[Featurama] Mid-Season Spring 2012 Thoughts

I like angry dude here. He looks exactly as I feel.

Anyways how are you doing today? Been watching those anime? Because we at Twinfinite have and we have things to say about them.

Now earlier I was told that my lead in paragraphs needs improvement but I’m not really a “improve my writing” type of guy. So instead I’ll just keep bantering until I feel it’s time for a jump.

…Here’s the jump.




Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos

Nyarko-san is not a hard sell for those looking for something odd. It’s a comedy focused on the god Nyarlathotep of the Cthulu Mythos assuming the form of a mischievous girl in order to protect a human boy against untold terrors that look to attack him. I was looking forward to the show based on the quirkiness of the concept, but unfortunately I had to drop it.

It has that quirky pyscho girl take that made Club to Death Angel Dokuro-chan fun. It has the romance paradigms set up, but unfortunately at the end of the day its gags never appeal to me. The jokes don’t hit and worse off is that Nyarko takes a lot of abuse from her love interest Hasuta. While this is used a lot with people in gag manga, lead characters aren’t usually the ones to go through this comedic pain.

I don’t really like to see women getting abused when they profess their love (regardless of comedic effect) so I simply couldn’t force myself to finish the season with this. Gag anime are hit and miss with their content and I didn’t see a whole lot to keep me working through an entire season.


Sengoku Collection

I really don’t know much about ancient Japanese feudal lords and warriors, so Sengoku Collection has a few jokes and personalization that fly way over my head. That said, make a comedy that brings these warriors to modern times as cute women really is a great pitch. The animation is of really good quality despite the content being a bit lacking, but overall Sengoku Collection is a really good looking and decent anime.

The concept of the show is a character of the week style with each of the girls being profiled as Nobunaga continues to collect pieces to return her to her universe. It’s odd and some of it really does work best with some understanding of the back story. It’s not deep, but it’s still a surprisingly decent show.

Medaka Box

I’ll let Matt go in to greater detail about this show, but as a Gainax anime, it’s not as strong or revolutionary as its peers. It’s good, but the issues stem from the fact that it really is just a standard anime without that punch that Gainax usually brings to their own projects. The idea of a girl of extreme talent attempting to bring the best out of everyone is a nice concept to stand behind, but that’s about it.

Medaka Box’s gags, drama and characters aren’t overly well done. Even Medaka herself isn’t a compelling idol as most of her true brilliance is in flashback as her childhood manslave Hitoyoshi reminisces. This takes a lot of the impact out of each and every deed and because its played safer than a Kore wa Zombie, the payoff is steady. It’s a good show about impressive idiots and it deserves to be watched just like all of Gainax’s shows. After all is said and done however, this won’t stick with you like a FLCL or Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.


Does anybody remember that scene from the Digimon Movie when the nerd had bowel issues?


I think I really am watching all of the weird shows this season. Tsuritama is by far the weirdest of the season. It’s a sci-fi fishing anime about the friendship that blooms between an alien, a prince, a secret agent and the weird new kid that befriends them all.

What we get is a really unique looking show with an equally unique story making for something different from anything else this season. At the heart still lies a K-On styled friendship that has these weirdos come together to learn how to fish. There is still a lot of mystery behind the four as well as the drama they have with their families, but the mix of comedy and drama is well done and if you can get past the odd settings, you won’t be let down.


Mysterious Girlfriend X

So far Mysterious Girlfriend X is my favorite show of the season. Its focus on sexuality in their relationships is not overtly ecchi in presentation. What this does is create a show that’s all about a queer relationship that is about the little joys instead of the big payoffs.

Urabe has this weird ability to create connections from people that taste her drool. This works because her power is slowly defined as her awkward social skills pushes her away from standard relationship goals. It’s sluggish and despite Akira’s willingness to push the relationship forward, there is a purity about the two as they figure out how to really move together as a couple.

I found myself really looking forward to seeing how Urabe will start to open up as Akira keeps pushing her for a normal relationship.


Pew Pew


I just can’t wrap my head around the concept of Uppote. Moe girls that are actually guns. You can give these guns a school, a teacher, some comedic silliness to make it fun, however I just can’t get past this concept. How can a gun shoot a gun? It’s madness. (Matt’s Note: Yeah seriously guys, what the hell? Can anyone explain to me how this works?)

The show is typical ecchi fluff and because of it’s theme, it adds a bit of unique comedy to it. At the end of the day though it is decent mindless fun if you can enjoy this sort of moe type show.



Accel World

Accel World is an interesting show. Its concept sits in a future where computers are linked with humans by a device attached to their necks. This allows them to access the internet and all content it allows through their mind.

From this bit of tech, the super secret Accelerated World is born which has the ability to enhance the processing speed of its user in the real world. The price however is that they have to expend tokens to use it. These tokens are won in online battle and that’s where we meet Haruyuki Arita. Arita is a pathetic overweight man that has to deal with bullies, problems in self perception and dealing with the day to day reality of the world. Much to his surprise, he is chosen by the school idol Kuroyukihime to battle for her in this online world.

He uses his neuro link to escape in to his games and we see the slow evolution of the character into a better person as he gets more comfortable with the women in his life and the friendships he has. It’s pretty with a solid mix of 3d and 2d animation, and most surprisingly is that Arita’s comically proportioned body isn’t as odd in effect as I’d have thought.

Accel World is your typical shonen show where Arita is tasked to rise up and become stronger and stronger inside this fighting game world. He has that special something that makes him unique inside of it and the show will only get more interesting as the world opens up to us and new fighters are brought in. So far the show is pretty good, but hopefully the team at Sunrise won’t crack and start making thing up like they did halfway through Code Geass.


Nothing "butt" the best...I'm so sorry.

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? of the Dead

You know you have a good premise to a show when you can start the season off with a recreation of the first episode of last season and not have it seem weird. Kore wa 2 seems to work off the premise of increasing the bonds of the women in the show. The first season was all about getting our Zombie protagonist to adjust to his life with a magical girl, necromancer, and multiple ninjas. Now it’s focusing on making the girls real friends and bringing these wacky kids closer together.

There really isn’t any thread keeping all of these episodes together other than the revelation to the world that the zombie protagonist Ayumu is a magical girl. This creates funny scenarios with his friends labeling him a pervert, but its really the character focus that makes these weird archetypes more interesting. Good show so far even if it doesn’t have much real content pushing it forward. The comedy is still there and that’s all that really matters with Kore wa 2.






Shirokuma Café

Throughout the season so far, my outlook on Shirokuma (Polar Bear) Cafe has changed with nearly every episode. After the first episode, I was prepared to proclaim it one of the best slice of life comedy shows I’ve seen. Fast forward two weeks, and I had already become tired with it. As of now, I consider Shirokuma Cafe to be a fantastic, albeit somewhat inconsistent, show.

The show most closely follows the exploits of three animal pals: eccentric Polar Bear, insecure Penguin, and self-absorbed Panda. One of its greatest strengths is the way in which it infuses sentient animals into an otherwise regular world- some of the best are Panda’s part-time job at a zoo, chaos ensuing from Polar Bear visiting certain exhibits at the zoo, such as seals, and Panda riding a mechanical panda at a mall. The show’s pace may be relatively slow, but it is amazing when it does what it does best: bouncing each character’s eccentricities off of each other to slowly devolve a relatively simple situation into insanity. Conversely, when an episode fails to take off, the show truly struggles and becomes quite a bore.
Halfway through the season, Shirokuma Café has proved to be an adorable and hilarious show, although somewhat inconsistent. As a whole, it may not be a must-watch, but I strongly urge everybody to watch at least one or two episodes in order to take a peek at this (mostly) delightful slice-of-life comedy.




She's no Hypno-Toad that's for sure.

Medaka Box

Oh Medaka Box, hopefully you’ll get your chance to shine.

I’m really hoping Medaka Box does will enough for multiple seasons to showcase its later story arcs, specifically the fight for the Student Council. The problem I have with the show right now is the same problem I had with the manga early on, which was with the material itself. I just didn’t like the first months of Medaka Box in the manga and I don’t really like the first weeks (or season) in the anime. Granted, seeing the characters voiced and animated is great but I hate the fact that the early Medaka Box is so much weaker than what the series is now.

What makes me even angrier is that everything I hate about the show now gets either lampshaded or outright dismantled in the later parts of the story. Medaka is too perfect, Zeinichi is too much of a lapdog, there isn’t really any threat as long as Medaka is around, and no one else seems to matter except to provide either commentary or situations in which the student council (read: Medaka) can do their stuff. All of this attention to Medaka’s perfection or any other character’s faults exist to establish plot points covered by later points in the story which go into detail (a little convoluted at times) but still never really resolves these issues. Sometimes it just adds another stupid detail to make the last stupid detail make more sense.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself and this is turning into a rant about the series in general. Point is, the animation is there (gainaxing and all), the music is not really that amazing but it doesn’t ruin anything, and the characters are still creative (potentially). I just want to see a season 2 and 3 to be made so that I could see the material I actually like. Until then I’ll just support the show so that I can see cooler things later on.


A better female protagonist


It’s so good.

The opening theme even has some really gratuitous “engrish” (Just like some other show I keep mentioning in comparison to Jormungand).

If you want a great action oriented anime with lots of guns and explosions, musings on nihilism, long monologues about existentialism, and you’ve already watched Black Lagoon, then this is your show.

The show is just so awesome. When I said in my early preview that Jormungand would be the Black Hawk Down to Black Lagoon’s Pulp Fiction/Hard Boiled/Inglorious Basterds I was only half right. Jormungand feels grittier (not necessarily darker mind you…Poor Yukio) than Black Lagoon, but both have really well animated action scenes and explosive set pieces. I love that sinister face they all put on when it comes time to do bad things. Everybody in the show has that face too! The main cast, the rivals, the CIA, the enemies, it’s just so outrageous and badass. The writing is great, and it’s finally nice to have a female lead that’s not super sexualized, and has real confidence as a character. She’s genuinely threatening and menacing as a person and sort of even creepy.

I can’t recommend Jormungand enough. If this is your type of anime fare then you are doing yourself a great disservice by not watching this series.


She's only this serious for like 10% of the time.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia

A really sexy, supernatural, art house anime.

Well ‘art house’ may be a bit much, but the way in which the story is presented is definitely interesting. The studio is known for creativity with the direction they present their stories and Amnesia is so much stronger for it. And so much more entertaining too so that’s a plus.

Even though the show is not really the dark, gothic, mystery horror I wanted it to be; I find myself enjoying the show quite a bit. However, when the show moves away from sexy ghost time and focuses on the actual mystery of a high school girl’s terrible death the show manages to hit the horror button pretty well. The music also does a really good job capturing the mood and gives the show that gothic feel the anime occasionally alludes to.

Lots of panoramic shots of the dusky skies, quick cuts, multiple panels, memento sequences, and super 8 film scenes makes the whole thing visually stunning. Amnesia is narratively interesting, aesthetically pleasing, and…uh…sexy. Yeah, the show hits the ecchi chord like a hammer hits a nail. It’s awesome.


A game in which the only way to win, is to not play.

Fate/Zero 2

Is the best show of the season.

I really wasn’t expecting myself to become so enamored with this show to be honest with you. I like Type-Moon stuff but I never really got into them until now. I think it’s because Fate/Zero plays out more like a Greek tragedy than a fantasy story involving Alexander the Great facing off mystical assassins. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these historical legends and references; and seeing Gilgamesh face off against Female King Arthur is pretty much the reason I’m wasting time in college to study history. If King Arthur is a lady then I’ll accept that Gilgamesh doesn’t look Mesopotamian, so there.

Like the title implies: everything done, everything these characters fight for, every little happiness these characters hold onto, will usually amount to nothing.

There’s something really fascinating about watching events play out where everyone is pretty much guaranteed an unhappy ending. I guess that’s what makes Greek tragedies, or tragedies in general, so interesting to watch. It’s genuinely heart wrenching when there are characters you really grow attached to get shot in the head with an irony bullet.

If we’re going to get plot specific Lancer had it really rough didn’t he? Poor bastard. If you haven’t read the novel prior to starting the series I won’t spoil anything for you, but it would be appropriate to say that this is a really dark story. In fact as a prequel it wouldn’t even be a spoiler to say that everyone is pretty much screwed. One moment Alexander the Great, Gilgamesh, King Arthur, and some Irish hero are fighthing a Lovecraftian horror, the next a man loses everything he loves right in front of him. It’s that sort of story and the fact that the show can pull it off while dangling this fantastical setting of a Holy Grail War makes it that much more impressive. It’s probably because the characters are portrayed so sympathetically that makes it so effective. Even the total bastards have something that make them…uh…relatable?

I’ve stayed away from dramatic anime for the last couple seasons but I’m glad Fate/Zero received such an amazing adaptation. No matter what sort of anime you enjoy, if you’re only going to watch one show this season my vote will go to Fate/Zero.



Acchi Kocchi

I dropped it. It was too cute and too slow that I couldn’t tell which I was dying of first, old age or diabetes.


...If you were in my position you would have used the same image.


Guest Writer: Ben Sawyer

From where I’m sitting, many of the best anime series have been really short, like Gunbuster, FLCL, Gundam 0080, and Macross Plus. Leiji Matsumoto’s Ozma is now half over, but by the time you read this it will be long done. At this point, there’s been a good dose of exposition, character revelations, and submersible battles. Nearly the whole second episode is dedicated to a cool cat-and-mouse submarine fight under the sand, which was pretty rad. The plot involves genetic engineering and racism of sorts, which could prove interesting.While a number of the show’s other key plot devices feel predictable (Maya’s mystery origins, Charlock’s true identity), Ozma has managed to throw a few curves – perhaps just enough for such a short series – and keep the story interesting. This is all seasoned with cool naval action and Leiji character designs. Maybe I’m just super easy to please, but I’m still digging it. But will it follow the trend and be remembered fondly like its six-episode kin? Or will it fade away? Hard to tell. Maybe the final 3 episodes will blow me away. I’d like that.

But wait!

There are some big shows missing! Where’s Lupin III? Where’s Eureka AO? Hyouka? That other zombie show that’s not Kore wa Zombie?

Well we’re a small team and we can’t spend all day watching every new anime that comes up. We’ve made some tough decisions of which shows to not cover and we stick by them. Was it wise to watch a show about gun girls over a reboot of a classic? Maybe not but we did anyways…Because we’re risk takers.

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