Anime Knockout! Fall 2013 Week 1

 

Here it is! The first week of the Fall 2013 season of Anime Knockout! Every week, we will review the new anime of the season, rate them, and kick the weakest show off of the queue. Remember, a 5 is average and standard, while a 10 is legendary.

Spoilers ahoy! So, if you don’t want to know what happens, come back after you’ve seen this week’s episodes!

For the Fall 2013 season, here is our chosen lineup:

Arpeggio of Blue Steel
Beyond the Boundary
Galilei Donna
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods
Golden Time
Kill la Kill
Log Horizon
MEGANEBU!
Nagi no Asukara
Samurai Flamenco
Strike the Blood
Walkure Romanze
Wanna be the Strongest in the World


Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods

Briar’s Review:

Oh, a kitsune show! This should be fun!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

Saeki is the 15th successor of an Inari shrine dedicated to an agriculture god. Gintaro is a messenger or herald kitsune attached to the shrine. Her father can’t see Gintaro, since he married into the family and is not blood related. Saeki uses Gintaro to tell fortunes to her classmates. He remarks that she’s the first to abuse the power of the heralds and that he won’t do anything like that again. But she bribes him with an orange, so Gintaro gives a bad fortune. Saeki has a tantrum over it.A couple of small girls find Saeki and beg her to help find a cat. Saeki runs into the classmate she gave the bad fortune to, Yumi. Gintaro goes to another shrine to talk with other herald about his oracle. There, we learn that heralds are supposed to be paired and that Gintaro’s has been gone for a long time.

Saeki goes back to the shrine to ask Gintaro to help her find the cat. (Kinda small work for a herald, isn’t it?) Gintaro hides from her, which means we get to endure Saeki lamenting about her selfishness. Wah.

We get a flashback for Gintaro and how he went from normal fox to herald and the gift of an orange. We also see how he got the mark on his head. Of course, Gintaro comes back to Saeki. He scolds her. Cue Saeki’s waterworks and scolding. Damn, she cries a lot. Gintaro does his magic, but the cat is found by Yumi’s boyfriend.

Plot Score: 7/10

There’s this teenaged girl that is training to become the next oracle at her family’s shrine. The oracle works closely with the fox sprit who is the one who actually reads people’s fortunes and tells the oracle, who is one of the few humans that can see him. He does this in exchange for the delightful treat of oranges. There was obviously a bond between the fox spirit and the girl’s mother and other ancestors. When the girl doesn’t let him finish reading the fortunes and tells another girl that her fortune was good, this quickly backfires on her since the girl was unhappy with her results and blamed the fortune. This leads to a small argument between the young oracle and the fox spirit, to which he hangs out at another shrine for the day and comes back before she even knew he was gone. After helping some kids and the girl from before find a cat, it turned out the fortune from earlier was correct after all.There is obviously going to be a plot here. The young oracle is probably going to learn more about her fox spirit companion, more spirits, and her own classmates, which might prove to be the tougher challenge here in the beginning. So far this is a good start.

Character Score: 5/10

Gintaro is gruff, blunt, lazy, and a whore for oranges. He doesn’t like dogs. Saeki is a walking waterworks and typical anime protagonist selfless doormat. Her father is the paragon anime house-dad. Seriously, I haven’t seen such a domestic character archetype since the 1950s housewife. Otherwise, the characters are very stock standard. Not really engaging, but not offensive either.

Character Score: 5/10

These characters are average so far. The young oracle in training is a nice girl that genially wants to help people by telling their fortunes. However, she’s not that deep yet, and that’s okay for a first episode. The clips from her past said there is more that, we just haven’t seen it yet.I am very interested in the fox spirit. So far he’s a lot like the other lazy shrine residing spirits we see in anime, but there was a scene of a fox that was wounded that was helped by a woman that gave it an orange, and I look forward to seeing more about that.

Production Score: 6/10

Interesting kitsune design – furry with HUGE paws. I don’t really care for it. All of the animal designs are a little too poofy or bloated. Backgrounds are decently done with enough detail and shadow to give them depth. The character animation is standard on the humans and a bit limited on the animals. The music is okay. It stays in the background and is rather forgettable.

Production Score: 8/10

Beautifully animated. A little simple on the main character, but that is perfectly alright, since she is basically a normal girl. The backgrounds wonderfully colored and filtered for the different times of day.The musical score was spot one for what was going on, and while I was aware of the music, it was timed well fro the best level of emotional response.

Briar’s Total Score: 5.3/10

Very standard, stock, and non-offensive.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6.6/10
Week 1 Total Score: 5.9/10
Season Total Score for Gingistune: Messenger of the Gods: 5.9/10

Walkure Romanze

Briar’s Review:

Lady jousters with mini-skirts and boob-cups!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

This is an interesting premise – Lady jousters with fanservice? And we’re instantly treated to panty shots. REALLY? Don’t their asses chafe against the saddles?So, a horse has gone crazy and decided it’s going to start molesting girls and rip off their clothes. Boob window and panty shot time! Then typical anime boy calms down the horse and pulls a needle from its hoof. Wait, so the horse turned into the Disciple of Molestia because of a needle? Instead of not running on its injured hoof? At lease the dude didn’t spray blood out his nose at the sight of a half-naked girl. He gives her his jacket and takes her back to the knight school.

There’s a jousting match between two girls and… Waittasec… They have headset microphones? What’s the tech level here?

The typical anime boy is named Takahiro. He used to be a jouster unto he suffered some sort of injury. Now, he’s studying to be a begleiter. What’s a begleiter? We don’t know.

Did this series start as a dating sim game? All of the girls are after Takahiro. Plus, there are lingering fanservice shots.

After we’re introduced to the other characters, Rapey-Horse goes on the rampage again. What sort of dating game was this?! What the hell is with this horse? It rip offs Bertille’s skirt so we can get a good look at her black lace panties. Mio, the pink-haired ditz, tries to calm down the horse with her gasping whiny voice. Somehow, beyond all reason, this works. Bertille challenges Mio to a duel after getting assaulted by Rapey-Horse. Not just any duel. A JOUSTING DUEL! Takahiro overhears this. Roll credits.

Plot Score: 4/10

Plot? What plot? Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but I’ll go into this a little more. The opening scene made it look cool, but it did not have me fooled for a second. I quickly noticed all the super-long hair, mini-skirts, and the awkward breast plates. This anime is about moe jousting. It quickly turned into this weird ecchi harem, complete with panty shots, cleavage shots, and clothes being ripped off by a horse. What? By the way, you can’t outrun a horse if you’re being chased by one for any length of time.So far the plot is that Mio, the pink-haired protagonist, likes the only known male character and after a small series of events and a misunderstanding while she was wearing his jousting/knight helmet, she was challenged to a duel, so now she is going to have to learn how to joust. However, if she just said she’s not a jouster or has never jousted before, she might have been able to avoid this problem.

Character Score: 4/10

All of the characters are drowning in fanservice. Mio is standard whiny ditz and as dense as a rock. She also has this weird thing for sniffing Takahiro’s stuff. “Takahiro is kinda dense” – Yeah, I noticed. But he gets a point for not getting nosebleeds. The poor boy would have bled to death in this episode. Celia is the classy noblelady type and a jouster. Akane is also a jouster. She goes into daydream/hallucination mode when Celia’s name is mentioned. Is she jealous of Celia? Lusting after Celia? Les Yay? As for the real star of this show: Molestia, move over. RAPEY-HORSE is on the scene!

Character Score: 4/10

So far it’s a bunch of anime stereotypes, I don’t have anything to say about them. Mio is the sweet, dumb, with an annoying voice type, so it’s going to be hard to like her. The guy… I have no idea, he’s just there so far.

Production Score: 6/10

Shiny texture for metal. Gloss and lens flares. Energetic JRPG fantasy music plays in the background. The backgrounds themselves are good. The horse animations are a bit rough and clumsy. A lot of effort on armor with shine and gloss, but it ends up looking like $50 saddle on a $5 horse.Yes, this was originally an adult visual novel! I knew it!

Production Score: 5/10

It was pretty, sure, but it’s hard to appreciate the animation of the scenery when I’m trying not to look at butts in lingerie. The horses were good.Mio’s voice was that annoying high pitch you hear in every other anime. The rest of the voices haven’t stood out or weirded me out yet, so that’s alright.

Briar’s Total Score: 5/10

This could have been better if it wasn’t wasting screen time being ecchi. That would mean the characters would have to have more substance than “WAAAAAHHHH! TAKAHIRO I WANT YOUR LANCE!” Which is sad, because a story about women knights competing in jousting could be more interesting. Also, I don’t believe for a second that any of those bodice-busting babes could lift a lance made of balsa wood.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 4.3/10
Week 1 Total Score: 4.6/10
Season Total Score for Walkure Romanze: 4.6/10

Strike the Blood

Briar’s Review:

Something about vampires. Not a good sign.

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 7/10

There’s some blah-blah about a Fourth Progenitor. What’s that? Some sort of vampire with 12 familiars. Does that mean anything? I don’t know. We cut to some white-haired dude named Kojou, to wants to bite some lady. He nosebleeds instead. He goes on to study in the diner. Here we discover that he’s broke. Then we find out that he’s being stalked by a schoolgirl with a violin case. Yeah, I’d run from that too, if I knew that I was in an anime. During this merry little chase, we find out that Kojou is the rumored Fourth Progenitor.The middle school girl gets harassed by men wearing demon registration bands. We get a panty shot. (REALLY? Was that necessary?) Then she kicks their asses. She’s an attack mage? The registration bands give residents warning to evacuate when magic is used. One of the vampires summons fire horse familiar. Attack mage girl wields a lance and blows the summon apart. Kojou stops her to save the demons and tells them to get lost. He scolds her for using too much force.
Using magic in public is a violation of the sacred treaty. Then we get another panty shot? On a middle school girl? Ladies… Get some pants. Yukina is the girl’s name. She dropped her wallet and Kojou picks it up.

We learn that this all takes place on an artificial island made for magical beings. There, they may live and be researched. A reservation, if you will. Kojou was a normal student until 3 months prior and now he’s some sort of special vampire. We’ll find out if it’s the short-bus special or not.

Kojou looks through Yukina’s wallet after taking it to her school and there he looks through it. He gives her the wallet if she buys him lunch. During this lunch, she divulges that she’s from High God Forest and Lion King Organization. (“The ciiiiircle of liiiiiiife…” Sorry.) Kojou is clueless about the secret agency to prevent magical disasters. His condition as a Progenitor was forced on him. He doesn’t remember how and gets nasty headache when he tries to. Yukina was sent to observe Kojou and to eliminate him if he turned dangerous. Kojou doesn’t want to deal with being the Fourth Progenitor.

Plot Score: 5/10

First thoughts… what is this… oh shit is this a vampire story? Well, somehow this main guy, Akatsuki Something, became the Forth Progenitor, whatever that means, but I am assuming it a like a Vampire Lord. He’s a high school student and became a vampire only a few months prior. I guess things like daylight does effect him. I can assume he doesn’t have a family, maybe. There’s this girl that follows him around when he was in town, and I think she was hunting him because he’s a vampire. However some demon guys start hitting on her and as soon as they flip up her skirt (oh look, more panty shots…) she starts kicking the crap out of them. Akatsuki Something stops the fight because he thinks it’s stupid. It was kind of cool for the minute it lasted. It appears that his own blood in enough to dull his blood-cravings, but so far it looks like he only gets like that when he is aroused based on his actions when he saw some woman in a yukata fall over on the sidewalk, and when he sniffed the hunter-girl’s wallet and thought about her underwear. I’m not sure what to think about this. I’m kind of stuck on the fact he can drink his own blood…Based on the closing sequence there are still a lot of characters to be revealed. There is obviously going to be a story here, starting with his lost memories of how be became a vampire and stuff. He’s going to be friends with the girl, maybe more, I don’t know, but it’s weird because she’s a middle school student. He’s also probably going to have to deal with his school work.

Character Score: 5/10

Kojou is a fairly low-key personality at this point, just wanting to get through his life. At least he’s not a loser or completely bland. He apparently has a thing for middle-school girls, though. Yukina is the fiery, spunky type. Other than that, pretty standard.

Character Score: 5/10

Average characters here so far. We don’t know much about them other than their ages yet. They really need to explain the powers of the this world a little better and how/why the girl is fighting demons and vampires. What’s her motive?

Production Score: 6/10

Standard animation on characters, decent backgrounds, music wasn’t noticeable.

Production Score: 7/10

It looked nice. No complaints so far on how it looks. No painfully obvious shortcuts. Details were clean.Music seemed decently placed to fit the action

Briar’s Total Score: 6/10

This is an interesting setting with an interesting lead into to the world. I want to see where this goes.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5.6/10
Week 1 Total Score: 5.8/10
Season Total Score for Strike the Blood: 5.8/10

MEGANEBU!

Briar’s Review:

Oh god, is this a fetish anime?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 3/10

Of course, as the title indicates, everyone has glasses. Five boys (yes, they are all boys) are part of their all-boys technical school’s Glasses Club. Glasses Club? What sort of mission statement does that club have? What do they do? What do they hope to achieve with this club, other than make the poor souls who have to review their school resume think they’re a bunch of freaks who can’t cut it in other clubs?So, it opens with the Glasses Club morons standing over a crowd of faceless, square people. We now know where all the color for the background characters in RWBY went to. The Canadians! Terrence and Philip’s cousins must go to this school or something. Suddenly, there’s a giant mecha towering over the school! Is this a dream sequence? Please be a dream sequence. This is so, so dumb.

Thankfully, this is a dream sequence. We learn that these geniuses blew up their last club room, so they have been banished to the roof. Perhaps the staff were trying to send a subtle message to them. We also learn that the leader of the club, Takuma, wants to make x-ray glasses so he can be a complete pervert. In fact, they want to test their x-ray glasses on the female nurse they assume is coming the next day to administer a vision test. I just realized that these are the Mk. 34 glasses. How long have they been at this?

So, the boys run around like a bunch of idiots to take the their vision tests and complete the x-ray glasses before the day is done. They do so, the glasses work, and then they break the glasses in a contrived little accident. I was hoping that they would explode on Takuma’s face and take his head with it. Alas, I was denied. Then it turns out that there was no female nurse at the school to begin with.

What was this episode about? Desperate perverts. Where is this series going? Hell if I know.

Plot Score: 4/10

There are five boys that all wear different styles of glasses and somehow have a club for it. Goal of the episode is to complete a pair x-ray glasses in order to peak through the clothes of a nurse during the school vision exam, even though there turned out to be no nurse present. The glasses that kind of worked, ended up getting broken. That was the whole episode. That was it.These guys… need to discover the internet if they are that “frustrated”. There was not one girl. However, it sounded like it’s a boys school, but that could not be confirmed when all the other students are copy-paste clones of an almost-basic human-figure. Am I supposed to assume they were all male? Fine, whatever.

When it was mentioned that Soma’s vision got worse since his last exam, we can assume that to be true since it appears he has x-ray glasses explode while on his face regularly.

Over the last several weeks, I saw comparisons to Free! Iwatobi Swim Club that people made based on the ads of Meganebu!. This is not like Free! at all, other than the presence of boys in a club. At least in Free!, we are shown right away how the boys know each other, why Nagisa admired Haru, and that Haru was already known enough that Rin, the new kid, was interested in learning more about him. Meganebu! didn’t have anything like that, there was nothing to show that yes, these guys are friends, that they’ve known each other for a long time or they just met when Soma threw together the club. Rei’s introduction into Free! as a completely new person was more revealing than this whole episode was to Soma, the main character of Meganebu!.

Character Score: 2/10

I could not get these characters. WTF was with them? Takuma is fixated on glasses, because glasses. Hayate wears fakes glasses, because glasses. One of the boys has a crush on Takuma, because glasses. The technical workhorse is there, because glasses. The last girly boy always has cream puffs. Why? I have no clue. DEAR FUCKING GOD STOP WITH THE CREAM PUFFS! All of the characters are one-note weirdos defined by a single stupid “quirk” and I wanted to punt the whole lot off of the roof.

Character Score: 3/10

I must stress this isn’t like Free! at all. For some reason the boys, especially the two younger ones, really admire Soma, the leader of the club. This guy… this guy is openly prejudice of people that don’t wear glasses and has obviously gone out of his way to only surround himself with only other people who wear glasses. Other than wanting the x-ray glasses and to be the coolest person in school, I guess, we don’t know anything about him. Does he even like to do anything?The other characters are very flat so far. We’ve got two shotas, one of which wears clear-lens frames for unknown reasons. There’s a lazy, dumb, sweets loving, girly-looking guy. Then there’s a smart but awkward guy with the cool attitude. That’s it. We know nothing about them besides their vision test results. It’s hard to care, or even know what character I would want to fan over when I know so little about them.

Who was that person Soma came home to at the end of the episode? His brother, husband, cousin? Why does this person exist?! It seems like he’s important, but he was in it for maybe a minute.

Production Score: 3/10

Cheeeeeeap animation. What is with the gradient abuse with the coloring? Hell, what is with the color palette? There’s a really weird abuse of color and textures here. The soundtrack is obnoxious.So, where did this show come from? It’s based on Audio Drama CDs released by Studio Deen in 2011-2012. That’s all I care to know.

Production Score: 4/10

The animation quality was nice at points, but what’s with all the vibrant pink? It hurts to look at. They animated the moon wrong in all but two shots. A crescent moon can’t have stars in it. That bothered me since my eyes always home in on that kind of detail. The manga boxes during montages were interesting, but again, too vibrant and it hurt. The eyes are very detailed, but with nothing but clones filling the background made the whole look cheap and hurried.The music is the opening was rather boring to listen to for a minute and a half. The music in the rest of the episode wasn’t fitting at all. It was actually a bit jarring for what I was looking at.

Briar’s Total Score: 2.6/10

Make it stop. Please make it stop.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 3.66/10

Expect to be disappointed if you’re going into this thinking it might be like Free!. There is no foreseeable plot, the boys are not that attractive besides their pretty eyes and fashionable glasses, and they barely appear to be friends at all, so it’s not even very good shipping fest for those fangirls out there. That scene where Nagisa and Makoto imagine Haru as an enthusiastic team captain is the closest resemblance from Free! to Meganebu!.

Week 1 Total Score: 3.13/10
Season Total Score for MEGANEBU!: 3.13/10

Nagi no Asukara

Briar’s Review:

Little fish, big fish, swimming in the water, come back here and give me my daughter!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 6/10

Fish floating in the house? Underwater is an interesting setting. However, it doesn’t quite look like it’s underwater.. There’s too many trees and visible clouds. The residents can function just fine out of the water, luckily for them. A girl named Manaka gets caught in a fishing net and meets a fisherboy.The underwater junior high has closed, so those displaced students are attending a surface school. The surface kids start teasing water kids, so Hikari throws it back at them. The underwater people are angry at the surface people for invading the fishing grounds. We get a story about the origin of the underwater and surface people.

There’s also some sort of blue sacred fire that the underwater people use to cook their food. It’s maintained and distributed by a creepy priest named Uroko. He’s a scale of the Sea God, whatever that means. Because Manaka freaked out when he advanced on her, he curses her to have a fish’s head grow out of her knee. Damn, dude. A little harsh for something you started, you think?

The underwater people have something called an Ena-skin that allows them to live in the sea. Manaka’s begins to crumble after she falls down a hill. They can’t stay out long or they start to dry out. The fisherboy finds Manaka and puts her in the tub with a salt water. Her skin begins to heal and she comes around. She still has her fish knee and the fisherboy tries to feed it. Interesting reaction there. The fisherboy’s name is Tsumugu. When Tsumugu brings Manaka back to the shore, Hikari tries to assault him, then drags Manaka back home.

Plot Score: 6/10

Interesting… The plot is not that strong so far, it’s mainly a racial conflict between the humans and sea-people, with emphasis on a love triangle between the main sea boy, the main sea girl, and a human boy. Their underwater world isn’t really like they live underwater as if they are mer-people, they look just like humans and walk around with fish swimming around them. They can still pour drinks and make stews with a scared fire that somehow works underwater too. The group of four sea children are starting to attend school on the surface. The main sea boy immediately starts a rivalry with a human boy, and it’s the same boy the main sea girl as taken an obviously liking to.After offending their “priest”, Manaka, the main sea girl, is cursed with a fish sticking out of her knee. She is greatly embarrassed by it. The human boy sees it after rescuing her from drying out after she ran off in her embarrassment. The fact that she was no longer embarrassed in front of this boy greatly irritates her friend, who is protective of her and was originally the only one that was allowed to see the fish on her knee.

Character Score: 6/10

The characters were all rather basic, but show promise for growth. Hikari is a hothead who is protective of Manaka. Manaka is the typical wilting flower. There’s another girl who has a thing for Hikari. Tsumugu takes everything in stride. I wasn’t screaming at any of them or facepalming, so I’ll take that as a win.

Character Score: 5/10

Everyone is protective of Manaka, the main sea girl. So far, this is because she is small, sweet, and can’t really defend herself against anything. However, she does throw her offering into the face of the “priest” I’ll call him for now, when she went to ask for more sacred fire for her home. He sniffed and said it smelled good, but he wasn’t talking about the food she brought him, he was talking about her and that she smelled female because it’s “mating season”, whatever that means for the sea people. The two other friends from the underwater town haven’t been shown much so I can’t say much about them other than they look after Manaka too as well as each other.

Production Score: 5/10

Underwater really looks too much like above water. How does soup stay in a bowl underwater? This also has very standard animation with the usual mouth shortcuts. Soundtrack was there, but forgettable.

Production Score: 5/10

Everything was pretty and/or cutesy. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to think about the underwater town. It’s like there is no water, as if they’re on land, but there’s fish swimming around them and if someone jumps, that can swim a little before landing again. I don’t know, but that goes against everything I’ve ever learned about water, gravity, buoyancy, etc. Their clothes don’t even move around in the water and they kind of should. It bothers me, but I can get over it with a little explanation, like it has to do with the veil thing?

Briar’s Total Score: 5.6/10

This starts off a romance arc and fish out of water story.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5.3/10
Week 1 Total Score: 5.4/10
Season Total Score for Nagi no Asukara: 5.4/10

Kill la Kill

Briar’s Review:

Will I regret this?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 3/10

We start off in a classroom that might as well be in a submarine or boiler room. Some idiot wears something called a Goku uniform. It gives him superpowers? With the power level ranked by stars on it? He gets his ass handed to him by some massive thug in a supersuit of a higher star rating. We’re also introduced to the class president, Satsuki.Next, we meet our protagonist, Ryuko. She arrives in town and urchins try to pickpocket her, then mug her. She beats them up with an excess of cartoon sound effects. Then Ryuko meets her new classmate, Meg. She’s on meth or something, because that behavior is far beyond caffiene.

At the school, Ryuko calls Satsuki out. She’s looking for someone with the other half of her giant scissor weapon. Instead of directly answering the challenge, Satsuki sends out one of her miniboss minions to beat the snot out of Ryuko. Satsuki has an entire miniboss freakshow for her minions.

Ryuko leaves the school, finds a trap door in an abanonded building, and discovers a blood drinking sailor uniform that talks. He wants to be put on. When Ryuko refuses, he forces himself onto her. Did it just rape her?

In her new superpowered skank suit, Ryuko rematches against the boxing miniboss. Is this one of those things where less cloth is more power? She defeats the miniboss and a thread drifts from him to her. I was hoping that the thread would turn into another part of the costume and she would end up with a badass outfit by the time she gets to big boss Satsuki, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Plot Score: 5/10

The opening scene was not appealing to me. It was stupid. If the clothes/uniforms were so strong, how can they suddenly get ripped up? How exactly does the Goku uniform grant powers? Is it like the Sailor uniform where it’s in exchange for something the human can give? How old are all these students supposed to be? The transfer student theme is getting a little old for me due to recent frequency. And the all-controlling student council in the dark room needed a little more explanation in the first episode.But I could get over all that. It’s anime.

Just when I when I was starting to like it for the action, overall kickassery, and the interesting weapon choice of a giant scissor blade, the Sailor uniform was revealed… Lame typical fanboy-service crap. It was slightly funny for a minute. However, for a uniform that can turn as hard as steal, I seriously wonder, with how little is covers, why her opponent didn’t attack her skin and instead aimed for the little bit of clothing she was wearing… Shouldn’t it also be a major disadvantage? I know the uniform probably protects her regardless, but so far, it just doesn’t seem like it should have been such an obstacle for her opponent.

I say the plot is average so far. It’s surely going somewhere. Things are set up to be revealed.

Character Score: 3/10

I haven’t heard a character voice like that since Trigun. Is this the same VA as the boomerang freak? The character of Satsuki, on the other hand, is a lady baron type. Cold and ruthless. Ryuko can be summed up with this: “You killed my father, prepare to die.” All of these characters are what they say on the tin.

Character Score: 4/10

They are cliché stock at best, I couldn’t really tell anything about them or give you a reason to care about them yet. We saw a little about Matoi, but even she is a bit of a stock-type character as the violent, rash, demanding type. She’s even a transfer student, which I see a lot of. She’s tough, cold, searching for revenge with a scissor blade.Her friend, Mako, is even more of a stock-type, as she is nearly the exact same as Patty from Soul Eater. I did get a good laugh when classes started and she immediately propped up a book, ate her lunch, and went to sleep. However, I already have a problem with the fact Mako apparently doesn’t wear a bra as her chest was barely covered up and almost hanging out when she was hanging upside down above the pot of boiling oil (insert ATLA season 2 episode 5 reference here). If Matoi doesn’t provide enough fan-service, this girl will surely fill the apparent quota.

Satsuki Kiryūin was your typical ice queen. I don’t know why everyone is afraid of her yet.

Production Score: 3/10

Cheap ass animation and ugly. It really reminds me as a cheap attempt to copy the feel of Scott Pilgrim without the charm.

Production Score: 3/10

First of all, the animation style is not something I usually go for. The odd choices of where to have curves or straight-jagged lines, the huge words sprawled across the screen, and the contrast mixed with washed out colors. It kind of looked like an old anime, but that could have been what the animators over at Trigger were going for. My main miff was the copy-paste clones used to fill the background. Copy-paste is cheap, and nudity won’t cover that up (heh, puns).I did like the red in Matoi’s hair. It’s one of those little details I find appealing, and it’s distinguishable for a protagonist.

Music was forgettable.

Briar’s Total Score: 3/10

If this show wasn’t so crude, it might have some charm and get a better rating, but it’s not. It could have been a combo of 90s anime and Scott Pilgrim.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 4/10

I also saw this episode in Anime Club, and it was a bit embarrassing to be present, but the Asian guys sitting behind me kept laughing from it. My roommate said Matoi’s hair looked like Yusei Fudo’s when she was in the Sailor uniform. “Goku” reminds me of Dragonball Z.

Week 1 Total Score: 3.5/10
Season Total Score for Kill la Kill: 3.5/10

Log Horizon

Briar’s Review:

MMO is life?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 6/10

People have been sucked into the game. Or maybe it’s just really advanced VR. In any case, they can’t log out. They interact with their game HUD, which is only visible to the user, and voice chat now functions like telepathy. Apparently, some update went bad. So, was this a PS3 game? At least the characters recognize how silly the premise is and are handling the whole mess pretty well.Shiroe first teams up with Naotsugu. Then they encounter Akatsuki the assassin, who is actually a girl who plays a guy. Shiroe happened to have an appearance changing potion to help her out. After visiting a market, they discover that all of the food tastes the same, like soggy crackers with no salt, and all the drinks taste like water.

Shiroe’s team visits a friendly guild and get glomped by Marie. After calming down, they talk about their strange new situation. The intercity gates are down and guilds are recruiting. Shiroe’s team gets a guild invite, but turns it down. Shiroe’s previous affiliation, Debauchery Tea Party, wasn’t a guild, just a group that work together. He served as their strategist.

Shiroe’s team moves on and they test their theories in the forest and relearn how to interface with the game.

Plot Score: 7/10

I could compare this to Sword Art Online, but I won’t. The beginning starts out with the main character in his virtual reality game preparing for the new expansion pack to be released. He looks through his log screens and finds he can’t log out. Then we watch him get in touch with a couple of online friends that also play the game. Now that the game is even more real, he finds that since his virtual body is a little taller than he is in real life, he has a little trouble adjusting. This was an interesting detail. His warrior friend set his avatar to be the same height as him in real life so he had no problems. This is an idea Log Horizon takes even further when they meet their assassin-type friend, who is dressed like a ninja. Turns out he is actually a she in real life and bums a potion from our main character to alter her avatar to be more like her real-self, which is a small female. This new party of three explore their virtual town a little bit and try to figure out what others are doing. During this process, they get lunch, which they find all tastes the same bland thing because it’s virtual. All three in our party are not a part of a guild, but guilds are recruiting left and right. Luckily, a guild that our main character already knows tries to recruit him and is nice about letting him leave. They soon run into an encounter and find that it’s hard to input their commands to fight back, and since they are all level 90, they should have no problem winning. The ninja-girl is the first to figure out that all they have to do now is think it and their bodies will respond. Looks like there was a lot more to the new expansion pack than anyone expected, first and foremost problem, they are all stuck in the game.

Character Score: 8/10

Shiroe isn’t annoying or an idiot. He reasons through the situations. Tanky Naotsugu is gregarious and chatty. Akatsuki must be an avid RPer. Overall, the characters have humor and personality, which make the dumbass plot work. Nobody is shrieking or whining. They’re thinking and dealing with it.

Character Score: 6/10

I liked the team dynamics. There is an obvious leader, but he doesn’t have to tell them what he is thinking all the time for them to know what to do, and this was made clear both in and out of combat. It appears to be a balanced team and I could believe that they choose to hang out and will get along until something controversial happens. I’m not a fan of the gushing-female side-characters right now, but seeing they’re also level 90, which is the level cap, they better be interesting to watch in battle.

Production Score: 7/10

Horrible rap opening. Kill it. Please kill it. It’s really bad. It pains me. Otherwise, the animation looks pretty good. Background music was fine, too.

Production Score: 6/10

Animation and all that was average by today’s standards. No complaints, but nothing outstanding popped out at me. This, of course, is perfectly acceptable. It was good.

Briar’s Total Score: 7/10

Looking forward to old-school guild wars.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 6.6/10
Week 1 Total Score: 6.8/10
Season Total Score for Log Horizon: 6.8/10

Wanna be the Strongest in the World

Briar’s Review:

It took a little while to figure out how to write about this load of garbage without resorting to dump truck loads of profanity.

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 2/10

The show introduces a paper thin plot for the story arc, but is nothing more than an excuse for ecchi. We even get the damn “boob-grab in the shower” scene twice in a row, which is the first red flag warning about what’s ahead. Gentlemen, ladies don’t do this in the shower rooms. That’s like a dude in the shower room randomly grabbing another dude’s junk. The end result is the same.A couple girls from the Sweet Diva idol group agree to do some women’s pro wrestling. Why the hell are singing and dancing idols taking up pro wrestling? There’s no real reason why this is happening. Seriously, there isn’t. It’s not like they’re built for the job. They’re nothing but boobs and vapid determination to let themselves get abused. Women’s pro wrestling being supposedly super popular doesn’t cut it, but that’s the best explanation you’re going to get from this steaming pile. Also, the dialogue isn’t really important either. I’ve seen the “never give up while getting ass kicked” lines so many times before.

Because Sakura lost, she has to cut her hair, which is treated as a devastating event, even though other members of the Sweet Diva group have short hair. Kazuma disses the Sweet Diva idol group and Sakura demands a rematch. Why not challenge Kazuma to the idol stage for taking idols lightly?

Plot Score: 3/10

The opening scene was stupid and obviously meant for the hentai fans. It was embarrassing to look at or even listen to. They’re not fooling anyone, just because it’s a wrestling theme, doesn’t give the excuse to use overly sexualized ecchi girls. Also, girls don’t touch each other’s boobs in the locker room shower, and if they do, it’s not so casually or fondly. And what’s with these girls not knowing their own cup-size and not wearing tops that actually cover or hold up the whole chest? Even the viewers within the show were blushing, what does that tell you?Anyway, it appears Sakura and Elena are participating in this wrestling thing to promote their Sweet Diva idol group. I don’t remember what it’s for exactly, or if it was actually explained. Sakura’s motives were not explained and she was easily defeated by her much more experienced opponent. However, when her idol group is insulted, she immediately decides to be a real pro wrestler so she can get a rematch.

Normally, this is the kind of thing I turn off and watch something else after the first few minutes. This was brutal…

Character Score: 2/10

The characters are stock and one-note with no explanation to their motivations. These characters only exist as ecchi fuel. My notes kept a running Crotch Counter in it. Eight. LINGERING. Shots. Sakura is the typical determined and selfless flower character, but that determination and selflessness is just a way to enable long scenes of her screaming in pain while the camera lingers on her boobs or weird crotch bulge. Also, there’s no reason for Sakura and Elena to be music idols. They could be schoolgirls, shopkeepers, or strung-out whores in an alley. It’s just an excuse to make them not look like wrestlers. I guess the pervs in Japan don’t want to see muscular women.

Character Score: 2/10

Motivations and drives were not clear up until the very end when Sakura is going to keep wrestling for her idol group, because they were insulted by the woman that just beat her. It’s like a macho-pride thing, but with half-naked women.

Production Score: 3/10

This sports cheap animation and standard background detail, but the boobs keep changing and violating physics. Animators, can we have a little talk about female anatomy? It doesn’t work the way you think it does. If you’re looking for erotic crotch bulges, you’re looking at the wrong gender. The background music is forgettable, which is weird for a show featuring music idol characters, but it’s the only thing I didn’t find offensive.

Production Score: 4/10

Average quality, nothing special. There was surprisingly little action. The animators can’t fool the viewers by putting in still-shots focusing on their crotches and then their blushing-gasping faces while they’re pinned down. Cheap is cheap and I’m not buying it.For a show about an idol group, there wasn’t much for music that stood out. I’d expect their songs to be playing more often or be a little more inspiring to the main character.

Briar’s Total Score: 2.3/10

There’s no charm to this. It’s just boring ecchi bullshit and a thin excuse for yuri torture soft porn. I’d rather watch Queen’s Blade. Or go outside. Or bathe an angry cat. Whatever.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 3/10
Week 1 Total Score: 2.6/10
Season Total Score for Wanna be the Strongest in the World: 2.6/10

Golden Time

Briar’s Review:

Please don’t suck.

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 6/10

We open with a girl smacking some dude with a bouquet of roses. Then we go through the opening to find that our main guy is late to opening ceremony at the university. He’s new to Tokyo. Afterwards, he gets lost again, so he follows some girls who seem to know the way and is a total creeper about it, rather than be a man and ask them for help. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. After losing the girls, he meets a law school student who’s just as lost as he is and just as much of a loser creeper. Banri is dork #1 and Yana is dork #2.It was Yana who took the roses to the face. I’m guessing the girl is the calamity Yana talked about. Overly attached girlfriend? Banri starts handing out the roses to random girls to cover for Yana. We learn that Kaga Koko is the overly attached girlfriend. She’s the heiress to a big hospital and childhood friends with Yana. He was supposed to go to the same school as her. His parents aren’t sending him money because he changed schools to avoid her. She wants to marry him, according her meticulous plans.

Yana is going nuts talking about this. It takes them a while to notice that she’s sitting right behind them. Kaga is now attending the same university. Yep, Overly Attached Girlfriend: The Anime.

Yana runs off, papers fly everywhere. A pink haired girl helps Banri pick up Yana’s papers. Good observation, Pinkie Pie. They’re crazy. No, Pinkie Pie, you don’t want to be friends with them. Yeah, Banri, she’s an odd one. And then we learn that Pinkie’s real name is Oka Chininami. Wow, she’s short.

Then Banri runs into club recruitment chaos time. A drinking club? I could have a joke there, but it’s too easy. He runs into funny hat girl, Linda, the veteran student in the Festival Club and law school. Later, he runs into Kaga again. He gets call from Yana while next to her. Overly Attached Girlfriend away!

At night, on a bridge, Banri gets hit by a motorcycle. *shrug*

Plot Score: 5/10

Starting college life, the main guy meets several new people and is immediately interested in each of the women. He is completely new to Toyko and seems to be more concerned with making friends and falling in love than he is about what classes he’s going to take. This seemed a like a Sim Date, and if it isn’t one already, it can easily become one from what has been shown so far.It has a mix of slice of life, comedy, and romance. The opening sequence and the cover poster of this show made it look like Koko, the woman with long wavy hair, was going to be the protagonist, and she might be in the next episode. That is a bit jarring to watch that and then follow the guy’s point of view.

The ending scene on the bridge at night seemed quite out of place, but important. Maybe I missed something, or I was supposed to read his phone right before that scene. I don’t know.

Character Score: 7/10

Yay, college age characters! They’re also all sincere, or at least sincere-seeming. Banri is lost and overwhelmed, looking for any port in the storm. Yana is being driven to madness by Overly Attached Girlfriend Kaga. The rest of the characters seem mostly normal and have room to grow.

Character Score: 5/10

Each of the characters are lively and don’t have quite stock stereotype personalities or designs yet. So far they are average characters and I can’t really tell you much about any of them yet other than their apparent love interests.

Production Score: 6/10

There’s nothing special about this show. The animation was nice, the backgrounds had enough detail, and the music wasn’t bothersome.

Production Score: 5/10

Average. It looked nice, if not a little on the cutesy side. Not my preferred style, but I won’t complain. Everyone looks younger than the average anime adult, but they are just starting college, so they might not really be considered grownup yet. There were no obvious shortcuts taken in the animation.The music was fine. Nothing weird there.

Briar’s Total Score: 6.3/10

It didn’t suck.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5/10
Week 1 Total Score: 5.6/10
Season Total Score for Golden Time: 5.6/10

Beyond the Boundary

Briar’s Review:

Please don’t have ecchi. I’m really done with ecchi.

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 7/10

Opens with musings on suicide. Cheery! A girl is standing on the edge of the building. So, our boy tries to talk her out of it and compliments her or something. Then she flies backwards over the fence is stab happy mode. Did she get that sword from the girl in Kill la Kill? But the boy doesn’t die. “What are you?” Yeah, I’d like to know that, too.The boy is Akihito. He’s part of the Literary Club. The glasses wearing girl is Kuriyama. She’s a klutz. We find out that Akihito is immortal. Good to know. And Kuriyama has stabbed him seven times that week. Girl needs to get another hobby.

The reason why Akihito is immortal is that he is half-youmu, whatever that is. The reason why Kuriyama is stab happy is that she is a Spirit World Warrior, so she thinks she has to stab him. Kuriyama can manipulate her blood and turn it into a sword, which she tries to stab Akihito with again. He’s tired of getting stabbed, because it hurts, and runs in retreat.

Suddenly, a monster comes through the window. That’s a youmu. Another hunter follows shortly after. They run off. Then Akihito takes Kuriyama to dinner.

We find out that Kuriyama hasn’t defeated any monsters and her clan is hated because of their blood control ability. Kuriyama has been using Akihito for practice because he’s immortal. Ooh! Mexican food! Anyways, youmu possess humans and take lives, so they’re bad, mmkay?

The Nase family is watching Kuriyama and Akihito’s friend in the Literary Club warns him to cut all ties with her. So, he buys her dinner again. They talk and he finds out she’s hated and can’t go home because she has a youmu living in her apartment. Akihito offers to help her take it down, but she refuses because she’s afraid to kill it. But she can’t quit being a Spirit World Warrior because of her blood. They go to her apartment and fight the youmu waiting there. The episode ends before the resolution of the fight.

Plot Score: 5/10

Akihito, the half-youmu high-school boy is immortal. He meets a spirit world warrior, Mirai, who is the last of clan and can manipulate her own blood into the form a sword. Since she is still scared of youmu and doesn’t have much experience fighting them, she has decided to use Akihito has her personal practice dummy and attacks him a lot. Her reasoning is because he can’t die from being stabbed, even though he has told her several times that it still hurts.Mirai’s apartment has a youmu living it, causing her to not go home, because she doesn’t want to confront it. Akihito takes it upon himself to help her get rid of it so she can get over her fears.

An interesting this is that whenever a youmu destroys something, this show also has an organization called the “Cleaners” to fix everything so the humans don’t notice anything weird. This is not a new concept to this kind of story where a group of people hunt and destroy monsters/vampires/demons etc. I find it a bit of a convenience to the plot and well, unoriginal, despite being understandable.

Akihito is part of the literally club, and I’m not sure if this is going to be relevant to the plot.

Character Score: 7/10

So, is the glasses fetish a thing in Japan this year? Akihito is a glasses freak and that’s the second show to make a point of that this season. At least the characters aren’t obnoxious in this show and have other things going for them than single personality traits. I can understand why Akihito isn’t looking forward to getting stabbed again, even though he’s immortal. Kuriyama is kinda like a puppy dog who doesn’t know where to put her paws and only knows how to chew things.

Character Score: 5/10

So far they’re average. We’ve got a normal if not a little snaky and lazy half-youmu that just wants to do his average high-school thing. There’s the monster-hunter in training with a unique super power and last of her clan because her clan was too powerful, of course she angsts over this. She is also a bit childish and shy.

Production Score: 7/10

There’s some interesting movement animation and different lighting. Good color, too. The music was forgettable, though.

Production Score: 7/10

There is a fair amount of detail. Their hair has a lot of movement and lines. The lack of other students and people shown to fill backgrounds and settings makes it easier to include the higher amount of detail and range in coloring. Nice scenery.Music was appropriate. Could have been a little cooler to add in some epicness to the petite girl fighting.

Briar’s Total Score: 7/10

I’m interested in seeing where this goes.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5.6/10
Week 1 Total Score: 6.3/10
Season Total Score for Beyond the Boundary: 6.3/10

Galilei Donna

Briar’s Review:

Something about sisters. I dunno.

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

A CG airship opens up and drops mecha things onto a methane hydrate mining site, which start wrecking it and taking giant cubes. And then blow it up. Because explosions.We cut to a little redhead girl on a scooter running from a drone. But that scooter isn’t any ordinary scooter. It’s a ROCKET SCOOTER! Then we cut to Kazuki Ferrari, a girl with short black hair who’s lovesick over some boy and laying down in the nurse’s office. We cut back to the little redheaded girl as she rides into a nuclear power site? It’s abandoned? Her scooter collapses into a case, though. And then we cut to Hazuki, who has braids. She’s drunk. Very drunk. She’s a law student. A man finds her in the bathroom, picks her up and slams her against the wall, and then knocks her out. Cut to Kazuki, who kicks the man that comes for her in the groin and makes a run for it. Kinda. Then we cut back to the drunk girl, who dodges the punch. Her friend slams a bottle into the back of the man’s head and he runs off. We cut back to the redheaded girl and we find out her scooter is a stun gun launcher. Y’know, standard safety feature.The three girls are the Galileo sisters. The police have them in custody and call their mother, who chews them all out. Their mother keeps reminding them of their lineage. They have a hippie father named Geshio, who also shows up. Awkward. The police are assigning two officers to watch their house, but we find out that the parents are separated. Hazuki lives in her own place. So, everyone has to stay in one house for a while.Hozuki, the little redhead girl with the collapsable stun gun scooter also has a secret lab. With a goldfish in a bowl. In the house, some red-haired asshole explodes his way in and brags about being invincible, then pulls a revolver with a stupidly long barrel. He wants to know where is Galileo’s inheritance is. Hazuki chews him out because she’s studying to be a lawyer and we better not forget it!

The red-haired asshole has a mecha airship, which he calls in. But Hozuki has her own mecha? Let me guess, she built it all by herself in the basement. It’s a goldfish mecha airship from the basement. How did she get it? If she built it, where did she get the materials for it? And the ammo for the guns? Where did she get it? And the missles? Why program a goldfish avatar for the AI? After a pounding from the airship Precocious Goldfish, the red-haired asshole and his airship retreat.

Plot Score: 4/10

Well, we got something that starts out with action this season. Don’t like how it’s the chase and assault of three girls. They’re sisters, apparently. It appears to be a mecha-ish anime, with fish-shaped battle airships. Um… I don’t know what’s going on.I can tell it’s going somewhere, I’m just kind of lost at the moment. It just started and I’m already lost and bored. It has a lot to explain before I can care about the characters and/or goal.

Character Score: 5/10

There’s very little introduced about the characters. I know the oldest sister is a drunken law student, the middle sister is sullen, and the youngest sister is some sort of engineering savant. That’s about it. I see traits and room to grow and I really do hope they grow.

Character Score: 5/10

At least they seemed kind of realistic. The college girl drinks a lot, surprise, surprise. The middle sister, the dark-haired one appears to either be lazy or anti-social. I give her points for nailing that guy in the nuts and throat when he grabbed her while she was resting in bed. The youngest girl seems to know something about what to do, somehow. The parents are okay so far.The bad guys were so forgettable, I forgot that I even had to say anything about them. What do they want?

Production Score: 7/10

There’s a lot of CG in this, especially the mechas and airships. The backgrounds are detailed and the animation is decent. The music is forgettable.

Production Score: 6/10

Lots of details and colors. Not too vibrant or washed out. Definitely a modern made anime. Voices were average, if not a little more realistic. Music was fitting for the action, and put together well.

Briar’s Total Score: 5.6/10

I have a feeling the little savant is going to get on my nerves. Just a feeling.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5/10
Week 1 Total Score: 5.3/10
Season Total Score for Galilei Donna: 5.3/10

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

Briar’s Review:

Bubbles!

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 5/10

We open with a great navel battle in the year 2039 between the UN and the Fleet of Fog. All of humanity’s firepower has been gathered to fight the Tribal Tron ships. But they lose and the Fleet of Fog drove humanity out of the seas, and all communications were jammed. All nations are isolated.Japan is trying to rocket launch some sort of payload. The Fleet of Fog shows up to stop it, but a submarine appears. It’s a rogue Fog submarine, I-401. She’s also known as Iona and she’s a cute girl avatar for the ship and has a crew of kids. This isn’t encouraging. Something called Klein Fields are deployed. They are some sort of shield, I think. Or are they just a rename of the AT fields from NGE? I don’t know. We find out that Iona knew Nagara, the Fog ship she sunk.

Flashback! To 2 years prior for a background dump.

Iona’s captain’s father defected to the Fog. Why? I don’t know. A whole class of students of a naval academy are going on a field trip to Warehouse 51, which contains the I-401 submarine. Why are the students allowed to see and touch it? Plot, that’s why. Chihaya touches the ship and it activates, knowing who he is. How? Iona’s avatar finds Chihaya in the school and tells him that she was ordered for find him and obey him. That is the only order in her memory. She has been isolated for seven years, waiting for this moment. She does her field dome thing, then asks Chihaya what his purpose is. “To break the status quo.” Well, that’s pretentiously vague there, sparky. Care to elaborate? No? Jerk. Iona takes Chihaya aboard and they run from the fleet. End flashback.

Chihaya is a mercenary? In any case, he hasn’t grown much in two years. He’s hired to shop a weapon prototype to America for mass production.

Then we get to see more the Tribal Tron ships and their loligirl avatars. Why are they like this? I don’t know and we don’t get any more answers.

Plot Score: 5/10

What’s with anime using mindless little girls as super-mecha controllers? This girl, Iona, has one order, to find and obey the new Capitan. He’s a high-school student from military school? Not sure, he seems young. Since Iona had her mission to get him and activate her ship, they became fugitives and seem to now be mercenaries. They appeared to have gathered other people he knows to work on the ship. There are other ships that are like Iona, and it seems at least one of them will be the antagonist. There is also world government conspiracies. So far it’s kind of boring.

Character Score: 5/10

Who are the Fleet of Fog? Where did they get their ships? Hell if I know. All I know is that they have one-hit kills. The characters themselves are rather basic. We do get to see hints of the personalities for the rest of Iona’s crew. What’s up with Daft Punk boy?

Character Score: 5/10

I’ve never cared for the whole mindless-little-girl as a slave or super-mecha controller. The main guy has some sort of vendetta or stick up his… The other girls are very girly, one even gushes over Iona constantly. The other guy that works on the ship is the quirky lady-chasing type.

Production Score: 6/10

Detailed backgrounds, few shortcuts, and pretentious music bits in an otherwise forgettable score.

Production Score: 7/10

Good animation and coloring, mostly just ships and stuff. The main guys looks feminine. Interesting music. There was some orchestration.

Briar’s Total Score: 5.3/10

It’s going somewhere, but I don’t know if I want find out where.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 5.6/10
Week 1 Total Score: 5.4/10
Season Total Score for Arpeggio of Blue Steel: 5.4/10

Samurai Flamenco

Briar’s Review:

An anime buddy cop show?

AstralRuby’s Review:

Plot Score: 8/10

A guy on smoke break sees a blonde dude in the alley. Blondie says he’s a superhero. They dark haired guy is a cop named Goto. He lives in a spartan apartment and has a long distance relationship with his girlfriend. He stops at a supermarket to shop and on his way back, he finds Blondie. Blondie is naked. Goto flips and tells Blondie that he’s under arrest, and then throws his cigarette. The cigarette lands on Blondie’s suit and sets it on fire. They put out the fire in a panic and Blondie invites Goto to stop by his apartment.Blondie lives alone in a nice high rise building and a much bigger and nicer place than Goto. Flipping through a catalog on the table, Goto discovers that Blondie is a model named Hazama. Hazama explains that he was fighting evil – Like smokers in a no-smoking zone or drunken jaywalkers.

Hazama is a MAJOR FAN of an old super hero show. He wanted to be a hero, so he studied for it. Goto is understandably confused and exasperated. He wants to smack Hazama for keeping such childish dreams and tells him that he could have been an attorney or a cop. Hazama tells him that’s like the difference between curry udon and curry rice.

Hazama shows off his huge figurine and comic book/manga collection and tells Goto his underwhelming origin story. Hazama plans to work his way up the hero ranks by starting with petty crooks. Goto tells him that he’s competing with the cops. He also needs a smoke break. Hazama goes on about the little evils and small crimes like smoking in a no smoking area and jaywalkers. At the endo f the conversation, Goto tells him that he’ll let Hazama off on the exposure arrest.

The next day, Hazama’s manager tells him that he can’t sing or act, so variety shows are the only way to get screen time. Hazama visits Goto at the police station to return the dry-cleaned shirt and invites Goto to watch old Sunshine episodes. As it turns out, Hazama’s agency doesn’t know about his superhero hobby.

That night, Hazama calls Goto in a panic. He confronted some kids throwing trash and they confronted him. Suddenly, Hazama is hearing voices from Sunshine, telling him not to back down. He hangs up the phone. Worried, Goto goes looking for him. Hazama confronts the kids and they beat him up on cell phone camera. He goes total determinator on them and lectures them about acting like they own the world and that they’re nuisances. The impassioned speech gets him a gut kick. Goto arrives and chases the kids off, then scolds Hazama for not using his cell phone. Hazama says that he needs to modify the suit for a cell phone pocket. Later, we see that videos of Hazama’s superhero identity are on the internet.

Plot Score: 7/10

Opening scene, an off duty cop finds the protagonist sitting naked in an alleyway who immediately states he’s not suspicious or anything then says he’s a superhero. The opening sequence made him look like a Power Ranger. Anyway, back the scene, after his suit got ruin, he and who turns out to be a cop got back to his place so he can get clothes. He has a super nice apartment because of his modeling career. In short, he’s aspiring to be a hero and we get to listen to his story about why he came to this, and it’s simply because every boy want to be a superhero, but when they grow up, they get more interesting in other things, and he simply did not. Basically, being a model was just because he didn’t have any other skills and it paid the bills. The cop lets him off with a warning about the pubic indecency from earlier.The next day, the model tracks out the cop to return the shirt he left him borrow the night before. Then asks him to hang out the next night. The guard posted outside the police station probably thinks that the model is the cop’s boyfriend, just because of the wording. If the guard doesn’t, than the fangirls will. However, I would like to point out that the cop does have a girlfriend and is showing texting her a lot because it’s long-distance.

So that night, they hang out to watch the superhero show the model likes so much a eat curry. Seems like a pretty good and normal night to me 😀 The cop warns him to not play vigilante again because he only gets the one warning. He does it anyway, naturally, and gets into trouble again, naturally. This time, while getting beat up, he gives a bunch of middle schoolers a speech about life and stuff and is about to get beat up more when the cop shows up and the kids run away. However, we see one scrawny kid lag behind a little, seemingly interested in either what the model/hero/weirdo said or his identity. The kids were recording the encounter and posted it on youtube.

I enjoyed this episode. I predict that injuries sustained while fighting will hurt his day job.

Character Score: 8/10

The characters are entertaining and have their own desires. Hazama has made peace with his crazy. Goto is stable and serves as a good counter to Hazama. The characters bounce off of each other. Goto puts up with Hazama’s crazy. Hazama reminds me of a very powered down combo of Andy from Cowboy Bebop and Kickass.

Character Score: 7/10

Woot, adult characters for one this season. The cop is pretty chill. Smokes. He texts his girlfriend all the time, and that’s normal. He’s also a sucker for the sob story and it‘s kind of hilarious even though it‘s not played up. We don’t know a ton about him yet, but I think he sympathizes a lot with the hero-worship thing, that might be why he’s a cop.The model is funny, just his whole mentality and mix of bravery and cowardliness. You’d think he would’ve taken some marital arts classes by now, but the story might actually be more interesting the way it is. It’s actually nice to have a character that is genuinely good and not looking for revenge this season.

Production Score: 8/10

Great camera angles in this show. There’s nice shading and lighting on the trees and excellent detailing all around. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen background detail this good. Reminds me a bit of Cowboy Bebop in feel, visually. The music is nice, but forgettable.

Production Score: 8/10

There’s actually a lot of use of music and it’s mood fitting music. The animation is nice. There’s lots of eye brow movement and they actually blink often, as in I actually noticed it. Haven’t met any other characters yet, but hope they’re just as good.

Briar’s Total Score: 8/10

The best start of the season. I’m really glad we put this on the list after all of the stinkers we’ve had to endure.

AstralRuby’s Total Score: 7/10

They’re sitting the exact same way… I don’t think this was supposed to be funny, but it was.

Week 1 Total Score: 7.5/10
Season Total Score for Samurai Flamenco: 7.5/10

Ratings (Points out of 10)

Series Name Week 1 Score Running Season Score
Arpeggio of Blue Steel 5.4 5.4
Beyond the Boundary 6.3 6.3
Galilei Donna 5.3 5.3
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Gods 5.9 5.9
Golden Time 5.6 5.6
Kill la Kill 3.5 3.5
Log Horizon 6.8 6.8
MEGANEBU! 3.13 3.13
Nagi no Asukara 5.4 5.4
Samurai Flamenco 7.5 7.5
Strike the Blood 5.8 5.8
Walkure Romanze 4.6 4.6
Wanna be the Strongest in the World 2.6 2.6

Wanna be the Strongest in the World has the lowest score this week and it is with GREAT pleasure that we toss it out of the ring! It will not return for Week 2 and we won’t have to watch another painful episode of it!

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