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God is a Penguin – Wark Wark

July 9, 2011
by

New anime season. New shit. New good stuff. New mediocrity. Same as always. Totally new. Let’s talk.

Blood C

While I dig the original Blood movie well enough, I found the first TV series to be exceedingly tedious. It had maybe 13 episodes worth of material, but it stretched it out to what? Fifty episodes or so? Yeah. Didn’t care much for Blood +.

So I wasn’t too hyped about Blood C, but there is that CLAMP factor. I like me some pre-Tsubasa/XXXalchoholic CLAMPness. Love X. Dig Cardcaptor Sakura. Dig Angelic Layer. Dig Chobits (for the most part). I like how they can do creepy shit like incest and “I wanna marry my teacher even though I’m 10 years old” and keep it creepy instead of turning it into lame fanwatever wish-fulfillment. At least that’s the vibe I always got from them– it’s all about the what-the-fuck factor when they have a dude fall in love with his Replicant.

That’s alive and well in Blood C, since this version of Saya clearly wants to get it on with her dad. Unfortunately, the rest of the series is exceedingly dull. She does normal high school shit. Then she coldly kills a flying statue that was, like, evil or something. I get that they wanted to do some sort of tonal contrast, but the school scenes lacked charm and warmth and the killer shit lacked tension and excitement. The whole thing was just a load of nothing.

Kamisama Dolls

The same goes for Kamisama Dolls. We get the same sort of contrast between everyday life and the “holy shit people can control gods and blow up stuff” elements, but everything falls flat.

I blame it on the director. It’s the same dude that did Astro Fighter Sunred. The dude’s awesome when it comes to matter-of-fact shit, and Sunred needed that sort of style to pull of its sense of humor. But Kamisama Dolls needs tension. We don’t need everything presented to us in a flat, dry manner. I’m just not getting the vibe that it’s supposed to feel normal when an elevator opens up and a dead, bloodied body is found inside of it. That shit’s supposed to be creeping me out or making me feel like something’s about to go down, but that body was just there.

Which is a shame because there’s some potential here with a town that’s stuck in the past and how its townsfolk are dealing with the “outside world” and all that. But everything comes off in an exceedingly dull manner. I just don’t give a damn about what’s going on.

Kamisama no Memochou

Memochou kinda falls flat, much like Dolls, but it doesn’t come off nearly as bad. Part of that is because the lead dude is supposed to be your typical limp noodle of a protagonist. This dude is banal to the extreme, so that’s gonna bleed over into everything else that’s going down. I can accept that to a certain extent, so I don’t mind it nearly as much in Memochou.

I dig the Haruhi-esque vibe I got from the story as a whole. We got this gang of misfits who are brought together by a powerful female personality. The main difference is that this gang of kids actually get out there and do stuff rather than sit around in a club room and molest one another while cosplaying. I like the supporting dudes- a playboy/male prostitute (maybe), a gun otaku, and a dude that may or may not be a gambling addict. They’re interesting characters in their own little stock footage way– a crew of losers using their skills to cater to the whims of their eccentric detective boss.

And while the mystery wasn’t particularly thrilling or whatever, at least it was hitting on angles you don’t see too often in anime. Chick commits suicide because she can’t handle the pressure of people wanting her to be “perfect” when she just wants to do her own thing. If they keep the mysteries on this level while having the main gist of the series being the interaction of the characters, it should be pretty cool.

BUT

That last fucking scene where that one girl rushes in to strip the kiddie NEET detective in front of the main dude? That fucking sucked. It was like the creators said “HOLY SHIT! Did we just tell an entire story? Where is the shitty fanservice? Quick, insert some molestation before it’s too late!”

Yeah. Fuck you, whoever thought that was a good idea. Way to help ruin what was a decent two episodes of stuff. It wasn’t a “I’m down with this shit” dealbreaker, but it was pretty damn close.

Usagi Drop

Boring. Next.

No. 6

I’m kinda worried this is gonna be more about the relationship or whatever between the two dudes more than it’ll be about the weird world they live in. It worries me because I’m genuinely interested in this world and I don’t wanna see it get shortchanged in favor of relationship drama. Y’all know me, I don’t give a damn about that sort of thing in my anime. I wanna see “Freaked out Logan’s Run-esque dystopian shit that just happens to have two dudes that may or may not love each other,” not the reverse.

I did like how the series showed that the main “elite” kid is obviously bored with his idealistic life. We didn’t get any lame exposition or speech or whatever. We got to see him daydreaming in class and howling at a typhoon. The kid’s clearly looking for a way to bust out of this tedious life, so if that means he’s gonna go on the run with a fugitive kid, more power to him. I just wanna see more of the bigger picture at play in this world at the same time.

Nyanpire

Give meow blood. Damn cute. Damn awesome. I love how Nyanpire’s owner is totally cool with A) her cat talking and B) her cat demanding blood. Yeah, man, talking vampire cats are totally normal. I have two.

Sacred Seven

Stuff blew up real good. Digging the mythological aspect to this– sentai by way of Greek mythos or whatever. Real old school shit going on there. And Hellbrick was the best character of the season until Penguindrum came along. No idea if it’ll manage to be as consistently fun as the first episode, but I hope so. I could really go for a well-made fighting anime. Haven’t seen one of those since Air Master and S-CRY-ed.

Mawaru Penguindrum

I’m not really sure what to say about this. Much like Utena before it, it managed to barrage me with a hell of a lot of shit from the get-go and it’s kinda overwhelmed me. While I’m all for speculating the shit out of things, I’m not even sure where to begin with this.

I’ll just let my deer-in-headlights-as-a-metaphor-for-something-other-than-me-being-hit-by-a-car reaction say it all.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2011 5:27 PM

    I think that’s the most encouraging review I’ve seen for Nyanpire yet. Of course, any review that doesn’t mention that ending song will end up being generally positive. Hopefully it stays cute throughout.

    • Landon permalink*
      July 9, 2011 11:13 PM

      The ending had puppets. Puppets > Anime

      • July 9, 2011 11:57 PM

        ED’s generally inconsequential to me personally. It was a cute attempt. I’m fine with it. I’ve no problem that it takes up a large portion of on air time, since that’s typical for these kinda 1.5 minute shows.

        The actual important part of the show (as in, y’know, the show) is cute and short enough to not be eventually grating. I’m fine with it.

  2. July 14, 2011 4:53 PM

    I like how Nyanpire’s ending is longer than the show (sorta)

    Also, she actually coldly kills a /drunk waterskiing bald/ statue that was, like, evil or something. There’s a difference.

    As for Memo-chou’s stupid fanservice: it’s J.C. Staff. They had some good shows, but not anymore, it seems. I just hope Memochou does continue with this mystery/drrrish vibe and doesn’t degenerate into crap shit. That said, Memochou as a mystery anime sucked. I mean, what kind of deductions were those? A kindergartener with a mild dose of ADD could’ve solved that. It’s like Gosick, especially with the ‘what is he buying’ part. Mysteries are cool and interactive because you try to solve them yourself and just when you’re like ‘what the fuck, this is stupid’ the detective guy connects everything up so smoothly and logically without introducing random crap that you didn’t know. If Memochou told us about the ice, the mystery would just melt down, so I guess they were smart in not telling us about the ice, but fuck, come up with better mysteries for once. That said, I have never seen a good mystery anime before, except maybe for Conan but I stopped watching that when I realized 700+ episodes.

    tl;dr: Seems to me no. 6 might go and be all moral about how the grass is greener on the other side of the fence etc. That’ll be cool, as long as they still have guys-in-suits chase scenes and dystopia and apocalypse and yeah.

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