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.


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

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

Summer 2015 capsules

Out first show of the season is My Wife is the Student Council President (Okusama ga Seitokaichou!), a series of 8-minute shorts adapted from an erotic comedy manga series. I have to say I feared the worst from the title. An underage wife ?

The good news is that the premise doesn’t involve any actual marriage yet and merely involves the student council president being, er, very “sex-liberated” (condoms for everyone !), and aggressively pursuing her vice-president. So far, he’s not receptive at all to her stalker ways ; which anyone would be even without the huge stick in his ass.

The bad news is that it isn’t really funny. I just can’t laugh with the show, as I find the title character more horrific than cute. And the boring, by-the-numbers point-of-view character doesn’t help matters.

Don’t bother with looking this one up.


Wakaba Girl is a typical adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga as a series of 8-minute-long shorts (extended OP sequence included). It’s basically a “cute girls being cute” affair, with the central gimmick of its heroine Wakaba coming from a very high-class family and being delighted to attend a normal high school where she can make normal friends. Cue many jokes from her being more than a bit sheltered.

It’s cute, reasonably well-paced and funny, and doesn’t overstay its welcome. That’s plenty enough reasons for me to keep watching.

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


Wakako-zake is a series of 2-minute (OP included) shorts about a woman who eats out at restaurants, with the constant in her menu being alcohol. And, er, that’s it. Not much in the way of jokes or story (aside from a couple of dudes trying to pick her up), just some food porn. Pass along, nothing to see here.


Sequel Watch !
Dragonball Super picks up a few months after the Majin Buu arc, which means we’re ignoring Z’s epilogue with Uub and its timeskip. (To say nothing of GT.) The good news is that no knowledge from the recent movies seems to be required ; the new antagonists are introduced properly and seem to be heading towards their first meetings with the heroes. The bad news is that it’s a very slow start, reintroducing the dozens of members of the supporting cast and what they’re up to now. Even then, I think we missed Krillin & family, as well as most of the minor useless members of the Z-fighters ; we’re mostly focused on the extended Son/Briefs/Satan households for now. There’s little in the way of actual plot right now, aside from the Supreme Kais worrying about new villains showing up anytime now. But then they always do. Since I actually like the more slice-of-life comedy segments of Dragonball, I’m not complaining. (Although less Goten/Trunks screentime would be a relief.)

– Speaking of reintroducing dozens of supporting characters, Durarara!!x2 (Middle Part) feels it was the time to introduce more new characters. And hey, it does makes who comes to try and finish Izaya off in his hospital room a genuine surprise. A nice callback to his introduction, but still unexpected. Aside from that, it’s mostly a matter of positioning all the pieces back in place.

Symphogear GX – Determination to Fist has a positively metal opening action sequence that’s going to be hard to top. It does unfortunately show again that Aoi Yuuki is miles behind Nana Mizuki & Ayahi Takagaki in singing talent, but them’s the breaks. At least we get another Nana Mizuki/Yoko Hikasa duet. Not feeling the new antagonists yet, but I’ll give them time.

Gatchaman CROWDS Insight… I have no clue where they’re going with this new team member and the alien. But it’s certainly very energetic and colourful as usual, and Hajime is still very fun. (“Berg, shut up-su!”)

– As for Working!!!, I’m fearing the ship may have sailed. I quite enjoyed the first two seasons, but this reintroduction episode left me quite cold. Maybe it’ll pick up steam later on, but this wasn’t a good start.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015 – Page 3


I’m sure that, like me, you rolled your eyes when Bikini Warriors showed up on the schedule, especially as an adaptation of a line of “sexy” figurines. The good news is that this series of comedy shorts makes its tired cliché of a premise the central joke. Yes, those bikini-style armours are ridiculous and can’t protect much ; let’s have fun with that ! And frankly, the few chuckles it raises are enough to overcome the rudimentary animation and the obnoxious fanservice. It just about gets away with it, and that’s the best it could have ever hoped for.

Million Doll is an adaptation of a web manga series as 8-minute shorts. It’s an exploration of idol fandom culture that just rubs me the wrong way. I think that’s because it seems to lionize its shut-in protagonist and agree with her contempt of the more dilettante fans who are quick to move on from an idol group to the next… never mind that she’s already much creepier and unhealthy than all of them combined. It’s a show that requires you to adhere unconditionally to the glamour of the idol subculture (and dismisses its unpleasantness as coming from a few icky fans), and that’s not something I can get into. It doesn’t help that it’s barely animated, and suffers from a downright ugly CG-animated dancing opening sequence. Avoid like the plague.
SuzakiNishi the Animation is a weird beast. It’s notionally an adaptation of voice-actresses Aya Suzaki & Asuka Nishi’s radio program, where they discuss business models. In practive, this is a series of “comedy” shorts depicting them as new transfer students in high school. The gags are trite and there’s just nothing here that builds upon its name characters or the original premise. Really don’t bother with this.
Kurayami Santa is a bizarre oddity : a series of horror shorts set in the 60s that’s half animation looking like it came from that period, and half actual vintage live-action footage from then. It features a demon looking like a creepy child who punishes evidoers, but in cruel and circuitous ways that make you shudder more than applaud. While I’m intrigued at how this came into being, there’s a gap between that and actually finding it entertaining ; it’s just too weird for me.
Danchigai is an adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga about five siblings rough-housing each other. (Well, they mostly all gang up against the one boy, second oldest of the lot.) It’s very mildly funny, but nothing to go out of your way for.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015 – Page 5

Magic Kaitou 1412

(24 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Spin-off of Detective Conan about a kid Gentleman Thief. This already got a few TV movies over the years, but here it seems we’re getting a fresh start from the ground up.


Kaito, our protagonist, is your average lecherous high-schooler… scratch that, he’s an incredible illusionist who constantly enacts pranks and can still solve complex math problems (as well as look up the teacher’s panties) in the middle of them. One of his signature tricks involves putting on a fake head as he’s standing upside down, and his others are similarly impossible-looking.

Aoko, his long-suffering childhood friend and neighbour, isn’t a slouch in the smarts department either, and she would very much like him to cut the crap. Her father happens to be the kind of caricaturally incompetent police inspector you often see in those series. Kaitou often eats out at their home, as his mother is always on the move (sometimes abroad), and his father…

Well, his father was a stunt artist who “died” 8 years ago in an “accident”. But he was really “Kaito Kid”, a genius Gentleman Thief who also stopped making waves 8 years ago (for obvious reasons). Kaito’s just learned about his legacy, just as a Kaito Kid copycat has started showing up. Obviously, he’s going to investigate the fake and retake his legacy ! (And also follow up on the hints that Dad was murdered.) And as it turns out, Kaito Kid was Aoko’s father’s white whale…

Production Values

Perfectly okay, although there’s no way to make Kaito’s stunts look even remotely credible. The show does try its best, though.

Taku Iwasaki produces the score, and while it’s less wild than most of his recent production, it’s still very good.

Overall Impression

On the one hand, this is a deeply silly show. (Why the heck would Kaito’s dad choose such a revealing stagename ?) And Kaito’s panty-watching antics are quite aggrievating indeed for anyone above the age of 12.

… Still, it does have its charm ; it starts finding its feet towards the second half as the plot kicks in and Kaito gets to be something other than a jerk. And, well, I’m a sucker for mysteries, which are rather thin on the ground in anime ; together with Iwasaki on board, there’s a good chance I’m going to stick with this.

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

Akame ga KILL !

(24 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Generic videogame-style heroic-fantasy that takes a sudden turn into wholesale slaughter. (Adapted from a shonen manga series.)

Seriously, TRIGGER WARNING : there are some utterly brutal deaths in here that will take you completely by surprise. It’s a very bloody show that loves its shock tactics.


Tatsumi, our generic sword-wielding hero, fresh from the countryside. (Wearing a modern high-school sweater, for some reason.) He’s come to the Imperial Capital to raise his profile and find a way to save his village from poverty. He had a couple of pals with him originally, but he lost track on them on his way after some bandits attacked. He’s been warned the City has more dangerous monsters than the Dragons he’s been offing by the dozen until now… and they’re human beings.

Boobs Leone, a nice girl who just happens to have the right connections to make him rise quickly in the Imperial Army’s ranks ; the rube just has to give her all her money and she’ll make it happen. /ZOINKS/ It takes him the whole day to notice he’s been swindled.

Fortunately, there are some good souls in this city after all. He’s invited off the streets by Aria, a cute rich girl who lives in a mansion with her equally nice family. Sure, he has to help her shopping, but but they do have actual connections, and they provide him with a nice exposition dump.

Enter “Night Raid”, a band of assassins led by the titular Akame. They target the wealthy, and are borderline impossible to stop. They strike quickly, violently, and without remorse, leaving a trail of bodies behind. Tatsumi immediately realize they are a whole other level above him. He’s fortunately not on their list, but his new benefactors are. That just won’t do, eh ?

Production Values

Those are some seriously awful character designs. Ugly, generic, and making no sense whatsoever with the setting. The action sequences are decently animated, but hardly worth your time on their own. Also, copious fanservice, and people being sliced in half are regular thing. (And why the heck is that one freakout completely devoid of animation ? Doesn’t it just cripple the scene’s raw emotion ?)

… And then the music starts kicking in, and I realize it’s by Taku Iwasaki. Darn it, I never drop anything he scores.

Overall Impression

This series is mean and nasty and it just stole my lunch money. Not only is the writing quite awful (“You’re the boobs from earlier !” is actual dialogue), but it’s downright deceitful and sadistic. It revels in its excessive violence. Sympathetic characters are thrown away for shock value. It’s exploitative trash, and it knows it.

It’s a rare series where I feel insulted after watching the first episode.

I’m giving it one more episode to convince me there’s some substance beyond the shock value, but I’m not hopeful. Otherwise, I’ll just stick to the soundtrack.

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

The Irregular at Magic High School (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei)

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

The novelty is going to blow your mind : it’s the adaptation of a light novel centering on a high-school where students learn tech-assisted magic ! With an extensive female cast surrounding a special snowflake male protagonist !


Tatsuya, our main character. He’s got an actual personality, which is a plus. (Thank you, Yuuichi Nakamura, for conveying so much within so little dialogue.) He’s not constantly narrating his every thought at us, which is appreciated. Especially as he’s obviously got an agenda, and it’s to the show’s credit that it lets us piece it together progressively.

The idea here is that despite being a hard worker, he’s been consistently been put down by society. His parents would rather him aim lower. The Magic High School puts him among the second-rank students, and he should be lucky to even have been accepted. His answer has been to put up a front of accepting it, and overcompensate by training himself even harder in his strengths. Which are many : he’s an accomplished martial artist, and while he’s not that good at actual magic, he can achieve a lot through quick-witted analysis. But he’s careful not to let it show too much ; it’s too early to reveal his hand yet, so he’ll bide his time for now.

Miyuki, his younger sister, is a good contrast : she’s a genuine magical prodigy and thus gets to be a first-rank student, but she believes she doesn’t deserve any of it, and would rather HE get all the honours. I’m less thrilled by her worship going a bit too far, but he’s careful to keep it at a reasonable level : she’s his precious little sister and he enjoys the attention, but that’s it.

We meet a few classmates of Tatsuya’s : Mizuki the shy one, Erika the tomboy, and Leonhart the lecherous dude. With the last two being a bit hotheaded (and obviously at stage one of the tsundere romance), it’s no surprise that they don’t take kindly to the arrogance of the first-class students.

Mayumi, the Student Council President, breaks up the fight before it escalates too far. Interestingly, Tatsuya goes out of his way to downplay it as horseplay ; now’s not the moment to make waves. She’s not fooled, and is going to keep an eye on him.

Production Values

Budget ! The animation here is sumptuous, with very well-directed fight scenes. Tons of scenery porn too, and there’s many neat touches with the magic effects.

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with the female uniforms (what are the colours supposed to be about ? Magic types ?), but they must be a PITA to animate and still look as good as this.

And of course, I’d be remiss not to mention the Taku Iwasaki soundtrack, which is as engaging as ever.

Overall Impression

It’s taken a long time, but finally I’ve found a wish-fulfilment light novel adaptation I’m actually enjoying watching. Oh, sure, it helps that it’s got impressive production values, a snazzy soundtrack, and some good world-building ; but the real success here is in building an actual protagonist, who looks like he actually wants to do stuff instead of just bumbling through life and having everything handed down to him. This isn’t a clueless nice guy ; he’s a calculating bastard who’s faking every and each of his social interactions.

I’m optimistic about this one, which is more than I could say going in.

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


(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Urban fantasy action-comedy, adapted from a manga series.


Yato, our protagonist, is a god. Admittedly, not one of the big leagues : he’s a vagrant god with no dedicated shrine and barely any followers. But he’s ambitious, so he’s eager to answer the prayers of the rare people calling to him to try and build his fanbase. His “missions” include anything from purging the nefarious ghosts haunting various place, to finding a lost cat.

Tomone, his partner, is a magical blade who’s very efficient at dispatching ghosts. Unfortunately, she’s about had it with her master’s hobo lifestyle, and leaves him without even a month’s notice. How rude.

Hiyori used to be an ordinary high school girl before crossing Yato’s path… no, wait, scratch that, she was already a bit weird even before that. Still, her life completely changes when she’s hit by a truck while trying to push Yato out of the way (not that he even needed the help), and she’s now half-dead. Basically, her soul randomly leaves her body from time to time. Obviously she doesn’t enjoy the situation, but it’s not like Hato has any clue whether she can even be made “normal” again. Still, if she makes the token 5-yen offering, he’ll be happy to look into it…

Production Values

Pretty good, as you’d expect from Studio Bones. The ghosts are creepy as heck, and the action sequences are well-directed.

Overall Impression

This was perfectly okay. It’s got a decent premise, with some fun world-building, and some very good comedic timing. A lot depends on how much you can bear with Yato, who’s a bit of a cocky brat ; but Hiyori is a good foil for him, and they play well together.

I’m probably going to give it a couple more episodes to see where it goes ; but I’m not sure I’ll stick with it, as this is a busy season for me… Oh, wait, Taku Iwasaki is doing the score. Well, that settles it : I’m in.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2014 – Page 3.

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.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken)

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Ridiculously hot-blooded family feuds in late 19th-century Britain.


Jonathan Joestar, aka the titular “JoJo”. The teenage heir to a rich family, he’s mostly a nice guy, but a bit of an entitled brat (and has his fair share of “what the hell, hero ?” moments).

Dio Brando, son of a man who “saved” (i.e. “was about to steal the gold teeth of”) Mr Joestar Sr’s life more than a decade ago, and thus is welcomed like a second son after Daddy dies. He’s much more liked than JoJo, in part because he does outwardly behave better than the true son, but mostly because he’s an EEEE-VIL conniving bastard who does everything he can to undermine JoJo’s reputation. This includes alienating his friends, stealing his kinda-girlfriend, and burning his dog down. Just in case you had missed that he’s supposed to be EVIL.

Production Values

Wow, old school ! The original manga got published in 1987, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was already looking retro by then. The quality is kinda crap, but since it’s a parody anyway it doesn’t matter.

Overall Impression

It’s hard to explain exactly why this show is so mesmerizing. It’s not subtle, and very stupid indeed, but the joke works. Can it support 26 episodes ? Maybe if it lives up to the “bizarre” of the title, and gets to be weirder than the very pedestrian plot we get this episode ; which is fine for a setup episode, but I was kinda expecting more, you know ?

Still, I’m giving it a couple more episodes to find its feet.

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


(12 episodes + 12 more episodes this Fall)

What’s it about ?

Psychotic arm dealers are COOL.


Jonah, child soldier from whateverland. Presumably he’s got quite some backstory, but this first episode doesn’t care to enlighten us much yet. Having lost his family to the pointlessness of war, he obviously hates weapons, and thus arm dealers. But to do anything about it, he needs weapons. Hence why he’s now in the employ of…

Koko, head of a tight-knit arms-dealing group. The joke here is that half the time, she behaves like most other Shizuka Itou characters : constant flirting, childish temper tantrums… It’s just that in this context, it makes her even more terrifying. Especially when she suddenly drops back to “pro” mode in mid-sentence.

There are eight other members in the unit, but there’s no time for them to get too much development yet. there’s the prettyboy, the seasoned old soldier, the token other girl who’s a bit too protective of Koko, the guy in a suit and glasses that can’t be as innocent as he looks… Presumably we’ll get to know them better in the next 23 episodes.

Production Values

Impressive. This has the best car chase I’ve seen in a while, for example. And Koko wouldn’t work as well without the care applied to her body language and crazy faces.

Also, Taku Iwasaki signs the soundtrack. It’s not his flashiest, but It does become more and more catchy as the action sequences gather momentum. (Also, I laughed out loud at the track playing during the next-episode preview. Perfect choice.)

Overall Impression

Hello, Black Lagoon clone ! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind. It certainly manages to catch the right vibe, balancing charismatic psychotic characters, dynamic action sequences and discussions of existentialism quite well.

There’s one little problem, though : this first episode features two different jobs, and they both suffer from the small screentime they get. The first one has muddled stakes (it’s not immediately clear what our team is trying to achieve), and the second has them pulling a plan so straightforward it makes their opponent look like an idiot.

But that’s a minor problem ; the goal here was to sell us on the premise and the protagonists. Mission accomplished.

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