GaroGatchamanGirls & PanzerGin Tama
Anime 1st episodes 2015: G
Including: Gangsta., Garo: The Crimson Moon, Gatchaman Crowds Insight, Gate: Season 1, Ghost in the Shell: Arise: Alternative Architecture, Gintama, Girls und Panzer der Film, God Eater, Gourmet Girl Graffiti, Gunslinger Stratos
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2015
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2015 >>
Keywords: Ghost in the Shell, Girls & Panzer, Abe no Seimei, Garo, Gatchaman, Gin Tama, historical, SF, fantasy, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 9 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2015
Review date: 13 November 2016
Has its own review page: Go! Princess PreCure! which I love
It's a movie: Girls und Panzer der Film, nearly as glorious as the TV series
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Kyoukai no Kanata - I'll Be Here - Mirai-hen, terrible
It's a movie: Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie, well made cyberpunk, but I never cared
It's a movie: Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Date A Live: Mayuri Judgement
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Dragon Ball Z: Fukkatsu no F
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Haikyuu!! Owari to Hajimari
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Haikyuu!! Shousha to Haisha
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Kyoukai no Kanata - I'll Be Here - Kako-hen, compilation of Beyond the Boundary (TV)
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Meiji Tokyo Renka: Yumihara no Serenade
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban PriPara Minna Atsumare! Prism Tours
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Sidonia no Kishi, compilation of Knights of Sidonia (TV)
It's a movie: Gekijou-ban Yowamushi Pedal
Listed under "A": Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, aka. The Asterisk War
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: hit men in a city of organised crime
I've since finished it and... it's bloody, horrible and pretty good fun.
I'm not a fan of hit man stories, but this one passes an important test. It's not pretending that Worick and Nicolas are heroes. They're not admirable. At one point their target tries to surrender. They ignore this and cut down everyone, then torture the last survivor for a bit. Stick a sword in his hand and wiggle! They then kill him too.
However their targets are even worse. The title sequence is full of prostitutes and the show opens with one (Alex Benedetto) being abused and beaten by her pimp. After that, a customer punches her in the face. Our heroes do nothing to help her, obviously, but technically she's part of the gang they'll get sent to kill and yet they'll spare her. They even give her a job as their telephone receptionist. They're not complete scum, then, although I'm not sure they'd have bothered with any of that if she hadn't been gorgeous with big boobs. (One of them specifically mentions the latter.)
They also take jobs from less-vile people as well as mafia bosses. There's a good-natured granny who pays them to beat people up, while this episode's mass murder was requested by a cop.
One of them appears to have superpowers. He's the kind of anime character who'll use a sword against opponents with guns, but that's okay because he's a "tag" (whatever that is) and can kick a cop car in the air. He's also deaf and needs subtitles when he talks. This isn't a nice series, but I quite liked it. Our anti-heroes are admittedly a bit cool, but fortunately to make up for that they're also brutal thugs who enjoy killing. I'll watch more.
Garo: The Crimson Moon
Garo: Guren no Tsuki
Season 2
Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: oh, I suppose so
One-line summary: magical knights fighting demons
I've since finished it and... it's quite boring.
I watched Season 1. It wasn't bad. I was planning to watch Season 2 and here it is. I can't say I'm particularly enthused by this first episode, but I'll keep going for now.
Garo is a live-action tokusatsu franchise with goofy Power Rangers costumes, but in a dark horror-like setting with nudity. Mostly it's a bunch of live-action TV series, but it also has feature films and these days also anime. It's about Makai Knights, a secret warrior order who hunt bloodthirsty demons called Horrors. They wear a blood-drinking magical ring that gives them magical golden armour. This basically boils down to monster-of-the-week episodes, but it can be more than that too.
Season 1 of the anime was set in witch-hunting Europe, but Season 2 of the anime is set in Japan's Heian era. Stovepipe hats, hikimayu eyebrow-smudges, etc. Someone plays a biwa. No ohaguro yet, thank goodness, since that's probably the world's creepiest beauty treatment.
This episode is... okay. They find and fight a Horror. There's nothing special about it, except for a little nudity since this particular demon gets his jollies from killing naked women. The latest Makai Kishi (called Raikou) doesn't have his armour yet or something, but he does have a brat sidekick (Kintoki). An internet search suggests that these are both real historical figures. Someone who might be Abe no Seimei also shows up (putting us in the 10th century), except that now he's female, sexy and purple-haired. She has mysterious magical powers and she's voiced by Romi Park, who also played Season 1's main female regular.
I presume this has no connection with Season 1, being set many centuries earlier on a different continent. If you want a sequel to that, I understand there's an animated movie coming soon.
I quite like the Heian setting, although not enough to make that a significant draw. Nio statues, bodhisattva, etc. It's rich in the culture of one of Japan's less-famous historical eras, but that's still basically the backdrop for a lurid fantasy with magic, demons and CGI fight scenes.
Gatchaman Crowds Insight
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes, with a 15-minute 0th episode
Keep watching: obviously
One-line summary: superheroes with very little to do with Gatchaman vs. a mobile network
I've since finished it and... it's less cool than Season 1, but just as intelligent and more challenging.
I loved Gatchaman Crowds, so obviously I was going to watch Season 2 (Insight). It's not really Gatchaman, by the way, despite the cool "burning phoenix vs. CROWD-controlled fighter planes" scene here. It's a superhero series that's using the name Gatchaman and borrowing a bit of the iconography here and there.
Warning: you might be confused if you haven't seen Season 1. Admittedly it starts with a three-minute recap of everything so far, but that still doesn't explain, say, what Berg-Katze is doing in Hajime's head. (Mind you, that wasn't explained in Season 1 either. To learn about that, you'll need to hunt down the Embrance director's cut of ep.12, which I've now watched. It adds a cool new Hajime vs. Berg-Katze confrontation and has a bit more tidying-up afterwards, but unfortunately also trims existing scenes to make room for it. Why stick to the 24-minute TV runtime? Why not just combine both versions into a single jumbo-length episode? Well, never mind. I enjoyed watching both.)
Returning to Insight ep.0, it has Gatchamen stopping evil red CROWDS monsters to my favourite Gatchaman rhythm choral soundtrack. The latter's the important thing, so I was happy. One unimportant question: have Hajime's breasts got bigger? (I'm being frivolous, by the way. This is an intelligent show that's exploring some unexpected thematic territory, but also happens to have superheroes, monsters, cool music, etc. Wholeheartedly recommended.)
Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite Kaku Tatakaeri
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: Japanese defence force vs. orcs, dragons and Roman soldiers
I've since finished it and... it's trying to be right-wing nationalism, but I think it's also very good
Our hero is an otaku and a member of the Japanese Self-Defence Force. He says it's in that order. He works to support his hobby, which today means attending a doujinshi convention. He's also 33 years old, which is refreshingly ancient compared with anime's usual teenage heroes. I expect he's a virgin.
He's thus a bit peeved when orcs and wyvern-mounted swordsmen fly through a magical gate and start killing people. This is Ginza, Tokyo! Fantasy isn't meant to cross over with real life! If our hero doesn't do something, the convention will shut down and he won't be able to buy any doujinshi!
Thus he acts. His first deed is to get a Roman soldier in a headlock and kill him with his own gladius. That made me blink.
Before long all the invaders are dead and our hero is a hero! He gets promoted! He doesn't care. He's still grumpy about the doujinshi. However the gate's still there and the Japanese government decrees that the country on the other side is Japanese territory (eh?) and that they're going to send through the Self-Defence Force to make sure of this (eh?). Japan doesn't have an army, by the way. That's as per the post-war constitution. Instead it has a Self-Defence Force and no one in this anime seems to realise that what's being proposed here is unconstitutional, as well as surely illegal under international law and a return to 19th century colonialism. There are people on the other side of that gate. They'll have their own countries. Maybe this is leading up to a repeat of Japan's actions in World War Two?
I'll keep watching. It's almost entirely male so far, but there's a girl in the Coming Next Week preview. If nothing else, I'm mildly amused by the idea of our representatives in this fantasy land being the national not-an-army with guns and tanks. Let's see where this goes.
gits arise
Ghost in the Shell: Arise: Alternative Architecture
Koukaku Kidoutai Arise: Alternative Architecture
Third 'Ghost in the Shell' TV series
Episodes: 10 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: dark cyberpunk with terrorists and government agencies
I've since finished it and... I didn't really care. Ditto with the sequel film.
It's a bit like Psycho-Pass, but less Orwellian. However that's the wrong way around. This is Ghost in the Shell, or at least its latest iteration. The franchise started out as a 1989 cyberpunk manga by Masamune Shirow and a genre-defining anime movie in 1995. I own quite a few Ghost in the Shell DVDs that I haven't yet got around to watching, although to be honest I think I tried watching one of the films once and turned it off halfway through. Clearly it didn't grip me. Still, it's clearly important. I'd always meant to dive back into it at some point.
This is inherently a cold franchise, I think, and arguably a cold genre, but it's embracing that coldness and making it its own. Innocent people get shot, simply because they're in view when some mind-controlled cops draw their guns. They were at a water demonstration. The rich world is being bastards towards a poor, water-starved country called Qhardistan and then being surprised when they get attacked by terrorists. Everyone in government is reptilian scum, obviously, while there's also an interesting angle on the rights of programmers. They're human weapons and treated as such by the authorities, subjected to military authority and practically enslaved. (I'd never heard of the historical parallel they mention with glassmakers.)
The main character is Motoko Kusanagi, a girl who's in charge of a cyberpunk unit that looks ex-military. Her soldiers have glowing green eyes, a row of glowing red eyes, etc. There's some talk about ghosts (e.g. "give up your ghost", "dive into someone's ghost"), that seems to have something to do with hacking and can open you up to counter-attacks. There's also a giant red spider ED-209 robot.
This episode's okay. It's solid enough that it hasn't put me off continuing. Motoko Kusanagi isn't someone to mess with. Besides, it's quite a short series.
Gin Tama
Series 4
Episode 266
Keep watching: it's on my radar, but I won't for now
One-line summary: aliens, samurai, perverts, drunkards and lots of jokes
I sit next to a Gintama fan who's watched all 316 episodes, although he's not interested in next year's live-action film. (He's generally been disappointed by live-action movies based on manga and anime.) He thinks it's one of the funniest shows he's ever seen, although he admits that he's yet to meet a woman who likes it. It's a gag show. It's set in a world where aliens visited Japan in the samurai era, so you've got an anachronistic mish-mash of anything that might be funny. So far this seems to mean samurai in what looks like modern Japan and getting too drunk to pay much attention to crashed flying saucers.
Personally, I thought this episode was okay. Probably not one of the show's better ones, since most of it's a fairly dry exercise in time-travelling back and forth. They kill a few of their friends by accident, but this is of no significance since they immediately just go back in time and bring them back.
The main character is Gintoki and the joke is that he's a stereotypical samurai, but also a pervert, slob, layabout, etc. (His name nearly means "testicles".) In this episode he's hanging out with two friends whose story function is to provide comedy reactions and/or be almost as bad as him. Gintoki caused this time-paralysis by breaking an alien device because he was drunk and a twat. On discovering that the rest of the world is immobile. he gets excited about the idea of molesting the anus of a woman whose name means "anus", while Shinpachi Shimura is more interested in fondling breasts. All this ends in a cameo for Piccolo from Dragon Ball.
This is somewhat amusing in a Scummy Sleazeball Protagonist way, but my favourite bit of the episode was the introduction. Gintoki does a press conference to apologise for the return of the Gintama anime.
If this were a twelve-episode series, I might give it a whirl. All 312 episodes (so far)... no, not right now. I can't say I went crazy for this particular episode, although it can't be best to start with ep.266 of anything. I assume it gets better, though.
God Eater
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: macho idiot hero in video game adaptation
It's based on Attack on Titan... no, sorry, on a video game called God Eater. It's the future (2071), civilisation has fallen and mankind has been driven to the verge of extinction by gigantic man-eating abominations! However our hero can fight back! No, not at all like Attack on Titan in any way! (Well, actually, considering the dates and development times, I'm pretty sure the original game wasn't influenced by Hajime Isayama's manga. However as a viewer of this anime, it felt a bit familiar.)
It doesn't look like most anime. The outlines are thinner and there's more shading than usual on the faces, but unfortunately this didn't work for me with the fairly low frame rate. It looks stiff. That might just have been a problem with my copy, though.
A pair of huge boobs sends two newbies for training. They want to kill Aragami, but just charging out blindly will just mean a pointless macho death. Aragami are huge, insane and ultra-violent. Our hero (Lenka Utsugi) protests, but on testing his mettle in the training simulator immediately gets killed a bunch of times. What's more, mankind is on the brink. This is mankind's last fortress and they don't have enough God Eaters (i.e. Aragami-killers). Losing a promising newbie could be the difference between the fall of the fortress of Fenrir and the survival of mankind.
The situation outside gets even worse than usual, so Lenka disobeys orders and goes outside. Again, he's made the macho choice. There's lots of cool posing and he's saved by two dei ex machina that he couldn't have predicted. What a twat.
Gourmet Girl Graffiti
Happy Cooking Graffiti
Koufuku Graffiti
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: a girl cooks
I've since finished it and... it's nearly empty, but also charming and I enjoyed it
I'd been assuming that my chances of continuing with this were zero, but it's charming. I liked it. I'll keep going.
It's basically just two girls getting to know each other. The protagonist (Ryou Machiko) thinks being a good cook means being a good wife (one day), but her cooking skills have gone downhill ever since grandma died. She no longer likes anything she makes and she doesn't know why. The other girl (Kirin Morino) is her second cousin, coming to Tokyo for the weekends to study, and they end up agreeing that she'll stay with Machiko when she's there. Kirin's mother never makes anything but stir-fried vegetables, so every Machiko makes has Kirin slavering in delight.
They're fun, they're mutually supportive and they have a blushing sexy newlywed thing going between them. There's also a bedroom scene where Kirin says "let's be family" and promises to be anything at all for Machiko. On being asked if this would include being husband and wife, she says "yes". ("Child" is out, though, because Kirin's tiny and doesn't like people calling her cute, etc.) You'll have noticed the heavy lesbian undertones and there's also some mildly erotic eating, but fortunately it's within the bounds of plausibility and nowhere near Shokugeki no Soma.
It's just a nice show. It's based on a 4-panel manga, so there's probably not a huge amount of plot, but I'm already fond of the girls. Kirin discovers that Machiko is a culinary genius (at least when viewed through Kirin-o-vision) and Machiko discovers that what she'd been missing was someone to cook for and eat with. Her grandmother died a month ago and she hadn't realised the effect this had had on her. Besides, I wouldn't have guessed the show's 4-panel origins. I was surprised when I learned about them just now by reading about it on the internet. It's a standard 24-minute episode that feels like a regular anime with proper characters. I normally avoid cooking anime, but this one I'll watch.
Gunslinger Stratos
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: disappearing dream child and assassins in subtly dystopian SF future
I've since finished it and... apart from those pyrotechnic ideas, it's mediocre
It looks as if this show's a bit obscure, at least as far as Western fans are concerned. I don't get it. So far it's great.
It's based on some third-person shooter video games, but you can forget about that. So far it's about brain-bending mysteries. It had me boggling twice, for a WTF rate of one per twelve minutes. That's pretty good. It starts with a little girl doing super-mathematics in chalk on the ground, then someone shoots you. This isn't real. Our hero gets out of bed and outside there's a grand SF vista, so this is the future. There are household robots, mysterious disappearances and a social system where your life is computer-determined by genetic analysis (in theory) and by how rich you are (in practice). Apparently "all the important people fight in wars". What the hell?
Some things never change, though, one of which being that anime characters will be going to school. Our hero (Tohru Kazasumi) has a lively pink-haired friend (Kyouka Katagiri) with no sense of personal space and an obnoxious brother (Kyouma Katagiri). School also has combat training that looks dangerous. Tohru actually gets beaten by Kyouma, which is how you can tell this isn't a light novel adaptation.
Tohru glimpses someone who's not there, then the first WTF happens. There's fighting, including a macho man in a "look at my muscles" jacket who belongs in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and made me less keen on watching this anime. Our heroes then arrive and hit the second WTF. There's no way I'm not watching more of this. Not to be confused with Stratos 4 (comets are going to smash into the Earth) or Infinite Stratos (the only boy at a girls' school for combat exoskeleton pilots). What is it with anime and "stratos"? The word doesn't mean anything in either Japanese or English, but it keeps appearing...