Sometimes there are tasks so horrific and horrible than only an expert who has been to hell and back can tackle them. And sometimes a show is based on an already established property so we don’t review it in the main season preview. That task is less frightening. So I the great detective Hisui shall attempt to look at some shows solo.
We have a clear winner for the worst show of the season. Every season there are bad shows. There are also good shows I don’t like. Then there is always one show that is hands down many levels worse than anything else that came out that season. Queen’s Blade is that show. Based on series of visual combat books the anime itself is essentially really soft core porn. Theoretically it is about a silly girl named Reina (who clearly has hidden powers) running away from home to fight in the Queen’s Blade tournament which determines who will be the next Queen of the Land. The main character spends 85% of her screen time topless and pisses herself twice during the episode. Everyone that has any lines is a woman wearing next to nothing shot at the most exploitative camera angle possible. The villain of the episode is a demon who has a bra made of her own hair in the shape of hands. Said hair hands squeeze acidic breast milk at her enemies. The main girl’s sister has a creepy lesbian crush on her because you always have to throw in some yuri. I’m not going to waste my breath saying don’t watch it because if your the type of person who must see bad shows you have already seen this or are opening up another window to download this show. If nothing else they really draw the nipples with loving detail whenever they can. That is something, right?
I was very worried that the change in studios would turn Hayate no Gotoku! into a show I would utterly despise. While I like the first series better overall, I have been pleased with the new season of Hayate. They decided for some reason to go back and tap an important storyline that the first series skipped. The odd thing is, they reset the time back to when that event took place in the manga. And that just shows me what a horrible Hayate nerd I am. The first episode gives a quick recap of the premise then jumps right to a school wide sports event. There is a recently reinstated marathon with a huge cash prize. Hayate decides to accept a challenge to train Nagi into being able to win the contest or have to quit his job. They cut a bunch of jokes to fit the whole race arc into one episode but they kept the Maid Max Heart scene albeit in a modified form. My two major complaints are that I liked the character designs and the pace of the humor better in the first season. Still it is a decently faithful adaptation. They have yet to turn Nagi into a tsundere monster or Hayate into a side character in his own series. So as long as they keep this up I will be happy to get more Hayate. I am glad to see it streaming in the U.S., this makes me doubly happy.
Lightning lesbian Mahjong madness! If I were a worse (better?) anime reviewer I would just leave the review of Saki with that one line. Hey, it has alliteration and is catchy. To plunge into the actual story, one day Saki Miyanaga is dragged along by her friend to a meeting of his Mahjong club despite her protests. She plays a few rounds against the regular members including the star, Nodoka Haramura. Saki does well enough not to lose but never good enough to win. The club president realizes that Saki had played three perfect games in a row to make sure she lost no points nor gain any which is harder than winning. This realization makes Nadoka challenge Saki to a rematch which involves a full body hug in the pouring rain. Turns out Saki hates Mahjong because her family is fanatical about it so to get out of their crazy games she perfected her ability to score not to get punished but not to earn a grudge. The Mahjong is the proper over the top craziness needed: people don’t politely say Ron, they shout it while lightning crackles on their pieces; people observing provide color commentary while exciting music plays. It’s all about people’s reactions. Consider it like Yu-Gi-Oh. The main draw is going to be the lavish amounts of yuri undertones to Saki and Nodoka’s relationship anyway. This is clearly a show for the yuri equivalent of fujoshi. I do enjoy the over the top silliness of the Mahjong like in Akagi despite the obvious doujin fodder on the girls.
Fullmetal Alchemist is back but is it better than ever? I can’t really say. Apparently it is not a straight remake because the first episode had material that was not in the first series or in the manga. We start again with the Elric brothers in Central City to capture renegade water based alchemist, Isaac McDougal. The renegade alchemist is performing a city wide ritual in hopes of killing King Bradley. The episode reintroduces us to all the major players in the state military without drawing attention to the fact that it is reintroducing them. The next episode looks like it will be showing us Ed and Al’s origin. The animation is pretty good and obviously well budgeted so far. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that the new anime will have a different ending from the previous show. It could possibly be different from the manga, too. There was no major change from the general tone of the series so far to indicate anything other than this being as popular as the first time around. We will only know when the series is over how well it stacks up to the its other iterations.
Marie and Gali tries in 5 minutes to entertain you while teaching something as well. It sort of fails at both. It is hardly impossible to entertain while teaching. I mean anyone who has played Carmen Sandiego or watched Bill Nye will tell you that you can make learning fun. It starts with the Goth Loli Marie looking for her missing animate stuffed animal named Pet. During her search through a tower she runs into Galileo Galilei on a rocket skateboard. In the search it so happens that Galileo, Marie, and Pet fall off the tower in an effort to show that objects of different mass fall at the same rate unless wind resistance changes their rate of descent. While I realized this, the lesson didn’t come off clearly. So the jokes fell flat the the education part failed to teach me. Maybe they get better as the go on but it should at least succeed it one of its goals to be watchable.
Kigurumikku V3 is certainly an odd little show I will give it that. It clocks in at 12 minutes. It is a parody of magical girl shows with the girls transforming into full body animal costumes (Kigurumi) when they fight evil. We are introduced to Azuki Edomae who has come over to her friend Mutsumi Mutsuki’s house to get her suit/talking stuff animal companion fixed. Most of the episode revolves around the quest to replace some ice cream that Azuki steals while at Mutsumi’s. It just so happen the place they buy the ice cream is actually a front for the evil organization they are fighting. The jokes come at a pretty rapid rate. Without a doubt the best part of the episode was watching Mutsumi’s sister go all Jack Bauer on the talking animal sidekick. Mutsumi’s sister is actually the butt of about half the jokes in the series since she is constantly getting dumped. I would recommend the show but there is a sort of disturbing loli vibe going on that makes it hard to. They definitely lampshade the fact that magical girl shows have a loli fan following but it brings up a debate I have had before. At what point does bringing something up stop being parody and start being pandering?
There is not enough true manly anime filled with action and explosions on this list so I had to go out on an epic quest to find something to fill the gap. So I went out and watched Chi’s New Address. I will say that I was a little surprised that it went straight for the heartstrings. Chi’s Sweet Home is the story of Youhei a boy who finds the abandoned kitten Chi and adopts her. Chi’s New Address starts when Youhei parent’s decide to send Chi to live with a friend of the family in Hokkaido. Eventually everyone realizes that they would miss Chi too much so they decide to move. All in all Chi’s New Address is a cute little show that hardly wares out its welcome in 3-minute segments. Your enjoyment comes down to how much you love to see cats doing cute little things. Apparently the Internet loves cats doing cute things so I am sure that people will love Chi’s New Address.