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Oh my, what’s this?! An update?! Yes, beloved internets, an update! I am entering the last few weeks of my final year of college, graduating in May. As such, I’ve finally gotten to a point where I can dedicate some time to anime! Just recently the new season started and, to tell the truth, I didn’t see any names that got me super psyched. I wasn’t feeling the hype. There was no buzz, no zing, no fire. I tried a pair of them, however, and intend to keep watching both, as both were very entertaining shows. I should probably write an article about “The Search for the Next Naruto: The Hype-Famine of 2012″ but I’ll do that some other day. 

Nazo no Kanojo X

Ever want an anime about saliva? Okay, okay, there is more to it than that, and there is plenty of time to get into that later. The first thing that struck me was the art. Straight out of the gate, we are hit with an artistic and metaphor-laced dream done in an old film-reel style that even burns through when Main Character-kun wakes up. There is something about the textures in this show. Try to find the best quality you can, because they are doing subtle things on the screen. Rough things look rough, smooth things look smooth, it helps to make up for the generic sort of art style the mangaka used in the original work. Anyways, we get a little time with boring normal boy Tsubaki Akira, get to see that he has a sister that acts like his mom, funny friend, yada yada yada, OH HEY!  A MYSTERIOUS TRANSFER STUDENT!

She has a little UFO hanging from her bag and only speaks  four syllables for her self-introduction. Oh yeah, we’ve got us a weird one here. Still, considering how obviously socially awkward she is, she’s obviously a main character. We have a special area of the classroom specifically for main characters to sit. As always, it is the back left quarter, usually near a window. Now… who to call on to help her get settled in…

That generic youth in the seat next to her should do fine.

Now one thing that really struck me about the following scenes was how believable and realistic their classmates were. They behaved exactly as you’d expect them to, which makes the main character’s strangeness that much more… strange. She seems to be the only person in the room with any real character, and the art really reinforces that. That being said, since they are all so very believable, I found myself agreeing that she looked like a total freak by comparison.

So, the plot moves forward. We see that she sleeps whenever given the chance… main character forgets something in the classroom and he has to return after everyone else has left. There, he finds Girl-chan sleeping, and upon waking her up realizes how cute she is. The art style almost ruined the moment for me, but then I remembered that everyone has brown/black hair and tiny dot eyes, so I guess her blue hair and green eye combo overwhelmed him. Either way, she leaves and he notices that she drooled a little puddle on her desk.

Remember that thing I was saying earlier about saliva? Here it is. Man dips his finger in it and tastes it. Just… first impulse. And you know what? I buy that. I was once a pubescent boy; I can see where he is coming from. That being said, over the next few days he begins to suffer WITHDRAWAL symptoms. He doesn’t make the mental link to the saliva, though. Who would?

Oh.

So she hooks him up with some saliva and he’s suddenly better. He now needs his fix every so often or his body will go all screwy. Lovely, a physical metaphor for the rampant desires of young love. Or a unique plot device. Either way, I’ve not seen the like, and it is as good a premise for a strange girl/normal guy anime as any I’ve heard. The rest of the episode gives Girl-chan a few cute or admirable traits for us to hang onto… but it also drops a few subtle things of general not-rightness. For instance, there is one point where she does a spin and gives us a random panty flash… I’m used to that sort of behavior from anime, but I knew that I’d just seen something not-right. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I clicked back a few seconds in the video and played it again.

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, MAIN CHARACTER-KUN! Wait! He can’t! He needs her fluids! … I hope they stay together and happy forever… for his sake. Okay, drool anime, you win. I give. I’ll watch. All-in-all a wonderful first impression, I’ll patiently wait to see how the story develops.

Medaka Box

Okay. First thing, bothering me right off the bat, have to address it, can’t ignore it… WHAT IS WITH GIRL-CHAN’S OUTFIT?! Our female lead, the school president, has a massive set of breasts, and a (apparently) custom school uniform DESIGNED to show them off! Literally the sixth camera shot we get is a full-on, no excuses breast shot… but the really odd thing is it doesn’t seem like that sort of anime. In fact, I’m still trying to figure out EXACTLY what sort of anime it is supposed to be!
 Subtle, Gainax.

OH, DID I MENTION THIS IS BY GAINAX?! The Evangelion people? This is what they are doing now. But first things first, let’s focus here. I want you to stare at the above picture long enough to notice that she has arms. On her left arm, you will see a red armband, a blue armband, and three green armbands. Her entire left sleeve is armbands, more or less, and that is because, at this point, she IS the student council. Apparently only the president actually gets elected, and she won with a 98% voting rate. That is because she isn’t a normal person, she is some sort of paragon. She always does everything right and never seems to make any bad decisions. Man… that is hard to relate to! We need someone less out-there and much more common. Perhaps a half-Japanese kid with naturally occurring hair that looks like a bad yankee dye-job, like we had in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai?

Perfect.

It turns out that Girl-chan is actually childhood friends with Main Character-kun. While she is some sort of flawless superhuman, he is something much more impressive. Behold! We knew it must exist somewhere, and here it is! The legendary! The whispered! MALE TSUNDERE! Oh my, oh me. He makes the anime, and his common sense makes her perfection tolerable. Now, I was watching with a sub group that can’t tell a pack of cigarettes from a pokemon card, so forgive me if I didn’t properly understand some of the dialog,  but we get to watch Girl-chan do some pretty nonsensically impressive things fairly quick in the series. From what I can tell from the action in this episode and the snippets from the opening, this anime will have battle anime undercurrents… I guess it was either those or the giant robots, Gainax needed one. It looks fairly interesting, though. So far there hasn’t been anything that is 100% unique, but it is the presentation that really gets me. It is delivered in a fairly fresh manner, and I love her little quirk of popping up behind people. The scene in which we first see her legendary level of looking down upon someone else is also pretty darn fresh. If nothing else, Gurren Lagann fans should probably watch it to see Kamina-sama back before he got his tattoos. His is the kendo sword that will pierce the heavens.

Alright, so… I haven’t had time to dedicate to this blog lately. Moreover, I haven’t even had time to WATCH anime lately. There is a new season out there, a few weeks in… and I haven’t even read a list of titles. I am tired, internets. I am spread thin, like butter scraped over too much bread. I’m shutting it down, locking it up and taking a break. Maybe I will post here again when I get things more in order… but for now, I just can’t generate any content worth reading. Thanks for reading.


Happy American Holiday everyone! Launch fireworks, eat hotdogs and hamburgers, get  CRAZY! America exists! CELEBRATE!

No, I’m not using the 4th as an excuse to delay posting for a week! I actually have something I want to rant about. Honest!

So I was watching Astarotte no Omocha the other day… you know, the one that is supposed to be about a 10-year old succubus that has to suck life energy from a man, despite her hatred of men… but is ACTUALLY about how the random human male selected is secretly her mother’s ex-lover and how she is also falling for him in an odd and, frankly, awkward way? Anyways. That. That thing. So I was watching the last couple of episodes and… nothing made sense. The series had been kinda drifting along on premise anyways, but suddenly they decided (as many anime do) that the last two episodes are the best place to try to toss a DRAMATIC PLOT TWIST!

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of good anime have done the DRAMATIC PLOT TWIST without it feeling bad. In fact, some even made it feel good. Take Ouran for example. It was the event that pushed the main character into action, rewarded a starving fanbase and gave us a high note to go out on. All-in-all, we left the last episode of Ouran feeling good.

That is NOT the case with this crap.

Okay, so… I’m not sure how much my average reader will know about this show, but let me set up what little cosmology we are given. There is the human world and then there are a bunch of other worlds. All the other worlds are connected through the magical world tree, but humanity was chopped off because humans ruin everything. Anyways, they briefly opened the gate to let in two plot-relevant humans, but apparently their presence is throwing the tree out of whack… and it is releasing red leaves to erase the hell out of them… or at least their colored-pencil picture diaries…Oh and the princess has a red mark on her back. Maybe it is trying to erase the part of her that was touched by humanity.

Still with me? Okay. Now, they introduce a thing where the main human character and his daughter can no longer hear or be heard by residents of this world, as they are fading out of existence in this plane or something… but that doesn’t even last until the end of the episode! The massive second-to-last-episode cliffhanger was that the princess finally asked him out on a DATE! GASP! HOW WILL THIS SERIES END?!

They’ve been pushing the entire 23 year-old human and 10 year-old succubus romance hard in this one… I thought it might turn into more of a father-figure thing, seeing as he is the only good male role-model she’s had below 60. (The fact that he’d slept with her mother couldn’t hurt either.) But no, we are going to riiiiiiiide this premise to the very end, despite the fact that they don’t seem to want to commit to the entire “sucking him off for life-energy” bit. So, our dramatic last episode consists of the following: A boring date at an amusement park, complete with the one drink with a 2-headed straw bit… then a tearful goodbye… then magical skype…. then some sort of ceremony or something… and then the main character rides back in on a dragon. Bam. That’s it. There was no drama in the DRAMATIC PLOT TWIST. There was no tension… there was no POINT, either… oh… and remember that mark on the princess? It turns out it was a bug bite. Why put it there to begin with?! It isn’t as though it was thoroughly explained what it was supposed to do to begin with!

I hate it. I hate it soooo much. It was a sub-par “meh” anime to begin with, but I watched it to see what they would do with it. They decided not to do anything. The magical rabbit sage girl? Oh she is just here for a gag. Don’t expect her to ACT like the most learned person in the realm and be able to tell the difference between a matter-erasing energy and a mosquito bite. “But what about the queen?!” What about the queen! We set up some sort of romantic sub-plot, but we never went back to it.

It is a massive problem with this sort of deal… The author didn’t plan anything in advance. Things are being made up on the spot… and, as such, we don’t have any sort of satisfying conclusion… just another pile of crap. We are told something mysterious is going on and we should care. Then we are told it is resolved. Great. If you haven’t seen this crap, you are missing NOTHING. If you are watching this, stop cold turkey. Just walk away. You will be better for it.

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