The first show on our docket is an adaptation of a visual novel by the name of Island. After watching the first episode, I laughed, I cried… well, I mostly laughed and not in the good way. Apparently, you can only be a female love interest if you are at least nine inches (i.e., the average height of a human head) shorter than the male lead. If the dude isn’t tiring his neck out to stare at you, then you’re doing it wrong. What is wrong with you, girl? Why are you not trying to be a loli? So goes this anime with a mystery that I’m supposed to take seriously, but I can’t really do that when one of the lolis is apparently a vampire who will die if sunlight touches her. But that’s stupid, isn’t it? At one point, we see the girl refusing to leave the shade, because, y’know, sunlight = bad. But that’s not how it works. Just because you’re in the shade doesn’t mean the sunlight hasn’t reached you. Everything reflects light. The ground reflects light. Why do you think you can even see in the shade? There’s just less sunlight in the shade, but you’re still fucking touching it.
“This is just how vampires work, though! Maybe she’s vampire!”
Dude, that would own. Let’s do it. Let’s have the loli be a vampire. I just want this anime to devolve into crazy shit. Unfortunately, I’m supposed to give it a chance. I still haven’t really said what it’s about yet, huh? Well first, the male lead shows up one day completely buck-naked. We can shake things up a bit by having one of the lolis fall face first into his dick. ‘Cause y’know, having minors touch your dick is totally cool in anime. For now, the guy can’t remember anything other than 1) he’s from future, 2) he’s here to save a girl (duh), and 3) his name is Setsuna (I am Setsuna!). Every once in a while, memories flood his mind’s eye, but they’re not memories of the past. Well, not in the traditional sense anyways. If he’s truly from the future, then they’re still memories from the past for him. But apparently, what he sees are events that have yet to happen. It’s like he decided to replay an old game he hasn’t touched in years. As a result, all Setsuna has are faint recollections of what he’ll encounter later. Oh boy.
Right off the bat, our hero is not welcomed. When the mayor catches wind of Setsuna, the gap-toothed old man (too dumb to just shave his head entirely because he wants to preserve what little tufts of hair he has left) wants the guy immediately taken back to the mainland. It’s tradition, they say. No outsiders allowed. Can anyone say inbreeding? So far, we’ve barely met anyone either. Other than the three main lolis, it’s been like… what? A couple more loli friends and four or five adults? Where is everybody? But even though Setsuna can hardly remember anything or what he’s supposed to do, he refuses to leave quietly. He’s just compelled to stay, I guess. Stay and save the precious lolis. And look, I know the girls are technically in high school, but if you’re going to make them look so diminutive and flat-chested, then you’re going to get what you deserve from non-apologists.
Speaking of the lolis, they come in three flavors. First, you got the girl who got a mouthful of Setsuna’s crotch. Her name is Karen, and she’s twin-tailed flavored. Her father is also the domineering father, so good luck getting close to her! Plus, she’s likely to be a tsundere. C’mon, she’s blonde and she’s got twin tails. Second, you have Miss Sunlight Will Kill Me. Her name is Rinne, and she’s silly hat flavored. Like Setsuna, she was also found in the sea. The only difference was that she was found five years ago. At the moment, she lives with her “mom,” a shut-in who only communicates by passing torn-out sheets of notebook paper beneath the slit of her door. Oh yeah, Rinne likes to sing on her nightly walks, so prepare your heart for that. Last but not least, we have a miko-flavored loli. Her name is Sara, and she’s got a room full of notes about time travel theories, tachyons, singularities, blah blah blah. Most of all, she feels that she needs to kill Setsuna to protect the island. But before that scares you away, Setsuna has visions of a large-chested version of Sara. Too bad the same large-chested Sara is also seen being consumed by flames. Maybe big boobs are flammable. Maybe the ideal version of her is a flat-chested one.
Did you get all that? Are you intrigued yet? Apparently, this island isn’t even the only island in the story. The characters keep talking about some other island appearing out of nowhere five years ago. Either that or I’m misunderstanding what Sara is trying to say. But as you can probably tell, I can’t take Island very seriously yet. It just seems so juvenile despite all of its attempts to craft a mystery. I mean, what am I supposed to do with clumsy lolis with dumb hair or hats? Or how Rinne singing a shitty song nevertheless brings Setsuna to tears. Then after watching him cry, she starts crying out of nowhere too. I had tuned the song out, but their exchange afterwards made me crack up. Then when she clings to him the next day and tells him that the sunlight would kill her… wow. What a killer story. He also finds notes hidden in books about how he must die. Kill Setsuna! Kill him good! Hilarious. Ah well, I guess I’ll keep tuning in for now. I mean, how much worse can this shit get?
As for our next show, if you like 3D shuttlecock physics, breast physics, and ridiculous sweat physics, boy, have I got an anime for you. Hanebado!‘s got all that and more! The episode opens with Nagisa, one of the heroines, getting her ass handed to her on the court by Ayano, the main heroine. Unfortunately, things are not so rosy for the winner either. We soon find out that she ends up quitting the sport for (as of now) unspecified reasons. Let’s just say there’s a lot drama and tears involved. Drama and tears involving her coach perhaps prioritizing another student over her. Fast forward to the present day, and Nagisa still has a complex over her 21-0 whipping. As a result, she works her high school team to the bone. Eventually, some of them get fed up and leave. Can you blame them? If you’re a senior, and an underclassman is berating you, where’s the leadership? Why is no one stepping in and correcting this girl’s horrid behavior? People will only tolerate this level of overcompetitiveness if you’re as good as, say, Michael Jordan, which Nagisa clearly is not. Anyways, the girl even tells her best friend to quit. Yeesh. Well, what do you always do if you find yourself in a sports anime where a high school team is down on its luck?
First, you recruit a kooky coach! Boy, he sure is a pervert. The guy doesn’t even show up to his first day on the job, because he’s too busy drooling over high school girls. I sure do want someone like that coaching a team full of (guess what?) high school girls. But since the team is full of losers, I guess that’ll just have to tolerate him for now. After all, he’s super knowledgeable about badminton! Hell, Kentarou was even picked to play in the Olympics! He never actually did, but he was picked! Okay, so you got your coach. Now, you need the talented prodigy who for some reason is disillusioned with the sport. After all, you need to spend your first episode or two on recruiting her to the team. And as luck would have it, Ayano ends up being a freshman at this high school. How serendipitous! Even though she’s quit badminton, you know she’s still got it. When a tennis ball threatened to hit her best friend Elena in the head, the girl suddenly flies in from the side and bats the ball back at the server! Wow! Unfortunately, she doesn’t take badminton very seriously anymore. She thinks it’s just a sport. But hey, we have the direct opposite in Nagisa. The short-haired girl takes badminton too seriously. Plus, she’s still haunted by her defeat to Ayano in the past. So what better way to prove that batting a shuttlecock around is important by getting your revenge on the court? Unfortunately, this is where the episode comes to an end. You’ll have to come back next week to see if Nagisa has improved enough to beat an out-of-shape Ayano.
For me, sports anime all kinda feel the same, and Hanebado! hasn’t done enough to really stand out. It looks like LIDENFILMS is putting forth a solid effort with the animation, but sweaty girls bouncing around on a court isn’t enough to convince me to keep watching. Still, I want to see who wins, so I guess I’ll catch at least one more episode.