The Power of Friendship
Four more shows ending to write about today, followed by three more soon, being Sasami-san, Oreshura, and Minami-ke. Little Busters, I’m not sure if it ends at 25 or 26. Not that it matters, I wasn’t that thrilled with it anyway. But let’s get these out of the way first.
Back at the start of Vividred Operation I remarked about how this show would fare against Strike Witches, Takamura Kazuhiro’s other series he designed characters for. The bar set was sort of high in my mind, because I am a huge Witches fan, I mean really, do you not see the Sanya shit all over my pages? Or how about the Lynette and Sanya figures on my desk? But I am realistic. For Vividred to really shine for me, it’d have to pretty much be Witches, and that would just make it be Witches. It was billed as an original series, so no Witches or Sky Girls for me.
Instead, Vividred pretty much played out like Power Rangers. Rita Repulsa is the crow, Akane, Aoi, Himawari, and Wakaba get four of the five colors, and Rei is the Green Ranger. Dr. Isshiki is Zordon, Akane’s sister is Alpha. You see where this is going? Every week was pretty much the “monster-of-the-week” until we all find out Tommy is from another world and Rita is some kinda trans-dimensional being who brought Tommy into this one to destroy the Manefestor Engine so Tommy could get his world back. Unfortunately the Rangers learned how to combine with Red to unleash new powers against the monsters and drive them back, but before the Rangers and Tommy could be friends, Rita absorbs Tommy, becomes The End Boss, and would have won, had it not been for those pesky rangers. Red and Green combine to form the DragonZord and fuck Rita up, saving the day. Angel Grove is safe once again.
Look, Takamura, I know you can do better than this. Don’t get me wrong, I liked VividButts, and if there were thirteen more episodes to watch, I would. But for an original anime, you put no original thought into the plot or characters. It all came down to the “Nanoha-style” friendship-is-magic ending, right down to the goddamn scarf and ending scene. I expected more.
Title: Vividred Operation
Sub Group I Watched: Commie
Rating (1-10): 8
Favorite Character: Himawari Shinomiya
Least Favorite Character(s): Aoi Futaba
Favorite GATTAI: VividYellow (Akane + Himawari)
But Wakaba was Green? Following PR, I would have made her yellow. She was a Trini.
Second Season? Given the Nanoha ending, I’m sure they have their eyes on more of this. More of this might be good depending on what they do with it. If it’s going to be more of the same, forget it. Make more Strike Witches. I’d rather see more delicious Sanya.
If I had to pick the best show this season, it would be Kotoura-san. AOTY? Maybe not, depends on what else comes out this year. That said, my only disappointment around Kotoura-san was that with such a powerful, moving opening episode, they really just kinda fell flat in the middle before somewhat salvaging the end. Everyone always figures having mind-reading powers, or any power, is a godsend and blessing, and everyone will love you for it, but improperly used, it leads to everything we saw in the first episodes of Kotoura-san. Her parents divorced, her friends stayed away, her life fell apart around her, until she met a perverted boy, tits, glasses, and MORI. She suddenly learned to communicate again, but it wasn’t an instant process. AIC really went for the feels department here, but wanted to keep the show light everywhere else to avoid dragging it down too hard. The whole arc with Mifune and her obsession in clearing her mother’s name though, I could have done without it, honestly. They could have spent those final episodes showing more of her reconciliation with her mother and them trying to right the many years of wrong. It would have made for a much better ending. Still, for what it’s worth, it was a good show, and I’d watch more if it came out.
Sub Group I Watched: Horrible
Rating (1-10): 8
Favorite Character: Haruka Kotoura
Least Favorite Character(s): Kumiko Kotoura
SHIPPING: Kotoura + Moritani. Aww yeah maximum MORI.
Moritani: Her villain-turn-friend role still confuses me, it’s obvious she still likes Manabe, but her lesbian-crush on Kotoura is just… forced? *shrugs*
Second Season? If they make more of this, I’m sure we’ll end up with another person with similar or different psychic abilities, and those will be used for either more degradation of Kotoura’s mental state, or to go off on a wacky adventure. Really though, this one season is fine on it’s own.
I thought about leaving the review as just that, but I have to clarify it. Tamako Market is essentially K-ON! Season 2.5. It could easily be fit into canon by way of saying Tamako and Co. were cousins/friends/sisters/brothers/fourth-aunts of whatever K-ON! character you wish. Had that been the case, I might’ve been able to pass this off as part of the K-ON! experience, in which you watch it, you smile a little, and then you go do something else. Instead, we got twelve episodes of this retrospection of living in a shopping arcade, making mochi all day, while twirling baton and interacting with all of the market shop owners and school friends. It’s the “Life in a Bubble” concept of storytelling, where the character grew up among a small selection of people and only knows that world. Then someone comes along and suggests they leave that world, but it’s impossible for them because it’s the only world they know.
Now, if it were me, I would have removed The Prince, Choi, and everything that revolved around that whole nonsense out. Dela can stay, and can even remain talking, because it was pretty obvious that the show barely cared to really dive into the Prince/Princess thing, and Choi’s entrance, meant to jump-start that arc, just gave way to Dela 2. I knew this show would not go anywhere previous KyoAni shows have gone, but I was hoping it would at least be more enjoyable to watch in the SoL department. It was pretty bland. Not terrible. Just bland.
Listen, KyoAni, it’s time you faced reality. These sorts of shows are no longer going to print you money. Every rose has its thorns. I’m not saying SoL and “moenime” is necessarily bad, but it makes no sense to introduce all these high-level concepts to a show you have no intention of elevating to that level. It’s like writing about a large-scale space battle going on above Earth, but spending all twelve episodes talking about three cats inside this one house. Just make no-frills CGDGT anime like K-ON! and those of us who enjoy a slower-paced show with cute things will watch. That’s all.
Title: Tamako Market
Sub Group I Watched: Commie
Rating (1-10): 7
Favorite Character: Anko “An” Kitashirakawa
Least Favorite Character(s): Mochizou “Mocchi” Ooji
Why not Saori? I do like girls in glasses, but An’s personality in the show was just adorable.
Dela: The whole using Dela to move all the other characters along always bothered me, I felt the show should have been driven by Tamako, but they purposefully made her take a back-seat to Dela’s shenanigans all to often.
Second Season? I hope not. KyoAni should stick to K-ON!
I loved the first season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. I loved the premise, the characters, even the silly plot points, but the second season just did not gel with me the same way. I did like it, especially towards the end, but the way they had Yozora drama-tan in the end and shoehorn an opening for a third season was just the worst. Even worse still, was the whole engagement to Sena thing, Rika’s jealousy, and the whole “let’s make him out to be the oblivious harem leader” thing. It just reeks of lazy writing. But I have not read the novels, so maybe I am basing this off of what I saw. I did love Rika’s constant hair and style changes though. But she’ll always be mai waifu in glasses. In the end, I still love this show, but man it infuriates me sometimes.
Title: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Sub Group I Watched: Commie, Deadfish
Rating (1-10): 7
Favorite Character: Rika Shiguma
Least Favorite Character(s): Yukimura Kusunoki
SHIPPING: All the girls
Kodaka’s Folly: I don’t want to Mary-Sue this, but I’ve been in Kodaka’s position before. I was one of two guys in a group that was mostly girls, and I had to really walk a tightrope to be friends with them without insinuating I like any one person. The mistake I made was dating one of them, and when it ended, the entire group fell with it. This is one reason why I believe I like harem stories in anime/manga, because had I known then what I known now, I’d have stayed friendzoned with all of them forever and enjoyed being that guy.
Third Season? Why not?
That’s all I have for now, more winter reviews forthcoming. Also will try to get off my lazy ass and finish the Tenchi Universe review, and the long-overdue Gundam SEED reviews, especially as SEED Destiny HD is airing.
It’s such a nice day out though. I really should go outside.