(12ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

In this high school, the dorm only provides breakfast ; students have to fend for themselves for their two other meals. There’s apparently only the one supermarket around. As a result, the sales for bento are SERIOUS BUSINESS there.


You Sato, our loser male protagonist (of course voiced by Hiro Shimono). He gets beaten to a pulp before the OP, and several other times before the end of the episode. Fortunately, his parents believed in tough love, so he’s quite resilient. Anyway, he’s quite baffled by the whole thing (especially as lying in a pool of his blood isn’t good for his memory).

Hana Oshiroi, a weird girl who befriends Sato because… well, she’s about as terrible as him as far as managing to grab the cheap bento goes, and she’s a bizarre fetishist who’s disturbingly impressed by his ability to recover from injuries (the more critical his state, the more ecstatic she goes). I have some trouble reading her (is her attraction to him genuinely innocent or is she deceptively manipulative), which ain’t helped by her relationship with…

Ume Shiraume, the class rep. She’s very aggressive against Sato. Okay, he’s more than a bit rude to her, but the main point is that she doesn’t want him anywhere Oshiroi (to the point of kidnapping her when he isn’t looking) because… well, she doesn’t really explain herself.

Sen Yarizui, aka “the Ice Queen”, the Rei-clone. Completely unbeatable on the bento battlefield (her wire-fu acrobatics are quite impressive indeed). A second-year, she’s the head of the “loves of half-price bento” club, although so far she’s the only member (given the amount of garbage leftover from the previous year she carries around, presumably all the others graduated). She invites Sato to the club, maybe out of pity.

Production Values

Let’s not kid ourselves, the fanservice level is rather high… but refreshingly, there’s nary a panty shot in sight, the camera preferring to focus on the girls’ legs. Which is slightly different from the usual routine, I’ll admit.

The soundtrack comes courtesy of Taku Iwasaki, who indulges in his wilder tendencies (I’m reminded of some of his Soul Eater score). That’s always a plus for me, obviously.

What did I think of it ?

Hum. There’s definitely the risk of this degenerating into a generic harem comedy, but I quite liked how this first episode went. There’s some deliberately obtuse storytelling at work here, which could have been annoying but managed to give some depth and mystery to the characters. Granted, this could be because they’re random collections of diverging traits, but maybe they’ll actually emerge as complex personalities.

I’m trying not to keep my hopes up too much, but there’s some definite potential here.

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

God’s Memo Pad (Kamisama no Memochou)

What’s it about ?

NEET detectives (and a couple of high-schoolers) fight crime.


Narumi, our point-of-view character. A high-schooler whose family moved around a lot, he stumbles on the NEET detectives by chance and never really manages to get away. He’s something of a loner, joining the Computer club because there’s nobody else there. Also, he’s got very little presence (people forget he’s even there at least twice in the episode). I quite like him : his sarcastic narration is quite fun, and his straightforward approach to problem-solving is a nice contrast to the bozos surrounding him.

“Alice” (not her real name, MAL tells me) is the brains of the NEET detectives ; she’s the “always stays in her room and can barely function socially” kind of NEET. An elite hacker, she alternates between “very smart monotone” and “sickeningly cute” in a way that doesn’t really convince me (Yui Ogara can’t pull it off as well as Aoi Yuuki did in GOSICK).

The NEET field agents mostly act as a group : there’s the big guy with an attitude, the survival-gamer who plants cameras everywhere, and the smooth dude who’s totally not an escort. Oh, and they’re in friendly terms with a group who are totally not local yakuza.

Ayaka, a potential love interest for Narumi, is one of his classmates who approaches him because she’s the only member of her club too (the Gardening Club), and they can help each other’s club survive. Or something. Anyway, she’s the one who brings Narumi and the NEET detectives together (they’re regulars at the restaurant she works part-time at), although he’d already stumbled on them in one of their cases before.

Our case for the week revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a high-school girl practicing “compensated dating”. It’s noticeably darker than the zany hijinks of the NEET detectives, although the writers manage not to make it too jarring.

Production Values

This reminds me somewhat of Durarara!! : it’s not particularly outstanding quality, but there’s a real attention to detail and body language, and the backgrounds give a real sense of place to the proceedings.

The soundtrack is particularly good, and… wait. Random rapping ? Big sweeping violins on moving scenes ? Hello, Taku Iwasaki ! It’s always a pleasure. (OP & ED are nothing to write home about, though.)

For some reason, the first episode that aired as a preview is double-length (45 minutes). I have no clue whether this is just for the pilot or it is supposed to be the regular format for the show.

Overall Impression

Well, now we’re talking. This is the first show this season that impressed me. It’s got a fun premise and a good handling of characterization for most of the characters (which is important, considering the heart of the case resides in subtly conveying the self-destructive feeling of the main three characters involved). My only concern so far is Alice herself, who feels a bit too artificial a character to really work.

Still, this is a promising show. Let’s see how future episodes shake up.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 3.

[C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

(11 episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

A loser boy’s adventures into the world of EXTREME trading-card gaming, with fight scenes in a fancy holographic parallel world and an ethereal guide to advise him.


Yoga, our college protagonist with realistic (if messy) hair. He works two part-time jobs to make ends meet, although that doesn’t amount to much given the current economic crisis. At least he’s sensible about his expenses.

Hanabi, Yoga’s not-girlfriend who still supports him quite a bit. (But when he works up the courage to ask her out for dinner, she points towards her boyfriend, who’s waiting for her. Harsh.)

Masakaki, the supremely irritating dude who makes Yoga an Offer He Can’t Refuse and. Just. Won’t. Go. Away. The offer involves unlimited funding, with the provision it has to be spent in the Financial District… which does not look like a real place but some rather like sort of parallel digital world. Yoga eventually relents.

We spend most of the first half of the episode with the former owner of Yoga’s membership into the Financial District… and considering how he ends up jumping in front of a train, we can see the Deal does not always end well.

We also see various people in the Financial District, including a quirky cab driver, a couple of elf-like girls, and the badass dude who creams out Mr (Rail-)Roadkill in a duel.

Production Values

Impressive. The Financial District has obvious CG everywhere, but it works, as it makes it all the more otherworldly. I also like the snazzy effect when subtitles and the like are incrusted on screen.

Also, there’s some very cool Taku Iwasaki music.

Overall Impression

Umm. On the one hand, it’s certainly got some very good production values, and I like the grim description of our protagonist’s life. It’s a very atmospheric series indeed.

On the other hand… Well, the centerpiece of this episode has two characters in a glorified Yu-Gi-Oh-style duel, summoning virtual critters and launching spells to hack at each other’s life points bank accounts.

I’m not sold yet, really.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 10.