Sjokugeki no Soma: San no Sara: It’s the third season of Shokugeki no Soma, and by this time we were expecting to be bored of it. But Yukihira has decided to get in over his head again, and he is brooding on an unconventional trick to defeat someone who is a lot higher in the school hierarchy… And we just want to see what happens next. The fact that it’s focused on food helps to keep us interested as well, of course…
Two Car: On a particular island, there are some roads without a speed limit. Two girls take their racing motorbike with sidecar to school every day: they are the racing club on their girls’ high school. And there’s a national competition between racing teams from girls’ high schools that they compete in. It’s just too bad that they’re not much of a team…
Before the episode was finished, klik had to leave for work, and it’s telling that we never bothered to pick up where we left off. If you’re a total gear-head, then you might want to watch this — but if not, then perhaps not.
URAHARA: Three friends run a fashion shop and sweets cafe in Harajuku. Everything about them is kawaii, has cartoon faces and has bows etcetera. And then aliens invade! These are the Scoopers: aliens that don’t have any creativity or culture of their own, and thus they plunder the culture from other planets. But a talking fried shrimp(!) gives them secret weapons that makes them magical girls in order to find the Scoopers!
I’ve walked through some streets in Harajuku — I’m not wholly convinced that this depiction of that place is 100% truthful. I guess it’s aimed at younger girls who have an interest in both fashion and magical girls. If you’re really into the style of icons like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, then this series is in your sweet spot for sure. But if not, then… less so.
Verdict: Let’s not.
Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau: Chakuro is the archivist of ‘the mud whale’, a rock drifting in a sea of loose sand. He is a Marked: humans who possess telekinetic powers, but they don’t usually live past 30. The ‘whale’ is ruled by the Elders, who don’t are Marked and thus live far longer. One day, they find a warrior girl on an island they come by. The most powerful criminal on the whale kidnaps her and Chakuro to leave the whale, to escape the influence of the Elders.
Such a vibrant and novel setting, so vibrantly rendered! Lots of “show, don’t tell”, and we get to see so much of the ‘whale’ and the people on it in such a short span. Not derivative of anything I know, and the characters are rendered with lots of loving detail. If this were an RPG setting, I’d play in it in a heartbeat. Instead, I’ll settle for watching the series.
Verdict: Yes, please!
Infini-T Force: All the heroes of all the Tatsunoko Productions properties, such as Casshern and Gatchaman, get dumped into a single series, under the pretense that someone has been destroying (their) worlds, and they all end up in ours to team up. It’s all gorgeous CGI with only a little bit of uncanny valley — which is good, otherwise the whole production budget would have to be spent on hairspray for the Final Fantasy-level of hair-do’s.
If you’re a big fan of even one of these heroes, then it could be fun. It’s certainly not as bad as it could have been for a ‘constructed’ series, and the fight scenes are quite dynamic and fun. But in the end, we weren’t that interested.
Hoozuki no Reitetsu 2: Second series of the hilarious Hoozuki no Reitetsu, about the second-in-command of Japan’s hells. In this first episode, we get a little view on his history and his pettiness! We really enjoyed the first series and the OVAs, and this promises to continue in the same vein.
Boku no Kanojo ga Majime Sugiru Shobitch na Ken: Haruka confesses his love to the Kousaka, the class president. She accepts, and then innocently starts asking him things like what his sexual fetishes are, leaving him totally flustered.
So… it’s one of those series. We turned it off after about five minutes. What did go wrong in our culture that we created things like this!?
Verdict: No, please make it go away!
Garo: Vanishing Line: People who succumb to despair turn into super-powered, grotesk, cannibalistic ghouls. Only this ‘knight’ riding on a weird motorbike, wielding a sword and conjuring up magical armour from his talking skull ring, is strong enough to battle them. Which he does, of course.
It’s weird and grotesk. The action scenes are super beautifully rendered though they are so super-fast it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening. The rest is rather standard: the characters don’t really stand out, and the main character is kinda annoying. So basically it’s a super-standard battle series with very little to distinguish it from the other gazillion battle series.
Dies Irae: Fujii has a phobia for knives, and when he visits a sword exhibition with his annoying childhood friend/neighbour, he gets ‘possessed’ by a guillotine. Then there are some (reported) mysterious murders where the victim is decapitated, and then a couple of nazi officers turn up, ready to kill basically everyone — because they’re evil nazi’s, right?
Disclosure: we didn’t watch the episode 0, but the first episode. And this made no sense to me at all. It has a weird vibe and alludes to violence porn too, not my kind of thing. And it is telling that the nazis are portrayed like monsters, but there is no thought given to all the things the Japanese military did in WW2. Self-criticism is not a cultural value in Asia, it seems.
Verdict: Most certainly not.