Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring 2016 Anime Round 3: Lightning Review First Impressions: Wagamama High Spec, Usakame, Hundred, Twin Star Exorcists, Bungo Stray Dogs, Anne-Happy, Super Lovers, Bakuon!!

Another day, another bunch of anime to review. I've been getting behind, so I included a few more this time around:
Wagamama High Spec, Usakame, Hundred, Twin Star Exorcists, Bungo Stray Dogs, Anne-Happy, Super Lovers, and Bakuon!!

So far, these have all been Crunchyroll anime, but I'll be expanding out to at least some new Netflix shows soon. I have two new releases coming out this month, so I've been somewhat busy (and maybe that's contributing to me being too harsh on these and giving up quickly?).

Without further ado, let's get started!

Wagamama High Spec ワガママハイスペック

Here's another short short, but with normal quality art and animation this time around. Not sure exactly what this show is to be honest. Seems to be one that will skate by on fan-service alone with no plot to speak of. The first episode was pretty absurd.

Usakame うさかめ

This is a tennis yuri short short. Extremely poor animation (specifically, FPS), but drawn in the manga style of hand-drawn/colored appearing pictures (which is nice). More of a plot than I was expecting from a short short, but everything happens at LIGHTNING fast speed. It really feels like you're watching a highlight reel of a show instead of the show itself.

In looking up more on Usakame, I see that it's a spin-off of Teekyu, which I haven't gotten to see. I imagine that fans of that series will enjoy this one also though, and it explains how there is so much of a plot for such a short.

Hundred ハンドレッド

Here's a sci-fi show that doesn't seem to be treading any new grounds. Prodigy attends school for combatants against aliens; seems pretty standard. Some nice art so far and enough to keep your attention, but there's a real danger of being bored here. I'll be trepidatiously watching the next couple of episodes to see if the show has anything to offer beyond what's on the surface.

If I wasn't a sci-fi fan, I doubt that I'd be giving this more than the first episode treatment.

Twin Star Exorcists 双星の陰陽師

I'm really liking the awesome style of supernatural anime since Madoka. The idea of these separate realms that are drawn in a different style is a welcome one. This show really caught my attention for a lot of good reasons and one very stupid one: the male main character (there's a male and female main) has teeth drawn as triangles. Every time I see him I think he looks so stupid.

The rest of the show is pretty attractive and I'm liking the aesthetics otherwise, but that one guy looks so freaking stupid that it detracts from the entirety of the show. I may stop watching this show just because of his character design! It's that bad.

I won't subject you to it with the picture of him, and instead leave you with his better half:

Bungo Stray Dogs 文豪ストレイドッグス

This one has a strange beginning. It's apparently about a detective agency where all the members have supernatural powers, but I question the POV for the first episode and how slow it was to get into what it was finally actually about. Researching it, I see that all of the characters are the names of real-life authors. Whether these characters are supposed to be those real-life authors or if it's just a tribute to them is not made clear.

It was interesting once it got started, but a little too convenient and the characters were a little too knowledgeable (with the exception of the POV character, who was exceptionally ignorant of the events of the show).

Anne-Happy あんハピ♪

If Tanaka-kun is sleepy-boy porn, then this is melancholy, unlucky girl porn. Every girl in the show has some sort of malady, malaise, maladjustment or just terrible luck.

There's a character that loves animals that is hated by all animals, a character that has what Samuel L. Jackson had in Unbreakable, a character that gets lost at every turn, and a character that is literally in love with a poster. They either didn't tell us yet or I missed what is wrong with the fifth main character, but I'm sure there's something wrong with her too.

Everyone is drawn well and the show itself is somewhat interesting, but again, we're not shown enough to really hook us unless the moe of the characters themselves gets you. The art and character designs will probably get me for at least another episode or two to see if it develops, but if it wasn't for that, it would be another boring one.

The characters are thrown together in a high school class because the school wants them to be happy; so their curriculum is literally about becoming happy. Yeah, somewhat far-fetched, which is why I said this is mainly appealing for its moe aspects.

Super Lovers スーパーラヴァーズ

So I don't usually give up on a show partway through the first episode, but holy crap this one is off the reservation. Look, I'm pretty open to things. I don't have a problem with fiction being yaoi (Boy's Love) and I don't even have a problem with incest in fiction usually, but when one of the characters is pre-pubescent, the other is a full-fledged adult, AND it's incest AND it's not about how fucked up that is, then it's straight up unpleasant to watch.

In looking up the summaries on it, it seems maybe there is a time jump before anything of that nature happens—in which case, maybe it's OK—but as you're watching this and you see the art of the opening and everything and in all of that the kid is a little kid and the guy is an adult guy. That's the kind of incest in fiction that you go, "Wait a second, even if you can get past the incest part of it, that's an adult family member taking advantage of a too-young family member and is super messed up."

If the age gap wasn't so large or if both characters were older, then I probably would have at least finished Episode 1, but the age gap is what it is and I couldn't get past seeing these two being more than is appropriate in the art. Have you watched it? Is there a time jump that makes this somewhat more palatable? 

As expected from Boy's Love, the male characters have gorgeous character design and the art in general is fine. That's about the only thing I can comment on from what I've seen.

Bakuon!! ばくおん!!

I think this one had a bit of a misstep. The presumed main character (pictured below) is kind of a jerk throughout. She is consistently overly judgemental and it doesn't really work out for her. I don't know if that's part of the comedy or what, but it fell flat for me. I love her character design too, so it's a bummer she's got such a bad personality.

On the other hand, the other characters have no personality so far. The sempai character says nothing and the rival character is just a fangirl. The presumed other main character is just an impressionable young girl that goes along with what the other girls say and can hear the voices of motorcycles.

It's somewhat cute and I had a lot of hope for an anime about a high school motorcycle club, but so far I've just been disappointed.

So what are your thoughts on these series? Have you checked any of them out? Have I been too harsh on any? I'm particularly interested if I judged Super Lovers too soon, but I sorta' think I haven't. Several of these already have episode 2s out, so here's hoping for some more action. I'll be continuing on with Twin Star Exorcists, and Anne-Happy definitely, and if I get bored or optimistic, maybe Bungo Stray Dogs and Bakuon!!, but otherwise these two haven't hooked me.

Check out First Round of Spring 2016 Reviews
Check out Second Round of Spring 2016 Reviews