Well this week marks the end of a handful of shows as the season starts to draw to a close, and we go without the cartoons for a couple weeks for the holiday and new year. Tonight, we take a look at Kyoukai no Kanata, Outbreak Company, and Yuushibu. Even with as lackluster as this season was, they ended on fairly decent notes, amidst some criticism. Let’s do it to it.
“Some books are better left to the imagination.”
I stuck with this until the end, and one of those reasons was because I have a penchant for pain. I know LN adaptations are always pretty bad, because you’d think after at least fifty years or more of the world adapting text into pictures that we’d do a good job of it, but ham-fisted stories are still ham-fisted visuals.
The problem I have with this show, is that I actually like the basic premise, and the universe that was constructed. It might be a little cliche, shades running around, people killing them and selling the cores for cash. It has the building blocks of a Pokemon-style collect’em’all while attempting to be Zynga-style highbrow about it. The problem is, when they dropped in characters loosely modeled after all of their other shows, it just turns into “yet another KYOANI show” with shallow characters, little growth, and plot development that moves about as fast as my dachshund does in the morning waking up. Akihito is pretty much Hyouka’s Fukube Satoshi combined with Chu2Koi’s Togashi Yuuta to create a functionally useless character with an important piece of plot armor and plot relevance. In fact, his relationship with Kuriyama was pretty much that of stalker and stalked until she had to deal with his shade side, and then all the sudden “OHNOES HE IS NOT NORMAL LIKE MEEEEE” /cues the Linkin Park
There is nothing worse than a supernatural show where the main supernatural characters are basically teenage kids trying to establish their unwarranted self-importance in a world where others don’t care about their special snowflake status. Only Izumi seemed to be the show’s even-keel, and even then, she cracked under the show’s court jester, Yayoi, at the end. Frankly, I didn’t even understand the significance of Akihito’s “shade beyond the boundary” at all. So he wasn’t immortal, just really fast healing? Kuriyama separated and it ate some shit when whatshisname did something? He somehow got to her and they beat up some monsters. Everyone wins. Kuriyama dies. But wait, she is back again! What?
Look, if you can’t commit to twenty-six episodes to tell a proper story, that’s fine, but if you’re going to try to do it in thirteen, spend less episodes doing typical cutesy KyoAni bullshit. Unless you’re going to do typical cutesy KyoAni bullshit. That’s why we don’t take you seriously for semi-serious shows, because you can’t be a SHAFT, Bones, Gainax, or JC STAFF. Speaking of Gainax, Mahoromatic is just one example of Gainax’s early ability to step outside of its zone and make something that worked. They’ll always come back to Eva, or crazy shit like PSG to YOU ARE SHOCK though. You never abandon your bread-and-butter.
Sorry kids, this isn’t the show that SAVES ANIME this time. But it tried. I guess I’ll give it that.
Title: Kyoukai no Kanata
Sub Group I Watched: UTW
Rating (1-10): 7
“What, you don’t remember the NDA we made you sign?”
Honestly, I thought Outbreak Company was a pretty good show. It suffered from slow episodes in the middle that could have been used for the events of the final two and made it more interesting, but its overall concept and premise was at least slightly-more interesting than Kyokai no Kanata. But~
I’m afraid the TWIST at the end was just so ham-fisted and poor. I’m not sure if this was a tongue-in-cheek jab at Japan’s influence in America and other countries with its anime and manga, considering how America dropped two bombs on them during the war after they sank our ships at Pearl Harbor. Certainly using cultural exchange is quite a formidable weapon when dealing with other cultures and countries, but the fact it was pretty much sprung on us in the second-to-last episode without any real buildup or foreshadowing (unless I missed/skipped it in earlier episodes) almost suggests to me they wanted to close up with something interesting. I would have been okay with a boring, generic open-ended ending where they just did the same shit they’ve done all show.
But then I was just watching for Army Girl, DAT ASS Dog-Girl, and Elf Girl. There was a plot?
Title: Outbreak Company
Sub Group I Watched: Anime-Koi
Rating (1-10): 7
“You can’t be a demon until you earn vacation time.”
If Hataraku Maou-sama! dealt with the demon lord working minimum-wage, trying to turn the hero over from being against him to being friends with him, Yuushibu goes the opposite, the hero works for minimum-wage in a magic shop while trying to turn the demon lord’s daughter into a dependable worker. It’s the closest to an anime Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale will get probably ever, when you consider Sarah August’s CAPITALISM, HO attitude throughout the show.
Honestly, it was fantastic, for all the same reasons I liked Maou-sama. The setting was great, the characters were great, the story was okay. It balanced a thin plot on mostly slice-of-life and comedy. Its pacing was about the same as Outbreak was, including shoving the rise and fall of Demon Fino in the final episodes, but you got the build-up and foreshadow for it in the earlier episodes, in-between all of the fun. So you knew what was going to happen, really, though Sarah’s introduction in the end might have been the twist no one might’ve known. But I was never bored watching an episode, it was fun to watch.
Plus “Captain Picard” and his Enterprise, flipping skirts and hitting warp seven, I mean, you can’t explain that. We’ll do it live!
Title: Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita
Sub Group I Watched: Horrible
Rating (1-10): 8
So there are the first three reviews. More tomorrow for some additional shows ending this week. Then, I may cover a couple other shows from this season I didn’t get to during the inter-season lull. Log Horizon might be one. Stay tuned.