Invaders of the Rokujyouma?! (Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a supernatural romantic comedy light novel series.


Koutarou, our male lead, wants nothing more than starting a generic high school life. Sure, Mom is gone, and Dad is always away trying to earn some dough, but he’s not going to let that get him down. He’s got the mandatory perverted best friend, a budding relationship with the president of the knitting club, and is on good terms with his new houselady. (Who happens to be his own age.) He can’t believe his luck on this place being so cheap.

Sanae, the ghost girl haunting the room, might be part of the reason why. Anyway, she doesn’t want to share, so will he please go away ? (Koutarou starts rummaging through his stuff for religious charms.)

Yurika, the inept magical girl who crashes in the middle of their battle to warn them that there’s dangerous amounts of magical energy here, so they need to evacuate immediately. Er, please ?

Kiriha, the envoy from an underground race who just so happens to emerge into this room, and wants to use it as her base to CONQUER THE WORLD !

Theiamillia, a princess from an alien race who wields Nanoha-like magitek devices, and seems able to summon just as much firepower. Fortunately she comes with a supervisor in tow, immediately chiding her on the fact that destroying the planet would go against her mission of making its people submit to her will.

I’m surprised the walls are still standing by the end of the episode.

Production Values

Well, it seems studio Silver Link have finally surrendered and are now making anime that look just like everything else. Oh, well. It still looks quite good, with good effects for the battle sequences.

And of course, notable amounts of fanservice.

Overall Impression

Okay, I have to admit, the joke is pretty funny, as more and more ludicrous invaders keep barging in and making the previous ones go lulwat. (The next episode’s title suggests that even more are due to come, but they’re not on promotional materials.) But once you’ve introduced such a premise, what do you do with it ? Now that a non-aggression pact has been signed, we’re already back to a more conventional harem romantic comedy setup, and that’s not really promising.

I’ll go with my gut instinct and give it a pass. We’ve got better comedies airing this season.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2014 – Page 5.

Magimoji Rurumo

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of an ecchi comedy manga series.


Shibaki, our generic high school protagonist… no, scratch that, he’s a complete pervert. His terrible reputation at school might be slightly overstated (he does have moments of white-knighting, or just plain misunderstandings), but let’s be frank : he’s a horndog.

Rurumo, a deadpan witch who shows out of nowhere to claim his life. Well, not exactly out of nowhere ; he did make a half-assed summoning ritual with the occult club earlier that day, but had not clue it would actually work. (The show loves to put explanatory flashbacks like this just a bit too late, which makes him look like he has a two-minute attention span.) Anyway, they eventually find a loophole to avoid such unpleasantness… Except she comes back a few months later.

Chiro, her cat familiar, eventually explains the score in private to Shibaki. Rurumo has been demoted for her previous failure and needs to recomplete her training, which takes the form of single-use magic coupons Shibaki can use to direct her. (She can’t do magic of her own initiative anymore.) What she doesn’t know is that those coupons are tied to Shibaki’s life : once they’re all gone, he’s toast…

Production Values

About average, with just about as much focus on fanservice as you’d expect.

Overall Impression

Well, that was unpleasant. The jokes are mildly funny, but there’s an overall sadistic atmosphere that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Sure, a lot of comedy in general revolves around terrible stuff happening to people who don’t (or do) deserve it, but this show pushes it too far into gratuitously malicious territory. It’s all the worse when it tries to make a bid for audience sympathy at the end with the dramatic twist : it doesn’t work, as the protagonist is too much of a jerk for me to care.

There are much better comedies this season ; I have no time to bother with this one.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2014 – Page 5.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal

(26 episodes, fortnightly)

What’s it about ?

20 years (and change) later, a remake of Sailor Moon as an anime, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood style.

For those who have been living under a rock, the 1992 series (and its continuations) was a gateway anime for many, and had a strong influence on the magical girl genre as a whole (kickstarting the transition from the “cute witch” subgenre to the now more prevalent “magical warrior” version). It took many liberties from the original manga, including a lot of padding to allow its source material to be produced. This is supposed to be much closer to the original, with some benefit of hindsight (as it left a lot of room for improvement).


Usagi, our book-dumb crybaby of a protagonist. But hey, she’s only in middle school ; she’s got time to grow out of it. Also, she’s got weird dreams of a moon princess or something.

Luna, a talking cat she stumbles on (litterally) on her way to school. Later on, she reveals Usagi has a destiny to battle evil and protect the princess ! Take this magical trinket, utter the bizarre Engrish catchphrase, and bam! you’re “Sailor Moon”. (Which is totally not copyright infringment on the “Sailor V” superheroine who’s been making the news lately.)

“Monster-bait” Naru is the one member of Usagi’s circle of friends who matters to the plot in this episode : her mother gets replaced by a creepy monster who takes over their jewelry store and uses the lure of insanely huge discounts to gather mindless drones. Our heroine, to the rescue !

Tuxedo Mask is a mysterious dude wearing a mask and a tuxedo who shows up during the battle and lends a hand when she’s in trouble. He’s apparently looking for the “Legendary Silver Crystal”, a macguffin the baddies also seem to be after. Oh, and he’s totally this tall, dark-haired dude Usagi bumped into as he was casing the joint. (Wearing a tuxedo !)

Four other Sailor soldiers are shown in the OP sequence, but only one of them barely makes a cameo at the very end of the episode.

Production Values

The artstyle takes a while to get used to ; it’s a weird mix of Naoko Takeuchi’s idiosyncratic style, more classic shoujo elements, and modern shading techniques. As a result, character designs appear very busy, but they still can move around not too stiffly. And more importantly, Usagi can still handle the broad physical comedy and weird faces the script throws at her, without looking out of place.

The backgrounds are beautiful, with similar watercolours to the original anime. The roses patterns showing up whenever Usagi pauses to introduce a new character are a bit clunky, though.

The OP song doesn’t quite work yet ; maybe it’ll grow on me. The ED song fits in much better.

Overall Impression

First, a disclaimer : I’m a hardcore fan of the franchise. I’m going to watch this to the end, regardless of actual quality.

What’s really striking about this first episode is that it’s not striking at all. Nothing here feels like a mission statement of its own identity. It follows the manga’s first chapter very closely, down to including nearly every original line of dialogue. Even when that’s obviously a terrible idea. (Why the heck is Mamoru wearing a tuxedo in broad daylight ?) And while no previous adaptation (either the first anime or the live-action series) messed with this first chapter much, that’s clearly not gonna fly in the long-term. If only because this is set to be 26 episodes long, and the manga barely has 14 chapters (and that’s including “Petite Etrangère”, most of which is devoted to setting up the second arc this series is explicity not covering). This series is going to have to stray a bit from the manga’s framework at some point, and the sooner the better. (After all, the manga’s breakneck pace obeyed more to real-life publishing constraints than to narrative necessity.)

There are a few early hints on how this is going to happen. The most obvious is the heavy emphasis on Usagi’s dreams of the princess, which are happening quite earlier this time around. But it’s going to take more episodes until we have a full picture.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2014 – Page 3.

Spring 2014 capsules

So, first, a few worlds about Insufficient Direction (Kantoku Fuyuki Todoki), a series of Flash-based shorts adapting the autobiography of Hideaki Anno’s wife. If you think that sounds interesting, you’ll be disappointed by the final product. It’s the perfect example of a private joke taken too far. For one, there’s no actual explanation of the premise at any point in it ; I only discovered it later on when I did a bit of research to write this. For two, she’s inexplicably depicted as a toddler throughout. Since this first episode covers their marriage ceremony, that’s more than a bit disturbing. But the most damning flaw of this thing is that it doesn’t seem to have much more insight to offer than “otaku are weird and kinda creepy” ; the Director character could be just about anyone and it wouldn’t change a thing.

Don’t bother with it.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2014.


Mushishi is the same as it always was. Great mood piece, intriguing world-building, and nothing much for me to actually say about it. Well, except that this first episode is way less depressing than average.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders is a whole different kind of awesome. This is a textbook example of how to animate bigger-than-life characters. It seems to have gotten a budget upgrade too, which isn’t unwelcome. (Although really, part of the charm of the 2012 series is how they used colour and framing to compensate for the lack of animation.)

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2014 – Page 2.

Because I certainly don’t want to spend any more time than strictly necessary covering the sea of mediocrity we got this Monday.

Hero Bank, Dragon Collection and Oreca Battle are all kids’ shows bases on videogames (respectively for the 3DS, a social network, and arcades). All three of them feature an annoying redhead kid and his bland friends, fighting stuff with their collectible assets. (Hero Bank sets up some sort of permanent VR tournament, while the other two are the old “transported to another world” gimmick.)

Hero Bank is the least watchable of the three, partly because it’s a full 22-minute show, but mostly because everyone is just so annoying.

Dragon Collection has a slightly less annoying protagonist, and his initial sense of wonder at being transported to a fantasy world is decently done, but the only reason it doesn’t overstay its welcome is that it’s only 11-minute long.

Oreca Battle at least seems to have fun with its weird monster design. (Flying octopi that rain tomatoes onto kids ? WTF ?) This one actually suffers from being a bit rushed at 11-minute-long, completely losing me with a journey to a fantasy world that seems to come from nowhere. Especially as it’s way less interesting than the “monsters come alive out of this card game and run wild into our world” premise it’d been initially setting up.

So, yeah. Three show I’m thrice too old to watch, and I won’t be bothering with.

The Comic Artist and Assistants (Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to) is a different deal altogether. Again it’s a shorter format (11-minute-long), but the similarities end there. It adapts a comedy 4-panel manga, and manages to fit four sketches in its first episode. As the title lays out, it follows the hijinks of a quirky manga author, his assistant, and his editor. (More characters presumably coming, according to the OP & ED ; aside from the manga author, they’re all female.)

The problem here is that this show’s only joke is that the manga author is a pervert who sexually harasses his colleagues. And then makes puppy eyes for them to forgive him. It’s endless variations about the same theme : he wants some reference of breasts being groped, he launches a debate about how much panties should be revealed, and he buys tons of female underwear, again for “reference”. (You can guess what kind of manga he draws.)

Yeah, no thanks. The joke is already tired by the episode’s end, I can’t bear anymore of it.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2014 – Page 5.

It’s almost painful to watch the slow demise of studio Gainax. With most of their key staff having gone off to the greener pastures of Khara and Trigger, it’s now reduced to a shadow of its own glory, taking any bizarre project that might get them some direly-needed sponsorship money. Remember when they did a short magical girl show that was a glorified (and impenetrable) ad for Subaru ?

Well, Magica Wars (Mahou Shoujo Taisen) is a similar project : a series of 26 shorts starring magical girls who represent the various prefectures of Japan. Not that the premise is obvious from the first episode, which showcases the not-very-funny slapstick hijinks of an incompetent magical girl chasing small blobs.

It doesn’t even have any kind of novelty value ; it’s just boring and pointless.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2014 – Page 6.

I’m not making a full review for Marvel Disk Wars : the Avengers, but I do want to note that it’s much better than I expected. Especially since it involves a bunch of kids using the titular disks to summon Avengers and fight bad guys. The chief reason the show manages to make that premise less terrible is to spend the first episode without it, instead devoting it to pure set-up. And it does a good job of selling this as a recognizable version of the Marvel Universe, with the Avengers behaving like they should throughout. The Disks are Stark Technology Gone Wrong ™, baddies try to steal them, the Avengers presumably get stuck in them next episode. And the kids are given plausible explanations for being around, which is a relief.

Let’s put it this way : I’m open to watching a second episode, which is more than I can say for just about any of the other marketing-driven kids’ shows this season.

Also, a few words about Inugami & Nekoyama, an adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga about a dog-like girl who likes cats, and a cat-like girl who likes dogs. That’s basically the whole joke, so it’s a good thing that it’s a series of 3-minute shorts. Sure, that’s a bit of a “stop-start” paced format, but the episode packs just enough content, and I’m not sure the source material could support a full-length adaptation anyway. As it stands, it’s perfectly pleasant to watch.

No full review for Escha & Logy’s Atelier either ; I fell asleep watching it and have no wish to try it again. It’s very boring indeed, with flat characters and a complete lack of any kind of narrative tension. You’d think a JRPG adaptation would have more punch, but no.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2014 – Page 7.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

(10 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Oldschool magical girl show. (The kind without any sentai influence.)


Inari, a middle school girl, is our protagonist. Often late, clumsy, and quite shy, she’s part of the unpopular kids. (She hangs out with the violent one and the heavyweight nerd.)

Koji, the guy in her class she has a crush on. He’s so dreamy ! Unfortunately, her attempt at cheering him on for his next match ends up with her accidentally pulling his pants down. Oops.

Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami, the god of the local shrine Inari often attends. Since the girl has just rescued Uka-sama’s familiar, she gets one wish granted : becoming the popular girl Koji seems infatuated with, so that she can gather the courage to apologize to him. Inari soon realizes this was a very stupid wish, but not one that can be reversed easily ; Uka-sama screws the rules by putting a part of herself into the girl, allowing her to shapeshift at will (and thus back to her normal body).

… I’m sure this isn’t going to backfire at all.

Production Values

Quite nice, and there are lots of neat visual gags in the background (such as Uka-sama playing visual novels with her familiars when she thinks nobody’s looking).

Overall Impression

Hey, this was quite fun ! It’s the old “magical girl as a metaphor for growing up” story, but with a fresh enough coat of paint to entertain. The gimmick has potential, the shinto angle reminds me of Gingitsune in a positive way, and I genuinely like the cast. (Especially Uka-sama.)

I may drop another show just to keep up with this one.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2014 – Page 10.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya

(10 episodes)

What’s it about ?

A comedy spin-off of Fate/stay night with Illya as a magical girl.


Illya, our prepubescent heroine, who lives in a weird parallel universe where the von Einzberg family is all happy, and especially her mother is stated not to be dead (although she’s on a business trip or something). She’s also got a random older sister, as well as Taiga acting as housekeeper and “cousin” Shirou living with them. Er, sure.

It turns out it was Rin who was originally given the magical girl powers, but since she kept using them to feud with her new rival Luvia (a haughty noble cliché) instead of their nominal goal of hunting “Class cards”, bother their power artifacts got fed up with them and left. (While they were battling in the sky. Ouch.)

Magical Ruby, Rin’s wand, has a LOT of personality (the same for Magical Sapphire, Luvia’s, but it gets less screentime). Unfortunately, when it stumbles onto Illya while looking for a replacement for Rin, that makes it sounds fishier than Kyubey having just binged on salmon. Ruby is a very nasty bugger who isn’t above tricking Illya if that suits its purposes.

The OP sequence makes it look like there’s going to be an age-appropriate rival for Illya (presumably powered by Sapphire), but that’s for future episodes.

Production Values

Well, it’s a bit hard to tell since the streamed pre-air had a lot of nasty blocking whenever there’s a little action, but this looks quite good indeed.

Overall Impression

Well, I’ll give it that : it’s funny, and you really don’t need to know anything about the Fate/ series to understand it. Let’s be honest : those are very shallow versions of the characters, put into new roles for comedic effect. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Well, except that I don’t see the joke carrying 10 episodes ; and the genre-parody at work here is a bit too bad-natured for me to tolerate too long. It’s nasty for the sake of being nasty, and I can only laugh at that for so long.

If you’re a die-hard fan of the franchise, you’ll probably get more out of this than I do ; there are tons of easter eggs and it’s as good as such a comedy spin-off can be. But I already have a lot on my plate this season, and I can do without this one.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013 – Page 5.

Il Sole Penetra le Illusioni – Day Break Illusion (Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou)

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

We’ve all been waiting for a Madoka clone that completely misses the point, haven’t we ?
(Okay, that’s probably a very unfair comparison.)


Akari, our protagonist. This young girl is an apprentice tarot card reader, and quite good at it ; she works at the local fortunetelling house run by three eccentrics. By all appearances, this makes her very popular. On the other hand, she’s an orphan (her dead mother also had the talent) and lives in a foster family.

Fuyuna, the daughter of that foster family (I think ; this series’ not good with exposition), at first looks like she’s taking her eccentric “sister” in stride (such as the plant overrunning Akari’s room) ; but it’s clear her resentment at her popularity (despite Fuyuna being the class’s top student) is slowly growing and eating away at her.

And then Fuyuna gets possessed by something ; Akari manifests magical girl powers (which comes at a surprise to her) and kills the thing attacking her… including Fuyuna. And then things get really weird, as time rewinds back a day and everything resumes as normal… except Akari’s foster family never had any daughter.


There are three other magical girls hovering on the edge of the plot and cryptically monitoring what’s happening (without the courtesy of giving any explanation to the audience). They rescue Akari after the fortunetelling house gets burned down by a random zombie fire demon (I don’t know what the heck either).

Production Values

I really dislike the character designs and colour palette, as they make everyone look flat (and they really don’t need that). Other than that, I guess it’s decent (if very pedestrian), and it’s got the one good special effect idea to indicate that something weird has happened.

Overall Impression

Warning : the above summary may have given you the impression that interesting stuff happened in this episode. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, as a parade of flat and boring characters are put through the wringer of horrible things happening to them for no discernible reason, without any sign of a proper antagonist. I have no clue how you can make this so dull, but somehow this show has succeeded.

Who knows, maybe it’ll start making sense next episode, when we hopefully finally get some exposition in. But I have no confidence in this mess of a series, and I don’t plan on sticking with it to find out.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013 – Page 4.

Doki Doki! Precure

(50ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

The latest iteration of the now decade-old magical girl franchise. As usual, it’s a complete reboot, introducing new characters and a new conflict but fitting the now traditional formula.


Cure Sword, last line of defense of the Trump Kingdom… and, er, it’s clear from the action prologue that she failed. She went into hiding on Earth under the cover identity of idol Makoto Kenzaki, because obviously that’s the best choice of occupation to lie low.

Mana, our actual protagonist, is the kind of person who goes out of her way to help anyone who looks vaguely in trouble within her line of sight. She’s also her middle school’s Student Council President, as she clearly sees that as the best position for her to help everyone. Anyway, she randomly gets a power jewel from a kinda creepy dude (seriously, calling a middle school student “my sweetheart” isn’t appropriate…), and eventually use it to transform into “Cure Heart” and jump in so as to help Cure Sword.

Rikka, Mana’s best friend, who tries her best to keep her on track somewhat. It’s obvious from the paratext that she’s gonna become a Precure soon.

Alice is a super-rich girl who owns (among other things) the gigantic “Clover Tower” this episode takes place around. She doesn’t let it get to her head, though, and seems to be good friends with Mana. Again, she’s clearly our 4th Precure-to-be.

The plot here is that a couple of mid-boss-level villains are wreaking havoc on the Tower in an effort to draw Cure Sword out and get some macguffin from her. This actually sounds like quite a decent plan, and they may have gotten away with it if (1) wild card Cure Heart hadn’t shown up and (2) Cure Sword actually has the macguffin… and I suspect she doesn’t.

Production Values

Contrasted. There’s a gap between the “normal” designs, which are a bit on the busier side of the Precure scale of character designs, and someone like Cure Sword, who looks like she’s on loan from Heartcatch Precure given the fluidity and gracefulness of the way she is animated. It’s especially jarring when next to the Monster of the Week, whose shoddy animation is just appaling.

What did I think of it ?

I was pleasantly surprised by this. I was all ready to drop it like a stone, as I’m kinda tapped out on the Precure franchise at the moment and I need to recharge my magical girl batteries in preparation for the Sailor Moon revival (this Summer, maybe ?). Especially as the advance promotion made it look somewhat like Suite Precure.

But this is actually quite a good first episode. It packs in quite a lot of plot, introduces all the main characters with remarkable economy, and sets up mysteries for further down the way. Moreover, it manages to instill a sense of history, like we’re picking the story in the middle of a long conflict and this is just the latest stage of it. That’s not particularly a new thing for the Precure franchise (Heartcatch did it quite well too), but it’s always welcome. And the character dynamics and artstyle are different enough for this not to feel like a retread of Heartcatch.

Damn it, I think I’m going to keep an eye on this one.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2013 – Page 10.

Spring 2012 capsules

Naruto SD – Rock Lee & His Ninja Friends was better than I expected. It’s thoroughly accessible, providing enough exposition about the setting (“teams of apprentice ninjas get various tasks to perform as part of their training”), the main character’ shtick (“Rock Lee is an apprentice ninja who can’t do any ninjutsu”) or whatever guest star happens to be passing (such as what Naruto can do). For someone like me who barely knows anything about the Naruto universe, this was very welcome.

Now, is this actually worth watching ? Let’s not get carried away. It’s mildly funny, but some of the running gags were getting tired even before the end of the second of the two skits in this episode. (Even Tenten herself is getting bored of always going “there’s no way anyone’s going to fall for Lee’s incredibly stupid plan… wait, it worked ?”) Also, the first skit relies heavily on poo jokes.

One episode was enough for me.

I was pleasantly surprised by Here Comes the Black Witch! (Kuromajo-san ga Toru!!). I’m not a big fan of anime in short formats, but this is a longer one (7 minutes), and properly paced for it. The premise is simple enough (middle-school occult fangirl invokes a demon by mistake, who’s going to teach her how to become a Witch whether she wants it or not), but it manages to get some good jokes out of it (our heroine MUST clean her room everyday… because leaving any hair or skin behind makes malicious voodoo body control possible).

This looks like a fun little gag show (and it’s not like this season promises many of these). I’m willing to give it at least a few more episodes to see whether it stays funny.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012 – Page 5.

Some thoughts on more short series I won’t be making full reviews of :

Gakkatsu (“Homeroom”) is very bizarre indeed. The abrasive class rep organizes a debate about some inane topic (today : “what’s the name of that bump on your arm that’s equivalent to the ankle ?”), except she discards any argument she doesn’t like. It’s rapid-fire comedy building to an utterly stupid conclusion, but I’m not sure I actually find it funny. I’ll need a couple more episodes to decide.

Yurumates 3Dei has no 3D whatsoever, it’s just that there were two OVAs before this series ; fortunately, this looks like a fresh start. Unfortunately, this takes most of its three minutes to establish the premise (a condo house in the suburbs of Tokyo where former high school students go to prepare another go at college entrance exams ; there’sno privacy whatsoever and the place looks a bit run-down) and the characters don’t get much depth. I was vaguely interested in the subject matter, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be going anywhere interesting (and even Acchi Kocchi looks more satisfying as far as 4-panel gag manga adaptations go).

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012 – Page 6.

Sequel watch !

As it turns out, I won’t be making a full review of Saki: Achiga-hen – Episode of Side-A. It’s more of the same from the original : cute girls with little personality playing mahjong as though it was calvinball. It makes a stab at building drama around the formation of an underdog club, but it falls flat due to the dullness of the writing. And that’s when it doesn’t just go for utter stupidity (actual dialogue : “wait, you’ve been cleaning this unused club room alone for two years on the vague hope we’d come back ?”). Also, given Saki‘s sluggish pace, I really doubt these people can get to the national level within 12 episodes.

Fate / Zero is back after three months’ break, and jumps straight back to where it left. Frankly, there’s no point in starting watching it now, you’ll want the 13 episodes of setup to have a hope in figuring out what’s going on.

Phi Brain S2 didn’t even take a week’s break, but it does go out of its way to reintroduce the supporting cast, the premise and the first season’s relevant events so that it can be a good jumping on point. Since the evil POG organization has been comprehensively dismantled by now, we’re getting a new set of villains to challenge the cast with more stupidly dangerous puzzles. Since they’re already more personality and charisma (hello, Hiroshi Kamiya and Tomokazu Sugita !) than the POG, I’m not complaining. This looks as fun as ever, so I’m in for the ride.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012 – Page 7.

Okay, I’ll be using my “no reviews of sequels” escape clause and skip writing a full review of Eureka Seven Ao. Not because I was lost or anything (I didn’t see the original, but that’s no obstacle to understanding the gist of the plot here), but because the first episode bored me to sleep. Neither the flat characters, nor the rather generic events happening to them gave me any reason to care. Sure, it looks good, but I just found it very dull, and thus can’t summon any energy to cover it in any more detail.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012 – Page 10.

Smile Precure !

(50-ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

It’s February, time for yet another iteration of the Precure franchise. (Kid-friendly magical girls, basically.)

This year, the dominant theme seems to be stories.


Miyuki, aka Cure Happy, our hyperactive protagonist. A fan of all kinds of stories, from fairy tales to TV superhero shows, as long as they get a happy end. She tends to voice her overactive trains of thought in public, which brings her tons of intrigued looks from bystanders. As it is, I can’t decide whether I’m charmed or I want to strangle her ; hopefully she’ll become a bit more subdued once the cast gets a bit more rounded.

Candy, the mandatory annoying toyetic critter. She manages to be even more ineffectual than the average (she looks for Precure warriors by randomly shouting “Precure !” in the street).

Our antagonist this episode is Wolfrun, a wolf-dude. So far, he’s utterly generic.

We also get a good glimpse of the girls slated to become the other four Precure ; there’s the hyperactive one from Kyoto, the shy one, the responsible one, and the well-bred class representative.

Production Values

Perfectly alright. This time around, we get bright colours and character designs that are way less fussy than Suite Precure, although it’s not quite as stylised as Heartcatch Precure. It’s a good balance, I think.

This is somehow a season saddled with terrible-to-bland-at-best OPs (even Persona 4 and Mirai Nikki have switched out what were the best OPs of last Fall), and this one doesn’t detract from the rule. The ED’s a bit more catchy.

Overall Impression

Well, at least it’s not Suite Precure. That was quite dire indeed.

So far, it’s off to a slow start. It looks like we’ll need four more episode until the team is assembled and the character dynamics become clearer ; there’s some promise but it’s too early to judge. And we’ve barely seen anything of the villains.

I’m going to reserve my judgement for now.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012 – Page 10.