Blood Lad – A Show Of (Too) Many Components

Blood_Lad_vol.1_cover.jpg.png

Blood Lad is a show I was quite excited for before it aired for its premise, which had reminded me quite a bit of Disgaea, a common theme in recent seasons, with one such show per season. Here is the basic premise: Evil underworld boss is actually an Otaku that wants nothing more than to go to Japan, meets a human girl who dies and becomes a ghost, and he must now save her while hijinks ensue. There’s comedy, there’s action, there’s fan-service and supposedly there’ll be romance as well at some point.

Well, it wouldn’t surprise you to hear that there is action and comedy in such a show, but sadly for me, I didn’t find it all that funny. The show had fan-service, which means we’ve had busty girls showing us their wares and being cute in general. The issue of fan-service with this show is actually quite interesting – Fuyumi is set up as the love interest of Staz, but there is no real reason for him to fall for her aside from her being human, and a Japanese to boot – this is a classic example of falling for someone for what they are rather than who they are. This could be seen as a metaphor for how otaku view women/fan-service in general, which might be quite apt considering the show is about an otaku vampire who doesn’t even realize how much of a goner he is.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be a fair amount of spoilers.)

Continue reading

Anime Season Midterms – First Impressions – Summer 2013 (Monday-Thursday)

I’m watching a lot of shows from this season. So many in fact, that I’m going to split my “midseason impression” post into 4 parts, depending on the days of the week the shows are airing on. This will give me a bit more space to discuss each show, and whether I think you should watch it or not.
The days are decided by the official Japanese day of the week the anime is released on, even if some are released at the 25th hour (after 1 am…)

Part 1 (Monday-Thursday): Blood Lad, Makai Ouji – Devils and Realist, WataMote, The World God Only Knows Season 3, Free!
Part 2 (Friday): Gin no Saji, Rozen Maiden (2013), Stella Jogakuin Kotou-ka C3-bu, Danganronpa, Servant x Service, Love Lab, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (continues from Spring season).
Part 3 (Saturday): Gatchaman Crowds, Kiniro Mosaic, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, Genei wo Kakekru Taiyo
Part 4 (Sunday): Monogatari 2nd Season, Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Uchoten Kazoku, Genshiken Nidaime, Shingeki no Kyojin (continues from Spring season).

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui (It’s your fault I’m not popular) also known as WataMote – This is a cringe comedy covering an unpopular girl called Tomoko. Tomoko has absolutely no common sense, but she knows what she wants – she wants to be popular. What follows are her attempts to become more popular which are horribly misguided, and her interaction and lack thereof with her surroundings.

The first episode didn’t really make me cringe, but I’ve found it hilarious, everything just added up so wonderfully. The second episode kind of hit home, and introduced to us Tomoko as the tragic heroine, she met with her old friend and felt left behind. This was very sympathetic. The third episode had introduced the third axis of the show – that of the cringe episode, discussing what I call “Sympathetic Viewer Awkwardness”, the cringe-factor.
The OP linked above is pure win. They’re also putting effort into very relevant endings to most episodes.

Watched: 6/12 episodes
Current Grade: B to B-, started as A+, but had slowly been losing steam, being less and less funny. If you want a comedy which is actually focused on trying to make people laugh, then this is still the show for you this season.

Continue reading

Project Madness – Summer 2013 Mid-Season Week Journal [Day 7 Update]

DAY 0 UPDATE:

Madness? I am Mad Scientist! Chaos, and invade!

The Summer 2013 season of anime shows is full of interesting shows. I should know, I’ve been watching about 12 shows on a weekly basis, with a couple more I’ve put on hold due to the insane amount of shows there are out there. As I’ve done for 3 weeks, I’ve covered the shows and episodes I’ve watched that week. These posts are monstrosities that run about 2,500 words, each. I’ve told this to a good friend of mine, and he said, “Yeah, I don’t read those blog posts. They’re 2,500 word-long monstrosities.”

So I sat down and thought to myself, what will I do with the mid-season overview post? If anything, I’m going to give each series more space, rather than less – no one will read that 4k word monstrosity! How will they know which anime are worth their time and which aren’t?
The answer was obvious. Rather than have one post, I’ll have several! So simple, so obvious, so ingenious. But how to split the posts? And then it hit me! By day. After all, it makes sense that one would wish to spread their anime consumption by days, to avoid days where they have idle time and days where they can barely breathe.
Looking over my schedule, however, I’ve come to an alarming realization: Not all days have enough shows! Even if I group them, some groupings don’t have enough shows. Once again though, once I’ve assessed my situation calmly, the solution presented itself to me quite clearly:

I must watch more shows.

I intend to cover the shows about their episode 5-6 mark, and many of them I’ve never started. So let’s take a short survey of where we stand:

Show name: Episodes watched/Out of how many episodes I intend to have watched – Sorted by Day:
Blood Lad: 2/5.
Makai Ouji – Devils and Realist: 2/2
WataMote: 4/5
The World God Only Knows: 4/5
Free!: 0/5
Gin No Saji / Silver Spoon: 0/5
Rozen Maiden (2013): 5/6
Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu: 5/6
Danganronpa: 5/5
Servant x Service: 0/6
Love Lab: 0/6
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S: 17/17
Gatchaman Crowds: 4/5
Kiniro Mosaic: 0/6
Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma Illya: 2/6
Ge’nei wo Kakeru Taiyo / Day Break Illusion: 1/6
Monogatari Series Second Season: 0/5
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi: 4/5-6 (depends on how late the translation is.)
Genshiken Nidaime: 5/6
Uchoten Kazoku: 5/6
Shingeki no Kyojin / Attack on Titan: 17/18

That adds up to 55-56 episodes I need to watch before this week is over. Yikes, I thought it’d be 40. Now, if it weren’t for the fact I work full time, 56 episodes would be a breeze. But I do work full time. I hope all of you will provide me moral support as I attempt to watch anime, so you guys won’t have to! I’m doing it for you guys.
Another thing making this challenge more difficult is how many of these shows are moe or non-comic comedies, which I have issues with – but 5 episodes is usually how much I can give them before I give up, which is just about as much time as they have. Lucky me!

I might stop at 5 if I feel I got a good feeling of the show. I believe 5 episodes is how many you really need in order to get the gist of the show. Episode 6 is optional. That’d get me as low as 47 episodes (not relevant for the shows I actually enjoy).

I will post once or twice a day to this post, to keep you apprised of my situation, and to chronicle my state of mind as I descend into this endless pile of anime, armed with neither booze or caffeine, as I tend to consume neither!

DAY 1 UPDATE:

Sunday, August 4th, 20:50 – They say there is no time like the present to start, right? I am going to have to start with Blood Lad, a show I wasn’t that fond of when I watched the first two episodes, but it’s due tomorrow. So let’s start.

01:46 – Technically it’s tomorrow, but we don’t deal with technicalities here. Blood Lad and Gin no Saji had been watched up to the current episode; Blood Lad was all over the place, Gin no Saji was surprisingly fun. This means today I’ve watched 7 episodes. I need to watch either 7 or 8 episodes per day. But! This is the first day and it’s important to pace myself. We don’t want to be lead by a false sense of security and bite too much, only to burn out too quickly! I’ve also watched the newest episode of Uchoten Kazoku which aired today, and I’ve watched Shingeki no Kyojin earlier today. So I guess it’s alright.

I sadly didn’t find the time to watch Kamisama no Inai. I could still do it, but I’d rather get at least four hours of sleep tonight. Going to lose 1-1.5 hours tomorrow for some real life things. The first day is always easy, let’s see how I manage on the second day! Who knows, maybe I’ll even join /r/anime’s group watch of the Tatami Galaxy. HAHAHAHA. Ha.

DAY 2 UPDATE:

21:50 I feel buoyed by yesterday, a couple of shows are up to date. It might be my success, or simply the sleep deprivation is already seeping in, my insidious enemy.

I considered starting strong with all the slice of life and Monogatari shows, but I’ll probably have to be hauled for diabetes from the moe-infusion if I take that route, so I have to pace myself. I will now watch the weekly episode of The World God Only Knows. I think it’ll be men in speedos, in Free! afterwards.

Continue reading

Weekly Anime Impressions – Summer 2013 Week 2.5 Impressions

Gatchaman Crowds Summer 2013 anime

Gatchaman!

Last week I’ve covered the first week of episodes. I am not sure if this will be a weekly thing or not, but I was quite busy with school-obligations in the beginning of the week, and I’ve watched 16(!) episodes from the Summer 2013 anime season, so I’ve decided to spend at least another post describing these episodes. Not all shows air at the same time, so for some shows I’ll cover episode 2, and for others episodes 2-3.

Also, I’m definitely going to be cutting/putting on hold some shows, including shows that are “solid”. I’ve had 15 currently airing shows on my watch list this week, and with me working full time, wanting to read books (I’ve read Steven Brust‘s To Reign in Hell this week), and wanting to enjoy all the games I purchased during Steam’s Summer Sale, 15 shows is just not sustainable.

I’ll break the shows down by how much I’ve cared for them, and also their nature. I will include second-third episode spoilers. I consider these things to be part of the premise, though.
Shows covered: Watamote, Kamisama no Inai, Danganronpa, Stella Jogakuin c3-bu, Blood Lad, Makai Ouji, Rozen Maiden 2013, Genshiken Nidaime, The World God Only Knows S3, Gatchaman Crowds, Fate/Kaleid Prisma Illya, Shingeki no Kyojin, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun). I didn’t watch  Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyo (Day Break Illusion) and Uchoten Kazoku this week, but will catch up on them tomorrow, due to time constraints, and actually picking up two extra shows.

New Shows:

Have Me Hooked:
Shows that were impressive, I am highly intrigued and will keep on watching:

Gatchaman Crowds – I’ve watched both episode 1 and episode 2 this week, meaning this is a new show I’ve picked up. I’ve actually watched a few episodes of the original Gatchaman in a convention and have some faint memories of it. Anyway, this is sort of a Power Rangers show, but if anything it reminds one of a buddy cop show. The main female character is a happy go lucky super energetic girl, who doesn’t obey authority because it’s authority (she’s not rebel, she’s just oblivious to the power plays), and the main male character is a by-the-numbers, annihilate the alien scum kind of guy. The show also deals with the nature of leadership and power, and diffuse responsibility.
I’m not super crazy about the artistic direction, but it definitely is interesting.
Watched Episodes 1-2.
To Watch? Super interesting, hope they’ll keep with the endless energy displayed in episode 2. Don’t judge it by episode 1.

Continue reading

Anime Season Begins – Summer 2013 Week 1 Impressions

Watamote - Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!For the first time I’ve watched over 10 episodes at a season’s start, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the multitude of shows I’ve been watching. I will most likely not post in this format weekly, and the next such post will come around week 5-6 of the season, as I believe many series take about five weeks to really get going and show us what they are worth. I might also drop some shows, hold off on some shows till week 5, or pick up new series after 5 weeks based on what people are saying.

I’ll break the shows down by how much I’ve cared for them, and also their nature. I will include first episode spoilers. I consider these things to be part of the premise, though.
Shows covered: Watamote, Kamisama no Inai, Uchoten Kazoku, Danganronpa, Stella Jogakuin c3-bu, Blood Lad, Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyo, Makai Ouji, Rozen Maiden 2013, Genshiken Nidaime, The World God Only Knows S3. Will also mention Monogatari 2nd Season, Shingeki no Kyojin and Railgun S.

New Shows:

Got Me Hooked:
These are the shows that I’m definitely picking up, at least until they fail to deliver for several weeks in a row.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui (It’s your fault I’m not popular) – known as WataMote; This show follows an unpopular girl as she enters high school where she is sure she will be more popular. It doesn’t happen. This is a comedy, and sort of a cringe-comedy, which often make watchers uncomfortable. I laughed all along the first episode, I didn’t find it cringe-worthy, and it wasn’t due to sympathizing or empathizing with the main character. I am eagerly awaiting new episodes.
The casting of Nakamura Yuichi was played Kousaka Kyousuke in OreImo for a very similar role is very fitting. Also, super kick-ass metal opening.

Continue reading