Spring Cleaning

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.

Angel Beats!

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

Working!!

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?

Fat neko says no.

Lasted till: 16:43

15 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. Roy Mustang

    Ha! So how many minutes did you last for the first episode of Haruhi? I wanted to the stop after a few seconds after the first out of tune line in Mikuru’s song.
    Well anyway, the second half of the first episode of Angel Beats is what made me watch the show.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I watched Haruhi first in chronological order. I’m assuming that you watched it in broadcast order. If that’s the case, our first episodes weren’t the same at all.

      Well anyway, the second half of the first episode of Angel Beats is what made me watch the show.

      Out of curiosity, I scanned the second half and saw Yuri rocking out on stage in front of the student body. I’m sure it was just a tribute.

      Reply
      1. Roy Mustang

        What made Haruhi excellent unique was its “out of order” episodes. I think it would have been just an avg show with pacing issues (boring second half) if they had done it chronologically. I feel sorry for you for having not watched it the way it was intended. Kind of like reading the last chapter in the book before reading the book.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          I feel sorry for you

          It’s an anime, man. It’s not like I lost an arm or something. Besides, I originally liked the show even after watching it chronologically — I preferred the “boring second half.” My issues with Haruhi are not related to how the narrative unfolded.

          Reply
  2. tekky99

    While I respect your opinions, I don’t understand how you can formulate an unbiased assessment of an entire series based off of 10 mins of view time.

    Angel Beats is… okay, for the first 2 episodes. I was gonna drop it if it weren’t for the 3rd ep.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      It’s the same with reading the first fifty pages of a novel and putting it down when it’s boring you. At some point, you just know you won’t enjoy something so why continue? For some anime, 10 minutes is enough to suffice. If an anime isn’t going to put its best foot forward in the first episode, what the hell are they waiting for?

      Reply
  3. Animenz

    dude , Angel beats is the new code geass of the season:
    ridiculous but entertaining.

    why don’t just relax and watch it for the lulz?

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      What gives the impression that I’m wound up? I yawned at Angel Beats. I can’t be anymore relaxed than that. It’s just boring.

      Reply
      1. NinjaYali

        Well if you really wanted to know, it wasn’t just boring. It was a super-flashy, rube goldberg approach to begging. Spoilers below so you don’t have to watch AB 1

        1. Set up concert with music
        2. Get folks in with ration tickets
        3. Distract them with music and bright lights
        4. Big fan to blow away meal tickets
        5. Hold the line against Evil Angel who has something against you taking Free Food.

        Points for creativity but still wasted my time. Only gets more confusing from there.

        Indeed, it’s like CG. Appeal to everyone, fail in long run.

        Reply
  4. KizukuKanshi

    Since I haven’t had anything to really compare it with, I do like Angel Beats. Not every anime fan has watched more than 1 episode of Haruhi, after all. The show starts off with a bad first episode but things start to make more sense after…well…about 2 or 3 more episodes. If you can go that long and still remain interested, I’m sure you’ll have fun with it….

    Also, Mayoi Neko Overrun is by far the most inexcusably annoying show I’ve ever watched and one of the few shows I’ve actually decided not to see all the way through. Some shows take some chewing before you spit them out, but this one is exactly what it looks like. It’s got everything that’s ever been done before with some new faces and some different voice actors. Maybe, maybe not on that last one. I’ve seen plenty of shows like that, but with this one, it’s like they’re blatantly pouring every drop of character trope down your throat, making you swallow it and forcing you ask for seconds.

    Food analogy referencing to anime number three!

    Reply
    1. NinjaYali

      Angel Beats? Remind me what this show is about again. Something about fighting against God. There is no clearly-defined enemy since defeat means friendship again and again. Something about giving up and ascending to a higher plain/resurrecting and similarly along the lines. Sure now why are you still bothering running around fight…oh wait fishing and getting free meals.

      Can’t say if this is the most original purgatory or not.

      Certainly I like Working!! better then Angel Beats. Hell, the jokes are repetitive. (Yandere, shortness, restaurant bullying in response to obliviousness, unrequited feelings, guy getting abused a lot!) But at least it has a more understandable premise and delivers. And hey, my sense of humour is shithouse.

      Reply
      1. NinjaYali

        And to highlight my low standards, I had a chuckle about that comic on ‘Not Funny’ Tvtropes.

        Reply
  5. altux

    you haven’t watched angel beat’s seriously
    it’s interesting on the ways things turns out, confusing, but makes sense when you see it further…errrmm, I also don’t know why Haruhi is so popular, I get a nap when watching it

    Reply

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