WIXOSSLupin IIIYuru CampJapanese
Anime 1st episodes 2018: L
Including: Ladyspo, Laid-Back Camp: Seasons 1-2, Last Hope, Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair, Late Night! The Genius Bakabon, Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File, Legends of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These, Libra of Nil Admirari, Lord of Vermilion: The Crimson King, Lostorage conflated WIXOSS, Lost Song, Love To-LIE-Angle, Lupin III Part V
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2018 >>
Keywords: Legend of the Galactic Heroes, WIXOSS, Lupin III, Yuru Camp, anime, SF, fantasy, detective, reverse-harem
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 23 July 2020
Listed under "C": Lord El-Melloi II Case Files
Listed under "S": Ling Qi: Bond of the Underworld, aka. Spiritpact
It's a movie: Laughing Under the Clouds, aka. Donten ni Warau Gaiden: Ouka, Tenbou no Kakehashi
It's a movie: Liz to Aoi Tori
It's a movie: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take on Me, which I loved
Lady Spo
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 4 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: tasteless SF sporting comedy
It's a picture drama, by the way. Instead of animation, we have the camera panning over still pictures. In other words, it's basically a radio show.
Three girls are on a spaceship. We're introduced to them while they're either sitting serenely on the toilet, desperately trying to squeeze one out on the toilet or bursting to use the toilet. A furball complains that they never follow his orders, so he teleports them to their kabaddi match. Exactly as they are. That was ep.1 and it ends with the kabaddi match about to start. "Ladyspo" is short for "Lady sports". This is a sports anime. I was curious about: (a) how this picture drama would weasel out of having to animate a sports match, and (b) whether the level of taste could fall even further.
The answer to (a) is that they don't weasel out at all. Ep.2 really is all about that kabaddi match, with tactics and everything. It's a proper anime sports episode, while also being a picture drama. This works better than you'd think, but it's still not very good. As for (b), there's nothing tasteless this week. It's a regular kabaddi match.
Laid Back Camp
Laid-Back Camp
Yuru Camp
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes + three OVAs
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: schoolgirls going camping
I've since finished it and... Season 1 is lovely, the short-form spin-off is merely okay and the live-action remake is unwatchable. I'm nervous of Season 2.
The episode's first half has the quiet Rin pitching her tent, debating with herself about campfires and eventually going off to collect firewood. That's all. You'd better like camping. If you do, though, it's educational. The narrator tells us why pine cones are great for this and why to avoid using damp wood on your fire. (Firstly, it's harder to make it burn. Secondly, it might pop.)
The episode's second half, though, is funny. Rin meets a pink-haired idiot. This fruit loop is first sighted asleep outside the toilets, but eventually wakes up and goes chasing after Rin. She's charming. She made me laugh. She's barely fit to be allowed out on her own, or at least that's the opinion of her long-suffering sister. This works particularly well in this bluntly realistic, practical show that's all about being cold and wet beside a lake near Mount Fuji in the off-season when there's no one else around.
Everyone says this show is great, for what it's worth. Happy to find out for myself.
Unit Pandora
Last Hope
Juushinki Pandora
Season 1
Episodes: 26 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: apocalyptic defence of mankind
It's the year 2038. Seven years ago, there was an accident with the newly invented quantum reactors. This created an evolution field, blurring the line between living things and machines. Earth's new inheritors are BRAI (e.g. semi-robot lizards and crabs) and humans are on the brink of extinction.
This means lots of tanks and guns shooting at huge, indestructible, non-sentient menaces. This is pretty dull. Furthermore, a lot of the episode is along these one-note lines.
There are some characters. I quite liked Leon the absent-minded (and often naked) scientist and Chloe his irritable sister. To be honest, though, the most entertaining moment here was the giant erection on a transforming giant robot.
It looks sort of okay. It's received positive critical attention. I might have stuck with it had it had fewer episodes.
Last Period
Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair
Last Period: Owari naki Rasen no Monogatari
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: mobile phone game world
Hmmm. Literalist names. Anyway, we're in a gaming world and our heroes have to rebuild the Branch Office. The plot's pretty bog-standard, but having fun with the financial side of things. The Branch Office went bust, so our heroes have to take jobs at half pay from scumbag clients who don't want to pay up front and will argue about it. Even then, though, they get undercut by rivals who are being financed by SPOILER.
There's also one of those gacha things where you pay real money to buy random items that will, of course, be one-star for the heroes and five-star for their enemies. Yup, two currencies. There's a game currency (zen or zel or something) and then yen (which our heroes don't understand).
Apparently the show has a Higurashi crossover episode, which sounds so mad that it's tempting... but even so, this is still a "no" for me. It's not particularly good-natured (thanks to all the money squabbling), but it's also disposable. If you play phone games, though, apparently the meta commentary is funny.
Late Night Genius Bakabon
Late Night! The Genius Bakabon
Shinya! Tensai Bakabon
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: parody resurrection of 1960s/70s franchise
What the hell?
Tensai Bakabon is an iconic 1967-1977 manga (not counting its 1990s revival). It had anime adaptations in 1971-72, 1975-77, 1990 and 1999-2000. It's about a stupid boy (Bakabon), his stupid father and the trouble they get themselves and their family into.
This is a parodic revival with no fourth wall at all.
The art style is 1970s, but the characters are aware that this is a new late-night anime. They discuss stuff that's changed. Dad gets out his modern mobile phone to call a celebrity who's given permission for his face to be used, but not his voice. (That made me laugh.) Dad decides that he needs a new voice actor and holds auditions... then the one he uses is actually doing his voice in the next scene. They call in Black Jack to do surgery on the main characters to let them rip off other modern shows. Bakabon gets split into sextuplets like Osomatsu-san, while Dad has more transformations and ends up as a buxom babe from Cambodia.
Sometimes, it's funny. However one episode of that was enough.
Layton Mystery Tanteisha
Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File
Season 1
Episodes: 50 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: teenage detective girl in London
Professor Layton is mostly a video game franchise. Layton's a detective. You solve puzzles. He got an anime movie in 2009, but this series stars his excitable teenage daughter, Katrielle Layton. She lives in London, solves crimes and is liable to explode if a client keeps not listening when she says she's "Mr Layton".
One senses that the target audience isn't very old. Katrielle and her sidekick Ernest have a talking dog. A pile of money is, literally, a big pyramid of gold bars, as if we're in the Bank of England. On finding that some missing people have fallen through a hidden trapdoor and can't get out, Katrielle and her friends all go down the trapdoor together with no indication of having tied a rope or something to help them climb back up again.
The art style's a bit childish too, but not in a bad way.
The show's fine, though. Katrielle is bright and fun, while the whodunnit is ingeniously constructed. A bit contrived, perhaps, but it sets up the clues well enough to feel satisfying. I enjoyed it. I don't need to watch fifty episodes of it, though.
Gin Ei Den
Legends of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Die Neue These Kaikou
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 25 minutes
Keep watching: not a chance in hell
One-line summary: proper anime SF epic, spanning empires and centuries
LotGH is a classic. I'm not arguing there. The 110-episode 1988-97 series truly is epic.
Unfortunately I don't get on with Yoshiki Tanaka. LotGH and Arslan Senki are both liable to bore me. They're telling stories on the grandest scale, telling the history of continents, planets and empires... but this means character-driven storytelling isn't really his thing. He can create memorable characters, yes, but he's equally capable of having entire episodes pass with no meaningful human-level involvement. The Free Planets Alliance! The Dominion of Phezzan! The Galactic Empire! The proper nouns! The battleships! The inability of Finn to make any progress with the 1988-97 LotGH episodes that have been in his queue for years!
Theoretically, I've got up to Season 3. I do intend to finish the series. However I reviewed Season 1 in 2015 and Season 2 in 2017, so on average I'm managing an episode a month.
This episode... well, the animation style's reminiscent of the old series, although the faces are more modern. (That means "prettier".) They make intelligent use of CGI, though, allowing better space battles. Uniforms, characters, etc. are unchanged, but this is a Reinhard episode as he sends his fleet into battle against old fogies who dismiss his imaginative strategies as the work of a crazy person who doesn't know what he's doing. (They get crushed.)
The episode looks impeccable. Good, solid, traditional LotGH. I should make more of an effort to get back to the 1990s series.
Nil Admirari no Tenbin
Libra of Nil Admirari
Nil Admirari no Tenbin: Teito Genwaku Kitan
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: otome visual novel adaptation, but also dark and interesting
I've since finished it and... whoops, it's startlingly bad.
You can tell it's an otome (i.e. reverse-harem) game adaptation. I enjoyed it, though, and I'll be continuing.
We start with a man strangling himself with his own necktie. Another man flees around a corner, only to get blasted by the Imperial Library Intelligence Asset Management Bureau. They say they're not going to kill him. They're looking for a book.
It looks like the 1920s. The protagonist (Tsugumi) is dressed as a flapper and her impoverished family is planning to marry her off for money. Her brother's sufficiently upset about this to make you wonder if he's upset for good or bad reasons. He then sets himself on fire.
I like the world, the plot and the story's strange premise. The reverse-harem stuff, on the other hand, is currently in abeyance. Its manifestations are currently: (a) the boytastic title sequence, (b) the almost pornographically boytastic closing titles, and (c) the protagonist's blandly empty anime face. Some of that's the general art style, though. Otome girl protagonists have a reputation for being passive nobodies. Tsugumi's more interesting than that... but they've kept a bit of that "insert your own face here" principle for her, in the literal, visual sense.
Looks quite good.
Lord of Vermilion
Lord of Vermilion: The Crimson King
Lord of Vermilion: Guren no Ou
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: SF mystery
It doesn't seem bad, actually. I don't mind it.
We begin with a long flash-forward (?) pre-credits sequence of heroes fighting and killing each other. Most of them seem to die. We're supposed to think this is exciting.
After that, the real episode begins. Two students at a dojo have likeable interactions and head off for university. There, a red mist renders everyone unconscious and/or disintegrates them. (That appears to be the implication of the empty clothes.)
Five months later, one of the students comes out of a coma. He has an unprofessionally rude nurse. He also missed the Great Collapse. Tokyo's been taken over by red mist and plant tentacles.
All that's good. However the end of the episode has a sword-fighting demon.
The show seems okay and I'm curious about what's happened to Tokyo, but so far it seems driven by plot and mysteries, not character. There's also clearly going to be more fighting and I lack confidence in the show's ability to make its fights interesting.
I'm neutral. I could easily have kept watching this, but I tossed an imaginary coin and didn't.
lostorage wixoss
Lostorage conflated WIXOSS
Episode 13, Season 2 of Lostorage [xxx] WIXOSS
Episode 37, Season 4 of WIXOSS
Keep watching: obviously
One-line summary: evil trading card game
I've since finished it and... it's a bit dull, to be honest. I still love the first WIXOSS show, though, and I don't mind this one.
There's little point in dissecting this, really. If you know WIXOSS, I presume you'll have been waiting for this. If you don't know WIXOSS, start by returning to 2014 and "selector infected WIXOSS".
To be honest, I'm tempted to rewatch the whole thing from the beginning. Firstly, it's a strong show. I'd be up for that, despite the relatively high episode count. Secondly, the show's release schedule has two-year gaps and I couldn't remember who everyone was. Girls are looking for someone. There are humans and ex-LRIGs, which are magical beings that live inside trading cards and help humans fight each other. (Some LRIGs are nice, but others really aren't. We see an LRIG deliberately and bloodily losing a battle in order to destroy her human and take over her body in the real world. That was disturbing.)
Oh, and there's a price if you lose WIXOSS battles. Lose one and you lose a percentage of your memories. Lose too many and... well, we've just seen an example of that.
Incidentally, I'd read that there was a "Missing Link" OVA that goes between "Lostorage incited WIXOSS" (2016) and this series. I found it and watched it, but it's just the first episode of the 2018 series, so don't kill yourself looking for that.
song lost
Lost Song
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: magical singing fantasy world
I actually quite liked the episode's basics. Girls can change the world with singing magic, but there's also a war going on. However there were some bad signs, including the fact that it was streamed by Netflix. This episode has:
(a) head-bangingly cliched antagonists, including a grandad who portentously forbids everything and a cartoonishly evil Disney prince who doesn't believe in, say, giving poor people water.
(b) characters who burst into song. No, not just because they're doing magic. The show's a musical. Birds fly off and our heroine jumps thrillingly off a roof while singing a song about how she'll achieve her dream and make her wishes come true one day. Spot the heavy-handed visual metaphors. Anyone who thinks they're perfect for this show probably has a single-digit age.
(c) another heroine who's stupid and has big boobs.
(d) Heroine #1 finds a wounded knight in the forest. (Magical ice has encased his leg.) She decides to heal his injuries with her singing magic. "No!" cries her well-meaning brother, "Grandad said you mustn't!"
(e) The healing magic works. "How did you heal my injuries?" asks the knight afterwards. Our heroes lie for no discernable reason and say "medicine".
(f) War is good, but it's the kind of war you'd expect to see in a Disney cartoon. It's less hard-edged than Mulan.
Another Netflix show I won't be watching. This is getting silly. We're approaching the point where "Netflix" is almost as bad a sign as "Chinese anime". They need to fix their quality control.
Love To Lie Angle
Love To-LIE-Angle
Tachibanakan to Lie Angle
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: good-natured sleaze
I've since finished it and... it's throwaway trash, but also warm and likeable.
Our heroine is called Natsuno Hanabi, which means "summer fireworks" and is a forehead-slapper of a name. She's 15 years old, she's just moved from Tokyo and she'll soon be starting high school. She's moving into Tachibana Dorm... but unfortunately she hasn't realised that she's actually turned up at a place whose name has the same pronunciation but different spelling.
She sees a nude purple-haired girl who might be a mirage. A pink-haired girl then shows some downblouse nipple and an enthusiastic woman with big boobs hugs Hanabi to them. Finally there's a girl on the stairs with her legs spread to show Hanabi that she's not wearing knickers. (A beer can protects her modesty from us, though.)
Obviously this is trash. I'll watch it. It's only three minutes, so why not? At least it looks like friendly, good-natured trash (unlike, say, My Wife is the Student Council President) and Hanabi realises that one of these girls is an old childhood friend. It seems quite nice so far.
(Not to be confused with To Love-Ru, which makes this look like Children's BBC.)
Lupin III Part V
Series: 5
Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: thief adventures
It's an excellent episode. If I liked this franchise, I'd definitely be continuing. It has top-notch action sequences (including a car chase that reminded me of The Italian Job), it gets the music right and it's being clever about bringing a 1970s franchise into the digital age. In the episode's first half, Lupin and the gang rip off an organisation of online drug dealers. In the second half, though, their targets turn the tables on them by creating "The Lupin Game" and getting ten million online players to spy on Lupin wherever he tries to hide.
It's cool. It's got Lupin going through an underwater fan that could have minced him. It's got all the old gang, although if you count a quick cameo at the end for Fujiko. It's doing everything an episode of Lupin III should... but my problem is that he's still Lupin. He's a professional thief and he's swaggeringly proud of it. He's scum, basically, as are his friends. Personally I'm always cheering for Lupin to get killed and I don't care that one can expect the targets he robs to be equally bad. However that's just my personal prejudice and this has been a much-loved franchise for longer than I've been alive. Feel free to give it a whirl.
They're in France this season, by the way. Series IV was in Italy.