Posts with the “school” tag

3 Episode Taste Test: 11eyes

How many eyes? 11eyes. Certainly more than 3×3 Eyes and The Girl with the Blue Eye, numerically at least. A fascination with eyes and in particular eyepatches (see also Rental Magica, Tenjou Tenge et. al.), this series has the standard outfitting of an enigmatic past and hidden powers connected with said eye as well as a natty patch to keep it all under wraps. Even though it exists as a blatant amalgam of many other ideas and series that have gone before it, 11eyes: Tsumi to Batsu to Aganai no Shoujo (Sin, Damnation and the Atonement Girl) cracks the barrier of dense nomenclature and proves moderately watchable.

it wouldn't be surprising to see a frivolous and inconsequential beach or hot spring storyline in succeeding episodes

A lot of this is down to its refusal to wholly mollycoddle the viewer. By the middle of the second episode the cycloptic protagonist has already worked out it is him that draws those around him into the monster-infested "Red Night" and by the end of the third episode the most recently introduced cast member is given a serviceable raison dêtre. The slow reveal of new party members is still present, again robbed of any interest by the revelatory opening, and the typical standby of the desire to grow stronger and protect those close is bolted to the lead male. By keep the most interesting mysteries close and trivialising the more mundane aspects, the series' introductory episodes maintain interest but demand little further thought.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Kämpfer

Unimaginative. Tired. Bland. Tedious. Insipid. The list of derogatory descriptions for Kämpfer is lengthy but suffice to say the utter lack of inspiration the series demonstrates is quite staggering. Cherry picking the most aggravating elements from other shows and combining them into a thoroughly banal presentation of gender swapping and fighting females which, on the face of it, is a combination ripe for exuberance.

the proclivities of the entire school population wielding an XX chromosome seem ridiculously tame

The opening scene is enough cause for one to turn off and continue no further: a luminous red-head shooting at a fluorescent blue-haired buxom female running and darting about conspicuous trees while her clothes are seductively shredded. Were it not for the next scene, a comparative master class in introductions, the series would be starting off at the very bottom of the entertainment hill. The inaugural episodes oscillate from apathetic combat to surprisingly gratifying school humour and only seems to hit its stride in the third which introduces a plethora of débutantes eager to ravish the goofy protagonist who woke up one morning a different sex than that which he went to bed.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Seitokai no Ichizon (The Student Council's Discretion)

Two minutes and twenty seconds from the start of the first episode until the chirrupy opening and nearly fifteen references to other anime are made, an average of one every ten seconds. Breathless to the point of near schizophrenia, the introduction to Seitokai no Ichizon crams in references to popular websites, itself, fandom, and is almost disparaging of its own existence. Hitting the ground with wheels spinning the first episode is raucous and laugh-out-loud hilarious to the point where one's jaw aches and mind reels with the barrage of anime culture references. That it slows down in the succeeding two episodes is a blessing although the threat of stagnation looms large.

This is poignancy by contrast as is so often the case with comedies

The Hekiyou School Council members are drafted in based on popularity which means the density of "cute" girls is high and the presence of a male all the more shocking - Sugisaki saw an opportunity to go for a harem ending (his words) and dragged his test scores from last to first in order to get an assured seat. The result is a chaotic group that takes pleasure in the act of doing very little while trading barbs and succumbing to their own vices. From the diminutive council leader, Sakurano, with a penchant for rabbit-shaped sweets to the icy cold Akaba with untold mental powers it's an oddball group who's chemistry tends to simmer rather than pop.

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3 Episode Taste Test: kimikiss - pure rouge

A mix of French, English and what one can only assume is Japanese in the title? It must be the school-romance genre. Kimikiss is unashamedly pedestrian in its subject matter and plants itself squarely in the mid-teen age range in both content and audience. The first three episodes do little else other than set a suitably solid foundation for future angst and trauma from the bevy of humdrum adolescents.

as unchallenging as it may be, romance aficionados may find much to get wrapped up in

Beginning inauspiciously with a returning childhood friend, a confusingly out-of-place kiss and other paraphernalia which is sure to be over-analysed as the series progresses. The characters of kimikiss, supposed to be the meat of the series, can initially be written off as typical and uninteresting; sporadically however they staunchly refuse to resort back to their obvious archetypes and plough forward giving the illusion of momentum when in fact nothing has changed. The set up of ditzy boy liking introverted girl has been recycled innumerable times before, most memorably the recent School Days, although there is little indication of murderous tendencies here; instead it is a gentle, soap-opera flow with no ideas above its station except to entertain its audience with predictable sentimentality.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Minami-ke

That is the smell of familiarity; tried-and-tested, often copied but rarely bettered, it's the smell of all-girl school comedy. Treading in the territory of giants such as Azumanga Daioh and recently Lucky Star, Minami-ke has had the bar set very highly for it. Whether you enjoy the slice-of-life monotony or the genuine, sometimes slapstick humour, the series has a lot going for it. However its real test will certainly be whether it can maintain such a standard throughout its run.

the boisterous and unfortunately less than intelligent Kana whose antics oscillate between charming and tiresome

Attempting to mix-up the formula somewhat, Minami-ke not only introduces a select number of male characters (currently only one) but breaks up the ordinary three sister group dynamic into home and school life, the latter of which is split across three different age ranges and subsequently three different schools. This is a superb move as it highlights one of the primary sources of humour for the series: age difference. In the first three episodes alone there are numerous times when Chiaki, the youngest, innocently asks about a topic ("weird activities" being the most prolific) while Kana, the hyperactive middle child, blithely continues rambling and Haruka, the eldest, is left to blush and to try and change the topic. It's not a great change from the otaku-tinged chattering of Lucky Star or the off-the-wall dialogues in Azumanga but it works by at once being age-specific while highlighting that there isn't any fundamental difference in what the different groups talk about.

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