Anime Opinions: Four Anime, Four Episodes, For You [Part 1]

Anime Opinions: Four Anime, Four Episodes, For You [Part 1]

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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Turns out summarizing an entire season’s worth of anime in one post is a silly idea. So instead I’m splitting it up into parts. On today’s menu: Kotoura-san, Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman, Minami-ke Tadaima, and Senran Kagura.

The “four episodes” bit just means I watched at least 4 episodes of a show before judging it with my superior anime opinions. You’re welcome.

 

Kotoura-san

Plot summary: an esper girl can read people’s minds, and it causes trouble for her because she’s too fucking stupid to keep her mouth shut about it. Also, it’s a comedy-slash-romance show set in a high school. Hooray.

Haha! She can't sing! Get it? It's super nippon funny!
Haha! She can’t sing! Get it? It’s super nippon funny!

In essence, this is a mind-numbingly bad romantic comedy that’s been done a thousand times before, but better.

Holy shit, this show is SO FUCKING DEEP
Holy shit, this show is SO FUCKING DEEP

Episode 1 starts off with a ten-minute train of DRAMA by which we’re supposed to feel sorry for the protagonist because it’s just so tough being an esper. And that’s fine for what it is — it’s certainly an attention-grabbing opener for the show.

But by episode 2, the shock of the poorly paced, forced drama in the first episode has worn off, leaving only a hollow attempt at a “comedic” guess how awkward romance can get plot combined with an and it can get even more awkward when one person’s a psychic! gimmick. Realizing this, they try to force the drama again. And then again in episode 3. Oh, and in episode 4 too.

Aha! Fool me once, anime!

You laugh, you  lose. And with this show, you can't win.
You laugh, you lose. And when this show attempts drama, you can’t win.

You know that kid in your class who always tried too hard, only to make an ass of themselves everytime? That’s Kotoura-san, and the show’s just as pathetic.

Kotoura can read thoughts. It's so fucking dramatic!
Kotoura can read thoughts. It’s so fucking dramatic!

Here’s an easy way to tell if a show’s bad: take away the gimmick. If the show still stands on its own, then it deserves further consideration.

So sad! It's so sad!!
If this is a romcom, kill the director.

Kotoura-san does not.

Watch if: you’ve never seen a romantic comedy before and want to set the bar low.

General recommendation: Avoid

 

 

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

It’s like Lupin III, but worse. I’d really like to give it more credit than that, but rather than matching the highs of that series, it can only match its lows.

[DeadFish] Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman - 04 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_05.45_[2013.02.11_23.55.03]
That’s one thing the show got right.
In place of Lupin, we have… honestly, I can’t remember this fucker’s name. Let’s call him Helper.

[DeadFish] Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman - 03 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_08.57_[2013.02.12_00.16.25]

Rather than being a charismatic thief who uses his brain to get out of trouble, Helper is an uncharismatic gambling addict who’s dumber than a doorknob and only manages to survive with the aid of plot armor.

Both figurative and literal
Both figurative and literal

Supporting him is a cast of mediocrity and a caper-based episodic plot that never fails to underwhelm.

Oh boy we're in for a great episode!
Oh boy we’re in for a great episode!

It’s not like it’s a terrible series, though. (It’s hard to be bad when it’s so painfully generic.) But in all honesty, you’d be better off with a couple Lupin episodes than this shit. It’s never as enjoyable as its inspiration and only serves to disappoint by comparison.

Watch if: You’ve seen everything Lupin there is and want more no matter the price you have to pay.

General recommendation: Avoid

 

 

Minami-ke Tadaima

This anime is so fucking BAKA
This anime is so fucking BAKA

Japan can’t into humor, and if you think they can, you’re probably not a fun person to be around. Minami-ke Tadaima desperately tries to reinforce this fact.

Look, Ma! I'm trying so hard!
Look, Ma! I’m trying so hard!

Rather than focusing on what made the first season so good, the production company figured they’d take everything from the series, throw it into a blender, and then just hope it works.

It doesn't.
It doesn’t.

So what made the first season so good, then? Bear with me on this one — it was the character development. Or rather than development, I guess it’s more accurate to say reveal…ment?

We were introduced to the characters and got to see how zany they were and how they managed to interact with the other zany characters. In essence, it was novel.

This is a good image.
This is a good image, though including it broke the flow of this section.

But for series like Minami-ke, sequels can only work if they massively expand the cast or do something different. Since this is technically the fourth season of the show, expanding the cast isn’t exactly feasible, and they’ve already proven “different” isn’t the goal.

So the animation company is left with only the option to microwave the relationships from prior seasons and hope it’ll work out well enough.

I hope nobody's surprised that it doesn't taste as good.
To the show’s credit, it somewhat does, but I hope nobody’s surprised that it doesn’t taste as good.

Watch if: You’ve already seen the first season and want to see an acceptable attempt at a sequel.

General recommendation: Sure, but watch the first season first.

 

 

Senran Kagura

If you were expecting anything deep, you came to the wrong place.

Oh wow, a critique of Aristotle's Ethica. What, are you Robert-fucking-Louden now?
Oh wow, a critique of Aristotle’s Ethica. What, are you Robert-fucking-Louden now?

Sure, the show touches upon themes such as the conflict between the individual and the group as well as the effects of counter-culture on society as whole. That’s a fucking given, though.

While Senran Kagura is a technically capable pastiche of modern Japanese society, it doesn’t go nearly far enough as to say anything worth listening to when it comes to the philosophical arguments that are a hallmark of the genre.

It may provide a half-hearted "fuck you" to John Rawls' "veil of ignorance" argument, but that's the best you're gonna see.
Okay, it MAY provide a decent “fuck you” to John Rawls’ “veil of ignorance” argument, but that’s the best you’re gonna see.

If you want a deconstruction of governmental bodies and societal structure, you should watch Queen’s Blade instead. And if you want an intelligent critique of interpersonal relationships that really gets to the meat of the issues, you should just stick to Sekirei.

For all its attempts to live up to the trendsetting works in this genre, Senran Kagura doesn’t even come close.

I couldn't agree more.
I couldn’t agree more.

Watch if: you can’t even into consequentialism.

General recommendation: Avoid

 

 

 

tl;dr:

I threw in like 10 pictures per fucking anime. If you’re too ADD for even that, you don’t deserve to absorb the wisdom of my thoughts.

57 thoughts on “Anime Opinions: Four Anime, Four Episodes, For You [Part 1]”

  1. Minami-Ke Tadaima has been incredible. But maybe it just seems that way because Japan’s track record with comedy anime has been terrible lately.

    I’d say that it is easily the best comedy anime since Daily Lives of High School Boys.

        • Well, I actually take that back. You probably liked the first episode, but the rest didn’t cut it. My bad. I also started losing a little bit of interest after episode two. But I still like it to some degree.

  2. Yeah, this reaffirms my initial decision to never watch any of these disasters. Thanks Sage; I love hearing how right I am.

    • So, by the smiley face, are we to assume that you’re actively happy about your ignorance of the shows in question and inability to form opinions of your own?

  3. Wow, what trollsubs were you watching for Senran? I’m not even sure you could classify those as a “liberal” translation…

  4. Why the fuck did you use 5 images for the first review, 4 images for the next one, 5 images for the third, and 3 images for the last, when you had such great consistency with the title?

    Fuck, man.

  5. Kotoura-san is 6/10 material. It’s an enjoyable way to waste 23 minutes every week.

    Mondaiji is given way too much credit. It’s generic shounen and nothing more. What has been shown up until this point has been pretty good though. Rating: 6.5/10

    Minami-Ke Tadaima: Reaches awesomeness levels on par with the first season. Rating: 7/10

    Sasami-san: Best non-sequel of the season. Rating: 7/10

    Love Live: Underrated show of the season? Probably. Nothing ground-breaking though. Rating: 6/10

    AKB0048 S2: An idol anime with a good story? What is the world coming to?! Rating: 6.5 or 7/10

    Chihayafuru S2: Best show of the season. You have shitty taste if you think otherwise. Rating: 8/10

    Everything else is 6/10 or lower. Mostly the “lower” part.

  6. “What should a sage do to save his world?”

    “Instead ask yourself – what should a blogger do?”

    Seriously though, spare us the hate posts and just tell us which ones you liked :P There’s only so much hate we can read until it stops being funny. Most shows this season are pretty much garbage anyway, so why not get to the good stuff?

      • You certainly weren’t wrong to use it here, but idiots label anything with even a hint of drama as forced anymore. I put it on the level of “DEEP” and just disregard whatever that person was saying.

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