Japanese
Anime 1st episodes 2017: R
Including: Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, Rainy Cocoa 'Amecon!!', Recovery of an MMO Junkie, Re:Creators, The Reflection, Reikenzan: Eichi e no Shikaku, The Relative Worlds, Restaurant to Another World, Rewrite Season 2, Rilu Rilu Fairilu: The Magic Mirror, Road to You: Kimi e to Tsuzuku Michi, RoboMasters the Animated Series, Room Mate, The Royal Tutor
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2017 >>
Keywords: anime, SF, fantasy, superhero, alternate universe
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 14 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 9 December 2018
Listed under "A": Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records, aka. Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor
Listed under "D": Ryuu no Haisha, aka. The Dragon Dentist
Listed under "K": Rinne, aka. Kyoukai no Rinne
Listed under "L": Renai Boukun, aka. Love Tyrant
It's a movie: Red Ash: Gearworld
Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Season 2
Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: dark fantasy world with supernatural slavery
It's an ambitious, good-looking episode with a likeable protagonist. We're in a fantasy realm where mankind fought a war against the gods and has now enslaved pretty much all of Heaven, Hell and other such mythological realms. It's a bit like Imperial Rome. There's an emperor, institutionalised slavery and a coliseum where gladiators fight to the death. At the same time, though, there's also resistance to the regime, e.g. the Rag Demon who'll wreak vengeance on slavers who mistreat demons. The lines between goodies and baddies are being blurred a bit, including with our heroine, Nina. She's super-cheerful, super-strong and liable to go a bit wobbly on seeing a handsome face.
Nina's great. I liked her immediately. She doesn't like being questioned about her origins, incidentally, which might be related to the red dragon thing.
On the downside, though, a fair bit of the episode is just big depersonalised fantasy battles. I didn't care about that. I was willing to give the show a chance anyway... but then I remembered that I'd avoided its first season back in 2014. It was very popular, apparently, but I hated the male heroes and dropped it immediately. They'll be showing up later here too. I then did a bit of review-reading and found that even people who'd liked it at first were liable to start hating it towards the end of this second series. It nose-dives, apparently.
That's an easy decision for me, then. I'll skip this one.
Ame-iro Cocoa
Rainy Cocoa 'Amecon!!'
Ameiro Cocoa Series Ame-con!!
Ame-con!!
Season 4
Episodes: 12 x 2 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: boys running a coffee shop in Hawaii
I didn't realise this was Rainy Cocoa until I started watching. The only title I'd seen was "Ame-con!!" but then I started getting suspicious. Cafe? Hawaii? A cast of pretty boys? Haven't I seen this before?
The boys discuss how to make their cafe more popular. The owner says he's going to bring in a dog, but it's a tsundere!
The end. This show exists as mild fanservice for anyone who likes watching handsome young men, which is fine as far as it goes. I've never yet discovered any meaningful content in its episodes, though.
Netjuu no Susume
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Net-juu no Susume
Season 1
Episodes: 11 x 24 minutes (including an OVA episode)
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: thirty-year-old online game addict
I've since finished it and... it's gentle and lovable.
Moriko Morioka is a NEET, although I think she said something about having chosen this lifestyle. Maybe she quit her job or something? Anyway, she lives in an apartment that she keeps like a hovel, with only two tiny food items in her fridge. She's pretty pathetic. She also can't be eating properly. She just sits in the darkness in front of her computer and gets excited about meeting cute girls online.
In her MMORPG, though, she's a male knight called Hayashi. She's still very low-level, but she meets a girl called Lily who looks after her and teaches her. They explore dungeons together. Hayashi fights monsters and Lily uses healing magic. They seem to get on quite well. Then, later in the episode, it's possible that Moriko (in real life) might have bumped into Lily's player. They were both shopping at the same late-night convenience store. They didn't talk or anything, though, and Moriko ran off at top speed.
I've heard good things about this and I'll be continuing with it. The art's a bit cheap and goofy, but I don't mind that. Our slovenly heroine is different from the high school kids you usually get in anime. The show itself looks nice... but apparently its director (Kazuyoshi Yaginuma) is an anti-Semitic Nazi-apologising bigot with a history of offensive Twitter posts. Enthusiasm for this show tanked when that information got out, at least among Western fandom. I have no intention of defending Yaginuma and I'd like to see him drummed out of the anime industry, but I'll watch this show.
Re Creators
Re:Creators
Season 1
Episodes: 22 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: fictional characters enter the real world
I've since finished it and... I don't agree with all of its decisions, but it's still one of the most interesting shows of 2017. Well worth watching.
Oooooooooooh, yeah. I'd been looking forward to this.
We start with: (a) a fairly realistic montage of life in modern Japan, including anime, and (b) a girl committing suicide in front of a train. Possibly. That's the last we see of her in ep.1, but I presume she'll be important later on.
After that, we meet a boy who calls himself the narrator. His sister's more like a heroine than him. He just watches stuff... and then the world breaks. He'd been watching anime on his digital device, which he drops and makes a short-lived wave of pixels through reality. Suddenly he's in that anime. There's a giant robot! I avoid mecha shows, but you'd be filling your pants if you actually met one and here we've got a battle going on.
Fortunately he soon finds himself back in his house. Less fortunately, there's a soldier in his bedroom. She's got a sword and she's demanding to be sent back to her world, to which our hero responds by proving that she's fictional. Look, you're in this book! And this anime!
The soldier handles this better than you'd think, but you can see how much it's shocked her.
The plot then unfolds further, in ways I won't spoil.
I can't wait to watch this show. It's thinking dark, intelligent thoughts and doing all kinds of cool things. Fictional people are understandably not too keen on the things we do to them for entertainment. "Welcome to the horrific world of the gods of pleasure." There will be battles, since magically endowed characters still have all their powers in our reality. One character can make flying swords, while another has missiles. Bad things happen to a car.
At the same time, though, the soldier's both funny and quite nice (eventually). I'm still nervous of her, though. "This is the weapon" made me laugh, but it's also scary because it means she'd meant to fire some unknown weapon in some unknown direction... while driving along a busy motorway. If this show keeps its intelligent, realistic-ish tone, then you'd expect to see a body count.
Definitely worth a whirl. I've seen Land of Fiction stories before, but this looks like a particularly good one.
Reflection
The Reflection
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 25 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: American superheroes, co-created by Stan Lee
It begins with paper lanterns floating on a river. Japanese schoolgirls on a bridge see something on their mobile phones. (It's American.) This was a cool opening and my favourite bit of the episode.
After that, unfortunately, superheroes pummel each other for the rest of the episode. When they're standing on the ground, this is okay. I was amused by a bit where someone throws a shield at a frog's head, but then unfortunately they start flying again and it's just little blobs firing energy blasts at each other. I don't know who any of these people are. I don't know why they're fighting. I don't care.
Bits that interested me:
(a) the show's co-created by Stan Lee. No kidding, he worked on an anime the year before he died. Apparently he's also its villain (and voices him in the English dub), who's also called Stan Lee and looks like Stan Lee.
(b) the art style is old-school 1970s American superheroes. It doesn't even resemble anything you'd get from the modern English-speaking superhero industry. That's cool, but arguably also cheap-looking and jarring to anyone who expects anime to look like anime.
(c) I liked the teleporting journalist who goes around photographing superheroes who might not want their photos taken.
I could imagine this being interesting, actually. I'm curious. Stan Lee's name gets some "what the hell" points from me. However my interest isn't enough to overcome the downside of all those fight scenes, so for now it's a "no" from me.
Congqian Youzuo Lingjianshan
Reikenzan: Eichi e no Shikaku
Congqian Youzuo Lingjianshan
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: exorcist in training vs. bad exorcists
Our hero is a disciple studying something spiritual/magical/holy. He's been away for two years and he's coming back to his home village at last. "Just two more mountains and I'll reach the village where I was born!"
From now on, his training will just be staying with common people, but unfortunately they don't want him. He gets ignored when he says hello. The rowdy local market goes silent when he walks down the street. When he does manage to get someone to acknowledge his existence, the first thing she asks is when he'll be leaving.
It turns out that he has competition as the local sage/hermit/exorcist. A bunch of evil hermits have moved in and are extorting money from the villagers, winning them over by promising to make anyone a magician like themselves. They have magic water. Our hero bursts in and confronts these baddies, but does so ineptly enough that he ends up getting tossed out on his ear by the people he's trying to save. Twice he gets bored of talking and draws his sword instead to start killing, which goes down badly with the crowd.
The baddie observes the hero getting pilloried for telling the truth and says in front of everyone, "What a load of idiots, not even trying to think about what's true."
It looks as if he's right in his assessment of the villagers' intelligence since it looks as if none of them is listening to the baddie there, thinks any worse of him and/or reconsiders their (stupid) assumptions.
After that, it's FIGHT TIME! Our hero faces a mob with burning torches. They're his former neighbours! How will he overcome this moral dilemma, created by his own inability to offer up intelligent arguments instead of drawing his sword? Answer: he'll draw his sword again and cut his way through them. Mmmm, charming. He then spares the life of the baddie who'd just burned horses to death with poison butterflies, because... no, it's not a good enough reason.
The end credits are then all about a naked woman who wasn't even in the episode. We've seen no significant female characters at all, in fact.
It's a Chinese anime, for what it's worth. Well, half. It's a co-production between Studio Deen and Haoliners Animation League. It looks sort of okay, actually, but there are some problems if you start thinking about it (see above) and our hero's so powerful magically that his enemies don't stand a chance. I'll skip this show.
Soutai Sekai
The Relative Worlds
Soutai Sekai
Season 1
Episodes: 2 x 16 minutes
Keep watching: I did, but it's not great
One-line summary: alternate universes cross over
Ep.1 was okay, but it didn't particularly grab me. Nonetheless I watched ep.2 anyway, because it seemed silly not to... and I didn't really like ep.2 either.
JAPAN AS POLICE STATE
It begins in a world that's a bit like a totalitarian dictatorship, with a princess speaking on the biggest podium ever. Listening to her is a gargantuan CGI crowd, rendered in lots of epic scene-setting shots from a flying viewpoint. "I am the Princess Katoko. Here we shall begin the execution of the leader of the Anti-Japanese Propaganda Force, Gunji, on charges of assassination of royalty and illegal entry into the dome."
What's more, it really happens. There's no last-minute rescue and no one has a merciful change of heart. The princess's female bodyguards jump down from the podium and draw their swords. Slash. Dead dude.
All this looks very impressive, but the music's intrusive and I didn't really care about any of it. An underground organisation of men organises a fightback, while the bodyguards do a live idol concert.
JAPANESE HIGH SCHOOL IN THE REAL WORLD
Suddenly, with no warning, it's the real world! Nothing special about it at all. A boy's being surly, although in fairness he's lost his father. A girl's trying to help him cheer up and being indignant when classmates imply that she's hitting on him. ("We're cousins!") One classmate denies in public that he's interested in her romantically, but then in private asks her out anyway and on getting turned down assumes that she's carrying a torch for Surly Boy.
THE WORLDS CROSS OVER
There's fighting. There's a big scary robot and an android girl who says, "I don't have any emotions." We have duplicate versions of our high school couple, with very different value systems and priorities. The alt-Japan people would kill police inspectors simply for suspecting their existence, but that seems understandable since we've seen the kind of world they come from.
It's a perfectly decent story, but not particularly engaging. I nearly called it charmless, but that's not true. I liked Kotori. Apparently there's going to be a feature film version of this story, called "Even if the World Ends Tomorrow". It'll probably be better, because the story will have more room to grow, but it'll have to be a dramatic improvement for me to get interested in it.
Isekai Shokudou
Restaurant to Another World
Isekai Shokudou
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: not if it continues like this
One-line summary: world-hopping restaurant
There's a restaurant that appears on different worlds. We see this in the title sequence. Its magical front door might be anywhere.
The episode then begins. It has two dull sections and a good one.
1. some of the restaurant's customers have a pointless argument about which food goes best with rice. The twist is that they're wizards, beastmen and swordsmen, but the scene's still boring.
2. a dragon turns into a naked woman with big boobs, puts on some clothes (eventually) and then goes to eat beef stew.
3. a demon girl (Aletta) wakes up in the restaurant, having stumbled in and eaten all the food. She'd thought she was dreaming. She's also starving, having lost her job elsewhere as a waitress when the customers saw her horns. Fortunately the chef takes pity on her, offering food and a job. This was rather lovely and I'd happily watch a show about Aletta, but unfortunately I'm pretty sure the show's going to be based around people eating food and talking about it. Apart from anything else, Master's hired Aletta now. I'm not sure there's anywhere obvious for her story to go next, especially since this show doesn't look too interested in drama.
It seems sort of okay. Master had boring interactions with the customers, but I'd probably be able to watch Aletta scenes. I don't imagine I'll keep watching, though.
re-write
Rewrite
Season 2
Episodes: 11 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: MUST MUST MUST
One-line summary: post-apocalypse multiple-history boy and girl
I've since finished it and... I'm a fan. At some point I'll probably rewatch it all from the beginning.
Rewrite is extraordinary. I worship Rewrite. My universe has never contained anything like Rewrite.
Season 1 ended in a way that made it very unlikely that there would be a Season 2, of anything, ever. Here, though, Kotarou is alive. That's unexpected. He's trying to keep Kagari alive, but Shizuru shoots and kills her. This is also unexpected, although we get a bit of normality when the Tyrannosaurus Rex Gaia monster walks away. Kotori explains that Kotarou is just a monster she created, which is actually approximately true. It's a thing she does.
Kotarou wakes up, goes to see Kagari and gets killed. "So this is as far as I get tonight."
Reality repeats. Kotarou has romantic relationships with different girls, in incompatible memories that can't all be true. Everyone dies. The world ends. Kagari kills Kotarou again. He understands, though, and comes back so that she can keep killing him a whole bunch of times. She kills him an awful lot. He's pretty magnanimous about it, I think.
It appears to be a post-apocalypse world, which makes more sense than most of what we've been watching. Kotarou and Kagari are living in the ruins of civilisation, unable to talk to each other. (Apart from anything else, she will keep murdering him. That's always a bit of a conversation-stopper.) All the other girls are in the past, or more accurately in a number of different pasts. It's just Kotarou and Kagari.
Kill, kill, kill. Romance attempts are met bloodily. Kill, kill, kill. They find a comfortable relationship in this series of brief encounters, or at least Kotarou likes to think so. That's when he's not turning into a tree, anyway.
I MUST WATCH THIS SHOW. I MUST WATCH IT NOW.
Rilu Rilu Fairilu
Rilu Rilu Fairilu: The Magic Mirror
Rilu Rilu Fairilu: Mahou no Kagami
Season 2
Episodes: 51 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: show for small children about fairies
Even though I'd seen the first episode of Season 1 last year, I was still surprised to learn that this show has: (a) full-length episodes, and (b) over 100 episodes so far. I'd been incorrectly assuming that something this empty-looking would have three-minute episodes, while my imagination reels at the idea of an endless run of TV like this. There's no dramatic content in this episode! What would the ongoing show be about?
Anyway, we start with a dream as Fairy 1 teaches Fairy 2 how to fly. The latter wakes up from her dream and she's really a human girl. We meet her brother, her granny and a bunch of fairies that fly out of the Fairy World to say hello. (Sorry, they're Fairilus. I'd guess the difference is that you can trademark "Fairilu" and create an anime to advertise merchandise to children, e.g. magic mirrors, wands and keys. In fairness, though, pretty much all anime is trying to sell something to someone. The only difference is that kiddie shows are doing it more openly, whereas a late-night anime will be hoping to flog the Blu-rays.)
There's a seed that will be born into a Fairilu. Our heroine gets turned into another Fairilu and goes through the magic mirror to be with her friends, but fortunately her family will be able to follow her progress! The magic mirror lets you watch the Fairilu World, with no suggestion of a privacy filter or any ability from your victims on the other side to block it. Rilu Rilu Fairilu: The Voyeur's Wet Dream... is absolutely not where this show will be going.
A Fairilu is about the size of a pet rat and it looks like a Disney pastel overload. Next week: go to Fairilu School! This episode was perfectly inoffensive and indeed I seem to remember that Season 1 ep.1 in 2016 was quite good, for what it was. It's not for me, though.
Kimi e to Tsuzuku Michi
Road to You: Kimi e to Tsuzuku Michi
One-off OVA
3 minutes
Keep watching: n/a
One-line summary: it's a classy advert
It's not a story, but a bunch of fragments. We see vignettes of different people's relationships, whether they be romantic couples, colleagues at work or a single father and his daughter. It's a snowy day and they're all going to see some public illuminations. They look pretty.
Then, at the end, we get a plug for Dunlup's WINTER MAXX 02 studless tyres. I laughed.
It's actually quite nice. It's an advert, but a gentle one that seems to be uninterested in selling the product. No plot at all, mind you. Apparently the same people did another one the following year.
Robomasters
RoboMasters the Animated Series
Series 1
Episodes: 6 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: nerds build robots for battles
It's a Chinese-Japanese co-production about RoboMaster, which I think might be a real-life competition. Students build robots to fight each other in the arena. The robots we see here are cat-sized or so, with some being drones (i.e. capable of flight) and others being little trundling tanks. They're realised in CGI and their combat scenes are pointless. You're watching shoeboxes chase each other. They must be among the most pointless fight scenes ever committed to anime and I say that as someone who's seen episodes of trading card battle anime.
The human cast include:
1. Main character, who's not interested in joining clubs at university because "he has a mission". He makes drones. He also hits girls on the head with his frisbee, but fortunately she's impressed by his drone and forgives him. "I don't need friends! I'm not going to get involved again with RoboMasters!" (I'm with him on the second sentence, anyway.)
2. That girl, who's nice.
3. The president of Robot Club, who'll blame you when his runaway robot falls in the sea even though you'd been trying to catch it. If you lose in a tournament, he'll say it's your fault for not reporting properly to Li. Yeah, a lack of paperwork is exactly why gladiators used to lose in the coliseum in Imperial Rome.
The cast are one-third okay. The show's subject matter is crushingly dull (to me). This one's a definite thumbs-down.
Room-mate
Room Mate
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 4 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: camera-protagonist and her reverse-harem
It's the gender-flipped counterpart of One Room, which is an anime for the kind of desperate otaku who holds a mock wedding ceremony with his fictional CGI girl. I was expecting the worst, but Room Mate is actually okay. It's a million times more tolerable than the similar-ish Pillow Boys, for starters.
What's good about it is that it's not a fawning masturbatory cringe-a-thon. There are three boys instead of one (who'd of course have eyes for you alone) and they seem fairly normal. We meet the first one as he climbs a wall up to a balcony. He doesn't even seem particularly friendly. The second one makes a terrible first impression, but in fact he's an actor and he was getting into character when he was being blonde, loud and obnoxious. He's actually nice. Then there's the third one, who walks into the hotel lobby naked... ah, no, he's wearing a towel.
It's watchable and reasonably good, but that still doesn't mean I'll be watching any more of it. It is what it is. It's still selling a fantasy and I've been giving it credit for being refreshingly understated about it. Well, unless you count all the male nudity. Clothes dissolve in the end credits, which amused me. It's fine, though, and feel free to give it a whirl if you fancy a bit of this kind of thing.
Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine
The Royal Tutor
Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: uhhhh, um, um, yes.
One-line summary: sourpuss teacher who looks like a child and his wilful students
CURRENTLY WATCHING
It's nearly an all-male cast. The nearest thing we have to a significant female speaking role is a doting granny who's only on-screen for a couple of minutes. To be honest, that's the main reason I'm not keen on watching more of it... but it's also quite good.
Our protagonist (the Royal Tutor, Haine) is stern and humourless, but serious about his teaching. Meanwhile his royal students are pretty-boy pains in the arse who are regarded as unfit for the throne even by their father. Apparently all their other tutors resigned. Brat #1 is super-arrogant, lazy and despises teachers. Brat #2 is actually very likeable, but also seemingly a childlike airhead. Brat #3 is an academic snob. Brat #4 is a glaring mute. (We're meant to take him as being intimidating and proud, but my working theory is that he's retarded.)
Haine meets his charges. It's a colourful confrontation, but he manages to get Brat #1 on his own and make him do a test to assess his current level. (To achieve this, he had to blackmail him by threatening to read out extracts from Brat #1's diary in public.) It turns out that the lad's sensitive underneath and has a more complicated characterisation than we'd thought at first.
This was a reasonably good episode. Quite well done. I'd definitely watch a gender-switched version of this show, so let's be fair and give the actual one a whirl.