been a while since I last saw a medieval fantasy style anime, and even longer since I’ve seen one that was actually good, so I guess I was kind of looking forward to this show.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty generic as far as the fantasy aspects go, but I’ll take what I can get.  Although it was kind of a shaky start and confused the hell out of me at the very end, I think it has potential to be okay. Maybe.

Well, this show is about about an unnamed Hero of a war between demons and humans.  After fighting his way through assloads of demons, the Hero makes it to the lair of the Demon King, who, as it turns out, is a king only in title.  Instead, it turns out shes some love-struck girl with tits that would probably suffocate her in her sleep is she turned the wrong way.  Even though Mr. Generic Hero is set on ending the war, she informs him that in actuality the war is helping both humans and demons alike, and that ending it would do more harm than good.  She goes into a long explanation about the economical and social advantages the war brings to both there people; poorer areas are receiving war funds that they can use to keep their people from starving, large exports of goods are bought and sold to supply the soldiers and both humans and demons are completely united in fighting the war.  So yeah, you can probably expect a lot of people comparing this show to Spice and Wolf, which is kind of justified I guess.  Both have very similar themes and settings, though this world has a little more fantasy in it than that of Spice and Wolf.  

bewbz

Although the Hero still wants to end the war, he now knows that it wouldn’t really help anything, and even if he did, both sides would find an excuse to keep the war going because of the advantages it brings to them.  Instead, the Demon King offers him a alternative; the only problem is, I don’t really understand exactly what the hell it is.

She wants to marry him… or something, and have him take her… somewhere…  I don’t know, surly I wasn’t the only one who was confused by exactly why she wants to do, or just exactly how she plans to help stop the war without disturbing the prosperity of both parties.  Maybe it was just the sub I watched, but I had a really hard time following her plan, that is if she actually gave it.  And then they start saying how they’re going to have to do stuff that will be horrible and, wait, what?  I don’t get it, what the hell are they going to do?

Well, beyond not really understanding exactly what the hell is supposed to be going on, it was fairly decent.  The concept that a war is actually necessary to a people is fairly interesting and unique, though it does seem kind of rediculous to ignore the fact that you can’t just keep throwing soldiers at the other side as fodder to help the normal citizens of your Kingdom/Country to live easier.  For one thing, it’s pretty shitty, and second, it’s not as if you have an infinte supply of able bodied  people to go off and die, so you’re going to run out eventually.  Some of the comedy is kind of weird too, because a lot of it seems like it wants to be somewhat serious.  After all you’re handling the financial and social effects a war has on people. But there’s a scene where the Demon Queen is essentially humping an improvised body pillow of the Hero, and… yeah, that was kind of out of place.The animation and artwork were fine, though the main character is so bland looking and has such a boring personality that I’ll be lucky to remember he exists by this time next week.  I’ll probably watch the next few episodes so I can see exactly what this whole journey of theirs is supposed to be about, and to see if they can make economics even as remotely entertaining as Spice and Wolf did.

Nekomonogatari Episode 3 – Review


Hanekawa Desk

Now, why couldn’t all of Nisemonogatari have been like this, why couldn’t it have been this serious and focused?  I know it’s probably due to the source material being like that – after all, none of the major conflicts are really resolved in any way – but still, I felt that a lot of Nisemonogatari was just a little too lighthearted in some parts and didn’t really have as many dark moments as the original series had.  Apparently, the director heard my complaints, because this is exactly what I had envisioned the series to be like for the most part.  Thankfully the show also kept with a darker tone this episode, and will it’ll probably carry over to the last one as well.

This episode (and this entire series) did a lot to help develop the character of Hanekawa, surprisingly enough, with her even actually being in it.  The explanation about her home life was kind of vague and abstract, but it did a good enough job at explaining that it obviously isn’t very good.  Although last episode I complained about the show hardly ever actually explaining what the hell the Oddities actually are, what they do, and how they come to exist, this episode actually gave a surprising amount of backstory and depth to what the Curse Cat actually is, how it works, and all that.  Also, the “Duality of Man” aspect that it incorporated was actually  pretty interesting, as you wouldn’t normally expect someone with the personality of Hanekawa to be a candidate for exploration of that theme.  Under most circumstances, she should be to very obvious and noticeable example of the good that exists in people, but as Oshino said, there is no human who is only good.  In addition, it makes Hanekawa seem like a much more interesting character now that she isn’t the unshakeable pillar of morality that Araragi clings to most of the time.

Oshino

Like I said, the scene with Oshino explaining exactly what the Cat is was very well done, and for the first time helped me to fully understand one of the monsters in this series.  Also, coming from Kizumonogatari and Bakemonogatari, you kind of picture Oshino as this all-knowing unstoppable force that can pretty much bail Araragi and his friends out of any bad situation, but that obviously isn’t the case here.  I think knowing that Oshino can’t really do anything more than Araragi can makes this series feel a lot more serious and pressing, because with pretty much every other problem he’s faced, Araragi has either had him or Shinobu to kind of be a deus ex machina and save the day when he can’t quite pull it off.  Now that he can’t do that, the show seems much more interesting.

Hanekawa Cat

The final scene in which Araragi talks with the Cat was fine enough, but it seemed like a lot of it went back over what Oshino had already told Araragi before.  I feel that this scene in particular, as well as the entirety of the series, if focused a lot more on Araragi’s relationship and attitude towards Hanekawa.  Obviously, considering the events of Kizumonogatari and this series, it should normally be fairly obvious that they would be love interests, but the Monogatari series is very odd about the way it goes back and forth on this.  The fact that Senjougahara is introduced into the series later doesn’t simplify things, but it would seem at this point that Araragi has much stronger romantic feelings for Hanekawa at this point than he does later on in the series.  Also, to it seems that throughout the series Araragi justifies his fondness of Hanekawa to the fact that he feels indebted to her for pretty much saving his life, but I still don’t really know if that’s how he really feels, or if he’s just using that as a way to cover up something deeper.

Nekomonogatari Episode 2 – Review


Neko

Well, that didn’t take too long, but after all, it’s probably only going to be another day at the most until the last two episodes are subbed and all that, so expect these rather quickly I guess.  Also, just a PSA, if you haven’t read Kizumonogatari, you really probably should do that in order to help you understand some of the stuff that’s going to happen in this series.

With this episode, we actually get into the main story of the show and get to see Hanekawa in all of her catgirl hotness.  As I’m sure I’ve said before, the story for this series feels a lot more like Kizumonogatari due to the lack of the other main characters, such as Senjougahara, Kanbaru, etc., and it’s focus on mainly Hanekawa and Araragi (and to an extent Shinobu).  This episode also had a decidedly different feel and atmosphere to it than the previous one.  This episode was much darker in tone and felt a lot like some of the darker episodes of Bakemonogatari.

Shinobu

Beyond getting to see a small scene explaining Shinobu’s affection for doughnuts, there’s also a bit of explanation about his attitude towards her at the current time.  It’s only been a few weeks since everything that happened in Kizumonogatari took place, so this would have obviously been when Shinobu was still not talking to Araragi.  But regardless of that (and seeing that she’s one of the only actual characters in the show) they do make an attempt to still let her show some emotion and characterization in this episode and hopefully the rest of the series as well.  In my opinion, Shinobu is definitely the best character in the whole Monogatari series, so I’m always up for seeing her get to do some more stuff besides sit around moping the whole time.

The scene with the Cat version of Hanekawa was also done very well, and was obviously very reminiscent of the last few episodes of Bakemonogatari.  However, one of the things that kind of irritated me about it (and I guess the whole collective series itself) is that there’s never much of an explanation to exactly what the hell is wrong with Hanekawa.  I suppose it could be because of the insane Japaneseness of this show, and these creatures are perfectly normal in the folklore there, but still not really having much of an explanation for some of these things other than “They’re monsters, they do this” is kind of annoying at some times.  It’s not as if all things in the series are a complete mystery, as I thought that Kanbaru’s arm and Sengoku’s curse were explained relatively well, but some of the others really leave me scratching my head.

cat and arm

Anyway, I thought the dark nature and tension of the scene worked very well and just got me even more excited for Kizumonogatari as that’s pretty much all that movie could have in it.  I do however think that “censoring”, I guess you could call it, of the bodies of Hanekawa’s parents was kind of odd, and took away from the violent nature of the rest of the scene.  But I guess never showing a person who isn’t a main character or villian is kind of a staple of the series, so I probably shouldn’t be too surprised by it.  It’s also been a long time since I saw some actual gore in anime, so that was definitely and entertaining scene to me.

Nekomonogatari Episode 1 – First Impressions


askdfh

I guess this is really the first anime series of the new year, so happy 2013 to all.  While this technically isn’t really a series, the other three episodes haven’t been subbed yet, so I suppose I’ll just go ahead and do a normal episodic review of the series.  But, before too much more, let me attempt to explain this shit show of a chronology this entire series has in an attempt to help those who may not know too much about it, understand exactly what’s going on with all this.

Nise

Okay, well the main problem with this is that, if you’re just watching the anime, you still don’t know what the fuck happened in Kizumonogatari, all because Shaft just had to make those Madoka Magica movies first.  The way the novels were released makes perfect sense, because you really need to know what happened in Kizumonogatari to completely understand what’s going on in Nise and Neko, or at least actually know who Shinobu and Hanekawa are, respectively.  But the anime just really fucked all that up, especially since there still is no definite release date for Kizu.

nisemonogatari karen

Anyway, this series takes place between Kizumonogatari and Bakemonogatari, and deals with Hanekawa’s whole cat-demon-spirit thing.  Along with Kizumonogatari this is one of the only ones in the series that has a regular linear plot, which is the reason I think that Kizu is the best in the series.  There wasn’t a whole lot of that in this episode, but it was a lot better than Nisemonogatari since they don’t have twelve episodes to screw around with this time.  Also I guess it’s to be expected, considering that this series was directed by the guy that directed Nisemonogatari (but not Bakemonogatari), but there’s probably going to be a lot of fan-service stuff put in to chew up time and sell more DVD’s.

The first conversation with Tsukihi was all fine and good, considering that most of it actually dealt with the plot of the series instead of just rambling on about nothing and was fairly entertaining for the most part.   Also the only fan-servicy part was played up more for humor  than to be sexual.  The scene with Karen was a lot more…. eh.  It obviously had little purpose other than to have some more boobs and ass thrown on the screen for a little while, and the idea of a 15 year old girl coming home and getting naked in the kitchen in front of her brother was pretty unrealistic to say the least (though not a whole lot in this series is realistic, so whatever).  The last part of episode, dealing with Hanekawa and her family situation, also deals with the main plot of the series, and if you’ve seen Bakemonogatari, you probably know how that relates to what’s going to happen.  However, the seriousness of that part was cut short in a fairly humorous way, which I suppose is to be expected of the Monogatari series.

As you would expect, it’s absurdly obvious that this show was made by Shaft, and at this point you’ll either love that or want to stay as far away from it as possible.  Because this is a much shorter series, and in a way is more like a movie, the plot has (hopefully) been streamlined and is so far focusing much more on the main story of the series which is definitely a good thing.  There really isn’t a whole lot to say about this show, because by now, you know if you like Monogatari shows or not, and you pretty much know what to expect from most of it.

2013 Winter Anime Season


Chart 2

And so, in an attempt to get back into the swing of things, here are all the anime (that I know of) for next season, and my thoughts on them.  I’ll try to give any info I can and if PV’s are available, I’ll put a link for them.  Also, I’ll exclude stuff like Milky Holmes and PreCure, because, really?

Nekomonogatari: Black – (PV) – Yes, I put this first because I’m an asshole, but also because I really like the Monogatari series (and it’s also not on the chart).  Anyway, this isn’t actually a show, but a four part movie-thing airing on New Year’s Eve.  If I’m correct, it chronologically takes place after Kizumonogatari and before Bakemonogatari.  It’s about Hanekawa’s cat-thing and what happened the first time she was possessed by it.  Other than that it’s a Monogatari story and Shaft; you know what you’re getting.

Savanna Game – From the description, this sounds a lot like somebody cashing in on the Hunger Games craze; well, either that, or Mirai Nikki, but whatever.  Considering that I don’t see a whole lot of amazing looking stuff this season, it could be worth looking into.

Puchimas!: Petit iDOLM@STER (PV) I’ve never seen any of the iDOLM@STER shows or played any of the games, so I don’t really have any reason to watch a cutesy, comedy oriented spin off about a bunch of little dolls getting into “humorous” situations.

Ai Mai Mi(PV) – “The anime adaption of the four-panel manga Ai Mai Mi.”  Okay, that’s pretty much all you need to know about a show like this.  High school, girls, comedy, it’s a veeeery unique concept that’s obviously never been done before.  You know what to expect, so if you like shows like that, go ahead.

AKB0048 Next Stage(PV) – The sequel to that show with about 1000 main characters about a bunch of girls who sing pop songs to save the universe or something.  So, yeah, I don’t really have too much of a desire to watch this, even though I’ve heard it isn’t actually as bad as the ridiculous synopsis makes it out to be.

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajima ga Shuruba Sugiru(PV) – I read some of this manga just to see what it was about, and it’s pretty damn lame in my opinion.  You have a bunch of lame cliches and a bunch of attractive females ready to mount some completely bland and boring guy at a moments notice.  Once again, you can probably tell what you’re getting with this from the summary.

Senran Kagura(PV)So yeah, have you ever played Senran Kagura?  It’s pretty goddamn ridiculous; it’s pretty much a standard hack-and-slash game with a copious amounts of tits and ass thrown into it to make people buy it.  So I assume this show is going to be little more than Boobs and Swords: The Animation.

Bakumatsu Gijinden RomanPretty much the only thing that comes to my mind when I read the synopsis is Robin Hood, which isn’t really a bad thing I suppose.  There isn’t really a whole lot of information on it, so there isn’t that much to say on it’s behalf.

Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke(PV)I’ve never seen the original series that this show is a spin-off of, so watching this probably wouldn’t be in my best interest.  Although, often times, spin-offs can stand on their own, so I guess it would still be possible for me to watch it and grasp what’s going on.

Senyuu.(PV)Yeah, not really sure about something like this.  It’s one of those really short episode things (five minute episodes) so it’ll probably be more on the goofy comedy side of things.  But whatever, if that’s your cup of tea, go for it and watch it.

Boku wa Tomdachi ga Sukunai Next(PV)The sequel to Haganai, which came a bit faster than I expected.  I thought the first season was pretty good, so I’ll probably watch this season on and off as well.  But I just pray to Satan that the annoying-ass nun girl gets run over by a bus or something.

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai(PV)This is a Shaft anime, so I’m legally obligated to watch it and to like itAnyway, it’s about some shut-in girl and her brother… and I don’t really know much beyond that.  Oh, and the PV is pretty crazy too.  Hopefully, Shaft will pull through and give me something else to watch this season.

Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?(PV)  – Yeah, both the synopsis and the PV for this show are pretty… something.  I don’t really know what to make of it actually; it doesn’t look particularly good to me, but I guess something about the oddness of it makes me want to try and see what it’s really about.

Beast Saga An anime for a toy series of robot animal things.  That’s all you need to know.

GJ-buHigh school people doing “funny” high school things.  And that’s all she wrote.

Da Capo III(PV) I’ve never watched any of this series and quite frankly, I don’t really understand how you keep a dating sim anime going for this long, but they’ve done it.  Technically, this isn’t even the third season of the show; both the first and second parts each had their own season, so this is technically the fifth.  I mean, Jesus, how much can there be going on in this story.

Chihayafuru 2Didn’t watch the first season, and this show really seems like you need to know what the hell’s going on it it to actually enjoy it.

Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun(PV)Both the summary and PV more this show come off as kind of “meh” to me.  It seems like the typical fair when it comes to things like this, so I don’t really have any desires to watch it.

Citicle Detective Inaba(PV) Okay, so the synopsis for this show is filled with all kinds of “what” in every shape and size.  A half-human-half-wolf detective with a hair fetish and his cross dressing secretary solve crimes and stuff.  Okay.

Tamako Market(PV) Also known as, “That show that looked like some K-on! spin off that they kept showing at the end of all those Chuunibyou episodes”.  And that’s just what it seems like, another light, K-on!-esque comedy thing.  But at least it’s by Kyoto, so it’ll look all nice and pretty.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha(PV) This is one of the few other shows that looks like it could at least be somewhat interesting.  There aren’t really a whole lot of straight-up “fantasy” anime these days, so at least it has that going for it.  The PV also makes it look interesting enough, so I’ll probably end up watching at least the first episode or two.

Kotoura-san(PV)A school romance comedy thing with a girl that can read minds.  Yeah, doesn’t really sound terrible or like it’ll be anything all that special either, so whatever.

Amnesia(PV)I really hate when shows that sound like they could potentially be interesting have really weird and confusing summaries to go along with them.  I guess it could probably be okay, but once again, that may be because there isn’t a whole lot I want to watch this season.

Mangirl! Four girls.  Slice of Life.  Comedy.  Done.

Vividred Operation(PV) Yeah, would have never expected that the Strike Witches guy worked on this, would you?  To me, ti looks like Strike Witches had an orgy with a bunch of magical girl shows and this show came out.  Looks like a pretty normal almost-lesbian magical girl show, so that’s all I have to say about that.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – Review


Minitokyo.Chuunibyou.demo.Koi.ga.Shitai!.599054

Hey, remember when you were 14 and you thought you were some cursed magic warrior from another realm sent here to defeat the evil Shadow-Somethings by the Ruler of Where-Ever-The-Hell?  Yeah, neither do I, probably because I’m not a complete loser, or it might just be because I didn’t spend my childhood in Japan, and who knows what living in a place like that could do to you.  Regardless, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitaiis about just such a thing, and on a rather severe level at that.  Apparently, it’s some form of “illness” that causes young Japanese teenagers to act really weird and crazy and have delusions of being some superhero thing.  But I mean, come on, it’s Japan, I’m sure that’s not restricted to just kids.

The show is about Yuuta, a former victim of the “disease” known as Chuunibyou, also known as “Being a Weird-ass”.  However, he’s put all that behind him in the hopes of making it through his entire high school life without people willing to saw their own arm off just not to be seated next to him in class.  He’s completely done away with his childhood persona “The Dark Flame Master” in exchange for being a normal everyday kid.  But because this is an anime, things aren’t really allowed to go easily for the main character.  He meets a girl named Rikka, who seems convinced that her right eye is in the possession of some magic powers from another dimension or something, and she wants Yuuta, or rather, The Dark Flame Master, to aid her in achieving whatever non-existent goal her magic eye requires of her.

gg_Chuunibyou_Demo_Koi_ga_Shitai_-_01_5B6EFD1F_Oct-3-2012-9.02.39-PM

In a lot of ways, the first half of this show is basically The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, only if Haruhi wasn’t actually God or whatever, and none of the stuff she thought existed actually did.  And the fact that the series was done by the same animation studio doesn’t help either.  You have a girl obsessed with weird magic stuff, her level-headed male sidekick, a club dedicated to the sole purpose of indulging the girl’s strange interests, and a bunch of other odd characters that come along for the ride.  The second half, however is decidedly different from the first, and diverges itself from a standard “quirky kids doing quirky things” storyline while dealing with themes of growing up as well as the importance of always being young at heart.  It never gets terribly dramatic and serious, but there’s a decent amount of emotion in the last few episodes that give story and characters a bit more meaning.  The ending is also somewhat cheesy, but you pretty much come to expect it from shows like this so it didn’t bother me too much.

The show continues from Yuuta and Rikka’s first meeting in a rather episodic way for the most part, and spends most of it’s time establishing the two main characters and their relationship.  This is where the show really excels in my opinion.  To begin with, the relationship that Rikka and Yuuta inevitably develop is very believable and natural, which is something that can’t be said for plenty of anime in the same category.  More often than not, anime romances develop due to nothing more than the demands of the plot, but here it’s enjoyable and easy to see how their relationship changes as the story goes on.  While Yuuta acts as the standard straight-faced male, he seems to stand out from his archetype due to his natural interactions with Rikka.  He isn’t the same overly-nice, bland and forgettable male lead that pretty much every shounen romance in existence seems to be stuck with, and he’s a much more believable character because of it.  In the same way, Rikka is a tremendously enjoyable female lead, and it’s not just because by most people’s standards she’d be legally insane.  It’s primarily because the show is about her, why she acts the way she does, and the way she changes over it’s course, though saying too much would spoil some things.  The way she interacts with Yuuta and the rest of the characters is also very entertaining, and adds a lot of enjoyment to what would otherwise be a rather normal school slice-of-life show.

Chuunibyou-demo-Koi-ga-Shitai-Ep-4-Img0027-1024x576

The supporting characters are somewhat hit and miss in my opinion, or maybe it’s because that Yuuta and Rikka are such strong leads that the rest of the cast seems kind of ho-hum.  Kumin is all but a body to take up space and is literally asleep through most of her screen time.  In the same way, Isshiki is only there to give Kumin something to do, to have the standard best male friend, and to give another small subplot to the story.  I also found Dekomori pretty annoying and useless for the most part (her “catchphrase” didn’t help matters a whole lot either), until the end when she was actually given something to contribute to the plot.  Nibutani was the only other character that I actually liked, which is odd, considering that I don’t thing you’re really supposed to like her all that much.  From the first few seconds you see her you expect her to play the archetype that her character and personality are obviously meant to play, but I absolutely loved the complete 180 she takes later on, and by the end of the show it’s pretty hard to see her as you originally did.

Because the show was one by Kyoto Animation, it’s no surprise that the animation is very good and surprisingly consistent in quality throughout the course of the show.  There isn’t really thing all too spectacular about the art style, but because of all the small details and quality of animation they put into it, it really makes it enjoyable to watch.  Another thing worth mentioning is the refreshing lack of ecchi and over-sexualized scenes in the show.  As far as I can remember there isn’t a single ecchi scene in the entire series (though it’s hinted at in the very first scene) and the scenes containing any kind of sexual innuendo are few and far between.  Oh, and the anime-standard beach episode?  Only about thirty seconds of it are actually on the beach, and none of it is spent going “Ooh look at the girls in their swimsuits!  This is for you, hentai artists!”.  Absolutely glorious.  The last thing to say about this show is a kind of hard thing to put into words, and that is: it’s just fun to watch.  I guess it’s kind of the same for shows like Clannad and Haruhi, in that, nothing really important every happens, but they’re still really enjoyable and memorable shows.  The show utilizes so many of the good qualities that exist in anime while simultaneously getting rid of the bad ones, and simply gives an overall enjoyable experience.

%d bloggers like this: