thin slicing the new season, summer 2017 edition

10,000+ words, 30 anime, and 1 Holy Grail.

The granddaddy of gimmick posts is once again upon us. That’s right– thin slicing has returned!

Thin slicing is based off of Malcom Gladwell’s Blink, a book about– OH FUCK IT. YOU’VE READ THIS SAME BOILERPLATE FOR EIGHT NINE TEN ELEVEN YEARS NOW. You either get how this works by now or not. And, yes, I’ve been writing thin slicing posts since 2005 where I ranked Nanoha A‘s over Mai Otome. Updates on thin slicing are always on my Twitter account.

For people who want to know how this ranking is done, I suggest reading the archived explanation. If you’re like, “This show is ranked too high!” or “Too low!” then, well, you obviously don’t know how this works. For every show high, there has to be a low. You don’t need me to validate your taste in anime. And, again, for the sake of time, I don’t rank sequels if I never finished watching the original or if there’s nothing interesting about the sequel. It’s a sequel! If you watched the first season, you should know if you should watch the second as well. If you really don’t know if you should watch Jigoku Shoujo by now, she will spirit you off to anime hell (aka Anime Expo’s registration line). Also, The Reflection will not be thin sliced as it aired too late, and it doesn’t seem to be very, uh, quality.

A twist for this season: Dog Rates?!

Quick recap from last season: I’m the only person who likes both Sakura Quest and Virgin Soul. Sigh.


#MR IRRELEVANT. Aho Girl
Diomedéa

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“I’m so sorry she’s such an idiot.”

Aho Girl is an anime about being mean to a girl with an obvious mental illness. I guess that isn’t that different from other anime, but this one is quite unforgiving with the premise. There’s an asshole guy and an idiot girl, and isn’t it so funny how the asshole guy treats the idiot girl like garbage? At one point, he punches her because she’s stupid. Great, we have domestic abuse plus mental illness bullying as a core tenet of this show. The girl gets to say Shakespearean dialogue like, “Even I wouldn’t have skid marks on my panties!” and “Can I squeeze your boobs, for science?” She also is constant eating bananas as if the joke is actually funny. Aho Girl is sickening in how it revels in the abuse it lobs at the poor girl. The only good thing that I can say about this show is that it’s only 13 minutes long.

(I can’t wait for the eventual Funimation vs. Sentai bidding war for this property.)


#29. Enmusubi no Youko-chan
Haoliners

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“That was my 612 yen treasure.”

Originally, I wasn’t going to put Enmusubi no Youko-chan in thin slicing. It has a distinction of (1) not having an English Wikipedia entry for the new series at the time of writing (2) having its MAL page taken down for whatever reason at the time of this writing and (3) a sterling 2.15 rating right now on Anidb. So I felt like I should archive this special moment in time. Besides bad animation, lackluster plot, and horrible character designs, this show suffers from typical Chinese production issues (that I have pointed out before) because they have to kowtow to Chinese state censors.


#28. Vatican Miracle Examiner
JC Staff

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“The Church will handle Church affairs first.”

Every shot in Vatican Kiseki Chousakan is a pan. The camera cannot stop moving. It isn’t a subtle pan either– the pan speed is fast enough to be disorienting during quick cuts. There’s also a lot of shots done at gimmicky angles. Combining fast camera pans, quick shots, and weird angles made me almost get car sick. Sentai, please put that on the back of your BD release for this awful anime: “blog好き got car sick watching this terrible anime!”

The show, about priests and the Church, starts with a shot of the hot priest taking a shower. Of course. Nothing says serious Church mysteries and dramas than Father Six Pack. There is also a terrible sequence where two dozen characters with names like “Carlos Diego” and “Father Klaus” gets introduced. They all look the same. They all have names randomly picked from a 1970 Houston phone book. There is absolutely no way for me to remember any of them. Vatican features poor direction and storytelling on top of some bad animation, awful color palate, and some 9th grade high school project level of CG.

Besides the awful direction and animation, the show has the least plausible premise of any anime– the Catholic Church has a division of super secret special MiB-styled agents who debunk miracles and fight demons with science, math, and logic. I’m not kidding. One character even emphasized that he’s on the team strictly due to his science skills and promptly unpacks a suitcase filled with beakers and lab vials. I’m willing to believe giant mechas fighting in a fantasy world before the Church uses science and logic uses to debunk core Church beliefs. I like how they are willing to devote so much science to solving crimes and mysterious yet not spend any of it on, oh, evolution. The rest of the plot isn’t any better– while debunking a nun’s virgin conception, the evidence the priests present is an ultrasound showing that the nun hymen’s “looks okay.” The guy is proud of his science and logic and is willing to accept a virginity claim based on an ultrasound of a hymen? He then brushes off the possibility of artificial insemination and immediately jumps into the possibility of devil worshipers instead.

There’s also a scene where the MiB Church agents get called in by the head priest to investigate an issue that took “many sacrifices to investigate.” What sacrifices? Were Bothans killed to bring us this information? Did they have to book a flight and sit in coach with the unwashed heathens? Did a priest have to watch gay figure skating? I want to know about these sacrifices.

(Mitigating Factor: Is this actually Kotomine: The Anime? Mmm… I would watch a rap musical based on the life of various Kotomines. I would also watch an anime about a gambling high school populated with just various Kotomines gambling against each other.)


#27. A Centaur’s Life
Haoliners Animation League

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“A world where humans have only four limbs is nothing but a fantasy.”

Centaur no Nayami has probably the second least realistic premise of any anime, just behind hot science priests: “Humans would be non-racist if their only difference was their skin color.” HAHAHAHAHA. Then I realized that this show is made by a Chinese studio. Great. No wonder A Centaur’s Life feels so lifeless and devoid of fun. Centaur struggles in making anything interesting or compelling and instead feels like it is just going through the motions.

The show feels like it is just trying to get from A to B just to get to the next piece of salivating centaur fanservice. There’s maybe a bit too much fetishization of centaurs in this show? The main centaur’s lips are drawn quite supple and detailed, there’s a lot of traditional fanservice scenes involving said centaur, and she wears pants. I’m not an expert on centaurs, but why do they need to wear pants? If they have the bottom of a horse, wouldn’t pants be really hard to get on and off? How would you even be able to reach around and put on pants with short stubby human arms? Is the only reason that centaurs wear clothes is that they can wear full fetish outfits, S&M gear, and lingerie? Yep, if you’re turned on by horses wearing lingerie, pre-order your A Centaur’s Life BD from Funimation today.

(Fashion Czar: “Just so happens to be a world of fantasy creatures that conform to Japanese society. Where is my yokai girl? These are all Western concepts.”)

(Mitigating Factor: If this show leads us to getting a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey except with Centaurs, so be it. Fifty Hooves of Grey.)

(Car Accident Tracker: Car almost hits a pedestrian!)

(Sometimes I wish I could sit in on the meetings where companies decide which shows to license. I really want to see the thought process that brings Funimation to pony up for Centaur’s license. Was the license cheap? Do they think a lot of their Naruto fans are also into Centaur kink? Is their management into Centaur kink? Did they have to license this show so they can license a better show, kinda like taking a bad contract in an NBA trade?)


#26. Tenshi no 3P!
Project No. 9

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“My first steps towards independence seem to have landed me somewhere incredible.”

Angel’s 3Piece! starts off fairly normal. My first impression is that it’s yet another hikikomori anime with light harem elements. I even wrote in my notebook, “Heart be still, is this a Lamune-styled harem anime?” before sighing and crossing that out. The first minutes even tease a few potential high school haremettes, including the childhood friend and the class rep. There’s also a little sister who could be his Eromanga-sensei. If this anime were just about that, I could be mildly interested in our xx420narutonoscopexx protagonist’s adventures.

Around the nine minute mark, Tenshi no 3P! changes into loli bait anime. Yep, it’s an anime about elementary school girls throwing themselves at the loser hikikomori male protagonist. The show is not subtle about it either. One girl offers her body to protagonist if he helps with their band as the camera zooms into her leg, crotch, and bosom. The next episode preview features the main character praying at one of the scantily clad lolis going, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.”

Aside from the loli bait nature of this show, the animation is above average, and even the CG musical instruments are passable. It’s no God Knows, but it also isn’t a Fuuka either. There’s other things that flummox me about this show: I’m not sure how does an orphanage have a jackpot of old, vintage musical equipment and hasn’t eBayed it to help pay for the orphanage. Also, for anyone who has been to Tokyo, you already know that it is a city overflowing with beautiful churches converted into orphanages. You walk out of JR’s Shibuya station, and there’s like six of them right near the station. Plus, if the lolis are so good at playing instruments and writing their own music, why do they even need a hikikomori who has 80 views on YouTube? They couldn’t find someone more competent? Or at least a real agent with experience? Their first thought is, “Hey, let’s get the 80 views on YouTube guy who might be horny for elementary-aged girls.”

(Plethora of fake brands, including classic favorite “Sany” plus “Ripton Milktea” and “Foo Tighters”.)

(Tenshi no 3P! also has a lot of references to three. It is 3 o’clock a lot. There are 3 new messages. His hit 80 view song is named “TR03”. I think I could give it a 3 out of 10.)


#25. 18if
Gonzo

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“Let’s take it easy and have fun lives.”

18if is a mobile phone app turned anime from our friends at Gonzo. Calling this show a meth addict’s Flip Flappers seems like an insult to Flip Flappers. The art is some of the worst of the season, the story is a confusing mess, the main character has the personality of a loaf of bread, the backgrounds look like they are from Windows 3.11 Windows for Workgroups, and the dialogue reads like an eight year old wrote this show. The premise is that the main character has to stop witches who live in these funky dreamworlds. Of course, there’s a morality play element to why these witches exist, but I find most of the reasoning to be victim blaming. For example, a girl gets bullied, so she turns into a witch. Instead of the bullies being the bad guy, it’s the girl because she’s a witch now. The protagonist then kills the witch, since she’s evil for letting herself being bullied, and all’s cool after that.

Gonzo’s bad animation continues to underwhelm me. Their big gimmick for this show is to split the screen up into 20 screens. Maybe this effect could be interesting once in a while? But not every four minutes.

(The percentage of anime characters who wear mini top hats vs. the percentage of actual humans who wear mini top hats must be the most skewed ratio other than the male to female ratio at The International.)

(The director of this mess is Akira Nishimori, who is better known for having worked on Gundam Victory, Gundam Wing, Gundam X, and Turn a Gundam. What happened to his career that he went from Gundam to 18if?)

(Fashion Czar: “Vaporwave has hit anime?!”)


#24. Battle Girl High School
Silver Link

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“They must remember that they are always in danger.”

Battle Girl High School is a social networking game turned anime about a magic battle high school. Just writing that makes me feel queasy. Don’t they know that the magic battle high school fad is out? And magical girls who have to battle each other has been out for years? Even more confusing is that the show tries to tack on even more overused genres. The girls, besides being magical girls who attend a battling high school and fight aliens, are also idols. If that isn’t enough genre, the girls are also part of different school clubs. So it’s a magic battle high school filled with idols and do nothing after school clubs. My gosh. The show is trying to be one of every anime. It’s like a buffet that serves Chinese food, pizza, crab legs, escargot, chicken wings, and tacos. It’s all there. None of it is good. And some of it have secret cockroach seasonings.

The animation is by Silver Link’s “We just need to get paid” team. The monster designs are awful and look like something I find in a Chinese mobile phone game. The character designs are all extremely generic, and, with such a large cast, there’s no way for any of the characters to stand out beyond their assigned tropes. It just seems like some sort of dystopian world where each magical girl idol is assigned a trope, and she has to like it.

(There’s one point in the first episode where the girls have to battle an alien. But they don’t want to get civilians involved, so their dispatcher sends them to fight in a gigantic abandoned warehouse. Right. There’s a plethora of abandoned warehouses in the middle of Omotesando.)

(Fashion Czar: “I’ll never understand the glow stick culture of Asia.”)


#23. Hajimete no Gal
NAZ

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“Why am I still a virgin? What did I do?”

I think “virgin” was uttered 15,532 times during the first episode of Hajimete no Gal, an ecchi fanservice comedy. The premise is that typical horny loser male protagonist inexplicably becomes the boyfriend of a “gal,” and because she’s a gal, she supposed to be super slutty and easy. The show is then nothing more than a parody of censorship hearts and bars to entice one to buy the BD release– the opening scene is a zoom-on of a crotch, and there’s a good five minute crotch sequence midway through the episode. The jokes are all flat, revolving around the male lead’s virginity (and I’m going to guess it turns out the gal is also a virgin because that’s how anime rolls), or how slutty the gal is. Yawn. There’s also almost no effort into putting why the female protagonist, Yukana, is a gal. Sure, she twirls her hair and doesn’t button her top button, but she also isn’t fully bedazzled with thick make-up, black face, or super ornate nails. She’s not even tan, instead sporting the porcelain white skin princess look. Yukana looks like any typical haremette except with more jewelry (but still less than Mr. T). Even Kotobuki Ran from GALS! feel more like a gal than this haremette… and that’s a shoujo manga.

The “friends” of the horny loser male protagonist is what I imagine Japanese neckbeards to resemeble. They aren’t attractive, complain that girls won’t put out, and read erohon in class. They also wonder why no one likes they despite their bitching fedoras. They also have no issues hitting on elementary school girls. Fantastic. The loser male protagonist wonders why he doesn’t have a rosy high school life– stop hanging around these guys! Run! Run, Forrest, run!

(Fashion Czar: “No one wears loose socks anymore, anime.” Somewhere, Onizuka-sensei is dying a slow death. RIP loose socks.)

(This anime also features the most public displays of affection in Japan that I’ve ever seen. It makes Japan seem like an orgy from 300BC Rome.)


#22. Hitorijime My Hero
Encourage Films

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“It’s not like I was alone or hated in my life.”

When we first started to watch Hitorijime My Hero, I asked Fashion Czar, “Is this going to be yaoi anime?” Then the OP played featuring men-on-men, genital-on-genital hugging and some hand holding. “Yes,” I answered myself. It’s not just a yaoi series but a low rent one. The animation is so poor that they can’t even get the main character’s hair color consistent. It ranges from light blonde to carrot top. The animation is extremely sparse, the characters all have similar faces, and the show features some of the least interesting backgrounds. There are also flashback sequences to show random events from the past, which is a typical hallmark of poor direction. Go with a flashback at the beginning or a long one bookedmarked so we know it is a flashblack. Don’t flash back and forth as if they are normal cuts.

The characters are bland and seem closer to background characters in an RPG rather than frontmen for a yaoi series. Hey, the main character is rough gangsta who wants to go straight and be tamed. The end boy is the cool one because he smokes. There’s the one who is a shouta stand-in. There’s the little brother archetype. They’re just missing a vampire to complete the Washington Generals of yaoi harems.

(Mitigating Factor: Flip phones! Hitorijime My Hero is I believe the only anime this season where the main character uses a flip phone.)

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16.8/10 for the splot corgi. Would force it to dance to Hare Hare Yukai.


#21. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits
Diomedéa

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“Her cheeks are very puyo puyo.”

If there’s anything that Action Heroine Cheer Fruits has taught me, it is that the real villains aren’t monsters but Teamsters. AHCF feels like a throwback 90s anime with a 90s styled OP, 90s characters and character designs, and 90s sensibilities. The anime is about little girls who try to revitalize their town by pretending to be Saturday morning cartoon heroes for that town. I thought some of the schemes on Sakura Quest were pretty bad, but this one is worse than them all. (Seriously, how is a wood carving at the train station supposed to boost tourism?) The characters are all what you’d expect of them: The short-haired girl is a tomboy, the ojou-sama has twin tails, the caring but shy girl has boring long hair, and the “smart” one has long raven hair. The plots and action are cheesy and feel good and very, very low calorie. It’s the unsweetened Kool-Aid mix of anime. There’s really nothing distinctive or imaginative about this show.

There is one modern-ish twist that the tomboy loves her idol so much, she has all her figurines plus body pillows. She has gone full otaku without even realizing it. Or maybe she has… mmm…

(Mitigating Factor: One girl has a cute donut hair piece, and another character has a cute bread hoodie.)

(Oh, about the Teamsters… the first episode almost ended up in tragedy, but our plucky heroines saved the day by showing that the stage that the Teamsters built was shoddy and unstable. If it fell apart during a show, that would have been a disaster, but thanks to our heroines, tragedy averted. But the Teamsters are still out there… maybe even lurking around your Kraft Services table…)


#20. Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou
Shin-El

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“My first steps towards independence seem to have landed me somewhere incredible.”

I’m debating if Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou is either a homeless man’s Natsume Book of Friends or a meth addict’s Natsume Book of Friends. Hey, it’s the least interesting boy of the anime world. Hey, it’s some of the lamest yokai designs in the anime world. Hey, it’s the least fanservicy fanservice haremette of the anime world. Hey, it’s the most boring premise in the anime world. Welcome to Youkai Apartments, which is about living in an apartment complex haunted by yokai. Imagine the zany antics! Unfortunately, there aren’t any. Just boredom. And bad animation.

The best part of the show is the first five minutes when the protagonist and his bromantic best friend start punching each other and talking about being businessmen someday. That’s the most supernatural part of the show. What eighth grader is going to be fantasizing about making Powerpoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets in a cubicle? While having gay slap fight with his best friend? Also, the whole premise of the show of the protagonist moving out into this apartment is that his aunt and uncle can no longer house them because their daughter– protagonist’s cousin– hates him. I mean, really? What did he do? Peep on her? Instead of telling the cousin to just deal with it, the aunt and uncle decide the best course of action is for the protagonist to move out yet only fund him $300 a month. No wonder Japan doesn’t have babies– they hate kids apparently.

(Signs of a quality anime: No Wikipedia page? Check. Licensed by Sentai Filmworks? Mmmm… not yet.)

(Car Accident Tracker: Parents killed in a car accident while he was still in the seventh grade.)

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Ghost Fluffer 17/10. Would cuddle and watch Kamen Rider.


#19. Koi to Uso
Linden Films

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“What is love? Do people fall into that trap without realizing it?”

Teens! Horny teens! Koi to Uso (Love and Lies) fundamentally misunderstands the low childbirth issue of Japan. It’s not like teens don’t want to fuck, it’s damn expensive raising a child. If only the Japanese government put more effort and money into health care, daycare services, and parental leave and less into laws forcing sixteen year olds into arranged marriages. Scandinavian countries had similar issues decades ago, and they propped up their birthrates by having generous parental leave, cheap daycare, and building communities with children in mind.

Also, the whole plan in Koi to Uso has a big flaw. If the kids are to be entered into arranged marriages at sixteen, why are they still allowed to go to co-ed high schools where they can get horny with their non-arranged partners? Wouldn’t same sex only schools be more efficient for this system? And wouldn’t this system be basically a huge right wing fuck you to LGBT rights? Of course, this anime thinks this is a better idea than making childcare more affordable and giving more generous parental leave.

What we get through this awful low-birthrate-can-be-solved-with-arranged-marriages premise is a low calorie, generally boring harem show. The reason the main character likes his crush is that they shared an eraser together in elementary school. They haven’t talked since then, but I’m sure he’s masturbated to her a thousand times by now. Maybe it has more tongue action and horniness than Nisekoi, but the writing is too full of angst and too self-serious to be enjoyable. I’d rather go back and finish Scum’s Wish if I want to see self-loathing horny teens. The animation is also poor with very generic and background character level character designs. The main girl’s cleavage is also inconsistently drawn, with her being Shana-class and Mikuru-class at the same time.


#18. Konbini Kareshi
Studio Pierrot

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“This is where our stories begin.”

At first, I was excited about Konbini Kareshi because I thought it would be an otome or harem anime where each ikemen or haremette would represent a convenience store franchise, like 7-11-kun or Lawson-chan, and be some sort of fanservice comedy. Nope. My hopes were immediately dashed. Convenience Store Boyfriend is a bland, unappetizing, and boring slice-of-life romance story that mildly features convenience stores. Yawn. The show tries to go for the omnibus approach, much like Amagami or Rainbow Days, but doesn’t have an interesting cast to pull it off. The characters have no distinguishing features or personalities, and they are made worse by very generic character designs (Fashion Czar: “They all have the same face! They all look like they are 25 too.”). One character’s only distinguishing trait is that she’s clumsy, so every scene that she is in, she runs into something. Come on. It’s worse characterization than the overweight person in The Lost Village who was always seen eating potato chips.

Instead of using air time to highlight why we should care about the characters, most of the time is spent with the characters milling around school and looking out windows being angsty. For an anime that has “Konbini” in the title, there’s actually not that much that occurs in a convenience store. That’s disappointing too. The animation is also stiff and very lackluster for a 2017 title. The animation even seems poor compared to 2007 anime. It just begs the question as to why this anime was even made– what is the point of making slop if there’s no mobile game or manga to pimp? Why couldn’t they even secure a sponsorship from Family Mart?

(Mitigating Factor: The best part of this anime is the first two minutes which reminded me of the first two minutes of Get Out. Also, this show is yet another low budget anime that depicts Tokyo as a ghost town. The characters walk blocks through Tokyo yet never run into another person.)

(I hope to see “I Can’t Believe My Konbini Got Teleported to Another World Because of My Fidget Spinner” appear in winter 2018’s thin slicing. In fact, let’s start putting down predictions on when we’ll see the first fidget spinner in anime.)


#17. Tsurezure Children
Studio Gokumi

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“I’ll tell you that I like you tomorrow.”

Tsurezure Children is a weird half-length anime about couples trying to confess to each other. Each episode consists of three five minute segments that feature a different pair of boy and girl trying to form a couple. It’s like speed dating, the anime. At first, I thought the show was going to lean shoujo romance, but then a quick pants unzipping scene occurred. Overall, it’s a fairly forgettable and inoffensive meal, kind of like ordering chicken teriayaki. Everything seems familiar, it fills you up, but you’re not exactly craving it again the same way you might for xiaolongbao or beef brisket. Each character falls into a trope, and, if anything, this show serves as a trope encyclopedia. Hey, it’s the obnoxious know it all! Hey, it’s the rebellious girl! Hey, it’s the guy too stuck up in his hobby to notice the girl tossing herself at him! It’s all here and more. I fully expect we get the NEET, the soccer guy, and meido cosplayer by episode seven. I think it would be interesting if this show eventually had a same-sex couple to round out the cast.

(Mitigating Factor: There’s kissing. Not the wet, juicy kissing of Koi to Uso, but there’s kissing.)


#16. Dive!!
Zero-G

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“What do you think is the best topping for pancakes?”

I think Dive!! is the weakest Noitamina show that I’ve seen in a while. The first issue is that the show doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Bromance? Slice of life? Sports? Fanservice? Manservice? Shouta bait? Another World™? So it tries to do all of them to poor effect. The base setup is that it’s a diving school for boys, which allows Zero-G to show a lot of boys in their Speedos and in the shower. They range from elementary school age to high school. And then there’s the fairly one-sided bromance between two of the boy divers, Yoichi the current stud and Sakai, the up-and-coming stud. And then there’s the new sexy coach who wants to produce an Olympic champion from this lot of divers. But none of the setup or characters are good or interesting. The dialogue feels like stuff I would overhear at a mall food court, with a discussion about pancakes taking up a solid three minutes of time. There’s also really dumb drama manufactured about why the previous coach left.

The direction is also poor with numerous time skips between the present day and a few years ago. When they do relatively fast cuts between time periods, it’s confusing, and, to make matters worse, the characters wear the same Speedos when they are young and now. Do they keep shopping for the same Speedo designs? Or is the character designer just lazy? Judging by how boring the character designs are, I’d go with lazy. Maybe the show can be salvaged with Free! levels of manservice, but, nope, animation is not in the same tier as Kyoto. Maybe the show can be salvaged with Free! levels of manservice, but, nope, animation is not in the same tier as Kyoto. The character designs are nondescript and scrawny looking with one of the main characters looking like a malnourished Levi from Attack on Titan. Also, the sexy coach wears heavy make-up even when she’s in a swimsuit next to the pool. Oh, anime.

(At one point, the boys talk about how Yoichi is a “thoroughbred” because both his parents are champion divers. I think he was conceived during a dive)

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Chikuwa, the fat wan wan, 16 out of 10. Plenty of love to throw around.


#15. Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu
ufotable

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“Can someone like me really protect history from Historical Revisionists?”

When I first started watching Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, I didn’t think of the name beyond the backslash. Oh, it’s ufotable. Oh, it has a backslash. Oh, it has a master summoning servants. Oh, it must be the new Fate anime that was supposed to air this season. Whelp, nope. Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu is a remake or retelling or re-imagining (?!) of Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru, which was that awful otome anime about swords personified as hot men. What is really confusing to me is that the character designs look a lot like they came from Tales, which ufotable also animates, but aren’t from Fujishima-san. The next episode previews are basically the skits from the Tales series too. So basically ufotable took a mobile card game about swords personified as hot men and bolted on aspects from Fate and Tales. The base plot and premise of the anime is so bad, they need to dress it up with as much random garnishment as possible. It’s like if you go to a “sushi” place that gets not-so-great fish, they make spicy tuna rolls with as much non-raw fish shit on top of it as possible– bacon, mayonnaise, potato chips, BBQ sauce– and call it a “gourmet” “sushi” roll. That’s what this show feels like. ufotable started with three day old cheap tuna, and they have no choice now other than to make a spicy tuna roll topped with bacon and potato chips and drizzled with BBQ sauce.

(I guess in this scenario, Dive!! would be three day old cheap tuna but served as a bare spicy tuna roll that has too much rice and not even that much spicy tuna. Hajimete no Gal would be the spicy tuna roll that gives you tummy aches. Aho Girl would be the gas station sushi that killed fourteen people in Arizona.)


#14. Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun
Studio Hibari

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“The germophobe’s absolute domain.”

Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun is yet another anime that turns a serious mental illness into a focal point of being successful in society. It’s one thing to be clean, it’s another to have some sort of OCD that makes one want to clean, it’s yet another to be Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun. Instead of getting proper mental health assistance for the boy, the soccer club instead has him clean all their shit. Because of his cleanliness, Aoyama-kun has developed an unique “don’t fucking touch me!” soccer style that makes him one of the best players in Japan. Rounding out the cast are one note supporting characters including the guy who wants to dirty Aoyama-kun (presumably in an non-sexual way but who knows), the guy who has abs for brains, the girl who is stalking Aoyama-kun, and guy who just bounces soccer balls on his ass. So it’s part sports anime, part “laugh at the guy who has OCD” anime, and part tropetastic supporting characters humor anime. For the most part, the humor doesn’t work, and I’m amazed I made it through one episode. I cannot imagine this concept getting stretched to a full cours. Sometimes anime should just be a single episode OVA.

I’ll just reveal the big “twist” of the first episode. Everyone questions Aoyama-kun why he decided to go this high school with a piss poor soccer team instead of a high school with a better high school team. It turns out he chose this high school because it has bidets. Seriously? Almost all the bathrooms that I used in Japan have bidets. They are as ubiquitous in Japan as are ads for Monster Strike and Boss Coffee. There were even some bidets that could be controlled via apps.

(Fashion Czar: “This abs guy is an accurate portrayal of someone who loves their abs.”)

(Mitigating Factor: I do like the ED, which is a parody of old 1970s style anime.)


#13. In Another World With My Smartphone
Production Reed

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“Oh, an useful magical item, I suppose.”

Fuck, have we reached peak Another World™? Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni is literally In Another World With My Smartphone— we have a literal title of the current anime meta plus the most soulless and least imaginative twist on it. I’d be okay if the anime were just about a boy who gets warped to another world and has to survive with just an iPhone, but that’s not this show.

This show, because it’s 2017, has to have the main protagonist die and be reborn. Unlike both little witch Nazi girl and mecha-loving shouta, he isn’t reborn but just plopped as in into a fantasy world, complete with the clothes that he’s still wearing when he died. (If he died due to a lightning strike, wouldn’t his clothes be charred?) Also, he doesn’t just bring his app phone along for the ride– God supercharges it so it doesn’t need batteries, can connect to our world’s internet, and comes with special God apps. God can’t be bothered to cure antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea but does have the time to create GPS apps for another world. God does all this work for a random Japanese boy but ignores all the suffering going on in Syria, Tibet, Africa, Baltimore, and other less fortunate parts of the world. God then bestows on this boy for whatever reason melee combat abilities on par with Batman as well as a magic aptitude more powerful than Lina Inverse. So it’s not “In Another World With My Smartphone” but really “In Another World With My Pimped Out Smartphone, A Service Plan Better than Docomo’s, Batman-like Hand-to-Hand Fighting Abilities, Magic More Powerful than Lina Inverse, and Soft-Serve Ice Cream.” This isn’t just peak Another World™ but peak power fantasy.

So our power fantasy male protagonist surrounds himself with a harem, to add to the power fantasy. He’s only missing a giant robot at this point, which I’m sure he’ll get around episode nine. He meets two twins, who are both skilled fighters and mages, but he has to save them from random thugs. I’m to believe these two cute twins have trouble with two thugs when five minutes later they are slaughtering a buffet of magical monsters? I’m also to believe that this boy is now in a different world yet can access our world’s internet yet doesn’t e-mail or tweet at his parents? Wouldn’t that be the first thing on his mind? “Hey, mom, I’d dead on Earth Prime, but here on Earth 616, I’m having a blast killing monsters and banging hot twins!” This other world is also confusing too as it has all the tropes of fantasy cultures of our world combined into one slurry mess. It’s like if the show couldn’t decide if it wants to be Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Sword Art Online, Lord of the Rings, Tales of, or Dragon Warrior so they just mashed them up together.

(I have a new idea for an anime: Parents of a typical anime protagonist gets run over by a car, and the parents get sent into another world. They are then revealed to be the actual stars of the anime. “In Another World As Dead Parents of Anime Protagonist”.)

(Once the hot twins discover than the male protagonist has ungodly physical and magical abilities, they should be all over him like groupies all over Dwight Howard. To complete the power fantasy, In Another World With My Pimped Out Smartphone, A Service Plan Better than Docomo’s, Batman-like Hand-to-Hand Fighting Abilities, Magic More Powerful than Lina Inverse, and Soft-Serve Ice Cream really should be a Games of Thrones-esque battle where the haremettes desperate vie for his seed rather than a low calorie, generic harem fantasy monster-slaying adventure.)


#12. Chronos Ruler
Project No. 9

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“Time that has passed can never return.”

At first, I thought Chronos Ruler (Jikan no Shihaisha) had ties to either Yasuhiro Nightow or Bungo Stray Dogs as the tone and characters of the show are quite similar. Nope. Chronos Ruler is from Taiwanese writer PONJEA and adopted by Michiko Yokote, the team that has done everything from Aa! Megami-sama to Shirobako to Knight’s & Magic. I also thought it would be yet another time rewind show– err– not quite. It’s more like time rewind with a Jigoku Shoujo slash Full Metal Alchemist twist in that something important needs to be sacrificed to roll back time plus one doesn’t get exactly what they wished for. So the protagonist duo has to intervene and save people from time demons. The main characters feel like they were ripped out of Bungo Stray Dogs with one being the carefree one (yet can be serious when pushed into a corner) and the other is the serious one who always frets and dotes on the other. There is an interesting twist with their relationship that I won’t spoil.

The production is a mixed bag. For the most part, the show looks good and has some good movement, but there’s too much CG camera pans and jazz music. Almost the entire soundtrack is smooth jazz, which would be appropriate for Kids on the Slope, but not really for a show more focused on action. The battle sequences are not very good as the powers the characters possess aren’t very interesting. The attacks are flashy, but they don’t feel powerful, meaningful, or memorable.

(Mitigating Factor: By far the best part of this anime is the character names. The lead is named “Victo Putin.” There’s also a character named “Ralph Taj Honda.” Why “Victo” and not just go full “Victor”? When will Victor Putin be summoned in the Holy Grail War? What class would he be? Can Ralph Taj Honda change my CRV’s oil next Wednesday morning?)

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King Charles? Ruler class pupper gets a 18/10 bonus against other pet classes.


#11. Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e
Lerche

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“Nowadays no one can shut up about inequality.”

The most light novel name of a light novel turned anime this season is Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e (Welcome to the Classroom of the Supreme Ability Doctrine / Classroom of the Elite). The setup for this show is fairly transparent. There’s a class of the “elite” who will become Japan’s future leaders, and they get treated like princes and princesses at a school built on landfill in Tokyo bay. They get top notice amenities and a large allowance. The class acts like jerks and delinquents because they can, and I’m surprised it doesn’t just turn into an Old Man’s War-class orgy. Of course, there’s a twist that the class does not expect, and they get their comeuppance.

My first issue is that with this kind of premise, how do the students not know what was coming? It’s a huge school that has pumped out thousands of graduates already. I might believe the premise if they were the first class, but there hasn’t been any leaks from all the previous graduates? Or unhappy drop-outs? You’d think someone might have tipped off the new students, or there would be a leak on Wikileaks. My second issue is that I don’t see how any of this prepares the students to be future leaders. What lesson are they trying to teach? Is this really better than trying to teach the students science, law, civics, history, business, or even philosophy? Even if the students learn something from their comeuppance, is that really enough to morph them into future leaders? Also, the school kinda cheats and says that they have a 100% graduation rate but does fail out students… I’m not an educational system expert, but shouldn’t they count against a graduation rate?

The main character of Classroom of the Elite is also anything but elite. He is quite a dud. Not only is he a boring design with a boring personality, he can’t speak without going “Um…” every other sentence. He feels like a ninth grader who decided to start a Game of Thrones podcast with his buddy but neither have any sort of speaking talent. He is so bland and monotonic that even the protagonist from Hajimete no Gal would be an improvement for this show.

(First scene of this show is set in a full bus taking these kids to school. An elderly grandma boards and tries to take a seat, and no one offers her a seat. I’ve been to Japan. If there’s anything Japanese people love doing, it’s giving seats to the elderly. Now if the show took place in San Francisco or New York…)

(Fashion Czar: “He’s bored by his own show.”)


#10. Gamers!
Pine Jam

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“I want to play games for the enjoyment.”

From relatively new studio Pine Jam comes Gamers!, which is a fanservice comedy about an after school gaming club. You know exactly where this show is heading as soon as it starts: you get the loser male protagonist narrating about how beautiful and smart this girl is, he then returns to his sad sack life and buys eroge at Akihabara, and then he bumps into said girl when trying to checkout with a stack of dating sims. Of course, the girl totally understands, is a complete gamer, and invites him to join the club. Totally original concept.

The show also doesn’t seem to understand modern gaming. Why would a pro CS:GO player ever play against bots? Why is no one streaming on Twitch? Does Twitch even exist in this world? Where are Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, H1N1, King of the Kill, and other battle royale games? Is this show just going to be only dating sims, fighting games, and FPS? Why do they look down at the male protagonist when he plays GranBlue? Isn’t mobile gaming the backbone of Japanese gaming? Why isn’t anyone playing League or Dota 2? How can you have a gaming club without a token MOBA expert? Does Japan even know MOBAs exist? Why are they trying to do speed runs on a console instead of using an emulator on a PC?

Strangely enough, I actually sympathize with the main protagonist. He just wants to play games for enjoyment not for going pro, not for setting speed running records, and not for any specific goal. If he wants to stay up late playing GranBlue or get horny playing a blonde-only dating sim or play arcade games for fun after school, what’s wrong with that? Nothing worse than a gamer who judges another gamer except an anime otaku who judges other anime otaku.

Animation is above average, except when they how their fake games. Their knockoff version of CS:GO looks like a Windows screensaver. At least they were able to put a few Arc Sys games intact. Interestingly enough, they put more effort into their GranBlue knockoff than the CS:GO one. Of course, all the male members are drawn as boring and bland as possible while the female members are all fanservice machines. One girl, for inexplicable reasons, can only play games while partially undressed. If you need a low calorie fanservice comedy, Gamers! is a palatable, safe choice. Funimation, you can use that for your back of the BD quote.

(When I was in Japan back in April, Monster Strike was by far the most popular game that I saw on trains. It was funny seeing businessmen play Monster Strike on their phones while standing, but once they got a seat on the train, they would sit and switch to play it on an iPad. Also saw a lot of people playing Pokemon on 3DS, Puzzle and Dragon on both 3DS and mobile, the new Dragon Warrior mobile game, and a few GranBlue.)


#9. Soukoku no Altair
MAPPA

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“I was able to come this far because of everything you’ve done for me.”

Altair: A Record of Battles is a Middle-Eastern inspired historical fantasy adventure that reminds me a bit of The Heroic Legend of Arslan. It follows a young general (pasha Mahmut) and his awesome falcon (Iskender) as they try to unite their Turkey analogue kingdom against the opposing German analogue kingdom. He uses his wit and intelligence to solve problems but is also a capable fighter when need be. His weakness seems to be girls as he thinks they all have cooties. The characters seem interesting and aren’t just walking tropes but have their own agendas and stories. I am interested to see where the story goes, but with a manga that already spans over 11 years, I can see this becoming a very, very long story. The star, though, is MAPPA’s animation Mahmut friend’s mustache. I can’t recall the last anime featuring a young man who has such a grand mustache. MAPPA’s animation is pretty good too, I guess.

One thing I kind of dislike about Altair is that Mahmut, the main character, has noticeably lighter skin than everyone else in this Turkish kingdom. He has blue eyes, blond hair, and white doll-like skin, yet he’s surrounded by a cast of mostly darker skinned individuals with dark hair. (Except the purple jpop guy… ugh…) This is acceptable if his backstory is that he’s actually a German orphan, but otherwise it’s just really weird to have this clearly white European pretend to be Middle Eastern.


#8. Knight’s & Magic
8-Bit

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“I’m inside a robot– what every man dreams of! Giant robots are so great. They bring peace to the heart.”

I don’t understand the punctuation for the name Knight’s & Magic at all. “Knight and Magic” or “Knight’s Magic” would both be pretty decent yet generic names for yet another anime about a normal Japanese citizen transported into another fantasy world. The setup is similar to little witch Nazi girl anime where a Japanese salaryman in a boring, mediocre life gets run over by a car and re-incarnates as a little boy in a fantasy world. The salaryman, who was a programmer and a lover of GunPla, then uses his knowledge of object oriented programming and Gundams to save this fantasy world. The magic in this world resemble computer logic, so he has that down pat. He also introduces guns, catchphrases to be shouted while battling, and linked lists to the fantasy world.

I am enjoying this show mainly because we are so devoid of mecha anime at this point that I’m willing to watch an Another World™ anime just to get my mecha fix. The main character also starts of as a punk kid, and it’s fun watching him clown on adults and teachers with his vastly superior magical intellect. It’s a bit of Gundam and a bit of Harry Potter with a lot of typical anime fantasy tossed in. I also like how energetic, positive, and generally happy the main character is despite having died recently. He seems genuinely in love with giant robots. Two bad things about this show, though. One, the monster designs are horrible. They look like they were designed by Haoliners. Two, the narrator seems really out of place. He has the tone and voice of someone who should be narrating NHK nature documentaries and not giant robot battles.

(Car Accident Tracker: Fatal accident involving a pedestrian!)

(Hey, we’re exiting the spicy tuna roll section. Anime from here on out are considered prime cuts for delicious sashimi. Spicy tuna is generally the leftover tuna trimming and scrape, maybe not the freshest, mixed with spicy sauce to conceal how not fresh it is. A lot of times, spicy tuna isn’t just tuna but other low quality fish mixed in as well plus bones plus other parts of the fish. It’s basically the McDonald’s chicken nuggets of the sea. That’s not necessarily a bad thing… just know what you eat.)


#7. Princess Principal
Studio 3Hz, Actas

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“HAI! SPY DESU!”

With a name like Princess Principal, I thought this show was going to be a shoujo series about a princess who is also a principal. Or maybe a harem fanservice series about a loser male lead suddenly thrust into the position of being a principal at an all-princess academy. Well, it’s an alternate history spy game involving high schoolers… who murder. Imagine Joker Game with murderous high school girls instead of grizzled old men. The world has an alternate history based on a floating mineral called cavorite that caused a conflict such that London is now a split city a la Berlin. A giant wall taller and grander than Wall Maria now separates two factions in a cold war.

There is also a Phantom of the Opera meets steampunk aesthetic to the world too. That’s part of the charm and disconnect of the show for me. On one side, it’s full of characters straight out of Joker Game. On the other side, it’s high school girls who wear ridiculous outfits, including their marksman who wears a top hat and Phantom of the Opera-esque cape as well as their version of X-23 who wears an Asian conical hat. The end result, of course, is that these girls murder a lot of the opposing faction, because what else screams “SPY!” than mass murder? Also, the girls like to announce that they are spies to random people quite frequently. Wouldn’t the first thing taught at spy school be not to tell people that you are a spy? Does James Bond go, “Bond, James Bond. Professional spy.”

Princess Principal has the right amount of stupid, brain dead fun, along with some decently animated action sequences. There’s also a decent amount of suspense and clever spy mind games.

(The ED reminds me a lot of the ED for the first cours of Spice and Wolf.)

(Though this show does make me want a version of Kingsmen for Japan. If the US gets Statesmen in a bourbon factory, would Japan get Shogunko in a sake factory? With their code names derived from popular visual novels? It’s Shogunko Clannad and Shogunko Fate/Stay Night…)


#6. Nana Maru San Batsu
TMS Entertainment

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“The moment I pressed that buzzer felt really good.”

Nana Maru San Batsu aka Seven Right Three Wrong aka 7O3X aka Fastest Finger First aka Quiz Bowl Anime hits a soft spot in my heart. I was captain of my high school’s junior Quiz Bowl team. We did pretty well considering we were a self-funded after school public high school team competing against private school teams that had actual teacher-taught Quiz Bowl classes. We won one major tournament and placed top eight in most that we entered. We didn’t even have enough money to buy a real buzzer system so the dad of another student built us one. Nostalgia aside, 7O3X is a lightweight sports anime. It has all the hallmarks of a traditional sports anime, including the main protagonist who didn’t know he was a Quiz Bowl savant until he was forced to try out Quiz Bowl. (I don’t really understand why Japanese schools would devote an entire school assembly to promoting random clubs.) Toss in a possible go-nowhere cute love interest, a motley crew of other Quiz Bowlers, and an overly dedicated senpai leading the club, and it’s part sports anime and part My Art Club Can’t Be This Broken.

The art is passable, but the main star of the show is the quizzing. I wish my Japanese were better so I can better guess at some of the answers– reading subs takes the fun out of it as the subs pop up the full question rather than hearing it. My main complaint for this show is that some of the humor really falls flat. There’s a panty gag that gets dragged on throughout the first episode that goes past boring past tiresome past cringe and certainly past my patience. The show is strangely at its best when focusing on the quizzing aspect and not on the actual character interaction.

(7O3X refers to the format of their Quiz Bowl as teams race to get 7 questions right but are eliminated at 3 questions wrong. Gotta love Japan’s simplifications.)


#5. Isekai Shokudou
Silver Link

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“Mmm, you pass muster.”

Restaurant to Another World is the highest ranked Another World™ anime of this season. The show is a mix of two genres that are popular now (the other being eating food), and Isekai Shokudou combines the two into a way that works. Three reasons why this show works: One, it has a solid premise where a typical Western-styled Japanese restaurant gets teleported to a fantasy world every Saturday. Isekai Shokudou is about presenting short vignettes of fantasy characters who eat there. It’s like fantasy Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories. It is interesting seeing how the fantasy characters react to things as simple as ice cubes, lemons, or corn chowder that may be common in our world but scarce or non-existent in theirs. The story isn’t about a person from our world being miscast in another world or a person from another world lost in our world but a way of both worlds coexisting.

Two, the main chef is a likeable guy with a meido fetish. He’d be one of my favorite characters this season if he didn’t have an awful goatee. Three, the food looks appetizing, and the overreaction of fantasy characters eating delicious Japanese food for the first time is fantastic. It’s also funny how these random fantasy characters can describe food like a food critic. They really embellish the descriptions as if they were Iron Chef panelists rather than a knight or a peasant meido or an adventurer. And they really like to comment on oils. For example, one character describes tonkatsu sauce with, “Adding this ‘sauce’ condiment and lemon, a fruit with practically no sweetness, gives a sourness and heaviness to every bite, and a refreshing aftertaste that balances out so well, it makes my hands stop moving, even as it leaves such a satisfied feeling.” It almost out Wakako-zakes Wakako-zake.

(Me: “How does the chef have the exact size for her meido waitress uniform and shoes?” Fashion Czar: “He’s been waiting for this exact day.”)

(I kind of want to see a show based on a restaurant that serves heroic spirits. Where do the heroic spirits hang out when they are waiting to be summoned for a Holy Grail war? Do they live in pokeballs? What do they like to eat? A restaurant where heroic spirts gather and eat as Gilgamesh nurses his red wine in a corner would be fantastic.)

(OP is by Wake Up, Mayn!, which I’m shocked that the Wake Up, Girls aren’t just still around but also thriving.)


#4. Made in Abyss
Kinema Citrus

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“Does a robot need a belly button?”

I really like Made in Abyss. It is one of the few shows this season that even though it takes place in a weird fantasy world, it tries to show the world rather than describe it. I’m convinced the last 30 second narration at the end of the first episode was put in because the director freaked out that people might not understand that there’s a gigantic hole in this world.

I liked the awfully made onigiris, the Science Girl, how plucky and determined Science Girl is, the montage of Science Girl discovering new artifacts, the general design of the world, the background art, the smooth character animation, the chubby Ichigo Mashimaro-styled art, Mega Man, and the evil orphanage that has all the kids sitting in a trellis of vertical desks.

The humor and dialogue is also enjoyable as well. There is an early scene where the Science Girl casually explains that she picked the former torture chamber as her room not because she tortures but because it looks the coolest. Did I mention that the main character is a girl who uses science, determination, and her guts to get out of bad predicaments? She’s also not afraid to stick rulers into, uh, private places. There’s just a lot to like about Made in Abyss.

Except… well… after seeing the first episode, I just wrote in my notebook, “Something awful is going to happen.” It’s not setting up to be a slice-of-life show but rather an arduous adventure to save friends in trouble.

(Mitigating Factor: The abyss is just 1,000 meters in diameter. That’s not very big. The Mir mine in Russia is 1,200 meters in diameter, so we already have a hole larger than this one on our planet. Plus, if the hole is terranced as seen in the anime with steps over a meter wide, it can’t be that deep. The Mir mine is only about 500 meters deep. To have a hole as large and deep as the anime would like to suggest, it has to be over 10 km in diameter.

(Fashion Czar: “These kids are so dumb, I love them. I’m totally into this baby robot romance.”)


#3. Welcome to the Ballroom
Production IG

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“Dance will fulfill a young boy’s desire to have contact with a young girl.”

Ballroom e Youkoso is a shounen sports anime (?!) drawn with a very josei style. The characters have strikingly long limbs, giraffe necks, and excruciatingly detailed eyes and eye lashes (half the cast could appear in Tokyo Tarareba Girls as is). The subject matter, ballroom dancing, is quite different than baseball, soccer, Quiz Bowl, or even shogi as in more traditional shounen sports anime (Ballroom e Youkoso runs in Monthly Shounen Magazine). Yet, it’s filled with typical sports anime tropes: main character has an ability that allows him to learn quickly, main character has a burning desire to learn, main character has the endurance of a Berserker class, and main character’s parent may or may not know if he is alive or not. It is a refreshing sports anime that feels both familiar and new.

Ballroom doesn’t try to make ballroom dancing more masculine and accepts the beauty of the sport. The show also isn’t just an information dump of what the sport is, as some sports anime fall into that trap, nor is it just character soap opera. So far, the anime has been a good mix of sport and drama. Maybe a little more suspense would be good.

My main complaint, though, is the animation. Good golly, there are a lot of opportunities to showcase the dancing, but almost all of the dancing is done via stills. Ugh. The lackluster animation kills my enthusiasm, especially after Yuri on Ice put on a clinic on how to do dance animation. There’s also another another anime this season features better animated dance sequences. If Production IG put a bit more effort into the dance sequences a bit less work in eyebrows, I think this show would be one of the most interesting ones of the season.

(I do like how horny the main character is. It’s also weird to see a typical “boy runs into girl in her underwear and has a nosebleed” sequence except done in josei artwork style. My brain has difficulty in processing it.)

(I also like the grandma. She needs to show up a bit more.)


#2. Fate/Apocrypha
A-1

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“We could not be better prepared.”

So ufotable lost the Fate franchise and they decided to make their own Fate/Grand Order knock-off, except with more blackjack Tales of and hookers ikemen? And somehow A-1 and Netflix swooped in to grab Fate/Apocrypha? Yet ufotable is still slated to animate TYPE/MOON’s next franchise? As the Nasuverse wasn’t impenetrable enough– let’s add to it the meta layer of anime production on top of it. The good: It’s still Fate, and, instead of just angsty teens, we get a mostly balanced cast of teens and adults like Fate/Zero. The bad: It’s still Fate, and, instead of horny teens, we get the more serious cast of Fate/Zero. My hope for Apocrypha is that we finally get a Holy Grail War that doesn’t feature someone cheating, but alas I’d settle for a solid starter for my 2022 blog好き shut up and jam gaiden team.

Watching the first episode, I’m already totally lost. I know who the characters are thanks to Fate/Grand Order, but there’s just really bad scene setting. The allusions that they make to the Fuyuki Holy Grail War aren’t strong or referential enough for a casual Nasuverse fan to indicate, “Hey, this is a different world! Fate/Zero and F/SN never happened here!” I wish we had an introductory episode that featured Gilgamesh and Kotomine drinking wine for sixty minutes while explaining the setting for us. Still, I’m curious to watch more, and the team battle setup is an interesting twist (I just hope it doesn’t turn into Project Runway S11). Fate has become like Star Trek to me where even if its bad, I just have to watch it so I can complain about it. Fucking temporal cold wars.

As lost as I was, Fashion Czar was completely lost. FZ: “What class is she?” Me: “Ruler.” FZ: “She’s not a Saber? She’s fighting with a sword! What do Rulers do?” Me: “She measures things.” FZ: “That is a sword. She is a Saber.” Me: “She’s a Ruler. Don’t you remember we won free coffee because I knew what Ruler, Avenger, and Moon Cancer were.” FZ: “You’re just making stuff up and trolling me. Moon Cancer, yeah right.”

(Also, the odds that Kotomine will betray everyone has been taken off of the books in Vegas. It’s a bigger lock than LeBron heading to the Lakers at this point. In fact, I think he already betrayed us by letting us know he’s betraying so early on. The sly fox.)

(Jeanne d’Arc is sure popular in anime these days. We have two Jeannes in anime right now, and they both look very much alike. Face with some baby fat, blonde, boxom, and likes to show off their legs during battle. May Japan’s love for the French never wane.)

(Mitigating Factor: Yoshiyuki Asai is the director. He has directed one full anime prior to this, Charlotte. So I am fully prepared to have four episodes worth of content crammed into the last five minutes of the show.)


#1. Kakegurui
MAPPA

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“Gambling gets more fun that crazier you get!”

I wrote a post for Kakegurui, the fanservice fetish gambling anime that is #1 on this thin slicing.

5 Responses to “thin slicing the new season, summer 2017 edition”

  1. As a french living in Orleans, i’m amazed at the popularity of Jeanne d’Arc in Japan. She is not so well known in France, just how she died in fact.

    As for Kakegurui, also my aots. The more episodes, the crazier it gets. The voice acting is incredible! Can’t wait for Miyuki Sawashiro arc :)

  2. Once again, thanks for going through so many anime here, it helps to keep me informed.

    I am sad to hear the new sword boy show isn’t very good, but in the end it is Kancolle for women so I guess I can’t expect too much. That explains why I haven’t heard much from fangirls about recent episodes.

    And I am only watched the restaurant anime this season. Maybe I should give the gambling anime a shot.

  3. 18if… is a different genre

  4. Wow can’t believe I fucked up that bad and accidentally clicked send.

    I was going to say its a different genre each episode. Second episode he helps a girl murder the people who killed her family, makes a girls dream of dating someone before she dies a reality, helps a girl get over her eating disorder, etc.

    Time travel and stopping weird zombie demon swords was the premise of the Touken Ranbu game, which this adaptation focuses on compared to the other animes slice of life. Kinda like if you focus on one fans account where they want to see everything slice of life while another player likes the action and drama and focuses on that. And hey, still better than the Rome arc from Fate Grand Order at least, which isn’t saying much considering all the Nero wank. Still saddened I never got to see the Type-Moon parody of Touken Ranbu they did several years ago translated.

  5. Kyon dies and comes back to direct KyoAni thru Endless Eight.

    How is Toradora older than K-On?

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