DanMachiThe IdolmasterPretty Seriespirates
Anime 1st episodes 2017: I
Including: ID-0, Idol Incidents, Idol Time PriPara, THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Theater, THE iDOLM@STER SideM, Ikemen Sengoku, In Another World With My Smartphone, Infini-T Force, Interviews with Monster Girls, Inuyashiki, The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Sword Oratoria
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2017 >>
Keywords: The Idolmaster, DanMachi, Gatchaman, Pretty Series, anime, SF, pirates, historical, fantasy, harem, vampires
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 20 October 2018
Listed under "O": Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10cm datta, aka. Our love has always been 10 centimeters apart.
Listed under "R": Isekai Shokudou, Restaurant to Another World
Listed under "S": A Sister's All You Need, aka. Imouto sae Ireba Ii.
It's an OVA: Itazura Majo to Nemuranai Machi
It's an OVA and you'd have to pay me money: Is the order a rabbit?? Dear My Sister (OVA) aka. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? Dear My Sister (OVA)
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: space pirates
Technically it's a mecha show, but it's not. They're remote-piloted robot bodysuits, with your mind controlling an I-Machine while your body's safe on a spaceship. They actually look much more like superheroes than Gundams, so the "mecha" thing wasn't actually a problem for me.
I like SF, after all, and this is set in a future when excavation companies have to extract a super-mineral called Orichalt from asteroids. There's also a likeable main character (Maya) who's an astrogeology student at the Planet Alliance Academy, nervous about spacewalking in an I-Machine and not reassured by lines like "if you die, you'll come back to life".
What I disliked was our heroes. They're pirates. (Even Maya calls them that.) They shoot up an academic expedition in order to drive them away and steal their Orichalt, then go somewhere else and again start a firefight with the people who got there first. We're told that those other miners acquired their information illegally, but: (a) the crime that's supposedly been broken seems specious to me, and (b) I don't believe that our pirates would have acted differently had their victims been law-abiding. When the authorities appear, our heroes flee.
Oh, and this is yet another CGI anime that's been picked up by Netflix. Sigh. I'm not a hard-liner on this, mind you. I've watched shows by Polygon Pictures. However 3DCG anime is basically animation for people who don't like animation, whereas unfortunately I do. Here the I-Machines look good, but the human faces don't.
Nope. Don't like, don't care.
Idol Jihen
Idol Incidents
Idol Jihen
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: electing idols to parliament
I've since finished it and... it's stupid, clever, warm-hearted, ridiculous and very silly.
Even for anime, that was insane.
We begin with a corrupt, evil member of Japan's parliament who drops dead. Time for a by-election! Who should we choose?
Answer: IDOLS!!!! There's a Heroine Party whose agents appear to be a blonde airhead and her short-tempered assistant. Airhead spots a village idiot who can sing (called Natsuki). Assistant tells her not to be ridiculous. Airhead ignores him and invites Natsuki to join the auditions to choose the party's official candidate.
These auditions involve running up a hill. Natsuki wins the race and... "this is a stupid way to pick a political candidate". I'm not arguing.
Natsuki gets song-and-dance lessons from a grumpy idol called Grumpy. (No, I'm joking. She has a name, but I can't remember it. "Grumpy" will do.") Natsuki goes on being stupid and unsuited to public appearances (nervousness unless supported, inability to speak clearly). Grumpy quits because "your aura has hurt many people", but she'll be back. It seems that your aura, in this show, is a visible energy field that flies out of you when you're on stage. It generates flowers and glowing lights. It can even turn evil political rivals into drooling fanboys.
"Now you're officially a Diet-woman"... WHOAH WHOAH, HOLD ON. When did that happen? Did we miss an election or something?
I don't know what this show's trying to be. Is it satire? (Japan does get weird celebrities standing for political office.) Is it idol worship? Is it just out of its gourd with no further analysis possible? (There are also some established male politicians who look about as evil as it's possible to get without horns and a pitchfork.) I must watch this show. It might end up being terrible, but so far it definitely hasn't been boring.
pri para
Idol Time PriPara
Season 4 of PriPara
Episodes: 51 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: little girls at magical idol school
PriPara is "that sparkling realm where any girl can become a gorgeous, dreamy-shining idol!" I'm pretty sure we're told that any girl will be accepted. Good news for aspirational dreams in the anime's target audience, bad news for anyone in-universe who'd been expecting a quality filter.
It's nonsense for little girls, obviously. It's also quite cheap-looking. Colourful and with fun character designs (especially the woman with hair you could use to drill for North Sea oil), but rendered with fewer and simpler lines than most shows. That said, though, the episode itself is entertaining. The characterisation's lively and not afraid to turn its heroines into frenetic goofball idiots, so Yui Yumekawa is hyper-excited by all things PriPara, will say "dream" in front of random words and is liable to drift off into what her classmates call Delusion Time. She's also pretty stupid, repeatedly refusing to believe that Laala is a famous "god idol". It was actually quite fun watching Yui and Laala being silly, although I don't think I'd survive 51 episodes of that.
Yui wants to be an idol. She worships PriPara, the magical school for idols, and doesn't seem to have registered that there isn't a PriPara in her town. (Her classmates think being an idol is a boys' activity.)
One will appear, though. Our heroines go inside, and meet an appalling Disney Pastel-Coloured Flying Rat Thing. These appear in kiddie shows like PreCure and PriPara and are supposed to be cute. It's going to say its name in front of every sentence, isn't it?
...no, it can only say its name. It's like Pokemon-speak. "If you want to perform, you need a mascot to be your manager!" In other words, showbiz managers in this world are semi-sentient cartoon animals with a one-word vocabulary. Insert your own jokes.
The show ends with Yui's first idol performance, with an audience that appears to be thousands of clone copies of the same person. No no nope. Do not watch this show, unless you want to know true horror on seeing the closing credits. I think that's a live-action girl in an idol costume and an anime head. She's dancing. This is terrifying and could give a grown adult nightmares.
Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Theater
THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Theater
Cinderella Girls Gekijou
Season 1
Episodes: 26 x 3 minutes (TV) and 26 x 1 minutes (web)
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: throwaway semi-comedy shorts
I've since finished it and... warm and likeable, but also pointless and forgettable.
I liked THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls and this is a silly light spin-off. The girls do stuff. This will be meaningless if you don't know the characters already and it doesn't really add up to anything even if you do.
TV EPISODE (3 minutes): The girls do Meow Meow Radio, in which they all have to say "meow meow". (Okay, in Japanese it's "nya".) This is a good argument for genocide. Anzu agrees to do some work (!), but this doesn't last long. There's a girl and a rabbit, then a girl with big boobs who loves cuddling her victims.
NET EPISODE (1 minute): a girl sings under a lilac tree.
It looks pointless, but harmless and good-natured. I'll potter along with it when I've nothing better to do.
Idolmaster Side M
Season 1
Ep.0 (34 minutes) + eps.1-13 (24 minutes each)
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: more iDOLM@STER, but with boy idol groups rather than girls
I like the iDOLM@STER, but I'll give this a miss. The first scene was a shock. "Jupiter" perform on stage... HANG ON, THEY'RE BLOKES. They sing to the crowd. I start wanting to fast-forward. Fortunately the show soon ends and a reasonably good episode begins, but they're still a boy band. They sing. They get annoyed with rude agencies who want to sign them up. They do all the hard work themselves of running their own concerts, publicity, etc. and basically act as their own agency, which is actually quite cool and made me like them better. (They used to be signed with 961 Productions, but that was when they were supporting characters in THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls.)
It's a reasonably good episode, actually, but only if you can sit through boy band stage performances. It can take a bit of willpower for me to watch an idol show at the best of times. I flicked through future episodes. They're all boys. Still boys. Yup, still boys.
If that sounds good to you, though, by all means give this a go.
Ikemen Sengoku
Ikemen Sengoku: Bromances Across Time
Ikemen Sengoku: Toki o Kakeru ga Koi wa Hajimaranai
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: eurgh, no
One-line summary: super-deformed historical gag comedy
The original visual novel sounds more interesting. It's an otome game where the female heroine time-travels back to the late 16th century (i.e. the Sengoku era) and chooses which historical warlord to "conquer". It's a gender-reversed harem game, basically. "Ikemen" means "hot dude". This particular game wouldn't be my first choice, personally, but visual novels tend to be enormous and to have surprisingly in-depth storytelling. Your romantic choices here include Nobunaga Oda, Masamune Date, Yukimura Sanada, Ieyasu Tokugawa, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Shingen Takeda.
This anime, on the other hand, is a super-deformed gag comedy. It's mostly done in cheap CGI. Everyone's male, with no sign of any female protagonists, and in this episode everyone plays tennis while shouting their attacks. Hideyoshi can't stop inventing tennis shot names like "I Worry If Nobunaga-sama Doesn't Get Enough Sleep Shot".
"My name is Sasuke. I was a student at Kyoto University and I studied time slips as a hobby. Now I've really fallen into a time slip, to a Sengoku period that is different from the one in the history books!"
I'm probably making it sound mediocre, but even that would be flattering it. It's unfunny, which is worse than "not funny". I really wouldn't bother if I were you.
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni
In Another World With My Smartphone
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: overpowered bland hero in RPG fantasy world
I quite like "real world hero transported to an RPG fantasy world" stories, but we've seen lots of them lately. This is the lower end of the genre. It's not bad enough (yet) to make me scream and put up plague signs, but the signs aren't good.
Firstly, the hero. He has no personality, beyond "my grandfather told me to forgive everyone". He's calm and nice to everyone. He's also ridiculously overpowered, because the story starts with God apologising for accidentally killing him and in recompense sending him to a magical realm with pretty much everything maxed out. He's got super-strength, super-speed and the ability to use all kinds of magic (which blows the minds of his new friends). However that clearly wasn't enough, so he also has a magically boosted version of his smartphone in case he needs to phone up God for a favour, display a map of the area, look up information, etc.
Next, the plot. Our hero, Touya, gets sent to this world. He doesn't have any money, so someone asks to buy his clothes for lots of gold. He doesn't have any friends, so he walks past an alleyway where easily defeated thugs are trying to extort valuables from two female adventurers. (Beating up those thugs requires no effort on his part.) The three make a party, fight some horned wolves and test Touya's magical potential. (HE'S INCREDIBLE!!!!!) Then, in case the episode hadn't been enough of an ego-stroke already, a cook approaches Touya to ask for recipe ideas and he looks something up on his phone for her!
The end credits suggest a harem format with Touya and lots of girls.
Absolutely not. On the upside, at least it's not morally reprehensible. Our hero isn't becoming a slave-owner or anything. (If that's what you want from your isekai anime, you'll have to wait for 2018 and Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody or How Not to Summon a Demon Lord.) In addition, everyone's nice. However the show's no more than a hand job for its hero and it's not even pretending otherwise. Everything falls into his lap with no effort. He can do everything without trying (except read the local writing, which is ironic since it's obviously just the Latin alphabet in fancy squiggles). He has every superpower and he's going to get all the girls. You'd have to be pretty desperate and/or looking for unintentional laughs to go looking for this show.
Infini T Force
Infini-T Force
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: CGI reunion of 1970s anime heroes
It's celebrating the 55th anniversary of Tatsunoko Productions, bringing together the heroes of Gatchaman (1972), Casshan (1973), Hurricane Polymar (1974) and Tekkaman (1975). There will be fights! There will be villains! Also, most startlingly, there will be proper CGI. I don't mean cel-traced CGI that's trying to look like anime, but full-blooded "look at me, I'm photorealistic" (nearly) CGI.
This is both awesome and a bit rubbish.
It's awesome when we have classic anime superheroes with their old-school character designs, blowing up planes and fighting robots... but it looks real-ish. This is kind of jaw-dropping. Admittedly the only one I know of those four shows was Gatchaman, but I got a huge buzz from the Gatchaman action and I can only guess at how it felt for anyone who'd watched all of them back in the day.
I also loved the colours in that shot of a cityscape at sunset. CGI can paint backgrounds to die for.
However the animation's a bit rubbish with more ordinary material, e.g. schoolgirls. It's fairly good CGI, but no one's going to mistake it for reality.
As for the story, it's reintroducing some famous heroes I'd mostly never heard of. (They're all male, by the way.) There are some action scenes. These are admittedly pretty damn cool, but I'm not going to watch a show for its action scenes. However there's also an important character: a schoolgirl who makes suicide bets with herself by riding her bike through scary traffic junctions and will acquire a big magic pencil.
It looks like a decent show. However it's also reuniting action heroes for cool-looking CGI action scenes, which probably won't be enough to carry me personally through twelve episodes. I'd have been getting excited if I'd had more nostalgia for the original properties, though. The villains are cool, but a bit silly in their objective. (Destroy all worlds except one, so that you can turn that last one into the ideal world... why?) However they're led by an unflappable gentleman called Z, with a Beard of Evil. So that's good. I have nothing whatsoever against this show and I don't have any particularly compelling reason for dropping it. I'd happily recommend it to anyone who thinks it's their kind of thing. It's CGI, unfortunately, but then again it's using its CGI in a unique way to bring together real-ish characters and flamboyantly over-the-top anime action scenes with authentic 1970s character designs. I think I approve of this show, for what it's worth.
Inko Colors
Inko Colors the Animation
7 minutes
One-line summary: budgies
Two budgies watch their owner hurrying to depart. They say "goodbye" when she leaves, then fly off with no indication of how they got out of their cages. There's a budgie conference going on in the tree outside!
It's light, good-natured and gently silly. Sparrows tell the budgies about a lost child (i.e. another budgie). It wants to go home! Unfortunately, it's bird-brained and doesn't know where its owner's house is! Our heroes work it out and there's a happy ending. (I also liked the animation, which is simple and might be computer-assisted, but feels very true to budgies.)
This even got a sequel in 2021 which I enjoyed even more. They're both on YouTube.
Demi chan wa Kataritai
Interviews with Monster Girls
Demi-chan wa Kataritai
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: hell yeah
One-line summary: teacher talks to monster schoolgirls
I've since finished it and... it's lovely!
The show's got nothing to do with Daily Life with Monster Girls, by the way. That's an ecchi harem comedy, whereas this is chaste and adorable. Our hero (Takahashi) is a big unshaven bloke who's also the school biology teacher, while the vampire (Hikari) is tiny. If he ever made a move on her, that would be gross. Instead their conversation really is just a teacher having always been fascinated by demi-humans and wanting to interview one of his students for his thesis.
As for Hikari, she's just bubbly, fun and enthusiastic. She loves talking to Takahashi, but then again it looks as if she loves talking to everyone.
The title sequence promises four monster girls. Hikari's the vampire, while there's also a dullahan (Kyouko), a snow woman (Yuki) and a succubus (Satou). It looks as if we'll be talking to Kyouko next week, but so far we've only seen Yuki in passing, while Satou almost seems frightened of Takahashi and flees whenever he talks to her. (It must be tough being a succubus. She's so dedicated to people-avoidance that one wonders how she plans to do her job as a high school teacher.)
All this invites lots of questions. Do people really not mind having vampires alongside them in their daily lives? Is it safe? Even if they've learned to control their desires now, how did Hikari's parents keep her under control when she was younger? Your average four-year-old isn't really big on stoic self-denial. Similarly, isn't a succubus supposed to be dangerous? Fortunately, though, Takahashi's also interested in these questions and he isn't afraid to ask them. Some of the answers are surprising. For example, Hikari has a completely human twin sister and it's not because Hikari was bitten. She was born like that. Demi-humans are usually a mutation, not something you inherit genetically. Similarly vampire neck-biting appears to have sexual connontations and Hikari's never done it with anyone, which neatly answers my question about blood-drinking four-year-olds. Besides, these are pretty weak-sauce vampires. Hikari's never drunk blood, she doesn't have the traditional weaknesses and she's completely fine in the daytime, although she doesn't like direct sunlight. (She likes garlic.)
Most importantly, though, it's charming. Ep.1 made me want to ditch everything else I was also watching and just binge on this. It's funny. Hikari's lovely and can pull great faces, Takahashi's very likeable and it's a happy show that makes you smile. The animation's good and has subtly realised little touches like Kyouko lifting her severed head off its pillow and wobbling it with her hands when she wants to shake her head in conversation with her classmates. This is already my favourite of all the shows I'm watching so far.
Season 1
Episodes: 11 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: downtrodden old bloke gets surprising upgrade
I've since finished it and... it's by turns nasty, cool, interesting, surprising, sometimes funny and at one point stupid. It's great!
That wasn't fun. It's an noitaminA show, so you can expect something sober that's not trying to provide light entertainment.
Ichirou Inuyashiki is an old bloke whose family ignores him. He looks like the grandad, but he's actually 58 with two teenage children and an old-looking face. Even his doctor comments on the latter. We follow Ichirou around and you wouldn't want to be him. His life's merely drab and depressing until he gets the stomach cancer diagnosis.
Then, though, a Very Surprising Thing Happens. This instigates a big genre shift into something a whole lot wackier, although that said we're still going to be meeting eight teenagers who hunt homeless people and are so abhorrent that you'll be disappointed when they don't die. (Good news: what's going to happen to them is more satisfying than that.) Mind you, I'm not wild about the semi-implied message that their torture was unacceptable partly because their victim had been trying to get back together with his ex-wife and start a new job. Would it have been okay if they'd tortured a proper homeless person, then?
Horrible theme song, by the way. It's been a while since I suffered aurally like that.
I'm expecting this one to be a bit of a slog. A barrel of laughs it won't be. However if you're in the mood for visiting some dark places...
Musekinin Galaxy Tylor
The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor
Musekinin Galaxy Tylor
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: short-form, SF, light
I've since finished it and... it's a waste of time.
I'm not really a fan of the original 1993 TV series, but that's okay because this seems to be a very loose spin-off of it. (The original was a parody of space opera, called The Irresponsible Captain Tylor.) It's set centuries after the parent series and everyone from it is dead (maybe), but we have a new Tylor!
He works as a garbage collector, his friend is a robot and a girl shows up at the end of the episode. (Was she in cryo-sleep or something? Not sure.) It's fairly unremarkable and I'm not even sure if it's a comedy, but I did quite like the setting. Tylor's world is a sort of Dyson fancy ribbon arrangement. A Dyson Sphere is a shell that completely encloses its captive star, while a Dyson Ring like Larry Niven's Ringworld is just a big ring around it. This, though, is a "siderial mega-structure" and it's what you'd get if little girl gods took a bunch of Dyson Rings and twisted them around each other to make them look pretty.
Anyway, what we have so far is okay. I wouldn't call it good and I was unimpressed by Tylor's voice actress (Hikaru Koide), but it's fine. I'm willing to try twelve micro-episodes of this.
DanMachi Gaiden Sword Oratoria
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Sword Oratoria
Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side
Sword Oratoria: Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka: Gaiden
DanMachi Gaiden: Sword Oratoria
Season 2 of DanMachi
Season 1 of this spin-off
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: fantasy RPG dungeon-bashing series
I've since finished it and... it's not great, really. It's okay.
I wasn't actually that keen on this episode, but I enjoyed the parent series and this is based on a spin-off light novel series in the same universe, by the same author. They're showing different views of the same events and have overlapping casts. I'll stick with it.
Things I didn't like so much: the Sad Otaku Fantasy-Pleasing bits. Yes, I know the episode's full of characters I'd already met before in the parent show, but... (a) Girls who bicker over the size of their boobs. (b) Girls who fawn over their Adored One in a way that makes one wonder if the writer knows any girls in real life. (Lefiya only has eyes for Aiz and Tione for Finn.) (c) Girls getting naked, albeit briefly and in family-friendly ways that don't show the crucial bits.
That said, though, there's also more meaningful character stuff. Lefiya is lower-level than the rest of the party and has an anxiety problem. She went blank in a fight and hasn't yet successfully used her magic when it matters. Aiz has as-yet undisclosed issues and gets challenged by Finn on why she chose to charge unnecessarily into a fight. There's also a decent enough dungeon-bashing storyline, with acid-squirting giant caterpillars and some minotaurs that break through to the upper levels where they're likely to meet (and pulverise) low-level adventurers who aren't supposed to face anything that lethal.
Overall, it seems okay. Rude Wolfboy is annoying and I wouldn't really say I liked any of these people, but beyond that my negative feelings don't go beyond "it didn't particularly enthuse me". That said, though, Google suggests that this spin-off wasn't universally popular:
"I cannot in good conscience recommend Sword Oratoria to anybody. It's dreadful."
"Only watch Sword Oratoria if you hate elves. If you like them, prepare to hate them. Yes, she is that bad."
I'll still watch it, though. I'll probably even start thinking about the correct watching order for a hypothetical rewatch one day, since I think the two series interleave. This episode ends with Aiz rescuing Bell as in ep1. of the parent series. That show was very likeable, so for now I'm happy to cut its spin-off some slack.