- It's a movie: Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199: Hoshi - Meguru Hakobune
- It's a movie: UFO Gakuen no Himitsu
- Ultimate Otaku Teacher
- Denpa Kyoushi
- Season 1
- Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: unmotivated otaku becomes high school teacher
I'm a sucker for Inspiring Teacher stories. They come in lots of flavours, of course. Anime alone has GTO, Assassination Classroom, etc. However I disliked this one and won't be continuing.
Jun'ichirou Kagami is a 24-year-old otaku and NEET who declares proudly that he doesn't want to work. He's a genius, having published a paper at 17 that caused a scientific sensation, but he didn't bother taking this any further because he's more interested in keeping up his anime blog. However he has a lifestyle obstacle. His sister has promised to keep hitting him with a baseball bat until he gets a job... and, what's worse, she's found one! He's going to be a teacher at his old high school. She arranged this without:
- (a) an interview
- (b) any contact between Jun'ichirou and the school
- (c) telling him
He has no training for the job, a smug, self-righteous personality and absolutely no motivation. His first lesson involves getting everyone to play a game on their smartphones. Not only does he not bother making a lesson plan, but I don't think he's even considered his responsibilities for long enough to realise that such things might exist.
This is appalling. I hate him and I hate the school for giving him the job. Teaching is hard. Like anything that's difficult, you have to work at it. Despite our best efforts and intentions, when we start out, even the best of us will be bad. You'll give classes where you made mistakes that you don't like to remember. Over time, though, if you take the job seriously, work hard and think about what you're doing, you'll improve.
Jun'ichirou needs feeding to sharks.
The rest of the episode is okay. It's a bit like GTO, but with a teacher who's appalling for different reasons. (Also GTO is fantastic.) There's a girl who's being bullied. Jun'ichirou goes ballistic at her for aspiring to be a goddess and an angel of perfection, i.e. an anime voice actress, then he does something imaginative to her bullies. I quite liked the girl. Her story's good. Had I been able to tolerate Jun'ichirou, I'd have been very happy to watch this show. However I can't and I won't.
- Unlimited Fafnir
- Juuou Mujin no Fafnir
- Season 1
- Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: boy at magical battle girls' school
It's a light novel adaptation about a male hero surrounded by girls at magical battle school. How many of those did the anime industry make this year? I've lost count. I can think of three from 2015 off the top of my head, but I'm probably missing some out. This reminds me of Absolute Duo, probably since the main girl's got white hair, but what I'm really reminded of is Generic Anime. The only way in which it differs from its rivals is in being less distinctive. It's not really aiming for a personality.
I could watch this. It wouldn't hurt or anything. However I don't really care whether I watch it or not, which is hardly a good sign.
The worldbuilding is of mild interest. 25 years ago, dragons appeared. They don't look like dragons, but that's what people call them. They're CGI-rendered abominations that could crush lorries underfoot. However there are also D-people, who have the same powers as dragons and can fight against them. This involves dark matter, which can transform into anything or create magical effects. Sounds good? Well, apparently their human rights have been an issue in the past, while the dragons themselves are liable to go chasing after D-people and do SCARY SPOILER to them.
I'm slightly interested in the dragons. If I watched ep.2, it would be in the hope of seeing what happened to the story when dragons started doing stuff. (It would probably be just some magical battles, but you never know.)
The protagonist, Yuu Mononobe, is the only boy at this girls' school! D-people are generally female. He has military training and will be secretly awesome but regarded as scum, lower-class and/or generally sneered at. (I know this because I've seen this kind of show before, rather than due to anything in this episode. Mind you, one of the girls in Yuu's class is already sneering at him in the kind of irritating way that suggests formula writing rather than anything meaningful.) Yuu seems nice enough, but so far I haven't spotted any personality traits in him.
The main girl, Iris Freyja, has white hair and is really bad at magic. She introduces herself by being naked and attacking him. This goes wrong and she blows herself up. On being asked later how she came to be naked, she explains that her swimsuit got swept away by the waves. This is not a thing that happens to real people. Either she wears extreme swimwear or she shouldn't be outside without a nurse. I found her forgettable, although I quite liked Yuu's sister.
Not to be confused with Fafner in the Azure (broadcast on the same day), but they sound very different in Japanese. This show's "Fafnir" is pronounced "fafuniiru", while the Azure one is "fafunaa".
It's utterly unremarkable, but I nearly decided to keep watching it anyway. It seems inoffensive. There's nothing painful about the episode and most of the people seem nice. Also it's not a fanservice show, with Iris's nudity not being lingered on and not having distracting male gaze. I've watched worse. However it also seems almost entirely without plus points and I think the main thing I'd get from watching it would be confusion with other things I was watching at the same time. It wouldn't even matter what else I was watching. If it was anime, this show would probably overlap with it in some generic fashion. It's the definition of missable.
- Urawa no Usagi-chan
- Usagi-chan of Urawa
- Season 1
- Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
- Keep watching: it's empty and pointless, but yes
- One-line summary: schoolgirls in the town of Urawa
- I've since finished it and... it's better than I'd expected, but still not that memorable.
A pink-haired 16-year-old girl talks about the Urawa area. (It's in Saitama, Japan.) She has two friends, who I'll call Yellow Hair and Blue Hair.
There's nothing there at all. That really is all that happens. I couldn't see what the show was trying to be. The internet tells me that the show was created to promote the city of Urawa, which makes sense since that's the main thing I remember from the episode. (I don't remember what our heroine actually said, but I do at least remember that she was burbling on about where she lived.)
I bet I'm going to regret this. I've watched empty shows before and discovered that, yes, empty is empty. Suzakinishi the Animation, I'm looking at you. However the girls seem nice, the episodes are super-short and why not?
- Ushio and Tora
- Season 1 (unless you count the 1992 OVAs)
- Episodes: 26 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: yes
- One-line summary: schoolboy teams up with a demon that wants to eat him
- I've since finished it and... the 2015 season is great and entertaining. The 2016 season is darker.
I already knew Ushio and Tora
, so ep.1 was what I'd been expecting, i.e. a fun time. The story's what I remembered. The character designs are also true to the original (e.g. Ushio's caterpillar eyebrows and cardboard box nose), so it's a 1990s throwback and hence a refreshing change from the 2015 norm.
Ushio's a brat who fights with his father. They run a shrine. One day dad's gone off on holiday and Ushio finds a hidden trapdoor. He breaks it open, goes down and finds a gigantic orange demon pinned to the wall with a Beast Spear. This is Tora. (It's actually nameless, but "tora" means "tiger" and so Ushio names it Tora because it's a bit tiger-like.) Anyway, Tora orders Ushio to release it so that it can eat him.
Ushio sees the logical flaw in this and hammers the Beast Spear even further home.
He then puts Tora from his mind and goes to school. There we meet two of his friends: Mayuko Inoue (gentle and feminine) and Asako Nakamura (tomboy who's always violently attacking him). They even drop by his house later. Unfortunately it seems that Ushio unleashed 500 years's worth of accumulated demonic aura by opening that trapdoor, so hordes of youkai are about to coalesce from it and attack everyone. The only things that can stop this are: (a) the Beast Spear, and (b) Tora. Whoops. Ushio and Tora
negotiate a sort of understanding. Tora promises to eat Ushio, while Ushio promises to stick the Beast Spear in Tora again. Yippee, they're now friends! (No, just joking.)
It's a laugh. Tora is huge, childish and unrepentantly evil. Ushio is a match for him if he's holding the Beast Spear, which gives him magical shaggy hair and a topless Conan the Barbarian look. I also enjoy the visuals, with even the title sequence being retro. Delighted to keep going with this.
- Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love Revolutions
- Uta no Prince Sama Revolutions
- Princes of Song
- Season 3
- Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: a girl is drowning in: (a) pretty boy idols, and (b) camp
It's based on a romance-based computer game for girls and the anime's first two seasons were called:
Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000%
Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 2000%
Our heroine is Haruka, a nice girl who's been given scary weird eyes. Apparently they're even creepier in the game. Her pupils are green and her irises are either beige or yellow, depending on the light. She spends this episode's first 16 minutes meeting a succession of pretty boys, who all have no sense of personal space and say things like:
- "Just looking at you rends my heart in two."
- "Never bump into anyone but me."
- "When I sing the song you wrote, my chest pounds."
- "The way you always shine sets my heart thumping. Let's enter the world of adulthood together."
When a boy holds her hands, sparkles surround them. Haruka's main story role is have wide eyes, but even she realises that this week's episode construction is a bit weird. "I'm running into everyone tonight." There's a pretty boy to suit all tastes, even if you're looking for an arrogant self-absorbed one who rides a horse and might as well be adding the word "peasant" to all his dialogue.
After those 16 minutes are up, though, we get another female character! We also get a headmaster played by Norio Wakamoto, the only actor who can roll his "R"s even in words with no "R"s. He's awesome. He knows what kind of show this is and he might conceivably be going even further over the top than usual. He made me laugh just by saying "is that all?"
To be honest, it had taken me about three seconds of the opening credits to be pretty sure that this show wasn't for me. (Admittedly the title had also been a clue, though.) It's full of boys posing gorgeously to camera and singing the theme song. Camp value: astronomical. Inclication to rewatch: zero. I gave the show a stay of execution on discovering that the protagonist was female, but no. I can imagine this show being highly entertaining, but... no.
- Utawarerumono: The False Faces
- Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
- Season 2, technically, but Season 1 was in 2006
- Episodes: 25 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: yes
- One-line summary: slow-paced fantasy in snowy mountain setting
- I've since finished it and... I didn't mind it, but it'll go downhill later with Season 2.
Nothing much is happening so far. I hasn't hooked me and I wouldn't have been too fussed had I not been able to find the rest of the series, but so far I quite like it.
Some bloke in the mountains is being hunted by a monster demon earwig. A nice woman with a tail and a giant emu saves him, only to discover that he has no memories. Name? No idea. (She names him Haku.) How did he get here? No idea. Does he know anything about his past at all? Nope. He can speak Japanese and seems intelligent, but on the subject of himself he's a blank slate.
His saviour's called Kuon and she doesn't like men touching her tail. The rest of the episode is... nice. They go to a village. Haku's lazy, but Kuon puts him to work anyway and after some grumbling he fixes a broken waterwheel. She peeks on him in the bath and teaches him how to eat the local food.
It's refreshing to watch. Slice-of-life in a fantasy setting, if you like. I'll continue.