Everything Else, Fall ’14, Week 7: Back to normal

watching anime

Well, I haven’t done one of these in a while. So I have a lot of boring anime to catch up on. Yep, the struggle is real. Anyway, since I didn’t do one of these posts last week, it’s really a ranking of these shows’ past two episodes.

Week 7’s Rankings

27. Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji

Still misogynistic? Yes. Still toxic? Oh yes. Best part is, we still have a month’s worth of episodes to go!

26. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

My weekly posts say enough about this show.

25. Trinity Seven

How can an anime about boobs and magic be so boring? The characters do nothing but stand around and talk about the mechanics of the world. To make matters worse, we’re already on the seventh episode. We’re halfway through the season, and the show’s still trying to world-build. Enough is enough, man. Get on with the story, already.

24. Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete

It’s hard enough watching this anime. Can you imagine trying to read this same story? The sad thing is, I do have an interest in baking. Watching these characters go through the motions of making cookies, however, isn’t interesting. There’s no depth to anything they do. The whole thing is completely shallow.

23. Inou Battle Within Everyday Life

Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de - 0701

These kids don’t use their powers enough.

22. Terra Formars

I fell asleep just trying to watch the most recent episode. I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again: it doesn’t really have enough content to be a full-fledged anime series. It should’ve just been a movie or two. That’s why the anime has to pad things out with needless flashbacks about all these pointless side characters I don’t give two shits about.

21. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

I’ll never truly like a harem anime, but there’s one way to make them not so bad to watch: give me a good reason to give a damn about any of the haremettes. But like If Her Flag Breaks, I can’t help but feel that these girls are all idiots.

20. Cross Ange

The show has less rape these days, which is good. But it feels like the story have come to a screeching halt, because the writers suddenly realized that this is supposed to be a two-cours anime. I want to know what’s going on with the outside world. On the other hand, I don’t care how well Ange is getting along with her squad members at all. We’ve already established that they are all horrible people, so why would I want any development on this front?

19. Akame ga Kill!

I doubt a faithful adaptation would’ve been much more enjoyable to watch. I mean, the early episodes were more faithful, were they not? And they still sucked, so…

18. Grisaia no Kajitsu

Grisaia no Kajitsu - 0718

Unlike Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, this show does try to get me to care about the haremettes. It’s just too hilariously over-dramatic in the ways it goes about accomplishing this. We’re also blowing through these girls’ stories at an unprecedented pace. Are we really saving all the remaining episodes for Amane and Amane alone? Is she that awesome? Probably not, but she is the most flirtatious.

17. Log Horizon 2

Log Horizon? More like Akatsuki’s Story, which is something I never signed up for. The results haven’t been pretty either. Now that the entire city of Akihabara is participating in this raid, however, hopefully we can soon move onto bigger and better things.

16. Shirobako

For me, the characters lack depth. There’s nothing in these episodes that makes me think, “Wow, these characters feel completely human. I can really relate to them.” That’s mostly because their problems center completely around the show’s premise, which is to produce anime. And sure, that’s the premise. You’re going to focus on it, which I have no problems with. But I don’t feel as if I know any of these characters beyond their work, and I think this is why their characterizations ring hollow. Take a movie like Office Space, for instance. I know what the characters are like when they’re not at work. I know what their dreams and fears are. I know what they do for fun. I know what their romantic lives are like. I know what they’re insecure about. On the surface, these things don’t necessarily have anything to do with working in an office, but the truth is that they do! Peter Gibbons’ entire personality outside of work greatly shapes and influences how he acts and operates at work.

And Office Space isn’t even a great movie.. It’s a decent comedy that has somehow garnered a cult following, but that’s exactly why I think I’ve used it to draw my comparisons. Again, it’s not a great movie, and yet, it still has the qualities that I am missing from Shirobako. With the latter, everything in it is about working at an animation studio. There isn’t a single moment that doesn’t directly tie into being an animator or working in the industry. With its episodic format, Shirobako can certainly afford to go in-depth about the nature of its characters’ work and daily responsibilities, and that’s great. But this portrayal shouldn’t come at the cost of striking a proper balance in the characters’ characterization. And in that regard, I feel as though an entire half of their lives are missing from us. Oftentimes, what influences our actions will have nothing to do with our work at all. So again, I don’t really feel like I know these characters at all. They feel empty to me. I wish I got to see another side to them. Ultimately, the story feels incomplete.

Shirobako - 0601

Anyway, it was funny when Yuichiro waxed poetic about lines such as “I—… I won’t accept this meaningless life! I’ll open the path to my own destiny.” To me, that sort of writing is the worst.

15. Sword Art Online II

After last week’s long-ass post, all I can add is this: the arcs feel too disconnected from each other. These shifts in tone don’t make much sense to me. What kind of story does Sword Art Online honestly want to tell? All kinds, apparently, but the problem is that the anime doesn’t excel at any one of them. Even if the writer can’t make up his mind, it’s A-1 Pictures’ job to unify these arcs into a series that feels unified and coherent. They’ve thoroughly dropped the ball here.

14. Gundam Build Fighters Try

Our trio has finally entered those tournaments, and oh god, the battles are so generic that it hurts. Let me show my feelings! You’ll never succeed if you don’t understand the feelings of your gunpla! Together we can do it! Yaaaaaah! See the results of my special training! Hiyyyaaaaaaaaaaa! My Gundam spirit shines through! Let’s keep on winning, friends! I believe in you!

Ahem… anyway, there’s just no meat here to chew on. Everything about the story feels incredibly  generic. Our threesome needs to get stronger. They need to work on their teamwork. They are the underdogs. The other schools underestimate them. So on and so forth. It’s pretty much run-of-the-mill storytelling. And why is Fumina barely wearing anything?

13. Madan no Ou to Vanadis

Ugly boobs and boring battles. I just have it up this high because it’s easy to watch. That always a godsend for me.

12. Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle

Hitsugi no Chaika - Avenging Battle 0602

This show is also safe like Akatsuki no Yona, but dumber and filled with pointless fanservice.

11. Donten ni Warau

Can they really kill Tenka off this early? Nah. has the Orochi threat been quelled this soon? Also nah. I was actually curious about Tenka’s fate, too. It’s just too bad the seventh episode decided to focus on some new character, so I felt pretty let down while watching it.

In general, the story has potential, but there’s just too much silliness coming from the brothers, especially Chutaro. It feels like he only exists because every bishie-led anime needs a young boy for the targeted audience to creepily fawn over. Ugh.

10. Gundam: Reconguista in G

The story’s pacing is way too slow for me, and the conflicts are starting to feel repetitive. I’m tired of watching the same two sides fight each other every goddamn episode. Can we finally introduce that threat from space already?

9. Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen

The story is finally shaping up. I just wish this had happened months ago. I didn’t even mind the surprise party in last week’s episode. We certainly needed something a little more light-hearted to counterbalance the seriousness surrounding Samonji. Anyway, I might have more to say about the anime in a dedicated post. It just depends on whether or not I can get around to writing it. As an aside, doesn’t Jamie kinda look like Shirobako’s Aoi?

8. Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works

Oh hey, it’s the most staunchly defended show of the season. I don’t even have to say whether or not I think the latest episode was bad. Just jabbing at the story’s penchant to have twenty straight minutes of one conversation after the other is enough to piss someone off. Now that’s funny.

7. Psycho-Pass 2

PSYCHO-PASS 2 - 0605

The story developments are just getting sillier and sillier by the week. The heavy-handedness comes with the territory, I think. Even the first season wasn’t particularly subtle. The first season was never pants-on-head stupid, though. The characters and their actions made sense. I can’t say the same for the sequel, and the season is already half over. In other words, I don’t expect the show’s current direction to change. Hell, I even wonder if the movie’s going to be any good at this rate. Urobuchi might be returning for it, but it’s not like he’s a consistently great storyteller by any means. If the events here are supposed to lead into the movie’s, then I can’t say I’m very optimistic for the future.

6. Amagi Brilliant Park

Honestly, the show’s not horrible. And it’s okay if the show wants to goof around with its crazy premises. It just has to make me laugh. I wish I was.

5. Akatsuki no Yona

It’s safe, but (mostly) inoffensive. This show isn’t breaking any new grounds, but at least it isn’t cloying. And like most shows this season, the pacing is a little too slow for my tastes. That’s all I can say about it.

4. Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis

I can’t judge the recap, of course, but I can certainly judge the sixth episode, which wasn’t all that great. It felt like a huge departure from what had really worked for the show. I can only hope that this was a one-time thing, and that the second half of the series can rebound.

3. Mushishi Zoku Shou 2

As solid as ever. It’s just hard to get too excited for the show when I can’t talk about it with anyone else. Anyway, click here to see what I had to say about the most recent episode.

2. Parasyte

Parasyte - 0605

Every episode steadily builds upon the previous one. Parasyte’s start was a little safe and boring — I’m tired of high school characters and their high school lives — but now that Shinichi’s mother has died, we can truly explore some difficult topics. Best of all, Shinichi has to stop going to school for the time being.

As an aside, it’s incredibly silly that every single young female character seems to have the hots for the main character.

1. Garo: The Carved Seal

Currently my top anime of the season.

Week 7’s Poll

We’re skipping the shorts, because I don’t really care about them. Anyway, feel free to comment on why you voted for any of the shows on this list.

11 thoughts on “Everything Else, Fall ’14, Week 7: Back to normal

  1. andmeuths

    I would think Yuki Yuna would make for an interesting coverage, since it seems that it’s one of those Magical Girl shows that feels heavily Madoka inspired, and seems decently written. At the very least, even if it fails, it might be an interesting indication of where the genre is trying to head, post-Madoka.

  2. Jovian Dreamer

    I wish I could vote this week. But I haven’t seen a single episode of any of those anime. I like that CGI SeHa Girls anime and the short about the normal girl who marries an otaku dude.

    I definitely think the Urobochi-written movie will be better than this. I still like the show, but the writing is kind of weak, especially when it comes to the characters. Psycho-Pass is pretty much the only Urobochi anime I like, so if it’s at least as good as the first season I’ll be satisfied. I think it’ll have something to do with the Sibyl System finally being taken down. I also look forward to seeing the Psycho-Pass world with movie-level animation.

    1. E Minor Post author

      Do you think the animation will step it up much for the movie? It feels like the Psycho-Pass team are pretty flat in general when it comes to scene composition. Even the first season never did anything particularly impressive animation wise, and we know Production I.G has the chops.

  3. BoyTitan

    Starting to really like parasyte a lot. I agree fully with what you said on Gundam: Reconguista in G. As for gundam last weeks episode was bad but todays ep bought back some of the reason I actually like build fighters gundams breaking each other into spare parts,good fight choreography, and over the topness.

    1. E Minor Post author

      Well, I can’t enjoy Build Fighters just on the fights alone. There has to be a compelling story behind these fights, there isn’t.

  4. BoyTitan

    What other animes has Urobochi made I have only seen psyho pass and Gargantia both animes I actually enjoyed. Had episodes I dislike but good as a whole.

  5. Pia

    Maybe I’m being precipitate but Urobuchi Gen has a big turd to patch if this movie gonna be a direct sequel to PP2.
    I think you’re watching the best this season has to offer, you cover almost all the shows I watch, hmm tough decision.
    Also, nice to have you steadily around again.


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