Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Winter 2017 Anime season First Impressions and Blog Update

Quick Update on what I'm watching the Winter 2017 season and review plans for the blog. First up are review plans While I still plan to review volume three of The Irregular at Magic High School this is not only the longest novel in the series so far with 284 pages total it also starts my least favorite arc from the Anime The Nine School Competition Arc. While it is not bad I find it really hard to write reviews for something that is just okay while this volume also continues the problem of Sato. Spending too much time trying to construct his world and the narrative scaffolding for this arc that plot and character progression often comes to a screeching halt so it's been a struggle to finish this volume up. Anime wise this season is while not barren I'm not a person who likes to think every new season is awful because I can at least find something to enjoy. The real surprise for me this season is The Saga of Tanya the Evil the first work ever by brand new Studio Studio Nut which is mostly staffed with old Madhouse employees. Adapted from a series of Light Novels this tells the story of nine year old Tanya a violent and brutally rutheless military leader who also happens to be a nine year old girl. The world Tanya inhabits is similar to World War One era Europe with Tanya seemingly part of what is a stand in for Imperial Germany. It's a grim series with historically accurate horrors of war from Mustard Gas attacks, tank columns and trench warfare. Watching the first episode I could practically smell the mud, blood, and death in the battle field and while the idea of an Nine year old girl controlling a platoon and using a kind of magical technology may seem a little goofy it's played so straight that none of it feels unintendedly comical in it's self-seriousness. While the other series in Winter are either things I already liked such as KonoSuba season two and Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen wich with two episodes so far have made for both the funniest series of the year so far and a master class in good direction and voice acting and writing a truly mature drama. Others have been continuations of series from last season such as ClassicaLoid wich is frankly hit or miss having some truly inventive and weird episodes combined with episodes that simply feel like filler. All Out!! Has come off of two really strong episodes that have helped flesh out a number of the charcters beyond one dimensional archetypes. While Time Boken 24 is very much a educational kid's show with interesting mecha design and transformation but a very "of the week" plot structure. Hand Shakers is without a doubt the worst thing I'm still watching the series I have dropped either ended up being boring or creepy and thus not really engaging. Hand Shakers has problems ranging from backgrounds that don't even look like the same world the characters are in to baffling errors of sinking up voice acting with the characters mouth movements to an abuse of filter effects and weird spacial elements due to the camera work. The only saving grace is the sound direction and music other than that it is a baffling power fantasy that hurts to look at. As far as the blog more reviews will be comeing but as I've said working through the latest volume of The Irregular At Magic High School is has been a chore and I will finish it it's honestly a lackluster volume and I may pass on reviewing this one and instead review Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody or volume one of the Konosuba Light Novel not to mention the amount of Manga and Light Novels that have been lisincesd as of late from the orginal Magical Girl Raising Project Light Novels to Seven Seas liscinceing everything from Dragon Half to the Record of The Loddos War Novel. In short I will not be without much of anything to read for the forseable future. SO reviews wil be comeing but it's just a process of having pre-orders come in and finishing up other things I am reading now. So with that Winter 2017 does have it's few gems but for the most part not much of anything that makes for a huge community wide discussion on par with last year's Re:Zero.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Best and Worst Anime, Manga, and Light Novels of 2016

With the end of the year drawing ever nigh I figured I would get my best of 2016 list written up. So here is my best and Worst Anime and Manga of 2016 picks and thoughts on a few series I am looking forward to in 2017. First Anime than Manga and Light Novels and best OP and ED of the year Voice Acting picks than series I am looking forward to in 2017. #1. KonoSuba - God's blessing on this wonderful world!!: KonoSuba is my number one pick much for the same reason Mr. Osomatsu was in 2015 I find it harder to write good comedy as comedy has to break through the intellectual barriers of "why is this funny?" And KonoSuba does that expertly creating a mean, cynical, and oftentimes unpleasant look at a fantasy world. In short a meaner version of Slayers with a cast of characters that range from endearingly insane to bordering on too dumb to live. Making for a series that is not interested in being nice at all. While also occasionally allowing for flashy Special Effects animation in the battle scenes. While also being a surprise hit at scoring a second season when it was only slated for 10 episodes and will now be receiving a second season in Winter of 2017 #2. Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song: In a word this series is Shou Aikawa's baby and Last Song brings this Watchman like meditation on heroism and politics to a close in a way that completely upends the audience's loyalties for a most of the series while giving a visual feast for the eyes in the action scenes. Giving something that is both thought provoking and adrenaline pumping while also having callbacks to the first season with its massive cast although it is very much Jirō's story for the series. Making a series that is a treasure trove of references to classic Tokusatsu shows political subtext and an overall engaging cast of flawed characters. #3. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: A master class in storytelling and character writing this story about the entwined fates of two performers of the ancient form of Japanese storytelling known as Rakugo shows what happens when Studio Deen is able to marshal their funds wisely find a competent director in Shinichi Omata. And allow for the series to be itself. This is a series that will never be universally loved but it can be looked at as a competent piece of mature period writing while also being able to capture everything from the mood of 70s era Showa post World War Two Japan and the seeming slow death of a once venerable art form to modern forms of entertainment. This will be a series you can recommend to lapsed Anime fans and make a case for it being a series that works more as a time capsule or snapshot of an art form's seeming death and metamorphosis through ossification to a replenished vitality. #4. Orange: This honestly could have been the most cliché riddled piece of nothing but instead became a downright scarily realistic depiction of the mindset of a clinically depressed and suicidal person for that even if the animation goes off model or certain budget stretching techniques. This is a series that understands not only the seriousness of Depression but how powerless those who want to help the depressed person can be. For that, this series is on my list because in short, it matters #5. Magical Girl Raising Project: This was a series that many did not give a chance due to many I feel prematurely comparing it to Puella Magi Madoka Magica but really this series never really gives any real hope even with its inconclusive ending that seems hopeful. Magical Girl Raising Project never gives up some would find this unbearably sad but this is a series that makes you care only to rip your heart out when a character you like gets eliminated. Making someone care in a series this dark is important because you can end up becoming numb to the death if you're not careful. In short, a good series that does not try to go for an overly deconstructive take on Magical Girls but is unafraid to make unlikeable people absurdly powerful in a dark and twisted death game and remove likable characters in heart-wrenching scenes. Honorable Mentions: She and Her Cat: Everything Flows: A reworking of one of the first works of Makoto Shinkai takes what was a rather bare bones series about the life of a single woman from the perspective of her aged cat and makes for a compelling look at the pains of growing up the limits of love and overall a bittersweet tale that never feels manipulative. The Lost Village: Is this an intentionally bad series made with the purpose of "trolling" the audience? Or simply a hack job horror series that is so tone deaf and badly made as to be unintentionally hilarious? That's something that can be left up to the viewer to decide as is this is a ridiculous series that makes an entertaining watch if only for how odd it is. Consider it the Troma Movie of Anime series for this year. Re: Zero: Re: Zero was 2016's Sword Art Online meaning that those that loved it often loved it to an extent that it became uncritical almost fawning praise while those that hated it would sometimes oversell how bad this series was. I personally liked the series and while it takes 15 episodes to get really good those episodes that build up to make Subaru a character you can come to understand often times weak, self-absorbed, and emotionally broken. Mind you this was a series I originally had not an intention of even bothering with because it became so popular and haveing been burned by Sword Art Online I had no desire to watch what seemed to be another Isekai power fantasy. Yet this series makes you care about everything from villagers and Oni maids to a seemingly useless screw up like Subaru only to hurt you deeply, in short, this was a work that enjoyed hurting it's audience on levels comparable to Fate/Zero. Making for a series that was a pleasant surprise even if parts of it were supremely unpleasant to the point that parts of episode fifteen had me screaming out "oh God no!!" And crying. Keijo: A big dumb sports Anime wrapped in the clothing of a fan service fiesta this was a series that writers at Kotaku accused of being everything from being Anti-Woman to Pedophiliac yet it is very much a very stupid concept played straight to great effect for comedy. In short dumb fun done right. Worst of The Year #1. Berserk: Honestly I have never been the biggest fan Berserk it's just never been my cup of tea but this 2016 adaptation of the cult Dark Fantasy series had everything wrong with it from horrible CGI animation an overload of dark and vile actions by characters and a plot that devolved into a second rate JRPG. this series was a disappointment for fans of the series and only made me even less of a fan than I ever was of the series. #2. Erased: This was a murder mystery that had the most obvious murderer reveal I've seen while not knowing if it wanted to be a dark grounded mystery, a commentary on the concept of community, or a problem play. Erased was a tired series too enthralled with its own superficial cleverness to really say anything of any importance. #3. Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?: Another entry in the terrible trend of Otaku pandering Waifu bait but whereas a series like Oh My Goddess would make the object of the audience's affection hyper-competent. This series continues the disturbing trends of taking the female lead and coding her in terms that would make her mentally ill in real life. In short, this series is a disgusting "wife raising" fetish Anime that does nothing except push the idea that we are supposed to find a delusional woman-child endearing I wanted to forget this series even existed and really the only thing that made it the least bit bearable was M.A.O.'s performance in it. #4. Joker Game: This had the potential to be an interesting look at Espionage in World War Two from a Japanese perspective and Smiley's People for the Otaku set instead what we got was a tiresome sterile action yarn set in the era of World War Two with characters that had as much personality as Ken Doll. Bland and a missed opportunity. #5. Big Order: The latest work by the mind behind the hatefully misanthropic Future Diary this has nothing but the same overpowered protagonist and one-dimensional power fantasy garbage and try hard edgy tropes that were in Future Diary but made somehow dumber. Dishonorable Mentions: Bungou Stray Dogs: An interesting concept that devolved into weird Slash Fiction like character writing of classic Japanese novelists with powers connected to their most well-known works. Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd Season: From it's bland and uninspired first half that is nothing but a drawn out tournament arc to Chitose Moringa's air raid siren-like line delivery as a child maid this series was alternatively annoying and uninspired at least the first season was entertaining fluff the second season can't even really make me muster enough bile really hate this. Best Manga: #1. The Prince in his dark days by Hico Yamanaka: This is a series that got me back into reading Shojo Manga after a period of time where I quit because it was either tiresome overly chirpy School Days romances or creepy almost stalker like relationships that felt like trying to get the remaining Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey Audience. Prince in his Dark Days takes the sort of story that would be looked at as a wish-fulfillment fantasy in a series in Boys Over Flowers and instead makes it into a dark look at class and gender roles. Having elements of a reverse harem series but also feeling like a gothic romance series in short Ouran High School Host Club if it was written by V. C. Andrews and at only four volumes it's not much of a commitment. #2. Interviews with Monster Girls by Petosu: Monster Girls have become a trend of late and while one could argue that the character has always been around. This series takes that and makes it more based on the interactions of the monster girls with a regular human without having it turn into a harem series or fantasy epic it's a lot more grounded than something like Everyday Life with Monster Girls while not falling into Fan Service overload and making the series insufferably boring. While also not getting bogged down in world building like Centaur's Worries. Best Light Novel: Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Bleak, opinionated, and at times deeply tragic and human Legend of the Galactic Heroes has been a fan favorite longer than I've been alive and having read the first three novels in the sprawling 10 volume space epic it's easy to see why the audience's loyalties are constantly up in the air from the ethics of warfare to working within the confines of corrupt political system. This is a series that is frankly evergreen in what it asks the audience to consider. Best OP: Usurai Shinjuu by Megumi Hayashibara: a frenetic Jazz piece performed by the voice of Rei Ayanami sets up a world filled with emotions, emotional pain, and a lively change over the often cookie-cutter J-Pop and J-Rock songs used as OPs in Anime while also showing the talent of Hayashibara in being able to sing a complicated Jazz number. Best ED: Chiisana Boukensha by Rie Takahashi, Sora Amamiya and Ai Kayano: The Ending Theme to the first season of KonoSuba with it's quiet almost Celtic influenced opening and simple delivery from the three main voice actresses this reminded me of the ED to Fractal while also showing a change in mood making for a relaxing end to the often madcap series. Best Seiyuu Male: Akira Ishida as Yakumo Yuurakutei: Ishida takes a character who has to not only play an older version of himself but also a young version of himself and be able to believable show the difference in experience and be a believable Rakugo performer. It's an amount of nuance that is amazing to see. Honorable Mention: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti: Matsuoka is known by most as the voice of Kirito in Sword Art Online and I knew him as Masaki Ichijou in The Irregular At Magic High School. In short, he's known mostly for playing nice guy charcters so as Petelgeuse he plays a completely mentally unhinged and psychotic cult leader and in my opinion making one of the best villain performance since Jouji Nakata's performance as Kirei Kotomine in Fate'Stay Night. Best Seiyuu Female: Rie Takahashi as Megumin : Some could argue that Takahashi's performance as the explosion-obsessed Mage became some kind of Meme but honestly Takahashi was able to pull off a performance that overshadowed the other performances while also able to play off of Jun Fukushima's adlibbing and give as good as she gets in the toad slime scene. Making some of her lines the funniest in the series. Honorable Mention: Chika Anzai as Reina Kousaka: While Tomoyo Kurosawa will end up on most best of lists this year for her turn as Kumiko Oumae and deservidely so. I think Chika Anzai deserves a round of aplause for her turn as Reina from being an inscrutable and haughty ice princess to an adorably awkward girl trying to make friends while also nursing a hopeless school girl crush on her Teacher Anzai runs a gammet of emotions through the two seasons of Sound Euphonium. Anticipated Manga and Light Novels Waiting for Spring by Anashin: A reverse Harem series about Mitsuki Haruno who ends up becoming sort of friends with the stars of the School Basketball team this simply feels like Bishonen eye candy for girls and honestly I like reverse harem series more than regular harem series as Reverse harem series seem to be more based around wooing the female protagonist instead of the female cast throwing themselves at the male protagonist in a regular harem. Also, this is serialized in Desert a magazine which has put out other series I have enjoyed. How this will be I have no idea but I have pre-ordered so I am hopeful it will be if nothing else an entertaining diversion back into the green spring of youth. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu by Kumota, Haruko: The manga that the Anime was based on this is a series that I almost feel obligated to support as it is the kind of thoughtful character-driven series Mangaka are capable of making but either never get released here or are released and go over like a lead balloon. Aho Girl by Hiroyuki: a four-panel gag Manga about an absurdly stupid girl who has to be watched over by her childhood friend this simply just seemed like a funny lark of a series that I'd roll the dice on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review of Legend Of The Galactic Heroes Volume three Review

With a plan set in motion by the Imperial Army to recapture Iserlohn from The Free Planets Alliance using warp drive and the use of an entire space fortress as an mobile war machine while Yang is called before a Court of Inquiry and Phezzan and it's shadowy leader make cloak and dagger plans with the more shadowy Cult of Terra with each exploiting the other for their own ends while Rubinsky Phezzan's leader makes plans to perpetuate the war between the Galactic Empire and The Free Planets Alliance as to benefit his own interests. In a word this volume is brutal not in the sense that something like Kentaro Miura's Berserk is but a more subtle and ultimately more painful brutality due to Yoshiki Tanaka's willingness to probe the inner depths of and humanize the characters in the story from the leader of the invasion of Iserloh Admiral Kempf's moments with his family before deploying to Yang fretting over Julian to even the seemingly cold and seemingly inhuman Oberstein adopting an aged and useless dog for no discernable reason other than he took a liking to the mongrel. While the war scenes continue to be grim depictions of the human cost of war and the narrator seems to always drive home the dehumanizing effects of war and when occasionally turned to Yang's perspective can become somewhat preachy. In fact I would say out of all the characters the ones that stood out the most for me were Frederica Greenhill on The Free Planets Alliance side showing a diligence and cool headedness when trying to free Yang from the Court of Inquiry showing an internal resolve that makes her a woman of much worth. And while I criticized Hilda in my review of the second volume as essentially a "re-skinned" Imperial version of Frederica. Hilda honestly felt a little bit more of the romantic that Frederica taking a concern for the still emotionally fragile Reinhard that feels more than the mere concern of a subordinate. While Reinhard feels like he is slowly being crushed by the weight of expectation while also having an aching loneliness in his heart at having lost Siegfried to an Assassin's bullet meant for Reinhard and his Sister to a self-imposed exile. With Oberstein trying to worm his way into Reinhard's mind. It's sad to see someone who outwardly seems so together appear to be slowly falling apart inside. Yet not all is gloom, angst and the horrors of war a few bright spots such as Wolfgang Mittermeyer's engagement and marriage to Evangeline and his odd friendship with the Byronic Womanizing Oskar von Reuenthal.  While Julian is pretty much everything that is right and good in the series making him the most traditionally heroic of the characters. All and all for the talk of this series being a space opera filled with epic battles it's the insular character work I find the most interesting be it Hilda trying to preserve whatever shreds of humanity are left in Reinhard. OR the crafting of s scene in which an orderly escape turns into a panic filled massacre of fellow officers in the frenzied attempts to escape. When things seem to be going better they only seem to get worse. Another sobering volume in an grim series that captures the horrors of war and the continued fundamental brokenness of mankind. It'd be easy to take Yang's position that Nations are what are the problems but I think it's more endemic than simply a bad or corrupt political system.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Quick Reviews: The Backlog Edition

Recently, Crunchyroll acquired streaming rights to a bunch of titles from Nozomi Entertainment several I had dropped at some point or always meant to watch but never got around to watching them along with finishing up a series I had dropped and an OVA I had not had the chance to watch. This will be a series of quick reviews on each of the titles I finished. First are Onegai☆Teacher and Onegai☆Twins I watched both series dubbed as rule I don't like dubs as I find them wooden and stagey and the English language voice actors in these series nothing to make me more appreciative of dubs. Although it was nice to see Hoffman, Bridget as Mizuho Kazami as Hoffman was the English language voice of Belldandy in Oh My Goddess which was one the series that helped me get back into Anime. Onegai Teacher involves the protagonist Kei finding out that his new teacher is actualy an extrterstial observer and the romantic drama that ensues after he claims that she is his wife. It's really basic romantic comedy and certen parts of it feel written to explain away the ethical quandaries of student marrying his teacher it's slight but fun with an art style lokks old and kind cheap. Onegai Twins works a kind of sequel with the charcters from the first series in the background but this ti,me involveing the oprhedn tennage computer designer Maiku who finds out that girls are claiming to be his long lost twin sister what ensues are a sometimesfrustateingly thoughtful look at what constutes family with unfunny jokes about inscest and fan service so blatent that it becomes laughable of the two Onegai Twins is actualy better as it has diftirent tonal shifts and while wish fuffilment doe not feel as transeparently so as Onegai Teacher both seires also came with an OVA that is essentialy a threteenth episode but so derail the charcteresation of the series that they are not worth watching unless one is a compleateist. Mahoutsukai Tai! OVA: Directed and written by Junichi Satou (Sailor Moon TV and Junkers Come Here!) is a story of a group of misfit school club of wizards and witches who have to save the world form potential alien invasion while also having romantic comedy hijinx. The animation is pretty and the overall story flows okay but the humor is the style of Slayers and just doesn't work for me. Junjou Romantica: Yaoi Anime that got three seasons helmed by Studio Deen (they get a supriseing amount of Yaoi tossed there way)tells the story of three couples and has a distressing amount of "rapey" content in it along with charcter archetypes that you may love or hate depending on how you like your Yaoi. But worse than being bad it's dull and the hilariously off model animation doesn't help and large parts of it wher soporific attempts at drama or one of the charcter complaining about the relationship they are in lots of Tsundere pouting on the side of the Uke. Bland boarderline offensive and unenegageing. Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!: Aharem Anime in wich the gimmick is that one of the heroines could end up being the lead's long lost half-sister. It's cheap has a gross concept and overly convoluted premise that has one glareingly eeasy and simple solution that is never wplored. Thankful the series solves the "mystery" of who the little sister is in episode 12 while episode 13 became an OVA. This was oeginaly in 2012 during what could be said to have been the hight of the seeming little sister craze in Anime and it's really again not that good as again it looks cheap. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! OVA: an OVA included with a copy of the Light Novel this made me laugh in spite of myself with the crew getting the most of the fact that could do things on an OVA unencumbered by Television standards and practices. With Kazuma thiking he only has four days to live after putting on a magical choker found in Wiz's shop the rest of the cast make an effort to make his last days on earth peaceful but this being the cast of Konosuba nothing goes right Kazuma makes creepy perverted requests of the girls my personal favroute being him thrusting his crotch in the face Megumin after she says she hopes "it" breaks. Only for Kazuma to get a blast of hot spring water up his butt. Or confessing to various things the girls didid'nt know he did because he thinks he is on death's door. In short it is eberything I loved about the orginal TV series only able to go even farther thanks to it being an OVA. Deintely worth a watch if you were a fan of the orginal series.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blog Update: State of The Blog and Random and Sundry Thoughts

Figured since I have not written a review since Yosuga no Sora figured I'd give an update that no I have not dropped off the face of the earth or abandoned blogging I have simply been consuming a lot more Anime and not reviewing it as I dropped reviewing Classicaloid and retired the weekly streaming review for each season. As this honestly, I feel ran it's course and the shows I was reviewing were reviewed better by people at Anime News Network or the shows where not much of anything to review one only has to look at my reviews of Luck and Logic and Hundred to see that it became increasingly hard to try and find anything constructive or insightful to say about some of the series I've reviewed in the past. Another thing holding up reviews is a lot of the series I plan on reviewing are either tied up in pre-orders or it will involve me haveing to read a Light Novel wich takes significantly longer to read and write than a review of one volume of Manga or one episode of Anime. With reviews of Goblin Slayer, the next two volumes of both The Irregular At Magic High School andThe Legend of The Galactic Heroes and Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody all coming in on top of haveing to finish Futaro Yamada's The Kouga Ninja Scrolls and watching a total of 34 series. So a lot of irons are in the fire on top of it being the holiday season and since I work in retail that means I will be extremely busy with work on top of social functions so finding the time to consume, analyze, and interpret a piece of media is going to be a luxury for the next couple months. Besides I am haveing way too much fun just watching things like Dragon Ball Super, Drifters, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, Kaijuu Girls, Keijo!!!!!!!!, and Tiger Mask W. While online reviewing that I consume has basically trickled down to the Youtube channels of Kenji the Enji and Anime Everyday. I've tried in the past to try and give channels like Animerica and Digibro a hearing but ultimately it just feels like a couple of over blown characters trying to either milk controversy for page views and potential income or setting up some overblown "Star System" fictional universe and bad sketch comedy. I wish them both well but simply put it is not for me. While Anime News Network I still like Anime News Network interviews are almost always on point news is varied and frequent and the forum while I'm not as involved in the forum as I was when I first joined in 2010 but it's still a good forum for as little as I'm involved. Yet and this was something I was going to write about at the end of the year but I figured might as well write about ti now and that is Hope Chapman who some may remember from her time on That Guy With The Glasses and Youtube doing the JesuOtaku Anime Review wich I always but thought the series "jumped the shark" after her 100 favorite Anime list devolving into the kind of profane sketch based video reviewing that has become par for the course on what is now Channel Awsome. Then she quit TGWTG and got a job as the Associate Editor of Editorial at ANN and engaged to Executive Editor Zac Bertschy who also who also hots the ANNcast wich is the only Anime related podcast I listen to. Anyway, Hope's reviews became increasingly based on an increasingly liberal social view point the Apothis of this being her review of Konosuba's first episode. Until come to find out Hope has now decided she is and always has been a Man. and has recently married Zac so now she passes herself off as man it's sad because a smart female voice has been silenced because of her giving her self over to depraved and sinful life style there is still hope for her to repent and be forgiven no one is too far from the Grace of God to save anyone no matter how deep in rebellion they may be but I digress. Anyway, this whole acceptance of Hope's new "identity has frankly made ANN a much sadder place for me as no one seems willing to mourn the passing of Hope and this morsl travisty that is her trying to pass as a man. Or the outright approveal of it wich for me sin is sin and I'm not going to be a jerk about it but I will not approve of what I see and The Bible of wich I am completely beholden to trust honor, and revere say is a sin. I really wish this sort of thing did'nt have to be brought up but I have nowhere else to speak my mind on this and this will be the only time I'll write about it on here. Becuese honestly the whole issue of Transgenderism makes me profoundly sad as it is little else than a "slow motion suicide". While the ANNcast when it was Zac and Justin hosting it felt ordered and neat with Hope and Zac it has a tendency to devolve into one those free-form rambling Anime podcasts that feel like a conversation out of the club meetings in Genshiken. Thankfully there is still some structure to the show but I don't know how long that will last and the ANNcas moving to Youtube has me worried that it may end up like Crunchyroll's podcast a sad attempt at trying to brand the lifestyle of the website through the employees who do not know how to speak in a podcast setting and mostly ends up feeling like a gauche attempt at trying to sell fans on the "experience" of Crunchyroll. I hope this does not happen but given the judicial hardening Hope has undergone and people on ANN turning a blind eye to it or celebrating it I honestly the prospect of watching ti week to week too depressing to endure. beyond the "scarification" of her voice by taking Testosterone being hard enough. so enough on that just know I have not given up reviewing only The Stream feature and reviews are going to take longer due to work and Novels taking longer to read and write reviews for. With that, I hope this has not been too boring or unintentionally insensitive in some places.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Yosuga no Sora: Full Series Review (Spoilers)

Yosuga no Sora the story of siblings Haruka and Sora Kasugano who are forced to move back to their Grandparents medical clinic in the Japanese countryside after the death of their parents in an accident. Quickly introduces a cast of old friends and new acquaintances to the siblings while Haruka and Sora try to function given their new relationship dynamic and Sora's often jealous and possessive outbursts aginst anyone she perceives as "stealing" her older brother from her. There is no nice way to talk about this series Yosuga no sora is one the worst Anime I have ever seen it is emotionally manipulative, dull, artless, and profoundly unpleasant in the whole. The series it'self is set up as an Omnibus series much like Amagami SS wich had a few episodes dedicated to a given heroine than reset the continuity of the series. Yosuga no Sora instead uses the first episode to introduce all the girl's routes than parcels them up between episodes making it a confusing snarl of plot points that undercut other parts and plot continuity. While Haruka as a protagonist is nothing a blank slate and cipher that exists as nothing more than the heroine of the given route emote against while this series is not coy about its origin as an 18+ Visual Novel with each route haveing at least one sex scene with the given heroine including at least one badly explained rape scene that gets's hand waved with the tired explanation of the victim actually wanting it. None of these animated well with basic anatomy being beyond the animator's ability then there is of course probably the one thing most people who haven't even seen this series know about it. it is about a brother and sister who end up haveing sex with each other. Now incest as a topic in Anime can be explored intelligently the 2004 Anime, Koi Kaze being a prime example but even something as pandering as Kiss x Sis works better than Yosuga no Sora because it at least knows that it's a dumb fanservice show. Yosuga no Sora tries to invest some sort of tragic romantic element into Sora and Haruka's relationship that given the omnibus nature of the series feels broken along with certain scenes feeling lifted from better series. In short, this is a series that has frankly become mimetically bad a series one can use to troll people with when asked for Anime suggestions along with the likes of Boku No Pico and Bible Black. All of the females leads are one-dimensional archetypes and I really wish I could say something profound about the series but that giving something of this dubious quality more regard than it deserves and really if anything this deserves to be forgotten.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Final Fall Stream 2016 and The Final The Stream: Classicaloid Episode 3

First, as a preface this will be the last streaming post I will be doing as I've loved reviewing episodes week to week I find that others are simply doing it better and while I will continue to review the occasional show as strikes my fancy given the sheer volume of Anime I am watching it watching all of that and writing a weekly review is a bit too much for me so I am retiring The Stream after a good run. Episode three introduces two new Classicaloids Frédéric Chopin who is now a social anxiety ridden Hikikomori who lives in a spare room in Kanae's rental property and Franz Liszt who is now a woman obsessed with love. Again this sort of zany wackiness is par for the course and is something I find enjoyable but those who are bigger fans of Classical Music may again feel this does not take the subject matter seriously but we are dealing with a series that has a Gyoza obsessed Beethoven so I don't think historical accuracy was ever one of its strong points. Visually thankfully this had more movement than last episode and the surreal mindscapes created by the music of the composers are a real visual feast but not much happens other than the introduction of the two new composers and the same comedy beats wich I enjoy.