Anime of Tomorrow
Tag Archives: Kikou Shoujo wa Kizutsukanai
The conclusion to this season left me a little more disappointed than the last few seasons. A lot of anime that seemed to have tons of potential just flopped and even the ones that had a strong story throughout the past three months often left me high and dry upon their conclusion. There were a few surprising gems that glittered amongst the mud, but metaphorically speaking, none of them were diamonds. Click here if you want to see how my final rankings differ from my predictions at the start of the season.
What made this series so strong was the priority it gave to its character development. Not a single second was wasted on little side characters, but at the same time their significance to the story was not ignored. This series also had the courage to go 100% CG, which made for epic maritime battles that flowed seamlessly with the rest of the animation.
The vision of this anime’s setting cannot be given enough praise. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s hard to imagine the complex clash of cultures emerging so organically from this simultaneously heartwarming and tragic story. We’re only halfway through, but if things keep going at this rate, I think I’m looking at a candidate for anime of the year 2014.
What an adventure these three young people undertook. Their talents and chemistry brought them together to have a ton of fun, which was a treat to watch and in some ways almost experience along with them. The real tragedy of this series is the ending that left nobody happy. I wonder if like the first season of this IP, when the season of White Album returns we’re going to get a sequel that will give a better conclusion.
I can’t think of many other recent series that understood what made the premise of their setting so much fun and managed to just keep the jokes coming one after another (Servant x Service did come close). It also had an amazing, underlying theme about salesmanship, economics racial equality that could be the cornerstone of any moral compass.
Oh Kyoto Animation. What will you come up with next? It’s one thing to take a bunch of random anime tropes and throw them into a blender–but this series takes nearly everything that I love about anime and sets it into a story that merges serious and ridiculous fun arranged into a complete piece that never failed to make me smile.
|December 22||Monogatari Series Ep. 25 Kana Hanazawa is a frighteningly good voice actress. Her depiction of Nadeko as a yandere snake god actually sent chills down my spine.|
|Little Busters Refrain Ep. 12 I’m becoming more and more convinced that this “after story” for the main Little Busters series would have been more appropriately suited to a series of OVAs rather than a slow-paced thirteen episodes.|
|White Album 2 Ep. 12 In these later episodes it’s become harder and harder to like the two heroines. Setsuna, it turns out, is a homewrecker and Touma is maddeningly indecisive.|
|December 23||Magi 2 Ep. 12 It’s just one power grab after another–betrayal after betrayal. It’s such a good thing that we’ve abandoned the primitive system of monarchy that drew the masses into pointless wars for succession.|
|December 24||Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ep. 12 Kongou and Iona’s conversation didn’t really have the emotional impact that the other mental models had. I appreciated the change it brought about, but this isn’t the big ending I was hoping for.|
|Unbreakable Machine Doll Ep. 12 Urgh… so many loose ends. What were the writers thinking? Talk about cramming tons of what could have been interesting content for a twenty-six episode series into only twelve.|
|December 26||Coppelion Ep. 13 What a strange ending. I really had high hopes for this series when I saw the first episode. But it turned into a string of near-nonsense that disserviced its grim and technological setting.|
|December 27||Nagi no Asu Kara Ep. 13 Oh man. What just happened? And how will the series progress from this point? I thought things were getting a little too caught up in the emotional side, but what a climax to the first half of the series.|
|December 15||Monogatari Series Ep. 24 I’d have hoped that discussing the details of of Kaiki’s plan to deceive a god would lead down a more philosophical path than the conversation actually brought about.|
|Little Busters Refrain Ep. 11 It saddens me to find out that Angel Beats borrowed so heavily from the themes that had already been laid out here in Key’s earlier title.|
|White Album 2 Ep. 11 It’s hard learning the truth about love. I’ve lost count of the number of times the three main characters not only betrayed each other, but also betrayed themselves.|
|December 16||Magi 2 Ep. 11 Morgiana continues to be my favorite character in this series. She’s such a strong woman in every meaning of strength and I always find myself cheering for her.|
|December 17||Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ep. 11 Although they stuck with each other rather than become allies of Gunzou, it was still interesting to see the unique way I-400 and I-402 came to realize they were more than weapons.|
|Unbreakable Machine Doll Ep. 11 It’s quite clear this series will not resolve its core conflict between Raishin and Magnus. And with no second season in sight, another anime falls victim to airing before a sufficient amount of content was finished being written.|
|December 19||Coppelion Ep. 12 It’s hard to sympathize with the antagonists when they keep turning down every chance for redemption they’re given. But it’s also annoying when the protagonists keep giving the bad guys second chances that put everyone they’re trying to save in danger.|
|Kyoukai no Kanata Ep. 12 It’s ok to bring someone back from the dead if there was a good reason to do so. Personally, I’m not sure there was even a good reason for anyone to die in the first place.|
|December 20||Nagi no Asu Kara Ep. 12 So far this series has had a great pace, but this episode really seemed to be dragging its heels. Last week established how things were going to happen, so lets go already.|
|December 21||Outbreak Company Ep. 12 Personally, I think having the climax of this series be in the previous episode was a huge mistake. It left the season finale with nowhere left to go and just foundered about without going anywhere.|
|Yuushibu Ep. 12 This series did a great job sticking to its theme and not wandering. While it never achieved any level of sophistication, I enjoyed every ridiculous minute of it.|
|Freezing Vibration Ep. 12 This franchise’s first season told a much more interesting story about what it means to be a pandora. Vibration just stagnated and followed a rather ho-hum plot about military bureaucracy.|
|December 8||Monogatari Series Ep. 23 What a cliffhanger. And I just know that whatever was in Nadeko’s closet is probably a majory plot point and won’t be revealed until the season finale.|
|Little Busters Refrain Ep. 10 Aw man. The pace of this series has turned into a mess. There’s still three more episodes, but now they’re doing a clip-show-ish review of events leading up to this point? *shakes head*|
|White Album 2 Ep. 10 I’m not sure the order of events was properly planned for this series. Was it really worth the emotional baggage to reveal Haruki and Touma’s past this late?|
|December 9||Magi 2 Ep. 10 The gladiator battle had a really good pace to it, but the crowd is really messed up. One minute they’re on Alibaba’s side and as soon as it looks like he’s about to lose, everyone abandons him? Surely someone who bet money on him should still be on his side, right?|
|December 10||Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ep. 10 Formerly nothing
more than weapons of war, it’s a real treat to see these young women discover they can be more than that by integrating into themselves the best traits of humanity.
|Unbreakable Machine Doll Ep. 10 A good revenge story always gets my blood boiling. I can taste Raishin’s hatred and frustration at having to bide his time and wait for a proper time to strike.|
|December 12||Coppelion Ep. 11 As a writer, what do you do when you’ve run out of ideas? Throw in a ridiculous mecha that the bad guys were somehow hiding and not using the entire series despite getting their butts kicked the whole time.|
|Kyoukai no Kanata Ep. 11 I most certainly hope that someone I love never lays down their life for me. If it’s you or me, I’ll always say “both.” Never forget that discretion is the better part of valor.|
|December 13||Nagi no Asu Kara Ep. 11 I know there’s a certain romance to a story about confessing your love at the end of the world. But we should take that as a lesson that we shouldn’t wait until the end of the world to do the important things in life.|
|December 14||Outbreak Company Ep. 11 Although this series seemed sympathetic to the issues surrounding otaku culture, in reality I think it still depicted us as a dangerous social phenomenon. I don’t like that one bit.|
|Yuushibu Ep. 11 A true hero doesn’t become a hero because he’s seeking the fame. They’re just brave men and women who make the right decision when nobody else has the courage to step forward.|
|Freezing Vibration Ep. 11 I totally called it. It took two seasons, but Chiffon turned out to be the character who you hope never opens her eyes.|
|December 1||Monogatari Series Ep. 22 In theory this is supposed to be Hitagi’s arc, but at this rate it’s going to be Nadeko’s second arc with a strong emphasis on Kaiki…|
|Little Busters Refrain Ep. 9 And now Kengo’s arc has started. Or perhaps this whole second half of the season is just about showing how much Riki has matured.|
|White Album 2 Ep. 9 I’m not sure where this love triangle is going, but I’m reminded of the two girls competing for one guy scenario that plagued Shana‘s second season.|
|December 2||Magi 2 Ep. 9 Meh. This cast of characters is already too big and there’s still more movers and shakers entering this spaghetti-like mess of relationships.|
|December 3||Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ep. 9 The battle in this episode takes place on so many fronts–hearts vs minds, friends vs comrades, requests vs orders, power vs subtlety, freedom vs reservation–but never once does it feel spread thin or poorly paced. I love it.|
|Unbreakable Machine Doll Ep. 9 Nothing about the current situation feels right. I sense there’s some needlessly elaborate deception going on here.|
|December 5||Coppelion Ep. 10 This series is like a broken record. I can’t stop watching it because it does offer some beauty, but it keeps repeating the same mistakes in its storytelling over and over.|
|Kyoukai no Kanata Ep. 10 I’m not found of the whole, “it was just a dream,” storytelling device. But I’ll make an exception in this case because it allowed for communication that actually forwarded the story.|
|December 6||Nagi no Asu Kara Ep. 10 A lot of anime as of late seem to have placed their strong points into their unique settings. This clash of cultures–surface vs sea, tradition vs youth–wouldn’t be so interesting, otherwise.|
|December 7||Outbreak Company Ep. 10 I had hoped this show would be more along the lines of Genshiken where they actually discuss otaku issues in the larger cultural sense, but it seems to be turning out more like Oreimo–just a bunch of loosely connected tropes and references.|
|Yuushibu Ep. 10 It’s really quite interesting to think of this anime in terms of economics. There was a major economic shift that put a lot of people out of work and instead of changing to the new paradigm, there’s a push to return to what they’re familiar with.|
|Freezing Vibration Ep. 10 If there’s a character in an anime that never opens his or her eyes (I like to call them fox eyes) you know there’s probably something sinister about them.|
|November 24||Monogatari Series Ep. 21 I’ve always liked how this series has the ability to pair such opposing themes as comedy and philosophy.|
|Little Busters Refrain Ep. 8 If the first season was about the girls’ side of the Little Busters team, then this season is about the guys.|
|White Album 2 Ep. 8 It often surprises me how little some Japanese people have experienced their own country. I’d like to say Americans have the excuse of having much more land, but then are we really that much different?|
|November 25||Magi 2 Ep. 8 I like the whole idea of a balanced mind and body creating a stronger mage, but was there any meaning in not explaining the purpose of their training?|
|November 26||Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ep. 8 There’s a subtle skill in composing a story that isn’t just a string of battles, but also links those confrontations together in a way that makes them unavoidable rather than simply necessary.|
|Unbreakable Machine Doll Ep. 8 It’s as if this series exists simply to show how much better it is to go all the way with CG animation like Arpeggio rather than mixing it with standard animation whenever a fight scene comes up.|
|November 28||Coppelion Ep. 9 It’s ok to be over the top for style points if it makes sense with the rest of the setting. But in an otherwise serious, post-apocalyptic ruin, lightheartedness clashes with every other emotion.|
|Kyoukai no Kanata Ep. 9 What a dilemma. I don’t know how anyone could choose been the world and the one they love. I pride myself on my logical side, but I’m not sure if I could swallow up my emotions to make the right choice.|
|November 29||Nagi no Asu Kara Ep. 9 If an important event isn’t going to be officially sanctioned by an authority, too many people forget there’s no reason you can’t organize the ceremony privately and carry on with the support of friends and family.|
|November 30||Outbreak Company Ep. 9 Why do these kinds of anime waste my time with pointless fanservice and stereotypical depictions of perverted men that serve only to degrade my gender?|
|Yuushibu Ep. 9 I think the main problem men have when their girlfriends drag them along to go shopping is that women are just shopping for themselves. If it was an inclusive activity, I’m sure boyfriends would enjoy it more.|
|Freezing Vibration Ep. 9 There’s a wise saying all Americans should remember, “As the spiritual descendents of rebels, may we never confuse rational dissenters with traitors.”|
After the ups and downs of the summer season, this fall season that follows feels really stable and full of a lot of smart, touching, comedic and action-packed series that manage to cover every possible genre with something worthwhile. I like to keep my watch list around ten or so and after viewing the first episode of everything that’s airing this season I expected that assembling this list into a reasonable number was going to be much more difficult than it actually turned out to be. With two solid years of blogging under my belt and my third year getting started, perhaps I’m finally finding my groove and getting better at determining what’s going to impress and what will end up flopping.
I’ve always found the way apocalypse stories explore humanity to be endlessly interesting. I’m expecting to see an amazing story about three saviors who enter a world that either isn’t expecting them or flat-out doesn’t want them.
I’m starting to look at this series as the true sequel to Bakemonogatari both in terms of spirit and style rather than Nisemonogatari, which in hindsight seems more like an offshoot side story.
Just when I think the anime genre has explored every conceivable scenario for a setting, I’m treated to something beautiful and—most appropriately in this case—immersive.
After making a seemingly endless stream of moe anime, I feel like Kyoto Animation is trolling us. Last season it was a yaoi-ish swimming anime with the first male-dominated cast I think they’ve ever made and this season they’ve gone dark and bloody.
Picking up EXACTLY where things left off last season, Little Busters continues the wonderful journey of a bunch of high school friends who have always been there for each other as only Key can tell it.
I’ve always loved the rogue hero. He’s the explorer that forsakes allegiances to live the life of a mercenary and wander the world pursuing the truth. And I’m pretty sure the last time a submarine was a central element to a military anime was Full Metal Panic. It’s been too long.
I think there’s really only two formulas that work for sequels. Either go the Little Busters route and just continue with no introduction or summary of what happened before, or take the White Album method and do a spin-off with a similar premise, but a whole new cast and setting.
Revenge story. Check. Steampunk setting. Check. Underestimated protagonist with a wealth of potential. Check. Love crazed doll that’s always making sexually awkward jokes…uh…check? …yes, check.
There was immediately something familiar about this crazy series. At first I thought it had been written by Nishio Ishin, but that wasn’t it. Maybe it was being made by Gainax. No, that’s not it, either. So upon closer inspection I discovered it was written by Kazuki Nakashima, the creator of Gurren Lagann. Hell yes!
Hero and demon lord anime have seemingly flooded the anime environment as of late, so each needs to put a new twist on the concept. That being said, I have a feeling comedy is going to erupt forth from this band of unsung heroes who didn’t finish their hero-ing fast enough and now must find ways to apply their adventuring skills in the service industry.
We just discovered a fantasy world. We need to send a representative. Who would be the best choice? Well, who knows fantasy better than an otaku? And while he’s there, lets get him to market anime and manga to the masses because clearly that’s the only viable export Japan possesses…uh huh. What could possibly go wrong?
Gingitsune • Galilei Donna • Non Non Biyori • Golden Time • Freezing Vibration • Magi 2