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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? March 2015

April 4, 2015

(This article will be spoiler-free!)

おっす! Excuse the late post! I had some unfinished business to attend to.
It is the dawn of a new tv anime season. In with the new and out with the old, and that means there is a fair bit to cover this month.
I wouldn’t call the Winter season one of the better in recent past, at least judging from the series I personally picked up, but there were nonetheless a few shining gems to carry it through to the end.
Here’s what I finished:


56133Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda:
After a dispute with his father, Jimon Asuta has decided to strike out on his own.
A short ways into life on his own, he stumbles across the seemingly normal Hoshimiya Kate, a young girl with aspirations to conquer the world.
She invites Asuta into her secret society known as Zvezda and home to her mostly somewhat brilliant underlings.
From here, Asuta, thus renamed Dva by Hoshimiya Kate, bears witness to the conquering of the neighboring districts, and perhaps the world.

What I thought: “Odd, stylish and humorous.”
While the tone is the standard over the top fare (though done well), Zvezda gives off an odd aura early on with its bizarre character designs and its odd world.
It’s fun seeing a heroes and villains story told from the perspective of the villains, and a brisk but fair amount of time is spent on each member of Zvezda and what has brought them under Hoshimiya Kate’s guidance.
There aren’t a lot of ups and downs found in the plot, and there are some contrivances later on, but if you go into this series for the colorful characters and the kinda/sorta slice-of-life comedy, it has enough going for it to be a fun watch. I hope we see more of it in the future.
A collection of likable and creatively designed characters make Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda a more entertaining series to watch than its somewhat lackluster plot might have provided otherwise.


Aldnoah.Zero-2nd-SeasonAldnoah.Zero 2:
The fierce battle has passed, but how many more will take its place?
The second season continues the conflict between the warring peoples of the Earth and Vers, taking place over a year after the events of the first.
Slaine Troyard has developed an insatiable desire to eradicate the Earth forces and claim the planet for the Vers Empire, and he will do whatever is required of him to craft that desire into reality.

What I thought: “An excellent wrap-up, if not quite as engaging as the first season by terms of plot.”
I suspect the second season of Adnoah has been a punching bag of sorts for peoples expectations over the past couple of months. It is an Urobuchi Gen story, afterall.
Even as someone who enjoyed where the second season goes, even early on, I found the second half of this story to be weaker than the first. The new characters who are introduced don’t have as much breathing room as the ones I liked from the first season, save for one in particular whom I couldn’t get enough of, and while the combat sequences were fantastic, the sense of risk wasn’t there like it was previously.
The plot has its high points, especially in the motivations and actions of the Slaine himself, but overall I would say the first season is where this series nailed what it was going for.
Aldnoah.Zero 2 had a tough act to follow, and though it sported the same high production quality and excellent mecha skirmishes that the first season offered, the conclusion to this story wasn’t quite as entertaining as some of the brazen storytelling methods which preceded it.


koufuku graffitiKoufuku Graffiti:
Machiko Ryou has lived under the care of her grandmother until just recently when she passed away.
Since then, she has led a lonely life, and the smaller joys she used to get out of life, such as having a simple meal with a loved one, have become dull.
Enter Ryou’s cousin Morino Kirin, who has begun staying with Ryou on the weekends to attend the same art school.
Kirin’s spunky attitude and unmatched appetite bring the bright energy back into Ryou’s life, and the two of them, along with some new friends, set off toward the future, and whatever delicious morsels it holds in store.

What I thought: “Irresistibly over the top; endlessly charming.”
This series struck me as something made by a group of people who absolutely adore what they do for a living. I hope this is the case at any rate, because this series was an absolute joy to watch through each week.
The characters are bright and lovable, and their interactions are both ludicrous and endearing. The story is simple, but warm and welcoming at the same time.
It’s a series which on paper sounds simplistic to a fault, but succeeds in troves by Shafts execution.
A surprise hit from the past the season, Koufuku Graffiti takes a simple premise and does wonderful things with it. 


08042014_kancolle_visualKantai Collection: 
Enlisting the help of a varied collection of battleships of all sizes and shapes, humanity battles to protect themselves from the fierce grip of a mysterious enemy.
Special Type Destroyer Fubuki is fresh off of the waves to train and serve the fleet, and while her cheerful and dependable personality sees to it that she finds new friends in her new home, her unbreakable will to protect humanity from its enemies drives her to improve her skills.

What I thought: “Inconsistent visuals
and severely lacking in plot.”
Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer. Those are your comparisons when it comes to KanColle.
Anthropomorphised (or perhaps “moe-ized” is more descriptive) battleships are the stars of the show here, and as you might expect, much of the run time is spent on cute antics. It’s strange, sure, and you probably already have a good idea for whether this series is for you or not.
The aforementioned comparisons to Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer are important, I feel, because those were both very high quality series by terms of production and characterization, whereas I thought while the 2D animation looked clean and wonderful, this series uses a lot of CG characters, and while there were a few decently developed characters among the dozen(ish) found here, the cast is largely forgettable.
I enjoyed the music and the voice performances for what they were, but there were numerous characters voiced by the same voice talent, and unlike some series where the performances were different enough to mask that fact, in KanColle it’s pretty obvious and pretty distracting when a character is seemingly talking to themselves.
The plot is nearly nonexistent as well. There is an enemy force, but it is never clear where they came from or why they’re any sort of threat to humanity. The stakes are unclear, which makes the battle sequences carry practically no weight whatsoever.
KanColle was a series I looked forward to, but one that turned out almost entirely forgettable, and while a second season has been announced, I’m finding it difficult to really care for watching it.
Kantai Collection is a mixed bag. The visuals are gorgeous but often distracting, the plot is exceedingly lackluster, and some of the characters are great while others fall flat. Of the military moe subgenre, there are better options out there.


Kiseijuu-Sei-No-KakuritsuKiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu:
An alien life form has arrived on Earth. Burrowing into its host body, it makes its way to and consumes the brain of its victim.
From there, the organism is able to take over its host’s body, and shape its flesh as it sees fit.
Izumi Shinichi is one such victim, however, he is able to halt the parasite’s progress to his brain, forcing it to instead take over his right arm.
What follows is Shinichi coping with the reality of living with a flesh-eating parasite attached to his body, and doing what he can to hide it from a world slowly being consumed by those less fortunate than himself; those who have become hosts to man-eating parasites such as his.

What I thought: “A thought provoking and wonderfully produced horror drama.”
Good horror is tough to come by nowadays. There is a seeming over-reliance on jump scares and gross-out gorefests permeating the genre, and fearing the later of the two, I very nearly skipped Parasyte. Thankfully I didn’t, however, because this was perhaps the standout series over the past few months. (Thank Hanazawa Kana.)
There is very rarely a lull in the pace, and the plot weaves through an admirable number of shocking twists and turns. Even up to the very last episode I was unsure how the story would end, yet it was an insightful and fulfilling conclusion.
There were moments where they seemed to be beating you over the head with the message the series is trying to instill in its viewers, but that alone didn’t drag the series down as a whole.
You couldn’t ask for a sharper turn from Hanayamata before it, but with Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu, MadHouse has delivered an excellent horror series that fires on all cylinders.


69085Juuou Mujin no Fafnir:
Terrible, colossal beasts have emerged, and humanity has dubbed them Dragons. Their wake is one of destruction and despair, but after a time, those were born which possess the same power of that of the Dragons.
These girls are called D, and Midgar, a school for these girls, was built to train them for combat against the beasts.
Being the first male to share the D’s powers, Mononobe Yuu is enlisted in the school to train with the rest. Humanity’s fate rests in this new generation’s hands.

What I thought: “Instantly forgettable.”
While the general design of the characters and their outfits were nicely done, and I did enjoy this series’ soundtrack quite a bit, this was a tremendously middling series that had neither production quality nor quality of storytelling going for it.
The animation is lackluster, and the art is in some cases chuckle-worthy. The plot is contrived nonsense, and none of the characters are developed enough to be relatable or endearing. This is a series of middling quality, which, while not outright terrible or offensive in any way, does not do anything original by any definition of the word.
There is a place for filler series, and Juuou Mujin no Fafnir fits that place perfectly. It doesn’t do anything new or interesting, but it doesn’t go out of its way to waste your time in a negative way either. I would never recommend it, but it is no where near the worst series I have watched through.


Do you like guns? Check? Heavy military-grade machinery? Yeah? How about cute girls? No?
Well regardless, cute girls with guns have invaded, and they mean to do battle in your abode!
That is Yano Souhei’s current predicament at any rate.
Bullets fly, undergarments are revealed, and zany military antics fly off the chain in this series of mild-mannered shorts filled with guns, romance, pet humans, guns, Russian accents, guns and guns.

What I thought: “Short, funny,
and completely over the top.”
Military! is a series of comedy shorts, and comedy is largely subjective, especially in small, one-off gags like those found here, so it’s tough to say how successful this particular series was, but I can say that more often than not, each episode had me at least passively chuckling at the tv.
This series almost feels like satire on anime in a way; something you might see in a Grand Theft Auto game or a South Park episode. Whether that satirical feeling was intentional or not, you can’t argue that the over the top style of Military!’s comedy is its main appeal.
A ludicrously over the top series about small ladies with large guns, Military! doesn’t knock it out of the park entirely with its comedy, but it has an irresistible energy that makes it a fun watch regardless.


Looking over the list of upcoming series, there aren’t a ton in there that immediately stand out, but I am of course looking forward to a continuation to Nisekoi, and I will follow Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu to the ends of the Earth. It’s a good position to be in to be awe-struck by something unexpected, and if nothing else, it will open up opportunity to watch some more back-log series than I have had time for in these past few months.
That’s all there is for now. Sorry again for the slow post!
(Keep your head dry and your stories unspoiled.)

From → Anime

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