Transwarp Drive

[Commie] Space Dandy - 01v0 [B000B135].mkv_snapshot_05.24_[2014.01.05_18.36.33]

Welcome back to a new season of crazy cartoons, after a several-week hiatus for the holidays, I spent most of the time enamored with Steam gaming and OH GOD STARBOUND WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE and such. Oh, and Bioshock Infinite. But now it’s back to animated space, tits, mahjong tiles, and whatever else fit for consumption, and from the beginning of the pile, it’s looking to be interesting.

 

 

Ant. Aardvark. Annapolis. A-Team. Help me out here.

Ant. Aardvark. Annapolis. A-Team. Help me out here.

Space Dandy
“Man, if I were of the drug persuasion, Space Dandy would just fuck me sideways with a fork.” –@tldranimu
I can already feel those who haven’t seen enough science fiction and space-theme shows will automatically reach for something like Cowboy Bebop or Captain Harlock, because it involves space, an eccentric dude, and some other shit. I’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who lately, so when it comes to eccentric dudes doing crazy shit in space and time, not much else can really compete in that arena. But damn if Space Dandy isn’t exactly my flavor of ice cream in space-themed shows. I mean, Space Hooters, how can you possibly go wrong with this?

But the crazy warp drive and action transitions in the final third of the episode are sort of reminiscent of some of the kind of shit you’d watch on Adult Swim while baked off your ass, and then it becomes pretty clear why this is getting a English dub on Toonami at the same time as the Japanese broadcast. I really sort of thought anime fans were past the need for bad localization and dubs by now, we’re had well over ten years and the failure of a dozen US companies for folks to realize that no fan worth their salt in this trade would bother with dubs. Hell, probably the only reason Funimation is still afloat is because they’re in bed with Crunchyroll, because they jumped into subbing and digital distro quickly to cover their asses from falling physical sales. Another day though perhaps.

All things considered, Space Dandy will serve as a good compliment to the second-half of Kill la Kill. It’s like they were almost made for each other.

First Rating: 7
Sub Group: Commie/Horrible

Cause that would have been awkward if it continued.

Cause that would have been awkward if it continued.

Tonari no Seki-kun
“The story of my second through sixth grades.”
The manga was something that I enjoyed reading in short bursts, but it literally does not change, it’s just short after short of whatever he is playing with next. So if you’re expecting to find out any real details about Seki or Rumi, you’re gonna have a bad time. What you will get is short episodes of over-the-top dramatizations of some of the craziest shit someone could build out of various objects, all while Rumi objects, interferes, and concedes defeat to Grand Master Seki and his creations of infinite glory. It’s Dexter’s Laboratory without any characterization, story, or Dial M for Monkey. Which might make that slightly disappointing.

First Rating: 7
Sub Group: Horrible

Wahaha.

Wahaha.

Saki Zenkoku-hen
“Oh good, two dozen more girls’ names I won’t remember. Fucking why?” –@tldranimu
Ah, Saki. If you can believe it, the first season of this franchise started in Spring 2009, about five months before I started this blog. So under five years later, we finally get to the Nationals, where the first season left off, and sent us into the Nodoka and Teru backstory with Achiga-hen. Once again, you have about three dozen more girls names to remember by the time Saimoe 2014 rolls around, when they might become relevant again, unless Madoka is in again this year. So once again the show is back on Saki and her girls, and Nodoka’s girls, can’t forget them, right? But all of the worlds are colliding, and of course we’re introduced to new schools coming into the finals. Are you ready for some mahjong? Good. Because… uh… yes.

First Rating: 7
Sub Group: Horrible

Well, as long as you don't slip off the runway...

Well, as long as you don’t slip off the runway…

Seitokai Yakuindomo S2
“Hata… Hata-razzi~”
Too soon?

Seitokai Yakuindomo is pretty much sex jokes, Hata’s camera, and Suzu’s head. For most people, it’s probably not anything worth going over, but frankly I found it pretty humorous, and I like having a couple of no-nonsense shows on my docket every season to keep things moving along. Of course, the message is never lost in shows like this, highlighting how desperate Japan is to solve their low birth rate problems:

[HorribleSubs] Seitokai Yakuindomo S2 - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.42_[2014.01.05_20.21.47]

It’s interesting, because here in the US, we can’t stop people from having babies, especially single teens. The response in our media and art these days is for girls to use birth control and go to college. For Japan, it’s like they’re advocating the opposite, but they’re preaching to a male population that’d rather wank off to anime girls in their room than meet a real one. Couple this with the fact they don’t want to open their borders freely to immigration, and it’s no wonder we see a lot of subliminal or direct messages like this in anime. Especially since SYD is chalk-full of sexual references. Even if they’re used as jokes, you know they’re trying to do anything just to light a fire under these people’s biological clocks. It’s amazing.

But really though, I enjoy SYD, even if it isn’t top dog in a sea of LOLSORANDOM anime.

First Rating: 7
Sub Group: Horrible

You got your work cut out for you with doggy-style, brah!

You got your work cut out for you with doggy-style, brah!

Witchcraft Works
“Your princess is in another castle.”
I didn’t list this show on my docket, mainly because I was on the fence about if I should give a shit or not. I’ve read some of the manga, but I found it to be generally bland and not really anything that hasn’t been done before in Shana, Railgun, or any number of other JC STAFF shows. I half expected them to cast Kugimiya Rie and Hino Satoshi just to continue the trend, but alas, they went with Seto Asami (Chihayafuru, Kakumeiki Valvrave, Rinne no Lagrange) and Kobayashi Yuusuke, a rookie with his first role. Oddly enough, Asami also plays Kurumi in Mahou Sensou, also airing this season, so she is double-fisting for JC STAFF and Madhouse on the magical shows this season.

As you can expect, JC STAFF does a decent job of capturing the visuals in the animation as close to the manga source, but nothing over-the-top or worthy of special praise. The action effects are a decent touch, but when everything just explodes or catches fire, well, they’ve had seasons of Railgun to perfect that on. But when I mention a bland story, it’s pretty bland. Without spoiling it for those who might want to be surprised, it’s a show about witches fighting other witches in a town full of witches, with Honoka being towed around by Ayaka as some kind of power source for her FLAME ON abilities. But after thirty or whatever chapters of the manga, it’s pretty much just mid-boss-style battles between Ayaka and anything else, ending usually in some OP bullshit or technicality. If you’re expecting Honoka to pull out some wizardry and be a FAMILY MAN, you’ll also be disappointed, he is Yuji-caliber useless, and we’re talking Shana S1 and S2 Yuji here.

Curiosity may lead me to continue watching, just to see if JC STAFF decides to go off script, especially since I am not sure how much of the manga they sourced, but I don’t expect too much here. My expectations are sticking to Honoka’s height and not Ayaka’s. That is still a tall order.

First Rating: 6
Sub Group: FFF

[HorribleSubs] Seitokai Yakuindomo S2 - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.04_[2014.01.05_20.16.46]

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