More 2013 Spring Anime

More current season anime!

Watashi ga Motenai no wa dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! “WataMote” (No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!) – this one is about a “mojou” or unpopular girl. In addition to being a fujyoshi otaku girl, she is completely socially dysfunctional, delusional, and creepy. There’s nothing remotely cute or moe about her. I can’t say I like the artwork. The backgrounds are middle-of-the-road with a lot of pentagonal/hexagonal lighting accents that look like American animation backgrounds. The character animation is fairly well executed. The whole story is just so sad and disturbing. It would seem that she actually needs some professional mental health attention, so it’s difficult to enjoy something that is making jokes at the expense of a character suffering from a psychological condition. I’m not saying that from a political correctness standpoint: I just find it unfunny. That being said, I guess this is the “train wreck” property this season, where I don’t really like it, but since I can’t obviously see where the story will wind up, I’ll keep watching to the end.  C

root – Its rather painful to watch, unfunny psychosis. I guess it’s suppose to take insecurities that everyperson experiences at some time and taken to extremes. Any chuckles that come are rather uneasy. I think the only thing I really like is that the opening theme music is angry, not that often heard in anime themes. C

Kitakubu Katsudō Kiroku (Chronicles of the Going Home Club) – I figured this one would fall in somewhere within the bounds of other school club comedy properties like last season’s GJ-bu, but it has a more obvious 4-koma feel. There isn’t a good sense of linearity like say Nichijou which is also based on a 4-koma – it feels like random gags pulled from a hat rather than chronological events within a day. The comedy (or lack thereof) feels somewhat reminiscent of the first season of Seitokai no Ichizon and Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate. Both the character animation and backgrounds are just OK. There isn’t anything really cute, pretty, or funny going on here. I might watch more if I am totally bored, but that’s about it.  C-

root – the internet club from past season was pretty funny, this one while not horrible falls flat. There are other gag shows that are random, but this one just doesn’t click. C

Choujigen Geimu Neputyuunu The Animation (Hyperdimension Neptune The Animation) – Funimation is running with the “Neptunia” title that has been used with this franchise in the English-language world since the original game releases, even though it is called out as Neptune in dialogue and on-screen text (both romaji, and katakana). Similarly, characters that were renamed for the English releases, or names of concepts, places, or technology that were renamed are subtitled with the revised English terms while the characters are speaking the original Nihongo terms. I know they’re doing it to match previous convention, but it still makes my brain do a double-take, especially when it’s for something like a fictional technology where the name is inconsequential (like say, flux capacitor versus oscillation overthruster – does it make a difference to the story?). This is another one like Milky Holmes of Fantasista Doll, where it seems outwardly kiddy, but the pantyshots and compromising situations indicate otherwise. They have a villain who LICKS as an attack for crying out loud! The story is not quite painfully stupid, but the artwork is nice enough to keep me hanging on in hopes of something more than Pokémon-level character development. The character animation is done well, and the backgrounds are not bad, considering this is supposed to be a virtual in-game world.  B-

Teekyu, season 2 – more of the same, though this season, the machinegun dialogue seems more intensely fast than the first season – my ears can’t listen fast enough! It’s at least as wacky, random, and weird as before, though I don’t remember the pink-haired girl being “fat”… Animation quality is below average, though better than a flash animation or last season’s Sparrow’s Hotel.  B

Yamishibai – for those who don’t know of the post-war kamishibai tradition, the name is a play on this “paper play/theater” concept, with yami (darkness) substituted in for “dark play”. The original kamishibai were like analog motion comics where a storyteller would flip through pages of illustrations depicting the story he was narrating, some pages of which had cutout elements that would move against the background. More often than not, the storyteller was the artist who drew the images, so it was like a one-man garage anime back before there was even television. The artwork actually varies from episode to episode, and there are voice actors other than just the narrator, though the animation is really limited to what you could actually do with switching backgrounds and moving cutouts. As indicated by the title, the stories are dark, and mostly in the ghost or light horror vein. Some fall flat, but others are genuinely creepy, a testament to the mood that can be created with just a few simple images and good sound design and writing. Now, add in the constraint of working with five minutes and you get some real gems. This is one of the shows I actually look forward to each week.  B+

root – great style that hits its aim, evoke the old style storytelling. Like when you get someone good telling ghost stories, not seeing everything in detail can make it even creepier. There are a few eps that aren’t very good, but there are some that are quite creepy. Good stuff to take a step away from the 3D CG modeled wham bam in your face animation and see that its not technology that makes it good, although it might be interesting to note that the closing theme song is “sung” by Hatsune Miku, a completely synthesized virtual performer.

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