Posts Tagged ‘anime fail’

Dropping my shorts

February 19, 2016

I have nothing against short-form anime, as such — defining short-form as say 10min or less in duration, including OP and ED. One doesn’t expect much depth, or things like character development. They are easy to watch, because they don’t take much time, so you don’t feel your life is slipping away. The interesting thing about the format is that they are extremely hard to get right. Robert Heinlein once said that the hardest story he ever wrote was for use as advertising copy in a technical magazine, and it had to fit in one page-long 2″ column. Good ones are very very good — Wakakozake, and Aiura, and … nothing else…come to mind. Bad ones range from meh to terrible. I just dropped two of them:

Meh

Sekko Boys. A one-joke anime that ran out of steam.

Sekko Boys. A one-joke anime that ran out of steam.

Terrible

J.K. Meshi. 3/4 terrible jokes. 1/4 terrible food.

J.K. Meshi. 3/4 terrible jokes.
1/4 terrible food.

TL;DR — Anime I never finished

April 15, 2013

Attack on Titan, 進撃の巨人, which is literally something like Attack’s Giants (where 進撃 is a military advance, の is a possessive, and 巨人 is giant, like the Tokyo Giants), is the story of a boy who lives in a medieval walled city, which protects the last of humanity from the giants who live outside the walls.

Our Story So Far: Young Eren is your typical idealistic overexcitable early teen, who lectures the city guard to be more alert (yes, it’s been a hundred years since the last attack, but you never know), yells at bullies who don’t want anyone to leave the walls, and says he wants to be part of the Survey Corps. The SC mission is to learn more about the giants and their world. They do this, from what we are shown, by going out and attacking the first giant they find. This particular giant is strolling along, head down, oblivious to the world, looking like he’s worried about his mortgage. The SC executes their cunning plan by splitting into five groups, including a decoy group and a air attack group, plus three unspecified others (battle group, striking group, covering group?) and converging on this guy.

As a historical aside, this was a typical failing of the Japanese Navy in WWII. They’d come up with these complex plans requiring close coordination of five or six battle groups, and invariably get their ass handed to them.

The Survey Corps gets their ass handed to them. Their latest ‘survey’ comes back all bandaged up and minus several of their members, who are also minus several of their members. Nothing daunted, Young Eren still wants to be in the Corps, presumably because of the chance for a quick promotion.

Too loudy (as one of my Japanese students called this type of anime), too shouty, too much fangs-out-and-brains-in-the-helmet-bag. Young Eren has two settings — sullen and enraged. The Survey Corps has been working their side of the problem for a hundred years, and still can’t get it right. On the plus side, the artwork reminds me of Spice and Wolf, and the mechanized spiderman web-spinners looks like a fun way to do airborne, as long as you have a lot of trees around and don’t get tangled up.

TL;DR — Anime I never finished

April 14, 2013

Devil Survivor 2, The Animation. Given a name with that many modifiers, you know it’s a long way from home. It’s an Evangelion knockoff, based on a sequel to a game with magical apps instead of mechs.

Our Story So Far: Earth is being attacked by demons. Secret underground government organization recruits teens to help fight them. Three teens — hero boy, clueless sidekick boy, passive girl — have downloaded other-demon summoning-apps to their smartphones (at least the Japanese are now moving away from blade phones). When summoned, the other-demons fight the demons. Secret underground government organization won’t use their secret underground government organization transport system to evacuate Tokyo after the demons start destroying things and eating people, because it might cause panic.

I get the same vibes from this that I got from Blast of Tempest, which many people liked. I don’t really care about the characters. They haven’t done anything so far to make be interested in their future, and when they are doing things, they aren’t doing anything that surprises me. Not that I can predict their actions, but that once something happens, I say ‘Oh, yeah, that’. If you liked Blast of Tempest you might like this. If you liked Evangelion, you might not.

TL;DR — Anime I Never Finished

December 19, 2012

This time it’s Eureka Seven (Kōkyōshihen Eureka Sebun, where the first word means symphonic, don’t ask me why). It’s a shounen mecha anime that ran to 40 episodes. I dropped it after three. Twenty-four hundred people rated it 5 out of 5, and only 30 rated it as a 1, so I’m in the minority. It’s just as well that I got out before I had a lot of time invested. I had gotten into the program late, and it turns out that Crunchyroll also dropped it at the end of its run, probably due to licensing requirements.

The “high concept” description might be Evangelion rebellion with mechs on flying surfboards, set on a decayed future Earth. Protagonist is a kid who likes to fly surfboards, has special skills for making mechs work, and is the son of a deceased rebel leader. Gets caught up in the whole fight against an oppressive government thing.

I wasn’t into surfing even back in the Beach Boys era when the music was better, and I have already seen enough Evangelion mechs to last a good while. I won’t miss E7.

TL;DR — Anime I Never Finished

November 30, 2012

For most of my life, when I’ve picked up a book, I finished it, no matter how bad it was. In recent years I’ve gotten less patient with bad writing, and am more willing to abandon a bad book early on. The same holds true for anime. There’s some that are just boring, or bad. I’ll be reporting on some of them from time to time.

We start with Blast of Tempest (Zetsuen no Tenpesuto)
Two factions of a magical clan are fighting in modern-day Japan, each one trying to awaken their respective trees — the Tree of Genesis and the Tree of Exodus — and their battles end up turning most animal life in the area into metallic lawn ornaments. Two friends are allied with one of the factions because they believe the faction can give them information about who killed their sister/girlfriend.

I dropped it after six episodes. It just couldn’t hold my interest. The episodes were scattered, the plot and motivations were opaque, and the characters uninteresting. Mark Twain once wrote a list of the rules of literary art. Number 10 was:

That the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the “Blast of Tempest” tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.

He actually said Deerslayer, but that broke the continuity. The same holds true for Blast of Tempest. They could bring in the Tree of Leviticus and I don’t think it would help.