Darn it has been a while since I have done one of these. With the Summer season coming to an end I know I’m too far behind on recounting the Spring season. Maybe next time I will be smarter and shorten my overall list…or I just won’t learn from my mistakes and end up doing the same thing. If people keep reading my thoughts I’ll keep posting them, simple as that. It has been fun picking this back up again and hopefully that lull of laziness doesn’t find me again anytime soon. No matter how entrancing the pull is…
Cute girls doing cute things on motorcycles…wait a second didn’t we already get this? Rolling Girls and now this, and somehow I finished this one instead of Rolling Girls which showed more promise. I really know how to pick em. Well Bakuon is just a comedy with cute girls on motorcycles and that is the gist of it. The referential humour which takes place the most will work for those who know about the topic of motorcycles, but that makes part of this series non-inclusive. The comedy that springs from the generic tropes of the girls is none too interesting or even engaging compared to its referential humour. That is where I am left with this series, bored and I don’t want them to explain the jokes to me. It doesn’t add much of anything to the moe aesthetic in terms of being just another average show. Bakuon gave me a chuckle here and there, but more often than not I was left with a forgettable comedy with some very obnoxious pandering scenes…
The more I think about the show now…I should’ve put it lower, but what can you do in hindsight.
Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?/ And you thought there is never a girl online?
There is something I never could wrap my head around while watching Netoge. Was it the way all the characters seemed bland and one note most of the time? Was it the fact that the representation of its cast actually reflects some of the darker ways some view the web and video games in general? Or was it that it was a by the numbers romance with otakus that was done far better in its contemporaries? A bit of everything really. The fantasy world they play in isn’t all that intriguing or lacks really a hook for the viewer to really want to see what transpires while they are in there. It isn’t beautiful nor is it elevated by the character hijinks. Then of course there is the real life side of things that has some legitimately good ideas, such as dealing with being a recluse in a way that seems reasonable. Showcasing the pull of obsession in more ways than one, even throughout the romance plot.
Netoge may seem competent with its ideas in a conceptual sense, but as I have said before they are executed far better in anime like Welcome to the NHK. It isn’t so much barebones as it is annoying to watch at times without interesting visuals. It makes it a far blander watch when in fact it could take some interesting liberties with its topic. Sadly it never makes it to the point where I would want to recommend it and therefore it has to be this far down the list. It just was boring in its fantastical elements and lacked intrigue in its romance plot to make it anything more than just another romcom with gamers.
Kuma Miko is at best a mixed comedy that tries almost every type of comedy in the book. Absurdist, physical, spiritual, referential, cultural, and more are given a shot and it is quite commendable to attempt so many forms of comedic wit. That being said, I have a distinct problem with that as this series falls into “A jack of all trades, master of none”. There is probably one moment in most episodes that cause me to chuckle, but most of the time due to the sheer amount of variety of the comedy going on you can lose sight of where to laugh. One episode talks about bestiality, another talks about different Japanese landmarks or companies, another has her going on a bike to the store…each of those scenarios has a different through line for a joke. Sexual humour, cultural humour, and physical humour are those segments in a nutshell. The only one that works out of those three is because of the surprise nature of only one line being said and that is because the cultural humour is non-accessible to people not in touch with Japanese businesses and the like and the physical humour only has one joke throughout the entire episode that is run to death.
To me there is a lack of consistency that makes this series harder to watch in its entirety which is as sad as that sounds. Some moments work really well, but often that comes along the line of shock humour that comes out of left field. It is not because it set up its joke well, but rather you could not predict what was going to happen because of its randomness. It does have good jokes and it does bring a smile to your face every once in a while but to me it just couldn’t hold my interest enough to truly stand out.
Bungou Stray Dogs
Have you ever thought of what would happen if an anime focuses more on its references rather the cohesion of all its elements? Well you get Bungou Stray Dogs of course! The problem inherent in Bungou Stray Dogs is its inability to truly solidify anything from its references as most become just a cool little afterthought rather than a pivotal part of the story or character. Yes each character is named after a famous Japanese writer, and their power revolves around that, but they present as more of a gimmick than anything else which is sad. One of the characters Daizai is named after a famous writer who regularly wanted to commit suicide, so of course the character does that in a comedic sense. There is little else we have learned in this series that defines him though, besides the one thing we know about his past. As well as the main character reusing the same orphanage scene, frame by frame, multiple times in multiple episodes when you wish they would just slightly say it and move on instead of milking it.
Bungou Stray Dogs needs its character to be intriguing enough to want to learn more about them or at the very least give you reasons to care when they are in dire situations. Besides the doctor and Kunikida (who I just looked up his name), I don’t particularly find any of the others interesting. It may look beautiful, but the overarching story dances everywhere without true aim trying to shove in multiple plot points every time to as of this point no clear goal in sight. If it gets its act together for the sister season, then perhaps I will be able to recommend it but for now it just has too many crucial flaws in its execution that I can’t overlook. It feels like the idea came first and everything else was an afterthought as I still don’t know where this series wants to go with only the first inkling to an overarching plot coming near the end of this first season.
Terra Formars Revenge
Starship Troopers the anime has returned and with revitalized vigor and worse animation that is all over the place with quality. The shinier the armour, the more obvious the cracks are. That being said, it still has that over the top nature that makes campy shows watchable for the most part. Terra Formars Revenge seems to forget what made its first season great was the moments of visual and aesthetic experimentation as its plot wasn’t particularly the best point. It fell back onto its characters with weird cartoonish and comedic moments which were so far out of the tone that it clashed with the show visually as well.
That being said, Revenge manages to be one the more standout anime that doesn’t try to be anything more than what you see on the surface. It has genetically enhanced soldiers from different countries going to a terraformed Mars in order to fight an advanced caveman race of humanoid cockroaches. That description alone should tell you whether or not this over the top homage to campy sci-fi 80s/90s shows/movies is in your wheelhouse or not. Revenge shows you pretty much more of the same from the previous season with just a lower budget, so it still fits into that niche group of things like Starship Trooper without actually being as good as them. All it needs is a little Casper van Dien!
So what did you guys think of these anime? I’m always glad to hear other opinions on anime, it is interesting to see new points of view on series I’ve watched. So feel free to comment and I’ll see ya next time (so long as I move my sorry butt from other stuff…next time it won’t be eons before another post)!