(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

A comedy show about the the cat being left out of the Chinese zodiac… Wait, Wikipedia claims a manga adaptation of this started publication in 2013. How long has this TV show been stuck in the pipeline ?


Takeru, our male protagonist, found a cheap house to inhabit. Unfortunately, it’s haunted by…

Nyaa-tan, the personification of the Cat zodiac sign. Which doesn’t exist in the Chinese zodiac, of course. (She blames the Rat.) She intends to reclaim her rightful place by… actually, I fell asleep halfway through this, so I have no clue what her zany plan entails. The only thing I can see is that the house is no longer standing by the end of the episode.

Takeru is also harassed by all 12 of the other zodiac signs. There’s a running joke of nobody remembering those past the Snake, so I’ll take that as a cue not to bother listing them all. The only one with a degree of distinctiveness is Chuu-tan (ie the Rat), who smirks in the background while wearing a dominatrix outfit. Of course she does.

Production Values

Nothing to write home about. It’s okay, I guess, although some of the signs’ outfits are more than a bit fanservicey (especially Moo-tan !).

Overall Impression

Ah, the token series that completely puts me to sleep in spite of its hyperactivity. But then, those one-note characters are unengaging, the central joke isn’t particularly funny, and I just can’t bring myself to care.

Next show, please !

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2015 – Page 4.

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

Again, no full review for the Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan ; it’s a show that makes no sense if you’re not familiar with the parent franchise.

If you are familiar with it, then you’ll be even more baffled, as it completely misses the point.

A running thread in the Haruhi franchise is how protagonist Kyon is in complete denial over Haruhi being his type, as his narration instead keeps lusting over super-submissive moeblob Mikuru. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is all about Yuki misunderstanding his feelings by creating an alternate reality that keeps Haruhi out of the picture and turns herself into a moeblob. And the whole point of that story is that it was a mistake, a horrific perversion of reality that Kyon couldn’t decently let stand.

And yet, here we are, in a version of this perverted universe with the added wrinkle that Kyon seems none the wiser, and is thus having a generic romantic comedy with Yuki as the main love interest, and Ryoko as the pushy friend who nudges the two of them together. I find it rather telling that Kyon’s character design is horribly off-model in this, making him look way more generic than the KyoAni version. (Yet, Tomokazu Sugita still somehow voices the same Kyon as always.)

The problem here is that while Yuki’s wet dream originally had a narrative purpose, it’s completely boring once stripped of that context. The links to the original franchise only underline by contrast how empty and dull the characters have become. You’ve basically removed everything that made the original story interesting.

I can’t imagine what the effect of actually bringing back Haruhi into this will be (she only gets a cameo in this first episode, but it looks like she’s going to actually feature in the future), but I’m not masochistic enough to stick around until it happens. I’m done, thank you.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2015 – Page 2.

#24 : Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters

(224 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of that shonen manga featuring a children’s card game… Wait, no. Initially, the manga featured a variety of games, and the 1998 anime series reflected that ; it’s only later on that the “Duel Monsters” cardgame took center stage, and this sequel increased that emphasis even more.

I’m breaking my rule on sequels to give this one a full review, due to its cultural relevance. I mean, I’ve seen enough parody abridged versions of this that it would be silly not to try and have a proper look at it.


Yugi, our kid protagonist with absurd hair, is really fond of this Duel Monsters cardgame ; it helps that his grampa runs a shop selling it and gave him some rather rare cards. There’s no explanation whatsoever for why Yugi gets a transformation sequence that makes him look much meaner and kick more ass at the game halfway through. Or why he’s got this Mind Crush psychic attack to deal with villains once he’s won against them.

He has a few friends : Jonouchi, who is at least shown playing the game early on (although after that he does nothing but cheer on Yugi) ; Honda, who contributes nothing ; and Anzu, who as a girl gets to make a speech about friendship.

Seto Kaiba, one of their classmates, is definitely Not A Friend : he wants to steal and destroy Yuki’s grampa’s super-super-rare card so that himself will be the only player to own any. Also, he owns a massive corporation that gives him access to goons to back him up, and he’s a technological genius who’s designed a holographic system that makes card battles slightly less boring to watch.

For someone who initially looks like a major deal, Kaiba is defeated quite early on ; a new villain with a fancy monocle makes a cameo at the end.

Production Values

Okay-ish, I guess ; the soundtrack makes a game attempts at instilling a bit of atmosphere and tension early on, but nothing can make the card battles entertaining once they’ve started.

Overall Impression

So, yeah. There’s no getting around the fact that Duel Monsters is a very boring game, especially as the rules had yet to be solidified and balanced by any kind of physical release ; it’s basically a very boring game of Kamoulox Calvinball where each turn is basically “see the new attack I’m pulling out of my ass damaging you !” It’s immediately tedious, and a chore to watch.

What’s more striking is the total absence of any explanation of Yugi’s status quo. I know it because of popculture osmosis (and having watched a good chunk of Abridged Series), but you’d think re-establishing the “possessed by a Pharaoh’s spirit” setup would have been a priority for this sequel. Ahah, no, the new viewer is left without any clue to this stuff, aside from Yugi’s bizarre super-powers. That’s a puzzling exposition failure.

Since watching paint dry is more entertaining than any Duel Monsters match, I think I’ll keep to the Abridged Series, thank you.

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 5

Kantai Collection

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of an online card game where you battle through girls who are moe anthropomorphizations of naval ships. It’s a franchise with an impressively big, Touhou-like fandom, which has also spawned light novels, manga, and now this anime series.


Fubiki is our naive newcomer protagonist who’s just joined the fleet (whose headquarters are basically a boarding school with luxury leisure facilities). A bit clumsy and slow, she has trouble conveying that she’s never seen combat before. Still, she’s admirative enough of her seniors that she vows to improve and reach their level.

We’re introduced to various other members of her squad, including her two roommates (the nice one and the slightly snarky one), and the three oddball sisters in the adjoining dorm room.

Akagi is one of the MVP of the fleet, whom Fubiki becomes admirative of and imprints on as a rolemodel. As an aircraft carrier, she’s a member of the archery club (and her arrows morph into fighter planes once they near their target).

When they’re deployed, the girls/ships are basically sliding over water, with bulky equipment depending on their class. It’s a weird visual indeed. They fight against a dark fleet who are basically their evil counterpart.

Production Values

Quite good indeed, although it never really manages to turn its odd character designs into really engaging visuals. It looks okay, but it doesn’t have the creativity to do anything really cool or interesting with it.

Overall Impression

Zzzz… The characters are one-note and quite dull so far, the battles aren’t anything special, and overall it feels like a wacky high concept in search of a story to be developed around it, and dramatically failing. What works for an online cardgame just falls flat in this format.

Nothing to see here, pass your way.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2015.

#07 : Shinzo (Mushrambo)

(32 episodes)

What’s it about ?

As far as I can tell, this is series is very loosely adapted from Journey to the West, but shifted to a post-apocalyptic futuristic setting, with maximum toyetic flavour.


Yakumo, our female protagonist, is one of the few humans left alive. She woke up in a deserted lab one day, with the advice to go west (of course) to the mythical land of Shinzo (where there may or may not be other humans). Her main characterization point is that she’s absurdly respectful of live, despite most of the anthropomorphic animals around trying to kill her. But Killing Is BAD, and she’s sticking to that rule.

Mushra, a beastboy that totally didn’t try to swindle the locals and got hung to dry for it, honest ! He was totally framed ! She rescues him because that’s what she does, and he sticks around as a bodyguard in gratitude (while a bit baffled by her no-killing stance). His “Hyper-Mode”, which can transform him into a red-armoured humanoid, should be quite useful for that.

Kutal, a catman who offers to guide them through a shortcut that’s totally not a trap so that he can eat the tasty human. It backfires horribly, but somehow Yakumo still trusts him to accompany them after that.

There’s a blue-armoured guy hanging around the fringes of the plot and occasionally lending a helping hand.

Our Mook of the Week is a mantis-like bounty hunter who can (sigh) shift into Hyper Mode by eating a card. As you do.

Production Values

Okay-ish as far as saturday-morning cartoons go, but the characters designs are really dull and uninspired. And then there’s… well, read below.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. This is one of the few shows in this project where I could only locate a copy of the American dub. Unfortunately, it seems to be a case where the localization was a complete hatchet job : both literally (as it looks like the first two original episodes got fused into one), and on every other level. The plot gets put through the wringer : Yakumo’s origin story, presumably the meat of the pilot, gets reduced to a 30-second opening narration. We can’t just have a girl getting the lion’s share of screentime through half an episode, after all ! Ah ah, no, we must instead open with Mushra’s predicament, whatever havoc that wreaks on the world-building.

I’m not saying the original show was a masterpiece either ; it was clearly already quite uninspired and toyetic as heck. I would have gotten bored either way. Still, this kind of massacre is infuriating whatever it happens to.

Obviously, there’s no point in watching any more of this.

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 2

Fall 2014 capsules

Hmm. For some reason Karen Senki wasn’t even on my checklist. I can’t even find any hint it’s actually airing in Japan. But hey, it’s at the very least a Japanese co-production by the creators of Sakura Wars, and Crunchyroll is streaming it, so close enough for a token mention in this thread.

This is quite an odd series. For one, it’s 12 half-length episodes. For two, it’s full-CG. And for three, I can’t tell whether the plot being so disjointed and making no sense whatsoever is intentional.

It follows the adventures of Karen, who wages an essentially single-woman war against robots, who have taken over society and killed her cute young sister. (Or so she claims ; the flashbacks show nothing of the sort.) But the robots’ rule doesn’t seem that drastic, as everyone else seems to be carrying on normally, aside from whenever they have to deal with the collateral damage of Karen’s battles. Her being randomly attacked by killer-bots seems to be the exception, not the rule. One of her associates seems perfectly fine having a robot lover. And frankly, Karen just doesn’t sound entirely sane.

Or this may just be because the series as a whole is an excuse to string along elaborate action sequences. Now, they’re quite well-directed ; the problem isn’t so much that they’re hard to follow, but that they don’t fit with their context. But the real issue here is that the actual character animation is goddarn awful. People don’t move that way ! They can emote decently, but just about anything else about them is awkward. This is massively distracting, and doesn’t help the series’ case.

I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt, and a second episode. But I dread it’s going to test my patience quickly.

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


Anyway, let’s say a few words on I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying (Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken). It’s a series of shorts adapting a 4-panel gag manga series. Basically, it’s about a wife being flummoxed by her husband’s ultra-otaku ways. It’s mildly funny, but most of these jokes have already been done to death, and you often wonder why those two even got married in the first place. (That’s actually addressed immediately, but her reasoning is more than a little evasive.) This is a perfectly inoffensive show, but I doubt it’ll hold my attention for long unless it gets significantly better soon.

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


As it turns out, I just can’t make a proper review of Fate/stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works. Too much of my viewing experience was influenced by my foreknowledge from the DEEN series & movie, as well as Fate/Zero. It’s not like I can remember exactly who’s a Master (and of which Servant), especially as we’re in a different route and things might change around a bit, but I still know more than a few incoming twists that make it impossible to offer a “virgin” preview. (And I do have doubts on whether the series is aimed at anyone but people who’ve already seen either or both of these previous shows.)

Still, this is a good start. Way less infodumpy than Fate/Zero, and with some actual impressive battles right off the bat in this opening double-length episode. It helps a lot that it features Rin as a protagonist ; as someone who actually has a clue what’s going on, but not the details of who she’s fighting, she offers a more interesting and proactive perspective than Shirou did the first time around.

So far, so good. I was wondering whether I had lost interest in the franchise, but this looks fun enough to be worth watching.

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


Mysterious Joker (Kaitou Joker) might be at least partially to blame for my sleepiness. It’s a kids’ show about a quirky Gentleman Thief… and if you’re wondering what’s the difference with Magic Kaitou, it’s the targeted age group : this show aims much lower. All the characters are highly annoying and SHOUTING all the time, the jokes fall flat, and I literally couldn’t follow the plot because I was falling asleep every couple of minutes. Something about the protagonist recruiting a “ninja” fanboy kid ? I don’t care at all, and it really doesn’t help that another show with similar themes which is superior in every way is airing concurrently. Pass.

Also falling flat : The Circumstances in My Home’s Bathtub (Orenchi no Furo Jijo). Now, this type of series of shorts based on 4-panel gag manga often have the problem of only delivering the same joke over and over, never really amounting to anything. Here, the issue is that I can’t even see the joke. Dude brings a merman to his bathtub by mistake, and that’s pretty much it. They don’t even have much banter. I just don’t get it.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2014 – Page 4.


Sometimes I’m baffled by weird gimmicky series of shorts. Such as Hi☆sCoool! SeHa Girls, where anthropomorphic personalizations of Sega’s consoles enter a bizarre dedicated school ; it’s mostly an excuse to string along “nostalgic” allusions that most often fly completely other my head (as I was more of a Nintendo fan). It’s a better use of full CG animation than we usually get for these, but it’s still a niche gag series where I’m not part of the audience.

Oh, and since I’m pressed for time, I’m going to quickly skip over Gundam Build Fighters TRY : long story short, it’s very promising, doesn’t require any knowledge of the first season thanks to a time jump and a different cast (although Mr Ral still makes a cameo), and I’m pleased to see it has the girl as a true fighter and the leader of the team.

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


No full review for Ronja the the Robber’s Daughter, as as I fell asleep watching the first episode and don’t care to give it another try. This Ghibli adaptation of a Swedish fantasy book is just very, very dull, and the uninspiring full-CG animation doesn’t help. (Those characters emote way too exaggeratedly for my tastes.) Don’t care, won’t watch any more.

Bonjour Sweet Love Pâtisserie has a completely different problem : it’s a generic shoujo “male harem” romance show that barely gets to breathe in the 5 minutes or so of screentime per week it gets. As a result, all the characters are walking clichés, and the “glamourous baking academy” setup feels completely artificial. Not really worth your time, this one.

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

A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd (Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a dating sim visual novel (which spawned a small franchise with five different manga adaptations, some light novels, and now this).


Kakei, our male lead, has the power of being super-boring. And, as an aside, to have random prescient flashes, but mostly being really, really boring. He’s got this monotone narration that would put anyone to sleep. He’s the only regular member of the library club, which means his main hobby is reading books alone.

Takamine, his mandatory lecherous best friend. And only friend, by the look of it. Since Kakei is inexplicably a chick magnet (thanks to genre conventions), he tags along and goes for the leftovers.

Shirasaki is a shy big-busted girl that Kakei saves from a traffic accident… and of course he ends up with his hand grabbing her chest. She spends half the episode chasing him… to thank him. And she wants him for her “make life fun” project. She doesn’t have anything but the name, but please help her ? At least until Golden Week ?

Sakuraba is one of the many irrate people who hunt Kakei down after pictures of the incident get passed around. But since she’s a pretty girl, she gets to mellow quickly and join the cast as the token tsundere.

Mochizuki, the Student Council President, cuts in to mention that she already has views on Kakei… er, strictly as a potential Student Council member, of course. Yeah, right.

As for the Shepherd, it’s a mysterious person sending emails with either some gossip (such as the aforementioned pictures), or cryptic garbage. A scene at the end implies they may actually be a group, with eyes on headhunting Kakei as their next leader.

Production Values

Decent enough for this kind of thing. The direction tries livening up the proceedings, but it can’t overcome the boringness of it all.

Overall Impression


You may have inferred I found this a bit boring. The protagonist has no charisma whatsoever, the plot is sluggish, the hijinks beyond stale, and the Shepherd thing feels bizarrely underused despite being the one point that makes the show somewhat distinctive. Also, I’m a bit nonplussed by the setting. (50,000 students in the academy ? 650 per class ?)

My interest in this is close to nil.

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

Celestial Method (Sora no Method)

(12ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

Pastoral and semi-fantastical slice-of-life-ish, I guess ?
(For the record, a manga adaptation has already started publishing, but this is the core series.)


Nonoka, our protagonist. She abruptly left this small town 7 years ago, and now she and her father are moving back in. (Her mother isn’t. It sounds like she was already sick at the time, and that’s why they went to the big town.) She has trouble remembering her former life here, which is an excuse for fragmentary flashback to be spread throughout the episode. She’s a bit miffed that Dad has her do a major part of the installation, but then he’s busy with his new job…

Noel, the bizarre cyan-haired girl who randomly shows up in her room. Nonoka doesn’t even notice her at first, and can’t recall that they met 7 years ago. She might have something to do with the weird glowing thing hanging over the town. Heck, it looks a lot like Nonoka and her friends “summoned” her somehow back then, and she’s been waiting ever since. Nonoka spends much of the episode furious at her due to a stupid misunderstanding, and then they make up. So Noel’s ready to grant her wish !

The previously-mentioned friends make short appearances in the present day. One’s utterly furious at Nonaka (and the world in general) but won’t elaborate. Another’s a natural airhead. There’s a token guy.

Production Values

Scenery porn, here we come !

Overall Impression

Oh, dear, my greatest nemesis : “healing” anime. Must. Not. Fall. Asleep. There’s something about this kind of anime that bores me to death, and this one doesn’t stray from the norm. The one-dimensional characters and slow pacing don’t help.

There’s nothing really wrong with this series ; I just don’t care about what happens to these people. So I’ll be on my way and ignore it.

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

Momo Kyun Sword

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a light novel series very loosely based on the tale of Momotarou.


Momoko, our teenage female lead. Born from a peach, and also blessed with huge peaches in the front. (This terrible pun isn’t mine, the show did it first.) Also, dumb as a hammer.

She has three sidekick gods : a monkey, a dog and a pheasant, who get the straight man role by default. She can fuse with any of them to get superpowers.

The plot, such as it is, involves demons looking for “peach fragments”, and the Heavens sending a team of four warriors to stop them. They’re completely useless, and Momoko ends up saving the day. She’s enlisted to keep up the good fight.

Production Values

So much fanservice ! Everyone, and especially Momoko, shows so much skin it’s a wonder their clothes don’t fall off. Momoko still gets her clothes shredded at the end, because of course.

Overall Impression

I knew we were missing something this season : the vacuous fanservice-fest with barely an excuse plot. It’s terrible on every level, really. It’s not even worth my time deriding it.

Really don’t bother with this one.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2014 – Page 4.


(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a “cute girls doing cute things” manga. It features Yosakoi dancing.


Naru, our generic protagonist. She’s very ordinary, aside from her frequent chuunibyou-ish quest looking for fairies.

Hana, the new transfer student from America, does look a bit like a fairy, especially as she jumps around town at night. She loves Yosakoi, and wants Naru to join her.

The regular cast also includes Naru’s best friend (who had a bad first meeting with Hana), and a rich girl living nearby.

Production Values

Reasonably pretty.

Overall Impression

… zzzZZZzzz… There’s nothing objectively wrong with this : it’s cute, the characters are well-defined, some of the jokes are funny… But it just can’t quite catch my attention. It’s too inoffensive to really ping my radar on such a busy season.

I have more interesting shows to watch than this. Too bad.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2014 – Page 4.