MMORPGPreCureshinigamiKyoukai no Rinne
Anime 1st episodes 2017: K
Including: Kabukibu!, Kado: The Right Answer, Kaito x Ansa, Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler, Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, Keifuku-san, Kemono Friends, Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys, The King's Avatar, The King of Fighters: Destiny, King's Game The Animation, Kino's Journey: the Beautiful World, Kirakira PreCure a la Mode, Knight's & Magic, KochinPa! Dainiki, Konbini Kareshi, Konohana Kitan, KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! 2, Ku Pao Ying Xiong, Kuruneko, Kyoukai no Rinne: Season 3
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2017 >>
Keywords: Kyoukai no Rinne, PreCure, magical girl, MMORPG, mecha, anime, SF, historical, fantasy, shinigami
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 21 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 28 October 2018
Listed under "B": Kekkai Sensen & Beyond, aka. Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond
Listed under "C": Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun, aka. Clean Freak! Aoyama kun
Listed under "C": Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau, aka. Children of the Whales
Listed under "L": Koi to Uso, aka. Love and Lies
Listed under "M": Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, aka. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid
Listed under "S": Kuzu no Honkai, aka. Scum's Wish
Listed under 2016: Koro-sensei Q! (first episode was on 12 December)
It's a movie: Kimi no Koe wo Todoketai
It's a movie: King of Prism: Pride the Hero
It's a movie: Kizumonogatari III - Reiketsu-hen
It's a movie: Koisuru Shirokuma
It's a movie: Kuroko no Basket: Last Game
It's a movie: KiraKira PreCure A La Mode The Movie: Paritto Omoide no Mille-feuille! (one-third boring, two-thirds good fun)
It's a compilation movie: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress 1, aka. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri Soushuuhen 1: Tsudou Hikari
It's a compilation movie: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress 2, aka. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri Soushuuhen 2: Moeru Inochi
Couldn't find: Karada Sagashi (10 eps x 3 mins) Asuka and her friends have to search the school to find the eight body parts of a girl that appeared before her. If she fails, the red being will kill another and the day will be repeated.
Kabukibu
Kabukibu!
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: kabuki school club
I've since finished it and... I found it warm and charming.
Kabuki is ridiculous. It's the Japanese stage tradition that has everyone wearing hilarious make-up and/or a wig that looks as if a wild animal got electrocuted on your head. You also declaim all your lines like the biggest ham in the world. Oh, and it's an all-male art form, so the female parts are played by cross-dressers. (For the opposite of this, watch takarazuka.)
Kurogo Kurusu, though, is a schoolboy who loves kabuki, because his grandad does/did too. He's the kind of hopeless fan who'll start shouting kabuki-style even while he's walking down the road (ouch ouch stop it ouch) and he wants to start a school kabuki club. (The "bu" suffix in the title means "club".) This is kind of dorky, since kabuki is hardly modern and with-it, instead having the kind of image you'd associate with... uh, maybe some particularly loud and kitsch morris dancing. Kurogo has one tall, stoic friend (Tonbo), but he needs three more members if he wants the school to accept him! Whether they like it or not, these are his prospective candidates: (a) a terrible singer who might be the hostile, illegitimate son of a famous kabuki actor, (b) a girl, (c) a scary thug, (d) someone who's already a kabuki professional, i.e. it's his day job. It's not clear why any of these people would be interested, although we can glean a few clues by looking at the faces in the title sequence.
The show's main problem: "not enough girls". I can live with that, though, and it looks like a laugh.
Seikaisuru Kado
Kado: The Right Answer
Seikaisuru Kado
Season 1
Episodes: 0-12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: government negotiator/bureaucrat meets [GIGANTIC SPOILER SNIPPED]
CURRENTLY WATCHING
I watched ep.0, which in hindsight looks unrepresentative of the show as a whole. It's quite good, but this was looking like the world's most unexciting show until a surprise before the end credits.
Two bureaucrats called Shindou and Hanamori are conducting land purchase negotiations. Yeah. Not thrilling. They're telling some old bloke he's going to have to close his factory and make his workers redundant. Hanamori wants to get on with it because this is a three-day job that's holding up a month-long holiday, but Shindou keeps seeing more to dig into. He arranges meetings with higher-level bureaucrats and scientists. He learns about low-friction plating something or other.
Apparently it's cel-shaded CG animation, by the way. I didn't realise. There were moments where I did start wondering a little, but it's very well done and completely watchable.
It's actually quite good and the episode has an emotional core, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch a show about bureaucrats negotiating land purchases. Then, though, the show changes genre. Quite violently. I was thinking I couldn't judge from that and that I'd need to see the next episode to decide... but then the Coming Next Week trailer gave me a pretty good idea and I decided "yes". This could be cool.
nazo toki ne
Kaito x Ansa
Season 2 of Nazotokine
Episodes: Episodes: 12 x 7.5 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: boys will do puzzles
I watched Nazotokine eps.1-2 last year and wasn't inspired to continue. It's the same with this sequel, although that said there's nothing wrong with the episode and I could imagine continuing with the show in an idle "it's only seven minutes" way.
We have two heroes: Kaito and Ansa. One of them wants to be an actor and they're exploring locations. "The director's obviously gunning for you, so look out!"
Then they meet little talking animals in flying top hats. A girl has a transformation sequence into a sexy superhero outfit. (This is Tokine Amano from Season 1.) Our heroes are asked a question and reply with the word "anime", but that's wrong and that breaks the sky. Tokine uses a sword to defeat some oni (demons), but then more oni come. Oh, and Kaito and Ansa also get transformation sequences and outfits.
It's probably fine at being whatever it is, but this episode doesn't tell us what that means. The internet suggests that it's a puzzle-based show. Fair enough. I had basically the same reaction to Season 1, which also didn't have any puzzles in ep.1. The best word for this show is "unremarkable".
Kakegurui
Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: crazed sexy-ugly schoolgirl gamblers
I'd heard cool, exciting, depraved things about this show and I'm sure they're all true. It's set in a school for the super-rich where everyone gambles like crazy and losing makes you less than human. As soon as lessons finish, everyone hits the card tables and roulette wheels.
The opening credits are going for "creepy sexual buzz". We see a boy in the role of a footstool. We see a blonde bitch who doesn't like other girls being popular, especially when they're transfer students who've only just arrived. We also get a protagonist (Yumeko Jabami) who starts out as "nice polite girl", gradually gets revealed as "very clever gambler" and ends up self-exposing as "total raving freak".
That's all good. This show looks mental in lots of the best ways.
Unfortunately I rejected its world. I see this gambling-crazed school and think "no". Thinking about it, I reckon my problem is partly because they made it a school. Anime's default setting for everything is a school. Here, I didn't buy it. Had these people been proper adults, though, in some kind of Las Vegas world and/or a mental hospital, it would have worked for me. Gambling and addiction are real things. You could have a lot of dark fun exploring that world. This, though, is a bunch of brats blowing their parents' money and developing life-damaging habits... and no one's stopping them. Gambling's a school tradition.
Yumeko's super-clever and totally insane, which is always a fun combination. I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy her gambling duels over the course of the series. Unfortunately the episode's first five minutes killed it for me.
Katsugeki Touken Ranbu
Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: history-protecting warriors vs. undead skull agents
It's another anime based on Touken Ranbu, the hugely popular browser game. The other one was Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru in 2016 and I didn't feel like watching that either. This new show is much more action-based, though, with sword fights and undead armies.
We start with two blokes riding a horse-drawn carriage in a storm. They're accompanied by a talking cat mascot animal and being attacked by skull-things. "What's the Time Retrograde Army going to do with that cargo?" asks the younger one. They're trying to protect history! This is a reasonably okay start, actually.
The episode continues. Our two heroes are Kunihiro (small, nervous, on his first job) and Kane (big, confident, says things like "just follow orders like me and stop trying to think"). They have more sword fights! The baddies are just undead goons, unfortunately. This makes them just a bunch of dumb monsters and so the fights are even more boring and pointless than gratuitous sword fights usually are. They visit the 19th century. There's a scene where Kane knew their town was going to catch fire and didn't tell Kunihiro, who's understandably shocked and runs off to save people even though Kane tells him not to because that would be changing history. At least one of these people is an idiot.
More baddies arrive, so there's more sword fighting. Our heroes are always outnumbered. There's a rule about it... but then MORE HEROES ARRIVE! They're swaggering. They're manly. THEY DO MORE FIGHTING!!! Every last one of them is also male, unfortunately.
Oh dear. No. It bored me. Having watched Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru, as it happens I know that these people are all reincarnated swords and you might be more interested in this show if you know and care about famous swords from Japanese history. (I don't know any such people personally, but presumably they exist. Some of them will have helped to make this anime.) The show's basic problems are: (a) they're all men, (b) they're rather dull walking testosterone overdoses, (c) the show appears to be built around fight scenes against unintelligent goons. However I'm also unenthusiastic about protecting history as a series plot engine, which I'm guessing might make these goodies passive and reactive while the baddies are the only people actually trying to do something.
Kunihiro's thoughtful and likeable, though. I didn't mind him. Put him in a different show.
Keifuku san
Keifuku-san
One-off ONA
5 minutes
Keep watching: n/a
One-line summary: surreal
A girl waits for a train at a station and walks between the gigantic train tracks, which make her look mouse-sized. (A small mouse.) She also talks to a flying spectral manta ray.
Part of a city comes into the train station, which also happens to be a traditional torii shrine gate. We might be up in the clouds. The city appears to be post-holocaust or something, since it's depopulated and overgrown. Girl thinks she's hit the jackpot. Maybe she'll find some good ones!
Anti-gravity cardboard boxes grow wings and fly after a turtle. Our protagonist is happy. I'm fairly happy too, because I've seen something odd. It doesn't really add up to much, but that's because it's only five minutes long. It's a happy little trip, anyway.
kemono-friends
Kemono Friends
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: animal girls
I've since finished it and... it's very nice, although I don't see why it was such a hit.
I might have dropped this show if I hadn't known it was a mega-hit in Japan. It was also a sleeper. No one saw it coming, but it went huge.
This first episode is okay, but I haven't spotted any reason yet for the show to explode. I'll keep going, though.
We're on a savannah with CGI girls. They're cel-shaded, but they're obviously CGI and there's been no attempt to harmonise their movements with their surroundings, e.g. long grass or water. The veld looks more like carpet tiles. This is a low-budget show.
We first meet a cat girl called Serval. If you google "serval", you'll see that this anime version is reasonably accurate. (The hippo-girl we meet, on the other hand, is far sexier than hippos should be.) Serval has huge ears, can make super-athletic jumps and loves playing "hunter and prey". This scares the living daylights out of an unnamed, amnesiac girl who's going to get called "Bag". She carries a bag, you see. Serval isn't a deep thinker. "Bag" appears to be human, which is a species of animal that Serval hasn't heard of.
Where are they? Is this Africa? No, it's something called Japari Park and it's also got a jungle zone next to the savannah one. There are also blue alien eyeball things called Ceruleans that everyone agrees are dangerous. They might eat people. That's an unverified claim so far, but it's been made. That said, though, you can distract a Cerulean with a paper plane, so we're not exactly scared yet.
The show seems unremarkable so far, but nice. Serval and Bag are likeable. I'm neutral about this first episode, but I have no objection to watching more.
Kenka Banchou Otome
Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 8 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: girl at violent delinquent school
Our heroine, Hinako, is pretending to be a boy so that she can attend a school of macho bad boys. Every wall is covered in graffiti, while every single student at the school is a loudmouth who thinks with his fists. This doesn't seem a great move. Hinako herself is quiet, demure and nice, although of course we'll discover at the end of the episode that she can fight too!
In fact she's pretending to be her much-feared brother. He asked her to go there in his place. What a wonderful brother she has.
Apparently it's based on a Visual Novel Romance Game, so in other words we're meant to see this school as a place to look for boyfriends. How strange. Clearly the game's target audience is sick, sick puppies. No no no no no.
King Avatar
The King's Avatar
Quan Zhi Gao Shou
Season: 1
Episodes: 12 x 25 minutes
Keep watching: no, but it's good
One-line summary: online MMO RPG anime
It's good. I'd recommend it. Significantly you'll get far more hits than usual for a Chinese anime if you google it, although that's partly because it's based on a novel series that's also getting a live-action TV adaptation. I won't be watching the rest of it myself, but that's merely because I've seen a gazillion online MMO RPG anime and all other things being equal I usually choose to watch stuff in Japanese. (It's language practice for me.)
It begins well, but in a way that didn't interest me. Ye Qiu is a professional online game player. The game he plays has 13000000 users worldwide and he's a famous top player, but he's been on a slide lately and he's about to get sacked by his employers. They way they shove him aside is pretty slimy and they're practically sneering as they do it, but personally I didn't see a problem. They paid him money for years to play computer games. That's a pretty cushy gig, so... yeah, fair enough.
Also, more importantly, I'm not interested in watching a show about a fighting game. At one point there's a fight against a golem-thing. It's fairly boring.
One very weird thing, incidentally, is that they force him to resign as a professional and apparently he's not allowed to play for a year after that. It's the rules, but what does that mean? How do you stop someone from playing games on the internet? What's more, this is soon demonstrated when Ye Qiu goes to an online game centre and logs into an MMO RPG instead. Knights, magic, dragons, etc. That's better. I'm happy to watch that. Those games have human interaction and so on.
It's a good episode and I enjoyed it. The scenes work and I was amused by the fangirl he meets at the game centre. I like the characters and it's an unusually realistic set-up for the over-familiar genre trope of "mild-mannered nerd hero with godlike game-playing powers joins online fantasy RPG and is the greatest thing ever". (I'm hypothesising a bit about where the show's going, but it seems a pretty safe extrapolation. I'm even expecting the usual gender split, i.e. one male hero and lots of girls, although admittedly the show's tone is more grounded than the usual wish-fulfilment fantasy.)
Worth a look. It's not essential, but it's very watchable and a little more mature than usual for its genre.
The King of Fighters Destiny
The King of Fighters: Destiny
Season 1
Episodes: 24 x 20 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: based on fighting game
It's a Chinese full-CGI anime called The King of Fighters: Destiny. It's based on a fighting video game. Any further comment beyond that would be redundant, at least as far as I'm concerned, but here goes.
The original game is Japanese, though.
The title sequence is basically lots of fighting game characters. Oh dear. After that, though, the episode itself is surprisingly okay... but only up to the point where two characters have a fight. That's where I wanted to fast-forward. The combatants regularly get freeze-frame intertitles with the name of their special move and even the game buttons we should be pressing. Electric guitars play. The fighters pose. They throw really important things high up in the air and catch them thirty seconds later, Because It's Cool. They use special attacks like Blast Fireball and Raging Storm.
More importantly, this fight is clearly what everything had been building up to. The episode's excited. It thinks a fight is the Coolest Thing Ever and the show clearly can't wait to give us lots more similarly Coolest Things Ever.
Returning to things that are watchable, though, we have a female baddie who kills truck drivers and a family having breakfast in Nagoya. Everyone in this family is a heroic fighter, but they're also quite amusing. Dad squabbles about food with his son and they both lose the argument. One of the people in the room is rich, in love with himself and sporting ridiculous blonde beehive hair. (He's fun in his first scene and increasingly annoying thereafter.)
Later we meet possible gay subtext and a man whose father got killed in a fight. (No, sorry, a FIGHT!!!!) We see it in a flashback.
This show even might be watchable if you fast-forwarded through the fights (and ideally all the dialogue from Mr Beehive), but unfortunately this was an introductory episode and everyone's heading for a fighting tournament. I predict fight overload. It's also got the CGI thing, and I don't mean cel-shaded. This is proper 100% CGI, aiming loosely at photorealism. (People's faces are... uh, okay.) It's also full of MacGuffins. So these are the Black Crystals! Give me the Secret Scroll! I will never give you the Secret Scroll!
I wouldn't recommend watching this (unless it's your thing and/or you're a fan of the game, obviously). However you knew that when you saw its title.
Ousama Game
King's Game The Animation
Ousama Game
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: high school death game trashfest
I've since finished it and... it's terrible in lots of fun ways, all super-watchable
Everyone says this is trash. That looks like a good prediction so far. Let's watch some trash!
A boy learns that he'll be drowned to death for disobeying the King. (He's completely submerged in a large body of water.) Then, though, a naked girl swims up to say that she wants to live with him! Her arm then comes off.
Boy wakes up. I think we've all had dreams like that. It's called being a teenager.
JUMP TO... a school sports day. High school students are running a relay race. They all seem kind, supportive and friendly. Looks like a nice class.
JUMP TO... Very Wet Dream Boy (called Nobuaki) transfers into a new school. He's depressed and hostile. "Leave me alone!" Presumably this happened before the sports day. He thinks the King Game will follow him to this new school, which it duly does. The King Game involves everyone receiving orders by text message on their phones, which they must obey within 24 hours if they don't want to die. Nobuaki knows this, so he refuses to obey the first order even though he expects this to mean both his own death and a thoroughly nice girl whom he likes and respects. (In fairness, the rest of the class will be challenging him on this later.)
Orders get issued. They're liable to be a bit juvenile, e.g. "A will touch B's boobs", but these are teenagers and you've got to obey or die. We see that class of nice kids turn into what's almost a lynch mob, plus a gross death face that manages to cross the Cheese Line into unintentional comedy. We also see some unintended disobedience, the consequences of which seem to imply that our King has magic powers (and that he likes cool over-the-top kills).
I bet this gets sleazier. Most of the characters seem either stupid and/or on a caveman hair-trigger. I see there's also a 2011 live-action movie, which might be worth checking out if you're looking for... ah, wait, no nudity. Tch. (It is directed by Norio Tsuruta, though, so it might still be worth a look.)
Anyway, I'll watch this anime!
Kino no Tabi
Kino's Journey: the Beautiful World
Kino's Journey
Kino no Tabi
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: emotionless teenager with guns on motorbike
The episode's quite interesting. I like its story, which is challenging assumptions. However I dislike the title character, so I won't be continuing.
Kino is a traveller. (It would be incorrect to call him "hero", or maybe even "protagonist".) I'll be using male pronouns, but apparently later episodes reveal that she's female... but I'm sure that wouldn't make any difference to the character. Nothing would, really. Kino's on the unsympathetic side of "boring". He doesn't react to anything and just travels around being polite. He behaves himself, but I don't think I'd call him "nice", because that would be too active a word. He's passive. I didn't notice any evidence that he cares about anything. He's a non-judgemental observer, riding from place to place on his motorbike. However he carries guns (called "persuaders"), regularly practices with them and is apparently good at killing.
"Travelling is fun. Even if I have to kill others, I want to continue doing it."
He also has a talking motorbike called Hermes. That's cool.
This week he's visiting a country where murder is legal. What's more, this is explored interestingly. At first glance, the country looks like a Wild West theme park where everyone's friendly and good-natured, but even little old ladies from a dance exercise group will have a gun in their purse. If you wanted, you could interpret this as a metaphor for America and its gun laws. What would a country really be like if everyone was armed? All the bullshit and excuses have been stripped away. "Is that to deter thieves?" "No, I've never had a thief in here! It's for killing people."
Perhaps surprisingly, this leads to a conclusion that I wouldn't call anti-gun. The episode certainly thinks guns are cool when Kino has them. However it's certainly subverting a few assumptions and managing to end up at once homespun, heartwarming and chilling.
The show might well be good. It's a remake of quite a well-regarded original from 2003. However I've got better things to do than spend time with Kino.
Kirakira PreCure
Kirakira PreCure a la Mode
Series 14 of PreCure, aka. Pretty Cure
Episodes: 49 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: alas, no
One-line summary: PreCure does cooking
I like PreCure. I'd been looking forward to this new series, having watched all 100-odd episodes and movies from the two previous years. I sat down eagerly to watch this episode, but then afterwards to my surprise found myself deleting the rest of the show unwatched. I'll probably compromise and watch the tie-in movies, though.
It's about cooking. Our heroine, Ichika Usami, is trying to bake a cake for her mother. She sings a cooking song while she cooks. The end of the episode has a one-minute live-action baking demonstration. The episode's half PreCure, half cooking anime... which was a problem for me because I wasn't really interested in Ichika's cake-making attempts. It took up a lot of screen time. I have to assume that future episodes won't completely drop the cooking angle, even if they do alleviate it with more traditional PreCure stuff (e.g. teammates, fighting baddies, etc.)
It also didn't help that this week's baddie was a bit pathetic and was trying to steal the "kirakiraru" from cakes and sweets. You can think of "kirakiraru" as "sparkly warkly". The show also has a catchphrase of "Let's la [something]", e.g. the closing theme song is "Let's La Cooking Showtime". If you've ever wanted to butcher three languages at once, this show is for you.
All the stuff I don't like is a shame, though, because I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy this show if you scraped off the cooking angle. Ichika seems likeable and was quite funny when she'd just become a PreCure and was flying through the air. I'm sure the other girls in the title sequence will make the show more entertaining too. (It's going to be a five-girl team.)
Incidentally, Tomoko saw the second half of this episode and thought the cream falling from the sky looked a bit disgusting. (It resembled a rain of semen.) Also Ichika's magical girl name is apparently going to be Cure Whip.
The show basically looks like the usual happy, colourful children's show you'd expect from PreCure, but a bit of googling suggests that the food theme will get hammered pretty hard. Thus Ichika's friends will have names like Cure Custard, Cure Chocolat, etc. and they'll open a magical shop called Kirakira Patisserie where they'll gain the power of the Legendary Patisserie and make sweets. I'll give it a miss this year. I feel bad about skipping a year of PreCure, but on the upside it'll give me an excuse to watch 2010's HeartCatch PreCure instead. That often gets called the best (and darkest) PreCure series, so it's been in my "to-watch" list for a while...
Knights and Magic
Knight's & Magic
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: magic-powered mecha in a sword-and-sorcery setting
The title's apostrophe bugs me.
It's very likeable in many ways, but it has two big potential strikes against it. #1. it's another light novel adaptation about an otaku who dies and is reincarnated in a fantasy world as Mr Pure Wish-Fulfilment. #2. our hero's love of mecha, as in Gundam, Robotech, etc. Speaking personally I thought the show actually manages to rise above the herd a bit with #1, but I couldn't overcome #2.
Our hero is Ernesti "Eru" Echavalier, a genius computer programmer and giant robot nerd... for all of about two minutes. That's how long it takes him to die.
After that, he's reborn in a world where a giant purple bug can attack a horse and carriage and be fought off by swordsmen and spellcasters. Standard fantasy adventure, right? Well, apparently so, but then we meet the giant robots. (They're called "Silhouette Knights" and they're driven by magic.) Our hero goes apeshit on seeing them and is clearly going to spend the rest of his life fixated on them.
The other interesting thing about this show is that Eru really does go through proper reincarnation. He's not reborn as an adult. He goes from early childhood and has to grow up the old-fashioned way. Admittedly he has all his old memories and can use them to analyse this world's magic and mecha, but he's still a child with a child's restrictions. He can't ride robots because no one makes them in child sizes. He has to make friends and deal with snotty schoolteachers. He has to go to Hogwarts, uh, Laihiala Academy, and persuade the authorities to let him skip some beginner-level classes that are the wrong level for him.
He's pretty likeable. His friends seem nice, although I notice that even children isn't immune to the usual rule of Light Novel Protagonists Are Babe Magnets. I enjoyed seeing these kids teaching and supporting each other.
However Eru can't shut up about robots. That's pretty much the first thing he says on starting school, aged almost nothing. "But, sir, I want to be a Knight Runner as soon as possible." He wants to ride robots. He wants to build robots. He probably has wet dreams about robots. I want him to shut up about robots. He's a nice chap and I wish him all the best, but I'm not interested in his story.
We also have giant robot action scenes against demon beasts. Be still my beating heart.
The show seems nice, but it's not for me.
KochinPa
KochinPa! Dainiki
KochinPa!
15 seconds per episode
Keep watching: I finished it
One-line summary: throwaway CGI idol fluff
It's a series of fifteen-second episodes, starring cheaply rendered CGI idol characters. Yes, you read that correctly. Fifteen seconds. That's less time than you'll spend reading this. I watched all the episodes I had, not because it's good but because each one only lasts fifteen seconds.
There's no plot, obviously. Girls have conversations. That's it. However the show does develop a surreal sense of humour after a while, so for instance an episode's punchline might be about the fact that the super-deformed character designs mean that the girls can't reach the tops of their own heads. There's a red girl (Aira), a blue girl (Hana?) and a blonde girl (Shima?). In certain episodes, Aira either grows super-tall or is kept out of focus. Then, in ep.11, all the girls get gravelly male voices.
Apparently it's based on the mascot girls from the adverts of a pachinko and slot machine parlor chain, Island. (Hence the title. "Pachinko" backwards is "KochinPa".) The show's also recently got a sequel series of fifteen-minute episodes (minutes, not seconds) called DevIdol!.
Slightly less pointless than I'd expected. The surreal gag situations aren't bad and it's hard to get too annoyed at a fifteen-second episode.
Convenience Store Boy Friends
Konbini Kareshi
Convenience Store Boy Friends
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: school romance
Nothing wrong with the idea. I like romance. It's perfectly possible that I'd like the series if I stuck with it... but I won't. I found this episode a bit tiresome, mostly due to the characters.
It's boy-focused, unfortunately. We're following the daily life of two boys, except for a conversation between two girls around the 15-minute mark. (For that scene only, the episode came alive more.) Our two heroes are:
1. Haruki Mishima (m), who seems pretty boring. He might possibly have long-suppressed feelings about a female childhood friend, but he refuses to talk to her.
2. Towa Honda (m), who's annoying. A girl calls him a "superficial idiot", which is about right. He's the kind of person who'll forget to do something he'd promised to do, then try to brush it off with "you're cute when you're angry". (That said, why didn't she phone him? The guy's clearly brainless, so remind him.) He teases people a lot. He doesn't know how to shut up. He regularly invites himself over to Haruki's house to watch football on TV, then sleeps on Haruki's bedroom floor and makes jokes about sleeping in his bed.
3. Miharu Mashiki (f), who thinks Haruki is "really nice" because he helped pick up some things she knocked over in a shop. (He communicated in surly grunts throughout and then immediately walked off.)
4. Mami Mihashi (f), who gets embarrassed when Towa sees her reading shoujo manga. She thinks cute things are only for cute girls and that she's not cute. I think "stupid and annoying" are the words I'd choose, personally, but you could argue that this makes her a good partner for Towa (which is clearly the show's goal).
Naaah. I'll skip this one. In fairness, though, there's nothing seriously wrong with the cast. Haruki and Towa are okay. They're ordinary boys, really. I'm sure things will improve when the romance gets going. The show looks perfectly normal and my reasons for not watching it are just how the characters happened to come across to me personally.
Konohana-Kitan
Konohana Kitan
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: slice-of-life at a magical hotel
CURRENTLY WATCHING
It looks pretty bland and plot-free, but likeable enough to sway me into continuing. I'd pretty much decided within the first minute. We're in a world where people have animal characteristics, e.g. tails, cat ears, fox faces, etc. Two abrasive, macho mice run past... and they're realistically mouse-sized in a crowd of human-sized animal-people. That amused me.
Our heroine, Yuzu, is about to start a new job. She's joining the staff at a rather strange hotel. Yuzu's very serious and earnest about this, but also super-excited. She's positive about everything. She's also an easily flustered obvious lesbian in an episode with multiple bath scenes, but the show doesn't look ecchi to me. When a hotel guest slips and falls on Yuzu after she'd over-polished the floor, this isn't played for sleaze at all and their relative positions couldn't look more innocent.
Yuzu's new colleagues include a grumpy girl who's planning to quit one day but is super-conscientious, a secretly cold-hearted girl and a dreamy, slightly mysterious girl who at first seemed to be a dozy mute.
It looks okay, but not exciting. I quite often watch plotless slice-of-life shows with an all-girl cast, but even I was on the borderline here. I'll give it a whirl, though. It seems nice.
kono suba
KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! 2
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! 2
Season 2
Episodes: 10 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: RPG fantasy world parody
I've since finished it and... IT'S GREAT.
Season 1 made me laugh. Season 2 looks just as good so far.
It's a direct sequel to the last episode of Season 1, by the way, so we'll need to rethink the positioning of the OVA. It's not ep.11 any more. However that's not important. Last season's finale saw Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin and Darkness save the city, but accidentally blow up a powerful lord's mansion. The chap's unhappy. Whoops. In fairness, though, Kazuma's party is so lazy, incompetent and dysfunctional that it's pretty amazing that they managed to stop the Destroyer at all. "Get swallowed whole by slime toads" is more on their level.
Fortunately Kazuma has his friends! They'll stand by him, won't they? Fantasy adventurers are all about loyalty, comradeship and the defiancy of tyranny!
Ahahahaha, so doomed. The girls also point out what a pervert he is.
Kazuma's now in prison. There's a silly non-escape attempt, followed by a silly interrogation (with a magical lie detector) and a silly trial (where the prosecutor makes Kazuma look like a monster just by listing things he definitely did). Kazuma gets various opportunities to escape, but he's generally too apathetic, arrogant or just plain stupid to make the best of them. How he ends up talking to his interrogator in particular takes the cake.
This isn't a serious show. It's about scumbags, incompetents and idiots pretending to be heroes in a fantasy world. (Personally I find them likeable, though.) Even taking all that with a pinch of salt, though, I didn't quite buy the trial scene. Lord Alderp's holding his trial outside in front of the townsfolk. It's silly. What's the point? What's wrong with a nice, warm courtroom? Besides, if you're going to undermine justice that blatantly, why do so in public? Is he deliberately trying to intimidate the populace by showing them how blatantly he's willing to abuse his power? As for the magical lie detector... well, it's funny, but it might also make you wonder why this society bothers with courtroom trials if truth or innocence can be proved so easily. That's easily answered, though. Look at Lord Alderp. Who's to say that people like him want a fair legal system? He just wants to squash anyone he's annoyed with, not to have a sincere investigation into their innocence.
It's a laugh. Everyone's once again appalling, but they're not so bad underneath. Kazuma never spills the beans on Wiz, for instance, even though she's the reason why he's going to get his neck stretched. The art's got wonkier, but that's fine. It's always been a bit like that.
I'm rather fond of this show.
Running Heroes
Ku Pao Ying Xiong
The Running Heroes
Season 1
Episodes: 26 x 14 minutes
2017: eps.1-19
2018: eps.20-26
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: fun fantasy adventure
It's rather good. I thought it was fun. It looks like a good, enjoyable show that you'd expect to entertain its target audience... but it's pitched a bit young for me.
We begin with Xiao Shuai running to... uh, somewhere. I don't think we're ever told. It's the real world, anyway. Someone asks why he doesn't just get up five minutes earlier and Xiao replies that it's his idea of exercise. He then catches the wrong train, in a comedy beat that might as well be subtitled "kiddie show". Oh, and the character designs are in anime chibi style, with big bobble heads that are a third of everyone's body height and about half of their total body weight. This is fun and personally I liked it, but again it's obviously aimed at a young audience.
Xiao eventually reaches the correct station. Wasn't he in a hurry? Well, never mind. He's never going to reach [WHEREVER], because the sky's turned black and it's raining down tornadoes. Xiao saves a small child, because he's nice, then gets sucked into another world.
Goodbye, real life. Hello, cool-looking fantasy world. This place looks awesome and I'd like to go there, especially at the end when we're flying into the sky. It's got floating islands with mid-air waterfalls and lots of cartoonish animals that out-Disney Disney, except when they're, uh, burning each other to death in light throwaway gags. That surprised me. Anyway, Xiao meets an unfriendly sword-wielding girl on a My Little Pony. (It's actually a winged unicorn, but the cute art style makes it look like a My Little Pony.) Unfriendly Girl spends a while being unfriendly, then they get attacked by a boy who throws playing cards and there's a fight/chase.
I enjoyed it. I'm not expecting the rest of the show to have a complicated plot and I can live without lots of fighting and chasing, but on the upside the title sequence looked like a laugh. I have a good feeling about the cast. I suspect I'd enjoy watching them. I'd happily recommend this show to children, based on the evidence so far, but for me personally it's aiming a bit too young. Xiao's clothes get stripped off by the tornado and Unfriendly Girl calls him an exhibitionist, for instance... but the punchline to this joke is a tame "look, no clothes!" shot that again feels like a Saturday morning cartoon.
That said, though, I found the show surprisingly good. Probably the best Chinese anime I've seen yet.
KURU NEKO
Kuruneko
Season 2
9 x 2 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: cat owner's blog, but animated
I've since finished it and... it's pretty cool.
The first season of this was from 2009, with 87 episodes in the same format. Note by the way that it's "kuruneko", not "kuroneko". The latter is a straightforward Japanese word meaning "black cat" and I own a 1968 Kaneto Shindo horror film of that title on DVD.
Anyway, this episode is simple enough. Our narrator sees an ugly cat in a pet shop, wonders who'd buy such an off-putting animal and then starts worrying that it won't sell and will end up getting put to sleep by the pet shop. Conclusion: she buys it.
The episode doesn't end there, incidentally, despite being only two minutes long. There's a bit of relationship-building between the two of them.
The art style and length might suggest a kiddie show, incidentally, but it's not. It's just the diary of a cat lover. It seems quite nice. I like this kind of thing.
rinne
Kyoukai no Rinne
Season 3
Episodes 51-75
24 minutes
Keep watching: yes, but.
One-line summary: slightly dry shinigami comedy
CURRENTLY WATCHING
Oh, wow! I hadn't realised that the Rinne manga had finished its run. I can catch up on all the volumes I'm missing now. (It ran for forty volumes, making it Rumiko Takahashi's second-longest series after Inu-Yasha.) Does that mean this third season completes the story? The dates line up, more or less. That would be cool.
Anyway, I'd always been guaranteed to watch this. I'd already seen the first two seasons and I'd thought the show had improved over time. I'm also a Rumiko Takahashi fan. That said, though, this episode was a bit on the dull side and I don't know if I'd have continued had this been just a random episode of something I'd stumbled over.
Rinne is a shinigami (i.e. a Death God), a high school student and a scrounging poverty-ridden skinflint. (This is for comedy.) This week, we learn that shinigami need licences. These come in bronze, silver or gold... but unfortunately it looks as if someone's selling forged gold ones. Who could be responsible for this terrible thing? Answer: the person who's usually responsible for terrible things, i.e. Rinne's father.
Good things about this episode: it reintroduces everyone.
Bad things about this episode: it's a bit bleah.
I'll continue, but I'm a bit surprised they chose this story to open the new season.