Summer 2011 capsules

Two quick reviews, because those 3/4-minute shorts don’t warrant a full writeup :

Morita-san wa Mukuchi (“Morita is taciturn”)

This revolves around Morita, a high school girl who barely ever talks (although she’s got some interior monologue, which kills the effect a bit). And that’s it, that’s the entire joke. It was already outstaying its welcome at 3 minutes long, I can’t imagine watching anymore of this.


Speaking of one-shot jokes that can’t be sustainable, even in 4-minute shorts : this stars a cat that’s been bitten by a vampire (as a way to save its life). This is even less entertaining than the previous series : it tries way too hard to hit the “cute cat doing cute things cutely” button, and fails spectacularly at being even a single bit endearing. It’s way too artificial to work, and the high concept wasn’t even promising to begin with.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 4.

I usually don’t say much about OVA or sequels, but I figured I’d say a few words about Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira, the first episode of which was recently released.

Now, the thing with Higurashi is that, while it’s a very good story, the plot got conclusively resolved at the end of the second season, in a way that leaves no room whatsoever for straight sequels. The first OVA series, Rei, got around it by featuring an interesting story hook that brings a new light over the wider picture, trying to tie it a bit more to the overall When they Cry franchise (probably as an tie-in to the then-debuting Umineko anime)… but in a way that’s self-canceling, and again leaves no room for further elaboration. Also, Rei was padded up with a couple of random comedy episodes that were kinda cute but didn’t bring anything new to table.

Well, the first episode of Kira makes it look like it’s going for the “random comedy” episodes route, except with even more fanservice. The first half of the episode is literally the male cast (Keiichi, Ooishi, Tomitake & Irie) fantasizing about “punishments” they could inflict to the whole female cast as part of the “penalty games”. Not only doesn’t it do much for me, but it gets quite uncomfortable when it reaches the younger members of the cast (Rika rubbing the windows with her ass ? Really ?). The second half is slightly more fun, not really because the female cast gets to retaliate (that’s nearly as tedious as the opposite), but because it actually makes an effort to tie the whole thing into the wider plot (however ridiculous that may sound). It doesn’t quite succeed in canceling out the bad taste left by the first half, but at least I don’t feel like I completely wasted my time.

Is this worth watching ? Well, no. It doesn’t look like Kira is going to add anything to the plot ; it feels like a cash-grab exercise, or at best an opportunity for the creators to have fun with the most lighthearted aspects of the premise. (The preview for the second episode certainly looks like it’s going to be entertainingly bonkers.) You can’t really put a clearer sign for “out-of-continuity zaniness” than featuring the Soul Brothers in a major role. I’m a die-hard fanatic of the franchise, so I’ll probably keep watching this, however pointless it is, just out of affection for the characters ; but you probably shouldn’t bother.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 11.

A Channel

(12-ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

Slice of life about four high school girls, with a heavy lesbian subtext. Wait, it’s pretty much text, actually.


Run, the ditzy central character. She can barely walk without tripping over her thoughts ; don’t let her lean over a window !

Tooru, Run’s self-appointed bodyguard. She’s one year younger than the rest of the cast, and very worried that Run may be moving on from her. In consequence, she’s (i]very[/i] possessive of Run and tries to prevent anyone from getting too close to her (with her baseball bat, if needed).

Let’s be honest : there’s no way to interpret her behaviour without yuri glasses. (Run’s mostly oblivious… or is she ?)

Mika, the sarcastic glasses girl with a bit of a mean streak.

Yuuko, who got off the wrong foot with Tooru by being a bit too close to Run when they met, and desperately tries to make friends with the runt (to no avail, alas). Mostly there to be the butt of jokes.

Production Values

That’s some very impressive animation, especially for a 4koma adaptation that doesn’t really warrant it. What’s with the trend this season of slice of life series with bizarrely high budgets ?

Overall Impression

It’s okay, I guess. It’s a middle-of-the-road high school slice-of-life series… with one selling point : Tooru. Most of the other characters are kinda bland, but the little gal’s got a striking emotional hook and is by far the most memorable aspect of the series. (Aoi Yuuki’s superb voice-acting doesn’t hurt, either.)

I’m probably going to give it a couple more episodes to see where it goes.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 6.

My Ordinary Life (Nichijou)

(26-ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

High school slice-of-life surreal comedy.


Mio, the blue-haired “central” character. A bit of a straight man to everyone else.

Yuuko, our Tomo clone. Loud, obnoxious and clumsy.

Mai, the quiet glasses girl, who gets to do outrageous things as punchlines.

Hakase, whom we only ever see at home with her long-suffering robot servant Nano. You can tell Nano is a robot thanks to the huge winding key sticking out of her back. (Not that it serves any actual practical purpose – Hakase put it there because she’s a jerk.)

A couple other girls and teachers show up, but I’ve already forgotten about them.

Production Values

Very disappointing for a KyoAni series. “Minimalistic” would be the charitable way to put it.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. A comedy series that is barely funny at all.

Now, I did laugh a bit to Mai’s hijinks and most of the Nino/Hakase scenes. But there’s a lot here that I just didn’t care for.

(If I really wanted to be mean, I’d say that this is KyoAni trying their hand at the surreal SHAFT-ish comedy… and completely failing. But that’d probably be a bit unfair.)

I’ll probably try one or two more episodes to see if it gels together, but I’m not optimistic (and this is a busy season anyway). I’ve watched the OVA, and it’s basically more of the same.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011.