The final weeks of the season, and since I had enough vacation left, I have the next nine days to finish up on this season, do Christmas, play some vidya, and try not to spend money I don’t have on the Steam sale. That said, I finished up Amagi Brilliant Park and Denki Gai no Honya-san to throw out now. Surprisingly, this is the first KyoAni show I am not going to outright mock since K-ON!. So there’s that.
As a bonus, I’ll also throw in a halfway look at Log Horizon, mostly for post filler. Rejoice. Or something.
Amagi Brilliant Park
“The ride sometimes ends.”
It’s become customary for me to mock KyoAni shows when they air, because they are the king of bad LN adaptations, always preferring to go for something soulless and vapid when you’re given near-unlimited freedom to re-construct words. My wife is big on reading real books, and has described, in great detail, why television adaptations always fail to meet the expectations of book readers. Of course, this was about True Blood, so your results may vary.
After Chuunibyou and Kyoukai, I came into this thinking that I was going to be in for a disappointment. Certainly, the first quarter of the show didn’t really help too much, given the usual “main character who doesn’t care” angle. It felt a lot like working at my last job, where the company was so far fucked, but everyone tried, until they gave up and laid most of us off. But despite weak characters and a weak setting, the show seemed to figure out how to steadily progress upwards into something half-enjoyable. Comedy-wise, it was passable, but only because it managed to fire off some decent slapstick humor and classic gags like falling pans. Sento shooting people did amuse me far often than not. But the focus was always on Kanie and his supposed badass management skills, which really, were less badass and more what GM has been trying to do since 2008, save for just giving away their cars for free. If he really wanted to badass it, he’d pull a GABEN and just introduce hats. Also cards. Don’t forget about gems.
In the end, Amagi ended up being the best thing KyoAni has made in a number of years, but not because it’s the best, but because it avoided trying way too hard to be the best. It held a moderate line within its premise, and actually had some interesting characters, even if most of them were magical space fairies or whatever. Take that however you will, but it’s still not SAVING ANIME.
Title: Amagi Brilliant Park
Sub Group I Watched: Vivid
Rating (1-10): 7
“Party till you puke”
If there is one show I’ll miss this season, Denki-Gai is certainly it. It was a show that never overstayed its welcome, and reminded me how good tongue-in-cheek comedies about being a nerd can be. It had a quirky animation style, but it rather grew on me, and fed right back in to the show’s overall comedic effect. Of course, the show didn’t step outside of its comfort zone many times, but it seemed to be more about each character than the overall concept, considering it’s just a comic shop. It fits right alongside Working! and Servant X Service for me, because nothing can beat Lucy for me yet in that arena.
Title: Denki Gai no Honya-san
Sub Group I Watched: Horrible, Crunchyroll
Rating (1-10): 7
“Only Gold Stream members get to see the final raid fight.”
The first half of Log Horizon felt sort of anti-climatic when you consider much of the first season’s struggles. Shiroe’s schemes always seem like Steven Moffat puzzles from Doctor Who, convoluted and unnecessary when you figure it out in the end. The Akihabara Raid was actually much more interesting than the Silver Sword raid, but it’s almost as if they had to sort of showcase how raids work in the “new world” where they didn’t focus much on them before. But now that it’s wrapped up, focus seems to be shifting back to who we saw at the end of season one, who all appear to be part of Plant Hwayden. My memory is fuzzy, but it seems like some or all of Tea Party might be there? I am assuming she plays some part in the final half of the season.
Actually, I sort of saw this coming, maybe not with Tetora, but certainly with someone. Almost every MMO series shines light on the fact that you can play the reverse-gender of who you are. After all, I played a female blood elf rogue in WoW up to the level cap, quitting before WotLK came out. As someone once put it, “It’s the socially acceptable way for men to play dollhouse.” Argue with that as you may, I just didn’t like male designs in that game on human/elf models. Looked too BEEFCAKE.
Anyway, second-half of Log Horizon will hopefully pick up now that everyone is back together. Barring that, more Akatsuki love. Always a good decision.
Going to try to power through Argevollen to finish that up for review, and I believe a couple shows will finish before Christmas. My Christmas Eve and Day are pretty much sold to family stuff. I am also constructing this year’s 2014 Year in Review post. You can see the WIP prospective list here. I imagine some of you will say why isn’t X or Y series on the list, or tell me I have shit taste, but I only bother with what I’ve personally seen, so it is not the be-all to end-all AOTY you’ll see. I’m sure a more popular blogger, ANN, or /r/anime will be better for you in that regard. I just do my own thing because it’s my blog and fuck you. 🙂