A thoughtful response to current anime.

Some Thoughts on Shows

1. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Pastel love! Best thing airing, and not just because the protagonist is a pink-haired chick. It’s got a real Alice in Wonderland vibe to it, where a plucky lass tries to deal appropriately with a somewhat absurd world. The protagonist’s personality is interesting to me, she has a worldview that I would like to call “cynical”, but she doesn’t seem to let it get her down. She’s an laid-back realist, dealing with the weirdnesses of the fairies and of declined humanity without getting upset. At most she will give a cute exasperated sigh. It’s a good way to go through life, I think.  Unfortunately this show depends so much on a sense of wonder and never knowing what will happen next that I don’t think it will hold up at all on rewatching.  It’s a moment in time, we have to appreciate it while it lasts.

2. Kokoro Connect

Bodyswap love! I’m not sure how to feel about the interpersonal drama of the show.  Perhaps it would have been better for things to have been kept light, and we could have had a nice fun show about five teens exploring each other’s bodies.  But even if some of the characters’ trauma drama is a little lame, Inaba, at least, is great.  I’m a little worried about the teacher, though.  It would have been better to just have no explanation at all for why the characters were switching bodies than to have such a paper-thin “aliens did it” explanation that will either never be resolved or will be resolved in a super-unsatisfying way.

3. Joshiraku

Kimono love! I really want to like this show more than I do, but I don’t get 50% of the jokes.  That’s a really large fraction of jokes not to get.  I got like 80% of the jokes in Nichijou, but the remaining 20% still bothered me.  At least the jokes come pretty fast.  Sometimes though, they’ll get on a topic, like, “famous tall towers of Japan” or whatever, and I have to sort of tune out until they get back to talking about something I can relate to, like seeing shapes in the moon.  It’s not a total waste, though, I can still appreciate how cute the girls are.  Especially Kukuru! She’s great.

4. Tari Tari

Vocaloid love! This show is technically well executed, good animation and decent character designs, solid pacing.  The plot is sort of predictable, though, which is awful for a drama.  I’ve seen most of the “twists” coming a mile away.  And some of the characters are kinda weak.  Of the main five, only Konatsu and maybe Wien really stand out from the mob of generic anime characters.  I still keep confusing the two black-haired chicks for each other. And while I like a good music anime, I much prefer the piano to vocals.  Occasionally they will play the piano in this show, but they always immediately start singing over it.  What a waste.

5. Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!

Little sister love! ~_~ Ok, this show is really trashy.  It’s a standard harem-style show without much in the way of animation quality.  But at least it has a sense of humor about itself.  It’s hard to get too angry about its trashiness, because it recognizes that it’s trashy, and it’s okay with that.  It’s certainly not high art, but it is entertaining.  Maybe not the sort of show you admit to watching (unless you have an anime blog and are compelled to bare your soul), but not the sort of show you should feel bad about watching.  And the premise works pretty well for a harem show.  There’s a reason for the girls to be all over the guy (he’s rich!) and there’s a reason for the guy to spurn their advances (any one of them might be his sister!).

6. Sword Art Online

Cyber love!  I was hugely disappointed by Sword Art Online.  The creator was the same as the creator of Accel World, so I thought it might be good, but instead I got a disjointed narrative, a ridiculous premise, and no characters. Kirito is a “cool” guy who keeps his true thoughts and emotions hidden.  That’s maybe acceptable for a supporting character, but it doesn’t work for a protagonist.  The viewer, at least, needs to know what the heck the main character is thinking and feeling, or else everything that happens just seems random and pointless.

7. Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Widow love! It turned out I was too male to enjoy this show after all.  The slow pace kinda got to me, but what really troubled me was how the male lead’s love for the female lead was simultaneously the underlying premise of the show and completely unexplained.  In three full episodes I never learned one fact about the male lead that wasn’t directly related to how desperately in love with the female lead he was.  He chose a job to be near her, he committed to fighting a ghost to be with her, he filled his apartment with her flowers.  What does he even like about her?  Does he have any hobbies apart from longing for her? Can’t he find a nice girl who is closer to his age and not literally haunted by the ghost of her dead husband?


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