Week #2 – Winter Anime 2016

Week number two is upon us with the Winter anime season. We had a few already leave us as their respective first episodes did nothing to entice me. So we move onto this week. Will the shows that were really good keep up their pace? Will the so-so ones improve? And can the shows on-notice get themselves off the chopping block or will they join last week’s shows in the dropped pile?

A reminder. One, I don’t watch everything, so bear with me, I try to watch as much as I can. I also don’t watch a show that’s already started if I haven’t watched the initial season(s) before it. And two, you’ll notice a few things next to the ratings I give to each show. Only one can be the Best of the Week, while there are two notable statuses to give the rest. If I put a show “On Notice” it means the next show has to impress or I will drop it. If a show is in “Dropped” status, regardless of how much better it is afterwards, I will not review the series again. I may watch it on my own time (though I’ve never watched something I intended to drop after), but it will no longer be covered here. This can be for a multitude of reasons, ranging from it being too confusing, not my cup of tea, or straight up pissing me off.

So! Let’s hop to it!

Active Raid {On Notice}

Our first on notice show this week, how does it fare? Honestly, not much better. I was already starting to get annoyed when Asami was seen only with a shirt off and had more than a sports bra worth of fabric on and was acting like she was being seen butt naked. This episode is just all over the place, the show switches from person to person without any segue really. It only takes until about the halfway point of the show that things actually start going in some sort of direction. The boss’ younger sister is kidnapped during an attack on her school. Rin will do whatever it takes to incapacitate the enemy even at her sister’s risk, while Asami wants to do it safely. And she fails miserably, destroying an entire building in the process. Again, the action is decent, the design is pretty nice, but the characters are not interesting at all to me, the story (if there really is one at this point) is all over the place and it’s just not entertaining. So our first on notice show is gone. Goodbye!

Episode Score – 2/5 {DROPPED}

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across the Blue

So how do they explain Asuka suddenly going from shit to good? They don’t. Oh well, Mashiro singing about Misaki and then spying on the very beautiful sleeping beauty is always enjoyable, those two are great together. Asuka now has a #1 fan in Madoka who’s I think is somehow more intense than Mashiro with Misaki, how’s that possible, I do not know. They keep trying to get Asuka and Masaya to join, but Masaya’s having none of it, for unknown reasons at the time. Oh, and the school’s Flying Circus team’s room is a worn-out bus. It’s funny the next night, Masaya tries to avoid seeing the girl across the street (who actually isn’t Asuka, it’s someone else entirely) in her underwear again, but somehow it happens twice, if I’m matching it correctly, the girl’s name is Rika. Aoi, the teacher suggests to Masaya that he should teach them regardless of his feelings, he has the knowledge to point out their flaws almost immediately and how to correct them. The girls all go shopping at an FC store for new Grav-Shoes, where we learn about the three types, Speeder (top speed), Fighter (top agility) and All-Rounder (both). The next practice, Misaki challenges Asuka, perhaps to see if she can pull that skill out of her again. Misaki takes it hard to Asuka, this time she’s facing a Fighter and not a Speeder. Asuka is about the get one point again when time runs out, losing 9-0. Masaya finally agrees to coach her but only until the Summer tournament, which you know will not be the case. The episode ends with Aoi trying to set up a joint training camp with Takafuji, the best school around. I loved this episode, we’re getting to see more of each character. I’m curious to what this Rika girl’s gonna be like, Masaya’s getting one hard ass slap when they meet. Which reminds me…HOW HAVE THEY NOT TALKED AFTER THIS HAPPENING TWICE NOW?!

Episode Score – 5/5

BBK/BRNK

Azuman after convinced he doesn’t have a Bubuki himself, after nearly being shot and killed, it awakens and seemingly completes the skeletal Buranki hanging after Episode 1. Though he’s not happy that the others are using him Mom’s Buranki like they want to. Regardless, the main villain Reoko shows up and she sure as shit fucks them all up. She be crazy as fuck too, I like her, she’s got very Kill la Kill kind of facial expressions and Ayame Kajo’s (Shimoneta) laugh. Hiiragi is not happy they lost and honestly needs a beating to chill him out. In the meantime, Reoko pulls the dead mother card on Azuma to which that really pisses him off. So it’s Morphin’ Time and we’re back in the fight. We have a brief “We gotta work together!” speech and they manage to at least survive, to the point Reoko passes out of exhaustion. Decent episode again, loving this set of characters, so long as Kinoa keeps beating the shit out of Hiiragi to keep him in line.

Episode Score – 4/5

Dagashi Kashi

Last week’s best show, can it retain its crown? Well the “dagashi is a battlefield” segment was a great start. The Kinako technique segment was also a great start. Hotaru is on her A-game all day, every day in this show. Watching her get drunk on fake beer is hilarious. The Fue Ramune sketch is fucking weird as shit too…and I love it! To make things worse for Kokonotsu, Saya also has a reason for him to take over the dagashi shop, presumably so he’d be close by for her, since she likes him. This episode was another fun one. I’d love to give this one the best show of the week again, but unfortunately, it’s been bested this week by another show.

Episode Score – 5/5

Dimension W 

We’re introduced to the aptly-named Loser, a large-scale artwork thief who makes his jobs look like shows for people as he streams them live. Because of his great power, it’s suspected he is in possession of illegal coils, which gets another job from Kyouma and now Mira. She also shows part of the video of her “father’s” family being murdered and Kyouma identifies one of them to the point he’s convinced New Tesla is behind all this. The chase is freakin’ awesome between Kyouma and Loser once he shows up. He also seems to know Kyouma as well, recognizing him as a surviving member of a long lost elite task force against coil weapons. He takes off his mask and reveals a fucking terribly disfigured face, saying New Tesla covers up anything disastrous having to do with coils. It turns out the reason Loser steals specific art is because they’re embedded with very special coils. Also apparently damaging a coil like that really fucks up the dimensional landscape. That curator, holy shit! This episode was fantastic, everything you could want. Action, humor, a little cuteness and holy shit horror (not too much gore though).

Episode Score – 5/5 *BEST OF THE WEEK*

Divine Gate {On Notice}

Again with the feel bad for Aoto bullshit, *sigh*. Aside from that, I will say that the Loki character looks fucking badass, love his look. It’s a shame really, cause I’d love him to punch Akane in his stupid face! I came very close at the 10-minute mark of this episode of just straight up closing it, but I kept forcing myself to finish this episode, hoping for something good to finally happen. And while there was a pretty cool looking fight and a somewhat emotional moment, it’s just not enough to gain my attention back, at the very least in a positive manner. This anime still frustrates me, the characters are infuriating, one’s an asshole, one’s a depressing prick and the other is a goody two-shoes, none of them make me interested in what they’re doing, what they’re after. For what it’s worth we found out Aoto wasn’t the one who killed his parents, it was his brother. Which should be an important twist, but it comes off flat and really should’ve been saved for much later. Maybe I’m just biased, but I cannot look at this show as anything but utter shit.

Episode Score – 2/5 {DROPPED}

Erased

After a pretty intense ending to its first episode, Erased starts off where it left, with Satoru back in 1988 as a child, close to the days where the initial child abductions and murders were. It’s a moment of confusion, horror and then suddenly sweet relief. Regardless of being 18 years younger, he’s aware his Mom is alive again, not to mention a lot of old memories coming back. The realization is very prevalent that he has a chance to change a ton of history, including the murder of his mother before Revival kicking in and returning him 18 years back. The longer he’s there, the more he realizes it’s a lot more than just his mother’s life he could be saving as well. He attempts to get closer to Kayo, the girl he remembers who was abducted and killed and believes he could’ve saved, with mixed results. By the end he manages to convince her to come to a birthday party about two weeks from then. Another good episode, not crazy eventful, but very mysterious and methodical. I enjoyed it.

Episode Score – 3.5/5

GATE – Season 2

The quake is short and not as intense as the episode left off. Itami thought of it as a short 4 or 5 ranged earthquake. Of course, it seems to be a rarity on the other side, so Pina and company are freaked the fuck out about it. For the first time this season we see Tuka again still looking for her father, makes you wonder when they’ll finally tell her. Regardless of the still ongoing troubles between the SDF and the Empire, Pina convinces Itami to stay with her, which he’s very reluctant towards, given the current state of affairs. Douchebag (I’m aware what his name is, by the way) shows up to really increase the tension and he’s got another slave in tow…and it turns out she’s Japanese! Violence ensues and shit goes down, Empire soldiers get owned as usual, but this time right in front of the Emperor himself. And Shino beats the shit out of Sir Douchebag too, awesome! Itami looks about ready to kill him, but the rape victim from last episode actually saves his life, for whatever reason (Stockholm Syndrome, maybe?). In secret from the SDF however, it looks like while they’re trying to have peace talks, the Japanese government is slowly destroying the other world’s structure, bombing the Imperial Senate. We get one final reality check with the Japanese girl they rescued. She wants to call her family to tell them she’s all right…except they died in the initial battle when the Gate opened. So with her still in shock from being enslaved, they decide to wait. Another moment that’ll hit really hard when it happens, just like Tuka who we end the episode with as she continues to search for her father. Solid episode as usual from this show, though I’ve gotta say two episodes in and we’ve gotten nothing from Rory, which is a huge disappointment.

Episode Score 4/5

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

I wonder just how old these kids actually are, they talk about drinking almost immediately. I’m becoming more and more convinced of my theory about them being in a game but having their real-life memories erased. Haruhiro notes that the red moon he sees now is weird, as it wasn’t red in “that place”, referring to I assume real-world Earth. As per usual, Yume’s ass is the star of the show, can’t go anywhere without pointing it directly at the camera. They try again to kill their first monster, which only upholds my theory. They’re in a game, but unlike Sword Art and Log Horizon, they’re legitimately doing this on their own, no automatics, it’s all on them to strike. Once again, Ranta’s a fucking idiot. There’s an interesting reality to this, they note that the goblin doesn’t want to die either and nearly kills Haruhiro who sends him into a huge shock (and a sword lodged in his shoulder). AND THE SPOILS ARE A SILVER COIN AND A FANG ON THE GOBLIN’S NECK, AWESOME WAY TO EXPLAIN LOOT! There’s real horror going on in this kill, Shihoru falls faint, Ranta goes into a violent panic, stabbing the goblin endlessly till he breaks down and cries, Haruhiro’s hand won’t stop shaking. It’s an incredible reality of what adventurers would truly feel like their first battles. Think about a soldier firing his gun for the first time at a real enemy, is it just that simple? Anyways, Haruhiro after returning to town explorers a little further, showing us your basic NPC town. With a song in the background, it’s a nicely timed calming moment after a really intense, emotional battle, though I think it went too long, it felt like the ending credits at the halfway point of the show. Yume’s ass faced the camera two separate times during this musical segment. We get another moment of real-life realization when Mogzo carves an airplane out of wood. It’s also hilarious to me that the healer, Manato is probably in the best shape of the whole group. The episode ends with Ranta trying to spy on the girls in the baths and gets his shit fucked up. I really don’t like him at all. But the episode itself was fantastic, especially the first 15 minutes. The musical segment went far too long and the ending was weak though. Also, I’m adding something into this review as well. I might not be exact every week, but here we go…

♥ OFFICIAL YUME ASS SHOT COUNT! – 3 ♥

Episode Score – 4/5 

Konosuba -God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!-

This one started today so this anime will be an episode behind the rest. The story starts as in a freak accident (dies from being hit by a truck trying to save a girl) Kazuma wakes up in the afterlife and is greeted by a goddess (Aqua)who really likes skirts that cover up almost nothing (there’s no hiding that ass!) who tells him he actually died from the shock of thinking he’d been hit by a truck, so essentially the most embarrassing death of all. He gives him a choice: Either start a fresh new life, or go to Heaven (which according to Aqua sucks a big bag of dicks). Oh while her ass is in full display of course, seriously NOTHING COVERING IT AT ALL. I don’t even think she’s wearing panties. But she offers him a third option, to be sent into another world like a video game with one item of his choosing. So he shocks her and picks her as the one to bring with him into the world. Oh she gonna be pissed! Seriously though, NO UNDERWEAR! If she’s wearing any fabric there, it’s fucking microscopic! Ah well, Kazuma gets his revenge on Aqua for treating him like a joke and takes her with him. Although I will admit, he’s slowly turning into a bit of a jackass as the show goes on. This world is super interesting, it really does have the proper MMORPG feel to it. The architecture, the character design, it all fits. Becoming adventurers, Kazuma ends up just choosing the plain Adventurer class right away, while Aqua becomes an Arch Priest. She gets the full game treatment, while Kazuma gets nothing. This entire time too, he’s wearing the same tracksuit he died in, no new uniform. Oh and the whole time they didn’t even leave town and adventure, they were doing labour work. SERIOUSLY! IT’S JUST HER BARE ASS!!!

Episode Score – 4/5

Luck & Logic

A lot of down time in this show, to the point I actually wasn’t finding much to write about here for the first half at least. There’s a lot of names to remember that I probably won’t for a while. Olga seems to be the potential villain here, I’m curious about Tamaki and Valkyrie is easily the prettiest to me, that’s about the gist of things. It’s your typical they’re not getting along together episode for the most part. In the end, Yoshichika is given the leadership over Tamaki and of course she ain’t happy. Not a whole lot going on in this episode. Definitely a downer after a solid first entry.

Episode Score – 3/5

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara

While Yuzuka is still very upset about the fact her magical girl suit is well…a swimsuit, she eventually learns she has the ability to create water. And Miton’s a pervert, of course. And then it just ends. Honestly, because it’s so short and there’s nothing going on, I may still watch it, but it’s pointless to be reviewing it here when there’s nothing to review.

Episode Score – 2/5 {DROPPED}

Myriad Colors Phantom World

This episode is centered a lot around Koito who has the power to seemingly create elemental blasts through singing. She is your classic “I don’t want friends or to work with others” character, so of course the amount of fun required to get her on their side is always high. We also discover if Mai wants the fire element, she’s gotta rub her breasts, because of course she does! Remember that part about no ecchi really so far other than Mai rubbing herself? Yeah, shower scenes in this episode. Ah well, it made it one episode. After a mission, Ruru takes an odd piece of tech from the factory that belonged to the same company that caused the virus breakout, but so far they can’t figure out what it is and get it to even work. As if we’ve gotten enough of Mai in one episode, we also get to watch her stretch in various poses that are centered around her showing off her ass and crotch in her gym gear. With Reina having her ability now, Haruhiko knows his sealing ability is almost useless, so he’s now trying to improve his skills as a summoner. So on a mission where the Phantom is a peeper (which naturally means more ecchi, told you one episode) he finally summons his first Phantom…and it’s a tiny dog with wings. Also Reina heals a cut on his finger…by sucking on it. Oh dear. Another solid episode though regardless!

Episode Score – 4/5

Nurse Witch KOUMGI R {On Notice}

Oh my god, I fucking love Tsukasa, we need more characters in anime who only talk by rapping/singing. Plot-wise there seems to be something stalking Kokona, but no one can seem to figure out what. We also get a little backstory with her before we’re treated to another concert (which to be honest, I skip), because unless you’re a huge fan of Japanese idols, it’s kinda boring. This episode is a police car monster and subdues Komugi immediately. When Kokona becomes the next Tomba-E girl…she kinda turns into a…well…dominatrix. Also somehow Komugi and Kokona don’t recognize either other (cause apparently magical girls are stupid as fuck). There was enough going on here to bring this show off notice for the time being, but it’s cutting it close. There’s enough humor and Tsukasa alone to keep it above the bar though.

Episode Score – 3/5

Ooya-san wa Shishunki!

Again it’s so short, but you know what? It’s cute, so I’ll accept it, not like it takes much time away from you. Not much I can really say about it, which is why even though I’m going to still watch it, I’m going to just flat-out drop it from the list because it’s pointless reading for you guys. But it’s a cute two-minute short, watch it!

Episode Score – 3/5 {DROPPED}

Pandora in the Crimson Shell Ghost Urn

I fucking love the facial expressions in this show! It doesn’t fit at all with what the show’s supposed to be doing and I love that! Also, I love recurring characters and this reporter girl who constantly falls from massive heights is hilarious. Nene’s relationship with Clarion gets better and better, you scratch her in any bit and Nene will whip your ass! It’s clear over the episode as well that Nene’s ability as far stronger than what they appear to have been, she’s far more skilled than a simple android should be. In the end Uzal for a while it seems (unsure what’s going on with her) to be leaving the show so Clarion is now paired with Nene for the foreseeable future. Another fun episode, not as hilarious as the first though.

Episode Score – 4/5

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation

A new girl’s showed up at the SEGA academy, brought to you by SEGA! She’s very interested in Itsuki for some reason, perhaps a little too much. Okay, maybe WAY too much. Itsuki gets a little over careless and really pisses off SORO (aka the president) and he goes into a little depressive stint. But after a stern talking to from Aika (new girl) who again knows way too much, he gets back on track. We finally get the reason for why the game is so prevalent with the student council and it’s admittedly really dumb. It’s because the academy wants to ban students from playing it basically, so she wants to prove that those playing the game are doing it responsibly to the point it’s not interfering with their studies. For fuck’s sake, you didn’t need to come up with such a complex reason to have the game involved in this, you could’ve literally just said “She likes him, but can’t say it out loud, so to see him more, she gets him into PSO2, which she’s heavily into.” and that’d make sense! But a plot device like “We gotta stop the power, man! They’re trying to take us down and control us, man!” is fucking stupid! Anyways, she appoints Aika as essentially his assistant because she’s also really good at the game. Okay look, the anime’s not bad, I just cannot stand the bullshit plot they’re trying to write into it. They’re making it much harder than it has to be.

Episode Score – 3/5

Please Tell Me! Galko Chan

Uh…really could’ve gone without the tampon discussion *shudders*. Yeah…this one got a little weird, then a little much. I like the dynamic between the characters, but in this particular episode I just have to put in on notice. It’s easily the episode that was the most not for me.

Episode Score – 1.5/5 {ON NOTICE}

Prince of Stride: Alternative

After a crazy first race, Takeru and Riku seem to no longer be able to have the perfect timing they once had. Regardless, they are entering into their first event. In the search for a sponsor though, they are forced into a FASHION MONTAGE!!! It’s then we learn about Riku’s older brother who is currently abroad and was the best Stride runner at the time he was participating. We’re also introduced to three more boys from the most popular school and Stride team. Our boy count is about at double digits now, I’m sure all the ladies are having fun picking their favourites now. But enough of that, CROSSDRESSING MONTAGE!!! But after all the fun and shenanigans, Riku and Takeru get their speed together and are ready for their first match…except it’s against the popular team they met earlier in-between all the montages. Another good episode, nowhere near as good as last week’s but still great nonetheless.

Episode Score – 4/5

Schwarzes Marken {On Notice}

Well the music at the start was badass. On Katia’s first mission she is worn out, but even Theodor as much as he doesn’t care for her has to admit she has some skill, at least more than he expected. The Stasi show up immediately to take Katia back, though Iris is not allowing it. Also, Sylvia does not like this whole two Germanys working together thing and beats the shit out of Katia for saying it. To try and change her squad around on her, the Stasi talk about how Iris killed her own brother just to prove her innocence and finally Theodor is told he will be arrested as well if Katia is indeed arrested and brought back. Doing some research for Katia, Theodor finds a lot of blacking out on people, including his own father and as he later finds out, her own father. Theodor is pissed as her disguising her name and looking into erased records is a real risk that could cost both of them their lives if caught. After being told they’d have two squadrons from the Stasi they find out it was all a lie and they’re left to die, including the Major. Not only that, but a suspicious order sends Katia and Thi-Rang away from their unit somewhere else. Thi-Rang insists Katia calls her “Sis”, which only makes you assume she’s dying at some point to increase the drama with Katia. Finally, Katia seems to be in certain danger as she’s about to be tackled by one of the BETA. A much better episode this time around, definitely worth keeping on for now.

Episode Score – 3.5/5

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