Detective ConanDragon BallFist of the North StarHaruhi Suzumiya
Anime 1st episodes 2015: D
Including: Daily Life with Monster Girls (2015 anime), Dance with Devils, Danchigai, DD Fist of the North Star II + Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor, Death Parade, Detective Conan eps.763-764 "Conan and Heiji: Code of Love", Diabolik Lovers, Diabolik Lovers More Blood, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, Doamaiger-D, Dog Days'': Season 3, Dragon Ball Super, Durarara!! x2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2015
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2015 >>
Keywords: Fist of the North Star, Haruhi Suzumiya, Monster Musume, Dragon Ball, Diabolik Lovers, Dog Days, Detective Conan, mecha, reverse-harem, harem, boobs, anime, vampires, zombies, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2015
Review date: 30 October 2016
Listed under "A": Daiya no A (Ace of Diamond)
Listed under "U": Denpa Kyoushi (Ultimate Otaku Teacher)
Couldn't find: Doushitemo Eto ni Hairitai
Couldn't find: Duel Masters Versus Revolution
It's a movie: Detective Conan movie 19: Sunflowers of Inferno
It's a movie: Doraemon movie 36: Nobita's Space Heroes
It's a movie: Digimon Adventure tri. (and the start of a six-film series that I've seen and it's okay. Sometimes a bit dull, sometimes likeable.)
monster musume
Daily Life with Monster Girls
Everyday Life with Monster Girls
Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: monster girls
I've since finished it and... it's a shameless harem show, but quite sweet.
I'd been waiting for this! I'm fond of the manga, even though it's rampant harem fanservice, and I was keen to see it animated. So far it looks good, except for (a) Miia's animation and (b) no nipples. It's the censored TV version. I must hunt down the uncensored Blu-ray episodes, since the show has so much fanservice that it seems almost inappropriate to watch a more family-friendly version.
Kimihito is a boy with a monster girl harem. There will be Miia the lamia (i.e. snake-woman), Papi the harpy, Centorea the centaur, Suu the semi-sentient slime, Mero the mermaid, Rachnera the scary spider-woman and possibly Lala the Dullahan. That depends on whether the show gets that far. I'm guessing that they'll use Lala for the season finale. That's what I'd do. Ep.1 adapts the manga's first two chapters, so maths suggests they'll get there or so.
This episode though is Miia-only, with no other girls. They haven't arrived yet. The episode starts with her wrapped around Kimihito in bed. Before the opening credits, he's given her a hand job and brought her to orgasm. Admittedly he'd been being crushed to death at the time and in any case hadn't known the tip of her tail was so sensitive, but afterwards she's all post-coital and wifely. She's then all over him throughout the episode, which builds up to them in a hotel room and clearly on the verge of having sex. It only doesn't happen because the police burst in. (Human-monster sex is illegal and the government polices this aggressively, yet it was only a government error that made Kimihito a monster's sponsor in the first place.)
It's still implausible that Miia should be so completely in love with Kimihito after only a few days. That's a flaw in the manga, but they haven't even tried to fix it here. I suppose she is a snake woman. Maybe overnight romantic fixation is normal for lamias? More importantly, though, there's also depth. We see the racism and rubbernecking of ordinary humans. As for the interspecies laws, they're draconian, inflexible, enforced by lazy bullies (i.e. Ms Smith) and any violation of them can get Miia deported. It's not just sex. There's a lot that Kimihito needs to defend Miia from, despite the risk that she might instinctively kill him.
The missing nipples are a standard anime thing and I'm sure they'll be on the Blu-rays. Miia's animation disappointed me, though. I've kept pet snakes and that's the movement of an octopus's tentacle. The animators got that wrong.
I still enjoyed the episode, though. It's true to the manga, although perhaps Kimihito defending Miia has less weight in the anime. The show's still a sad male wank fantasy, of course, with a naked (monster) girl throwing herself at the Noble Hero and refusing to take "no" for an answer. However I think it works. The darker worldbuilding elements create a little depth, even if that's not obvious given their light-hearted presentation. The characters' relationships are convincing, given their situation. Plus of course I'm a cheerleader for Miia.
I can't help wondering about the Interspecies Exchange Security Squad, incidentally. Is this a police state, with the government deporting people and knocking down hotel walls on a whim? Will they compensate the hotel owner? Will Ms Smith ever get held to account for acting like Judge Dredd? I remember nothing in the manga to suggest such a possibility...
Dance with Devils
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: Dennis Wheatley starring a schoolgirl and hot but sinister boys
I've since finished it and... it's pretty good, but the songs and the reverse-harem eventually take it beyond sanity
"Bonkers" isn't the word. It's feverish. It's got devil worship, vampires, an Omen-like male voice choir on the soundtrack at one point and very little interest in letting us work out what's going on. This works surprisingly well. Reality feels slippery and a lot of potential silliness actually manages to be sinister.
We begin with satanic cultist imagery and an English voice-over by someone who can't say "grimoire". Ironically it later gets pronounced correctly in Japanese, despite having been filtered through yet another language.
We then meet our heroine, Ritsuka. She's an ordinary schoolgirl. Her mother's a translator and her brother's in England, so maybe she's half-English? Ritsuka does the cooking at home and she's so nice that she's liable to start singing a musical number. You'd almost expect Disney tweety birds to join in at the window. This surprised me.
At school, they... no, hang on, what's going on with those uniforms? I couldn't stop looking at them. They're frilly ribbon outfits with stockings and they're approaching Loli-Goth. As well as those, though, the school also has a student council of satanic sexy boys. They sing too. I'd been amused by the first song, but two in a row was a bit much. These sexy boys are cool enough to be camp, although the one with staring red eyes is creepy. One of them turns into a swirly sinister blue silhouette, which nearly makes something happen except that fortunately it's prevented by something. Sorry to be so vague. That's all I could tell, except that the pendant protected Ritsuka. (One day I'll work out from what.)
Ritsuka goes home, whereupon things get still darker and weirder. After that some highly unusual events, she phones her brother. He takes the phone call while dressed as a monk and promises to come home immediately. From England? Goodness gracious. Did I miss something, or does she have two brothers? He also knows about "those men" without being told and tells Ritsuka to keep wearing their mother's pendant, which again she hadn't mentioned.
Later Ritsuka gets attacked by men with fangs who crumble to dust. People want to know about the forbidden grimoire. It's not clear why they're coming to Ritsuka about this, including to poor Ritsuka herself.
This is sinister and disorientating. I liked it. It's also made me want to see Disney make a satanist musical.
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x three-and-a-half minutes, plus an OVA
Keep watching: oh, why not?
One-line summary: a schoolboy and his sisters
I've since finished it and... it's very likeable
A boy (Haruki) and a girl (Yayoi) have fallen asleep under a kotatsu. She's entwined around him in a manner that suggests a harem anime. Then two more girls run into the room! They're very young. They start teasing Haruki!
...ahhhh, they're all siblings. Okay, that explains it.
It seems harmless enough, if you think mild incest subtext is harmless. (There's no way the show will be following through on it. The episode clearly just wants to be relaxing three-minute fluff.) Looks like a nice family. The youngest girls like hugging, Yayoi's a bit difficult and there's an oldest sister too.
Would I watch more if it weren't three minutes long? Probably not. Looks pretty devoid of content so far. Seems pleasant enough, though. I don't mind it.
DD Fist of the North Star II
DD Hokuto no Ken 2
Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor
Hokuto no Ken: Ichigo Aji
Season 3
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: super-deformed parody of Fist of the North Star
I've since finished it and... Season 1 was excellent, but to my surprise I didn't like Season 2.
It's more DD Fist of the North Star, courtesy of Akitaro Daichi! ...except when it's not. It's actually two shows in one. That's why it has two titles. Almost all of it is a sort of sequel to Akitaro Daichi's 2013 show of the same name, except that it's not because they've ditched all the continuity and reinvented the same basic gags in a new context.
1. Our heroes are at school, although so far that's just Kenshiro, Rin and Bat. Raoh and Toki haven't appeared yet. Little diddy design-deformed Kenshiro may or may not be of school age, but Rin's dragging him along anyway because...
2. They're going to End of the Century School and it's surprisingly post-apocalyptic. Instead of being pure parody set in modern Japan, this episode is essentially a straight Fist of the North Star story. The school's classrooms and corridors are filthy, black and satanic. Swaggering violent punks terrorise the pupils and staff. Kenshiro is actually going to have to fight baddies!
3. A bigger role for Rin! Yay, I love Rin. She's much more important than Bat this week, which is what I'd wanted to see in Season 1 too.
It's funny. The art's even more scribbled than before. We then get the Strawberry Flavour segment, which is two minutes of Holy Emperor Souther and his punks drawn realistically in a post-apocalypse setting. It's true to canon. We can even see the Holy Cross Mausoleum. I've no idea whether these mini-segments are going to be funny or not, but this one has Souther being silly to camera. Happy to keep going with this.
Death Parade
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: hell, yes
One-line summary: a honeymoon couple have to play darts against each other for their lives
I've since finished it and... good grief, it's odd. But great. Especially ep.6.
It's awesome. I knew I'd be watching the whole series after only a couple of minutes. (And that's not counting the theme music and title sequence, which are cool too.)
A newly married couple find themselves at the mercy of a bartender called Decim. They're in a bar called Quindecim and they can't get out. There's something supernatural going on. Their memories aren't working. Decim is polite, well-spoken and never lays a hand on his guests, but he says they're going to have to play a game for their lives and shows them a rack of dangling corpses to convince them that he's serious.
The randomly chosen game is darts. The sadistic twist is that your dartboard is magically wired up to your partner's nervous system, so you're effectively throwing darts at your spouse. Oh, and the only two players are the married couple. The player with the highest score wins. The other player... well, good luck, eh?
Obviously the premise is horrific. You could play it either: (a) as a heartwarming examination of the beauty of the human spirit or (b) for cynicism and brutal dog-eat-dog survivalism where the point is to show how ugly we all are underneath. What's cool is that the episode does both. It's going to get ugly. However we're going to see love and selfless sincerity too. (Oh, and also black farce and the most gruesomely horrible luck.) Having all those colours available in the dramatic palette makes the story richer.
There are no blameless innocent victims. You can look back and say it's the husband's stupid fault that X happened, but that scene would surely have turned out very differently if his wife had simply told him Y.
There are lots of revelations. I'll have to discuss them when I review the full series, because they're part of the show's format, but I don't need to spoil anything in a review of ep.1. I'll keep silent for now. They're great, though. In short: watch this.
Detective Conan
Meitantei Conan
Case Closed
Season 24
Episodes 763-764
"Conan and Heiji: Code of Love"
"Conan to Heiji Koi no Angou"
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: boy detective
These weren't the start of Season 24, but it hardly matters since Detective Conan runs all year round anyway. These are the show's first episodes of 2015 and as usual a two-parter. I enjoyed it. For one thing, it's not a murder mystery! I think it's the first Detective Conan story I've seen without a corpse. Instead they're trying to foil what might be an impending drug deal.
Conan is a boy with two ages. He's really a high school detective who solves crimes for the police, but at the start of the series [1] he was forced to drink a poison that gave him the body of a young child. That's an unusual poison. It was "experimental".
[1] - supposedly only a few months ago in-universe, ahahahahaha.
There were some cast members I didn't recognise, which isn't surprising how little I've seen of this show. There's Conan and his Junior Detective League, who are children who think they're the same age as him. In addition though there's Anita Hailey, who's a fifth child in the gang but has the same air of "older than her years" that Conan does. There's involvement for Heiji Hattori (high school detective in Osaka, broad accent) and Kazuha Toyama (nice girl who knows Hattori). Those two might possibly develop a relationship one day, but right now Hattori's in Teenage Denial Mode.
Ep.763 is mostly about solving a code based on the names of underground train stations. Lots of untranslatable Japanese. It's fine, but it appears to suggest that someone can run from Tokyo to Osaka in about ten minutes. Did I miss something? Conan is in Tokyo, right? I suppose the explanation must be that this lowlife Tokyo drug dealer happens to have someone else's drug deals in his personal organiser. After that, ep.764 has Hattori investigating in Osaka while on the phone to Conan. Hattori arrives at the drug dealers' meeting point and can see three suspects. It's pretty obvious which is the one they're looking for, but I missed most of Conan's specific inferences to exonerate the second suspect.
It's solid. I'm assuming this show's episodes are all the same, but it's reasonably entertaining. It wouldn't have lasted two decades and a gazillion episodes if it wasn't. I don't see any point in ploughing through the whole thing, but fortunately you can watch random episodes and films and be fine. I'll certainly watch more Conan, but probably no faster than an episode or two a year.
Diabolik Lovers (only)
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 15 minutes
Keep watching: yes, but I understand it'll be loathsome
One-line summary: girl moves into house of creepy but hot vampires with nasty personalities
I've since finished it and... offensive, repulsive, kind of brilliant
I've been planning to watch this as a double-header with Dances with Devils. They're both 2015 reverse-harem shows with one girl (Komori Yui) and lots of sexy supernatural bad boys. So far, the difference is that Diabolik Lovers is the darker of the two. It's genuinely dark, in fact. These vampires are gloating, threatening and more than once about to gang-eat Yui. It's not the usual "look at me, I'm so dark". No, these are evil bastards and you want to get away from them.
Yui arrives at a big, sinister house. Her father's sent her to live there and it sounds as if he knew what kind of people lived there. Cheers, dad.
The episode's not trying to be coy and ambiguous with its undead. You'll work out what they are almost immediately and by the end of the episode even Yui's using the "V"-word and trying to ward them off with crucifixes. Doesn't work. These are special vampires. They also don't want her ever returning to the outside world, or even contacting it. That's one mobile phone she'll never use again. They call her their prey while licking her. "I'll break you," says the childlike one with light purple hair, who's easily the most sinister of them. The one with a hat likes calling Yui "bitch-chan", which my subtitles bowdlerised to "little bitch" and immediately promoted him to the post of Most In Need Of Staking Right Now.
Is it comfortable to watch? Hell, no. However if this were a straight horror, it would be outstanding. (Who the hell's that outside Yui's window at the end?) I've heard that this is a reverse-harem show for anyone who likes fantasising about relationships with abusive men, so it'll probably end up being almost unwatchable. Almost everyone in the West who's seen this show hates it. Let's watch this train wreck!
No, hang on. I'm an idiot.
That's the first episode of Season 1, from 2013.
I just reviewed the wrong thing. Ah well...
Diabolik Lovers More Blood
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 13 minutes
Keep watching: yes, but only because I watched Season 1
One-line summary: one mouse-like girl, lots of sexy vampires
I've since finished it and... it's a blander rehash
This show isn't recommended for normal people. That said, though, this is a fairly tame episode of Diabolik Lovers and so far I'm not impressed with how they're picking up the baton from Season 1.
It starts with Yui waking up in a four-poster bed in the vampires' mansion. Three of them are about to assault her at once, yet somehow the scene lacks intensity. They just seem like squabbling teenagers. Then the vampires and Yui all get in a car (why?) and drive off (where?), even though we've never seen them leave the mansion before. I don't think the episode wants us to be using logic while we watch, though. The scriptwriter's reason for putting them in a car is because it'll look cool when it gets blasted off the road and explodes in a fireball, because our pretty boys are under attack by some new pretty boys! I presume they're also vampires. Maybe they're werewolves. Doesn't matter. The important thing is that they pose on a clifftop.
They're indistinguishable from the first lot of vampires. They even a similar taste for giving Yui degrading pet names, e.g. masochistic kitten, she-pig, etc. These are getting surreal. Oh, and they also call her Eve. I presume that's going somewhere.
The episode ends with Yui trying and failing to escape from the new boys in a garden. This is unusually pro-active for Yui, but in fairness she seems more likely to be killed with them. (Her first lot of captors were loathsome and disturbing, but at least they'd been asked to keep her alive.) However my anime-watching work colleague has seen this episode and got the impression that Yui was a pallid void and so stupid that she deserved everything she got. (He didn't watch ep.2.) This seems to be a fairly common response to Yui from English-speaking viewers, alas, but personally I don't get it and I think she's fine.
I'm not expecting much from what I've seen here. I'm not even expecting it to be as screwed-up as Season 1, which had after all been the whole point of the show. I'll keep going, though.
Haruhi Suzumiya
The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu
Season 1
Episodes: 16 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: the Haruhi Suzumiya characters, but without SF superpowers
I've since finished it and... it's gentle and I liked it a lot.
It's like the parallel universe in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, with no reality-warping powers and everyone an ordinary human. I liked it. It's more conventional than its parent show, but I don't mind that and it's nice to meet the gang again. Would I have liked it just as much if I'd never watched all the rest of Haruhi Suzumiya? Good question, but I have no way of answering it.
In outline, it's a familiar anime scenario. A girl (Yuki) likes a boy (Kyon), but what's different here is that from the start these are quite detailed characters we already know. Kyon only joined the Literature Club a week ago and it's interesting to watch him and Yuki getting to know each other. She's just as quiet as the regular Yuki, but due to shyness rather than because of being an alien robot. When Kyon asks why she bothers coming since they never do anything, she explains that she likes being close to other people doing things. She then starts trying to organise a Christmas party.
Kyon's still sardonic and reacts like a spectator of himself. I laughed at his reaction to Yuki's "death questions", for instance. Mikuru shows up, might also like Kyon (unclear) and is still nice but pathetic. Interestingly, both she and Yuki have minders. Yuki's is Asakura, while Mikuru's is Tsuruya. Both minders are pushy, over-competitive and interested in matchmaking with Kyon. It's a clash of the minders! This bounces in improbable directions and gives the episode more energy.
If you already know these characters, the episode's richer than its outline. (I can't answer for how it might come across for those who don't.) From my point of view, I was watching old friends getting to know each other for the first time. There's romantic tension, but only as one of several elements. I also assume that the show will be more likeable if Haruhi isn't a bullying monster liable to destroy the world with her subconscious.
I'll be watching it all, obviously. That went without saying, but fortunately I also think it's good.
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: 1970s giant robot parody
I've since finished it and... it's fairly forgettable, but it has its charms
It's a parody of 1970s giant robot anime, with the name being a bit like Mazinger-Z. The best thing about this is the retro visuals, which have been done with love. It looks exactly like those old shows, i.e. slightly faded colours, simple art, furiously corner-cutting animation, a 4:3 aspect ratio and more. It even has a 1970s-style martial men's choir song!
It's oddly refreshing to watch.
It's also apparently an animated advert for Kyoto. Doamiger-D defeats an enemy not by having a gigantic fight, but by cooking it some sweets. This is quite funny.
That's all. What more do you want in three minutes? I'm happy to keep watching.
Dog Days''
Dog Days Double Dash
Season 3
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: light fantasy adventure
I've since finished it and... it's the weakest Dog Days season. Not recommended.
It's slightly less throwaway than earlier seasons, surprisingly. Something bad happens! It's even a bit dangerous. Obviously it's still a happy, cuddly adventure with thirteen-year-old heroes, but what happens here might surprise Dog Days fans.
Firstly, I realised I'd been wrong all this time. Shinku and Nanami have different surnames and they're cousins, not siblings. (Not important, but there you have it.) The episode begins with TV footage of them in a UK athletics tournament, with TV commentary in English from someone who's not only a native speaker but even has a UK accent! I was stunned. One gets so used to the anime rule of "dialogue in English means failure" that one almost forgets that there's another option.
Shinku and Nanami then go off to the magical world of Flonyard, with their friend Becky. However something goes wrong. Becky arrives as planned (and of course gets glomped hard by Couvert), but Shinku and Nanami land in a forest. They fall into man-eating flowers and get snatched by pterodactyls. This is actually dangerous. One assumes that anyone who gets eaten will get killed, whereas until now getting shot, stabbed, blown up, etc. has had no effect except to disqualify you from the magical war games for a while and possibly remove your clothes. (The episode still makes the latter happen, though. Shinku and Nanami fall in a river, then strip to dry their clothes.)
Anyway, this is the first time we've ever seen our heroes on their own in Flonyard, stuck in the middle of nowhere and facing danger. Normally there's a magical "keep everyone safe" field and lots and lots of friends to support you. Here, though, there are giant runaway peaches! Lots of them! (No, really.) There are also acid-spitting phantoms. However our heroes also meet a blue-haired girl.
Is it good? Sort of. It's Dog Days. Does it make sense? How much stupidity do we have this time? Well, I snorted a bit at Shinku and Nanami having brought their swords and magical objects to Earth, but of course that's a necessary contrivance for this episode to work. Otherwise they wouldn't have them with them now and so wouldn't be able to change into their hero forms at the finale for demon-bashing action! Watch this if you've seen the rest of Dog Days and you agree with me that the franchise as a whole is likeable and good-natured fun.
Dragon Ball Super
Season 1
Episode 1: "The World Peace Prize. Who is getting the 100 million Zeni?!"
24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Dragon Ball characters have grown up and had children
I like Dragon Ball. Every time I've seen an episode, I've enjoyed it. I won't be watching the whole show, because I'd like to have time for other things before I die, but the franchise impresses me.
Goku's grown up, married Chichi and fathered a son, Goten. He's a radish farmer. Satan has saved the world, is the famous hero in the world and is about to be awarded a World Peace Prize. (I love that. Admittedly he's not the Biblical Satan but merely someone of the same name, but even so.) Oh, and Satan's daughter Videl is marrying Gohan, who's apparently another son of Goku and Chichi. (The internet told me this. Goku doesn't look that old, but it seems he's going to become a grandfather. This is cool, I reckon, turning a goofy shounen superhero fighting anime into a multi-generational saga like something from the Old Testament. But with silly jokes.)
The important thing in the episode is Goten and his friend trying to find a present for Videl for her wedding. They end up giving her some water, which is completely pointless and hence rather sweet for how Videl handles the situation.
There's also a fight scene with a big snake, plus an alien supervillain who looks like an Egyptian jackal god and destroys inhabited worlds because he disapproves of the fat content in his milk shake. (But it tasted good, so he left half the planet un-vapourised.) Oh, and Goku lets Goten (apparent age: five) drive a tractor over the edge of a cliff, then flies down and catches it in mid-air. What's funny about this is Goku's reaction. He talks as if Goten had done nothing more than put a coloured pencil in with the crayons or something. "Come on, Goten. If you don't concentrate, I can't do my training!"
It's fun. It's Dragon Ball. The show has a surprisingly light-hearted attitude to Beerus killing everyone on an entire planet, but as far as I can tell, death is temporary in Dragon Ball. I'd recommend this show, even if you might not expect it to be your kind of thing.
Durarara!! x2
DRRR!! x2
Season 2
Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: I've learned my lesson and that's a "no"
One-line summary: random supernatural and/or criminal antics in Ikebukuro, Tokyo
I dislike Durarara!! Season 1 and had no intention of inflicting Season 2 on myself. That said, this first episode was... okay. It didn't tempt me. It's typical Durarara!!. It's by all the same Season 1 production staff, although they've changed studios, so the character designs are identical and they even seem to be using lots of Season 1 footage for the usual purposes of flashbacks and non-linear narrative.
A Durarara!! episode might be following any of nearly a dozen protagonists, but this time it's mostly Celty. This is good. I like Celty. We also glimpse her naked, for all of you who want to see a headless supernatural fairy with no clothes. (She's letting Shinra's father and dizzy new stepmother do experiments on her.)
Mikado and Anri are hanging out together. Celty gets chased by that mildly tedious traffic cop and gets a significant phone call from Evil Smug Bastard. (That's not his real name.) There's also a serial killer on the loose. There's not much indication yet of where this latest storyline is going, as usual. It's just Ryohgo Narita stuff jumbled up. Something will sort of coalesce as usual if you stick with it, but I won't be.