It's that time again! Winter is upon us, so it's time to look at the barrage of Winter anime! This season, I'm going a bit lighter due to a demanding schedule and to try and find some time for other things (that Bleach retrospective won't continue itself until that damn robot is functioning). That said, I still ended up with a sizable load of shows to follow. Also, I will not be covering shows continuing from last year, so don't expect to see SamFlam, Kill la Kill, Silver Spoon or the like. They all get their own reviews when I finish them, on my own time (but I am indeed following Kill la Kill almost religiously). Continuing shows in other seasons throughout the year will also not be covered, it is strictly all new shows. There will be four logs this time, with a bi-weekly schedule. I hope not to skip weeks this time, but no promises.
And with that explanation done, here's everything I'm following!
* Buddy Complex
* Nobunaga the Fool
* The Pilot's Love Song
* Sakura Trick
* Space Dandy
* Super Sonico: The Animation
* Witch Craft Works
* Wizard Barristers
* World Conquest: Zvezda Plot
* Onne-chan gai Kita
I'll include the three series of shorts among the rest of the shows, but like last season, they won't appear again until the season wrap-up. They're all very short shows, so I don't have much to say on them regularly. So, without further delay, my thoughts so far.
I should really stopped being surprised by Sunrise anime. Buddy Complex is this season's mech entry from the house of Gundam, following one Aoba Watase. He's your average high school guy. Good looks, good friends, a beautiful love interest, UNTIL *record scratch* SOME GUY FROM THE FUTURE TRIES USING A GIANT ROBOT TO KILL HIM, HIS LOVE INTEREST TURNS OUT TO ALSO BE A GIANT ROBOT PILOT FROM THE FUTURE, AND HE BECOMES A GIANT ROBOT PILOT IN THE FUTURE WITH A MECH POWERED BY THE NON-SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MALE FRIENDS! And he's about to learn that being a pilot of a giant robot powered by non-sexual male friendship really stinks!
I joke around, but there's little I can really say about this show right now. Only one episode is under my belt, and it's all set-up for what's to come. Buddy Complex is really silly in a lot of points ("Nice Coupling!"), but it does seem to have the more traditional mech series vibe Sunrise advertised. There aren't any super mechs here, at least so far, and the conflict in the future seems to be usual Gundam fair. The only weird part is the whole time travel thing, but after Code Geass and Valvrave, this is pretty normal. But I doubt it will be. The art for this one is okay. The character designs are nice, but the show lacks any of its own flavor right now. Hard to say where this is headed, but this is Sunrise we're talking about, so at least it won't be boring. Hopefully. Maybe.
CURRENT SCORE: 6/10
"My waifu is not SHIT!"
Now here's something I can dig. Hamatora is sort of like a electro-funk-rock version of Darker Than Black (I bet a good lot of you are tired of that description by now), following a group of for hire people with superpowers that function when a certain action is done, like chewing gum or listening to music. They help out the police by taking care of crimes they have yet to properly take care of, and they're all pretty darn loony. One of them honestly believes that there's a chance the sky will rain high end hamburgers at one point, and another keeps raw eggs and fried chicken in a car's glove compartment. The first episode follows them looking into a kidnapping case and trying to figure out the combination of a safe left behind by a rich dead man.
This is part of a multi-media project involving the Danganronpa people and the man behind Blood Lad, so needless to say, the anime just oozes style. I love the character designs here, perfect matching the colorful and varied urban jungle around them. The editing is also really weird, mixing in flashes of words and images for brief moments that can only be caught with a freeze frame for the sake of atmosphere or to emphasize something. It has a lively energy, along with a lot of color manipulation that's pretty cool, like whenever a certain character uses a power. It's a series with a strange atmosphere, equal parts wildly free and decrepitly threatening. This may end up being something special.
CURRENT SCORE: 7/10
"Look at this cool thing we can do! LOOK AT IT!"
Nisekoi is a Shonen Jump adaptation, but not one of an action series. Instead, it's for a romantic comedy. I still find this strange. That aside, I heard good things about the source material and decided to watch on that alone, unaware until about a week before airing that this was both a SHAFT work and a directorial work of Akiyuki Shinbo. The series proper is about the son of a yakuza leader and the daughter of a famous mobster, both forced to pretend to be in love by their fathers in a gamble to stop all out war between the two factions. Thing is the two already met and hate each other heavily, and so comedy quickly happens. You know, romantic misunderstandings, threats of violence, that sort of thing.
Akiyuki Shinbo has become a somewhat infamous name for many an anime fan, mainly for is unorthodox use of colors and editing, along with his work on Madoka Magica and Monogatari, two of the most popular anime series in recent memory. While I only have two episodes of Madoka down and have yet to start Monogatari due to episodes finding the last few episodes of the first series, I am familiar with his work on Pani Poni Dash, a personal favorite comedy of mine. Since that time, he's become way more obsessed with quick edits and random visuals making borders or highlighting the emotion of a given scene, and it works. Sort of. The first episode was a lot of overpowering style at work, but the second had more purpose in whole, sort of similar to Nobunagun (which I'll get to in a moment). The bizarre artistic style works (if a tad overpowering), leaving the question if the show itself is funny through writing. Good news, Nisekoi is hilarious once it gets going. The first episode is solid, but the second had me on the floor at times. I love the polarizing personalities of Ichijou and Kirisaki, as the goofy criminals surrounding them. The one thing I don't care for is the attached love triangle, but it hasn't managed to be annoying as of yet. Hopefully it keeps things up and tones down the style a bit, because Nisekoi has a shot at one of the better series this Winter.
CURRENT SCORE: 7/10
NOBUNAGA THE FOOL
I personally think it's shallow and pedantic.
The first of the two Nobunaga anime of the season, Nobunaga the Fool is ...strange. I'm not sure if that's good or bad yet. The series starts with Joan of Ark being burned at the stake and having some sort of vision of Nobunaga talking to her shortly before his death while calling her by the name of his closest vassal, Ranmaru. This ends up being a shared dream between younger Nobunaga and Jeanne, and the world they live in is a radically different fantasy world, where Europe and Japan live on the Star of the West and Star of the East. Jeanne goes with Leonardo DaVinci to the Star of the East to confront her destiny and meet the fabled Savior-King, which ends up being Nobunaga, fresh off of seeing some of his people effortlessly defeated in battle. He controls a mech suit perfectly in battle and proves himself to be the person the two were looking for, and this discovery may just start a way not only with Nobunaga trying to take over the other parts of Japan (he's Nobunaga, of course that's what he's going to do) but also European forces coming to get Leonardo and Jeanne for their act of treason.
There's a lot I like about this show, a lot that bugs me, and a lot I can't quite wrap my brain around yet. That opening scene seriously leaves a lot of questions, but having Nobunaga disguise Jeanne as Ranmaru in the second episode seems to suggest that this may be avoiding any sense of historical accuracy for a greater reason related to that sequence, like maybe this is some sort of tale of reborn souls in another realm or something. What I can say is that I like that the show doesn't meander. In the first episode alone, Jeanne and DaVinci defect to Japan, Nobunaga sees his first battle, strengthens his resolve, gains his main mech and all the major conflicts are already defined. It's moving fast to get to the good stuff, and that has me interested, especially with Europe just being some sort of super England filled with all sorts of random historical people on the Knights of the Round Table (Caesar is the main antagonist right now, really). This is a weird little thing, but it has a lot of promise. At the same time, there are a few things that bug me, like how completely useless Jeanne has been for the first two episodes, despite being JOAN OF ARK. Her role so far has been to be a pawn for DaVinci, easily get tosses aside by the more savage Nobunaga, and to get her Kallen sized rack ogled by Hideyoshi. That's like making Wonder Woman go make cookies for a six issue JLA arc. This show could go anywhere, but wherever it goes, I'm sure it's going to be interesting. For now, I don't think it has structured itself quite enough.
CURRENT SCORE: 6/10
"Respect the dead man, motherfucker."
Our second Nobunaga anime of the season is Nobunagun, and HOLY FUCK. It isn't often a show hooks me right from the first episode, but Nobunagun has one of the best first episodes in recent memory. The second episode is really good too. Nobunagun is the story of Shio Ogura, a lady gun otaku who gets to go on a trip to Thailand, only for things to go straight to what might as well be Hell, based on the color scheme. Monsters from the sea rise up and wreck havoc, leaving Ogura to try and save her hopeful future friend and classmate Kaoru. In the process, she meets a strange man named Jack the Ripper who's fighting the monsters, and he gets injured protecting her and her friend. As all seems lost, Ogura picks up Jack's mysterious sphere and remembers something important; she's the reincarnation of Nobunaga himself, and more than that, an alien warrior has prepared Nobunaga's successor to have access to a powerful super weapon to fight the monsters wanting to destroy the world. So, Ogura suddenly makes a giant gatling gun appear on her arm and starts shooting the living hell out of every monster near her with a slasher smile while the soul of Nobunaga laughs like a supervillain inside her mind. That first episode closes with a Japanese metal song and it was the greatest thing I ever saw.
I cannot stress how fucking outstanding I think this show is. It's the most ridiculous idea ever, but it's just so fucking awesome. When an action scene starts, the entire world goes black and becomes saturated in neon like colors, creating this oppressive atmosphere that just screams chaos. When not in battle, the show has a lot of visual tricks inserted to move the emotion of a scene or to convey information in an interesting way, like a cool trick done with TVs in the second episode. Unlike Nisekoi, the overblown visuals don't feel distracting because of the type of show this is. Big drama, big action, just about big everything. Big visuals just go along with that type of style, as does the badass rock score. But the real strength is just how interesting all this is. Ogura is a great lead character from her first scene, a gender swapped shonen hero that's reliably dorky but equal parts awesome. The idea of famous figures made into superpowered warriors isn't wasted, as each figure has powers related to them (Newton has a gravity leg, Ghandi creates barriers as support, Nobunaga loved him some guns, ect). It's a dumb action show that knows it's a dumb action show, and decides to be the best possible version of that with equal parts clever ideas and fantastic presentation. This is probably going to be in my top five the entire season, and I'll be surprised if it isn't at least somewhere in the top two by season's end.
CURRRENT SCORE: 9/10
Is it okay to pour some out for one's homies if what you're pouring is money?
Noragami is yet another manga adaptation from Bones, and it's a promising one. The premise the teenage Hiyori Iki, a closeted mixed martial arts fan, saving a man from a truck crash, only to be hit herself. She manages to survive, but the situation is more complicated than originally thought. She is now half-phantom, occasionally slipping out her body into spiritual form, where she has a tail that acts as her connection to her body. Her only help is in the form of that person she tried saving pointlessly, as said person is Yato, a minor god trying to become famous by any means, even writing down his number across walls all over the city so people realize he exists. Hey, it's tough being a god in the modern age, nobody worships for nothing. Yato promises to solve Hiyori's problem after getting his necessary 5-yen coin (it's a god thing), but he might be too pathetic at the time to really be of any use.
Noragami's premise isn't anything that new. It's the usual adventures with spirits and such that tends to come from shonen manga as of late, with the whole unseen world angle and various excuses for action. The show's real strength is the presentation. Unlike many of the other shows of the season, Noragami is a show all about atmosphere, even if it's not obvious. The coloring is very simple and almost photographic with a constant evening shade of sorts. It makes the phantoms and other spiritual beings stand out even more with their loud colors, but never quite psychedelic or overpowering. There's a lot of time spent on the backgrounds, always making you feel like you're in a living, breathing town. It's a show you can just lose yourself in, and it even applies to the action sequences. Episode two shows a great use of negative space in particular. The animation is very fluid as well, just enhancing the effect. My favorite thing is when characters just do small things from time to time, like Hiyori calming a baby who just saw a phantom by waving her spirit tail a little. Stuff like that is both subtle character defining and a way to show the rules of the setting. I really love that attention to detail. The been done parts of the show are all done well enough and it can be incredibly funny, but it's that sense of place that really makes the show for me right now.
CURRENT SCORE: 8/10
ONNE-CHAN GAI KITA
Hey, we all need a hobby.
Under normal circumstances, I would not be following a show with the constant incest joke. I ended up deciding what the hell when I found out this was a series of shorts and not a full running show. It turns out that despite the premise that has cursed a many promising show, Onne-chan gai Kita is pretty cute and funny. Of course, this might be because it has a simple joke it knows how to use and the fact that I watched Attack on Titan last year. My first thought after watching this was "this is almost every Eren and Mikasa fandom joke I've ever seen."
Onne-chan gai Kita stars a teenage boy who is surprised by his dad marrying another woman with a daughter. Said daughter is insane and obsesses over the guy, even having several dolls and plushies of the guy in her room. This should be forgettable, but I actually really liked what I saw. The art style is really darn adorable, while the jokes between the brother and sister never got tiring. I think making this a series of shorts was a good call, because this seems like something that could get old fast, but with only a few minutes to mess with, the obsessive step-sister routine managed to be constantly funny. Hopefully this keeps up.
CURRENT SCORE: 7/10
THE PILOT'S LOVE SONG
"I can see that, idget!"
I wasn't going to cover this originally, but Pupipo not getting picked up and Sailor Moon getting a push to the Summer threw my plans around. Ultimately, I'm glad I decided to follow this one, because it has a lot of promise. The Pilot's Love Song takes place in a fantasy world filled with old fashion planes and a floating island, with a group of young pilots setting off on a quest to explore the world. Kal-el (yes, this is really is name, comic fans) and one of his sisters head off with the rest on this mission, and the young man discovers his first love in the process. Sadly, the voice over at the first episode's end suggest that this won't be a happy ending. Kal-el also has some hidden issues, such as some sort of hatred for mythical woman who sets the floating island free, along with a general short fuse. There's definitely a lot more there.
I really like this show. Kal-el is a very likable and relatable main character off the bat, anger being his main flaw but not his defining trait. He does try helping out people when they need it and argues with his sister, and he can really show some emotional range as each situation changes. His sequence with his first love, Claire, is just adorable. All the characters feel very human, and there's a lot of little bits of world building without exposition dumps, such as showing a divide between regular pilots and nobles. It knows how to use its time wisely in the first episode, and the use of CG is rather strong, minus a moment when a human character was rendered in CG during a flight scene. It's very Miyazaki, from the subject matter presented to the character and setting designs, but retains its own flavor. I'm not sure Miyazaki would write a character with so much hatred like this, for one. There's something here, and I attend to see what that something is.
CURRENT SCORE: 8/10
That's one trick I bet you haven't seen before.
Pupa was supposed to have been covered last season, but it ran into a lot of problems behind the scenes. You know, like nobody ever wanting to air it. After seeing one episode of the series now turned into a series of shorts, I see why. Pupa is a horror series about a brother and sister, orphaned from their abusive father and living a mostly normal life. And then they see these red butterflies, a dog explodes into gore near the sister, and then she turns into a giant insect monster that eats flesh. The series follows both now infected, with the brother having flesh that constantly regenerates and using it to keep his sister under control when she manages to revert back to a somewhat normal looking form.
Pupa was never going to be that impressive after the production Hell it had been through, but it could have been far worse off. This first short is a solid start, but suffers from a lack of pacing and properly showing just what these characters are like. There's so little time and so many horror moments to fit in that this is laid by the wayside. That said, I can forgive this a little, because JESUS CHRIST, WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT. Pupa is a gore show with elements of psychological horror, and it has all the pieces to at least be an interesting little thing. The problem is if it can survive the many problems that came with its production and its very short runtime. Time will tell, but there is promise here for something different from the usual.
CURRENT SCORE: 6/10
The reviews are mixed, yet of similar tone.
Yes, this is that one series I decided to follow because it was a yuri. I was not expecting this one to be as good as it was. Sakura Trick is a yuri comedy about two girls who just entered highschool, but things have already gone a bit wrong. Their school is closing down, meaning they may end up in different schools after the year wraps up. So, they decide to take their relationship one step forward ...and they're both so horribly awkward that their first kiss ends with both of them running out of breath and fainting. Basically, it's a lot of comedy for the yuri set, even going into a bit of slapstick as the episode goes on.
Sakura Trick is meant to be a slice of life comedy with a whole ton of yuri, and that pretty much describes it perfectly. The weird thing is how good that first episode was. The timing on each joke was perfect, and the visuals added a lot to things. There were some neat tricks present, like a few short moments where a simple action was suddenly done by a flower representing a character, keeping the silly atmosphere strong. The show has a good flow to it, never letting a moment go without that sweet and cartoonish feeling. Studio Deen made another great looking show here, with a great use of soft colors and some constant animation throughout, along with all the various visual tricks I mentioned. The soundtrack matches perfectly as well. My only real issue right now is how much the show tends to linger on certain body parts of the cast from time to time, feeling really out of place in this show much of the time. However, since this is yuri, it's not a deal breaking issue. This might be one of the better shows of the season, and that honestly surprises me. It's worth checking out to see if it grooves with you, at least. Also, the opening is almost nothing but lesbian school girls kissing and dancing. Perfect.
CURRENT SCORE: 8/10
"Yeah, his waifu is shit."
This is definitely the show that's getting all the attention this season, what with being a new directorial work from the man behind Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, and even getting a dub to appear first on American television before the Japanese broadcast. The premise is that Space Dandy (yes, that is indeed his name) is an alien hunter who brings in new species to get his paycheck. On his crew is an alien freeloader nicknamed Meow and an out of date robot named QT. Ridiculous things quickly occur in great number for various reasons, most of them idiotic, while a greater plot is hinted with the crew constantly being involved in reality warps and an alien armada constantly chasing after them. Somehow, Space Dandy is meant to be the key to universal conquest. Somehow.
Space Dandy is really similar to both Bebop and Champloo, and also rather different. It takes an American culture to give itself its main identity (70s exploitation) and has an episodic format that moves the plot and character development slowly in the background, letting each episode stand out as its own thing with various talents getting their hands in the project. However, Space Dandy is also a comedy instead of an action drama, resulting in something radically different. It is incredibly creative and endlessly silly, but the comedy is a bit mixed. A few jokes are a bit on the nose (there's a Hooters parody restaurant called Boobies, for example), but the show comes to life once the slapstick or fun with aliens begins. The physical comedy here is amazingly animated by Bones, while keeping a real sense of energy, making some off model action forgivable. It's like an even more adult focused, less mature Looney Tunes (with episode three even having a Looney Tunes end card), but also has some surprisingly effective quiet moments. Dai Sato's story in episode two in particular has a beautiful ending, while Kimiko Ueno's third episode farce makes great use of a tension building set-up for an unexpected punch line. I've heard a lot of people annoyed by the forth wall humor, but I'm really enjoying this series. It's filled with life and fun, all while hinting that there may be more under the surface by the end. I'm also watching the dub, and it's great, minus a single moment in the first episode where a joke was translated oddly and effectively changed the meaning of a scene. The acting is particularly great, but both sub and dub are fantastic here.
CURRENT SCORE: 8/10
Idiocracy's favorite anime.
Well, this is certainly a thing. Strange+ is a series of comedic shorts about a detective agency. It is as much about its premise as Teekyu is about tennis. That is to say, the premise barely matters. It's really just an excuse for gags, so all that matters is that the series is funny. It sort of is, but not exactly a riot after you've been on the Teekyu ride. It has energy, but the jokes are far less amusing or strange, which is a problem as this show advertises itself as strange. Really, the ultimate problem here is that it's too predictable in the random comedy it presents.
With Teekyu, even if you didn't always get the joke, you could see the thought that went into each visual pun, adding a new layer to the oddness you were absorbed in. Strange+ thinks exploding butts is funny. Haha. Strange+ has a lot more generic "lol random" comedy that ends up as a mixed bag (the exploding butts thing does have a great ending), along with a lot of character based comedy, but it's nothing that interesting outside a few rare moments. It feels like its trying too hard to get out the jokes, while failing to establish how the characters bounce off each other. It might get better later, but for now, the first episode didn't leave a strong impression.
CURRENT SCORE: 5/10
SUPER SONICO: THE ANIMATION
Well, I need at least one potentially terrible anime for my watch list, and this seemed like the ticket. It's not quite that, surprisingly, but it's not high quality work either. Super Sonico is a rather famous mascot character for Nitro+, a VN company most known for the horror romance Saya no Uta. I did not think I'd be connecting the girl with headphones and huge boobs with the lovecraftian love story today. Anyways, this series follows Sonico's daily live as a college student (and a surprisingly smart one), a model, a waitress at her grandmother's restaurant and the guitarist of a band. Also, she has a bunch of kitties at her home and could sleep through an earthquake.
Super Sonico is surprisingly sweet at times, but also not particularly memorable. There's a lack of conflict in this first episode, not letting much set-up material outside the model sequence. It's also somewhat cheaply made. To the show's credit, it is far less focused on Sonico's obvious "assists" as you would originally believe and takes the proper time for setting up her daily life and giving her a lot of people to talk with. Sadly, Sonico herself is as generic as anime girls get, and nobody else has a real spark of life to them, besides her manager. Who wears a demon mask. That was amusing. I might drop this series in the future, but it's inoffensive and relaxing enough that I plan to keep with it for awhile and see if it gets any better.
CURRENT SCORE: 5/10
WITCH CRAFT WORKS
Welcome to /u/
Witch Craft Works is an interesting beast, and I plan on following the whole way if I can. The idea behind the show is a sort of mix of shojo and shonen, then turned on it's head. Honoka, a normal highschool guy, ends up being targeted by witches for some reason, but a fire witch and his classmate, the beautiful and silent Ayaka, saves his life several times and declares herself his protector, and him her princess. That raises some eyebrows. Things quickly escalate as some group called The Tower seems interested in Honoka for some reason, not to mention the massive amount of envious students, angry at Honoka for suddenly being a close friend to their "princess" Ayaka. It's a good thing Ayaka is ridiculously powerful and absolutely terrifying whenever she gets angry.
The series basically has a shojo romance set-up, physically weak girl who suddenly gets a strong male in her life and falls in love while danger surrounds them, except the roles are swapped. It's the girl who is the strong one and the male as the sort of damsel (although I hear that quickly changes). It's even highlighted further with all the people treating Ayaka as some sort of perfect princess type character you'd expect from such a story, when she's anything but. That's a neat idea, and the witches are a ton of fun with their silly personalities, but the studio in charge of this one definitely cut some corners. The use of effects and CG is not impressive, although the bunny robot things manage to stand out with all their strange movements from said CG. This isn't first three episodes of Tokyo Ravens bad, but it could be much better or easily replaced by proper animation is the studio had more of a budget to work with or better CG work. There is a lot of promise here, production problems aside, but be warned the first episode won't blow you away. Hopefully the next few episodes can change my mind.
CURRENT SCORE: 7/10
It's been awhile since I've seen Yasuomi Umetsu do both directing and character design on a project. Umetsu is mostly known for some older OVA films called Kite and Mezzo, the former being somewhat of a classic among the fandom, despite being a bit of a mess. He was also the director of Galilei Donna, and I'm hoping the fate of that poor show doesn't get repeated here. Wizard Barristers is an action and drama series about a young woman named Cecile Sudo, a wizard and now a lawyer for wizard clients. She wants to try and help her people through the law, but has her hands full with strained relations between regular people and wizards, along with wizard criminals causing general chaos. Think Law & Order spin-off with more explosions and anime wackiness.
Wizard Barristers is easily one of the best animated shows this season. The first episode had a lot of CG work, but it almost never felt intrusive or clashing with the 2D animation, which is just gorgeous. The action sequences in particular are creative and energetic. It has the visuals down, so now the question is if it can get down the story part of the equation. The concept is pretty fresh and the law system is really easily defined, a mixed of grounded reality and colorful fantasy. It's not so much overblown as purposefully contrasting. The characters so far are simple and likable, and the conflicts are all relatable. It gets everything right that needs to be done right, meaning the only troublesome element for some of you is the goofiness of the Butterfly law office. This is actually what I like the best. I'm a bit of a fan of Mezzo DSA and its goofy and unapologetic mix of serious crime drama and sudden weirdness, and Wizard Barristers definitely has a better balance between the two. This is some good fun with some promising story in the future, but it's hard to say if this will properly work the whole way. Time will tell.
CURRENT SCORE: 7/10
WORLD CONQUEST: ZVEZDA PLOT
"Today, Taco Bell! Tomorrow, another Taco Bell!"
I first picked up this series because I liked the character designs and thought the premise of a little girl trying to take over the world could be good for a laugh, especially since I love shows about villains. Then I looked at the people involved. The director is the director of Wolf's Rain and Darker Than Black. This is probably going to be the series to watch, because it's definitely going somewhere really unexpected at some point. Just when that point appears is the question, but considering how this starts, it has to be pretty soon. Our main character is Asuta, a runaway who runs into a strange little girl one day while wondering the streets. Named Kate, this girl is the leader of an organization dedicated to world conquest and has been dreaming of that goal for a long time. Through a series of mishaps, Asuta ends up becoming a member of the strange organization, who seem to straddle the line between brilliant and barely functional.
This show is way too damn funny. The first episode is another in the long line of okay this season, but the second episode had me hooked. These Zvezda guys are ridiculous, and I mean that with all meaning of the word. It's hard to believe that they can even function as people, let alone an organization dedicated to taking over the world. The weird thing is that the show manages to work in this idea that they're not so much evil as just another side of good, along with being the most dysfunctional family ever. There's even a subtle hint that the good guys might not be as good as it seems on the surface. I really want to see where they're headed with this, but if it stays a comedy for awhile, I'll be satisfied. The second episode is probably the funniest thing I've seen all season so far, finding new life in the long dead bad cook joke by turning it into a visual gag and plot point at the same time. Every moment with every member of Zvezda is hilarious, but the promise of greater depth and exploration of the superhero and supervillain has me really interested. I have a good feeling about this one.
CURRENT SCORE: 8/10
NOBUNAGUN - It is a tale told by an idiot, filled with sound a fury, signifying nothing, but it's so damn metal and entertaining that I don't care. 9/10
WORLD CONQUEST: ZVEZDA PLOT - A promising comedy that sets to blur the lines of good and evil, with a wonderful style and some great gags mixed in. 8/10
THE PILOT'S LOVE SONG - An almost Miyazakian like series, with great writing and interesting characters when you look at the details. 8/10
SAKURA TRICK - Yuri fans finally have a show with actual yuri for once, but the reason to stay is the great gags and comedy. 8/10
SPACE DANDY - It's not quite Champloo or Bebop, but Space Dandy is incredibly fun and a colorful treat for the eyes, with possibly more depth than it seems. 8/10
NORAGAMI - Tired premise is saved with great comedy, wonderful animation and absolutely masterful world building and atmosphere. 8/10
HAMATORA - Darker than Black's more drugged up cousin, filled with bizarre ideas, tricky editing and trippy visuals and colors. 7/10
WIZARD BARRISTERS - A promising action series with an interesting premise and the talent of a fantastic action director behind it. 7/10
WITCH CRAFT WORKS - The subversion of various common gender tropes and story structure is interesting, but the shoe string budget may be a problem. 7/10
NISEKOI - A hilarious rom-com, despite a few moments where the director's signature style gets to be a bit much and distracts. 7/10
NOBUNAGA THE FOOL - Strange and imaginative, this show is going to be memorable, no matter if its good or bad in the end. 6/10
BUDDY COMPLEX - A more run of the mill series from Sunrise, with a premise that's far more interesting than any actual characters or conflict seen so far. 6/10
SUPER SONICO: THE ANIMATION - A surprisingly not terrible show based on a mascot character for a VN company, but not much of interest either. 5/10
There's a lot of promising shows this season, let's see if they can achieve that promise or end up wallowing in mediocrity. See you in two weeks!