- Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
- Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut
- Season 1
- Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: fantasy with boy protagonist at a girls' school
I won't pretend I haven't watched plenty of shows like this. I'd even call some of them good. This one annoyed me at the start, before recovering and dragging its way back towards watchability... but not far enough.
Lux Arcadia is the modest, wonderful, stoic, noble, saintly, etc. hero of what's clearly going to be a harem anime. Five years ago, there was a revolution in the Arcadia Empire. Lux used to be a prince, but now he's a nobody. He's an odd job man. He'll fix your roof and tidy your garden. His pathetic income from this is dedicated to repaying a debt equal to a fifth of the country's wealth, but our hero's so high-minded that this doesn't seem to bother him!
Oh, and he also has hidden powers. He's unbeatable in combat, but in a modest, self-effacing way.
We're introduced to Lux as he tries to explain how he came to be in the girls' bath. He's on top of a naked girl (Lisha) and surrounded by other naked girls. He says stupid things that make you want to kill him yourself.
Five minutes later, he's been enrolled as a male student in this girls' school! Lisha challenges him to a duel to prove that he has the right to work here. (Sigh.) This duel involves them piloting giant robots, in case you'd been thinking the anime couldn't get any worse, but on the upside they're called "Drag-Knights". (This suggests possibilities that would have been more entertaining than what we actually got.) The duel begins... but then a giant monster attacks! Lux goes off to confront this monster on his own, which turns out to mean "get it into position so that Lisha can shoot it".
What does "get it into position" mean? Lisha has a big gun. It's a big monster. Why couldn't she just shoot it straight away? Did it need to be directly north-north-west or something?
It's pretty unpromising, even without the harem nonsense that will undoubtedly start shortly. Lux also has a sister, in case you haven't watched enough anime recently in which a girl has an incestuous crush on her big brother. (In fairness we've had no signs of that yet, but it's still early days. Give them time.) Oh, and Lisha is a tsundere. I'll admit that the episode got quite likeable towards the end and it's mostly that start that dissuaded me, but even so this is definitely a "no".
- Season: 1
- Episodes: 11 x 4 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: non-sequitur comedy
It's another Teekyuu spin-off, but more like what you might have expected from Teekyuu itself. It stars the four girls of Usakame
High School tennis club, who are apparently the Teekyuu tennis club's opponents. What's different is:
(a) the episodes are twice as long (i.e. four minutes instead of two) and twice as slow. Same number of gags, but at least here you're capable of processing them.
(b) the Usakame
tennis club actually seems to play tennis, which is almost unprecedented in the Teekyuu universe. They practice it, talk about it, etc. There's still random nonsense like the steamroller, but that's still far less off-the-wall than its parent. Unfortunately the tennis isn't actually that interesting.
However the gags are similar. Personally I still don't find them funny, alas. They're just non-sequiturs and random dialogue for its own sake. It's a bit surreal, but not particularly. I watched Takamiya Nasuno Desu and that was hardly much better than this, but at least it was only a dozen two-minute episodes. Usakame
is altogether three-quarters of an hour. I don't think it's worth that much of my time.
- Ushio and Tora
- Season 2 (not counting the 1992 OVAs)
- Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: obviously
- One-line summary: schoolboy teams up with a demon that wants to eat him
- I've since finished it and... it's good, but dark and less fun than Season 1.
There are three important people in this episode: Ushio, Tora and Hakumen no Mono. No, that's not true. They're the ones with demonic superpowers, but the girls are important too.
USHIO is a fourteen-year-old boy and the wielder of a magical Beast Spear that's the only thing that might be able to slay HAKUMEN NO MONO, a very bad demon who's been asleep for 2,300 years and would destroy Japan just by waking up. Then there's TORA, a fire-breathing orange demon who keeps saying he wants to eat everyone. (They're sort of friends.)
Finally there are Ushio's actual friends, Asako and Mayuko, who are ordinary schoolgirls. We also meet Reiko and Saya, who are nice too.
Anyway, Hakumen no Mono has become aware of Ushio. Being asleep underneath a continent for millennia hasn't diminished its evil. It has magical powers and it can summon minions. What it does here turns Ushio's life upside-down, simply but distressingly. (Well, the amnesia is simple. You'd use a different word of turning to stone Ushio's father and an entire monastery of mystically trained monks.)
It's a good episode and a strong continuation of the ongoing story. Tora's reaction is funny when Ushio hugs him in gratitude. The Asako-Mayuko pseudo-triangle will remind you that these people are lovely. The Beast Spear plan will remind you that certain other people who'd claim to be good guys are in fact utter bastards. Delighted to keep watching.
- Uta no Prince Sama Legend Star
- Princes of Song
- Season 4
- Episodes: 12 (?) x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: one girl and lots of boy idols who worship her
The episode starts with Nanami Haruka's boys all saying her name to camera, one by one. After about half a minute, the head-count gets ridiculous. How many boys are in her reverse-harem? I went back and counted. Eighteen.
They're all singers in one of three boy bands. (Haruka's surpassed "could start her own football team" levels and is verging on "could fight a small war". If you include the stadium of screaming fangirls, she could field an army of tens of thousands.) The idols are singing in front of a stadium of screaming fangirls as part of a Preening Bimboy Competition (not its official title). The judges disqualify one of our heroine's three bands, but the winners don't want to win like that and demand a rematch.
What happens next is that a boy band pulls Haruka into a car and sings at her. Boy Band #2 then sings at her from a truck, followed by Boy Band #3 as they fly overhead and shoot a laser beam. That surprised me. There's an awful lot of singing in this episode, as I suppose was promised by the title. Don't tell anyone, but the music's actually not bad.
Each boy delivers his own passionate one-liner to Haruka. Yes, all of them. They're practically forming a queue.
"Nanami, I want you to accept my overflowing feelings."
"Nanami, no one else lights a fire in my heart any more."
One of the idols is dressed a bit like the 7th Doctor, but in pale pink. Norio Wakamoto does his best to make you laugh aloud in about ten seconds' screen time. (LLLOVE that llllllline delllliverrrrrrry!) The boys all sing that "we don't need common sense."
This show hasn't got any less silly since Season 3. In fairness, Haruka has been allowed a relationship with a female character. It's Tomo-chan and they're best friends and ex-roommates. That was nice. The show's still ludicrous, though.
- Utawarerumono: The False Faces
- Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
- Season 2, technically, but Season 1 was in 2006
- Episode 13 ("The Eight Pillar Generals") of 25
- 24 minutes
- Keep watching: yes
- One-line summary: gentle fantasy setting, but now they're preparing for war
- I've since finished it and... I wouldn't recommend it, really.
I quite enjoyed the 2015 episodes, but not much happened in them. Looks like they've fixed that. Hello, barbarian invaders! This episode begins with the Uzuurassha warlord killing someone for suggesting an alternative to war. "It is not Yamato that will rule these lands, but we, the Uzuurassha!"
After that, though, the episode doesn't actually have any war. Yamato is civilised and they don't just go charging willy-nilly into battles. The Emperor's actually quite relaxed about it when chatting with Haku, whose main reaction is to be suspicious of being invited to have tea with the Emperor. As he says, "Why me?" In fact, the genial old Emperor just likes a chat, ideally with Haku not calling him "Emperor". Being invaded is nothing new. It's happened lots of times before and it'll happen again in the future. The Emperor trusts his generals.
We then meet these generals. They're a bit scary and I'd trust them too, except for the pompous, silly and gloriously named Dekopompo. (The Emperor gave him the post out of gratitude to his father.) Dekopompo's going to be part of the elaborate preparations and yet charge off on his own before everyone's ready, in order to claim the glory of defeating the enemy single-handedly! The other generals will thus have to go and stop him, although if it weren't for the seriousness of the situation I bet they'd have been happy to let him claim his "glory" and hope for better with his replacement. There's a sinister warlord who believes that (a) Yamato warriors are never defeated, so (b) anyone who's been defeated is no longer a Yamato warrior, ergo (c) there's no reason to care about the deaths of any or all prisoners in the hands of the enemy.
This is all a bit male, but one of the eight generals is female and two others send messages to say that they're a bit busy right now, but they'll be sending their daughters instead. Good. I was surprised by everyone's acceptance of "I'm a bit busy", but some warriors aren't even being sent to the front line at all. They're needed back at the capital. An empire doesn't run itself, you know. I rather like this collision of government and bureaucracy with "warlords and battlefields" fantasy.
It looks fine. It's not actually that interesting, that said, being mostly a bunch of intense men being macho together in static dialogue scenes. However Haku and the Emperor are more likeable and I'm confident that the female characters will have more involvement in later episodes. It's completely different from the 2015 episodes, but that's probably a good thing even if I enjoyed them at the time. Let's see where this goes.