Bungo Stray Dogs

(12 episodes, with a second half already scheduled for this Fall)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a manga series about quirky super-powered private detectives.

Characters

Atsushi, our point-of-view character, doesn’t actually belong to the special detective agency. He’s a starving orphan who’s been kicked out of his orphanage and has been desperately looking for food for the last few days. Eventually he runs into…

Dazai, one of the members of the agency, whose gimmick is that he keeps trying to commit suicide. Er, yeah. (His actual super-power : suppressing other people’s powers.) The case of the week involves him tracking down an escaped tiger who’s been wreaking havoc for a couple of weeks. By a nice coincidence, Atsushi is pretty sure the tiger is stalking him, so Dazai’s all too happy to feed him to get him on board.

Kunikuda is basically Dazai’s minder : the straight man who keeps him on track while complaining a lot about it.

Three other members of the agency show up as backup at the end, although they’re mostly glorified cameos so far. The gimmick is that they’re all named for famous mystery authors, which I only noticed once Edogawa Rampo was name-checked.

Production Values

Now this is effective colour design, quietly reinforcing the important elements without drawing attention to itself. I’m less enthusiastic about the comedy bits having the characters looking way sketchier ; it kinda breaks the mood.

On the other hand, Taku Iwasaki’s score seems on form.

What did I think of it ?

Uh. I expected to like this more, but it’s not quite gelling yet. The case of the week is beyond obvious, and there seems to be a competition between characters as to who’s going to be the most obnoxious. (Dazai easily wins, with Mamoru Miyano chewing many acres of scenery.)

Still, there are enough promising bits on display here that I’m willing to give it time to find its feet for a few episodes.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2016 – Page 3

Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari!)

(25ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of the first two Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney videogames, featuring the trials and tribulation of a young defense attorney.

Characters

Phoenix Wright, our protagonist, is just fresh out of law school. Not everybody would start off their career with a murder trial, but he insisted because the defendant in this case is his childhood friend…

Larry Butz. Let’s be honest, he’s a complete idiot with terrible luck and even worse manners. But he claims to be completely innocent of the murder of his top-model girlfriend (who totally hadn’t just dumped him), so what else can his best friend do but try and defend him ?

Mia Fey, head of the Fey & Co Law Office, and Phoenix’s boss. She’s here to be the helpful mentor who pushes Phoenix to make the right deductions. Don’t get too attached, though, she’s only here for the tutorial case.

Because clearly this is merely an appetizer before meatier cases ; the culprit’s identity is revealed from the start, and the whole thing is resolved under twenty minutes of screentime.

Production Values

Not very good, unfortunately. The animation is bare-bones, the character designs haven’t aged that well, and there’s a lot of awkward staging. I’m a bit puzzled by the choice to use exactly the same introduction boxes as the game ; it doesn’t look very good. At least the random dynamic character insets work a bit better. And they seem to have nailed the body language (that bit with Larry sitting was genuinely funny), which is essential in a show that could easily devolve into talking heads. Decent update and expansion on the game’s score, too.

Crunchyroll have made the interesting choice of providing two different subtitle sets, with our without translating character names. On the one hand, the American localization of the games is rightfully iconic (which is why I’ve been using it above), especially considering the pains they’ve taken to translate the punny names for everyone. On the other hand, even they started to run into trouble with their attempts to relocate the setting to Los Angeles, and this is compounded in this show, with many distinctly Japanese establishing shots, to say nothing of the victim’s plainly Japanese passport and her trip to New York (exactly 14 hours of timelag away) being major plot points in the case. This simulcast can’t just subtly alter the visuals like the games did, and so a “straight translation” subtitle track makes a lot of sense, especially with the more localized one as an alternate option.

What did I think of it ?

I’m a die-hard fan of the games ; of course I’m going to watch this to the end, regardless of actual quality. Especially if it spawns sequels for the later games.

It certainly could be worse. It’s utterly faithful to the games, covering every nook and cranny of the murder trial’s argumentation and somehow managing to cram the whole first case into a single episode without feeling too rushed. It even found the time to seed some flashbacks in that won’t be actually explored until the fourth case, as well as fit in a few additional character bits here and there. It’s also nice to see more thought given to how the AA trials actually look like beyond the limited perspective of the games.

There’s no way this could be as fun as actually playing the games, and frankly it could have been a lot more polished, but it’s decent enough for my purposes.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2016 – Page 2

The Lost Village (Mayoiga)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

An original horror/mystery series about people going to the titular village to start their life anew. Yeah, like that ever goes well…

Characters

I’m not going to run down all the characters in the show, because there’s literally a bus-full of them, and some of them are obviously one-note jokes and/or cannon fodder for whatever comes next. Basically, those are 28 people who “won” some sort of ARG and got offered a trip to the mysterious Nanaki village, which doesn’t exist on any map and has been fodder for tons of (often contradictory) urban legends.
If you add in the guide (clearly out of his depth) on loan from the company sponsoring this, the folklore college student who actually found the place (and is more than a bit creepy herself), and the bus driver who’s progressively getting angry at those arrogant youth, that’s 31 characters.

“Mitsumune” (everybody here uses aliases, leading to a nice joke where three people happen to use the same one and fight over it) is our de-facto point-of-view character ; he’s a runaway high-school kid who keeps for himself the reasons why he wants to start over. Why he seems to be nice enough on a surface level, there’s obviously quite a lot he keeps bottled in.

“Speedstar”… okay, even he can’t bother and lets his seat neighbour Mitsumune call him “Hayato” (which may or may not be his real name). While some others have decent reasons for wanting to start over (don’t invest into the FOReing currency EXchange market, kids !), he’s among those who think the whole thing is a scam, and wants to investigate it.

“Masaki” is a fragile girl who’s so adorably vulnerable (immediately attracting Mitsumune’s attention) that you can’t help but thing there’s something else going on there.

“Lion” is a taciturn hooded girl who keeps to herself and definitely won’t tell her deal to Mitsumune. She can see right through him, though.

And so on ; I presume that other characters will get the spotlight when necessary, and/or get weeded out.

They still haven’t actually gotten to the village yet by the end of the first episode, by the way.

Production Values

Quite good ; the show manages to nail its atmosphere, a mixture of foreboding and quirky characters quickly getting onto each other’s nerves. It’s also already getting some interesting dream sequences in.

What did I think of it ?

A shadow loomed over this project : Another, director Tsutomu Mizushima’s main previous attempt at a horror series. (Let’s also politely forget about Blood-C.) Those two shows worked against his strengths as a director, forcing him into a straitjacket of deadpan seriousness that he couldn’t help but make look ridiculous. Here he seems much more at ease, especially paired with an experienced writer who’s smart enough to play to his strengths.

Remember the one very good scene from Another, that hilarious daydream sequence ? This is exactly what Mizushima is channelling here, with his impeccable comedic timing and surreal tone are put to very good effect. The impressive “introductions” sequence where the whole cast are sketched out in less than four minutes is quite impressive indeed, in particular. I’m quite fond of the way the huge cast is juggled throughout, with some character beats echoing smoothly from one scene to another.

This is promising in may ways that the aforementioned two shows weren’t ; third time’s the charm ? I definitely plan on sticking with it to find out, at least.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2016 – Page 2

ERASED – The Town Where Only I am Missing (Boku dake ga Inai Machi)

(12 episodes, noitaminA)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a manga mystery series with a supernatural twist.

Interestingly, while the manga is still ongoing publication, the anime’s staff have made it clear they’re including its planned ending into their adaptation.

Characters

Satoru, our protagonist, is failed manga author in his late 20s who’s making do as a pizza delivery driver. At first he sounds like a highly cynical failure who doesn’t give a crap anymore, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. See, he’s somehow got the bizarre superpower to rewind time a bit after getting a flash that something terrible is about to happen. Nothing specific, but he’ll try his darndest to pay attention to his surroundings and notice anything going awry. Such as this truck driver having a heart attack and rushing towards an unsuspecting kid. Going out of his way to prevent that lands him into the hospital for a bit, but the guy is truly a hero. Dropping everything to act upon those not-quite-precognitive flashes… It quickly becomes obvious that an incident two decades ago where a girl was kidnapped and killed and maybe he could have prevented it by accompanying her home is still eating at him and informing his current behaviour (both the introverted cynicism and the hero complex).

Sachiko, his mother, comes to visit from Hokkaido after he gets released. While he doesn’t quite welcome her imposing on him without notice, she’s clearly worried about him. She’s now paying attention to his flashes… wait, did a dude just try kidnapping that girl in the supermarket parking lot, and only stopped when he saw her looking at him and taking a picture of his van’s plate ? Doesn’t this look a LOT like the kidnapping case two decades ago ? Maybe the slightly creepy older guy that always hung out with her son and got arrested wasn’t the true culprit… Okay, until now she may have tried to make Satoru forget about this, but it’s time she came clean with him about it and they figure this out together.

Ahahah, nope. Everything goes FUBAR that night. But when Satoru wakes up, he’s back in Hokkaido, two decades younger…

(Another prominent character this episode is Airi, a teenage coworker of Satoru’s who starts paying attention to him after witnessing his heroics. He isn’t amused by his mom’s attempts to set them up together, because seriously she’s at least ten years younger and still in high school. I have no clue how she’ll keep appearing in this show given we’ve now shifted to a time before she is even born…)

Production Values

Very good. Great attention to the body language, impressive staging for the “Rewind” set pieces… Even Sachiko looking weirdly young for a woman in her 50s is actually called out. Also, it features a great atmospheric score by Yuki Kajiura, without getting overpowered by it.

Overall Impression

Well, that’s our obvious candidate for Anime of the Season, right there. Perfectly paced, great characters, a cool gimmick, an intriguing mystery and driving question (“Can Satoru prevent those original kidnappings ? What happens if he does ?”)… This is just an enthralling start.

There’s tons of promise here, and a good chance it’ll actually deliver on a proper ending. Go for it.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2016 – Page 2

Haruta & Chika Blossom (Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a (proper) novel series about the low-key mysteries faced by a high-school brass band club. Kind of a cross between Hyouka & Sound! Euphonium, basically.

Characters

Chika, our protagonist, used to be quite the tomboy volleyball star, but she kinda burned out ; she felt that she was wasting her youth training all the time, and go for a less time-consuming afterschool club activity that leave her time for, you know, meeting boys and stuff. Like, maybe the brass band ; that flutist looked cute and feminine on TV. If her high-school debut is the occasion to reinvent herself into a much more demure girl, then perfect. Unfortunately for her, she’s terrible at keeping that front, especially after she’s reunited with…

Haruta, with whom she used to be friends when they were young kids. Well, he remembers it more as her bullying him all the time, but same difference ; I think he’s enjoying a bit turning the tables by making her true tomboy nature whenever she interacts with him. Anyway, he’s already a member of the brass band. As a mystery buff, he’s on the forefront of investigating the weird case of the weird graffiti painted in red on the blackboard, eventually laying out the cipher for everyone else’s benefit.

Mr Kusakabe, the supervising music teacher, is a bit of an enigma himself ; he recently abandoned a promising conducting career to teach in this random school. And he’s plainly the target for the mysterious message. Haruta’s interest is tickled, obviously. And Chika has a bit of a crush on him…

Contrary to Chika’s expectations, there’s now barely five members in the brass band. Aside from the club president, there’s just a pair of twins that everyone keeps mixing up whenever they’re not playing their (different) instruments. (And props on the casting department for finding someone who sounds very much like but slightly different than Chiaki Omigawa for the other one.)

There’s a flashforward showing the band performing with several times more members (including one who’s obviously going to be the focus of the next episode), so presumably some heavy recruiting is in the offing.

Production Values

I’m really not fond of the character designs, but studio PA Works do show off their usual skill at animating body language ; Chika’s shifting personas wouldn’t work as well without their care for her facial expressions. And they can draw actual play of instruments, which is very welcome.

Overall Impression

You had me at “low-key mysteries” (and this first one has a nice twist), but Chika turns out to be a fascinating and endearing lead, with Haruta as a fun foil. It’s a nice and well-executed setup that leaves ample room for future stories.

It’s also refreshing to watch an anime series with a gay person in the main cast who’s not a caricature, but a fully-fleshed out character who’s not defined by their sexuality or pandering to the audience. How rare is that ?

This is a must-watch for me now.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2016

Fall 2015 capsules

Also deserving a mention is Lupin III: L’avventura Italiana, the first new proper Lupin III TV series in ages. As it turns out, the franchise has been very popular in the Italian market, so why not make a new series that’s actually set there for maximum pandering ? (It’s already been airing over there for the last couple of months.)

This is actually better than it sounds, since Lupin III’s shtick involves globe-trotting as a matter of course anyway. I thus have no issue whatsoever for his gang to show up in Italy for a random caper, and then stick around there for a while. The token new Italian semi-regular character does bring some added spice into the well-worn character dynamics, too.

This is the point where I have to admit I haven’t watched much Lupin III at all ; it got big well before my time and I’ve always found the franchise’s sheer size a bit intimidating. I do plan on checking out the highlights such as Castle of Cagliostro in due time, but so far my exposure is mostly limited to The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, which was very atypical indeed.

This series is a much more conventional entry point, with pleasant kid-friendly adventures that have enough of an edge to entertain adults too. And heck, I’m a sucker for heist shows anyway, so I have every reason to watch this. (Miyuki Sawashiro voicing a very delicious Fujiko is the cherry on the cake.)

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015

 

Hacka Doll the Animation is a series of shorts adapting… a news phone app ? Seriously ? It’s certainly not a ringing endorsement, as it stars a trio of bumbling AIs who completely fail to be of any use to their hapless owner. Which is actually mildly funny, all told, as they’ve got good comedic timing together. Very dumb, but entertaining enough for me to give it another episode. (After all, it’s only 8 minutes a week.)

 

Oh, and Noragami is back ! It’s still as stylish as ever (that god-tier Taku Iwasaki score !), although this episode spends a lot of time recapping the premise, the main characters, and the basics of the Hato/Bishamon feud which is apparently going to take center stage. But so far, so good.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015

 

Lovely Muco (Itoshi no Muco) are 12-minute shorts about the daily life of the titular dog, Muco. There were actually two previous anime series adapting this manga, but only as 2-minute shorts padding the schedule ; this is a back-to-basics reboot that requires no previous knowledge. And in any case, the OP sequence displays just about everything you’d want to know about the character dynamics (including from the cast who have yet to show up).

It’s a very simplistic, family-friendly show about Muco being a cute dog, and the communication failures with her laid-back master. It’s mildly entertaining, but I keep having the nagging feeling I’m at least two decades older than the target audience. The animation is very limited, but sells the jokes well enough for a gag show. And it certainly knows how to make a dog look expressive.

 

Kagewani are 8-minute horror shorts about a crypto-zoologist investigating monster sightings instead of, you know, actually teaching his college classes. But most of the episode is devoted to one of those “celebrity” monster hunters who’s busy faking one such sighting until things go very badly when his team encounter the real thing.

What makes this show stand out is the rotoscoped animation ; together with the overbearing colour filters and the nervous shakycam often at awkward angles, it gives off a strong “found footage” flavour. Unfortunately, it also looks like crap. (Which, I guess, completes the “found footage” look.) And frankly, it’s not particularly compelling, funny or scary ; it just doesn’t work for me at all.

 

K – Return of Kings if off to a rather mixed bag for its second season. It’s even more visually impressive than ever (how much budget do they spend on those super-kinetic fight scenes ?), although I’m getting tired of the camera switching to pervert mode whenever Awashima’s on screen. But the script seems intent on being as confusing as possible, starting off with an overly-long gratuitous fight scene that’s set before the first series, for some reason (as evidenced by the presence of the dude who got killed in the first episode), and then it switches without warning to the post-movie status quo. (Which, admittedly, isn’t very complicated ; “the gothloli is the new Red King, and the Greens are now attacking everyone and being jerks for some reason”.) Hopefully it’ll find its footing back soon enough.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015 – Page 2

 

Young Kindaichi’s Casefile Returns Again has been off to a good start. Actually, I’m slightly weirded out that we start immediately on the trail of the recurring villain introduced at the end of last season (Kindaichi’s usually more about one-off mysteries than ongoing storylines), but it’s a good way to keep the stakes high, especially as the supporting cast are all there and have something to do. And, well, I have a sweet tooth for mysteries, so I’m all for this.

 

Speaking of which, Owarimonogatari opens with a double-length episode that’s basically a lovely done-in-one closed-room mystery. It’s awesome. And despite how much Ararararagi has become the weak link in this show over time, he’s actually quite fun here, as Ougi leaves him absolutely no room to fall back on his usual excesses. This was a very good opener indeed, and setting a high bar for the season.

 

Attack on Titan – Junior High is very, very stupid. It probably doesn’t make much sense unless you’ve watched the main series. (Or, heck, read the manga, if the Ymir/Krista material is any indication.) What it does right, though, is being at least mildly funny most of the time ; and it’s having a lot of funny playing with Sawano’s bombastic score and the original anime’s direction for maximum comedic effect. At least for one episode, the joke works.

 

Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan is a gag manga adaptation about a childlike hotsprings fairy meddling with teenagers’ love life. In three minutes it makes its point, namely that it’s the same romantic comedy beats I’ve already seen hundreds of time, without any particular spark. Pass.

 

Miss Komori Can’t Decline! (Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!), on the other hand, does manage to spin a few decent laughs out of its premise. Unfortunately, it looks like crap and barely lasts 2 minutes. Oh, well.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015 – Page 2

Everything Becomes F : The Perfect Insider (Subete ga F ni Naru)

(11 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a 1996 mystery novel. It has already been adapted in manga, visual novel and live-action drama formats ; so next is the prestige noitaminA anime series.

Characters

Moe, our protagonist, looks at first like an ordinary college student ; somewhat brattish and superficial. But over the course of the episode, it becomes clear that she’s got more depth than that ; she’s quite clever, inquisitive, and is quick to catch on. Also, her family is connected enough to help the plot along.

Saikawa, the teacher overseeing her circle and thesis, tries to remain as stonefaced as possible while shutting down her attempts to be too friendly. (The question whether she means any of it remains open at this point.) Most of the episode happens in his office. Anyway, he’s investigating for research purposes a bizarre murder case…

Shiki, a teenage genius, was accused of having killed her parents a few years ago. Because of her claims a doll did it, she was declared non compos mentis, after which she vanished. It seems that all this time she’s been holed up in a lab on a remote island ; Moe managed to snag an interview with her (on Saikawa’s behalf) that we see in flashback.

Hey, let’s hold the circle’s vacation on that island ! It’ll be fun, they may learn more, and nothing wrong can happen !

Production Values

Hum. This is the kind of serious show that is intent on spending many minutes with Moe doing very mundane stuff before anything of significance happens, as proof that it’s adapting Serious Literature. Which feels like a mistake, as the attention to detail regarding Moe’s body language shines much more when she gets to interact with other people.

Also, awesome visuals for the OP sequence.

Overall Impression

A mystery show on noitaminA ? It’d have to be a complete trainwreck for me to skip it.

And, well, it starts off very pretentious indeed ; but it all comes into focus when the flashback interview with Shiki comes into play. She’s an eerie presence, and Moe’s uncanny cheerfulness in contrast raises many questions (especially as we learn more about the backstory).

I’m quite interested in seeing where this is going.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015 – Page 4

A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako’s Feet. (Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a mystery light novel series.

Characters

Sakurako is a woman obsessed with bones. It comes from family, but she’s taken it to a whole new level, taking a hobby of digging them out wherever it takes her fancy. She’s certainly affluent enough to do it just about all the time. She has no people skill ; but what she lacks in common sense she makes up for with a very keen detective mind (especially if the mysteries involve skeletons). But while she’s delightful to see barge in and annoy people, she’s saddled with…

Shoutarou, a generic high school dude. Who’s not so much boring as an complete buzzkill. His only purpose is to be annoyed or creeped out when Sakurako does interesting stuff. Well, that and presumably as an audience-standin figure, but he’s such an ass about disabling the heroine that I end up rensenting him being there. There’s no explanation whatsoever for why the two of them hang out together (it’s a story left for later), and there’s a relative lack of chemistry between them. Heck, they don’t seem to be romantically involved at all… Which, given the age difference, I’m thankful for at least.

Production Values

Very, very pretty, with tons of scenery porn. TROYCA are a very new studio (their only other series of note is the co-production of Aldnoah.Zero), but they certainly aren’t lacking budget here.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. I love mystery shows, and Sakurako’s excentricities are a lot of fun to watch. So why partner her with the worst Watson figure ever ? I get that some degree of contrast between them is required, but he’s so persistently annoying that he nearly entirely kills the show for me by his lonesome.

I’m giving this a second episode against my better judgement because of the genre, but it’d better shape up soon.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015 – Page 4

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

(11ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

Surely you’re aware of Edogawa Ranpo, the godfather of Japanese mystery fiction ? The guy Detective Conan took half of his pseudonym from ? The creator of characters such as Akechi and the Fiend with Twenty Faces, who often get referenced or namechecked in mystery anime & manga ?

Well, later this month is the 50th anniversary of his death, so here comes this tribute project. It’s notionally adapting some of his stories (starting with The Human Chair), but with the original mysteries reframed completely in a contemporary setting and different characters involved. In many ways, it’s not entirely different from UN-GO, a similar project from a few years ago.

Characters

Kobayashi, our 13-year-old protagonist. Despite appearances, totally a boy. He wakes up one day in his classroom with a saw in his hand, and the mutilated corpse of his teacher at the other end of the room. Normal people would see this as the start of a very bad day ; Kobayashi is actually thrilled to the gills at something interesting finally happening to him.

Hashiba, the class rep and student council president, does his best to defend his friend in front of the police… and gets progressively more and more weirded out by the way Kobayashi is lighting up instead of showing any hint of panic. The really obvious solution would be for him to be the culprit, but I hope there’s more to the mystery than that. And it’d be kind of a waste to lose the one normal dude in the series whom everyone can explain the plot to.

Akechi, a 17-year old detective on the case. Notionally he’s in high school, but he’s got a special license to avoid going there in exchange of helping the cops out on weird cases like that. He’s exactly the kind of excentric genius you’d expect to find in this type of story. Kobayashi makes a beeline to become his apprentice (and is certainly clever enough to track his home address down). Akechi’s answer is that if the kid solves the case, it doesn’t matter whether he accepts ; Kobayashi will get dragged down into this world anyway. Of course, it wouldn’t be fun if Akechi didn’t stack the deck against him, such as calling the cops on him.

Kobayashi is totally game for this.

Production Values

The show makes the weird decision to keep all the characters in silhouette until Kobayashi bothers to truly pay attention to them. (You’d expect the cat-eared new teacher to warrant his attention sooner than she did, but apparently not.) Together with several other staging decisions, it contributes to make the proceedings eerily artificial… and hey, it’s not like classical mysteries aren’t artificial constructs anyway.

I think it’s great at setting the mood ; the jazzy music also helps.

Overall Impression

You had me at “mystery”, but this has turned out to be actually quite good. Very well paced, an intriguing and fun protagonist with incredible cheerfulness and communicative enthusiasm… Clearly the staff had a blast creating this. It oozes fun and love for the genre from all pores.

This has the potential to be very good, and in any case it’ll certainly be fun. I’m all in.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015

Anime from 2000 : The Leftovers

Over the course of this project, there were a number of show I decided not to cover, or just couldn’t. Those were :

  • Sequels to earlier shows (and thus not NEW shows). There’s a few spin-offs I still chose to try and cover for significance reasons, but overall I skipped most of them.
  • A good number of kids’ shows that just weren’t available in any form (even in massacred English dubs). Those I had no option but to skip entirely.
  • Also, I didn’t do OVAs and movies. Sorry, FLCL.

So, here follows a list of everything I didn’t review :

#03 on the list is something called Mon Colle Knights, adapting some collectible cardgame. It’s the first of the many kids’ shows I just couldn’t get any hold of for this project. Not that I’m really heartbroken about it.

#05 is OH! Super Milk-Chan, a sequel to a 1998 comedy kids’ show.

#08 is Ojamajo Doremi #, the second season (out of four) of the magical girl franchise that eventually left way for Precure.

#10 is Digimon Adventure 02, which feels enough like a straight sequel of the original (unlike, say, Tamers) that I am not covering it.

#14 is Hidamari no Ki, an adaptation of a late Osamu Tezuka manga about the friendship between a samurai and a doctor in the Edo period. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a copy of even the first episode of it. A shame, as it sounds quite interesting.

#15 is Doki Doki Densetsu Mahoujin Guru Guru, a sequel to a 1994 kids’ show adapting a manga lampooning Dragon Quest-style RPGs. It actually sounds quite fun, but it’s outside the scope of this project.

#21 is Inspector Fabre (Fabre Sensei wa Meitantei), another kids’ show I couldn’t lay my hands on.

A few words on #22, Banner of the Stars. It’s basically part two of a trilogy of anime adaptations of a light novel series, so it’s outside the scope of this project. But I should note that it’s the weakest chunk of this S-F saga. Crest kept things close and personal to its lead couple ; Banner II also had a tight focus as they dealt with a prison planet. Banner, on the other hand, throws them in the middle of a massive military campaign, depriving them of agency and relevance in their own series. It’s got its moments, but I found it distinctly less enjoyable.

#23 is yet another unavailable kids’ show, Taro the Space Alien, adapting a children’s manga.

#28 is something called DinoZaurs: The Series, which is apparently a sequel to a few OVAs that were bundled with a toyline that’s also known as “DinoZone”. Anyway, I couldn’t find it, and I had no inclination to dig too much.

#29 is Medarot Damashii, the second season of the adaptation of the Medabots RPG videogame franchise.

#35 is Mr. Digital Tokoro, a full-CG-animated series of shorts (130 3-minute-long episodes) based on comedian Tokoro George. (A guy famous enough to lend his name to half a dozen Mahjong videogames ; he also dubs Homer Simpson.)
Frankly, this sounds dreadful, but I couldn’t find even one of them.

#43 is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children, an adaptation of that RPG franchise’s attempt at emulating the success of Pok√©mon, with simpler gameplay more accessible to kids. It got a sequel in 2002, adapting a further game (and apparently having a troubled production). Anyway, I couldn’t find it.

#44 would be Baby Felix, a spin-off from the old Felix the Cat cartoons (which were apparently popular enough in Japan). Again, I couldn’t find it.

I thought I had gotten my hands on #50, Dotto Koni-chan, but my copy has no subtitles. It’s a comedy kids’ show about kids messing around and getting into hijinks. It’s mostly notable for being animated by studio Shaft before they became SHAFT, and directed by Excel Saga‘s Nabeshin himself. It does look kinda fun.

#51 should be Pipopapo Patrol-kun, a kids’ show featuring a friendly neighbourhood cop that might have been educational if I could have laid hands on it.

Our final and 52nd entry would have been Suteki! Sakura Mama, a series of shorts I could find nearly no information about. A bit anticlimactic, eh ?