Dragon Crisis!

What’s it about ?

Our protagonist is talked by his crazy cousin into stealing a powerful artefact from the mob. Except it turns out to be a pyrokinetic young girl ; in other words, a dragon. And she’s taken a liking into him.


Ryuuji, our spineless protagonist. Ordinary high school student. No personality whatsoever.

Eriko, his cousin. Fancies herself as an artefact hunter, although she’s not got the official license to do it (apparently there’s a governmental organisation in charge of such things). So enthusiastic about it that she comes off as more than a bit crazy (and quite greedy).

Rose, the dragon-girl. Starts with a one-word vocabulary (“Ryuuji !”), although she learns a few more words by the episode’s end. Very possessive of him. She reminded me of Index, to tell the truth.

Misaki, his painfully shy classmate who is completely unable to find the nerve to make a move. Mostly there for a bit of exposition.

Production Values

This is actually in the upper range of Studio DEEN productions, with enough budget to make the action sequences work and a good handle of atmosphere. I’m also inordinately fond of the background music, despite its complete lack of subtlety.

The OP feels appropriately epic, while the ED is a fun little joke.

Overall Impression

I was pleasantly surprised by this. The first half is a lot of fun thanks to Eriko driving the action, as she’s gloriously insane. Unfortunately, it slows down a bit in the second half, as she progressively loses control of the plot. I’m really hoping for more insanity and not too much rom-com in the next few episodes, but I fear I’m going to be disappointed…

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 13.


What’s it about ?

1924, in the fictional European country of “Saubure” (sic, couldn’t they call it Savoie ?), there’s a prestigious academy gathering elites from the whole world. In a botanical garden above the library lives a mysterious girl who helps the police solve crimes with her intellect.


Kazuya Kujo, nicknamed “the black reaper” for reasons I can’t fathom. Our point of view character, a student fresh coming from Japan. Our Watson.

Victorique, our heroine. It’s heavily implied she’s never seen the world outside her green prison before the events of this series. There’s probably a convoluted reason why, but she’s not talking, despite Kazuya’s active prodding. It’s obvious she’s bored out of her mind there, and the mysteries she’s asked to solve are a welcome distraction.

Inspector Grevil de Blois, “the owner of the oddest hair in all of Saubure”. In the second half of the episode, Kazuya calls him on exploiting Victorique’s intellect for his own fame, and he’s got a point. Although he does not seem that bad of a guy, really, just not very bright and full of himself.

Production Values

There’s nice backgrounds and it looks quite slick (it’s heavy on costume porn), but there’s nothing particularly impressive (it’s not a premise lending itself to action scenes, after all). It’s mostly bright colours, which is appropriate for a show which stays mostly upbeat so far.

The OP is gorgeous, with a nice “animated picture book” look. The ED’s okay, I guess.

Overall Impression

Well, this one takes a lot of time to get started. Let’s be honest, I was prepared to write it off as empty fluff…

And then, halfway through, we get an impressive sequence in which Victorique solves a closed room murder in less than five minutes, without even going on the scene, purely from Grevil’s description of the case (and those five minutes include his exposition). This scene is just delightful, with a solution that’s both clever and simple enough to feel natural, and it does help that the banter between the three leads fires on all cylinders during it. If there’s one such sequence in each episode, it’d justify by itself watching the boring bits.

The end of the episode suggests that we’re getting a very tight wider mystery plotline instead of just a “case of the week” structure, which is probably for the better.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 8.

IS – Infinite Stratos

What’s it about ?

In the future, the top technological advance is the IS, mecha that can only be piloted by women (although, since they’ve been banned from war use by international treaties, they seem to be mostly used for sports). Well, except for this one dude, who now finds himself enrolled in an IS-centered academy. Cue the standard harem hijinks.


Ichika Orimura, our protagonist. I lost any respect I had for the guy when he complained about not understanding the technobabble and then admitted he had thrown away the mandatory introductory doorstopper everyone is supposed to read before entering the academy. Seriously, could he be doing any less effort ?

Chifuyu Orimura, his abrasive older sister, a former IS pioneer who retired a while ago. So of course she’s his homeroom teacher and hall monitor ! She’s got a cheerful moeblob assistant whose main role is to delay the reveal and provide tons of clumsy “As You Know” exposition.

Houko Sinonono, the tsundere childhood friend he hasn’t seen in 6 years, and a kendo champion. So of course she’s his roommate ! The mind boggles : I can understand authorities not bothering with devoting a whole dorm aisle for him, but who thought giving him a roommate was a good idea ?

Cecilia Alcott, the stuck-up foreigner who takes issue with this slob doing as well as her (defeating a teacher in the pre-entry tests) without even putting any effort.

Production Values

There’s a somewhat impressive mid-air mecha fight scene before the opening credits… But its impact is kinda negated by the complete lack of stakes in it (it’s 4-against-one, for gods’ sake !). Apart from that, the general impression I get is “generic and uninspired”. Even the fanservice is tame and not worth bothering for (there’s even a “I just got out of the shower” scene !).

The OP is horrible, and the ED barely any better.

Overall Impression

Wow, that was quite dreadful. The premise didn’t sound very promising, but this is actually worse than I expected. We are in full-blown cliché harem territory, the world-building looks horribly half-assed (they don’t even bother with explaining why only women can pilot IS, let alone why Ichika can), all the characters are unlikeable and trite, and there’s nothing vaguely original here that’d make me give a shit about it.

Avoid like this show the plague.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 6.

Haiyoru! Nyaruani: Remember My Love(craft-sensei)

(11 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Standard harem setup, type B : young dude has cute girls leaving at his home for undisclosed reasons. Except they’re all anthropomorphic personifications of Lovecraftian Elder Ones.

Characters :

Mahiro, our male lead, appears quite bemused by the whole thing (it’s obviously not his choice). Dreading whatever next those crazy girls are going to do.

Nyarlko, our female lead, tries to play the magical girlfriend, despite the whole Elder One thing. Actually ends up overshadowed by her more colourful “siblings”. Obviously has some sort of nefarious agenda, but the show’s not telling.

Chtuko. Totally into Nyarlko.

Further episodes introduce Atoko (“nice” older sister, but with a filthy, filthy mind) and Nyarle (very, very shy).

Production values :

I had to check this wasn’t the Flash ONA that was produced a few months ago. Let’s be clear, this is barely animated at all (although it’s far from horrible looking). Also, the episodes are 4-minute-long… scratch that, if you remove the standard warning and the ED, you’ve barely got 2 minutes of actual footage per episode.

Overall Impression :

On paper, this sounded like a trainwreck. (Moe adaptation of the Lovecraft Mythos ? WTF ?) In practice, this is strangely endearing : the show is clearly aware that the setup makes no sense (and doesn’t spend any time trying to explain it, actually). There’s clear sense of impending doom, the least subtle sign of which being the “XX days until mankind’s extinction” announcement at the end of each episode.

I don’t really think it’s going anywhere (it’s too short for that), but as a mindless joke it works. And hey, it’s only a few minutes of your time.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011.