Everything Becomes F : The Perfect Insider (Subete ga F ni Naru)

(11 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a 1996 mystery novel. It has already been adapted in manga, visual novel and live-action drama formats ; so next is the prestige noitaminA anime series.


Moe, our protagonist, looks at first like an ordinary college student ; somewhat brattish and superficial. But over the course of the episode, it becomes clear that she’s got more depth than that ; she’s quite clever, inquisitive, and is quick to catch on. Also, her family is connected enough to help the plot along.

Saikawa, the teacher overseeing her circle and thesis, tries to remain as stonefaced as possible while shutting down her attempts to be too friendly. (The question whether she means any of it remains open at this point.) Most of the episode happens in his office. Anyway, he’s investigating for research purposes a bizarre murder case…

Shiki, a teenage genius, was accused of having killed her parents a few years ago. Because of her claims a doll did it, she was declared non compos mentis, after which she vanished. It seems that all this time she’s been holed up in a lab on a remote island ; Moe managed to snag an interview with her (on Saikawa’s behalf) that we see in flashback.

Hey, let’s hold the circle’s vacation on that island ! It’ll be fun, they may learn more, and nothing wrong can happen !

Production Values

Hum. This is the kind of serious show that is intent on spending many minutes with Moe doing very mundane stuff before anything of significance happens, as proof that it’s adapting Serious Literature. Which feels like a mistake, as the attention to detail regarding Moe’s body language shines much more when she gets to interact with other people.

Also, awesome visuals for the OP sequence.

Overall Impression

A mystery show on noitaminA ? It’d have to be a complete trainwreck for me to skip it.

And, well, it starts off very pretentious indeed ; but it all comes into focus when the flashback interview with Shiki comes into play. She’s an eerie presence, and Moe’s uncanny cheerfulness in contrast raises many questions (especially as we learn more about the backstory).

I’m quite interested in seeing where this is going.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015 – Page 4

Young Black Jack

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a recent manga series spinning out of Osamu Tezuka’s famous 70s opus. It’s basically a prequel set in the hero’s college years.


Our point-of-view character (and obvious audience identification point) is Maiko Okamoto, a medical intern. She’s a bit clumsy and mostly does paperwork at this point, but she takes her vocation seriously. So when the world’s stupidest transit accident happens and all the regular doctors are too busy to deal with this one kid who’s in danger of losing half his limbs, she’s desperately looking for anyone else who’ll step in and achieve a miracle.

Hazama, the man who would later become known as Black Jack, guerilla surgeon with a patchwork face. For now he’s just a mere medical college student, and has yet to operate on anyone. But he’s clearly been preparing mentally for it, and he’s willing to help out, so off they go. It helps that he happens to own a favour from a washed-up surgeon nearby, who’ll lend his his operation theater.

As apparently always happens in Black Jack stories, the patient’s father is an asshole : even after our hero miraculously patches up the kid’s limbs, he refuses to pay the previously-agreed amount. Screw you too, jerk Dad.

Production Values

The OP sequence wastes no time in pandering to the target audience, as it immediately show the hero shirtless and in bondage.

The ED sequence, on the other hand, makes a terrible mistake : it shows side by side Tezuka’s original character designs, and the “updated” versions this show is going with. Which only demonstrates how badly the redesigns have gone : either they’re much blander and less expressive, or they’ve barely different from the Tezuka blueprint and then they look horribly out of placed next to everything else.

Also looking awful : the surgeonning sequences. Most of the screentime is spent on Hazama playing with scalpels and strings at random in a very abstract way ; what we’re actually shown of the actual operation looks ludicrous. It’s like the storyboarders noticed halfway through that this should be a very bloody mess, and then endeavoured to show as little of it as possible.

Overall Impression

Urgh. Nevermind how terrible it looks : the script is much, much worse. Because it relies on nearly everyone but our two main characters to be either a moron or an asshole. (And even then, Maiko’s mostly there to fawn over Young Black Jack being so awesome.) The accident is beyond stupid, the circumstances that lead to him taking the case only happen because people are being jerks, and the ending just comes out of nowhere to make the point that the people he helps are jerks too. Heck, even Hazama is a bit of an entitled git, too.

And then there’s the politics of it. The reason the hospital is short-handed is because the interns and the medical students have gone on strike and are organizing protests. This is set in 1968 (which was a hotbed of unrest in Japan too), and they do have legitimate grievances (such as internships being unpaid). But the show thinks this is all frivolous, and depicts the lot of them as utter assholes, with not a single on willing to help out in an emergency. Now, the late-60s student movements were far from sainthood, but this reactionary and revisionist take on them sits very badly with me.

Forget about the franchise’s prestigious pedigree ; it only makes this look worse in comparison. And it was already so annoying that I refuse to watch any more of it.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015 – Page 2


(12ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

Er… A weird science-fiction/work-com/school thing ?


So, the future. Like many other countries, Japan has set up a colony on Mars where they focus on building awesome stuff. “Tokyo-4” seems to be mainly administrated by the Kirishina Corporation. They own an elite technical Campus called A-TEC, where they’ve gathered the most promising youngsters and seems to function as a glorified R&D lab.

Nagisa, a new transfer student to A-TEC, has been kidnapped by terrorists before he even showed up. The Kirishina board scramble madly to find a way to get him back. The 7,5 million ransom is of little concern, given that this guy is apparently more important than it seems, but the deadline is very strict indeed.

Under the guidance of their mellow teacher Kaito, the A-TEC students start looking into a way to mount a rescue operation. And since this is going nowhere soon, matters are taken into their own hands by…

Iris, the daredevil of the group. The kind who drives to school on a bike that can’t be street-legal and disregards any safety advice. She “borrows” the small shuttle prototype A-TEC had been working on, and gamely aims for the terrorists’ hideout. There’s little left of her vehicle by the time she gets there, but she does reach the place mostly unhurt.

The punchline is that there were never any terrorists ; Nagisa merely wanted to prove a point. Namely, that A-TEC spent about a billion on a rescue mission (to say nothing of wrecking a 15-billion prototype), despite the ransom being several orders of magnitude lower. In other words, the Kirishima Corporation is wasting billions on a money sink that’s far from delivering anything in proportion. So, as a member of the board and a relative to the CEO, he’s here to downsize A-TEC, or maybe even shut it down entirely.

Since there would be no story otherwise, I presume we’re going to get a “Save Our School” narrative next.

Production Values

I’ve never heard of studio “Lay-Duce” before, but they do a good job here. The opening scene with the board’s panicked meeting being intercut with scenes of Iris driving to A-TEC is in particular very well-paced.

Overall Impression

Well, this is certainly trying something different. And it does have its good points, such as the well-structured opening scene, or the final reveal. The problem is what’s in between : Kaito is asked to carry the plot, and his utter lack of charisma drains a good chunk of energy from the show.

I’ll be honest : without the sudden twist, I would have been too bored to continue. Nagisa’s impressive villainous scenery-chewing buys it another episode. Don’t waste it.

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

#40 : Argento Soma

(25 episodes + 1 OVA)

What’s it about ?

Hello again, Sunrise ! This time around we’re going for the “paranoid sci-fi thriller” brand of mecha.


Takuto, our protagonist, was an ordinary electronics college student until he tried investigating the disappearance of his girlfriend. Not that their relationship looks particularly great anyway from an outside point of view ; he feels a bit possessive and dismissive of her own aspirations. (Being voiced by Souichiro “K1” Hoshi doesn’t help.)

Maki, said girlfriend, already had made an habit of burying herself into work as the assistant to one of the professors. (Healthy relationship, I said !) As it turns out, she just accompanied him when he went to ground after his research became too hot. They did leave a trail on purpose for Takuto to follow, as they want him on board to complete their micro-team (as they’re bio-engineers).

Dr Noguchi is the kind of scientist who names his resurrected alien mecha “Frank” and shouts “It Lives !” during the reactivation process. (Points to Chafurin for hamming it up to hilarious levels.)

It won’t surprise anybody that the reactivation is a disaster, and Takuto is the lone survivor of this mess.

There’s a coda with a blonde girl finding Frank in the mountains, because obviously we’re not done with it.

Production Values

Perfectly okay ; again, you can’t go wrong with Sunrise doing mecha action.

Overall Impression

Well, this was certainly intriguing. It’s all well-trodden territory, but apparently we’re still early into the setup phase, as the synopsis I can find for the show hint towards something a bit more complex than what we’re seeing yet. Hopefully they’ll find a way to make Takuto compelling enough to carry the show now that the rest of the cast is dead.

What worries me a bit more is that this is a conspiracy show, and those tend to do badly with regards to delivering a satisfying ending. 25 episodes should give it enough rope, but I’m still a bit on the fence.

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 12

#25 : Love Hina

(24 episodes + various OVAs & specials)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of one of the now “classic” harem romantic comedy manga series.


Keitarou, our hapless protagonist, has yet to enter college despite turning 20. Part of the problem is that he’s applying to the prestigious Tokyo university that’s way beyond his reach. This is because he’s trying to be faithful to a promise he made with a girl as a kid, and this is the place they’re supposed to meet again. (His parents wish he would wise up.)

The plot kicks off when his grandma decides to stop running her lodging house, and brings him in as a replacement. The current tenants aren’t too pleased (especially with the tons of ridiculous misunderstandings before he can even introduce himself), but eventually give him a chance. They are :
– Naru, clearly our lead romantic contender, and already displaying plenty of tsundere chemistry with him. Also trying to enter the same university, except she’s actually good enough to have a good chance at it. (Odds of her being the childhood friend : very high.)
– Mitsune, the one obsessed with money ; her interest perked up when, like everyone else but Naru, she mistakenly understands that Keitarou is already in that university and on the fast track to a successful life.
– Motoko, the tall taciturn beauty with tons of fangirls.
– Kaolla, the weird little tanned blonde who just does random stuff.

As explained by Haruka, his aunt who barely has time to give a bit of a helping hand, there’s little choice here : either the tenants reluctantly accept a male manager, or there’s just nobody left to run the place and it just closes down.

Shinobu, a “normal” girl Keitarou runs into in the neighbourhood. Presumably she joins the regular cast later on.

Production Values

Decent enough. There’s a weird ethereal atmosphere throughout, as not only does Keitarou keeps daydreaming all the time, but also for some reason the town keeps being shrouded in fog, with weird old dudes being a bit creepy.

As the lodging house includes a hot springs, expect a good amount of fanservice.

Overall Impression

Well, this was pleasant enough. All of the basic elements have been done dozens of time, but there’s nothing wrong with using them, provided it’s done properly and with enough energy. And that’s the case here ; I was reasonably entertained.

And hey : it’s Love Hina ; it’s the kind of show so famous I feel like I should have seen them already. And this first episode was okay enough for me to have no qualms with finally getting on that sometimes in the next few months.

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

Love Stage!!

(10 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a yaoi romantic comedy manga.


Izumi, our main character, is drifting through college. He’s got delusions of becoming a manga artist, but his art’s worse than mine. He’s basically just an otaku, fanboying over this one magical girl series.

His parents would very much like him to follow in the family business, i.e. show business. Mom’s still acting, while Dad has moved on to running a talent agency. (Bro is fronting a famous rock band.) But Izumi just won’t have any of this. He just feels too awkward on set.

A decade or so ago, Izumi did act in a wedding agency’s commercial with his parents ; he was a last-minute replacement for the child actress catching the bouquet. (Yes, actress. Izumi looks so feminine that it wasn’t hard to wing it.)

Ryouma, who was the boy playing opposite Izumi in that commercial, is very interested in the wedding agency’s project of making a sequel. His one condition is reuniting the whole original cast. The parents are delighted, as he’s now a very famous actor/model. Izumi’s way less enthusiastic, but they eventually managed to bribe it into participating.

Sagara, the uptight manager, is one of the few people on set who knows Izumi’s not a girl (the others being his personal makeup/costuming squad, who’ve been sworn to secrecy). You can see him obviously having little patience for Izumi’s apathy, but damn it this is his job and he’s going to do it well. What he didn’t anticipate : somebody changing the script at the last moment to include a kiss between Ryouma and Izumi. Uh oh…

Production Values

Not very good ; the standard yaoi character designs are rather ugly.

Overall Impression

Well, it’s yaoi. I was all prepared to write it off as “not my thing”, especially as it looks rather shabby.

… And then the jokes start hitting a homerun, and it turns out I’m actually enjoying this quite a lot. This is fun. That the premises seems devoid of the rape subtext so endemic to the genre is a big plus, but it’s just got charm. Izumi’s parents are ridiculously entertaining, the little pokes at show business are quite funny, and the whole thing is quite well scripted overall, with good comedic timing.

I’m surprised to say this has a good chance of staying on my watchlist.

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

Super Sonico The Animation

(12ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

A whole anime series about Nitroplus’s mascot virtual character, because YOU demanded it !

(I certainly didn’t.)


Super Sonico is our focus character, so this is all about her. Sonico being late in the morning ! Sonico being nice to kids ! Sonico at college, where she’s brilliant but as terrible attendance ! Sonico at her job as a gravure idol, where pervert clients try to take advantage of her ! Sonico helping out at her Grandma’s restaurant ! Sonico with her underground band !

It’s hard for any side characters to make an impression when the camera remains laser-targeted at the main character, so the one who does steal the show is her manager at the idol company, mostly because he wears a scary mask for no fathomable reason.

Production Values

You might expect this to feature the 3DCG animation that’s all the rage these days (and was a feature of past Super Sonico clips), but only the ED sequence is like that ; the rest of the series is traditional animation. With quite a bit of fanservice, obviously.

Overall Impression

This is the epitome of vacuity. There’s no escaping it : Super Sonico is a very boring character who leads a very boring life. She’s generically cute, and that’s it. A full episode was already tedious ; I just can’t fathom how anyone could withstand a full series of it.

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

Log Horizon

(25 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Players trapped in a MMORPG world. Which is on the verge of becoming its own subgenre.


Shiroe, our protagonist. Technically a mage, although his core role in the party is the strategist : the guy who keeps his cool, stays at the top fo things, and finds the best tactics for everyone. Which is a lot harder when you’re busy fighting monsters in the flesh and have trouble focusing on the menus.

Naotsugu, his mandatory perverted best friend. A fighter. Not too bright. The comic relief of the group. He’s damn happy to find his old pal : he hadn’t played the game for two years, and certainly wasn’t expecting this. (Not that anyone was expecting this, instead of the announced “update”.)

Akatsuki, the assassin. Unfortunately, while Shiroe just about gets by now having the body of a character a foot taller than he used to be, she just can’t deal now having a male body twice her former size. (Hey, it’s a fantasy game. You don’t have to play what you are.) The good news is that she remembered Shiroe had a (very rare) shape-changing potion that solves the problem. Since she insists on repaying him, they have her join their party. (She seems to be a hardcore roleplayer who takes the “lone ninja” thing seriously, however impractical that may be in these circumstances.)

Marielle, leader of the Crescent Moon Alliance. Cutesy and teasing… but clearly an old friend of Shiroe’s. They go and see her because of course networking for information is the thing to do at this point, but our heroes aren’t joining ; they don’t do guilds. (Cue talk of Shiroe leading the most badass non-guild group some time back, before they disbanded.)

They’re some dude with the head of a cat lurking in the shadows. Presumably he’s important.

Production Values

Not bad, although we’re far from the highest budget in the season.

The OP features some mightily old-school rapping. You’ve been warned.

Overall Impression

Let’s start with the elephant in the room : how does this compare to Sword Art Online ? Well, of course it looks nowhere as good. But it already feels like a better show on all other levels : it takes more time to explore the novelty of the setting, and gets some good jokes out of it. It’s got decent comedic pacing. The characters have more personality and charisma, and the leads already have some good chemistry. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to feature any of the creepy NTR that made that other show so painful to watch.

Now, let’s be clear : this isn’t a masterpiece. But it’s a perfectly pleasant show, and that’s all I’m asking from it.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013 – Page 6.

Golden Time

(24 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Romantic comedy, set in college.


Banri Tada, our provincial protagonist, is just entering a law college in Tokyo. He’s more than a bit overwhelmed by the big city and his newfound independance. Fortunately, he finds a twin soul with…

Mitsuo “Yana” Yanagisawa, who’s having some of the same troubles. While he is Tokyo-born, he’s cut his links with his family and transfered to this average college instead of the prestigious elevator academy he was previously attending. All this to escape from…

Koukou Kaga, his clingly childhood friend. Unfortunately, his efforts are for naught, as she immediately finds him (she’s rich and has many powerful connections) and transfers with him. She sees his attempts to avoid her as “him just being a tsundere”, although I’m not entirely sure how delusional she is. Somehow, Tada is a bit attracted to her, despite the crazy.

Chinami Oka, a random innocent-looking student in their group, looks like another potential love interest. It’s not like she seems to have any other reason for her prominent introduction.

But it’s Nana “Linda” Hayashida, a senior from the Festival Club, who makes the strongest impression on Tada, when she rescues him from the numerous clubs attempting to recruit him.

Production Values

Perfectly okay for this kind of thing. The ED song’s quite catchy.

Overall Impression

Well, this is a bog-standard romantic comedy, already busy setting the various possible options. And there’s nothing wrong with that : it’s perfectly pleasant, most of the main characters have some charisma… well, except from the protagonist, who’s a bit bland so far.

It’s a decent start, and I see myself sticking with it for the long haul unless the season is way too busy.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013 – Page 5.

Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Demon summoning is totally real. Even in Victorian England.


William Twining, our protagonist. He’s one of the most promising youth of his generation, bright and coming from a rich family… wait, scratch that, his uncle (and legal guardian) has just gone bankrupt and disappeared, leaving our hero unable to pay for his tuition. Farewell to his dream of being part of the elite… But maybe he could search the family house (the only thing not repossessed yet) for something worth money. And in a hidden basement, he stumbles on a magic circle, with which he accidentally summons…

Dantalion, one of the leading contenders to Hell’s throne during the interim period where Lucifer is busy sleeping. It turns out that William is the descendant of the guy who can decide such things (mostly by beating everyone else up back in the day), so Dantalion tries his best convince him to do so. The problem is that Willian is a staunch rationalist and won’t believe in demons whatever happens. Could you annoying cosplayer get off his lawn already ?

Obviously, everyone in Hell is bound to want a piece of William once they learn how much he matters.

The supporting cast is rounded up by William’s butler (who’s sticked around because he still believes Willian will get rich and powerful eventually), and the very annoying young Isaac Newton, who believes in tons of supernatural stuff.

Also, Dantalion transfers into William’s school (and it looks a lot like he’s the one who paid for his tuition somehow), which can only lead to crazy hijinks.

Production Values

Perfectly alright.

Overall Impression

I was kinda on board with this until William’s repeated denial of the occult (despite everything that happens around him) got very annoying. After a while, his rationalism just stops making any sense and becomes bloody aggravating. Which is a shame, since there are some decent jokes in this… But if it gets tiring now already, I doubt I can withstand 12 episodes of it. Especially as I get the nagging suspicion there’s going to be a tournament of some sort.

Nice try, but no thanks.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013 – Page 5.