PokemonPretty SeriesGhost in the ShellJapanese
Anime 1st episodes 2016: P
Including: Pan de Peace!, Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn, PePePePengiin, Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation, Planetarian (internet series), Please tell me! Galko-chan, Poco's Udon World, Pokemon Sun & Moon, Prince of Stride: Alternative, PriPara, Puzzle & Dragons X
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2016 >>
Keywords: Pokemon, Pretty Series, anime, SF, fantasy, Ghost in the Shell, robot girl, post-apocalypse, reverse-harem
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 11 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 30 January 2018
It's a film: PriPara: Minna no Akogare? Let's Go Prix Paris - run away!
It's a film: Persona 3 the Movie #4: Winter of Rebirth
It's a film: Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito - but I've seen the OVA series it's expanding and that's good
It's a film: Pokemon the Movie XY&Z: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel
pan de peace
Pan de Peace!
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: girls being silly with bread
There's nothing here. It's empty even for a three-minute episode.
A girl loves bread. Her mother makes egg sandwiches with strawberry jam and she thinks they're delicious. "You make the world's best sandwiches, mum!"
She goes to school. Other girls love bread, so she assumes that they're lesbians. No, wait, they are.
That's the end of the episode.
I don't think it's meant to be a comedy (which is lucky since it's not funny), but instead another light iyashikei series. In other words, it's content-free. Avoid.
Koukaku no Pandora
Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn
Koukaku no Pandora
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: undecided
One-line summary: cyberpunk wacky fanservice silly thing
I've since finished it and... I shouldn't have bothered.
I don't know what I just watched. I was googling reviews in search of clues. I didn't warm to the episode, but then again there's nothing actually wrong with it, except sleaze.
It's set in a world where all the cast are female and there's lots of fanservice. There's a dodgy scientist (Uzal Delilah) with big boobs who likes violating international laws and forcing all her employees to wear overly revealing costumes. She does something that we'll call befriending to a nice girl (Nene) who's a full-body cyborg, so she can be nude and uncensored because there's nothing to see. (Her entire body's prosthetic. She's a walking doll.)
Uzal's staff are rebelling against her with robot tanks like the Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell. (That's not a coincidence. The original manga's based on some concepts of Masamune Shirow. Both the English and Japanese titles are reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell.) There's also another full-body cyborg called Clarion who needs to install her software in Nene. This will involve lifting her skirt, putting Nene's hand on Clarion's crotch and then taking it inside with cries of "something's coming into me!" If anything, that description understates how sexualised this is. It happens twice in fifteen minutes. In fairness, this really is just a method of software installation, but anyone else would just install a disc drive or something.
Is the show good? Not the slightest idea. Maybe. Being unsure about basic stuff like that after watching an entire episode isn't usually a good sign. Is it offensive? Hurm. That will probably depend on your personal yardsticks, but it's certainly exploitative. That said, though, the show's probably going to be nipple-less since most of the girls are cyborgs, so it's not a Blu-ray porn-fest either. I've got no idea about this one. Maybe I'll try one more episode, just to try to get some idea of the show as a whole. So far, though, I'm not recommending it.
pe pe pe penguin
Season 1
No idea how many episodes
2 minutes
Keep watching: good grief, no
One-line summary: made for very small children
It's the United States of Antarctica, populated by penguins. They're in a courtroom or something, which is apparently in fact a penguin government building. They talk. I believe the show's intention is for this to be funny.
Our hero is a blue-and-white penguin with a little yellow crest and dead, expressionless fish eyes. He doesn't listen to an older penguin, who tries to discuss money and has lame comedy reactions to being ignored.
That's all this episode is. Two minutes of that.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Anime
Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: schoolboy plays computer game
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a real game. It's part of Sega's Phantasy Star Online series, which has been running since 1987. It's set in space, but with magic as well as technology, and it seems possible that you have to shoot aliens. This anime could be regarded as a game adaptation, if you squinted really hard.
It's not set in space, but instead at a Japanese high school. Our hero, Itsuki Tachibana, is recruited by the student council to play Phantasy Star Online 2 and submit reports because the authorities are trying to have it banned.
Apparently English-language fans of the games hate this anime. I can get that. This can't have been the anime adaptation they were hoping for. Personally I thought it seemed like a fairly unremarkable high school story. Itsuki seems like a decent bloke. Everyone on the student council except the president is pompous and haughty. The game-playing scenes looked fairly boring. (Shoot aliens, basically.)
It looks fine, though. I'm sure the show's okay, but it didn't grab me.
Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume
Season 1
Episodes: 5 x 14-25 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: post-apocalyptic robot girl and a planetarium
I've since finished it and... it's excellent, but not upbeat.
It's a short-ish OVA series and it looks pretty interesting, plus of course it'll be a quick watch. Definitely on board with this.
It starts with a robot called Yumemi being made by some robot-makers. Soon afterwards, though, they're crying and explaining that they're going to have to leave her. They promise unconvincingly to return one day.
Next up: post-apocalypse urban wasteland. I think there was a war. Mankind self-destructed. A scavenger is being chased by cute robots on stubby wheeled legs, who'd probably seem a whole lot less cute if they caught him. Apparently this city was hit by a germ bomb. The scavenger shakes off the robots and hides in what used to be a department store... and Yumemi's there. She's the operator of the store's planetarium and she's delighted to have a customer.
What's unusual about Yumemi is that she really does behave like software. Anime robot girls tend to talk and think like humans. Yumemi, though, has all the flexibility of Windows Vista and she's presumably been standing in the same spot for thirty years. She doesn't need food or water. She hasn't been programmed to care about how long it's been since she last put on a stargazing show. She'll print out shopping coupons for long-abandoned shops. (They emerge from her ear.) She thinks everything's okay because she's called for a repair man. She's incapable of dealing with reality, but what's more it's hard to say that she even perceives it. She has her little pre-programmed loops of behaviour and she never deviates from them, no matter how pathetic she might look to an observer.
She's nice. The scavenger isn't, but that's because niceness doesn't exist in his universe. I think he might be under thirty years old, for starters. Not only am I going to watch all of this series, but I'm going to look for the movie that also came out around then.
Galko chan
Please tell me! Galko-chan
Oshiete! Galko-chan
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 8 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: explicit schoolgirl conversations
I've since finished it and... I really liked it!
Galko (i.e. Gyaru-ko) is a gaudy "gyaru", with dyed hair, big boobs and an attitude. She's rude to her teacher and dismissive of the boys in their class. Everyone else keeps making incorrect and insulting assumptions about her private life, but it's not clear that Galko even realises.
Otako is an otaku, i.e. nerd. She has freckles, glasses and a dry, deadpan manner.
Ojou (which is a respectful term for "young lady", suggesting high social class and usually suffixed with -san or -sama) is a friendly, not very intelligent rich girl.
They have conversations. That's the anime. What's different is the topics they tackle, which usually means all the weird stuff about their bodies. Watch this episode if you want to see Galko talk about pubic hair thickness, constipation, eyebrows, toilet paper vs. anal hair, boys being stupid and hot food burning your ringpiece on the way out.
This is actually rather good. It's vulgar, but it's the kind of vulgarity that feels as if it's written by women and aimed at a female audience. It's also funny. I'm definitely watching this.
Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari
Poco's Udon World
Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: thirty-year-old man befriends three-year-old child (sort of)
I've since finished it and... it's one of the most charming anime of 2016.
So far, it seems charming. The main character's a bloke called Souta, who's returning to the hick nowhere town where he grew up, because he's got things to sort out after his dad's funeral. He seems nice. He also keeps having to explain that, no, he isn't going to be inheriting the family restaurant. Dad's udon was super-popular, to the extent of getting into the guidebooks.
Poco looks like a small boy, maybe three years old. Theoretically the episode has a big surprise here, but unfortunately they've given it away in the opening title sequence. Ah well. Poco has ears and a tail and so is a magical shapeshifting animal, presumably either a fox or a tanuki.
It's gentle and nice. Souta finds Poco roaming around and it looks as if they're going to be friends, but Souta also does the right thing and tries to go to the police to find Poco's parents. (If he hadn't, you'd have wanted him arrested.) We see that Souta had some childhood stuff going on about whether or not he wanted to inherit the udon business. Poco chases a frog. I'm definitely continuing.
Pokemon Sun Moon
Pokemon Sun & Moon
Pokemon Sun and Moon
Season 20
Episode 942 (Japanese ordering) or 936 (Disney ordering)
Alola! New islands, new Pokemon!
24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Pokemon
It looks quite good. I enjoyed it. I'm not continuing because I'm not the target audience and because it has 100000000000000 episodes (approx.), but I've always done pretty well in my occasional Pokemon encounters over the years. I'd have no problem with recommending it to anyone who felt like giving it a go.
Satoshi/Ash visits an island in the fictional Alola region of somewhere-or-other. Looks tropical, with beaches and palm trees. He should enjoy it. He's travelling with his mum, but she's cool. I was more puzzled by the blob-man with bat ears (called Bari-chan), but he seems nice too.
The plot doesn't really add up to anything, but it's harmless. It's set-up for the new series. I enjoyed it. We meet a bunch of people, some of whom are cool and others are cute. (The pun-crazed headmaster is annoying, but fortunately he doesn't get much screen time.) There are also three low-level thugs called the Skull Gang, who challenge our heroes to Pokemon battles and of course get a royal stomping. Pikachu battle action! Yay! There are new Pokemon (e.g. a walking palm tree) and some new battle abilities called Z-moves, which even Satoshi/Ash hadn't heard of before and so of course he gets excited.
It's pleasant. It has likeable, cute heroes and a fun theme song. (Satoshi's zig-zag facial tattoos seemed more distracting than I remembered, but I'd get used to that.) Maybe I should watch a random Pokemon season one day.
Prince of Stride
Prince of Stride: Alternative
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no, but it's a good show
One-line summary: boys in high school running club
It's based on a reverse-harem otome game with one female protagonist and lots of pretty boys. They're at high school. Furthermore they're all in a Stride running club, which appears to be a combination of relay, parkour and sprinting down the school corridors in a way that guarantees a serious accident one day. Yes, that's right. It's about sport. It's going to be twelve episodes of running.
On top of that, our heroine (Nana Sakurai) introduced herself by making me wonder if she was feebleminded. "How can two people trust each other so much?" she wonders breathlessly after seeing two runners touch hands in a relay race.
After that, though, the episode improved by leaps and bounds. I enjoyed it, despite the fact that they end up running a race and that it ends in a perfect tie, to the last hundredth of a second. It's a laugh. Sakurai turned out to be a normal human being and in no way a one-dimensionally vapid otome heroine (which is practically a genre subversion). Meanwhile the boys are all entertaining, from empty-headed goofball Yagami to shogi club president and reluctant runner Kadowaki. I'm pretty sure this show's going to be good. It kept me happy, despite my lack of interest in the subject matter. Definitely recommended to anyone who enjoys sports anime.
pri para
Episode 90
24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: idol anime
It's yet another idol anime, but worse. Camp factor: high. Houston, we have complete lift-off from reality.
PriPara is the place all girls dream of! Beyond the gate lies a sparkling world! They're all friends! They're all idols! (Let's think about that for a moment. 100% of the population is famous and appears on television, showing off their talent.)
There's a room full of pretty men, hugging themselves and shouting "STYLISH TOUGH GUY!" Later they try to speak cool sexy French. That pretty boy assembly is creepy.
The plot involves an 11-year-old girl meeting a 10-year-old girl who worships idols. That's about it, really. We learn that the first thing you do is decide your brand. Clothes, clothes, clothes. Our heroine has an annoying catchphrase ("cashcoma"), as do lots of other people and magical animals. If you can listen to this dialogue without shuddering, you're a stronger man than me.
The episode also has nearly ten minutes of song-and-CGI-dance numbers. Admittedly it's quite well done, since CGI dance technology has advanced since the blood-chilling nightmare days when PriPara started airing, but that still doesn't mean it's anything you'd want to watch. Idols sing. Idols dance. The target audience presumably likes this. I am not the target audience.
A baby falls from heaven with glowing light and calls our 11-year-old heroine "mama". Next week: "I Became A Mama Idol". That sounds like a better episode than this one, but I still won't be watching it.
Puzzle + Dragons Cross
Puzzle & Dragons X
Puzzle and Dragons Cross
Episode 1
24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: game-based shounen anime with dragons
Puzzle & Dragons is a mobile phone and tablet game for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. Puzzle & Dragons X is its spin-off anime. This episode begins with soldiers, tanks, etc. fighting a monster. Looks big. Probably a dragon. It can blast fire through buildings. This is animated dramatically, with lots of darkness.
About three minutes later, the art gets brighter, jollier and a bit cheaper-looking. Your estimate of the show's target audience drops by at least a decade. Our hero is a boy called Ace with Shounen Hero Hair. (Someone's apparently dropped several scoops of ginger ice cream on his head.) Good news: he seems nice, normal and sane. Other characters include a girl called Haru, a Dragon Caller called Lance and a tiny waddling monster called Devi who says "devi" at the end of all his sentences. If they ever torture Devi to death, I'll watch that episode.
Ace finds an egg. There are powers and dragon-fighting. The episode's actually okay, but I wasn't tempted to keep going. It's got ten-year-old heroes who fight with their powers and so on. (Should I google to find their real ages? What the hell. I'll go with "ten".) There's nothing wrong with it, though. Looks perfectly unobjectionable and I quite like the protagonists.