Posts from July 2010

3 Episode Taste Test: Seitokai Yakuindomo

If ever there was a need to reiterate it: successful comedy hinges on the delivery. Seitokai Yakuindomo somehow doesn't understand this and after cramming joke after staid joke into an episode, it still comes across as bland and uninspired. All the constituent parts are there: the all-girls school recently turned co-ed, the straight-man protagonist, the overcompensating short girl; but none of them gel together. The first three episodes never break that threshold that turns a smirk into a laugh into a guffaw. Instead, predictability and tedium set in and what could have been a sterling comedy, pregnant with possibilities, falls flat and doesn't find the spark to differentiate it.

pixelated shots of sex toys and genitalia during the opening demonstrate the tawdriness the jokes aim for

Takatoshi joined Ousai Academy because it was close to his house. It is no ordinary school however, up until recently it was an all-girls school meaning the ratio of females to males is high and though Takatoshi didn't join to build a harem, other male students certainly have. On his first day he is accosted by the student council president, Shino, and forced to join the council as vice president and representative for the male student body. As well as the filthy mind of the president, he is joined by the ultra-rich Aria and the genius trapped in a child's body, Suzu in his daily duties involving an inordinate amount of paperwork as well as loafing around the council room during breaks.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Strike Witches 2

Where have all the young men gone? Sure there are the military men, barely old enough to hold a meaningful rank, but the Strike Witches 2 universe is entirely bereft of any young boys. Perhaps ages six through sixteen are spent in secret training to reduce the number of assaults due to the girls' complete lack of clothing below the waist. Or perhaps the Neuroi, the opaque alien aggressors, are an analogy of male puberty. Regardless, the opening three episodes of this second season start out much as the first and it isn't until the cringeworthy third episode that the uncomfortableness of watching young girls with no lower clothing on suffering through compromising situations sets in. The change of studio from the beleaguered GONZO to AIC Spirits hasn't changed the aesthetics, but it has reduced the crotch shots and increased the piercing light of censorship. Otherwise, for better or worse, the premise and execution are left entirely in tact.

a zero-sum series, each shred of development evaporates as soon as the characters visit a bath

After the events of the first season, the Neuroi were pushed out of Britannia and into Romagna, however as a communication channel was about to be opened with the now humanoid enemy, another force descended to Earth, consuming the all in their path. City after city is razed in this new offensive and entire squadrons of Strike Witches are decimated with the ferocity and volume of attacks. Yoshika meanwhile has graduated from school and is considering what to do next when word of an attack involving her comrade Lynne comes over the radio. The desire to protect her friends is too great, so it is that the 501st reforms to combat this renewed threat.

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Because the world needs another URL shortener:

Not as short as many others but anime related. At the moment it's very lo-fi and doesn't have an API or any integration points so it isn't currently compatible with your favourite Twitter client - this will come soon enough along with stats and other paraphernalia. Built from scratch in less than a couple of hours so any bugs drop me a line, likewise with feature requests, otherwise enjoy.

Edit: Forgot to say, it is currently gathering data, so once a frontend is built existing links will reveal their stats.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Shukufuku no Campanella

It comes as quite a surprise that Shukufuku no Campanella is in based on a visual novel rather than an RPG; the hints are remarkably strong with quests, line-dancing combat and job-classes, even the opening scenario seems ripped straight from Chrono Trigger or Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. What lies beyond this superficial resemblance however is a cutesy, pastel coloured romp through a fluffy, high-fantasy world that keeps the conflicts light and the humour inoffensive but with a dash of eye-rolling raciness that remains the only hint of its adult game heritage. Without a stronger narrative to support it, the series relies on its cast which for the first three episodes are entertaining enough, but whether the series can last for twelve episodes on twee intentions is another matter.

the whimsical lifestyles of uninteresting characters in a fascinating world
Taking place in the city of Ert' Aria, the Oasis clan is a loose collection of characters lead by Carina, daughter of the grand duke of the city, and consisting of her childhood friend Leicester, maid Nina and resident burly man Nick, as well as recent additions such as the puppeteer Agnes and templar knight Chelsea. On the night of a meteor storm, ethereal energy awakens a highly sophisticated automaton which, for better or worse, latches on to Leicester and joins the Oasis group. Together they take on different quests at the behest of often faceless clients and can include activities ranging from quelling a raging crystal dragon to picking a rare black rainbow flowers. A mysterious power however dwells within the recently awakened mechanical girl, Minette, and her very nature as well as her abilities may attract unwanted attention.

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