Anime Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai Grisaia no Kajitsu Harem Hill Madan no Ou to Vanadis Series Trinity Seven Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete

Fall 2014 Harem Hill, Week 4: The Great Shoe Rescue of 2014

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Ah, Halloween is just around the corner, and have I got a nightmare in store for you! That’s right! It’s Harem Hill time again. Despair, my friends, despair. ‘Cause we’re about to watch five harem anime series in a row. But first, the standings:

Grisaia no Kajitsu: 10+4+1 = 15 points
Ushinawareta Mirai no Motomete: 11+3 = 14 points
Trinity Seven: 3+5 = 8 points
Madan no Ou to Vanadis: 4+2 = 6 points
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai: 2+1 = 3 points

Grisaia no Kajitsu didn’t win last week’s poll, but its consistently bad performance throughout the early season is enough to propel the harem anime to the top of the list. I personally thought the show had last week’s worst episode by far, so that’s why it gets five total points instead of just four. But according to you guys, it deserved second place, totaling 30% of the votes.

Last week’s contest was actually pretty close. As you can infer from the standings above, Trinity Seven got the most votes, Clocking in at 35% of the vote, the pee-soaked harem anime inches ever so closer to the top. Don’t forget that most of the other shows have had one extra week to subject us to their terribleness. Trinity Seven may only have eight points for now, but we’ve only seen two episodes for now. It should be interesting to see how things shake out by the end of the season.

Ushinawareta Mirai no Motomete’s bad animation hasn’t been as outlandishly bad as we could’ve hoped. At the moment, the show is just dull, dull, dull. Even though it’s still dull enough to rack up 25% of the vote, if this keeps up, it may slip below Trinity Seven in the standings.

Surprisingly enough, people prefer Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai’s brand of safe mediocrity over Madan no Ou to Vanadis’s unimaginative war games. Granted, I ranted about the latter’s terrible depiction of warfare, but I still think I’d much prefer watching Tigre’s exploits over Kyotaro’s. Nevertheless, Madan no Ou to Vanadis and Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai finished fourth and fifth respectively. Now, let’s see who will come out ahead this week.

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai Ep. 3

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— What’s been going on in this anime? You gotta, uh, perform good deeds. Perform good deeds and you’ll be rewarded with sex become the next Shepherd. At the moment, however, our characters are a bit suspicious of this mysterious Shepherd figure, so they’re going to ask the school genius to determine where these emails are coming from. Exciting, isn’t it?

— They’re all small, man. They’re all small.

— Kana: “Oh, if you call her small to her face, she won’t get mad, but she will kill you, so you should be careful.” So wacky! Plus, if you call a guy small and he dares to be offended, it just means he’s petty and has a Napoleon complex. If you call a girl small, however, isn’t it super cute how she’s trying to kill you?!

— So the team splits into two groups. One will deal with Senri’s problems. The other will visit the school’s hotshot hacker… who just happens to be a small and cute shoujo. What a joke.

— But Sayumi won’t work for free. Kyotaro will have to do her favor if he wants her services. Boy, getting sex from these 2-D characters sure is hard! Our harem lead has to stand there and… and pass out flyers. What a truly difficult job.

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— The second group goes to see Senri, and we see that the school’s talented Song Princess has been avoiding her singing lessons. As you can see from the screenshot above, that lady on the second floor is expertly drawn. Nevertheless, it looks as though our heroes are going to rekindle the Senri’s love for music by the end of her arc. But where’s the harem lead? Surely, she can’t fall back in love with music without his approval!

— Right off the bat, Tamamo is being judgmental for judgmental’s sake: “I hate people like her. … Don’t you think people with talent should develop their talents more? If not, then it’s too sad for the people working hard in the same world.” That’s bullshit and you know it. Talented people don’t just magically rise to the top. Hint: they probably appear talented because they’ve worked harder. As usual, people just want to pin the blame on others for their troubles. If you’re not as good as someone, you just claim that they were magically born with it or some other fatalist excuse. The truth of the matter is, the Einsteins of the world are the exceptions that prove the rule, and even then, Einstein worked his ass off too.

— Kyotaro just assumed that the girls will be the only ones to dress up in costumes and pass out flyers. Gosh, what makes you so special, harem lead? Needless to say, he’s roped into the stupid ordeal too. That’s right, we’re going to watch a bunch of kids pass out flyers in dumb costumes. Revel in the storytelling splendor that is Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai.

— They’re short one costume, however, so Tsugumi has to take the harem lead’s measurements. We thus get that terribly overplayed gag where someone on the outside listens in, and as a result, they think our characters are engaging in… shhh, sex acts!!

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— Yep, this is the anime’s best representation of a sexual activity. Oh baby, it really turns me on when you’re mouth-breathing on my completely-clothed crotch!

— Those screenshots above were fantasy. Here’s the real thing. What’s with the dumb face, Kyotaro?

— Clearly, there’s a cosmic imbalance in the show because we’ve just seen the harem lead’s bare chest. As a result, the show immediately comes right back with fanservice for its intended audience.

— It turns out Kyotaro and the red-head are neighbors. Not just neighbors as in we live within the same neighborhood. Oh no. As always, the pretty girl lives directly next to the guy. He’s just too busy reading books to have ever noticed her presence. Not much of a harem lead, huh? Anyway, her name is Nagi, which I’m sure you all cared to know.

— Upon meeting a haremette for the first time, no harem lead can ever resist commenting on her choice of underwear: “You like polka dots?”

— We then see a montage of the other haremettes doing stuff…

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…but nothing about Ikkei. No one cares about poor Ikkei. As for why Senri’s face is all flushed, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

— Tsugumi spent all night stitching animals onto pillows for her friends. Wow, this anime is exciting! Kana’s a dog, you guys!

— A-are you serious?

— Meanwhile, a still flushed and short-of-breath Senri finally calls our heroes for help. Uh, maybe you should call for the paramedics instead? But it turns out that the girl only wants porridge.

— The girls enter Senri’s completely unlocked apartment to find her passed out on the ground. No adults are in sight, because c’mon, when have there ever been responsible adults in these shows?

— We get a short scene in which Ikkei explains that he won’t pursue a comeback in karate anymore. Apparently, he incurred an injury that he hasn’t and won’t recover from. Okay. This is probably the last bit of character development that we’ll see from Ikkei for a long time.

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— Everyone pitches in to help Senri recover from her high fever. Still, Ikkei can’t help but remark, “She just looks like a normal cute girl like this.” Uh, what did she look like before?

— In her sleep, Senri suddenly starts calling out for her mother. Oh boy, here comes the angst. Later that night, our harem lead also has a dream about being abandoned by someone. Then he gives us this stupid face when he wakes up.

— For some reason, however, Nagi invites herself into his home to watch a TV show. She claims that her own TV is broken. Uh-huh…. The problem with this show is that it’s all over over the place. I expected our harem lead to have solved Senri’s problems by now, but Kyotaro is truly, truly passive. He hasn’t actually done anything in this entire series if you really think about it. He’s been a passive observer through and through, and it makes you wonder why the guy is even a harem lead to begin with. On the other hand, Tsugumi’s done everything. She came up with the idea for the club. She’s the one putting herself out there to recruit members. She’s the one who insisted on returning the tuning fork to Senri as soon as possible. She’s the one who received Senri’s call for help. She’s the one currently nursing the sick Song Princess back to good health. Meanwhile, all Kyotaro’s done is read, read, and read. Why is this even a story about him?

— He wants to yell at Nagi, but he can’t even do that. He clams up the moment he sees her sweet haremette body. What a great protagonist!

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— When Senri recovers, she tells everyone that she had also received an email from the Shepherd. Sayumi gets back to the group, and tells them where they might find the person who’s been sending out those emails. The episode then comes to an end just as our five friends discover that no one lives at the address Sayumi had given them. So? Maybe Sayumi made a mistake. In any case, is this anime slow or what?

Grisaia no Kajitsu Ep. 4

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— Panty shot right off the bat.

— Week in and week out, people continue to come out of the woodwork to defend this show. As such, Grisaia no Kajitsu is the biggest recurring joke this season.

— And the panty shots don’t even end there. Oh lord, they just won’t end. Yeah, uh-huh, you guys are really watching this anime for the plot. We really care about Michiru’s problems as we watch her miniskirt flutter in the wind.

— Guys, the night sky is like the lid, and the moon is like the hole in said lid. And I’m trapped in a box. So… I guess that also makes Yuuji the dick in a box. Fucking deep, yo.

— Michiru then says that she doesn’t feel like herself when she looks up at the night sky. Remember, this is the same character who pretends to be a tsunderekko. It’s painfully obvious that she has multiple personas to deal with… whatever issue that’s plaguing her.

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— I bet people actually think Michiru’s face looks creepy here. If there’s anything I’ve learned from browsing the internet all these years, it’s that people will are scared of anything.

— The girl then tells the harem lead that she would like to be buried here on this cliff. Again, super mega deep. Then immediately after the OP, we watch as Michiru refuses to let Yuuji have any of her super sour drink. Amazingly deep.

— We then see Makina and Sachi watch a childish show. Meanwhile, our alpha harem lead does one-handed push-ups in the background. This is unintentionally hilarious.

— Later, everyone but Michiru sits around to discuss how the missing girl feels like an entirely different person at times. But this is not meaningful talk as they screw around too much with the alien or demon talk.

— After everyone retires to their room, the light suddenly goes out. Yuuji hears Yumiko scream, then he notices Michiru’s odd moaning in the background. Oh my god, you guys! Have the shit finally hit the fan?

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— When the power comes back on, Sachi explains, “Michiru-sama occasionally does an interpretive dance while secreting some sort of liquid.” Sigh. Apparently, the girl bleaches her hair. Oh well.

— The next day, the characters discuss whether or not it’s possible for men and women to be friends. Once again, it never ceases to amaze me how boring this anime can be.

— Later, Yuuji finds the wannabe tsunderekko hunched over in pain. She brushes off any of his attempts to help her, but he refuses to give up. As such, he stalks her some more, i.e. back to the windy cliffs at the start of the episode.

— Big surprise: Michiru’s personality has changed. Oh wow, what a plot twist!

— I can’t make heads or tails of Michiru’s problems from what we’ve been given. I’ve never touched the visual novel, but I can still tell that her story has been rushed. Maybe if we would’ve cut out all the unfunny bullshit in last week’s episode, we could’ve given the wannabe tsunderekko a fair shake.

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— This Michiru wants to know what a kiss is like, so they kiss. Then just like that, the more mature Michiru disappears and the childish one returns. Funny how the childish one is the same one who flashes her panties over and over. Cheap fanservice is her camouflage, so you won’t bother to get to know the real her.

— Then somehow, a kid and his dog is here, so the girl accidentally grabs a handful of dogshit. So. Fucking. Wacky. When people told me that shit would eventually hit the fan, I didn’t think they were being quite so literal.

— I’ll take a stab at it. I guess it’s supposed to be meaningful that the tsundere Michiru is also the childish one. After all, the idea that you have to put up an act to make friends is childish. The idea that you have to be hot-and-cold with boys is childish. But, well, these are all pretty self-evident. We don’t need a multiple personality song-and-dance for me to know that putting up a front is a sign of immaturity, a fear of attachments, and an inability to accept the inevitable loss that comes with forming said attachments. She goes so far as to bleach her hair, because when she’s in her tsundere form, she can keep everyone at arm’s length. Unfortunately for her, she seems bad at it, so even the cat manages to become fast friends with her… oh dear, is this a death flag for the cat?

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— And I love how Yuuji has to spell it out to the audience long after the fact: “The Michiru I spoke to on the overlook wasn’t the Michiru I know.”

— Afterwards, we get an incredibly long and pointless scene in which Michiru keeps asking Yuuji what she had done to him on the cliffs. Hurr hurr I totally know what osculate is! These stupid comedic moments are a fucking chore to get through. Eventually, after a billion goddamn years, the guy finally demonstrates to her what it means to osculate, so again, she runs off like a flustered, little girl.

— Oh God, she was mean to the cat. You know where this is headed. You fucking know where this is headed. Once again, a story exploits the death of an innocent animal for cheap tears.

— Michiru is now frantically looking for the cat, but it’s nowhere to be found. Yeeeeeeep.

— And now, they’re at a busy highway! Yeah, that cat is as good as dead.

— Sigh:

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So the show is shallow when it wants to be deep, terribly unfunny when it wants to be light-hearted, and totally cheap and lazy when it wants to be emotionally powerful. This is essentially sadness porn. I’ll just come right out and say it: we’ll be hard-pressed to find a worse episode this week.

— Out of nowhere, the cat coughs up blood. He’s going to be fine! His eyes are glistening. PUKE. Yo, even the adaptation knows that this scene is a total joke. Probably shouldn’t try and feed a cat that has had its fucking insides run over.

— And I fucking despite this anime’s need to continue its story right through the credits. It’s just dumb. What is supposed to be an emotional moment ends up having a bunch of text plastered all over it because the show can’t be ass’d to edit or cut out any of the previous and completely pointless scenes.

Madan no Ou to Vanadis Ep. 4

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— What does it mean to kill the son of a duke? Well, we’re about to find out. But first things first, Titta has to bring her lord some freshly-baked bread. Unfortunately, as you can see from the screenshot above, he’s a bit preoccupied. Yo, I thought the man was supposed to do the penetrating? But hey, if Tigre’s into pegging, who am I to judge?

— Elen’s headed for the royal capital, but before she leaves, Lim wants to know why the former likes Tigre so much. Why do you suppose Lim wants to know so badly? You think she’d just accept things as they are, right? After all, who cares? It’s not a big deal if Elen takes a special interest in Tigre.

— Ah, but y’see, it’s a big deal to Lim because she’s starting to have those dokidoki feelings herself. She is also impressed by Tigre, and the hints have been quite numerous. But unlike Elen, our second-in-command isn’t honest about her feelings. As such, she looks to her lady for validation. Yo, why do you like this guy? Your answer might just help me understand why I like him as well.

— Forget everything I’ve just written. Just take a look at these fucking breasts:

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Jesus Christ, man. That doesn’t even look attractive. Obviously, they’re not normally that big. But is it so hard to keep the characters’ breasts consistent-looking? Seriously, these girls aren’t even moving. They’re standing perfectly still!

— Aw man, cool exposition, dudes!

— Oddly enough, Thenardier doesn’t seem too depressed about his son’s death. Instead, he’s just mad. Great characterization, you guys. Anyway, he’s going to fight fire with fire by pitting another war maiden against Elen. Oh boy, more scantily-clad “warriors.”

— God, the backgrounds in this anime are a blurry, lazy mess.

— A single breast is as big as her head. As big as her goddamn head.

— I’m curious: why is it that a powerful warrior like Elen is subservient to an old, decrepit king anyway?

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— I suspect the other female characters will just look more and more ridiculous from here on out.

— Elen claims that she was only hired to help Tigre protect Alsace, which is true. Unfortunately, the oh-so-great king does not believe her. So this equally ridiculous-looking lady leaps to Elen’s defense. They just don’t make breast-hugging tops like that anymore, do they?

— And as soon as a character with reasonably-sized breasts shows up, she gets mocked for, well, having “small” breasts. Common sense might dictate that female warriors would value smaller breasts over large ones, since they’d be less unwieldy in combat. But in anime land, the bigger and more malformed, the better! Or we could just be nice to each other and not insult anyone’s bodies….

— Ludmila, blue-haired girl, is apparently a long-time acquaintance of Thenardier, so as you can see, Elen is just courting trouble. I don’t mind a good political thriller. Long story short, she doesn’t like the guy, but family ties, yo. I don’t mind a show about complicated, messy alliances. I just can’t take any of it seriously when you feel the need to shove these pathetic excuses for war maidens in our faces. It doesn’t matter how strong Ludmila might be, ’cause you know she’s just going to end up pining for the harem lead’s love.

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— Enjoy this flashback in which we get to gaze into a young Titta’s frightening eyes.

— The enusing scenes have some terrible, terrible animation. Unfortunately, it’s hard to convey the terrible frame rate with just screenshots, so you’ll either have to watch the episode for yourself, or just take my word for it. C’mon, do I look like I have the eyes of a liar?

Ugh. The show’s not even coy about it anymore.

— Later, Tigre has a talk with a Sir “Mashas.” Is his name really Mashas or is this yet another tragedy of Funimation’s unfortunate translation?

— Tigre confesses his desire to oppose Thenardier. At the same time, however, he won’t side with Ganelon. He then sets out to recruit allies to his cause. Somehow, Tigre’s influence now rivals that of both Thenardier and Ganelon. All because Elen is on this side. But at the same time, I don’t recall him discussing this with her. Oh well, I’m sure she’ll just go along with him anyway, seeing as how she’s a haremette.

This scene also looks hideous in motion.

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— Unfortunately for Tigre, Elen’s king doesn’t give a shit about our hero’s situation. He’ll only take the course of action that is most beneficial to Zhcted. Sounds like he’s just scared of Elen gaining more power so he doesn’t want her to do anything.

— But for the time being, Tigre need only worry about the other war maidens, because they’re not exactly on his side. Right on cue, Ludmila bursts into the room to interrupt the conversation between Tigre and Elen. At the moment, she won’t even bother to shake Tigre’s hand. Just you wait. In time, they’ll fall down. Man, could you imagine it if by the end of the series, Tigre becomes some sort of “demon” lord who commands all seven war maidens? I can actually see it happening, to be honest.

— For some reason, Ludmila insists that she talks to Tigre somewhere else. In reality, this is just an excuse to have the war maiden’s breasts bounce as she rides her horse.

— All of a sudden, the group runs into assassins. In reality, it is literally just the cel of some poorly-drawn dude being dragged across the scene.

— Oh. My. God.

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It’s the fucking snake bite scene I’ve heard all about.

— Yes, make her nipples as erect as possible. Her life might be in grave danger, but that doesn’t mean I’m taking my right hand off my dick.

— Tigre: “Once I suck out the poison, she can manage.”

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— Did he really have to get such a firm grip of her uninjured breast? Yes, yes he did.

— In the meantime, Ludmila shows off her stuff, and kills the rest of the assassins with ease.

— Afterwards, everyone just rides off into the sunset… looking for a doctor, of course, but thanks to Tigre’s quick breast-sucking skills, I think L-Lim’s going to be alright, you guys. Phew!

Trinity Seven Ep. 3

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— Aw man, is it the dreaded beach episode already? I thought our demon lord was going to get himself killed.

— For destroying a portion of the school — a significant portion, no less — our hero’s punishment is to fry up some yakisoba noodles. I don’t know what he’s complaining about. Sounds like he got off easy.

— There’s nothing to describe here. The girls are already chummy with Arata already, so we get to see them in various states of undress. I’ve seen a billion beach episodes, and if I stick with anime past this calendar year, I’ll probably see a billion more. They’re all the same. They’re all boring. They’re all woefully inadequate when it comes to having actual sex appeal.

By being meta, that automatically renders us not shitty! Too bad it doesn’t work that way with anyone who has half a brain.

— We finally see what had happened after the events at the end of last week’s episode. Akio tried to kill him with a kick, but she merely sends the harem lead to a dimension where shoujo anime adaptations are born.

— Yep, pink door. This is definitely the dimension from which shoujo anime adaptations emerge.

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— And obviously, the shoujo dimension contains at least one haremette for Arata’s pleasure. Why wouldn’t it?

— The girl you see in the screenshot above is Yui, and this is an incredibly lazy scene. These two characters proceed to sit in a room and infodump all over our faces.

— She tells Arata — and thus us — all about Themas, magic, how to stop the Breakdown Phenomenon, Archives, etc. Third-rate storytelling at its best. No thought or imagination. Literally just two characters sitting in a pink room, chatting it up.

— We first see Arata in this world at 5:09 on the clock. Let’s see how long it lasts.

— The scene finally comes to an end at 9:11. Yes, four whole minutes wasted.

— So the guy returns to the real world, chooses his Thema — it’s Control, if you care — undergoes a drab transformation that barely changes the way he looks, then finally, he ends the Breakdown Phenomenon. Exciting. I’m really at the edge of my seat here, watching these characters talk, talk, talk.

— By making all the magic in the room disappear, however, he somehow also makes all of the girls’ clothes disappear. How does that work? Magic.

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— Well, except Mira. She remains clothed, because she magically reflected his magic. Not like it makes a difference. This is a harem anime, so he’ll eventually see her naked anyway. That’s how it is in these shows. If you’re a female character, you’re trapped in a nightmare in which you’ll inevitably expose yourself to some creep.

— But to be make this oh-so-fair, Arata will expose himself as well! Gosh, don’t you girls feel better now?

— Back to wasting time: Levy gropes Lilith, because female-on-female sexual assault is just funny.

— Then, we’ll tear another girl’s clothes off, because she dared to take a picture of us. The punishment fits the crime!

— I bet this was how the story was originally conceived too. What if this kid’s special power is the ability to tear women’s clothes off! Genius!

These perspectives are amazing. Interior spaces will shrink and enlarge at a moment’s notice. Truly, truly magical.

— Oh hey, that same overplayed gag in Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai has reared its ugly, unoriginal head in this anime as well!

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— So is this episode going to head anywhere or what? Or is it just a series of pointless fanservice?

— Oh good, they’re going to talk some more.

— And now we get an onsen scene. What a waste of time.

— Then they proceed to talk in the hot springs. Why even do a show about magic if you’re just going to have boring ass conversations all episode long? What happened to casting spells and doing battle? What happened to fighting evil mages? Since when did those things become passe?

— All of a sudden, things take a turn for the serious when Arata begs to see everyone’s magic on display. He totally wants to save his cousin, guys. Can’t you feel the conviction in his voice?

— Lilith eventually gives in and summons a handgun. Arata immediately copies it.

— Yeah, these are the seven strongest mages in the world. And yet, the harem lead can emulate their abilities at the drop of the hat. All hail the harem lead’s dick.

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— Blah. At least I only have one show left.

Ushinawareta Mirai no Motomete Ep. 4

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— So it’s still day eight, and the episode kicks off with Sou enjoying dinner. These harem anime really know how to grab our attention.

— Kaori’s mom tries to hint that Sou and her daughter could become a couple, but the guy is as dense as a rock. As such, he excuses himself to his room… probably to masturbate to stars or something. Nah, you think anime characters would ever dare to admit that they have sexual urges? Of course not. Instead, he’s fiddling with a camera in his room.

— It’s now day nine, and Sou starts things off by taking pictures of his friends and the school. I can already tell that you guys are hanging onto my every word.

— Here’s a bunch of kids playing basketball in their uniforms. Why? You tell me.

— In less than a day, Sou confesses that he’s already attached to his camera. Even better, he gets nervous every time he has to take a shot. Again, this guy has got to be the lamest of our five harem lead.

— Yui isn’t too keen of cameras, though: “I feel like photos cement the passage of time.” FORESHADOWING, FORESHADOWING, FORESHADOWING. She then cryptically adds, “I have no need of memories.” Uh-huh. It’s a good thing she remembers how to use the restroom…

— Another episode, another boring lunch on the rooftop. Seriously….

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— Then immediately after having lunch, the characters decide to play hooky and go on a picnic. Whoa there, troublemakers!

— I’m surprised it’s this easy to just leave the campus. Back when I was in high school, they had people at every entrance during lunch to make sure no kid left before school was officially out. Exceptions were made, of course, for people who didn’t have afternoon classes.

— After leaving campus for a short distance, the characters proceed to just stand there and laugh repeatedly. What the hell? Well, except Ms. “Rawr I Don’t Need No Memories!”

— When the bus rolls up to take them to exciting places unseen, Yui grabs onto Kaori’s sleeve. Ooooooh~ Too bad nothing ever fucking happens in these episodes, so these hints are just wasted.

— Six young teenagers decide to ditch school and… take pictures at a park. Hoo boy, these wild rapscallions!

— Kenny’s overseas girlfriend seems to change her appearance every week. At this point, I no longer think he has a girlfriend. I should’ve known… after all, he’s the harem lead’s best friend, and the best friend never gets to have a girl.

— The kids overshot their stop and end up at some ravine. I hope someone ends up falling into it.

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— Kaori pouts when Sou doesn’t remember having been here with her before. But other than this, nothing interesting happens. Oh boy, they play in a creek — c’mon, they’re literally just staring at the water! Oh boy, Sou takes a picture of a fish. How is it possible to come up with these stories where absolutely nothing happens? Don’t you put yourself to sleep just trying to write the story? How is it that these words eventually get paired up with images, and then these images are eventually burned onto a CD, and then these CDs are eventually… you get the picture.

— Oh great, now we get a flashback of Sou and Kaori’s trip to the ravine from when they were younger. Yeah, it’s so much fun to hang out at the ravine now, so of course, show me what it was like back then!

— They… they built a mound of rocks! How could Sou forget such a wonderful memory! Dude, where’s your heart?!

— They then teamed up to try and save a teddy bear from being lost in the river! But they failed. Still, I would’ve cherished that memory forever, Kaori! Sou’s just a jerk!

— The eternally useless Kaori ends up hurting herself when she sees a snake in the rocks. Yui freaks out as a result. Nagisa finds this odd, but Yui says she can’t reveal anything just yet. Awesome.

— Our awesome harem lead returns to check up on his friends. It turns out he does remember that fateful day in the past. Great! And now, this leads us to an awesome search for a shoe. Doubly great!

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— But because they left to look for a shoe without telling any of their friends, Yui freaks out some more!

— Eventually, Sou and Kaori find the shoe, but as you can see, it’s in a rather precarious position.

— C’mon, it’s just a fucking shoe. Who cares about a shoe? At least you can claim that the teddy bear had sentimental value. Are you really going to tell me that someone wrote a story in which the characters endangers themselves for a fucking shoe?

— Yes, someone did. The rest of their friends catch up to them, and Yui volunteers to save the shoe all by her lonesome. Naturally, she loses her balance.

— Luckily for the girl, however, Sou humps her back to safety.

— Great, they saved a fucking shoe. Even better, the episode is finally over, but not before Kaori is jealous of the fact that Yui got to be held by Sou during the Great Shoe Rescue of 2014! What an embarrassing anime.

— Oh yeah, nothing happened again.

Week 4’s Poll

I don’t know how I’m going to keep writing up five shows in one night, but… at least we’ve managed to get through the first month.

13 replies on “Fall 2014 Harem Hill, Week 4: The Great Shoe Rescue of 2014”

If this episode is any indication, Grisaia is going to start steamrolling through the girl’s (really quite long) routes at 2 episodes a pop. Basically, it’s going to trainwreck super hard. You’re not going to get many people coming out of the woodwork to defend it now. For example, the scenes with the kiss and what not are at the beginning of the route, the cat dying takes place right near the end (about a month of in-universe time and maybe 7-9 hours worth of reading).

And Michiru’s route is the shortest. If it goes at this rate for a longer and more dense route, say Makina’s, the results are going be unintentionally hilarious.

Wait, so they skipped the entire Middle portions of the route, where the entire process of transitioning from the silliness of the Common Route to the seriousness that apparently all the girl’s routes have was basically axed out?

I wonder though, will Grisaia be split cour? That seems to be the only hope right now – they truncated Michiru because her problems are actually (I presume) milder, has less substantive impact on the sequels and less damaging to the setting than the other routes.

The show is announced for 24 episodes though. Why on earth would they need to rush the drama to the point that fans of the original VN are getting mad over it?

Oh right. It’s 8-bit, so we need to squeeze in as many panty shots as possible.

Two possibilities:

1. The sources that were saying it was 24 episodes were bogus. This is the most likely one.

2. They want to speed through Grisaia no Kajitsu to reach the sequel, Grisaia no Meikyuu. Andmeuths is right, Michiru’s route is the most self contained route in terms of changing the nature of the setting (though I wouldn’t say her problems are the mildest by a long shot, the anime has downplayed the seriousness of her condition pretty drastically by rushing it), and theoretically they can just go back to near status-quo once it’s done. Some of the others? Not so much.

But if Grisaia is Split Cour, can the other four routes avoid the butchery inflicted on the Michiru route, and still adapt Meikyuu all in 24 episodes without a trainwreck? Or are we getting a split-cour division of the routes- the most setting breaking routes for the second cour, and the less setting disruptive routes for the first season?

As I understand from the howls of outrage from fans of this series (which were incredibly loud), part of the problem is that so much of Michiru’s character building was tied to romance, but for the sequel to exist, Yuuji cannot end up with any one of the girls. So 8-bit had to excise romance from Michiru’s route. The problem is that the easiest solution was to simply axe the vast majority of the route, rather than intelligently rewriting and readapting the middle portions of the route by developing and building Michiru’s character. Naturally, this was what the director choose.

And a big problem is the Panty Shots – urgh, it needs to stop. It adds nothing to the story, in-fact it damages the credibility and consistency of the main substantive of the story. Love Live and the Fate/Series could do with nearly zero of such fanservice, and yet challenge BD sales records.

From a mostly anime only viewer perspective (I’ve not read the VN, but I’ve been spoiled abit about the nature of each of the routes), I think that episode was sufficient to help me understand what they are going for in Michiru’s character – it also cleared up the primary thing that irritated me about Michiru in the common route – I just cannot grasp her character, because she is too inconsistent.

But the attempted “shock” of that cat’s death doesn’t really work if you haven’t owned a pet before, and hence can’t relate and project themselves into the scenario – most of the positive reviews seem to be because of that shock factor at the end. It also doesn’t work because not enough has been done to Michiru’s character and her interactions with the cat to substitute for that projection. It also doesn’t work because last episode was confused and messy, and was too Amane centric and not sufficiently Michiru centric enough – I actually thought the Amane route would come first, based on how much they were playing up Amane’s mental issues last episode. And it finally doesn’t work, because the continuous flow of panty shots undermines the tone of the story into a ludicrous dissonance

It’s only saving grace, is that the episode has managed to “show” what Michiru’s psychological problem is – enough that we can infer it even before the show tells us outright. At least it removes the unreadable nature of Michiru’s character.

As for the show from here on out. If it is Single Cour, this show is doomed. The only entertainment factor, is how badly they are going to tell the story, and counting the number of Anime-adaptation sins and plot holes they are going to commit.

If it’s Split Cour, from what I understand of Grisaia, I think it isn’t as stupid as it sounds. If Grisaia is being adapted so that the least status quo irreversible, least setting breaking route ,most self-contained route goes in first, then the dividing line might be the point of no return for the setting – the point where the setting has to collapse as a result of the route’s conclusion. This is to allow for the next route to flow from the last.

Based on spoiler chatter in other forums, I am getting the impression that Amane and Michiru’s route both require the school setting to work, but also allows for a return to the status quo, and the next route. I also understand that Saachi’s route ending (depending on which end they adapt) may very well make it impossible for the setting to be retained at all. However, I also get the impression that we’d get to understand quite abit more of Yuuji’s past in the Amane’s route, since both seem to have some kind of history with one another that Amane knows, and Yuuji may or may not (this comes from the anime itself).

But most interestingly, the Yumiko and Makina routes take place completely outside the school, And I also get the impression that the conclusion of those two routes aren’t going to easily allow for other routes to proceed afterwards. Furthermore, I would also guess that Yumiko and Makina’s routes sounds like Yuuji’s role as a “Cleaner” becomes more explicitly important then.

It seems then, if this theory is true, then we might be seeing the following route order. in the adaptation,
1. Michiru’s route (Condensed, and butchered because of it’s self-contained nature)
2. Amane’s Route (Where we get some answers about Yuuji’s past, but it doesn’t break the setting)
3. Saachi’s Route (Because the ending has a high chance of breaking the setting)
4/5: Yumiko or Makina’s route (Because both routes are thematically different from the first three, and do not take place in the school setting, and hence the school setting can be safely broken while allowing for the routes to proceed).

Now, this doesn’t matter if it’s one cour, two epsodes per route. It’s going to be a trainwreck even with this order.

But if it’s Split Cour, then I think Miichiru was thrown under the bus so they can devote more time to Angelic Howl/Amane’s route, since Amane is the most popular character on the fanbase. In that case, Amane is going to be the main focus of this series, judging by the very heavy Amane emphasis in Episode 2 and 3, It wouldn’t surprise me if Saachi’s route concludes the series, and the writers allow the route to break the setting, because both Yumiko and Makina’s routes can still take place even if the setting is broken. In this case, Saachi’s route’s ending forms the split between the two cours.

And then, in the second cour, we get the whole cour devoted to Yumiko and Makina’s route, where Yuuji’s identity as some kind of “cleaner” comes into full play there. I heard both routes are very, very political,, cloak and dagger intrigue driven and far more closer to the world that Yuuji inhabited before High School, than the charade of school life. That way, the cour would be thematically consistent, and the routes can flow logically between one another without a reset button. The only issue would be how they are going to transit between the two routes, and which one would come first in that case.

So, no, I don’t think Split Cour would be dumb – I think it can potentially work. That is, if 8-bit doesn’t drown us in panty shots before that. At the very least, it would be very preferable to a One Cour trainwreck.

But the attempted “shock” of that cat’s death doesn’t really work if you haven’t owned a pet before,

I literally have a black cat as a pet and it still doesn’t work.

Well, for third week in a row Grisaia take my vote.
They didn’t even developed their relationship with cat, they killed it just like that, in a giant pool of blood, they even dragged the scene to make it die coughing blood, it reminds me to AgK cheap deaths but in a saddest way, because those clowns were murderers and in some way they deserved to die, here is just a little cat that had the misfortune of being in this terrible anime, at least it’ll not have to suffer any longer in this dumb and exploitative show.

I don’t usually expose my vote, but I had to this time. Trinity Seven’s this week was just EVERYTHING I despise about harem shows.
Really? A beach and onsen episode? It’s so simply overdone and tired that it makes the FPS genre look new and groundbreaking. It literally is the perfect example of the saying “seen one, seen them all”. It’s just embarrassing.
At think point I’m confident that even animators are just vomit-inducingly sick of this trope. But they gotta do it since it’s on the storyboard and they gotta get eat.

Although I have to say, beach and onsen episodes are just obligatory for every harem and ecchi show out there. So it’s expected and I knew was coming sooner or later, but that doesn’t mean it reduces the force of my palm to my face. After all these show are 95% fan service.
But it’s even more stupid groan-worthy when other shows just throw in a beach and onsen episode for the fuck of it. Like, really you guys gonna take some fuckin’ R&R when the world is at the brink of being completely annihilated by invaders? Wait, seriously? The WHOLE A-TEAM that’s supposed to protect the world is at the beach AT THE SAME TIME? Who’s bright fucking idea was this? Isn’t there a fuckin’ rotation strategy so half the team can rest while the other half is on stand-by? Oh, wait. You’re telling me that we can just send the equipment TO the beach willy-nilly so that our team can pilot them and defeat them in swimwear.
You’re fuckin’ fired.

I don’t usually expose my vote, but I had to this time. Trinity Seven’s this week was just EVERYTHING I despise about harem shows.

I won’t say who’s winning just yet, but it would seem others don’t quite agree with you.

I don’t know, I vote for Grisaia instead.
When it comes to that anime, it’s clear that the director and staffs themselves didn’t care about their product. They simply threw whatever in. They don’t care about continuity. They don’t even watch the result. That’s how they didn’t realize that their show doesn’t make any sense.

Trinity Seven is so sleazy so that it becomes amusing. Still sucks. But a bit more watchable that the others. Also it’s sleazy in a way that doesn’t involve rape and calling each other tramp.

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