Time flies when you’re having fun, and I never had this much fun from watching a bunch of anime for the past three months. It’s a shame how fun things don’t last forever. It’s been a fun ride, but it’s time to move on. Here is my definitive review of all the anime I’ve watched for the past three months, all in glorious alphabetical order.
Boku Ha Tomodachi Ga Sukunai: NEXT
Holy shit the ending is dumb. Haganai’s second season continues The Neighbour’s Club’s fun and games where the first season left off for the first half of the series, and then, unfortunately, takes a nose dive plunge into a pool of shit in the latter half where everything goes full retard and the character suddenly can’t get enough of Kodoka’s dick. What made me keep watching this wreck was the new character introduced, including the pooping sister Kate and the new best girl Aoi.
Yozora was such an ignorant bitch this season. Don’t get me wrong, Yozora was the best girl ~in my opinion~ in season one. After “re-uniting” with Kodoka as long lost childhood friends in the first season, it apparently gave her a free pass to bitch it up to every other member in the club (wait, Yukimura was a girl!?) ensuring no one else ger their hands on Kodoka. It was obvious that the producers had a lot of fun season, especially when it came to Rika. If Aoi was out of the picture Rika would probably be the best girl in my opinion and the only one in the club with actual common sense. Her weekly “upgrades” made the show refreshing and overall fun to watch, and that was pretty much it; just lots and lots of doses of fun. Haganai fell into the same hole Who is Imouto did last year, where the series puts the endless amounts of pandering and enticing fanservice first rather than the story at hand. This strongly shows in the second season as the pandering soon got devastatingly cheap and artificial.
It was also this sequel where the anime deconstructs the MC’s dense personality archetype, rattling out that Kodoka was simply pretending to be retarded and purposefully pulling the [EHHH?? NANDATTEEEEEE???] every time a girl in his harem tried to make a move on him (TL Note: ‘Ehhh? Nandatte???’ means ‘Eh? What did you say?’). I actually looked up to Kodoka in the last season because he seemed like a pretty cool headed guy who just wanted to make friends, but he just turned out to be a gigantic awful fool in this season. You mustn’t run away Kodoka.
The ending is for anyone to decide. Kodoka and Rika are officially “friends”, Sena unofficially won and Yozora accounced her pilgrimage to Mordor. I’ve heard the anime has now caught up to the light novels which is still on-going, meaning a third season is possible in the near future.
– 6/10 –
Kodoka is retarded. Yozora a shit. Sena still a shit. Red is the best and the saviour of this trainwreck of a show.
THE UNLIMITED: Hyoubu Kyousuke
I had low expectations for this series after Manglobe’s grand disaster on Hayate’s third season last year. I mean, an edgy spin-off based on the villain from Zettai Karen Children when a second season would have completely sufficed, what could possibly go wrong? Then came episode one; nothing went wrong.
The visuals, the writing, the story, it was as if we now know where the large portion of budget allocated for Hayate no Gotoku Season 3 had went. Hyoubu turned out to be one of the best anime this season, despite its low popularity compared other anime airing this season. Disregarding the edginess the show constantly pulls (especially the OP) it has a really engaging and clear plot that needs no requirement for viewers to watch the original Zettai Karen Children series. Zettai Karen Children was a brilliant anime, as it is my second favourite anime series after Hayate no Gotoku and behind TWGOK in third. Maybe I just like every Shonen Sunday series in general.
“It was as if we now know where the large portion of budget allocated for Hayate no Gotoku Season 3 had went”
There’s been discussions whether you need to watch or read ZKC first to watch this, but my take on it is simply this; you’ll be fine if you haven’t watch or read the main series, but there’ll be a few little things you’ll won’t understand and miss out. The series does good in introducing all the members of the ESPer terrorist group PANDRA, which wasn’t really introduced in the ZKC anime series. However the payoff is that they didn’t properly re-introduce the members of BABEL to new viewers, a group wanting the normals and espers to live together in peace and harmony, and a bunch of other side characters that made the main series so great. The anime had a spectacular ending that left me very satisfied, an ending that is partially closed off, but has potential for a sequel to follow up on.
Hyoubu was obviously pandering to the fujoshi audience ZKC has garnered – thanks to the way Takeshi Shiina draws his bros, and it does so in a way that it panders as well to the male crowd; with the inclusion of Yugiri of course and her friendly relationship with Andy.
– 8/10 –
Sleeper hit of the season and should deserve more love and attention. Andy x Hyobu my first homo-erotic-shipping.
GJ-bu is like no other anime I’ve ever watched. Yes, it’s indeed another slice of life anime where everything happens in one room, and yes, nothing in particular or spectacular happens through the course of this series. But GJ-bu is special, GJ-bu is not your usual slice of life high school anime where cute girls perform cute things. I can’t necessarily describe it in words, but GJ-bu converted me into a different person.
GJ-bu isn’t like the other LN inspired anime airing this season like Haganai; where they experiment in the R&D of fanservice, Sakurasou; where it tries so hard in being so serious and Sasami-san where… where uh… some strange shit occurs. GJ-bu is an adaptation of an original light-novel series of the same name. The light novel series is special because it follows the same style you would see in a 4-panel comic, where each chapter is only four pages long.
There is little to none of blatant display of fanservice in GJ-bu, but rather, GJ-bu has defined a whole new playing field of subtle and spiritual fanservice. The close interactions between the characters, the subtle innuendo with the use of soft bristles stuck on one end of a stick which is meant for use in hair care.
Dogakobo’s marvellous effort in the animation is top-notch, superb, nothing like its past works from the likes of YuruYuri or Hoshizora. I like this growing trend in recent anime where anime studios are slowly moving away from the usual black outlines on characters and objects, and are using distinct colours like brown and deep purples. It brings out a whole new atmosphere in the setting and evidently shows Japanese animation is progressing; they can actually make the effort and change the colour of the outlines.
The music, as you’ll see in my Top 10 AniSong of the Winter Season post, is my considered best of this season straight after Love Live. The opening theme is fun sounding and catchy, despite the creepy lyrics, the plethora of ending themes makes the conclusion of an episode much more comfortable to come to terms with.
I usually don’t cry when I watch anime, except if it’s Clannad or a Makoto Shinkai film or that Thai Insurance CM, but I legitimately cried and lost the reason to live when it came to GJ-bu’s ending; I even put myself off from the final episode because I didn’t want the journey to end.
Nevertheless, the end is one the most beautiful graduation endings I’ve ever seen, even topping out on Azumanga Daioh’s heart-warming conclusion.
“GJ-bu is like no other anime I’ve ever watched.”
My anime blogging idol Marow written a beautiful post explaining why GJ-bu is the best anime of this season and I suggest you all to go and have a read.
– 10/10 –
Masterpiece, I loved every single second of it. I cried watching the final episode. Anime of the season. Anime of the year. Anime of the millennia. Purple is now my favourite colour.
Remember that movie UP? I have yet to watch that movie but I did watch the watch the first few minutes of it. I cried. It was astounding, touching, one of the pinnacles of Pixar animation. I felt roughly these same feelings when I watched the first ten minutes of Kotoura-san; a girl gifted with ESP powers to read minds which ultimately costed the ties relations of everyone who were important to her. Even though I had these thoughts, I also had this feeling of frustration going “WHY COULDN’T SHE HAD JUST SHUT UP?”, “WHY DID NOBODY EVER TOLD HER TO SHUT UP?” and “WHY DIDN’T HER PARENTS TELL HER TO SHUT UP ABOUT THOSE THINGS?”. I admit having ESP powers is pretty cool, but because Kotoura-san is set in a down-to-earth world, it’s a tad unbelievable and kimochi warui if anyone walked up to you and proclaimed that they could read your mind in lossless FLAC audio quality, and actually pulled it off. But the least anyone could’ve done in Kotoura-san, especially her parents, was just to tell Kotoura to shut – the hell – up. Kotoura herself probably knew she shouldn’t have responded to any thoughts in anyone’s mind, but the entire ordeal would’ve been prevented if she had just shut, the fuck up.
“WHY COULDN’T SHE HAD JUST SHUT UP?”
If the series had ended in the first ten minutes of the first episode, I would’ve given this an 11/10, anime of the season and perhaps anime of the year hands down. Obviously, for a one-cour series there was more to come; after those ten touching minutes the anime soon devolves into a generic high school slice of life comedy. The show tries to juxtapose comedy and drama; the comedy where Kotoura-san and gang get up to their fun and comedic hi-jinks, and drama as a daily reminder that the darker side of the plot is still present. This juggling of themes fails horribly as we enter this rinse and repeat cycle where everyone is happy, drama is then forcefully applied in all areas, a twinkle of hope appears sometime later which will pull all the characters out of their misery and everything will be fine again! The repetition of this in every episode just made the series worse and worse in each cycle and made me feel more like an idiot for crying over the first ten minutes in the first episode. I found it hilarious how the climax turned out to be something you would expect from a classic Scooby Doo episode.
– 4/10 –
So forced I cried watching from the suffering; a lovely and touching ending which I’ll probably forget in a few weeks.
This anime had everything I loved; high school girls, idols, and alpacas. Did I mention high school girls? After the glorious Idolmaster ended in 2011, I was in dire need of more idol anime; sadly, children’s idol anime were out of the question. I did however come across AKB0048, but for one reason or another I never got around to watching it. Then came Love Live, where they took this profitable idol concept and dumped it straight into a high school setting. Genius.
“high school girls, idols, and alpacas”
Love Live was definitely one of the most enjoyable anime I’ve seen this season. Even though thirteen episodes feels like it’s too short, given the simplistic nature of the plot; where a group of girls form a school idol unit in order to save their school from shutting down, it ended just at the right time. When it comes to idol anime, each character needs to have its own charm, looks and a unique personality. Idolmaster nailed this with a fully-fledged cast that integrates well with other, Love Live as well nailed this even better. Love Live as produced a great amount of chemistry and development with the girls, starting out with three second-year girls, then growing with the addition of three first year girls before finally completing the group with three third year girls into the Nine Singing Goddesses – Muse.
What really bring this series alive are the songs. Lots and lots of idol-licious songs. Unfortunately, the series falls short on not bringing enough of these songs into the anime, songs that the franchise has accumulated since its birth in 2010. The debut of a new song “START:DASH” was the only ever real performance the series had, along with “Bokura no Live Kimi to no Life” and other small doses of songs. The anime was evidently more focused on the plot development; overseeing the growth of the idol group μ’s as they start out from scratch – to almost taking part in the most prestigious Idol competition in the nation; Love Live. Plot is always good for any kind of medium; but Love Live focused too much on this and almost forgot about what idols are known for doing. How they could’ve went around this issue was to do what Idolmaster did; include a different ending theme each week. That way my life would be complete with an animated MV theme of “soldier game”, the best Love Live song yet.
The animation has been a bumpy and inconsistent ride. Sunrise did it again with its high production values, but soon after episode four the quality drops for some reason and you can definitely see the background characters suffering from huge amounts of ‘quality’; a fan-made term in which to depict a certain frame in a anime to be inadequately drawn. Idolmaster was hailed for its full faith in 2D hand drawn animation by A-1 Pictures, and stayed strong in its performance scenes where everything remained traditionally hand drawn, and no 3D CGI were to be found. Sunrise seemingly didn’t have the sufficient budget nor strength to keep up to this level of playing field and sadly relied on CGI for the majority of Love Live’s performances. They did the same technique as in Vividred Operation where they limit the amount of frames per second so that it fits in with overall fps rate, but the CGI is still very noticeable and is far from ever disguising itself as authentic hand drawn 2D animation.
The climax leaves a lot to be desired, but the ending is satisfactory given it’s an idol anime. It left itself open and intact for a plausible second season. Love Live is definitely a must watch if you want to jump into the idol bandwagon.
– 9/10 –
Idolmaster old and busted, Love Live the new hotness. Umi is the best Rabu Raibu.
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
Ahaha hahaha haha hahaha – no. I’m not going to review this even if it kills me.
Pink = Orange > Black > Shiiiiiiiiiit > Silver.
Pink objectively won in the end so Orangefags and Silverfags, stay delusional.
– 5/10 –
It’s an okay anime.
A three minute episodic series means for a three minute episodic review. The constant small daily doses of Puchimas every weekday evening made my weekdays feel a bit better from a day’s work at school. Also those Puchis are just so darn cute. Thanks for the two minute doses each weekday.
– 7/10 –
Robotics;Notes started off very weakly, which seems to be an on-going case for 5pb’s Semi;Colon Scientific Adventure Series; where its plot always paces an exponential rate. The characters are rather down-to earth this time around compared to the quirky bunch over at Steins;Gate. They consist of your average high school students who all have in some shape or form, a ‘thing’ for robots. It was without a doubt that a lot of TLC has been put into the character designs and their respective background information. The animation however failed to emulate this with Production I.G’s disappointing budget; at times the art just feels very cheap and quickly done. The story starts out fine in the beginning where the club enters a Robotics competition in-order to prevent the club from being shut down.
“Robotics;Notes is sadly way out of Steins;Gate’s league”
Throughout the series I soon lost the grip of the plot and at times wondered what the heck I was watching. Robotics;Notes is sadly way out of Steins;Gate’s league. The series was let down with its desperately slow plot progression in its first half to the convoluted and confusingly weak ending, which made the entire experience underwhelming for a Semi;Colon show.
– 6/10 –
Failed to live up to Steins;Gate’s success. A few things near the end I didn’t really understand. Overall felt very boring and underwhelming to watch.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
Sakurasou was a special anime in some shape or form. When I read the summary of the series before it aired I thought it would be your generic slice of life comedy; where a male protagonist would have one hell of a high school life taking care of a girl your age who has no common sense whatsoever; a male’s fantasy if you will. A few episodes in and I realised this wasn’t the case. It’s a drama-like and serious coming-of-age anime about group of ‘nutjobs’ living under a dormitory called Sakurasou, a special apartment complex to house troublemaking students of the Suimei University of the Arts.
The main cast of characters have their own special talents and an aspiring dream they are aiming towards. Misaki wears the hyperactive girl architecture and is ridiculously talented in making anime, Jin has a knack for writing things and is also your run off the mill womaniser, Ryuunosuke is a talented programmer who spends most of his time inside his room, Nanami is the more responsible character out of the group and is working hard to become a top class voice actress and Mashiro is a renowned painter who wants to move that skill into drawing manga. And then we have our protagonist of the series; Sorata, who has no significant talent or skill whatsoever and likes to pick up abandoned cats. The series starts off well introducing the characters and setting, and series reached its peak in my opinion half way into the series where the group make the Nyaboron game for the Cultural Festival; showing that with lots of combined efforts, motivation and the concept of teamwork, anyone can make a something great that will ‘put a smile on everyone’s faces’.
“Sakurasou was a special anime”
In the second half of the series it dives itself deeper into the drama aspect it has primarily with the relationship woes between all the characters. It is also here when Sorata wants to be a games designer and becomes Fujisawa Kazuki’s (a famous game designer) apprentice of sorts, but realises the true nature of becoming one when all of his game submissions gets rejected for being inadequate. Adding insult to injury Mashiro has been doing successfully in her serialised manga and has also been invited to work for Fujisawa’s games company as a character designer, Mashiro – the one who doesn’t know her lefts from her rights and can put on clothes by herself. The underlying tone the series maintains is the suffering and hardships of people with no special skills or talents, having to work their asses off day in and day out in-order to succeed, with a huge possibility of failing at the same time. This is in contrast to people with special talents in which they can rely on, and sail smoothly and successfully in life with little to no effort. This is relayed strongly during Sorata’s moments suffering when his game creations didn’t succeed in competitions, and whole bunch of other character’s suffering, in which I can’t explain without spoiling the entire plot.
The music is okay. JC Staff’s handling of this series is surprisingly good, above the level of JC Staff’s usual production quality which made Little Busters Fans mad as they realised where its budget had actually gone towards. Also cherry blossoms. Lots and lots of cherry blossoms.
– 7/10 –
The greatest love storie(s) every told, perhaps even dethroning Toradora. Sorata is probably one of the worst protagonists I have ever come across. Nanami won in my eyes ;__;
I am deeply sorry, I’ve tried my best. No matter in what position or method I tried watching – doing a head stand, turning the monitor upside down, or doing six hundred and sixty six times head tilts, I just couldn’t fathom the understanding of Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. I just couldn’t believe that I managed to sit through three months of this huge serious train wreck. The first few episodes were okay because I sort of knew what was going on. But soon my understanding went right out the window when the series explains all of this pretentious spiritual bullshit that I didn’t even understood.
“pretentious spiritual bullshit”
If anything the character designs were what bought me in to this show, ZAQ did the opening theme and it was by Shaft. Production wise it isn’t anything different from Shaft’s past wacky works, and they did a terrific job at trolling the viewers with the ending theme where the VAs would voice over every week it doing small talk. It was also around episode nine when I was about to drop this crap; a new female character appears who apparently has a penis. “Perhaps she will save this show and have a decent ending…” I said. Sadly she didn’t deliver and then the plot flew right over my head at breakneck speed – leaving a distasteful conclusion leaving me wondering what in the world I was watching for the past twelve weeks.
– 2/10 –
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM WATCHING PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I AM WATCHING. I’m just glad it’s finally over.
Tamako Market was my most anticipated anime of the season after enjoying the shit out of Chu2Koi in the Autumn season. It’s a shame however that Tamako Market failed to live up to standards of KyoAni’s past works like Hyouka and Chu2Koi, due to its lack of substance of plot and no real goal nor conclusion at the end.
Tamako Market centers around a girl called Tamako Kitashirakawa, a daughter to a father who runs a mocha shop in a shopping arcade called Usagiyama Shopping District. One day she finds this cock sleeping around who has the ability to talk moonrunes. Nothing else really happens throughout the course of the series until near the end, where two new characters make their appearances who are the catalyst of the series’ climax. Because it’s Kyoto Animation we’re talking about here, the production values in Tamako Market is very high. The soft visuals, the excellent directing and the well cared for character designs made Tamako Market enjoyable to watch. If there’s anything you’ll watch Tamako Market for, it’s the cock in my opinion.
KyoAni is known for not mixing well with romance and relationships, and in Tamako Market, it was as though they were asking for it and not at the same time. It’s not really spoilers, but Tamako has several love interests from the likes of Mochizou, Midori and also Dera. Yes, Midori’s a girl. Girls can’t love girls you say? KyoAni likes to think otherwise. And yes, Dera is a cock. Girls can’t love cocks you say? KyoAni likes to think otherwise. Anko, Tamako’s little sister, also has her own episode where it reveals she has a crush on a boy in her class and there’s the Afro man who’s in love with a woman who also works in a shop in the district. There’s also another subtle pairing for another pair of characters later on in the series. And does any romance stem from these potential pairings? You’ll have to see for yourself.
“slice of life anime at its finest“
Overall, Tamako Market is a slice of life anime at its finest. The series does a good job at letting the viewers peer in to the close and cohesive life in the Usagiyama Shopping District, where every owner of each shop knows each other and somehow all managing to stay in business despite always seen giving away their stuff free of charge.
– 6/10 –
Absolutely Nothing Happens: The Anime. Felt very underwhelming and the Cock was the only redeeming factor about the show.
Vividred Operation is, if not the most ridiculous anime of this butt cold season. So ridiculous, it turned out to be one of the best anime this season.
It goes without saying that Vividred isn’t afraid of doing what it does best; ass. The plethora of fanservice in Vividred is nothing like other fanservice inducing anime, it feels natural in Vividred and baked into the series’ core that it just isn’t Vividred without it.
What’s fun about Vividred is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sure, the plot has a serious undertone where an unknown alien force as appeared on Earth to cause havoc; it’s pretty much the same plot as in Strike Witches – the only differences are that the Neuroi are now Alone-s (rimshot), and everything is set in the distant future.
Even though fighting the Alones is their primary objective, the series would rather focus on the development and relationship of the five girls; Akane, Aoi, Wakaba, Himawari and Rei. The growing and budding friendship between the cast of characters is important, because as the stronger their bonds is, the stronger they become when they use the Vivid System to fight back against the Alones.
“Vividred isn’t afraid of doing what it does best; ass.”
The Vivid System was developed by Akane’s grandfather, stuck in a stuffed ferret throughout the series, who predicted the invasion of the Alones and developed this system solely to combat them. The Vivid System consists of a ‘Pallet Suit’, their uniform gear which the girls magically transform into when they activate their ‘key’. Akane has the ability to “dock” with another girl in the cast, essentially uniting as one and having even more strength as they’re combined and manifesting a weapons at hand. When Akane docks with Aoi, they become Vivid Blue with a giant hammer. When Akane docks with Wakaba, they become Vivid Green with a giant sword. When Akane docks with Himawari, they become Vivid Yellow with a giant awesome shield that fires back attacks. And what about Vivid Red you ask? You’ll have to see for yourself.
Vividred Operation takes many ideas and inspiration from Evangelion, Madoka Magica, Gurren Lagann and not surprisingly Strike Witches, and these can be seen evidently throughout the series, whatever you see on screen to the writing of the plot. The climax was also inspired heavily from the Evangelion series. Don’t worry, I assure everyone that Vividred’s ending isn’t anything like The End of Eva. What irked me throughout the series however is how they are worryingly ignorant towards the large amounts of deaths happening during the Alone’s attack. Even though the pilots on the fighter jets can eject themselves before their planes blow up into smithereens, I’m ascertain that there’s no safe way to escape safely when the battleships get devastated by the Alone’s laser beams.
The animation is superb; the visuals are stunning with redjuice in charge of the futuristic environmental designs. The animation shines during the fight scenes against the Alones, and A1 Pictures makes use of 3D CGI, but doing so in a way it wouldn’t hurt the consistencies of traditional hand drawn animation. They do so by limiting the frames per seconds so that it matches the general eight to twelve frames per second rate anime is known for using. At the cost of the spectacular transformations and the epic explosions, when the girls are just living their normal everyday lives the art suffers quite a bit with derpy looking faces and disfigured background characters.
Let’s not go into the scene where the, Crow, eats up Rei as whole, and, uh, no.
It was obvious to say the least that Kazuhiro Takamura put much time and thought into the character designs of the main casts, the Pallet Suits, the weapons and especially the docked Vivids. I like the design ethos going with Vividred, although when I first came across this series I thought the red/blue/green/yellow was related to some Google Chrome or Microsoft campaign.
Vividred Operation is a remarkable anime where there’s a respectable amount of everything you could imagine; action, drama, comedy, adventure, yuri, fanservice, butts. Each episode has its own kind of ‘fun’ which makes every episode feel as enjoyable to watch as the last one.
If you want a reliable source of subs to watch Vividred Operation then I strongly suggest Urielmatt’s Vividass Speedsubs.