[Indeterminate Block of Time] in Review, ending 11/3

I’ve been watching a lot of animus

So, haven’t done this in a while, whoops. No time like the present to get back on track! For this season, in case you are curious, I am following K, From the New World, and, well, I said I was dropping Tempest, but then I got sucked into watching the latest episode, and, ugh, guess I’m still following it. UGH, I say, UGH.

Zetsuen no Tempest, episodes 2-5

Might as well get this one out of the way. This show sucks. At first I was able to thrive on the overblown angst and the overblown soundtrack, but episode four forced me to realize that our male leads are totally repellent. Yoshino is a complete milksop, even as the show claims ad nauseum that he’s Rebellious. Mahiro is a homicidal headcase who somehow manages to be boring. It is not a good sign at all when the murdered girl who only shows up in flashbacks is way more engaging than your two leads are.

Unfortunately, the revelation about Hakaze has sucked me right back in. Through the first three episodes, I stuck around because I was genuinely interested in finding out who killed Aika. I’d managed to get over that, but made the mistake of letting someone talk me into trying episode five, so now I’m stuck watching because I want to know what the hell is going on with Hakaze. What do you bet its something like what we saw in Future Diary with the whole skull business?

…haha, yeah right, that would mean that Tempest is willing to get that ludicrous, and we know it isn’t. Sigh.

K, episodes 3-5

Episode five was a snorefest, I don’t give a shit about the red-haired guy or the blue-haired one (although at least the blue-haired one is creepy as hell). No, K, I’m still watching you because you’ve been silly faffing about, not because I’m hoping for boring-ass fight scenes! And the fight scenes are pretty dull here; nothing in them is ever surprising, nor does it bother to take a novel approach. I would compare it with the way P.A. Works shows look – yeah, sure, on the technical front its impressive, but its ultimately not terribly interesting visually. At least the sky penises swords bits were short… this dust-up drags.

Anyway, when K is Neko Has Two Daddies, I’m happy. I actually even like Neko, which I wasn’t anticipating – I think its that she’s actually a cat who has somehow gained human form as opposed to a girl who acts like a cat. Somehow that small distinction makes a world of difference. I do prefer her in derpcat form, still, although I don’t expect to see too much of that going forward. C’est la vie.

From the New World, episodes 2-5

Ugh ugh ugh, the sexual fumblings of twelve year olds, ughhh. Granted, I think this is how I’m supposed to react – it isn’t eroticized at all. That aside, not really sure what to make of the shift in episode five away from “kids slowly realizing everything they thought they knew isn’t what they thought it was” to “kids get involved in warfare between two groups of non-human creatures”.

Having said that, From the New World is very, very easily my favorite show of the season. K might be entertaining in its own right, but From the New World is engrossing in a way that K simply isn’t. I only wish someone would license the novel.

Aikatsu, episode 1

Better than expected, but still lots of unsettling CGI and terrible music. I was amused that the one who was into idols is the little brother, and not the lead herself, particularly as the little brother basically became an apprentice of the lead’s idol-mad friend. I liked, too, that the mother (voiced by Mamiko Noto) runs her own bento shop and does so because it was always her dream to; pretty bored of the stereotypical stay-at-home mom we get in anime, particularly anime targeted toward kids.

Unfortunately, the toy commercial roots show through pretty obviously, and its another show in which apparently the highest calling for a girl is that of idol, so I think the buck stops here for me.

AKB0048, episodes 1-2

Speaking of idols, here’s something I liked much, much more than expected. I’d actually go so far as to say its fairly decent, although the premise is ridiculous in a fashion I find difficult to accept and, ugh, all those stupid hearts everywhere. Yet I did genuinely enjoy several of the elements in the mix – the girls are resourceful and competent, particularly in ways that I would not have expected at all (when trying to escape enemies, one of the girls pulls out a perfume bottle and chucks it in the opposite direction to distract their pursuers, which doesn’t sound like much, but shows a lot more wherewithal than girls are usually allowed to display), among other things. I was specifically thrilled that the moe moe shy girl turned out to be a capable factory worker, and that the twin-tailed girl didn’t give up her dream to be an idol just because her boyfriend said he wouldn’t like her anymore.

At the same time, though, its idols… idols saving the world or galaxy or whatever. I’ve never liked Macross for this, and AKB0048 doesn’t have the camp atmosphere which helped make Sapphogear so enjoyable. There’s also the fact that, like Aikatsu!, the fact that this is a commercial for something else is very, very obvious and rather ham-fisted. Only time will tell if the good bits can manage to outdo the bad ones.

Night Head Genesis, episodes 1-4

It’s pretty pathetic that not even Akira Ishida yelling, saying, shouting, crying “nii-chan!” and “nii-san!” can save a show. Really, NHG has everything that should make a show a winner for me – over-protective guy with a mentally disturbed younger brother who frequently has issues because he absorbs people’s memories and feelings if they touch him, and the otouto is voiced, as I indicated, by Akira Ishida. It’s actually basically the first two seasons on Supernatural, except, well, really fucking boring. Too bad – it had so much promise.

Kimikiss Pure Rouge, episodes 1-3

Haven’t dropped it yet, probably will. The male leads are milksops; I could’ve excused one being so, since his love interest is similarly shy, but two is more than I’m willing to ensure. I really like Mao, though, but its not really her show. If I could somehow watch a version where its just her storyline I’d be willing to keep watching, but if those boys don’t show some semblance of spine fast, this one’s going in the trash heap.

Phi-Brain, episodes 24-25

Its the end of the line for myself and Phi-Brain, folks. It was more a chore than an enjoyable experience to wrap up this season, and I think I’ve derived all the amusement I can from this show. I don’t regret watching this season of it, but I would regret bothering with it any longer. Rook was BL-tastic toward Kaito, but I was unimpressed with the level of BL-bait present.

Saint Tail, episodes 7-14

Not much to say here – still an enjoyable magical girl show with terribly hideous schoolgirl uniforms. I do wonder if the story we have can really fill out forty-two episodes without it starting to drag bigtime, though – Saint Tail as a magical girl story doesn’t really have any real beginning or end point, since she’s not fighting evil and has no ultimate goal. Similarly to D.N.Angel, its core is a cat and mouse game between Saint Tail and her would-be captor Asuka, Jr., and its already starting to wear a little thin, even with silly plot complications thrown in, seemingly to stall for runtime. This isn’t to say I’ve come to dislike it; the filler is perfectly fine. I just am leery that I’m going to grow weary of it if something doesn’t change soon.

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