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

Winter 2016 Capsules

Sushi Police has exactly one joke : an elite police task force regulating the quality and authenticity of sushi. Unfortunately, the execution is rather dismal : few of the gags land, and the animation style is an acquired taste at best. You probably shouldn’t bother seeking it out.


Old Man & Marshmallow is an office romantic-comedy about a middle manager who loves marshmallow. One of his underlings keeps teasing him about him in a way that makes it clear she’s flirting with him ; he’s oblivious. Nothing great here, but it’s paced decently, mildly funny, and rather okay overall. I may stick with it.


Oh, and I’m giving up on Assassination Classroom. The first season had huge pacing and consistency issues ; mostly, it wasn’t that funny. So this new season really had to hit it out of the park to keep my interest… It didn’t. It’s a below average episode with nothing particularly interesting happening ; it might have worked partway through the season as a breather, but something much more punchy was needed at this stage.

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


I’ve given up on writing a full review for Divine Gate. This is an adaptation of a smartphone game where characters aligned with six different elements fight against each other. The show makes it darnedest to try and build up my interest into the token plot and make it look visually interesting, but I just don’t care. I just can’t summon the energy to take interest into whatever is going on here, and the characters certainly aren’t appealing enough to carry the show.

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

Sequel watch !

Durarara!!x2 had a very good start for its last third. Most of it is taking stock of the story so far, as Celty desperately tries to get an explanation of what the heck is going on and WHAT ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE DOING IN HER HOME, but superbly executed. Izaya & Shizuo also get good scenes, so I’m perfectly content with this.

Koyomimonogatari are the latest instalment of the -monogatari franchise, this time around as shorts only available on a mobile-app. (So ready your eyepatch if you want to watch it.) It adapts a bunch of short side stories, so it’s not that great a loss if you miss it. “Koyomi Stone”, the first one, is set before Bakemonogatari and fun enough, as an insight into Ararararagi’s early character development.

By the way, Snow White with the Red Hair is still as fun and engaging as before the break, it’s the one bright spot on Mondays.

I’ve Had Enough of Being a Magical Girl is basically a similar premise to Nurse Witch Komugi R, i.e. a magical girl parody, except as 3-minute shorts and actually half-way engaging. Nothing to write much home about, though.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2016 – Page 4

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

Ushio & Tora

(26 episodes, + another season already scheduled for Spring 2016 after a break)

What’s it about ?

Calvin & Hobbes, shonen style ! Well, kinda.

Adaptation of a manga series from the early 90s that already got a few OVAs at the time. I have no clue why the franchise is seeing new life now, nearly 20 years after it ceased publication.


Ushio, our protagonist, is the young heir of a temple that supposedly hosts an enchanted lance that can drive out demons and other mystical nasties. Not that he cares ; he’s mostly concerned with playing around and leading a normal life. Your typical jock kid, really : good at sports and athletics, terrible in other school subjects.

Daddy, the current priest, isn’t the best role model anyway. He keeps droning on and on about the temple’s legacy, but never actually explained it properly to Ushio. Also, his sudden island vacation this morning (“the third time this month, Dad ?”) means that he’s not around to provide any exposition when the plot actually kicks in.

Today Ushio discovers that Sacred Spear is indeed hidden in one of the temple buildings’ basement ; it’s trapping there an ancient, powerful demon who would really like him to remove the spear and free him. He would me more convincing without the mwahahah-ing and his promises to kill the kid afterwards. So Ushio just leaves him there and goes to school.

Asako (standard issue tsundere, and maybe as strong as Ushio himself) and Mayuko (more open about liking him) are the two of his classmates we get to know a bit. And they happen to be visiting just as a number of small-fry demons, attracted by Ushio unearthing the trapped monster, start roaming around. Well, crap.

So Ushio frees him to get his help… and promptly gets backstabbed for his trouble. Fortunately, he’s still got the lance, which makes it clear who’s in charge here. He nicknames his new familiar “Tora” (because it vaguely looks like a tiger) and has it dispatch most of the small demons, finishing them off with the lance. (Which somehow gives him super-long hair while wielding it. I have no clue why.)

Ushio forces Tora to stick around, as more minor demons are bound to show up for a while ; they’re both obviously planning to backstab each other. (Ushio sealing Tora back for good, and Tora killing Ushio somehow for the humiliation.) And of course, since only Ushio can see Tora, it looks to the likes of Asako & Mayuko that their friend is talking to his imaginary pet. Eh.

Production Values

Wow, early ’90s character designs ! But hey, they’re decently animated, so no complaints from me.

Overall Impression

Well, this is kinda fun, in a very dumb way. The retro style works. And it’s amusing how everyone is terrible as hiding how little they think of others.

But I think I’m done. It’s a rather generic shonen show all told, and I’m not in the market for those, really. Especially as it’s going to be running for a while.

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

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.

#47 : Inuyasha

(167 episodes + a few movies and OVAs + a 26-episode conclusion series)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a fantasy manga series by Rumiko Takahashi, of Ranma 1/2 fame.


Kagome, our protagonist, is an ordinary teenage girl. One day she falls at the bottom of a weird well in the backyard of her family’s property, and ends up in a world that looks like Feudal Japan, except slightly more fantasy-ish.

Inuyasha, a dog-man spirit stuck to a tree, is the first thing she sees outside the well. She doesn’t know he’s been trapped there 50 years ago by Kikyo, the head priestess of the nearest village, and is thus probably bad news ; the local villagers don’t take well to Kagome trying to free him.

Kaede, Kikyo’s apprentice and now the village elder, calms things down a bit. For one thing, Kagome does look a bit like Kikyo (which would mean more to me if Takahashi could draw more than one young female face). For another, she seems to be able to effortlessly spot supernatural stuff, something even Kaede has trouble with. (I get the impression that Kaede is trying her best to carry Kikyo’s legacy despite not having much of any natural talent for it.)

A serpent-ish monster then shows up, having followed Kagome from the well ; it’s after the small orb of power that’s somehow in her body. Ultimately, only an alliance of convenience with Inuyasha can defeat it… only for him to immediately turn on Kagome. Wait, isn’t the title character supposed to be a good guy ? [Actual text from the next-episode preview.]

Production Values

Decent for a daytime shonen action show of the time (it’s definitely not Pierrot-like), but the shortcuts are easy to spot.

Overall Impression

This is okay, I guess. Decent setup for the classic “stranded in a parallel world” plot, with characters sketched out enough to be pleasant to follow. Obviously Inuyasha isn’t going to be a long-term antagonist, but at least his initial heel persona makes the start of this a bit fresher.

But there’s no way in hell I’m going to watch 200ish episodes of this. The initial TV series obviously got padded to hell and back (not that Takahashi needed much help, considering how the manga ran for 12 years), and it’s just not compelling enough to justify this kind of time investment to me.

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 13

Food Wars (Shokugeki no Souma)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a shonen manga series proving that food porn can go to far.


Souma, our protagonist, is the son of the owner of a small eatery. While not as good as his father, he can still produce food delicious enough to make customers orgasm on the spot. (This is not an euphemism.) He also inherited a competitive streak, as well as the willingness to experiment with some very dubious new recipes. Well, you learn from your mistakes and all that.

Their restaurant is under attack from a group of very conspicuous real estate sharks, who want to get their hands on this price spot. This is the kind of show where they can seriously barge in and demand our kid hero to prepare a meal, just after making sure to spoil all the meat in stock. Cue a mwahahah or two. Souma of course takes them up on their challenge, and manages to still produce something incredibly delicious. Now get lost, and never come back !

This is the moment Dad chooses to come back from a trip and announce he’s closing shop anyway, and sending Souma off to a cooking high school for training. But not any cooking high school : an elite one where barely 10% of the students make it to graduation.

The OP & ED sequences show off a bunch of Souma’s future schoolmates… wait, why does one of the dudes wield a chainsaw ?

Production Values

The big selling point here is the intricate fantasy sequences whenever people eat food. They’re borderline pornographic ; you know what you’re in for when you’re hit barely a few minutes in by someone eating a terrible squid-peanut butter combination, and it turning into tentacle rape. (And of course there’s a brick joke with the girl actually enjoying the experience…)

You won’t be surprised by the fact that most of the fantasy screentime (or even the “real” food orgasms) is devoted to women. Because of course.

Overall Impression


I’ll give it to this show : it doesn’t commit halfway ; it takes the “food porn” moniker and goes to town with it. It’s got decent comedic timing, and the score knows how to emphasize the (well-animated) action.

But dear gods, that’s some creepily obnoxious fanservice indeed. Well-executed, but there’s no way I can recommend watching this, unless you’re really into that kind of thing. I knew from a few minutes in that I’m not, and won’t be bothering with another episode. One was hard enough to watch.

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

#24 : Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters

(224 episodes)

What’s it about ?

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

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


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

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

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

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

Production Values

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

Overall Impression

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

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

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

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

#16 : Saiyuki

(50 episodes, + 51 more for the 2003 sequel, + various OVAs…)

Before we start…

This one has been sitting on my shelves for years. I got a Collector’s Edition of it as a gift package from co-workers when I left my job in 2009 (!), and never got around to watching it since then. (I had trouble transferring it to my phone for easy viewing on my commute.) Now, they knew I was an anime fan and there was little chance I’d already seen it, but they clearly valued quantity over quality in their selection. (The package also included Kiddy Grade, Basilisk, a half-naked figure where you can remove the top if you also tear the head off, the whole Mai-HiME manga, a lone DVD collecting a few episodes of No Money, and the Cutie Honey live-action movie. The last of which I actually enjoyed watching, so it wasn’t all crap.)

All this to say I’m not expecting a masterpiece here, but it can’t be worse than some of the other stuff I got.

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a shonen fantasy manga, vaguely based on Journey to the West.


Sanzo, a monk (with a gun) who receives instructions from the gods to head to a land far to the west where baddies are trying to resurrect an old demon, which has a side-effects of making all the beast people turn evil and attack humans. So get there quick, deal with it, and put an end to this crap.

Also, take those three party members with you :
– Goku, the monkey boy with the extensible staff, who’s an annoying brat ;
– Gojo, the half-demon rogue with the bizarre vaguely scythe-like weapon ;
– Hakkai, the “nice”, always smiling mage with the pet dragon (who can turn into a car)

Oh, sure, they’re all beast people, but they’ve got power limiters on, so there’s no way they’ll turn on you. And you’ve all worked together in the past, so this quest is bound to go swimmingly, hey ?

Production Values

Urgh. Studio Pierrot got a bad reputation in the 00s for churning out low-quality shonen adaptations, and this is certainly one of them. Cheap animation, so many shots where only the mouths move (badly), to say nothing of the numerous still shots… Also, the disintegration effect for when beast people get killed looks terrible, which is a problem as it gets used all the time.

Overall Impression

You know, show, if you’re going to have Sanzo slowly realize over the course of the episode that the revival of the Demon King is what makes the beast people go insane, why do you have the narrator state it in the first thirty seconds like it’s common knowledge ? Between this and the bizarrely chosen flashbacks (that don’t really establish how those people worked together previously), you get a very incompetently-scripted “gathering of the team” episode.

Which is a bit of shame, as there’s quite a bit to like in there. Aside from Goku, the characters have charisma (helped by top-notch voice-acting) and get nice little introduction scenes. I could see some fun chemistry developing here, as they spend the whole series having adventures on the way to their goal. Sure, it’ll look like crap, but otherwise it should be inoffensive enough. (As I outlined above, I WILL watch this… eventually.)

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 3

The Seven Deadly Sins (Nanatsu no Taizai)

(24 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a fantasy action-adventure shonen manga.


The backstory here is that 10 years ago, seven “traitors” turned against their country and killed a big number of knights. Of course, by now they’ve become urban legends : they haven’t been seen since, and the details are starting to get wildly exaggerated. (Do they even look like their wanted posters ?)

Elizabeth is a young woman who’s looking for them… and frankly, with that big clunky armour she kinda looks like someone unsavoury. This show won’t have any of that, so she spends most of the episode in a skintight undersuit that gets more and more cut up as it goes. Anyway, she’s convinced the Seven Deadly Sins are actually great people that prevented the knights from doing something terrible.

She ends up in the Pig Hat, an odd tavern owned by a quite young-looking dude. How odd ? They have a talking pig. (Who gets rid of any leftover or spilt food.) Also, nobody can quite remember the tavern being on this hill for more than a few days. And the food’s kinda terrible.

The twist is that the tavern’s owner is Meliodas, the Seven Deadly Sins’ former leader. He’s lost track of the others, but Elizabeth’s welcome to try and help him find them.

Production Values

If even I can find the animation pretty lacking, then it must be quite terrible.

We’ve also got a bizarre case of Hiroyuki “Attack on Titan/KILL la KILL/Aldnoah Zero” Sawano’s bombastic score being grossly miscast. It’s just not that kind of series.

Overall Impression

Oh, hello generic shonen adventure #1564 ! And bye, because between your one-dimensional characters, your lacking quality, and your by-the-numbers plot, there’s just nothing to make me care.

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