- Idol Memories
- Season 1
- Episodes 1-2: 26 minutes
- Episodes 3-12: 13 minutes
- Keep watching: no
- One-line summary: girls at idol school, with VR
It starts with six girls fighting a flying fortress and its alien troops. They're wearing fancy costumes and armed with magic, guns, superweapons, etc. This is just random meaningless action and hence a bit boring, but fortunately "GAME OVER" soon tells us that this was just VR.
There's a scene of everyone in the shower, but with censor steam. If you bought the Blu-rays, maybe that would be different? We learn that we're at an Idol Training Academy, where everyone's trying to go up in the World Idol Leagues and win the Glorious Tiara. To learn to walk beautifully, they train by walking along a gymnastic beam with water bottles on their head. One of them falls off, but her friend catches her!
This all ends with a song-and-dance number, with CGI animation.
It's hard to believe that human beings were involved in the production of this show. It's so empty and mechanical that a sausage machine must surely have been involved somewhere... but no, the voice actresses at least are real. We meet them! This is the less uninteresting half of the episode, which is actually 13 minutes of animation and 13 minutes of cute girls chatting to the camera. (Ep.2 is the same.) I quite liked them. Kimura-san made me laugh, being the noisy one who's super-eager to answer questions ("yes yes yes yes"). They teach us a few words of Chinese and tell us that we are otaku. If you've watched more than a few minutes of this episode and yet still haven't turned it off, I think that's a safe bet.
- Inazma Delivery
- Season 1
- Episodes: 10 x 2 minutes
- Keep watching: yes
- One-line summary: SF comedy
- I've since finished it and... it's surreal.
There's a black pig called Hemingway who watches a TV show encouraging us to Ret's Enjoy Engrish.
There's a TV-eating shark, called By The Way. It can't speak and it has no facial expressions.
There's a Man in Black, who's an owl.
There are aliens. There's a beanstalk (?), with fruits that turn you invisible. There's uncontrolled firearms use. The episode's called Close Encounters of the Shark.
Yeah, I'm up for this.
- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
- Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?
- OVA episode: Is It Wrong to Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon?
- Set immediately after Season 1
- 24 minutes
- One-line summary: silly special episode
FIRST VIEWING, AFTER NOT HAVING WATCHED DANMACHI FOR YEARS
I only discovered this OVA in 2021, five years after its release. It's been a while since I watched DanMachi. Would this one-off episode still stand up even if my memories of the show had faded a little?
Answer: no. It's kind of annoying, actually.
This OVA's Bell Cranel is a typical harem hero. He has girls competing for his attention, but he's oblivious. He inflicts one-shot defeats on monsters that only appeared to let him demonstrate his MANLINESS! He might say cringeworthily over-heroic lines. I'm sure I'd have liked him better if I'd watched this back-to-back with the TV series, though.
The plot is shameless. While traversing a dungeon, our heroes find a hot spring! Uh, right. The girls agree that they can't strip in the presence of Hermes, but fortunately one of the party was carrying swimsuits for everyone! (As they undress, Hermes delivers sleazy narration.) Hestia's too big for her top. There will be fabric-dissolving magical water. Characters who weren't in the party at the time (e.g. Aiz) are shown nude in the bath anyway, in cutaway scenes elsewhere. (She has no nipples. I realise that this is normal in anime, but even so. Ewww brrrrr stop it stop it.)
I liked the breadth of character moments. DanMachi has quite a big cast, as does this episode. It spreads its attentions. Mikito is amusingly bonkers. Ouka and Chigusa are somewhat charming. Overall, though, this feels skippable even for DanMachi fans.
SECOND VIEWING, AS PART OF A MARATHON DANMACHI REWATCH
I definitely like DanMachi as a whole, but this feels more like a pisstake of it than a continuation. It sets the tone immediately with harem bullshit with Lily (!) and Hestia, after which it feels out of place to have monsters showing up. (Whereas a rewatch of the whole show demonstrates that the harem bullshit is what's jarring... i.e. this entire episode.) Also, the fight itself is so glib and throwaway that the unearned heroic music feels like parody. The fights later in the episode are taken more seriously, but still not very much so.
Hermes's swimsuits are still stupid. Aiz's gratuitous bath cutaways, the heavy fanservice focus and Hermes's lascivious commentary can still piss off. The episode's light, fluffy and easy to watch, but it's made me more likely to drop DanMachi Season 2.
AFTER HAVING WATCHED SEASON 2
Oh, bloody hell. Mikoto's going to become an important regular, so this OVA's important after all. We'd met her in Season 1, but only as one of the Takemikazuchi familia. This is effectively her introduction, so skipping it would probably be a bad idea if you're doing a big (re)watch.
- Izetta: The Last Witch
- Shuumatsu no Izetta
- Season 1
- Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
- Keep watching: yes
- One-line summary: alt-universe WW2 and a cryogenically frozen witch
- I've since finished it and... it's darker and more complicated than it looked. But it's also good.
Looks pretty classy so far. High production values, loving historical recreation and every sign of a well made show. It's set in an alt-universe 1940, in which our heroine is the princess of Eylstadt, trying to negotiate with Brittania for help against the all-conquering Germanian Empire. She's in the neutral country of Westria, so theoretically she should be safe... but unfortunately the Germanians are the kind of fascists who send in the stormtroopers first and worry about the diplomatic implications later.
Princess Ortfine Frederika von Eylstadt (aka. Fiine) is an impressive action heroine. The Germanians are exactly what you'd want them to be, with Major Berkmann at one point shooting three of his own men for seeing something he didn't want them to see. Heroic characters die. There's a high-tech casket (for 1940) containing something that the Germanians regard as a possible ultimate weapon.
Oh, and there's a witch. If she wakes up, you can say goodbye to half of your plane.
I'm looking forward to this.