There are anime I enjoy. There are anime that aren’t great but watchable. Finally, there are anime so bad that I can’t even last through an entire episode. There’s only a few weeks left of spring so we’re going to pull out the weeds today.
Just Google “angel beats haruhi” and you’ll likely get a lot of talk on Angel Beats!’s blatant attempt to cash-in on Haruhi’s popularity. I hadn’t read anything about Angel Beats! prior to watching the first episode but it still struck me as obvious. It wasn’t the visual similarities that I noticed at first, however; it was 2AM and I was a little tired after slogging through Black Dynamite (the first half hour’s pretty funny but after that… eh). What reminded me of the popular KyoAni show was Yuri’s voice acting. It’s a little creepy if you think about it. The director (or whoever’s in charge of this sort of thing) is just telling some poor seiyu to listen to Aya Hirano and mimic everything about her voice — the cadence, the inflection, etc. It was only then did I sit up and notice how similar Yuri and Haruhi looked. Around the time she gave the password (“No Gods, no Buddha, no angels,” which sounds like a Richard Dawkins’ creed), I was ready to give up and call it a night. Even when Sora no Woto copied K-On!‘s character designs and music playing premise, its aesthetics, atmosphere and thematic direction were all decidedly different. Angel Beats!, on the other hand, even has a club… where they hunt ali-… I mean, angels. Yawn.
Lasted till: 10:08
Maybe every anime that has an exclamation point in its title is destined to disappoint; it’s the Eastern analogue of the West’s “x” (e.g. xxsephirothxx, xXx, xtreme sports). Every scene in Working!! feels like a fragment, i.e. we sort of hop from one moment to the next. Remember when your writing teacher would stress over and over that you needed to connect your paragraphs in your essays to improve the flow? That plagues the hell out of Working!! and bugged me to the point that I had to look up its manga origins on Wikipedia to confirm my suspicions. My suspicions were right: Working!! was originally a 4koma. Still, this doesn’t excuse it any because there have been successful anime adaptations of 4koma comics before.
But the list of problems don’t end there. The jokes are just bad. Poplar is so short. Apparently that’s a joke all by itself. The perpetually smiling waitress wears a sword around her belt — wacky! Oops, you called the boss old and you know women and their age! Eh? Eh? About the only edgy “humor” in this show is Takanashi’s lolicon fetish, but that’s like making rape or dead baby jokes. Besides, you don’t need edginess to be funny. Pixar cartoons are humorous and they’re as safe as they can be.
Even if you take away the humor, it’s not as if Working!! offers the audience any particular insight into the service industry of low or no tips, rude customers, long hours, unsanitary conditions, etc. A thread bitching about the service industry tends to pop up regularly on general discussion forums because it’s a terrible field to work in. Working!! reflects none of that — all the chefs are bishies with sharp hair and all the waitresses are slim and pretty. Even the damn boss is a stacked 28 year old. For a show about a restaurant, it doesn’t spend a single minute on the food. Hey, maybe it’s possible Japan has discovered something the rest of the civilized nations haven’t. Maybe working in a restaurant in Japan does own. Somehow, I doubt it, but I certainly don’t doubt this: Working!! is just plain tripe.
Lasted till: 15:31
Mayoi Neko Overrun!
See? Another exclamation point in the title! About the show itself, there’s gotta be an anime focus group somewhere. Otherwise, how does something like this get made?
- Open with a childhood friend attempting to stir awake the male lead: check.
- But this somehow leads to an uncompromising situation: check.
- With shimapan even: check.
- Did someone say childhood friend? That means we get to have flashbacks: check.
- No parents around but free tuition to a fancy school: check.
- Silly pervert best friend who makes meta references to anime: check.
- Cats are cute so let’s put some in: check.
- Tsunderekko in thighhighs are cute so let’s make the childhood friend that: check.
- So are sukumizu: check.
- Flat-chested lolis: check.
- Dead-pan, smart-ass maids: check.
- Cats are cute, but catgirls are hot: check.
Is there an ounce of creativity in this anime?
Lasted till: 16:43