Inou-Battle: Act 4

No, Trigger, not like this!

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Final leg of this series. How does it stack up against our horrifically low expectations? Do you even need to ask?

So we open that Tomoyo has failed in her publishing attempt. I’m…I’m not sure if I’m upset this isn’t given more emotional weight, it’s almost played for laughs with how she beats up her body pillow. But on the other hand, it is nice to admit it isn’t the end of the world, after all, she’s a kid. She has her life ahead of her. So not dwelling on this is a good message, all told.

You know, maybe I’ve been overly hard on you, show. Maybe…

Oh, she IS despondent that Hatoko loves Andou.

…Fuck me for giving you the benefit of the doubt, Inou-Battle. I really should have known better.

So Kuki is spending summer vacation trying to get between Andou and Chifuyu, who is still this world’s most adorable lolita dominatrix.  None of this is particularly amusing. Though I did like that the kids ignored the car and were after the stuffed whale consolation prize.

Aaaaaand we get to endure Kuki falling in love with the world’s biggest dick. What will save us from this?

Water park shenanigans with Sayumi…damnit. Just your average harem date, without a lot to elevate it. Save for the very end when Mephistopholes pulls out the F card. Oo, something that’s almost kind of interesting! Continue reading

Inou -Battle: Act 3

I already told you, I don’t have any money! 

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So, Andou has a sister. I adore her because she kicks him. We need more of that in this series to offset the awfully cliche harem.

We’re getting some insights into Hatoko’s relationship with Andou this episode. They’ve been close for a very long time, arguably best friends, though we have had no inclination of this prior to this episode. Yeah, that’s what I’ve come to expect from you, Inou-Battle, just raise a plot point you never bothered to work on, and expect us to give a damn.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Tomoyo stuff is actually MORE interesting because at least that stuff has something resembling a dramatic backstory. Tomoyo’s constant bitching about Andou’s fantasy-oriented head and the reveal she was an aspiring author, that’s what we call development, such as it is.

But the Hatoko stuff? It’s weighing this episode down like an anchor.

And THEN she goes crazy, because wimminz, Amirite?

No, I’m gonna count. Three minutes. That’s 180 seconds. Of Hatoko screaming her crazy pet peeves about how Andou doesn’t appreciate her company.

We then follow it up by showing us the foreshadowing to this meltdown….after the meltdown.

Tomoyo? You’re fucking doomed if you’re being taught to write by the people who wrote this shit.

And more cliche harem drama. You know how it is.  Andou thinks for a moment that he was a bother to one of his harem hens, and the other harem hens slap him out of it, because no, NO harem hen could be unhappy with Andou’s penis!

The one saving grace of this episode is the return of Vampire-senpai.

This is, quite literally, the worst episode we’ve had. At least we’re more than halfway through this crap. Continue reading

Inou-Battle: Act 2

 

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Yes we’re playing catch up. This seems like the best compromise because I don’t have the hours to throw at this stuff right now.

Episode 4 begins well enough, focusing on Chifuyu. And as you’ll recall, she is one of only two actually funny characters here.

This episode starts off rather silly. It has a good “Chifuyu abuses Andou with superior intellect” gag, passable cosplay humor (but nothing really funny), and some interesting character study emerges about Chifuyu. There’s some shots fired at socially-directed peer groups, and a good examination of jealousy and friendship.

Of course this is wrapped up in several layers of pedophilia jokes so take what you can.

Chifuyu’s reactions are pretty good.  Slightly flanderized, but this can be attributed to her age and her well established personality. The way she hides behind her plushie on paper sounds like too much, but as played across from the blunt and intimidating Satomi, it feels incredibly natural. So good on that high water mark.

In all, not an offensive episode. Probably because this managed to focus on Chifuyu’s personal drama and not how she was a harem hen. Let’s see if they can go another 22 minutes without fucking this up. Continue reading

Inou Battle: Episode 3

 

Why is the best stuff the stuff your show ISN’T about?

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This week we open on a new character, Sagami, and Andou in their teacher’s room.  The pair get into a fight over what kind of nerds they are.  I love the teacher, Satomi. Can I say that? Her expressions perfectly mirror my own to this HILARIOUS comedy. She then does what many wish they could do with this show: Throw it out on its ass.

So, no doubt, this week Inou Battle embraces its harem elements entirely. Especially in terms of camera angles

Hey. Hey guys. Where’s your KILL la KILL “it’s being done ironically” shit now?

Perhaps that’s unfair. This is way worse than KILL la KILL ever was.  Between Satomi using her feet to grab everything and having conversations with the girls’ bare legs, this week is extremely obnoxious. We even get an upskirt on Hatoko.

Oh, it’s fine. It’s an underskirt. That’s not as embarassing as seeing panties, this is what underskirts are there for, after all.

Tomoyo then says that it doesn’t matter how he justifies it, no girl really likes getting peeped on.

…It’s a rare harem series that both bullshits its way through an upskirt, and then proceeds to tell us the protagonist was STILL morally repugnant.

It’s sports day, and OH GOD THIS IS BORING. Trigger how you so boring?

We then learn why Hatoko loves Andou: he stopped the kids from calling her a dumb nickname.  Oh, well…it’s a little trite but I’ve heard worse, and having a Hatoko episode will be…

Wait, they’re ALL going to explain why they love Andou now?  Really? We’re doing a sewing circle of how great Andou’s dick is?

Well to save us from this, is Andou.  Yep. Andou is the comic highlight of this episode.

I’ll just give us all a moment to let this sink in. Continue reading

Double Feature: Inou-Battle 1 + 2

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Watching this series, one thought enters my brain over and over again.

Welp, that’s definitely Trigger.

I mean this in good and bad ways.  Take Arms, for example, whom we last met in Gokukoku no Brynhildr.  They have an identity, inescapable and universally recognized. The theme is tits. Or examine Gainax, who struck gold with Evangelion and have spent the last 20 years desperately trying to recreate that notoriety.

Trigger hits a note in…okay what the hell, we’ll do the full title for the bookends, Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de. Much like The Doctor regenerating, there is enough similarity here to see the identity beneath, but enough has changed to make it feel like you’re not just watching KILL la KILL again. There’s a definite form emerging.

Unfortunately, that form is kind of the worst aspects of the last series.

For example: Still frames.  These work for small numbers of characters, one or two, because usually they’re talking and we’re focused on their expressions, reactions, whatever.  In large crowd scenes, we, as an audience, give it a pass because it’s less about the detail so much as conveying the concept of “many people”.  We don’t think less because the stadium is full of colored ovals with smaller colored ovals on top, because that isn’t the point. The point is to express 10,000 people just died when the demon fired eye lasers into the stadium.

Inou-Battle hits the uncanny valley as far as still-frames go.  A crowd of 5-6 people is too many to animate in a life-like manner without breaking the budget, but too few to accept that everyone is background scenery.

There are generally minor points for me, but they stick out here because Inou-Battle is just so…slow. Continue reading

Fall 2014 Line Up

As mentioned in the newspost, reviews will be starting a couple weeks late as I settle into my new home, but I do have just enough time from stressing out to compose a preview of our schedule here on DDA.

And unlike last season, there is no shortage of contenders for our attention. That’s good! I’m really itching to get back in the game after my long mandatory vacation.

Confirmed Series.

The following will definitely be appearing on the blog.

20809Madan no Ou to Vanadis

Set in Western Europe during times of war, Eleanor “Ellen” Vertalia, one of the Vanadis of Zhcted, leads the battle into Brune. There are, in fact, seven Vanadis, named for having each received a powerful weapon from the dragon to individually reign over seven territories. The power of the Vanadis invokes dread and fear from their enemies. An earl in the service of the country of Brune, a young archer by the name of Tigre, experienced the Vandis’s power firsthand after being defeated on the battlefield by Ellen. However, Ellen chose to spare his life after witnessing his skills, but in exchange, he is asked to serve her.

So…you took Game of Thrones, and made a harem anime out of it?

You bet your fucking ass we’re taking this on. Bring it on, shitcan. I’m ready!

Studio: Satelight

20646Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de

Trigger’s new series follows the antics of the Literature club, who a year ago found themselves afflicted with supernatural powers.  Initially excited to be dragged into a world of magic and intrigue, all were disappointed to find life kept going on.  They still hold out hope, however, that their days of glory are yet to come!

The concept here alone is enough to draw me in.  There’s just something inherently silly in the premise.  I mean, if you woke up with super powers, wouldn’t you be expecting to be the next Spiderman? It’s so anti-climactic it’s farcical.  And I did enjoy our time with KILL la KILL, so, you win my attention, Trigger. High hopes for this one.

Studio: Trigger

20565Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu

Mitsuka Souji is a first year high school student who greatly loves the “twintails” hairstyle. One day a beautiful girl, Thuearle, who comes from another world suddenly appeared in front of him and gave him the power to transform into the twintails warrior TailRed. Now Souji, with the help of his childhood friend Tsube Aika who can becomes the twintails warrior TailBlue, must fight in order to protect the peace on earth.

Yep, more comedy. Odd, innit? Guess I’m in those moods.  But I’m actually hoping (praying) that I can approach this in a manner similar to Sakura Trick.  Because while comedy, the gender-swapping super hero idea has lots of wiggle room for social commentary.  IMS’s last show, Inari, Konkon, Koi, Iroha, was a reasonable little comedy, nothing groundbreaking but not bad.  Maybe they’ll find their footing here.  Extra curiosity points to see HOW they handle their concept. It could also be REALLY offensive, let’s keep an open mind here, but here’s another where I’ll be optimistic as long as possible.

Studio: Production IMS

Wild Card Series

Your hostess DoubleD cannot confirm or deny the presence of any of the following series.  Depending on how premiere night goes, we may adopt one, two, or none of the following.

20623Kiseijuu

They arrive in silence and darkness. They descend from the skies. They have a hunger for human flesh. They are everywhere. They are parasites, alien creatures who must invade–and take control of–a human host to survive. And once they have infected their victims, they can assume any deadly form they choose: monsters with giant teeth, winged demons, creatures with blades for hands. But most have chosen to conceal their lethal purpose behind ordinary human faces. So no one knows their secret–except an ordinary high school student. Shin is battling for control of his own body against an alien parasite, but can he find a way to warn humanity of the horrors to come?

This is the most likely candidate to show up, as of now.  We just need something dark and heavy to balance out the season, for one.  For two, that’s a damn good premise and could be very enthralling.  Of course, the issue with horror, as with mystery, is that it can be done well, or piss awful, there is no in-between, not really.

Studio: Madhouse

20770Akatsuki no Yona

Since Yona is the only princess of a grand kingdom, she has been raised with great care by her doting father and protected by her childhood friend/guard Hak and others. However, her fate changes on her 16th birthday, when her beloved cousin Soo-won murders her father to claim the throne. She flees the castle to Hak’s hometown and begins her new life.

This may also fill our itch for a drama component to the season, but my big fear is the inevitable feeling of bland on the horizon.

Studio: Studio Pierrot

20729World Trigger

A gate to another dimension has burst open, and from it emerge gigantic invincible creatures that threaten all of humanity. Earth’s only defense is a mysterious group of warriors who have co-opted the alien technology in order to fight back!

Sometimes you just want a good old fashioned beat-em-up.  Not to mention I’m getting a very Phantasy Star vibe here, which is always a bonus in my book xD

Studio: Toei Animation

 

Other things to watch: Magic Kaito 1412, Kaitou Joker, Garo, Nanatsu no Taizai, and Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu  no Rondo. None of these are extremely high hopes for me, but just maybe.

Finally, if NONE of these wild cards pan out…I am keeping the option open to myself to fudge my rule regarding second seasons since Log Horizon HAS made an appearance on the blog. Technically. Again, this is only as a last resort, if I just can’t find it in my heart to cover any of this other material. I do need something heavier to balance out the season, after all.

Happy viewing!