August 14, 2015

The dog days of summer

Twenty different things goin' on. Got back into WOW for a little while, though I'm playing the Pokemon game in it more than I'm doing anything serious. Also fired up If My Heart Had Wings, which I had picked up in a Steam sale a while back and am now enjoying immensely.

The anime this season isn't doing half bad, better than I honestly expected. Not everything is great - when is it ever - but there's plenty of stuff that's worth watching for me. So far, keeping up with:

Jitsu wa - thoroughly stupid concept, but funny enough for good background noise.

Non Non Biyori Repeat - slice of life by way of rural Japan, it's amazing they can fill up a show with so little actually happening and still keep it pretty good. Definitely carried by the characters, who don't quite rise to the level of "zany cast" but are done quite well. Ren-chon's cuteness is not to be underestimated.

Overlord - interesting take on the "trapped in an RPG"... I guess we can call it a genre now, huh? Serious power fantasy tripping here, like "Arthas raiding Westfall" level of mismatch. But the main tension of the show isn't so much "is Momonga stronger than the ogres?" (hint: very yes) but more "how can he keep his minions happy as their evil overlord when his actual nature is actually kind of a nice guy?" Weakest point is the pacing - it's a bit slow, this had damned well better be 20 plus episodes or it's not going to get anywhere. But it's fun, it plays well with the RPG tropes while subverting a bunch of them, and I would very much like one Albedo delivered here; she's got 99 problems but a lich ain't one. (Forced that one a bit, but I couldn't resist.)

Monster Musume - this is... actually quite a bit harder to enjoy than the manga, I think. The popularity of the originals wasn't so much "lol it is porn with monster girls" as it was "this is actually some funny comedy with a sweet flavor and oh, it has porn in it". It's not that the anime is significantly different than the manga in content, but in the latter you can pick the parts you want to pay attention to. In the anime, you're going through at the pace the director had in mind, and a lot more of the time is being spent on "lol, we want to satisfy people who want to boink a harpy". Sigh. Still, I can get through shows that have some "dammit Japan, quit that" content (Nanoha S1's inordinate panty shots of grade schoolers, for example), so maybe I just have a callus built up. If I had to cut something for lack of time, this one would be it, methinks.

Himoto Umaru-chan - Huh. Watched ep 1 on a day I was really bored and wasn't too wild about it - Umaru's not that endearing on her own. Watched a bit more and now I really enjoy it, not because of Spoiled Brat In the Middle, but because the other characters are quite good too. (Helps that the show is not merely willing to take Umaru down a peg, but to dump her right off the board from time to time.) That said, this could run out of material REALLY fast, so no telling if it'll keep up.

Ore no Monogatari - it's a romantic show, but it's so completely against the shoujo type that it's scary. Miscommunication comedy? Hell no, it's a couple who talks to each other despite being awkward. Angst? We don't need any of that! At the end of the day it's a show about a boy and a girl who are really into each other, if rather innocently, even though the guy isn't handsome... well. That doesn't really do it justice. Takeo is a man-mountain caricature drawing in a show where everyone (but his parents) got a normal character design. Early on I saw his buddy, the handsome and somewhat withdrawn bishounen type, and thought "oh, here comes the love triangle..." But no! Nothing of the sort. I don't think the show's really good, objectively speaking, but it's so against type that it feels liberating just to watch.

Ushio and Tora - because come on, man, I had this on VHS back in the day. Hell, I screamed and died in the dub, even. Massive nostalgia. I'd watch this even if it sucked, but it's still as good as it was back in the day. Only downside is that it's following the manga just like the original OAVs did, so there won't be anything really new for the first ten eps; however, it's been so long since I've seen it that I'm totally okay with the refresher.

Wakaba * Girl - Not precisely sure why I tried this, and the concept isn't that deep (it's lighthearted rich-girl fish-out-of-water comedy). But eh, at eight minutes a week it's fine.

GATE - if you're reading this you already know why this show is the best thing this season.

I will probably end up watching School Live sometime as well, the recommendations are pretty good. For catch-up from last season, I want to sink my teeth into Euphonium; in my "I really ought to have watched this but I didn't and now I probably won't get to it for a while" pile is Shirobako.

Good times, good times.

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