(6-minutes episodes)

What’s it about ?

Raunchy “comedy” set in girls’ high school.

This series became infamous when the network refused to air the first episode ; the producers also pulled the third one off the air due to “self-restraint”. Quite frankly, it sounds more and more like a publicity stunt.


Aya, our protagonist. Self-centered, rude, abusive to her “friends”, and often downright stupid, she has no redeeming features whatsoever. (Well, unless you’re into huge, fake-looking melons.) Most of the series revolves around her histrionics.

Konatsu, Aya’s best friend chewtoy. Innocent and pitiful, she makes for an easy target.

A few other characters show up, such as their bland third friend, the resident pervert, Aya’s delinquent sisters…

Production Values

Not very good, but hey, it’s a comedy, it doesn’t matter. I do like a bit how Aya’s face constantly changes artstyles depending on her mood.

It’s obviously very fanservice-y, what with Aya constantly spilling out of her blouse or spending most of the first episode without panties on… But it does feel like the creators are just baiting the censors in a bid for controversy. (The next two episodes are way tamer, aside from a gratuitous short scene of Aya and Konatsu’s butts at one point in the third.)

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. A comedy series that ain’t funny. What’s more to say ?

Well, that may be overstating it a bit : there are a few jokes that do work. The problem is that the show proceeds to drive every one of them into the ground with no subtlety whatsoever. Also, while Aya could work in small doses, a whole show about her (even in 6-minute shorts) just makes her unbearable. I get that we’re supposed to hate her, but there’s too much of her here.

Also, the censor-baiting got on my nerves after a while. Especially when it became clear that the show was way more comfortable recycling Azumanga Daioh’s hiccup skit. It just feels forced.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012 – Page 12.

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.

Black★Rock Shooter

(8 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Melodrama about growing friendship between junior high school girls… interspersed with symbolically-linked action sequences starring their mute alternate personae in a psychedelic fantasy world.

The concept started from a supercell music video, then got a pilot OVA in 2010 ; this is another version that’s supposed to be telling the story properly.


Mato Kuroi, our exuberant protagonist. Her “introspective” narration (“The sky is blue !”) suggests she might not be the brightest bulb in the bunch. She’s quick to make friends… whether they actually want to or not. (And she’s aware she might be a bit too pushy on that front.)

Yomi Takanashi, an asocial classmate whom Mato takes a shine to. They do bond quickly (over a children’s illustrated book, of all things), but the problem is that Yomi is lorded over by…

Kagari, a tyrannical disabled girl who comes over regularly to her house. Let’s not mince words : she’s the villain of the piece, with overblown musical cues driving the point home.

The supporting cast include Mato’s generic best friend, and a school counsellor (wait, those actually exist in anime ?).

Mato’s alter ego in the fantasy world is the title Black★Rock Shooter, a scantily-clad action chick who can transform her hand into a giant cannon-gun. Besides everything in the scenery trying to kill her, she turns out to be fighting what are obviously the alter egos of Kagari and Yomi. It’s not very clear yet, but the little I remember from the OVA heavily hinted that the “real” scenes were flashbacks set before Mato got access to the fantasy world.

Production Values

Obviously, most of the animation budget went to the fantasy action sequences, which are very impressive indeed, and always clear to follow despite their insanity. The “normal world” sequences are obviously more pedestrian, although the body language remains good throughout.

And obviously, most of the soundtrack comes courtesy of supercell. It works out quite well, I think.

Overall Impression

Well, that was quite better than I expected. I wasn’t a fan of the original OVA (the “normal” sequences were just trite and boring there), but this is an improvement on nearly all fronts. While not outstanding on its own right, the “normal” thread is just entertaining enough not to detract too much from the “fantasy” action, and much better at providing context for it than the first time around. (Although Kagari might be a bit too much on the nose to entirely work as an antagonist.)

I’m definitely going to follow this one.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012 – Page 9.

Winter 2012 capsules

Some quick notes :

Amagami SS Plus basically resumes where it left off : each of the 6 main girls gets 2 more episodes set after their original arcs. We start off with Ayatsuji (the verbally-abusive class president). Frankly, at first it’s more than a bit self-indulgent (a perverted bath scene that turns out to be the MC’s erotic dream ? Seriously ?), but it does pick up after that, and the new plot is actually a lot of fun. Got me worried for a while, though.

I’d gotten the impression that Nisemonogatari would star the Araragi sisters, but that’s only in the loosest sense of the term ; this is really a straight sequel to Bakemonogatari, with new arcs focusing on said sisters. Well, “focusing” may be too strong a word ; the arc is titled after Karen, and she doesn’t even show up this episode (while Tsukihi gets less than 5 minutes). The bulk of the episode is devoted to an extended prologue that I fail to see what it’s got to do with anything, and a long talk between Araragi and Mayoi that often makes me uncomfortable whenever he’s making a joking pass at molesting her.

Don’t get me wrong : the direction is still as impressive as ever, and the dialogue is on fire ; but this isn’t quite gelling together yet. (But then, I’ve never been that impressed by Bakemonogatari ; it’s good, but there are huge chunks that leave me cold.)

And maybe I should say a few words about Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki, a series of 3-minute shorts where a round cat gets adopted by a family. I’m getting the impression those shorts aren’t for me, because there’s barely any meat there ; although this one gets point for being faster-paced than most and managing to get in quite a few jokes. But that’s a few chuckles at best, and I’m not going to bother with any more of it.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012 – Page 4.


(6 13-minute episodes, aired two at a time to fill Black Rock Shooter‘s noitaminA timeslot until February)

What’s it about ?

A 2nd-century Roman architect marvelling about Japanese public baths.


Lucius, our protagonist, is a traditionalist architect who has a bit of a crisis of faith after falling out of favour, somehow ends up in modern Japan (or maybe is it a dream ?), and brings back some revolutionary ideas to design better public baths.

He gets a token friend as a soundboard for exposition, but mostly he monologues endlessly.

Production Values

This seems to have no budget whatsoever. The animation is beyond crude, frankly ; most web-broadcasted shorts I’ve watched over the last couple of years look better than this.

There are random oddities at times (non-standard character designs, including a cyborg dude in ancient Rome for some reason) that are probably just there for effect, although I’m not sure what the expected effect is (“funny” anachronisms ?).

Overall Impression

Uh. I’ve watched the first episode twice, just to be sure I hadn’t missed something. But no, I just can’t find the joke funny. I think I can see what they were going for, (and commend its makers for doing something so different from usual anime fare) but it just doesn’t work for me.

It doesn’t help that we basically get an (inexplicably blonde) foreigner who’s rude, racist and backwards-minded (ahah, Romans had slaves) discovering the awesomeness of Japan. Er…

Yeah, I think I’ll give this timeslot a pass until February.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012 – Page 8.

Inu x Boku SS

What’s it about ?

A building for the filthy rich where all the tenants each get a devoted “Secret Service” servant. Well, that’s the cover story ; the big twist is that all of them are actually (traditional Japanese) monsters. (Well, descendants of monsters, but since they can change form at will it’s basically the same thing.)


Ririchiyo, our female lead, the “Boku” from the title. She is just moving into the place, and doesn’t like the idea of having a butler/bodyguard/whatever looking after her. Actually a yuki-onna, which might explain the “ice queen” persona she often affects.

Miketsukami, her bodyguard, the “Inu” from the title. And literally too, as he’s a “dog with several tails” monster. His behaviour is very dog-like indeed, frequently embarassing her.

Renshou, Ririchiyo’s childhood friend/big brother figure. He’s got a big tattoo that gives him a bad boy look. Mostly there so she has another person to talk to on a rational level. (He’s really a scroll-like monster.)

A couple of other master-servant pairs, including a deathly-timid (and actual death spirit) girl who’s very convenient to get rid of burglars.

Production Values

About average. The show has a tendency to shift into super-deformed mode for each punchline, which might have worked if the jokes were actually funny. (Also, the narration at the beginning randomly showing up on the screen just looks pretentious.)

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. This show has exactly one joke (Ririchiyo finds her servant embarassing), and I was already losing patience when we got to the twist. Which is mildly interesting in itself, but not enough to redeem the annoying lead characters and the gratuitous master/servant fetishism.

One episode was enough, thank you.

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

Daily Lives of High School Boys (Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Absurdist comedy starring high school boys trolling each other. (Basically, imagine a gentler Cromartie High School.)


Tadakuni, the “normal” guy who gets trolled by his friends. (Although he does gives half as much as he receives.) The butt of many jokes, when he’s not just protesting how stupid his pals are.

Hidenori, the troll in glasses. He loves taking the piss with a completely straight face. Some parts also have him in rambling monologues obsessing about ridiculously trivial stuff ; which is obviously why they hired Tomokazu Sugita. (And hey, he can do funny voices too !)

Yoshitake, the other troll. His trolling is slightly more outlandish, but really there’s little to distinguish him from Hidenori.

Supporting characters showing up so far include Tadakuni’s sister (sic), who’s way less disturbed by those dudes trying on her underwear than you’d guess ; the Literature Girl (sic, again), whose joke I won’t spoil ; and Motoharu, the badass delinquant of the class who’s more talk than walk.

Production Values

Well, the mechas are quite well done…

Wait, what ?

Oh, that was just a joke about how this is a Sunrise-Squaresoft collaboration (also included : random RPG sequence, with Tadakuni as the Healer Girl). Anyway, this looks a bit better than most comedy shows where the graphics aren’t the selling point anyway.

This episode is made of 5 sketches (plus a pre-OP prologue), 3 of which were aired on the web over the past few weeks as a preview ; it’s nice to see them in non-eyebleed-o-vision.

The OP song sounds completely wrong for the show, like some epic shounen show it absolutely isn’t. Given that the OP is filled with shots cribed from the shounen-opening cliché list, I assume that’s the joke. (The ED song is clearly taking the piss of the conclusion of the 5th sketch.)

Overall Impression

At last, a comedy show that’s actually laugh-out-loud funny ! This belongs to the “dialogue grows more and more ridiculous as the sketch goes, until the final punchline” school of comedy, and it’s got good enough voice-actors to pull it off. Heck, even the sketches I’ve already seen were still funny.

The previews had wetted my appetite, and this definitely looks to be as good as I hoped. Definitely a keeper for me.

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

Listen to me, Girls, I’m your father ! (Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai!)

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

A guy in college has to watch after his elder sister’s daughters while she’s away.


Yuuta, our male lead. Doesn’t show much personality beyond being baffled by how about everyone he knows seems to be trolling him.

Yuki, his sister. She married a man way older, who came with two daughters in tow ; they’ve had another daughter together who’s 3 now. (The dude has no authority whatsoever, as exemplified by the series’ title.) She dumps all three of them onto Yuuta for an undisclosed period of time, without even warning him beforehand. Let’s just say I don’t like her much.

The three nieces are Sora (middle school), who’s got a crush on Yuuta ; Miu (elementary school), who’s a bit of a smartass ; and Hina, the aforementioned 3-year-old.

Yuuta shares his college flat with Nimura, the mandatory perverted best “friend”… Wait, he’s just crashing there on a permanent basis because he wants to keep his actual flat pristine for when he brings back girls ?

Raika, a weird classmate of Yuuta, and his apparent love interest. Even Nimura knows better than trying to approach her. I like her sense of humour, though.

Production Values

About okay.

Overall Impression

This is an anime of two halves. There’s the college parts with Nimura & Raika that are quite fun, if not ground-breaking. And then there’s the scenes with the daughters, which I don’t trust to be handled in a any tasteful way (this is the half with the most panty-shots and fanservice, somehow). The two halves don’t really intersect much until the end of the episode, so I have no clue how this is supposed to work out on a regular basis (the college is in a completely different city from Yuki’s home !).

I’ll give it one more episode to check whether the college parts are as marginalized as I fear, but I’m not hopeful.

(How the heck did this get greenlit for 26 episodes ?)

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

Waiting in the Summer (Ano Natsu de Matteru)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Basically a remake of Please Teacher without the squicky bits, reuniting the same creative team. For those who don’t know it : this is a romantic comedy set in a little Japanese town in the summer. A human-looking alien lands there in secret and tries to blend in.


Kaito, our bland male lead. He’s got a camera and has let his high school friends talk him into directing an actual movie. While he was filming random landscapes, he got caught into the crash/landing hand got heavily injured. (From the look of it, she mostly cured his injuries while he was unconscious.) His parents are dead, he lives alone with his older sister (who’s about to go abroad for the summer).

Ichika, the alien. She’s trying to pass herself as a transfering high school student, but it’s quite obvious from her lack of understanding of social cues (not to mention her bright red hair) that she’s not from around here. Also, she’s homeless, and somehow manipulates Kaito into housing her (in a well-executed and quite creepy scene).

Kanna, the tomboy tsundere who’s gonna have to step her game up if she doesn’t want the alien to push her into Kaito’s friend zone. (NOBODY is fooled by Kanna’s behaviour, and various people try and push her towards making an actual move.)

Tetsurou is Kaito’s token perverted best friend… although, as a nice departure from the norm, he’s actually handsome and quite the charmer.

Remon is basically Yukari Tamura reprising her role from Please Teacher with the number filed off : the sarcastic and perceptive sempai who’s quite older than she looks.

Production Values

Perfectly okay. So there’s where the budget saved from Kill Me Baby and Bakuman 2 went !

Overall Impression

My main objection to Please Teacher was from the squicky bits (where the alien became a teacher and they used a bizarre loophole to make the male lead legal), so I’m quite pleased to see a nearly-remake without those elements. As a result, this is a fun little romantic comedy that’s pleasant enough, while never coming off as “essential watching”.

Perfectly fine for what it is.

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


(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Horror series set in a little town. 26 years ago, a middle school student from class 9-3 called Misaki died. Her class acted as though she was still attending up to the graduation. And the urban legend would be only mildly creepy if it had stopped there…


Kouichi, our protagonist. He came to live with his grandparents in the town because his father is busy teaching in India (Mommy is dead). He’s of weak health ; a lung collapse makes him miss his first few months of school. And of course he’s now attending class 9-3. There’s a lot his classmates aren’t telling him yet, although the implication seems to be that his name is somehow associated to tragic circumstances (despite him only having been around for a few months long ago and not remembering much of it).

Mei Misaki, a mysterious 9-3 student with an eyepatch. Kouichi crosses her path in the hospital as she goes to the morgue to “offer a gift to the other her”… Er, yeah. Given how she later claims not to recognize him at school, I’m guessing twins or something.

I’m not getting much of a handle yet on the other classmates. Sure, they’re obviously hiding something, but I’m not sure who’s actually important there. (And what’s a “Countermeasures officer”, anyway ?)

Production Values

This is a PA Works production, so of course there’s lots of scenery porn and cautious attention to body language (the latter of which is key to such a series). This is their first attempt at horror that I know of, and boy does it show : there are lots of random shots creepy dolls or awkward closeups that feel a bit clumsy ; unlike, say, SHAFT, they’re obviously not used to doing this. Similarly, the soundtrack may be laying the atmosphere a bit too thick.

It’s also a pity that the careful buildup in the prologue is marred by a terrible OP song by ALI Project.

Overall Impression

I really wanted to like this : sure, horror shows in little towns with a dark secret are a cliché, but this looks like a decent attempt to go back to basics. Unfortunately, it’s trying a bit too much, and the atmosphere doesn’t fully gel.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot I like here ; I’m probably going to watch it through. But it could be better executed.

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