“Listless” Days

October 11th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

On the flip side of Sakamoto, we have this guy. Everything Sakamoto is, he isn’t. “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” (“Tanaka-kun is Always Listless”) relates the tales of Tanaka. Now, I can’t tell for certain if he is lazy, anemic, bored or uncaring, but he desperately has to rely on the good-will of his friend, Oota, to physically truck him from place to place. He can (and does) sleep everywhere and it is a wonder how he is able to dress himself in the morning. If the food would just crawl into his mouth, he’d be as happy as they get.

Oota thinks he is missing out on a lot life has to offer, but Tanaka is content with things as they are. Even when classmate Miyano wants to be his apprentice, as she admires the complete inertness Tanaka exudes, he declines the offer, as that seems like too much work for him (and, after you see him in action, or inaction, you understand why). He also appears to be grandly clueless, as he stumbles upon a secret that fellow student Shiraishi has. Or maybe it’s that it doesn’t mean a great deal to him. This is both the core charm and the overall frustration with the series. You just can’t tell the difference.

Is he a slacker? Is he a passive-aggressive? Is he a sponge? Is he a deep thinker? You are never really sure, but to see the huge amount of effort placed onto him to be more than just a rolled-up carpet, lugged from place to place, is astounding. I just wonder what it will be like when he has to get a job.

There is also a series of OVAs, done in chibi style, of varying lengths, but nothing over a minute. They are not much more then set-up and gag, but it does help to explain things a bit better. It’s that for a single joke, there really was no logical way to insert it into the series without it coming off as more strangeness. Some may feel that this is a caliber of ‘nothing’ show, but something does happen; it just unrolls very slowly and maybe that’s what we want to say. Then again, maybe not.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           7 (Eyes seem too big)
Plot                  8 (Expressed surprisingly well)
Pacing              8 (Good, despite a potential lethargic nature)
Effectiveness   8 (Tells itself well)
Conclusion       6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)

Overall            8 (Oddly compelling)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Just let me sleep.

“Haven’t You Heard” the News?

October 4th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

There are a lot of strange shows about school life, whether we speak of “Ouran High School Host Club” or “School Rumble” or even “Medaka Box”, but the offering before us, “Sakamoto desu ga?” (“Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto” or “I’m Sakamoto, You Know?”) certainly ranks as one of the strangest. We follow the aforementioned First-Year Sakamoto (nope, we don’t know his first name AT ALL) the incredibly cool and popular genius who is well liked by both girls and boys. Despite the strange situations he may be in, Sakamoto always manages to fix the problem in absolute perfection while still being over the top. (more…)

Short Pull Series XIX – A Flash in the “Pan”

September 27th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Run Series by

OK, lest I sound like a sour old man (“Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!”), there is nothing wrong with all-girl animes…..to a point. It’s just that you need to have something more than moe girls or full-figured femmes or luscious ladies cluttering up the screen. I do like (wait for it)…plot. Wait a tick…..why does this opening sound so familiar? Because this show, “Pan de Peace” (“Pan de Pīsu”,Peace through Bread!”), is honestly no different than “Usakame”, save that instead of tennis, it’s bread. (more…)

Short Pull Series XX – “Tennis”, Anyone?

September 20th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Run Series by

OK, lest I sound like a sour old man (“Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!”), there is nothing wrong with all-girl animes…..to a point. It’s just that you need to have something more than moe girls or full-figured femmes or luscious ladies cluttering up the screen. I do like (wait for it)…plot. We actually started off with “Teekyu”, which began as a sports comedy manga (and the title is a pun on the Japanese word for ‘tennis’. Things like that are lost on me). They then had a spinoff, “Usakame”, which is named for the high school these four ladies attend and they belong to the tennis club. (more…)

“Classroom” Goals

August 25th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Well, we knew by the close of season one of Ansatsu Kyōshitsu” (“Assassination Classroom”) that there was going to be a season two, where the stakes are much higher and the pressure to succeed is at an all-time high. Although this classroom of slackers and underachievers are well-versed in assassination techniques, they are no closer to getting rid of Koro Sensei (that yellow effigy in the middle) today than they were when he first made the scene months earlier. Adding to the problems is that the government feels events are not progressing at a proper enough clip, so ringers are called in to complete the deed STAT. (more…)

Don’t Worry, Be “Happy”

August 17th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Every once in a while, you come across a show with a concept so odd, that you have to look into things a bit more deeply. Such is the case of “Anne-Happy”, (Anhapi♪), also known as “Unhappy Go Lucky!” or “Unhappy”. The plot is surprisingly thin:

Tennomifune Academy is an elite school where students train in various subjects such as arts and sports. The school, in a sense, chooses you, not the opposite (much like a wand from Ollivander’s). That is, except for the students of Class 1-7, a.k.a. the “Happiness Class”, who have been deemed “unfortunate” and must try to overcome their own misfortune and achieve happiness. The series follows a core group of five students, who each have their own problems, as they try to find their own elation. (more…)

The “Ultimate” Goal

July 26th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Now, I like a goofy show as much as the next person, but it bothers me when they break in into a ‘half-and-half’, so the first grouping of episodes are an exhilarating ride and when the ‘serious’ ones make their appearance, it gets somber and introspective, losing some of the charm that got you here in the first place. Such is the case with “Ultimate Otaku Teacher” (“Denpa Kyōshi” or “Electromagnetic-wave Teacher”, subtitled “He Is an Ultimate Teacher”). We have Jun’ichirō Kagami, 24, who is a genuine genius. He published a paper at 17, talking about a teleportation device. Despite that majestic early splash, he would rather spend his time playing video games and being a real NEET (but not necessarily a hihikimori). His sister, Suzune, feels that his talents are being wasted on his anime blog (What?!!? Wasting time with an anime blog? Is she nuts?) and he needs to get a job. No, let me rephrase that. GET A JOB OR I’LL BEAT YOUR BRAIN IN! (She is batting .545 with an on-base plus average nearing 1.000). (more…)

“Phantom” Menace

June 21st, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

What if fantasy became real? What if you lived in a world where extra-dimensional creatures of every ilk and caliber, of every temperment and desire, of every size and strength, were made whole? Thus is the intriguing plot idea behind “Myriad Colors Phantom World” (“Musaigen no Fantomu Wārudo”). So, how did this come to be? (more…)

Short Pull Series XVI – Please, “Please Tell Me” Now!

June 14th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

In my many years of reviewing anime, I have come across a crop of shows that I refer to as ‘nothing’ shows. There is a huge amount of talking, but nothing really happens. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as some of them are character and plot driven and tell a fascinating story. But it can run hot and cold.

Our latest offering, “Oshiete! Galko-chan” (“Please Tell Me! Galko-chan”) is also a short-pull series, in that the episodes only run for about eight minutes. But they pack a lot into these shows. Our cast includes (right to left), the aforementioned Galko, Ojou and Otako. Yes, they are very iconic, as they are, respectively, a gyaru, an airhead and an otaku. But they go beyond those limitations and tell some interesting tales. This came off for me as closer allied to “Daily Lives of High School Boys”, another ‘nothing’ show, but with a definite edge to it. (more…)

Short Pull Series XVI – Orange Crush

April 12th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Sometimes you encounter a show that could go in either direction. Do you remember the song “Every Breath You Take”? Many people thought it was a romantic tale of a person deeply in love with another, but if you listened to the lyrics, I mean REALLY listened to them, it was about an obsessive stalker and then the song got creepy and dangerous. “Momokuri” is that kind of show.

The tales revolves around Yuki Kurihara, a girl who has finally been granted her wish of dating her crush, Shinya Momotsuki, whom she calls ‘Momo’. At first glance, she just looks like a normal but very cute girl, amid the first blush of being in love. However, she is in fact a maniac over Momo, taking notes of his activities and never missing the chance to see him in a cute moment. Momo, on the other hand, is inexperienced in love, and just wants to make Yuki happy, but does not fully understand what lies before him. (more…)