Archive for the ‘Check-in Station’ Category

Check-in Station: Knights of Sidonia S2 ep1 (behold an ugly new god)

Knights of Sidonia has been able to give me that special “burn” that I was only able to get from Evangelion.  That special feeling of being in a world that is not only at the brink of existence, but at the edge of reality.  A world that is dying and being reborn without humanity.  It makes me forget just how cool and awkward the machinery is in this world.  And I’m pleased to see the show continue on this trek towards the destruction.  As morbid and dour as it sounds, the journey to see humanity destroyed or evolve out of existence is beyond intriguing to me.  Leave it up to the show’s new villain to put it in clear terms anyone can understand.

Reading the source material past the part, I was very much looking forward to the new arrivals promised in this second season.  One is clearly working towards the destruction of humanity in the guise of a human, the other could not appear more alien, but strives for the protection and understanding of it, even as a prisoner and pariah.   But I’m getting ahead of myself.  The beginning of this episode is about Read more…

Check-in Station: Ninja Slayer ep1 (I wasn’t expecting what I should have expected)

I’m going to come out and say it.  I don’t have nearly enough experience with this kind of anime.  I see part of this show and I immediately think hyper violent 70s era Go Nagai.  And I didn’t watch nearly enough of that you comprehend what I’m seeing now.  That said, I came to see a show where ninjas are killing ninjas.  And that’s what I’m getting, along with very creative weirdness.

There’s not much for me to dig into here.  There’s not much in the way of pretext.  We basically get a set-up, see what’s going down and then are left to assume that there is going to be quite a big more bloodshed in the future.  The hero appears to be an undead, brought bad from the death, or near death by a vengeful spirit.  He appears to be nothing more than another victim in his salary man suit, about to suffer a painful, atrocious death at the hands of a pair of sadistic weirdo shinobi.  And that may have been true, if not for the vengeful spirit that turned him into  a skilled killing machine.

The back story is simple, and could apply to most any vengeful spirit, or superhero or vigilante.  He had a family, they were murdered.  You could blind him and give him Kingpin as a nemesis and he’d be Daredevil.  You make him a burnt out ex-soldier, put a skull on his chest and make him Punisher (actually, he’s pretty close to Punisher in terms of motivations and lethality).  I’m not expecting much depth for him in the future really.  But I wouldn’t mind it either.

The real stars of this show were the animation styles.  I was shocked when I saw the South Park style animation take over for a bit, I say this for lack of a better term.  I think many a person would accuse studio Trigger of being cheap with this little production.  The drastic changes in art style coupled with  several very long, still a pauses in production lean to that.  But I don’t doubt for a moment that this is just intentional lengthening for the sake of tension and atmosphere.  It’s weird to see a show that mostly appears hectic, but in actuality is in no rush to deliver its story.

I do wish I had come into this production with more knowledge of the shows it is so clearly influenced by.  But that’s just not the case.  As it is, I still wish to enjoy this show for the unique, violent and mindless romp it appears to be.  All I’m searching for is true entertainment, so if this show keeps delivery this kind of stylish, over-the-top ninja violence, then it will be an easy watch for me.

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Check-in Station: Your Lie in April ep6 (can you overcome passion, can you wipe away memories?)

I can’t say for what aspect of this show’s development I’m more happy about.  There’s the appearance of new rivalries, the development of one between friends, or how the goals of this show are starting to flesh themselves out more.  Or perhaps, I should be happy for having one genuinely pleasant episode.  The oversappiness continues, but I can’t say I’m not slowly developing an attachment to this show and its characters.  Even as their more base emotions are starting to be confronted in this series.

I’ve enjoyed how Read more…

Check-in Station: Triage X ep1 (boob nurses, boob ninjas, boob mercenaries, boob gropers – boobs!)

Oh man.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve watched a boob anime.  It will take some adjustment and time.  For now, I just keep looking at this show and asking why over and over again.  But I’m guessing this show isn’t about actually thinking.  It’s about feeling.  Feeling feelings, and emotions, and heart stuff, but mostly this show is about feeling and watching the boobs.

Oh man.

This most certainly feels like a near throwback series, with some prevalent 70s era anime influences.  This show is violent, flashy, stylish to a ridiculous level, and it sells sex hard!  I can’t say much about the characters or plot so far.  The characters are mostly chicks with boobs and hints of a personality – or pieces of one, and the main guy is the usual revenge driven, trauma molded youth.  And he’s definitely got mental issues, believing the best friend who died is still alive in the body parts that were transplanted onto him to save his life.  Most every other character in this show has been a scumbag criminal or pitiful victim.  It’s not one of the more appealing anime worlds for one to wish to live.

And the plot?  Bad guys are bad.  And really bad ones get murdered really hard.  It’s the story about a team of super professional (and super non-professional) assassins.  It reminds me of Akame ga Kill quite a bit in that regard.  Though so far, Akame ga Kill’s group of weirdos were a tad more appealing to watch.

I hate to say this, but I’m not feeling this show at all.  Don’t get me wrong!  I love boobs!   And ecchi fanservice is often very tolerable to me.  But this show is just bad and feels very derivative beneath its fancy wrapping of style and sex.  It doesn’t have nearly the charm for me to put up with the ridiculousness.  When I watched Highschool of the Dead, I soon figured out that I was watching a classic among bad anime.  It had its own entertainment value just from sheer gall and guile that it had in its storytelling.  This show so far lacks the intangible things that make a bad show entertaining.  It only makes me laugh at how ridiculous it is, but it takes itself too seriously to really run with it.  Ugh.  I’m just plainly not entertained by this show, just miffed and baffled by its various aspects.  I won’t be keeping up with Triage X.

Check-in Station: Wish Upon Pleiades ep1 (does anyone know what they’re doing?)

April 13, 2015 2 comments


I know, I know. I should very well be watching that other far more established magical girl show right airing right now. But I haven’t watched Nanoha in a very long time, nor have I seen all the material. So I decide to wait a while to watch that. Instead I decided to take a look at this very colorful magical girl show from Gainax. And man, does this make me wish more exciting shows like Vividred Operation.

In no uncertain terms, I will say that I was bored watching this show. Sure, it’s pretty but it’s also slow as hell. We spend so much time with Subaru. Unfortunately, Subaru is boring and mousy and just not very exciting at all. She has a dynamic with one of the other magical girls, but that doesn’t amount to much so far. It’s just too girls working through a misunderstanding. The whole show felt very vacuous and light. And that may very well be the entire point. This show may be purely aimed at little girls. It makes total sense. and there may be none of the hard hitting charms that made Nanoha, Vividred and Precure so fun to watch for people outside the designed demographics.

I’ll keep this short. You know where I’m going with this. This show is not for me, and I mean that in every way possible. It just bored me to tears. And it’s like Triage X in that it has some very appealing aspects, but as a whole show it feels painfully incomplete. If popular opinion says that this show is far deeper or electrifying than what I’ve been exposed to so far, then I may take a look. But I’m dropping Wish Upon Pleiades right now.

Check-in Station: Kyoukai no Rinne ep1 (poverty and piety)

April 13, 2015 2 comments

My feelings on Rumiko Takahashi works are set in stone and emotional.  Her material has a rare and unique pedigree.  Any of her works have the potential for great diversity and entertainment value.  You could get a series that excels in comedy and action, or a series that excels at comedy and gore, or a series that excels at comedy and romance.  And I have some great memories of moments in those series.  The problem is that the joy never lasts.  Eventually, the shows stop progressing and the plot refuses to flow and everything becomes a stagnant pool. Read more…

Check-in Station: Sound! Euphonium ep1 (the band sucks!)

I haven’t touched a KyoAni show in long time. Why? Well besides a rather long break from anime period (to explained at some point in the future), I just stray away from popular things for whatever reason. For me to enjoy something, I have to selfishly, subconsciously believe it’s mine. It’s the reason why when my wife beats a game before me, I stop playing it. When a TV show like Walking Dead gets too popular and the the fanbase gets too smug, I walk away for a time. It’s the reason why Chihayafuru, Girls und Panzer and Hyouka have yet to be touched by me. It all seems too inevitable. I figure, “what’s the point?” But I will stray from my pattern every now and then. Euphonium is that show. It’s just too – well I don’t have words yet. But it already feels like KyoAni at its best. And by that, I mean K-ON!. It feels good, like K-ON!. And like that show, I’m curious and want to see this through. Read more…

Check-in Station: Plastic Memories ep1 (a series of unfortunate goodbyes)

Well, this show can just f*ck right off.

While I am, and will likely continue to remain in the process of trying to figure out if this show is made just to make people cry, I will also have to admit this first episode’s effectiveness.  The point has been made.  But I still wonder how much steam this show will actually have going deeper and deeper into the season. Read more…

Check-in Station: Your Lie in April ep1

March 30, 2015 2 comments

Not a bad start for what feels like a shoujo series. It’s my sincere hope that the four characters we see at the end develop it into a tight, complicated group of interesting people.

The set up is pretty standard anime fair. Kousei is a young, broken prodigy with an abusive past who effectively has and likely will continue to live alone for the majority of the series. Tsubaki is his childhood best friend who is a bit of a jock, and also cares for him in what feels like more than a sisterly fashion, but only slightly. Then there’s Ryouta, the popular guy who I hope is more than just a shallow dude who is relentlessly interested in intimacy with females. And Kaori, the enchanting blonde prodigy who is impressively outgoing. I can see this being a good mix. None of the characters annoy, and the show seems to have its focus properly placed on the characterization, music and romance; with plenty of light comedy thrown into the mix.

Going forward, my hopes are that this show plays with the idea of characters actually being in relationships and learning from each other, and not the seemingly never-ending dance of clumsy courtship that I see in so many anime. The classical music in this, I expect to be stellar and a nice change of pace. It’s easy to f*ck up pop music in its many forms, different tastes, and trends. But classical music is timeless and should be used at length but tastefully in a show like this.

Other than that, episode one was a good lukewarm dip into this show’s world. I’m willing to dive deeper. For at least the first five or six episodes anyway.


AniFriday Issue #26 – Autumn Manga Special pt2: Bleach

November 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Oh god!  Here I came into this supposedly final arc, expecting answers and revelations.  Instead, I’m seeing a lot of the same stuff that made me hate the previous arcs, and call this series a bloated formulaic mess.  Everything I love and find cool about this show can be boiled down to a few characters.  Any love I once had for this series is dangling from a metaphorical string made of three to four personalities.  It’s almost as bad as when I was watching the original InuYasha anime once it got past the first 60-70 episodes.  At this point, if there’s anything good and memorable to be strung from this series’ last arc, it will have to come from Ichigo – again!

Since I haven’t been able to put together weekly AniFriday posts for most of the summer, I thought I’d take the material that I could and compile it into specific posts for each series.  While I couldn’t squeeze in time for some much desired anime watching, I did have time to read my favorite manga week t0 week.  For this post, I’ll be focusing on the chapters (591 – 603) I read during that hiatus for Bleach and its final major arc, the war with the Quincy.  At the end, I’ve given my general overall thoughts on the material, while on the way there you can see my chapter by chapter thoughts on the series.  Though I think I may have given away some of thoughts in my initial rant.  Pardon me, while many may have abandoned this series, I still hold some semblance of passion for it. Read more…

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