- JK Meshi!
- Season 2
- Episodes: 13 x 3 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: schoolgirl conversation followed by cooking
It's improved from what I saw last year of Season 1
. (This wasn't much.) That had "comedy" about a girl being stupid. We still have the same three girls, still in their study group, but this time they're discussing classical Japanese. This isn't annoying, which is an improvement, but it's a bit dry and would probably have been funnier if I'd ever studied classical Japanese.
After that, Yellow Girl cooks a hamburger with raisins.
I still won't be continuing. The Flash-like CGI animation still looks dirt cheap, incidentally.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
- Season 4
- Episodes: 39 x 24 minutes + an OVA
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: huge macho magical martial artists
It's a watchable episode of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure! It was quite good. I enjoyed it. It's still JoJo, of course, so I'll be running away at top speed, but this episode was actually okay.
The basic fuel of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is outrageous macho camp. They're so Charles Atlas that it's self-parody. The show's going over the top in every way, with characters who all look like Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, but dressed up like the Village People. I hate them. My eyes shrivel up when I try to watch these lorry-sized musclemen talking deliberate cliche.
This episode, though, introduces Josuke Higashikata. The latest Jo-boy in the Jo-clan, he's a nice, modest 16-year-old who lives with his mother. (He doesn't know that his father is Joseph Joestar, who's about eighty.) He's huge, of course, but that's standard in the Jo-niverse. He's scared of tortoises. If bullies start swaggering, he'll bow his head and do as he's told. However he has a hidden fury trigger, which is that being rude about his hairstyle will send him crazy superpower berserk.
This is quite funny.
I like the art, which reminded me of Roy Lichtenstein. Look at the view of the city, for instance. Those flat blocks of colour, the orange sky, etc. This series actually looks pretty good so far and I'd have probably continued watching had this been my first JoJo. There's a serial killer with superpowers. There's a severed hand. This is a big franchise with lots of enthusiastic fans, so by all means listen to them and watch this.
- Joker Game
- Season 1
- Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes + two OVAs
- Keep watching: hmmmm, not sure
- One-line summary: Japanese spy agency during World War Two
- I've since finished it and... it's tedious. Just hard work to slog through. Unlikeable personality-free protagonists in an unlikeable world.
I'm not sure if I'd enjoy this. On the one hand, it's a fairly sincere historical about a story one rarely sees told. Our heroes are the Japanese military in World War Two, so we're already on the side of evil. What's more, the show realises this and is cynically going for broke with it. Nothing about these people is good. The central debate in the episode is that between "honour or death" idiot Japanese militarism and the cold, dirty, depraved bastards of D-Agency who aren't even motivated by patriotism. They're like snakes on legs. Sakuma from the Imperial Japanese Army is horrified by them, although it's also demonstrated that his feudal 17th-century attitudes would be a liability in their work.
Sakuma calls them "monsters", which seems fair. To give an example of their methods, their idea of recreation is the Joker Game
. You think you're playing poker with them, but in fact they're cheating like crazy and robbing you blind. It's not a game of cards, but instead a game of who you can trust and who's going to betray who. They don't bother telling you this until afterwards, obviously.
Is this a right-wing series glorifying Japanese wartime militarism? I don't know. Some things are said from that point of view, but then again those are the kind of people we're watching. I don't feel qualified to take a position on the politics of the series itself.
There's an annoying American who might be a spy. He's not annoying because his accent is bad (it's not), but simply because I don't like the voice actor's acting. Overall... well, it's not a cuddly show. It's clearly good, though. (It's based on a series of novels that have also been adapted into a live-action film.) The question is merely whether or not it's enjoyable. Maybe I'll continue.