Get on this guy's level.
While the above image may be fantastic, I had a ridiculously difficult time choosing a screencap for this post - just waaaay too many good ones! Which is to say, I've watched a lot of Macross 7 lately, and a decent amount of Hikaru no Go, and I also finally got around to watching everything I wanted to check out from the new season, although I didn't do first impressions for most of them. Whoops.
Speaking of new season, The Romantica Clock's anime is premiering the first week of February and is running as a three episode TV series. Wonder if we'll be getting more if it does well. I kind of hate the art style, but the author wrote Aishiteruze Baby, which was a perfectly decent manga (although I wonder if I'd still think so now), and the summary is just vague enough to make a person curious.
Oh, and you may've noticed I tweaked the blog's appearance slightly. Figured it was high time to go for a more wintry feel, and I did quite like the Noragami ED.
NORAGAMI, EP. 1 - 3
May as well start off with Noragami since I've mentioned it. First off, I quite like this sort of supernatural show; Noragami isn't quite like Yu Yu Hakusho or Bleach, or even Rin-ne (it is a bit closer to this, though), but it certainly is of that type. As such, Noragami had a bit of an advantage off the bat, but its also fairly funny, and I like the characters, especially Hiyori. Hiyori clearly has a decent head on her shoulders and isn't even slightly interested in sitting by and twiddling her thumbs while other people actually do things, which is always, always such a relief to find in female characters. Yato's a bit of a jerk, but, well, he also frequently is in a way that's funny to watch play out. Yukinewell, not much of a personality there yet, but, hey, there's still nine more episodes for him to get one. And can we say "OT3 ?
Actually, I specifically want to touch on the fanservice briefly. We do see a good bit of Hiyori's pantiesbut I honestly didn't even register it as fanservice. Sure, there are specific decisions made that allow us to see panties. But the manner in which we've seen Hiyori's has just felt, well, not skeezy to me. Its more a matter of, "Well, of course we see her panties, she's in her school uniform and is kicking an ayakashi's ass, its kind of inevitable." Its hard for me to explain this, though. I suppose it helps, too, that none of the characters draw attention to it nor does Hiyori get embarrassed about it or slap any witnesses around whilst shrieking, "Pervert!!!" at them. I suppose this reflects my actual issue with pantyshots - it isn't so much that we're seeing panties as its been made into this exotic, erotic thing, an end in and of itself, and I find that weird and creepy. Wow, big deal - you caught a sight of underwear. Man, that's just sooo ecchi, desu! You're so lucky, you got to see that forbidden cotton-polyester blend!
Y'know, when I was in college, I did ROTC. One time, as a freshman, we were going off to do some field training - sleep outside, practice land navigation, practice shooting, etc. Our squad leaders had to check our packed gear to ensure we were bringing everything we were supposed to. I'd packed my sports bras and underpants in plastic ziplock bags (as I had done with all other clothing items - helps keep things dry!). My squad leader was a junior; he was twenty years old. As the packing list was read off, he checked each squad members stuff, holding each item aloft in succession. "Underwear, three sets!" was called out. I suddenly felt embarrassed as he reached for my bag of underwear, hoisting it into the air. I moved forward to grab it back from him, to assure him it was all set, and then I realized he was completely nonplussed about the whole thing. I looked around and realized that not a single person in the room found it at all titillating to see a bunch of plain underwear, and realized that I didn't, either. If you don't have the maturity level of a sixteen year old, catching a glimpse of someone's regular, everyday panties or boxers just isn't all that thrilling, folks.
NOBUNAGUN, EP 1 -3
Y'know, I did mildly enjoy this at first. It didn't knock my socks off, and I kind of only was sticking with it because Shio's military otaku-ness was great, and also because I totally shipped her with Asao, but it was fine. It was kind of Phi-Brain but with weird-looking creatures and firearms instead of puzzles that might kill you. But then episode three happened and it was really fucking gross. Really, really fucking gross. Oh, you like that we weren't hyper-sexualizing your female lead? Well, here, have a training episode, except when the motivation is lacking the would-be mentor is going to threaten to do sexual things with a copy he's made of the heroine to get the heroine properly fired up. Oh, and then he's going to use those copies he's made of her to take tit-tastic bikini pictures of "her" and hand them out to her military comrades. Very professional, not at all creepy! Fuck this show.
INARI, KON KON, KOI IROHA, EP. 1
Well, its a sweet sort of show, and the heroine accidentally pantses the romantic interest, which is a slightly amusing change of pace from the accidental boob-grab or face-to-boobs moment of harem shit. But its also a bit boring, so I'm not sure I'll be sticking with it.
WIZARD BARRISTERS, EP. 2
I love, love, love this show. It'd be nice if Cecil were a couple of years older, sure, but I find her endearing and enjoy her competence nevertheless - yes, she does have a few moments of screw-ups, but she's also brand-new at the job, so I don't find that terribly irritating. Unfortunately, I did watch this episode a week ago, so I'm having some trouble saying much about it other than that I liked it a lot, so I think in future I'll do this portion of my Week in Review right after I've watched it rather than waiting a whole week.
I will comment that I really like that we've got a heavily female cast who doesn't simply exist for fanservice. This is the difference between harem shows and shows with large female casts that actually feature female characters and not fanservice delivery devices - yeah, sure, the camera is perfectly happy to let us admire the curves of its cast, but these women are actually depicted as being full human beings who have their own particular strengths, roles, and quirks. Put another way, I can picture these women as having lives outside of what we see on screen, with their own hobbies, habits, and inner lives. I really like, too, that not all the women have the same job at the firm, and that those doing jobs lower on the totem pole aren't implied to be lesser or dumber than those with the more prestigious positions.
By the way, do we think Ageha and Quinn are actually sisters or cousins? Different surnames, but wouldn't be at all surprised if they are.
BUDDY COMPLEX, EP 1 - 3
Y'know, I'm still planning to post about this separately, so I'm not going to say much here other than that I'm baffled by my enjoyment of what is such a generic, bland series. Sure, the execution is pretty competent, but its also pretty lifeless. Leave it to Sunrise to give us their most explicitly fujoshi/danshi-baiting show they've done yet have it be utterly devoid of anything approaching a spark.
HIKARU NO GO, EP. 48 - 60
So, the show seems to be trying to get us to feel as if Hikaru's being awful for not getting Sai's fears about disappearing again or his anxiousness about not being able to play people in go himself. However, this doesn't strike me as fair - Hikaru is a fifteen year old, how the hell is he supposed to be able to get what its like to be a 1000 year old+ ghost? If anything, Sai's demands to play the Meijin when its Hikaru's debut as a pro seems incredibly selfish, as it is Hikaru who would have to deal with the repercussions and not Sai at all. Sai's the adult. I get that he's in an unenviable position since he never gets to play go anymore and that's always been his passion, and, really, what he considers his sole reason for existence, but he already got to hijack one person's life completely, and Hikaru is a child. And there's also the fact that Sai doesn't actually tell Hikaru that he thinks he's about to disappear until the last moment - so he's whining and introspecting and bugging Hikaru, and he's clearly feeling sorry for himself, but he's doing so without giving Hikaru the whole story. It isn't fair to fault someone for seemingly being unfeeling when they don't have all the information in the first place.
When Sai finally does reveal the information, its as Hikaru is about to play a game of go with his grandfather. Hikaru brushes him off, sure, but even this is understandable - Sai ambushes him with the information after demanding that Hikaru not play go with his grandfather. You know who else might be about to disappear? Hikaru's grandfather. He's not exactly young himself! It seems especially silly to make a claim on Hikaru's attention when it'd be drawing it away from the grandfather; I think I'd feel differently were Hikaru about to play a match with Waya or even Akira.
MACROSS 7, EP. 13 - 35
This is a pretty massive chunk of episodes, so I'm going to stick to barebones. Basically, somewhere in the teens I finally got the joyous goofiness I'd been promised was this show's forte, and then the plot really kicked in and got interesting. Also, Mayor Miria piloted several times and was soooo cooooool. And Mylene piloted, too, and we found out she's pretty good at it since, hey, surprise, surprise, she spent a good bit of time getting to use her mum's Valkyrie when she was younger - which, hey, kind of makes sense given that both her parents were ace pilots.
Shipping Mylene with Basara still doesn't really make sense, although we get a couple brief moments where I could see it, only for Basara to be an asshole all over again. Someone admitted to me a real enjoyment of Basara and Gamlin as a ship, and they aren't a BL loser like me, so that gave me pause and reason to look at things from that angle since I hadn't really considered it at all. Gamlin's interest in Mylene remains unsettling given age difference and the fact that he dresses like a forty-something and acts like a thirty-something, although he gets a bit moe as time goes on, not least of all because he starts being a bit deredere toward Basara.
Episode twenty-nine is awful, though. People keep thinking Mylene is her father's much-younger girlfriend (she's fourteen, yuck!), Docker reveals himself as a budding date rapist, Mylene is told that she can't do some things because then it'd be her fault if worrying about her made her estranged parents' relationship even worse, and Mylene attempts to trick her parents into spending time together even though neither has ever displayed any dismay or upset about the status of their relationship to anyone. Its just a really terrible ball of awful.