Don’t you just LOVE that smile and the amazing English! He always manages to bring a smile to my face. I advise you to look up his amazing English compilation, its short but worth it. It is time for the second section of my list and this one may step on some toes regarding some favourite anime of the season from groups.Hopefully I can survive another weak and remember these are not in depth reviews but rather my thoughts about each series. Redd White please! START US OFF!!! “WHATSYANAMEEEE!?”
Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari!
The fear of every fan of a franchise is an adaptation. Not because they don’t want the material to get adapted, but rather they are worried how well the adaptation works in its respective medium. I’ll preface this as I have played a few Phoenix Wright games and liked them. A-1 Pictures takes their shot at the series and it should be clear with it being so far down the list how I feel about it. Ace Attorney is basically just another terrible video game adaptation that knows not how to turn the game into an actual television series. The problem is “adaptation” is taken very loosely as it feels like the game is just clumsily copy and pasted to a script and storyboard. Yes I understand this used to be a game, yes that sound cue did happen in the game, yes that graphic did show up at this time, there was a lot of the time where I found myself confused on what the staff believes adaptation to be.
The animation is quite substandard and often is not lively enough or cut interestingly enough from its source material. It wants to ride off the nostalgia of its fans, when in actuality it is just a worse version of the game itself. The pacing suffers due to its constant belief in adapting the game almost a trial per episode and the deductions and investigations happen far too fast. As the player you need to figure out these clues, but since this is an anime it just has that moment of doubt before the inevitable revelation in such a short span of time there is that loss of effort. I have a problem that this feels like a carbon copy of the game with no innovation to spice it up as an anime especially with how lacking its visuals are. Play the games and save yourself the trouble.
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season
I don’t know why I keep coming back to this show! I know it’s bad, but yet I will continue to watch it if they give us another season. Gakusen is not something without merit, but often that involves smoke and mirrors to mask its generic nature with flashy effects and decent battle choreography. It believes that if it looks nice enough that it will manage to sway people into believing its better than what it is, a generic school battle harem. The characters are dull stereotypes and tropes with little growth since its first season except for the occasional nod in dialogue.
This season I would argue is worse than the previous despite it actually moving along the plot to a point where it starts to matter that there is a plot. The characters don’t develop much and some that should be getting more depth to who they are, such as Claudia (despite her overuse in fanservice), should not have been shoehorned into the last few episodes. The battles were nice to look at, but didn’t matter in the long scheme of things since I still didn’t care about its bland characters. All in all I’ll still watch for a sense of morbid curiosity, but unless this changes my mind it will always stay this low.
High School Fleet
I thought for a very long time that I was going to enjoy this series. The action sequences were nice, the characters, despite being one dimensional, were none too jarring, and it had a plot that was slowly getting revealed. High School Fleet seemed like it was going in the right direction, until it took a hard right and dropped its anchor. I don’t mind the occasional episode deviating from the plot in order to develop their characters and yet High School Fleet did that and never truly developed its cast. There was a lot of fanservice and pandering episodes that came out of nowhere when the plot was still in full effect for a 12 episode series.
While that was awkward, I still went forward hoping this whole mysterious rodent problem would have a payoff…and yet it didn’t. The story almost doesn’t have a conclusion, or maybe it does and I missed it while falling asleep, it just goes nowhere often lounging about doing nothing. I wouldn’t be so upset if the series itself did something predominant for its cast during that time. The tone shifts were what became jarring and ultimately sunk this ship as it would be a semi-serious lighthearted cute nautical action show, to be something that lacks a point other than just pandering. I sat there trying to tell myself to give this show higher, but sadly realizing that I slept through some parts may have been the telltale sign that I lost interest long ago of making sense of it all.
Sousei no Onmyouji
Studio Pierrot how you tear my heart asunder! I just don’t understand their decisions when it comes to budget for shows. Kingdom was given less of a budget because they thought it wouldn’t have an audience and lo and behold it became a hit despite that. Sousei no Onmyouji had every right to be a nice and easy battle shounen type of show with some potentially cool action sequences. Conceptually it is a bit archaic with its ideals of a forced marriage, but how it was handled in its world seemed like an interesting way to go about it. It certainly gave it a lighthearted feel to it. Then came the fight sequences in Magano and where my attention began to wane. Maybe it’s because I have seen some of its interesting fight sequences in Naruto’s openings that I had this delusion that the animation quality would at the very least be good, was quickly shattered.
The animation is paltry and even uses far too numerous still shots while in intense fights which kills any tension. It doesn’t need to be technically there, but if it had enough individuality to its fight sequences then I would have been able to look past it. The action sequences happen every episode in Magano and are always jarring, but this bad animation doesn’t only happen there but is rather sprinkled throughout. The story isn’t Hitchcock, it can’t survive on its own and the characters are not 3 dimensional pieces of brilliance. Both of those attributes are serviceable, but the constant animation problems takes me out of it to the point of me only waiting for certain characters (eg Subaru Mitejima) who spice up the occasional shenanigans to entice me to still watch.
12-sai.: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki
In my books, this is probably the single most show with the highest potential to succeed in this entire season and it had every right to be in its concept. A show that tackles important questions and issues affecting youths going through adolescence and the changes that come from growing up. Not even Oriental Light and Magic dissuaded me from thinking this series had a great chance. Then I watched it only to be half right. It does handle these problems, but in the most basic way possible with melodramatic events and even cardboard cut-outs of tropes and caricatures. Disappointment sunk this one more than most and I freely admit that as 12-sai is not as offensive as potentially others that are higher than it. In my mind though it had the most to lose and fell pretty far as the romance turned from interesting self-discovery to cheesy and generic. If this was handled correctly I could’ve seen it in my top ten, but it was never meant to be it seems.