Everything Else, Fall ’14, Week 4: Seasonal disappointments

watching anime

Time to watch all the other shows I don’t normally post about… yay…


Week 3’s Poll Results

1. The most disappointing anime thus far? According to my readers, it would have to be Terra Formars. I can’t say I blame you guys for voting for this show. The sad thing is, I didn’t even have high expectations for the anime in the first place. I simply wanted some cool-looking action to watch every Friday night. What we’ve gotten doesn’t even come close. Still, the anime is not without its fans. Click here to see if Mira of hachimitsu can convince you otherwise.

2. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is the reader’s choice for the second-most disappointed anime of the early fall season. Again, this isn’t a surprising result. We had to sit through nearly two hours of exposition before we got a halfway decent episode. So far, the show hasn’t lived up to the fan hype.

3. Cross Ange finished third, which is a little surprising to me. Didn’t we all think the show was going to be a trainwreck from just the PV and the PV alone? Well, I guess no one expected the show to be this bad.

4. World Trigger finished forth. Yeah, it’s a dud. The animation is ugly, the main characters are annoying to listen to, and the villains are… well, the villains are just there. They’re completely nondescript otherwise. I don’t know what the manga is like, but the anime adaptation simply lacks personality in too many crucial places.

Gundam Build Fighters Try - 0302

5. After World Trigger, the rest of the votes were pretty evenly spread out. I can’t say a fifth most disappointing anime stood out from the rest of the pack, so we’ll just wrap up this short discussion here.


Week 4’s Rankings

27. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

The most disgusting thing I’ve had to watch this past week.

26. Cross Ange

Congrats! Another show manages to outdo your badness!

25. Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji

It probably has the dumbest characters this season.

24. Inou Battle Within Everyday Life

Dumb.

23. Grisaia no Kajitsu

Grisaia no Kajitsu - 0409

Cheap, manipulative, and worst of all, terribly underdeveloped characters to the point that their stories become nonsensical.

22. Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete

Plodding.

21. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

Slightly better plodding.

20. Trinity Seven

We’ve replaced urine hijinks with a run-of-the-mill beach episode. Let’s see if anybody notices!

19. Log Horizon 2

Even when Shiroe is barely in the episode, people constantly talk, think, and cry about him.

18. Terra Formars

All those imaginative powers are wasted if you can’t animate a single, decent fight scene that doesn’t get broken up by a bunch of boring flashbacks.

17. Akame ga Kill!

Akame ga Kill! - 1713

Still predictable; still boring.

16. Donten ni Warau

This sort of nonsense occurs way too often. The actual story isn’t strong enough to carry these dumb moments.

15. Madan no Ou to Vanadis

Hilariously bad animation is its only saving grace, but ironic enjoyment of badness can only take you so far.

14. Sword Art Online II

As always, the show about the complete immersion in a fantasy world turns out to be completely unimaginative.

13. Shirobako

Dull, dull, dull. The show doesn’t make me laugh, it doesn’t make me cry, it doesn’t make me angry, it doesn’t make me feel anything. Oh, what’s that? It perfectly captures the day-to-day operations at an animation studio, you say? Well shit, I should fucking hope so. It’s made by an animation studio, after all. Sure, there’s something to be said about the accuracy of its portrayal, but so what? Is accuracy really the end all, be all of storytelling? Nah. At the end of the day, art should evoke something — anything — from me. You might believe otherwise, but I’ll even contend that documentaries — the good ones, anyway — convey strong, compelling viewpoints.

Shirobako - 0301

Whether or not I agree with said viewpoints, well, that’s another story, but I can at least respect art when it has conviction. I want to be pushed, challenged, prodded, so on and so forth. Unfortunately, slice-of-life shows like Shirobako evoke nothing; the anime lacks conviction. It’s just, like a lot of other slice–of-life anime, a slice from someone’s life presented as is. It perfectly straddles the middle of the road, and all I feel when I watch is is this vague sense of bored contentedness: “Oh, hm, that’s nice….” Stress bad, teamwork good… yo, that’s not good enough. Shirobako is cute… and, well, that’s about it.

12. Gundam Build Fighters Try

See, I can’t enjoy this series as much as I would like, because I just can’t shake the fact that the show feels like a 24-minute infomercial for Gunpla instead of an anime. Sure, lots of anime series are basically just one big advertisement for a manga, visual novel, or what have you. And you know what, those shows usually bore the hell of me too. What makes Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis so successful in my eyes is that the show doesn’t feel like it’s trying to push the card game on me. In the makers of the card game’s eyes, this is probably a failure on MAPPA’s part. But in my eyes, I have an incredibly fun show to watch. Point is, I don’t feel as though I can say the same for Gundam Build Fighters Try. There’s just this nagging feeling that we’re here to suck the Gunpla’s shiny, plastic cocks first, then tell a story second. Fair or not, I can’t stay focused when I watch this anime.

11. Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen

This scene was just awkward to watch, ’cause they barely moved anything but their mouths. Anyway, using these fancy new mechas too much will eventually turn you into an empty shell, but would this really be a downgrade for Tokimune? I kid, I kid… maybe. After sixteen episodes, our protagonist hasn’t really changed much.

Argevollen 1602

He’s got a one-note personality, and the rest of the show reflects this deficiency. Not being able to pilot the Argevollen should’ve been a bigger loss. Finding out that the Argevollen is based on the same experiments that had killed his sister should’ve made a bigger emotional impact. But in both cases, the show fell flat.

10. Amagi Brilliant Park

The show sacrifices a bit of its charm in an attempt to deliver drama, but the results feel stilted.

9. Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle

As always, the show is mildly entertaining enough to watch, but instantly forgettable afterwards. See, I hardly remember anything regarding the previous episode’s themes, commentary, subtext, etc. I just know our heroes are headed for some island.

8. Gundam: Reconguista in G

The most recent episode isn’t great, but it doesn’t fuck anything up in particular. That’s enough for me to stick it here.

7. Akatsuki no Yona

This shoujo’s alright. Since I just wrote about it extensively, I don’t really feel like saying more. If you’re really curious, read my most recent post on the anime here.

6. Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works

Fate Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works - 0308

There are still storytelling flaws here and there, but the battle scenes are worth the price of admission. For now, anyway.

5. Mushishi Zoku Shou

Wait, what? The mushi can loop its prey’s time, thereby causing its victims to relive their lives over and over? How does that even work? But as always, the literal details aren’t terribly important.

What’s important is the overall idea that the episode is trying to convey. They say that we can’t change the past. Sure, that sounds about right. By the end of the episode, Kaoru believes this as well. He’s not trying to save his wife by reliving the past; he knows he can’t. They also say that we shouldn’t live in the past. Hm. Now that’s a little trickier. On the one hand, Kaoru dooms himself from ever seeing his daughter grow up, potentially get married, and potentially have her own family. He’ll never get to hold and love his grandchildren (again, this assumes that his daughter will have kids). Nevertheless, a man in despair had to make a quick decision: live the rest of his life without his wife, or trap himself in a (for the most part) blissful loop until he becomes one with the time-looping mushi.

Still, there’s no guarantee that he’d be happy if he had chosen to live out the rest of his life, especially without his wife. There’s no guarantee that the loss of his wife won’t plunge him into a downward spiral from which he cannot escape. She was his support. Even if you say he still had his daughter, your children will have to move on and live their own lives. He just lost the person who had pledged to be by his side forever. That’s why the past is so alluring. Even if he can’t remember a thing by entering the loop — even it all feels like deja vu — from another point of view, the past is certain. It’s set in stone. The future, on the other hand, is unpredictable. It’s scary. Who knew his wife would slip and fall to her death? He didn’t. I can’t agree with the guy’s actions, but… damn, I can’t say I wouldn’t also be conflicted if I was in his shoes.

Mushishi Zoku Shou - 1401

At the end of the day, however, his wife is now caught up in her own loop as well. She is supposed to be dead, but she must now relive the events of her life up until that fateful day. In a way, that makes her a zombie, doesn’t it? And even if she can’t remember that she will die, there’s something unsettling about the idea that she will essentially relive her death over and over. You can’t shake the idea that death is creeping ever so closer whenever she looks over her shoulder.

Long story short, this is a haunting episode.

4. Parasyte

I’ve nothing bad to say about last week’s episode. For now, I just prefer the shows above it a tiny bit more.

3. Psycho-Pass 2

Not the most action-packed episode — and Psycho-Pass’s treatment of women continues to raise some eyebrows — but the story remains as thematically interesting as it has always been.

2. Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis

I wish I could watch the entire series in one sitting, which is something I rarely say about most anime.

1. Garo: The Carved Seal

Garo The Carved Seal of Flames - 0402

The most recent episode is superbly executed. Could the fight scene at the end of the episode be better? Sure, but here’s the shocking part: I’m not even watching the show for its action.


Week 4’s Poll

No formal poll this week. Instead, comment below to tell me all about your most hated character this season. Who do you absolutely despise? Who do you just love to hate?

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36 thoughts on “Everything Else, Fall ’14, Week 4: Seasonal disappointments

  1. eternia

    Shiroe, the glasses pushing bastard.
    Just buy a damn new glasses already.

    There’s also the kouhai inspector from Psycho Pass, but she was purposely made to be hated. She doesn’t even feel human.

    Reply
    1. anabchamploni

      It’s for the audience and consequently the sake of the blog. People read more and make more money by ads with the posts of awful shows than the good ones, so… unless you make a huge donation for the blog you probably won’t get more good shows blogged.

      Reply
      1. E Minor Post author

        That’s true and everything, but I’m not quite sure I’d say Kaitou Joker is a good show. In fact, I think I’m currently watching all the good shows that this season has to offer.

        Reply
      2. Anonymous

        That makes sense, and it makes sense why so many blogs out there (*coughrandomcuriositycough*) sing praises of nearly EVERY show out there each season, even the bad ones that the Bloggers think are bad aren’t criticized for fear of “offending” the fans of the show, one of the reasons I pretty much only read this blog, as EMinor doesn’t pull any punches to the bad shows and is free-er to put shine much more depth and insight on the shows that ARE truly good. Hell, there was some shows that I liked that E-minor pointed out were bad AND had MANY compelling reasons why. It made me agree and realize what was happening! Changes my perspective on Media completely, especially since I don’t believe that “taste” is subjective and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. . .because they’re not. Just like how music has certain basic general rules to it(B.A. Degree in Music so I know) visual media is the same.

        Yeah, Kaito Joker’s first episode was pretty bad though. I was face palming for the first 5 minutes non stop before I decided to turn it off. I didn’t come back for more.

        Reply
        1. N

          Are you getting Kaitou Joker and Magic Kaito 1412 mixed up?

          Kaitou Joker’s aimed at children aged under 10. I don’t think you should be judging it the way you do other shows.

        2. Themaster20000

          You’d rather have someone tell you what’s good or bad without judging for yourself? Someone could view as a pile of shit; while the next guy views it as gold(Terror in Resonance is a recent example of this).

        3. E Minor Post author

          Changes my perspective on Media completely, especially since I don’t believe that “taste” is subjective and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. . .

          Hm, I wouldn’t agree there.

    1. E Minor Post author

      I’ve finished it. I just have no time to post my thoughts on it. My posting schedule is pretty packed. Plus, it’s too old and niche for very many people to care.

      Reply
      1. Flawfinder

        I just finished a rewatch two weeks ago. That ending is one of the saddest (in an emotional way) things I have ever seen anime produce. Been meaning to write about it myself, but motivation is low on my end at the moment.

        Reply
  2. moecharacter

    It feels like it’s too easy of an answer, but I despise all of Kosei’s friends in Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. They’re all awful to him under the guise of trying to help him, and it’s just disgusting to watch. It’s even worse than your average harem.

    Reply
  3. Jovian Dreamer

    “Not the most action-packed episode — and Psycho-Pass’s treatment of women continues to raise some eyebrows — but the story remains as thematically interesting as it has always been.”

    Yep. If I prohibited myself from watching anything that seemed to treat women in a certain manner that I didn’t like, I probably wouldn’t have much (anime) to watch.

    I gotta say, I might just watch Fate/stay night for the action scenes alone. The rest of the show can’t be too bad/boring, right?

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Yep. If I prohibited myself from watching anything that seemed to treat women in a certain manner that I didn’t like, I probably wouldn’t have much (anime) to watch.

      Well, no one’s saying we should stop watching anything. I pretty much watch anything too.

      Reply
  4. opa

    Fate/Zero also has great action scenes and when it’s in the talk mode it’s less boring than Stay/night… Because characters were better IMO. And it’s a prequel to S/N story-wise even though it was written after S/N. So you might want to check out Zero too if you don’t get too bored with S/N.

    Reply
  5. Valerie

    Shirobako was just disappointing to me because it seemed interesting. Turned out to be so boring, I dropped it after the second episode.

    Most of the anime this season aren’t that good, but I never was looking forward to them so they’re not really disappointing. But at lest they are more interesting to watch than Shirobako.

    I sat here thinking and I just can’t think of a character I love to hate this season. A lot are annoying or boring but none I really hate.

    Reply
      1. Valerie

        Well, you’re not watching it but it’s Shione Togawa from Sora no Method. Her anger and hatred just makes her look like a drama queen.

        From a show that you are watching, Moffle from Amagi Brilliant Park. Kinda the same thing for that character too.

        Reply
  6. anabchamploni

    My most hated character this season would be Erika, but I changed my mind after I realize who is the true culprit of her pathetic behavior. So, my most hated character of this season is the author of Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, Hatta Ayuko. It’s so hard to make a protagonist with self-esteem?

    But I think that real people doesn’t count for the pool, so my most hated character of this season is Noredo, from Gundam G no Reconguista, you know, the annoying girl with pink hair that complains every single time when the protagonist looks to another woman. Sure, Raraiya is also useless and annoying but at least she has the ability of piloting the G-Self.

    Reply
  7. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    For me, watching you go through F/SN UBW is like waiting on a timebomb. I know what’s going to happen (to a certain point) and I’m just waiting for the stupid to kick in. So far the only thing that’s been kicked in was copious amounts of boring separated with fantastic fights that slapped us awake, only to then delve off into more talking…

    TerraForMars was all over Comic Con NY. I saw figures and posters and more scattered about more than I expected. Funny enough, no Knights of Sidonia. I don’t think I saw a single promoted product related to it. Kind of bugs me. I know the shows are completely different but both are sold on a distinctly gritty feeling and style, but for some reason the show that has less thought in it than a roach gets more attention. Probably overthinking it, but you know, they’ve already announced a TerraForMars videogame, so maybe I’m not.

    And Garo totally deserves the number one spot, mate. Hell yes. This show surpassed my expectations completely. Here I thought this was going to just be a bit of Henshin fun with a tad of plot involved.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “I’m just waiting for the stupid to kick in.”

      I know right! It’s awesome! I keep snickering every time I see him blog this.

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      Well, Sidonia doesn’t really lend itself to figures. Plus, some people are probably turned off by the 3-D.

      Reply
  8. Herr Regisseur

    Argevollen looks heinous. In both of the screenshots you’ve supplied to us, the characters are more off-model than a late episode of Tom and Jerry. Can’t say I wasn’t glad not to follow it.

    Garo delivered beautifully, but I can’t shake off this feeling of a disconnection between the episodes. Nonetheless, seeing Leon cool down somewhat (and beginning to come to terms with his own Horrors) marks a refreshing new point in his growth to becoming the ultimate Golden Knight.

    Shigatsu was… how did they even get into his house? Oh right, all anime characters live by themselves.

    I don’t think I’ll ever like Fate/Stay night.

    Akatsuki no Yona – Fuuga sounds Japanese. What the heck is a “Hak” and a “Mun-deok” doing here? Those Fire Clan outfits look hilariously like the Fire Nation outfits from Avatar.

    Log Horizon is starting to mesh with SAO… I honestly thought it’d be better than this. But not all is lost. There are other characters that (still) have lives that don’t intersect with Shiroe. The need for media protagonists to be portrayed as 100% chick magnets these days bug me.

    GBF Try continues to be predictable. I was constantly laughing to watching the show and saying “Damn I’m good” repeatedly whenever the scenes played out just as I’d guessed they would. Also, the new girl is somewhat plump. This is a sight you rarely see in new anime (see: Shirobako).

    Reconguista in G was charming to me this week. The battles still remain as short as ever, but given they’re mere skirmishes, it’s justified. Character interactions still feel jarring, save for some scenes, and the Megafauna is a pretty darn cool ship. As is the Elf Bullock. Gotta love those beam scatters and the masked guy. I kinda have this nagging feeling that the masked man is going to turn out to NOT be Luin Lee. Maybe a clone, maybe a twin brother? His personality is a stark contrast to his earlier portrayals. Of course, given a convention in Gundam shows, he could certainly be “under control” by the Capital Army, and a Newtype at that. And Captain Dellensen nooooo ;_;

    No characters I hate yet. Those mannequins in Ange don’t count. I apologize that I haven’t made my presence more known; I’ve been somewhat busy. As for your question on how long Reconguista would run, sources vary. Usual Gundam series run up to fifty episodes, but Reconguista has been said to be two-cour, or 26 episodes.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Garo delivered beautifully, but I can’t shake off this feeling of a disconnection between the episodes.

      I think they’re connected. They’re just connected through Leon. The show is more personal than it lets on.

      I kinda have this nagging feeling that the masked man is going to turn out to NOT be Luin Lee.

      Possible he just has different personas.

      Reply
  9. A Day Without Me

    “Cross Ange finished third, which is a little surprising to me. Didn’t we all think the show was going to be a trainwreck from just the PV and the PV alone?”

    Yes, but I like trainwrecks. I, however, do not love trainwrecks that are rape-tastic, so disappointment for me.

    Reply
  10. Sora

    For me Build fighters was much more fun than Bahamut this week, bahamut was very good and easily no.2 but the fight in the second half of build fighters was just awesome, the animation just felt cool in comparison, the close ups, cool cape poses, and attacks with face cut ins just felt so much more dynamic, while i only felt the same for bahamut for the bit where he shoots the steering wheel.

    also the toy comercial part. i can see its pushing gunpla very hard but i dont really see it as a problem since they are supposed to be in a world where gunpla is the most popular hobby, and people can get obsessive about hobbys. i also enjoy the rediculousness of it, speed building gunpla, underwater gunpla battle. It feels like fun, even though its bahamut that has the zombies giant dragons etc.

    Reply
  11. Pia

    Definitely Kaori from Kimi no Uso is my most despised character this season, I also despise Tsubaki because basically they’re almost the same character, then I would say Mika from Psycho Pass for obvious reasons.
    I really don’t hate harem characters this season because I don’t take them seriously enough, they’re just a bunch of copied & pasted characters from other harems from the past.

    Reply
  12. BoboKitty

    So far I’ve been only watching Parasyte and Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis this season, though a I might add Psycho-Pass to that list, so… I think the character that is irritating me the most is that dog/cat/? demon chick. I just want to be able to enjoy a show without pointless fanservice, but alas…

    Reply

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