Anime of Tomorrow
Tag Archives: dropped
Initial impression – just…what? (2/10)
Spring 2012 (dropped at 1 of 12 episodes) (English title – Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos) (more info)
What do you get when you try to cross a romantic, moe comedy with Lovecraft? The jumbled mess that is Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, that’s what. Seriously, just what were they thinking when they came up with the setting for this show? Were they throwing darts at post-it notes or did they just spin a roulette wheel of possible themes? Perhaps it might have worked if the writers didn’t actually think that they could spin these two mismatched concepts into something with real-world ties—‘cause really, how can anyone think that turning Nyarlathotep into a female, alien-otaku is a good idea? It expends way too much energy trying to legitimize itself as something more than the sum of its subtractive parts and it just doesn’t work. Also, it makes a lot of obscure references to the Cthulhu mythos that only someone deeply familiar with Lovecraft’s work is likely to understand. It’s so full of itself that it can’t see how unfathomably thick it is. I actually find this kind of poorly constructed amalgam to be insulting in the way the viewers are just expected to roll with it and accept something so half-baked. It also doesn’t do a very good job constructing its more romantic side with the male lead seemingly having some kind of bipolar disorder. He knows that his new protector is a crazy, nutzo, wild girl, but one minute he’s dealing out punishment for her transgressions by stabbing her with a fork and the next he’s enraptured by her wiles. Is this proof of the concept that the hotter a girl is the crazier she’s allowed to be? Well whatever…I think I’ve adequately made my point that Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is not worth any more of my time.
Last Exile – Fam, the Silver Wing (4/10)
Dropped at episode 4 of 21 (more info)
I remember fondly the sense of urgency and mystery that filled the original Last Exile and made it a great introductory anime to anyone who wanted to take a closer look at the steampunk genre. The magic of the original series has been lost over the years and its second season has become just a boring old pirating anime, set in a world at war that deals with issues of honor in very contrived ways.
High School DxD (4/10)
Dropped at episode 2 of 12 (more info)
There’s good ecchi and bad ecchi. To its credit, High School DxD falls somewhere in the middle, but there’s still way too much ecchi for its own good. The plot is really quite silly and the character designs portray the women with completely unreasonable proportions, purely for fanservice purposes. Its redeeming feature is that it actually has a somewhat original and interesting story to tell, but that’s not enough when the rest of the anime feels as though there’s no effort invested in its creation.
Kill Me Baby (3/10)
Dropped at episode 2 of 12 (more info)
The super-deformed moe style certainly isn’t for everyone, but what kills Kill Me Baby is the serious lack of personality in its characters. Sonya is supposed to be aloof and detached, but seems much more bored and apathetic all the time. Agiri may always be up in the clouds and look spacey, but her voice sounds either like she’s about to fall asleep or maybe she’s on drugs. Lively Yasuna does her best to make up for the two cinder blocks she hangs out with, but when they’re content to just leave her behind I can’t see how the plot of this anime could possibly go anyplace exciting.
Inu x Boku SS (3/10)
Dropped at episode 5 of 12 (more info)
The idea of tsundere Ririchiyo being naturally driven to adopt this personality by virtue of her cloistered and bourgeois lifestyle is a level of depth in character creation seldom seen from this character archetype. Giving her a doting companion / bodyguard who will naturally be able to melt her icy personality through his devoted loyalty was the perfect complement to Ririchiyo and the beginning of something really cool was all set to wow the viewers. And then it all went horribly wrong as it floundered in a sea of misplaced and pointless S&M jokes. Really, this is one of the strangest changes of tone I’ve seen in a long time.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear (3/10)
Dropped at episode 3 of 13 (more info)
Hibiki and Tsubasa’s relationship is on bad terms, but it’s mostly because Hibiki seems to turn off her social skills in favor of playing the starstruck underdog to Tsubasa’s cold, professionalism. It’s also paced way too slow, with too little information revealed about the origins of this war and with supporting characters who clearly understand more than the combatants. Being a singing anime with less than mediocre music is also not a great way to sell a title to fans who are interested in that kind of genre. Symphogear could have been a cool, technological / magic girl anime along the lines of My-HiME, but the fight scenes are clunky and the characters are either super bitchy or socially incompetent airheads.
Final impression – inconsistent
Kanba and Shouma have been given the task of retrieving the Penguin Drum by the hat that has possessed their sister, Himari. They really don’t have much of a choice in the matter since the hat is keeping her alive. The hat thinks the Penguin Drum is in the possession of a girl named Ringo, so the brothers decide to stalk her throughout the day in order to gather information about where she might be keeping it. However, during the course of following her from the train station in the morning, to her girls’ school during lunch, through a lingerie shop in the afternoon, they find out something strange. She’s stalking a teacher and has planned how to win his heart and spend the rest of her life by his side.
Mawaru Penguindrum continues its unexplained escapades through a weakly developed plot. Even after episode 2, there’s still so much unexplained stuff going on. For starters, why doesn’t the hat just possess Himari and go get the Penguin Drum by itself? What is the Penguin Drum the brothers are even looking for? Why would Ringo be in possession of the Penguin Drum in the first place? The lack of explanation might not have hurt the anime if it wasn’t so pervasive. There is such a thing as pacing, but Mawaru Penguindrum’s development makes a snail look like a rocket. The wacky style and colorful visuals make the anime fun, but it’s fun without substance.