Final Impressions of the Spring 2014 Anime Season, Part 3 of 4

[Commie] Kenzen Robo Daimidaler - 01v2 [87F01112].mkv_snapshot_09.31_[2014.05.17_23.00.16]

It used to be that once an anime series sunk below a certain level of quality I’d automatically drop it – I didn’t have time for series like that. Slowly, though, my policy drifted to one where an anime had to do something seriously wrong and/or convince me that it had already shown me all it was capable of and there was little point in continuing before I drop it. This shift is evident in the anime series I cover today; one finished near the very bottom yet I finished watching it and others that finished near the middle were dropped hard. Read on to see which anime is which.

A Victim of Circumstances

 

[FFF] Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin - 01 [B4537536].mkv_snapshot_06.28_[2014.05.19_02.46.09](22) – Nanana’s Buried Treasure

Series Rating – 3/12 D

Nanana’s Buried Treasure had problems and I think these problems primarily stemmed from rushing this anime to completion before it was done and no amount of work done at the end could cover-up this problem. The people who worked on Kill la Kill have said from start to finish they spent 4-5 years making Kill la Kill and the same length of time to work on their prior work Gurren Lagann. For Nanana’s Buried Treasure, it was painfully obvious that the creative process took significantly less time, almost like it was a slapped together first draft that was never revised. As I said earlier for another anime, the concept was a good one and there definitely is a good anime hiding among the setting, characters, and plot points of Nanana’s – we just didn’t get that anime. (I wonder how many parallel universes did get a better version of this anime. 🙂 ) I feel that maybe I should have filed this under moderate disappointments because I am disappointed that an anime about an island full of magically treasure waiting to be found wasn’t better; it could have been something similar to an animated Indiana Jones series.

[Mezashite] Gokukoku no Brynhildr - 01 [BF66BD62].mkv_snapshot_14.50_[2014.05.18_02.01.14](7) – Brynhildr in the Darkness

Series Rating – 8/12 B+

Each of the anime in this section had its rating affected due to some sort of reason. In the case of Brynhildr in the Darkness it suffered from having to compress the source material to an unhealthy degree so the anime could reach a good ending point (an interim ending, true, but a satisfying one for the anime). I’m glad it decided to push through and give the anime a real ending – so many anime series end with non-endings – that I’m willing to partially overlook the problems of compressing the story caused the anime. Beyond this issue, what gave viewers the most problems was the whipsaw narrative. One moment Brynhildr was generic harem comedy and the next it’s melting bodies and government conspiracies. I could understand the trouble this caused some and won’t dispute their low grades for this; however, I found myself able to take these narrative whiplashes in stride and even liked it. I think I’m going to give the original creator’s Elfen Lied a shot now.

[Vivid] Mushishi Zoku Shou - 01 [8902B060].mkv_snapshot_08.10_[2014.05.07_03.52.43](6) – Mushishi Zoku Shou

Series Rating – 9/12 A-

The circumstance that’s limiting the rating for Mushishi Zoku Shou is that I just don’t really like this anime. Nearly every facet of this anime screams out how utterly perfect it is for my taste in anime and yet watching it leaves me cold and uninterested. I think the reason is because the main character is a plot device and not an actual character and, also, most stories follow a set pattern over and over again. I’m finally watching Mononoke, a very similar series, and that anime is a vastly better show. I recognize the quality of the series, though, and have tried to limit how much influence my personal feeling have on it’s score.

The Fallen

[Commie] Kenzen Robo Daimidaler - 01v2 [87F01112].mkv_snapshot_18.23_[2014.05.17_23.01.55](23) – Kenzen Robo Daimidaler

Episodes Watched – 5/13

Final Score – 2/12 F

I’m not even sure now why I decided to give this series a chance. I just knew I would drop it because this deeply fan-servicey mecha series was going to rely on its fan-service over actual content to carry itself. Which – surprise, surprise! – is exactly what happened. I’m curious if I could send this back in time to when I was the target audience of a series like Kenzen Robo Daimidaler, a young hormonally driven teenager, how would my opinion of this series change. I’d like to think my opinion would be the same but I have a sneaky feeling it would be a lot more positive, at least in secret; outwardly, I’d try to appear mature and dismiss it as childish.

[Kaitou]_Akuma_no_Riddle_-_01v2_[720p][10bit][C309A7BA].mkv_snapshot_18.44_[2014.05.18_02.33.36](21) – Akuma no Riddle

Episodes Watched – 4/12

Final Score – 3/12 D

Add this blog to the others that point out that it’s very hard to make lesbian assassins boring and yet Akuma no Riddle manages to pull it off. The ugly-from-incompetence character designs and bland animation did little to help its case either. Which means, it failed in the two ways this series could have succeeded. The first way was to go the route of solid character development of interesting characters and the other was to use loads of eye candy and well animated action. It did neither and so I could safely consign this to my dropped pile once I’d replaced in on my MAL Fantasy Anime League team 🙂 .

[Commie] Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou - 01 [49804E06].mkv_snapshot_17.45_[2014.05.16_02.30.14](16) – Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou

Episodes Watched – 3/12

Final Score – 5/12 C+

I’ve started to rack up a fair amount of anime TV series watched (560+) and I’ve had the chance to watch multiple examples of many types of anime series. Judging a series against these similar variations offers a quick and handy method to decide if a series is worth watching. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou fell into one of these categories and it quickly became apparent that I’ve watched this type of anime before but better – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojou being a recent example. Next, I looked to see if this anime offered a unique aspect to make watching this variation worth the time and I couldn’t find it. Therefore, I concluded it was safe to drop and did so. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou wasn’t a horribly bad series – it was a rather average one, in fact – and really only needed a better cast of characters to have been made watchable.

[Vivid-Taku] Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka - 01 [3E3FDE4D].mkv_snapshot_04.46_[2014.05.19_02.26.36](15) – Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka?

Episodes Watched – 5/12

Final Score – 5/12 C+

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka? suffered in much the same way that Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou did; namely, I’ve seen better similar series and I saw no reason to continue watching. Or rather, I wanted to keep watching this series if for no other reason then to help counterbalance all the serious and take-themselves-too-serious anime series that aired this season; however, I was turned off by how this anime seemed to being phoning in it’s effort. That is to say, there weren’t enough authentic cute girls doing cute things parts to justify watching this anime further, instead, a better recent example would be the Tamayura franchise.

Part 1 – Shaft not being Shaft, Light Novels are the New Bane of Anime

Part 2 – Mild Disappointments, Moderate Disappointments

Part 3 – A Victim of Circumstances, The Fallen <you are here>

Part 4 – Mari Okada Swings and Misses, The Best

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