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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? April 2016

May 7, 2016

(This article has been clinically proven to be 99.9% spoiler free.)

Greetings folks. April was a (mostly) bright and sunny month that came and went before I knew what happened.
The style of anime series plays a large part into not only leaving lasting impressions after the story is done, but also for grabbing one’s attention from the offset, and in my eyes, the most important aspect of anime visual style comes in the form of character design. It isn’t uncommon for a studio to seek out artists whose specialty is designing characters, and it’s very clear when series have that flair to their characters and when they do not. Slickly designed characters can do wonders for visually representing the character in question’s personality or tone, while appealing to a viewer’s specific tastes in design or (in some cases) proportions, and often even a supporting or bit character in a series might get a fan following, just for having an especially striking design.
There is great significance in character design, because it may coax me into sticking with a series that I’m not particularly into, just to see a specific character (Kazama Levi from Trinity Seven is the example that immediately strikes me), and as a creative minded individual who wishes to create stories of my own, is something I spend a great deal of time thinking about.
While I put dents in the backlog as best I can, it grows and grows still.
Here is what I found time to finish this past month:

 

5658F9373304320006Mitsudomoe-
Childhood is a precious time.
During these formative years, it is in the hands of adults to see to it that the future inheritors of the world reach adulthood with strong morals, peaceful hearts and have been taught all of the social skills to become a productive member of society.
It is a colossal misfortune then, for Satoshi Yabe to be tasked with teaching a class inhabited by the dreaded Marui sisters.
Be it through Hitoha’s morbid aloofness, Futaba’s uncanny destructive power, or Mitsuba’s cold-hearted, manipulative personality, calm days have found their end in this slice of life comedy about the innocent minds of harmless elementary-aged children, and those blackened few among them who ruin it for all of us.

What I thought- “Crass and oddly lovable.”
Speaking of character designs, here is a series which at first had me somewhat disinterested due to its strange style of hamster-toothed character art, but grew on me more and more the more I watched of it.
It may be a damning comparison, but the closest thing I have to compare Mitsudomoe’s breed of comedy would be Kodomo no Jikan. No wait! Come back! Mitsudomoe isn’t nearly as brazen as that series, but merely shares similarities in tone, as much of this series’ comedy hovers on the border of ecchi. Ecchi comedy which at a point can become repetitive, leading me to think “Are we really doing the whole third-party-misinterpreting-the-conversation-thing again?”. Numerous under garment gags in particular.
It isn’t that I hear the word “pantsu” and am instantly rolling on the floor, but rather the three Marui sisters are charming in an emotionally scarring sort of way, which elevates the awkward situations they repeatedly find themselves in to new comedic heights. Their behavior toward not only one another but those around them is manipulative, sociopathic, and endlessly endearing. They’re awkward and sometimes awful individuals, but I couldn’t help but cheer them on.
Great, though sometimes one-note comedy, protagonists who are terrible in the best ways and a catchy OP sequence made Mitsudomoe a gas to sit through, and despite its ecchi-tinged comedy, is a series I’d instantly recommend to anyone looking for consistent laughs.

 

65753lAi Mai Mii: Mousou Catastrophe-
The off-kilter slice of life comedy series which will have you laughing, shaking you head and then questioning what you just watched by the time you can finish annunciating its full title is back!
Join Ai, Mai and Mii, members of their school’s Manga Club, as they dive head first into a countless (but not really) number of off the wall absurd situations and do what they can (but not really) to build their bonds with one another and give back to their local community.

What I thought- “Randomness losing its charm.”
This makes three series of anime shorts adapted from Choborau Nyopomi’s manga series I’ve watched and written about here on the Soapbox, and even midway through viewing this anime I felt as though perhaps the randomness for the sake of randomness method of comedy found in these series has maybe worn out its welcome.
I won’t lie. I laughed out loud several times between viewing the first and last episodes, but there were a great deal of misses in the comedy, and a greater feeling of “trying very hard to be random” than I got previously.
It’s tough to be too harsh on this series, because each episode only asks from its viewer around three minutes, but at the same time there are numerous very entertaining series out there for those with that amount of time to set aside at a time, and series which are more consistently funny at that.
Whether I’m that much more of a Somera-chan kind of guy or if I’m just a comedic geezer who didn’t see the humor, Ai Mai Mii: Mousou Catastrophe failed to deliver the zany charm of its two predecessors.

 

The Winter anime season continues, and high on my list so far out of the (too many) series I’ve chosen to keep up with are Kiznaiver and High School Fleet. Where the latter is a somewhat by-the-numbers moe gig, though one fitted with outstanding production quality and great characters, Kiznaiver is something a little different. Coming from Trigger (but feeling shockingly like Shaft), it looks and sounds superb, and sports a terrific concept which centers around seven individuals who share one another’s pain. Snappy style and writing are making it an utter joy to look forward to each week, and while the overall plot is taking a little while to kick in, there have already been terrific, Inou-battle-esque character moments so far.
Persona 5 got its Japanese release date of September 15th this week! It’ll be out just before Final Fantasy XV, so Autumn 2016 is going to be a very exciting time to be into RPGs.
That’s all from me for now, though. I hope everyone had a good April!
(This month last year.)
(Keep those stories unspoiled!)
それじゃあ。

From → Anime

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