Daimidaler the Sound Robot (Kenzen Robo Daimidaler)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of an mecha/sentai ecchi manga.


Kouichi, our protagonist, straight on loan from the 80s, i.e. wearing a rakugan instead of his high school’s more modern uniform. His core personality is that he’s a pervert ; his standard daily routine includes standing below stairs to check out what underwear girls are wearing.

Kyouko, an agent from the PRINCE organization, which is tasked with handling attacks from the evil extraterrestrial Penguin Empire. He mission was to scout Kouichi, as he can generate a high level of Hi-ERO energy. You’ve guessed it : he can power his mecha up by doing something perverted, such as fondling her.

For now, the Penguin Empire are mostly represented by a few of those low-level masked underlings that are so common in sentai ; this is the kind of series that finds it very funny for them to have a front “tail”.

Production Values

Decent, I guess. The Daimidaler mecha has a very peculiar old-school design that at least makes it look distinctive.

Be warned, this is a very fanservice-heavy show. And not just because of Kouichi’s antics ; the camera is just as perverted as him.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. The kindest thing I can say about this is that it’s neither bland nor forgettable ; unfortunately, its sense of humour starts at tedious and then goes downhill. It’s dreadfully unfunny, and watching more than five minutes of it was a chore.

No thanks.

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

Majin Bone

What’s it about ?

Generic kids’ tokusatsu show, tying in with a card game.


Shogo, our generic teenage protagonist. His most prominent character trait is that he really likes reading his porn mags, because teenager. Aside from that, he’s completely nondescript, for perfect audience identification.

He’s got a decently-sized supporting cast, with a generic bossy father, a generic sarcastic older sister, a generic childhood friend who’s obviously attracted to him, and her generic mother. Also, her generic dog.

The plot involves “meteorites” falling onto Earth, but those are actually baddies (?) in techsuits. One of them happens to fall in childhood friend’s backyard, kicking off the plot : after touching it, Shogo is shocked to learn he can swap into a techsuit too !

There are three mysterious dudes hanging around in the margins, fighting some of meteorites when nobody’s looking. They seem quite interested by Shogo becoming a potential ally.

Production Values

Quite good, overall. Unfortunately, while the action sequences are well-animated, the samey character designs for both sides of techsuits make it impossible for me to tell what’s going on in them.

Overall Impression

BO-RING. It’s an average Tuesday Morning Cartoon, and there’s absolutely nothing to make it stand out from the pack. It’s not particularly bad, but I can’t see myself returning for a second episode. It’s not like I had any enthusiasm for writing this review.

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

Winter 2014 Capsules

Double Circle is quite a bizarre project. It spends most of its short screentime introducing its cast of quirky oddballs (that aren’t too interesting yet), until the reveal that they’re actually a sentai hero team. This is quite a gear change, to put it mildly. Apparently this series was produced by Toshiba to promote its clean-energy and environment-friendly projects ; that it’s barely visible in the final product might speak of a core problem. Anyway, it’s fairly generic and the irregular release schedule makes it pretty sure to fall off my radar by the time the next episode is out.

Pupipo! is more conventional stuff. This manga adaptation tells the story of a gloomy girl who’s the only one who can see the many ghosts surrounding her. Presumably they stick around her because she’s the only one who can interact with them ; unfortunately, they’re quite jealously demanding her attention, and she has to fend off any attempts from kids her age trying to be friends with her, lest they get attacked. This understandably puts a crimp onto her social life. This all changes one day when (1) she meets a girl too stupid and stubborn to back off like everyone else, and (2) she finds “Po”, a mysterious creature that looks like a fuzzy pink ball and is scary enough to make the ghosts start behaving a bit.

It’s a standard coming-of-age story, clearly aimed at young girls ; but it’s decently done, and quite good at developing its atmosphere. The gloomy protagonist has a striking design, as well. And it’s short enough not to overstay its welcome ; I could quite see myself sticking with it for the whole season.

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

Okay, I tried watching Future Card Buddyfight, but there’s only so much I can stand from a blatant cardgame advertisement. Everyone gushing about how awesome Buddyfight is ? Check. The whole world revolving around it, to the point that this cop offers a criminal a choice between surrender, and duelling him at a cardgame ? Check. School classes that include unpacking new cards at the start of the lesson ? Okay, that’s a new one for me, but whatever. Blatant token introductions for a dozen of bit characters that are obviously going to be featured later on ? Par for the course.

Sigh, I’m just not in the market for this. It actually looks quite fine, and there are some decent jokes, but I just can’t get any enthusiasm into watching this. The two annoying protagonists (good samaritan kid and his new dragon-buddypet that just can’t stop complaining about everything) just get on my nerves way too much.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2014 – Page 2.

I tried, but I just can’t gather the will to write at length about Robot Girls Z. It’s a very gimmicky show (mecha-girls patterned after mecha from vintage shows such as Mazinger Z) that falls completely flat for me. I have no nostalgia for those old series (they were before my time), and the actual machines are what I find the least interesting in that genre anyway ; crossing them with moe girls doesn’t help. And it’s not like these shorts really do anything with the premise aside from pure fanservice.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2014 – Page 4.

Strange+ is yet another of those shorts adapting a gag manga. (Not a 4-panel one, though.) It follows the wacky hijinks of a team of “detectives”, and while it’s far from subtle, it did get a few laughs out of me. It looks terrible, but that’s par for the course for this kind of thing.

I know some of you were waiting for my take on pupa, but what is there to say ? I already had an inkling of what I was in for, and anyway the first episode barely gets anywhere, what with clocking at barely four minutes long. For what it’s worth, it’s a straightforward horror series about a girl who gets transformed into a cannibalistic monster ; we don’t even get to the part where she starts eating her brother. Still, it’s good at building atmosphere, and that’s what really matters. I’ll probably keep watching to see where it goes.

Z/X Ignition is a full-length show, but it was so boring I literally fell asleep halfway through ; and I have no wish whatsoever to try rewatching it to get a better sense of the plot. From what I can gather, a bunch of dark portals appeared all over the world, spawned monsters and “destroyed civilization” ; somehow civilization seems mostly fine a few years later, with some people having somehow domesticated monsters. There’s a lot of impenetrable exposition about monster classification and so on, because of course this is adapted from a card game.

To be honest, I have no clue whatsoever which of the characters I’m supposed to be rooting for. They’re all very generic, I seem to have missed out the part where their motivations get explained. Not even a lead role for Miyuki Sawashiro (whom I’ve surprisingly heard nowhere else this season) can make me pay attention to this crap.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2014 – Page 5.

Fall 2013 capsules

Miss Monochrome has a bizarre genesis. This is a virtual idol character, a bit like Hatsune Miku… except she’s voiced by proper idol/VA Yui Horie (with some mighty autotune, if the end song is any indication). Anyway, this is a series of 4-minute shorts starring the character, trying to become an idol.
The good news is that, after a bit of a dull start, it manages to place some good deadpan jokes. It’s genuinely funny, which is more than I expected of such a gimmick show.

On the other hand, I can’t make head nor tails out of Super Seishyun Brothers, another series of 4-minute shorts starring (unlike the title suggests) two brother-sister pairs. It actually started airing a couple of weeks ago, but I was (unsuccessfully) waiting for a second episode to get translated to get a better feel of it.
So far, it’s a gag show that barely raises a smile at all. It utterly failed to make it clear whether there’s any premise beyond “here are four character with outlandish (but generic) personalities.” I’m giving it a second episode just in case, but it looks completely skippable.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013 – Page 4.

Hey, there are still more new shows getting released !

Admittedly, that means the like of Gaist Crusher : a kids’ sentai show adapted from some collectible card game. It’s the blandest and most generic piece of crap I have watched for a long time, which is saying something. From off-the-shelf one-dimensional characters to nearly absent world-building (what are the heroes even fighting ?) to character designs that would have been rejected by any self-respecting Saint Seiya clone… There’s absolutely nothing to recommend in this, and no way I’m bothering with a full review for it.

(That I watched this with terrible subtitles that seem to have gone through several languages before reaching English probably didn’t help. But even a decent translation can’t save this show.)

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013 – Page 14.

Samurai Flamenco

(22 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Wannabe superheroes.


Hazama is a young man who was fortunate enough to start a career as a popular model, but that’s not what he really wants to do. No, his true calling is to be the superhero SAMURAI FLAMENCO!, modeled on the sentai heroes of his youth. Do note that this guy has no superpowers whatsoever : he just puts on a silly costume and patrols the streets of his neighbourhood at night to tell off drunken salarymen, jaywalkers and rowdy middle schoolers. Who often proceed to beat the crap out of him, since it’s not like he has any fighting skills.

Goto is our point-of-view character : he’s a beat cop who happens to stumble on Hazama after a badly-timed costume change. Since he was off-duty at the time, he doesn’t bring him in immediately, and takes the time to listen to the guy’s story. While he facepalms regularly at the moron, he’s not entirely unsympathetic ; he begrudgingly admits to liking sentai shows too, and presumably this had a hand in him becoming a cop. Of course, he’d rather Hazama channeled his thirst for JUSTICE! through non-vigilante and non-stupid means, but for now he’s not turning the idiot over (and goes out of his way to bail his new friend out when he gets into too much trouble).

Notionally Goto has a girlfriend, but it’s a long-distance relationship, and doesn’t impede on the burgeoning bromance.

The OP sequence shows off a lot more characters (and the ED focuses on the so far barely present female cast), but this first episode is squarely about establishing the two leads.

Production Values

Very nice looking. The OP sequence promises some actual sentai-style action down the line, but that’s for much later ; the “action” scenes so far solely consists of people beating SAMURAI FLAMENCO! up. But with lovingly animated detail.

Overall Impression

I had no clue what to expect of this show… but certainly not “realistic” superheroes. It’s a pleasant surprise, though ; while a lot of the appeal may depend on how much you love sentai shows (because everyone involved in producing this surely does), but this is a lot of fun to watch. And it’s a very polished first episode, perfectly establishing the premise and the two leads.

I’m genuinely curious about where this is going, as it should have enough time to develop its story properly. I’m onboard.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013 – Page 13.

Gatchaman CROWDS

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Cooler-than-thou sentai show.

(This is a revival from a long-lived franchise, but it doesn’t look like you need to know anything about previous incarnations of it.)


Hajime, the latest inductee into the Gatchaman program, a secret underground corps that protects Earth (and apparently some other planets) from otherworldly menace. Technically she’s the audience-surrogate who gets told all the exposition, but she’s so downright loopy she’s a bit hard to identify with. She’s a joy to watch as she bulldozes through any attempt by the other characters to keep things serious, though.

Sugane, the “proper” Gatchaman main field agent, who does his best to do things by the book and contain the unrelenting enthusiasm of his new junior. He just so happens to attend the same high school as her. (And there’s an entrance to the underground Gatchaman base in the park next door. Hmmm…)

Paiman, the inevitable mascot panda-like alien who gives orders from the base and tries to keep discipline up. Well, at least until the middle of the episode where it just kinda gives up in the face of Hajime.

Wait, no. The real mastermind behind Gatchaman is “JJ”, the tall mysterious dude who inducted Hajime (in what’s totally not a rape metaphor) and gives orders through riddles transmitted by magic notebooks.

There are three other members to this team (with the implication that there are lots of other teams elsewhere) : the sullen brooding dude who makes the least effort possible, the awful-gay-stereotype guy, and the nearly-mute small swimsuit girl. None of them appear to be doing much in the field, and gay-stereotype-guy outright mention that he can’t transform into powered armor.

Our heroes fight otherworldly abominations that look like giant rubik’s cubes when they aren’t camouflaged as stuff or absorbing people. There’s also a creepy dude who shows up for three seconds at the very end, just to be delighted about seeing Gatchaman are real.

Production Values

Awesome. I love this show’s aesthetics, with colorful crazyness creeping into the edges of a relatively normal setting until it erupts into full-blown futuristic nonsense like the Gatchaman base. I’m less fond of the bizarre shading in people’s hair, but it does help them stand out. Overall, this is very nicely animated, with tons of attention to body language (which is half of Hajime’s craziness).

Also, the score is pretty kickass, never afraid of featuring zany “Gatcha!” choruses.

Overall Impression

Downright the most stylish show this season, doing it best to dust off the sentai genre. On that level, it works : it’s very entertaining, and it’s delicious to look at. Additional points for featuring a quirky girl as its central character.

Now, the big question is : is there any substance in here ? Well, jury’s still out, although there’s some interesting use of social media throughout. I like the idea that Sugane is participating in what looks like a “good Samaritan” social app, which is a fun concept in its own right.

There are some false notes here and there (the gay-stereotype-dude, and JJ being a bit too creepy for the show’s own good), but this is a promising start. Let’s hope the show builds upon it.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013 – Page 8.

Chousoku Henkei Gyrozetter

What’s it about ?

Sentai show with cool transforming cars.


Kakeru, our hotblooded young protagonist. Since this is The Future, all the cars come with an AI, which explains how he’s now getting his license despite being 14 at best. He’d probably have gotten it earlier if he wasn’t pissing off his teachers with his acrobatic (but perfectly mastered) driving. Anyway, the people in charge (pulling double duty as both school officials and members of the secret organisation that saves the world) have found a Rosetta-like stone prophetizing he’s the chosen one, and so give him a car that transforms into a giant robot so that he can fight off the baddies with it.

Rinne, his totally-girlfriend, is already an assistant teacher for driving classes despite not looking any older. (Her student looks 10 at most.) Also, did I mention she’s driving a Prius (c) (r) ™ ? She spends a good chunk of the episode in distress mode (mostly because she’s not at the wheel when the villains attack), but she gets her own transforming car/robot in the second episode.

In pure sentai tradition, the OP/ED show that the team is eventually going to be five-strong, with the fat-comic-relief, the stand-offish rival and the other girl presumably joining us soon.

Also in this episode : an over-enthusiastic TV reporter who spends all his screentime shouting exposition at us or telling us how awesome the action is.

Production Values

Very nice : there’s way enough budget to sell the action sequences, whether the car chase scenes or the giant-robot fights. It’s obviously a toyetic tie-in to something, but at least they’re not half-assing it.

I have to admit I laughed out loud at the ED sequence taking the piss out of the current trend of CG dancing sequences.

What did I think of it ?

This is actually quite fun. It’s a nearly complete checklist of every single sentai cliché ever, but played with enough enthusiasm and energy to be watchable. (Although Jouji Nakata can’t pull off his “gung-ho old scientist” role to save his life.) Let’s be clear : despite not displaying a single original idea, this isn’t a “so bad it’s good” show ; it’s enjoyable unironically. There’s a reason those clichés were used in the first place, after all.

In less busy a season, I could have seen myself sticking with it in the long run ; as it is, I don’t think I’ll be watching beyond episode 2. Still, nice try.

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

Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel: Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise!!

What’s it about ?

Magical girls fighting colorful villains.


Haruka, aka Red Angel. The redhaired tomboy of the pair. Brash, terrible in class, more interested in sports and dudes, you know the type. Voiced by Yukari Tamura, of course.

Aoi, aka Blue Angel. The bluehaired girly girl of the pair. Soft-spoken, honor student, less good in a fight (but still kicking ass with her bow and arrows), you know the type. Voiced by Mamiko Noto, of course.

Their boss is actually their school’s principal, who’s helped by a ninja butler who likes to randomly show up from trapdoors whenever he needs to contact the pair.

The villain this episode tries to steal a necklace that is of course one of the seven McGuffins of the setting ; she’s the kind of bwahahah-evil villains that thinks that transforming the pair into catgirls is an effective tactic. And it’d have worked, too, if it hadn’t been for…

Misty Night, the mysterious masked man that’s very close to getting a lawsuit from Sailor Moon‘s Tuxedo Mask (he even throws roses the same way !), and is totally not the hot student council president Haruka has a crush on.

The OP teases that a third Angel is upcoming, but we don’t see her yet.

Production Values

Decent action sequences, I guess. The OP is –ing annoying in its squeakiness.

Overall Impression


Excuse me, I nearly fell asleep from the blandness of this show. I don’t think it’s possible to create more generic a magical girl show than this. Presumably it’s a pastiche of the genre, but there’s nothing interesting or funny in the way it’s done. I though at first it was a retro revival of some beloved old franchise, but aside from a pilot OVA a few years ago it seems to be completely new. As such, it’s quite baffling : it’s not a kids’ show (it airs at otaku’o’clock), and it’s not interesting enough to appeal to anyone else. Unless they keep on piling the fetishes during the fight scenes (the catgirl thing was still quite tame), which isn’t my thing but there’s a sizeable audience for that.

Anyway, avoid this.

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