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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? December 2017

January 1, 2018

Oh… how nice of you to come.
Welcome to the final anime monthly for 2017! It’s a new year, which means we have a reasonable excuse to hit the reset button on some of the bad habits or trends from the previous year, while reflecting on where we could have improved on maybe social skills or perhaps financial skills as well.
Personally I witnessed a large chunk of foolishness over the past 365 days, and might have been the cause of more than a fair share of it myself. There will be more time for these considerations later however. Let’s talk about anime!
The Fall anime season was hit or miss on my end. Here’s what I had time for:

Poor Sakuranomiya Maika…
While she does her best to be friendly to her fellow man and go about her business as an otherwise cheerful young lady of small stature and traditional looks, her inability to perform otherwise simple interactions with other human beings does terrible things to her confidence.
Then there are her slanted eyes, which come off as sneering or perhaps even sadistic to those poor souls who encounter her.
It so happens though, that one of those poor souls belongs to an Italian man named Dino, who is the proprietor of Cafe Stile, and who just so happens to be looking for a young lady to fit the Sadistic archetype.

What I thought-
Slice of life comedy series come and go en masse, and I wouldn’t be as audacious as to say this one has any particular degree of staying power, but what I can say is that while it lasted, it never failed to bring the charm.
Similar to series such as Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?  and Kin-Iro Mosaic, the focus here is on the characters, and Blend-S is a bit uneven there. Sakuranomiya Maika’s two characters in one makes her a treat to watch, but some of the other denizens of Cafe Stile cater a bit too closely to their specific molds, and come off as forgettable because of it.
It’s nice seeing a few males in a moe series such as this though, and having one be a romantic interest of the poster girl is a good chance of pace as well.
This series had one of the more uplifting opening sequences I’ve encountered recently; always capable of grabbing my attention and immediately brightening my day, and the production otherwise gets the job done, too.
Blend-S isn’t here to change the mold, but it is a slice of life series with good character, and entertaining, albeit by the numbers scenarios. If you have enjoyed series such as Gochi-Usa and Kin-Iro Mosiac in the past though, then by all means, stop in for a bite.


Anime Gataris-
Ah, anime. High school student Asagaya Minoa is familar, though admittedly only through a series seen by her at a young age, years ago.
She is a newbie at Sakaneko High, and despite her mediocre knowledge of anime media and fandom, a gleam is seen in fellow student Kamiigusa Arisu’s eye; the gleam of potential.
Together, the two create an anime club, despite the scorn of the Student Council and the debates or disagreements that occur between the two of them and the colorful cast of characters their anime club begins attracting.

What I thought-
Have you ever been in that situation where someone suggested a television series or a book or whatever else to you, but because they never shut their mouth about it, they soured you on the series in question before you even learned anything about it?
This is the vibe I got, watching Anime Gataris.
The constant mugging for acceptance; the nonstop references to other anime series. It just came off as obnoxious to me; as though this series creators were trying as hard as they could to impress their viewers with how many other series they could reference.
Which is too bad, because there are most certainly redeeming qualities to this series, with the prime being its excellent character designs. There are scant few admirable moments in there, but surrounding them is a four hour flight sitting next to the most annoying friend you have.
Maybe Anime Gataris has its heart in the right place, but the methods it employs to show it only manages to cause the opposite effect.


Imouto sae Ireba Ii.-
Hashima Itsuki is a young man who has seen relative success as a novelist.
He also has an irrational obsession with little sisters.
Surrounding Itsuki are his good friends, some of which are writers themselves, such as the man whom Itsuki directly competes with when it comes to novel sales, Fuwa Haruto.
Together, this oft eccentric bunch go about their days, enjoying one another’s company while doing what they can to achieve their goals.

What I thought-
I feel as though this series had its lunch snatched right out from under its nose by Eromanga Sensei last season. I say that because it seemed as though Ireba was trying to raise the ante on things such as fan service. Eromanga’s fan service and vulgar language were shocking, but Ireba couldn’t come along this shortly afterward and do the same thing, so it just ratcheted it up a few notches.
This ends up making the scenes in which that vulgarity or fan service appears feel forced and not at all shocking, and this is a bummer because I think there are aspects to how Ireba handles its characters and their specific backgrounds which are really quite effective, and pulls you into its characters in ways Eromanga didn’t.
The character designs are decent enough, though unfortunately they don’t quite live up to Kantoku’s original designs. There is a realistic simplicity to them which with the given art style, becomes quite drab and uninteresting to look at when drawn in this less detailed way.
 A victim of going second, Imouto sae Ireba Ii. didn’t manage to snatch up the same ground its predecessor did, but for what it is, it’s a series with memorable characters and its own number of moments sure to catch you off guard.


The Year End wrap up is receiving its finishing touches, and will be posted either tomorrow (2nd) or Wednesday (3rd). Not right on the cusp of the new year, but c’mon man, I’ve been working my tail off these last few months!
(Last year this month.)
See you there! Maybe!(?)

From → Anime

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