Spring 2016 Capsules

Don’t bother with Ragnastrike Angels (if you can even find it). It’s a glorified 30-second commercial for the mobile game, and it’s over before you even realize it.


With three minutes of runtime, Pan de Peace! (the pun, it hurts !) at least manages to provide a more decent bite of content. It’s yet another adaptation of a 4-panel manga starring four girls with vague lesbian overtones, with the gimmick being that they’re all crazy about bread. Perfectly inoffensive, but nothing particularly distinctive or interesting either ; it’s comfort food, basically. And since I’m on a diet, I’m gonna skip it.


Oh, and just in case, the new JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series, Diamond is Unbreakable starts off very promisingly. The colour design is even more striking than before somehow, too. And with only 39ish episodes planned, there’s a good chance it’s going to be less bloated than Stardust Crusaders.

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


As previously mentioned, I won’t be doing a full review of the first episode of Macross Delta, as I already covered a preview of it three months ago. Let’s just say that it’s still as charming, and there are few more minutes of stuff happening at the end. (Since the actual first episode is somehow shorter than the preview, I presume they cut several minutes of fluff earlier on ; none of it is really missed.)


And for completeness’ sake, Sailor Moon Crystal is back, now covering the manga’s “Infinity” arc. On the one hand, given the popularity of the first anime version of it, it’s a no-brainer. On the other hand, the manga version (followed to the letter here) unfolds quite differently, and not always for the better. (The “reversion” stuff in this chapter is particularly silly pseudo-science.) And well, the usual flaws of Crystal are still present, especially the lack of atmosphere.

But who cares ? I bought the whole manga despite not liking it much ; I can certainly watch through this for completionism’s sake. (Especially as “Infinity” isn’t too bad as manga arcs go.)


Shounen Ashibe: Go! Go! Goma-chan is a short kids’ show about a boy (Ashibe) and his pet seal (Goma), adapted from a 4-panel manga series that already got two TV series in the early 90s. To say that it’s very dated indeed is an understatement ; most of the jokes and caricatures seem lifted straight out of the 70s or earlier. Otherwise, it’s perfectly inoffensive, but I’m way too old to be in the target audience.

Onigiri adapts a MMORPG as a series of shorts. Interestingly, it chooses to take the piss out of this fanservice-ladden cliché-fest, mocking thoroughly how male characters aren’t voiced, or having the main characters’ account be suspended because of tool tampering (as I was indeed wondering about the machine-gun and flamethrower whipped out by one of them in this med-fan setting…). To my surprise, most of the jokes are actually funny and delivered with good comedic timing, so I could see myself keeping watching it for a while.

Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls is a baffling series of shorts, featuring three random girls being assembled so that they can save the world, but with their handlers telling them they’re going to be idols and playing crane games. The joke is in dire need of a punchline, and doesn’t work at all ; and it isn’t helped by fugly Flash-like animation. Skip.

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


Nope, not doing a full review of Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou. It looks awful and is barely animated, the premise is silly (being a DJ is just like cooking Tonkatsu !), and it quickly got on my nerves. I’ll pass.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2016 – Page 5

Flying Witch

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a manga series about a teenage witch attending high school.


Makoto, our heroine, is of the very low-key kind of witch. Also, she’s has a terrible sense of orientation, and easily gets lost. Technically the Land of Witches consider her an adult by 15, but her parents insisted she finish high school, just in case. So she comes to move in with…

Kei, her cousin she hasn’t seen for years. He leaves deep in the country (which is apparently a popular place for witches), and goes to the same high school she’ll attend.

Chinatsu, Kei’s kid sister, is initially very distrustful of Makoto. It all changes after a few donuts and a broomstick ride.

Nao, Kei’s not-girlfriend, is completely weirded out by the newcomer, having never been exposed to witches before. (“Oops, we’re not supposed to talk about it beyond us and our families !”)

Production Values

Quite nice looking, overall.

What did I think of it ?

So charming ! This is endearing from beginning to end, and it’s really hard to dislike someone as genuinely nice as Makoto. The show also has great comedic timing, like when Chinatsu keeps screaming in joy in the background after the broomstick ride for minutes on end.

I’m definitely watching more of this.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2016 – Page 5

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Komugi started her life as a minor (if colourful) side-character in Soultaker, a 2001 anime series mostly notable as an early example of Akiyuki Shinbo developping what would become his signature style. (As a Shinbo fan, I loved it, but it’s a convoluted multiple-conspiracy paranoia-fest that often ends up lost into its own ass, and thus a bit of an acquired taste.)

In the following years, studio Tatsunoko inexplicably released a few OVAs starring Komugi (maybe the merchandise sales for her were strong or something), without Shinbo (now off to transform SHAFT into what it’s today), and recasting her as an actual magical girl. (In Soultaker, she was a looney experiment who behaved like a magical girl. It’s the contrast with everything else that made the joke work.) Some of the wider ST cast got randomly converted into supporting roles, with way too many inside jokes for the show’s own good. The end result was a parody of the genre which just wasn’t very funny.

And now, more than a decade later, for some unfathomable reason, we’ve got yet another retool of the concept, starting with the origin story. Can they make it work this time around ?


Komugi is now just an ordinary energetic middle-school girl, with a barely burgeonning idol career on the side. (As in, she’s doing advertising outside local shops, and her fanbase are those three old dudes.) She keeps dreaming about hitting the big time, though.

Kokona, her best friend, is arguably close to there. She’s PERFECT at everything at school, the student council president, has a decent idol career, and has even branched out into acting recently. She’s super-nice, too.

Usa-P is a weird critter stalking Komugi and coercing her into becoming a magical girl. He’s obnoxious and kinda creepy, of course.

The supporting cast is kinda big, between Komugi’s family, the people at the girls’ talent agency, their classmates, the two other critters who are obviously going to power Kokona and another girl up too… as a result, none of them rise above being one-dimensionally generic.

Production Values

Okay, I guess. At least the fanservice levels are positively subdued.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear gods. They’ve somehow managed to make it even worse. It’s blander and less energetic. In an effort to map more closely to actual magical girl shows’ structure, it’s become tedious and boring. It doesn’t even have the weirdness of the bizarre Soultaker cameos (which admittedly nobody would get now), instead replacing them with more generic Tatsunoko sight gags (which aren’t particularly funny either).

It’s terrible on every level. The jokes are beyond trite, and sparse on the ground. But it’s too self-aware to work as an actual magical girl show, either. And it’s just not funny, which is the worse sin a parody can commit.

Stay well away from this one.

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

Macross Delta

What’s it about ?

This is another iteration of a franchise that’s three-decade-and-a-half old at this point, but hasn’t had a proper TV series since 2007. Also, this won’t actually start until next Spring, but a “preview special” with most of the first episode aired over the holidays, so here we are.

For added fun, I’ve never actually watched any Macross ; I assume that by now there isn’t any particularly tight continuity beyond the general framework of “space opera with mecha and idol singers”, and this should be relatively accessible on its own terms. (Similarly to how Gundam reinvents itself every few years.) If not, well, it’s the show’s funeral.


Hayate, our male lead, is a slacker who’s just got fired from his slave-wage material handling job on some random backwater planet. Since this is his last day, he might as well enjoy it, and so he decides the best way to unload containers from a starship is to have his workplace mecha dance to the tune of super-famous idol unit Walkure’s greatest hits. As you do.

Freyja, our heroine, is a stowaway he finds in an apple container. She’s a HUGE Walkure fangirl and came here because there’ll be auditions for a fifth member in a week. Except she got to the wrong planet. Oops. For added fun, security forces are on edge because of random outbreaks of the “Var Syndrome” plague, which makes people suddenly go berserk and wreak havoc out of nowhere. Obviously, an illegal immigrant like Freyja is seen as a big security and sanitary risk. Cue chase scenes, with a somewhat befuddled Hayate helping her out because hey, what the hell.

As it turns out, Walkure are also undercover on this planet right now, investigating the Var outbreaks. They’re not just idol singers, but also the key members of a military unit fighting the plague off. The idol thing is way more than a cover : they’re basically magical girls fighting the plague with the Power of Song ! (With their bodyguards providing support from fighter jets and/or mechas.)

It’s obvious from the start that Freyja is indeed quickly going to become a new Walkure member, with Hayate as her bodyguard ; the preview stops just after a cliffhanger that gives a clue of how that’s going to happen. (Also, it’s plain to see that, in the same way that Walkure’s songs soothes the Var victims, it’s someone else’s song that also starts the plague in the first place.)

There are also a bunch of dudes who start bombing Walkure out of nowhere. Presumably they’re going to be explained in further episodes.

Production Values

Very good. Sure, this isn’t the entire first episode, and we’re still missing proper OP/ED sequences, but it looks great, the action sequences flow well, and the animation has tons of energy.

Also, for a series built around idol songs, it actually sounds quite good ; Walkure’s last song as the credits run is quite catchy indeed.

Overall Impression

This is an impressive start. I have no prior knowledge of the franchise, and this didn’t impede by enjoyment at all. It’s got fun characters, a fun premise, and enough energy to carry my goodwill along without breaking a sweat.

I’m totally watching this when it actually comes out, in April or something.

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

Concrete Revolutio ~A Superhuman Fantasy~ (Choujin Gensou)

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

It’s like half a dozen superhero shows mixed together into a single one.


Kikko, our heroine, is a teenage waitress who’s suddenly told a spy drama is about to unfold in her restaurant, and is thus asked to stop this scientist for leaking state secrets to this very shady-looking guy in a suit that does scream “spy”. Actually, he’s an alien spy, and the exchange is about something else entirely. But nevermind ! We also learn that Kikko is a magical girl, complete with cute talking mascot hidden in her cleavage. Her powers are a massive help in the ensuing chase scene.

Jiro, the guy with the bizarre haircut who asked for her help to bust the spy, is from a secret agency to monitor and protect superheroes. Cue sudden flashforwards to five years later where he’s on the run and she’s the one leading an agency taskforce to chase him down. Er, sure, whatever.

The actual point of the whole spy-busting thing, besides preventing whatever the aliens’ nefarious plan is, was to draw out Grosse Augen, a super-famous sentai-style superhero who’s been helping humanity out for a while. However, the agency deems him to dangerous to exist, so he has to go. (Much to Kikko’s dismay, as she’s a fan.)

Presumably a side benefit was to bring Kikko into the fold, as her wildly versatile magical girl powers should be a tremendous help.

Production Values

Gorgeous ! This looks really neat, with wildly unnaturalistic colour work that makes everything pop. There’s also tons of creativity around Kikko’s powers, such as the time she manifested a giant arrow to point out where the giant-size Gross Augen & alien spy were fighting, as normal human Jiro couldn’t see them while they were out of phase. And then he transformed his car into a giant mecha and threw the arrow at the spy.

Overall Impression

If the above summaries sounded wildly disjointed and completely insane, well, I’m trying to convey what watching the show is like. It’s a crazy mashup of at least four different superhero shows (the alien spy ring, Kikko’s magical girl thing, Grosse Augen’s sentai trappings, and the paranoid dystopia flashforwards), all gleefully colliding together into utter chaos.

It’s more than a bit disorientating, and I can understand being irritated by this scattershot approach. But it’s so gloriously bonkers that I can’t help getting caught into its kitchen-sink universe, trying to find a method to the madness.

I’m hooked.

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

Spring 2015 capsules

A few words on Vampire Holmes, first. It’s an adaptation of a… smartphone game app (!) as a series of barely-animated shorts ; the premise is that this Holmes completely sucks at using reason… not that it stops him from solving the crimes. It’s supposed to be funny, but this one joke is way too slight to support even a 3-minute short, let alone a whole season of it. Don’t bother with this one.

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


Oh, frack it, I’m not doing a full review of Wish Upon the Pleiades (Houkago no Pleiades). For one thing, I already reviewed the pilot web-thingy 4 years ago, and this first episode is a slightly abbreviated version of the same story. I think Gainax reanimated the whole thing thanks to that sweet Subaru money, but I can’t be arsed to track the original version down to compare.

Anyway, it’s still as boring and utterly bizarre as a use of a sponsor’s money (the magical girls’ brooms roar like motorbikes ! The main character is named Subaru ! And, er, that’s it for product placement…) ; I can only fathom that the few people left at Gainax needed the money, no questions asked.


On Sunday aired a short called Rainy Cocoa (Ame-iro Cocoa), about a bunch of handsome dudes running a café. It’s a string of mediocre jokes and stereotypical characterization that just abruptly stops because we’ve hit the 2-minute mark. (There’s technically a cliffhanger with a dude suddenly showing up, but come on now.) Nothing to see there.

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


A few words on a couple of shorts, first.

BAR Kiraware Yasai features a bunch of vegetables having a drink and complaining about how nobody likes them. It’s mildly cute as a concept, and at least it’s a joke that fits the “series of shorts” format, but there’s nothing particularly compelling in the execution to make me come back next week.

Urawa no Usagi-chan is *COME TO URAWA CITY* a series of shorts featuring a girl called Usagi *PLEASE COME, WE’RE DESPERATE ENOUGH TO COMMISSION THIS* who has utterly normal fri- *NO SERIOUSLY, WE NEED YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPENSATE OUR POPULATION’S AGING* -ends *TOURISTS ARE FINE TOO*…

Excuse me, please wait a second.

/Shoots the representative from Urawa City’s tourism board.

Now, that’s better. Unfortunately, while there’s enough budget to make this look decent, the producers forgot to include anything like a plot, characters doing anything, or even the glimmer of a single joke. It’s just a scene that lasts for more that three minutes and accomplishes nothing in that duration.

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


No full review for Saint Seiya : Soul of Gold. I’m not sure whether this is a proper sequel or just a side-story ; the premise is that a good chunk of the supprting cast sacrificed themselves in the Hades arc (which I haven’t watched), and now at least some of them find themselves surprisingly not dead (or maybe undead), in Asgard of all places. And of course there’s something nasty going on there.

This is a perfectly alright on all levels : it looks alright, it quickly establishes the premise and the first miniboss, and even takes the time to allude to the Lion Gold Saint’s origin story as a stab to make him engaging as a protagonist. There’s even a weird cliffhanger to make the viewer question what’s really going on. Quite competent all around… It’s just that unlike the Latin-American market who demands the franchise to be revived every few years, I have no particular nostalgia for Saint Seiya (easy “endless stair-climbing” jokes aside), so I don’t particularly care about this project. Not for me, I guess.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2015 – Page 5.


Now for the final straggler… and there’s no way in hell I’m doing a full review of Ninja Slayer From Animation.

The signs should have been obvious. It’s adapted from an elaborate prank (an alleged “traduction” of an American novel, serialized on Twitter). Episodes are barely 12-minute-long, and broadcast only on NicoNico over in Japan. (They’re in a goddarn 4/3 format !) They got the Inferno Cop guy to direct it. Of course it was going to turn out to be a no-budget, no-plot “gonzo parody”.

The thing is, this is actually much worse than Inferno Cop. I may not have liked it, but that show had personality and embraced its own lunacy. It wasn’t boring like this crap, and its shorter episode length made for much better pacing. Ninja Slayer, on the other hand, has an even thinner premise (“dude who hates ninjas gets reborn as a ninja who kills ninjas”), characters with no depth whatsoever, and just piles on cliché after cliché without ever doing anything interesting with them. It doesn’t even have the guts of going all paperdoll-style like Inferno Cop, instead having random bursts of semi-decent animation that make it look even more boring.

The only kind thing I can say here is that it’s got good colour design, and an okayish soundtrack. Everything else about it is pure, unadultered crap. Congratulations, Ninja Slayer ! You’re easily the worst show this season, and by far.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2015 – Page 6.

Magical Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

As it turns out, I won’t be doing a full review of Magical Lyrical Nanoha ViVid ; it relies way too much on prior knowledge of what happened in StrikerS (the third anime season in the franchise). Gods know what a newcomer would make of our kid heroine’s Vivio ability to transform into an adult body, or of the Numbers in general. Or the whole “your majesty” thing. Quite frankly, I’m tempted to go and rewatch StrikerS myself. (After all, it’s a perfectly okay show only let down by being a sequel to the notably superior A’s second season.)

So, let’s take the point of view of someone who’s watched all three prior anime seasons, but hasn’t bothered reading the ViVid spin-off/follow-up manga. Is this worth watching ?

The good news is that it’s surprisingly relatively light on loli fanservice. Oh, it’s there ; we get a few gratuitous shots of Vivio’s underwear, and a lingering transformation sequence that takes the time of having her every garment explode. But I was expecting much, much worse from this manga’s reputation. As it is, it’s a bit of an annoying distraction but still tolerable. First season level, basically.

The show itself manages to be just entertaining enough for me to keep watching. Vivid is cute, and her interactions with her two moms is heartwarming. (Lol on the writers still being coy about the Nanoha/Fate relationship, but then the series is from the point of view of a 4th-grader.) It even makes a game attempt at giving the Numbers distinct personalities, helped a bit by half of them being in jail at this point. (But I hope not in Jail, that would just be gross.)

What really makes the show interesting to me, though, is reading between the lines of Vivio’s narration and dialogue, in the light of the context provided by StrikerS. That gives a completely different dimension to Fate’s freaking out over Vivio’s adult form, for example. The constant tight rope act of doublethink between Vivio’s innocence and the viewer’s foreknowledge is quite stimulating indeed.

There’s not much of a plot yet, aside from a crazy girl randomly assaulting people as a background thread. But that’s good enough as a starting thread, and leaves plenty of room to reintroduce the rather complex premise and the tons of characters ; which is what this opening episode really needed to do. (StrikerS was 8 years ago, after all.)

So far, so good.

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

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! (Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!)

(12ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

This is an original project (with tie-ins in other media – light novel, manga, videogame…) which asks : wouldn’t it be funny to do a magical girl series starring a bunch of dudes ?


This stars five high school students, four of whom have unfortunately very similar voices. They also like to discuss some very boring topics, such as what vegetable they like best in a hotpot. The one who’s a bit distinctive is the perky freshman who likes ugly animals.

He’s in luck, because a pink wombat shows up and gives all of them super-powers, making them magical boys. Cue “hilarity” as they now have frilly outfits and find themselves compelled to pose while making silly introductions.

Our mook of the week is a depressive classmate of them who somehow got transformed into a rampaging asparagus. They beat him by showering him with the power of love… and finish him off with the power of fists.

There’s also a cameo by the aloof trio of the student council, who will probably be rivals or antagonists later on.

Production Values

The visuals at least make a good try at selling the joke : the magical boy outfits walk a very fine line between being bright and frilly while still looking like male clothing.

The episode gratuitously starts in a public bath, although there’s not that much flesh in display.

Overall Impression

And the answer to the above question is… not if that’s your only joke. And that’s unfortunately the case here : it’s mildly funny, but can’t carry a full episode on its own, let alone a series. It doesn’t help that the main characters don’t have much personality, and find themselves having some awfully boring conversations when left on their own devices. (Yes, I get that’s a joke. But it’s still tedious to watch.)

I was open to this series in concept, but the execution is far from strong enough to pull it off. Too bad, but at least it tried something a bit different.

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

Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero (Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru)

(12 episodes, first two aired at once)

What’s it about ?

While this looks at first like yet another “cute girls doing cute things” slice-of-life series, this is really a magical girl show.


The series revolves around a middle-school Hero Club, whose seeming purpose is to be communicatively cheerful and lift everyone’s spirits up. Puppet shows for elementary schoolkids, finding new owners for abandoned kittens, the like.
– Yuuna, the titular main character, is the one with the most enthusiasm. Good at improvising, too.
– Togo, her new neighbour and “best friend”, lost the use of her legs in a traffic accident. Nobody says anything about her being confined to a wheelchair, and certainly not Yuuna, who takes care of her a lot, but she’s obviously frustrated by everyone being so nice to her and her own impotence. (Also, good with computers.)
– Fu, senior and club president, seems quite genial, but it quickly becomes apparent she’s keeping secrets from the others. (This includes her cute little sister Itsuki.)

The twist is that the four of them have been selected to deal with attacks from abstract otherworldly creatures called “Vertexes”. But Fu never told them, so they get to learn the job in the middle of an incursion. Itsuki deals as best as she can with her sister’s instructions, and Yuuna is a gifted natural, but Togo is such a bundle of insecurities that she just freezes and stays behind.

Fu eventually explains that they’re part of an official program (with heavy religious overtones), and there are a bunch of other teams all over the countries (so it’s entirely random who gets to deal with incursions), but frankly it’s still a bit vague.

Production Values

Decent enough. The “battle scenery” backgrounds are a sharp contrast from “reality” ; not exactly Madoka-levels of weird, but still quite strange. The fight sequences are fine if a bit confused, and the transformation sequences have a bit more fanservice than I’d like.

I like that the OP sequence (shown at the end) doesn’t show a powered form for Togo, keeping it ambiguous whether she’ll ever get to fully participate.

Overall Impression

Oh, look, a Madoka clone ! (Complete with the deliberately vague promotion, I see.) Now, that’s probably an unfair comparison, as this looks like a much more straightforward magical girl show, with much blander designs… and hey, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few cues from one of the best shows of the decade.

Taken on its own merits, this is a perfectly decent series. It’s got some good sequences (such as the scene where everything just stops in mid-air as the incursion starts), and the melodrama isn’t too overwrought yet. (I wouldn’t usually trust Seiji Kishi on a dramatic series, as he’s more of a comedy director and often inserts inappropriate mood whiplash, but he’s doing fine so far.)

Okay, I’m intrigued. Show me what you’ve got.

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