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Jan. 28th, 2016 @ 08:59 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, sillie82!
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Jan. 22nd, 2016 @ 09:25 pm New anime
Current Mood: okayokay
Luck & Logic: Evil extra-dimensional entities possess people or animals on Earth and invade Earth like that. The only ones who can protect against that are humans who have made a contract with a friendly extra-dimensional entity and who have some sort of 'logic device'. Yoshichika has lost his device and his contract, so he's now just a normal civilian. When he gets caught up in an invasion, he is forced to establish a contract with a goddess who has found his logic device and who tracked him down. And then he has to go live in the dorm with all the other 'logicians', who are of course all girls...
It's not innovative: it doesn't show us anything that hasn't been done in other series, or show us a new take on something that's been tried before. An also-ran.

Oshiete! Galko-chan: Galko is a hyaru, Otako is a fuyoshi, and Ojyo is a rich-girl type with little experience of the 'real world'. The three friends are classmates, and discuss various topics in these short episodes.
Having stereotypical characters means you don't have to think too hard! Yeah, not very enthused about this one.

Ooya-san wa Shishunki!: Moving into his first apartment, the protagonist finds out that his landlady is actually a girl who attends middle school.
Again, short episodes, light on content. Meh.

Sushi Police: The Sushi Police keep an eye out for unnatural combinations of sushi, and they will raid any establishment that serves non-proper sushi, using a robot launched for their airship headquarters.
Short episodes, 'zany' action 'comedy'.

Koukaku no Pandora: Autonomous robots have been developed, and now there are even androids using the same technology. A young girl gets converted into an android (because of reasons that are not revealed to us) and sent to live with her aunt on an island. On the boat there, she meets a woman who has an android girl with her as well! When they arrive, explosions are set off all over the island, and the girl gets roped into helping the woman, who seems to have some really shady things going on...
So it starts kinda slow, with lots of talk about the world and the technology. And then, when they get to the island, it turns into a complete action rollercoaster! There's a lot going on here, and it's both interesting and amusing. I want to know what is going on, and the girls' cheerful disposition despite all the weirdness certainly makes it nice to watch.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desukara: Yuzuka gets the offer to become a magical girl from some creature that was hanging out in the garbage. She accepts, and she triggers her transformation sequence -- which gets her into some sort of swimsuit...
You guessed it: short episodes, and not much of interest.

Ojiisan to Marshmallow: Kusaka likes marshmallows, a fact that his much younger colleague exploits to get him to ask her out.
While I appreciate the absurdness of the subject matter, it's just... I don't know.

Tabi Machi Late Show: Apparently every episode will have a single story about saying goodbye. The first episode is about a cook who leaves his job to travel to Italy to learn more about cooking -- he challenges his boss to a pomodori-sauce duel when he comes back. There's a little twist at the end, which was kinda neat, but all in all it did not leave us wanting more.
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Maid dance
Jan. 21st, 2016 @ 12:19 pm More new anime
Current Mood: lazylazy
Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu: Buntaro is one of those kids who doesn't have any good friends, but that means he can get along with everybody. He doesn't have a purpose either, but when a girl from his class invites him for something that seems like a date, he has a bit of a weird day with her. At the end, she decides he is good enough to become part of her dating sim creation circle.
Seems like a variant on 'How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend', but now with a weird girl as the centrepiece. Probably based on a dating sim itself, since the protagonist has the usual bland personality.

Nijiiro Days: The story focusses on four friends in highschool. One of them got stood up on Christmas Eve (traditionally a time that lovers spend together in Japan), and he got a pack of tissues from a girl dressed as Santa. (This is actually a common form of advertising: there are many public toilets in Japan, but none of them have toilet paper. So having a pack of tissues in your handbag is very useful. There is often an ad sheet inserted in the pack.)
He falls for her, and then he finds out she goes to his school, and that she often sleeps in the math prep room -- what's her relationship with the math teacher? And then he finds out she works at a karaoke place.
The boy is all up in puppy love, but the girl doesn't really register him. And his friends tease him where they can and support him when they must. We liked it.

Active Raid: The police has some sort of mecha body armour -- but of course the bad guys have those too. Teams outfitted with the armour take their tanks/mobile operations base around Tokyo to supress mecha-related crime. One young policewoman is assigned to a unit of these mecha-users, but the unit has a reputation of being misfits. She thinks she is there to get them to shape up, but of course reality doesn't really line up with her preconceptions of how things should work.
Mecha police series. The cast is colourful, but we thought it lacks depth and personality. Probably some sort of 'caper-of-the-week' coupled with bureaucratic infighting. Meh.

Norn9: Some teenagers have powers to manipulate water, fire, plants etcetera. They are 'collected' into a large floating city by some mysterious organisation. There, they have to live together and be self-sufficient, until the time comes that they are sent to the different nations of the world. Perhaps they will turn into enemies at that time, but for now they have to form friendships and work together in this floating microcosmos, leaving their old lives behind.
I really liked this one. It looks really nice, with some sort of magic/steampunk aesthetic. The setup is also interesting: what would become of a society of superpowered teenagers, who put them there, and what happens when they get split up?

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju: Rakugo is the traditional Japanese storytelling technique: sometimes comedic, sometimes scary. With voices and hand movements (because you keep seated on a cushion), the tale-teller delivers a story to the audience. The series is set in the 1970's. A convict was so impressed with the rakugo of a master who visited the prison, that when he is released, he throws himself at the master to become his apprentice. He has nowhere else to go, and so the master takes him in. The daughter of his deceased rakugo friend/rival is also living in the house, and together with her, Yotaro (his nickname, meaning 'foolish boy') starts to train.
I have nothing with rakugo, just like I don't have much with the Dutch comedic routines when they're shown on TV. But this series shows the emotions and the training behind the scenes. The characters are very rounded and have a (murky) past together which is only gradually revealed. The master seems like a cold-hearted asshole, but at the end of the first episode (which is double-length!), we see that he is merely driven, and that he demands total dedication from his students. Given the description and subject matter of the series, I would not have expected to like it, but I really want to know how it continues.
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Bishoujo squad!
Jan. 20th, 2016 @ 05:09 pm More new anime
Current Mood: soresore
Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation: Itsuki attends a prestigious boarding school. He gets recruited into the student council by the beautiful and smart Rina (though the other student council members are not enthousiastic about it). His task is to play Phantasy Star Online 2 and submit reports about his adventures there. In-game, he meets a mysterious player who helps him out when he enters an instance unprepared...
I wonder about the combination of school and MMO, but there it is. Don't watch it for the deep plot.

Bubuki Buranki: Akira lives with his father and his mother in a forested area with the remains of robots amongst the trees. It's an idyllic life, until the robots wake up and start tearing the place apart! Their mother sends him and his sister with one of the robots back to Earth(!). Then, some years later, Azuma is purused by an agency that takes an interest in robots, but he is saved by a band of rebels who have parts of robots to summon.
It starts really cool: I would have been happy to see more of the idyllic life. But then it turns into some sort of cyberpunk distopia, and two factions that battle each other with parts of robots that they have a mystic connection with. Now I want to know more.

Sekkou Boys: A girl has graduated art academy. The one thing she absolutely hated was that she continuously had to sketch statues! But now she got a job as a manager at a talent agency, and she is about to manage a boy-band! However, the boys are actually... plaster statues.
Short and nonsensical...

Prince of Stride: Alternative: There's this sport called "Stride", which is a cross between parkour and a relay race. One school completely dominates the competition, and Nana decides to go to that school in order to become the manager for the Stride club there. But all the third years have left to concentrate on college entrance exams, and the Stride club had to merge with the Shogi club to keep enough members. They manage to recruit enough members to round out a team, but first they have to beat their senpai in a run through the school!
Sports anime for a sport that doesn't exist! The running and the tricks are nicely animated though, but it's not for us.

Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru: Chika wants to make a fresh start in highschool and be more like a lady. So she decides against joining the volleyball club (though they would like to have her!) and she joins the band, playing flute. Her childhood friend Haruta is also in the club. One day, a message is scrawled on the blackboard, in code...
Solving mysteries in a rather sassy way, and band club? And then Haruta declares he is Chika's competitor for the teacher's affections? We really liked it.

Schwarzesmarken: At the height of the cold war, aliens attack Earth! Only mecha seem to be able to withstand them. In East Germany, the Stasi makes sure that everybody stays in line, with the war as a pretext. The focus of the series is a mecha squad who rescue a pilot from West Germany, who asks for asylum.
Nasty and brutish, blood spattering everywhere without any spark of hope anywhere to be found. Depressing.
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net zombie!
Jan. 19th, 2016 @ 07:11 pm More January anime
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime S2: Second season of Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, picks up right where the first season left off. There's some talk about somebody being after her, and she then is sent off to her home country on an invitation...

Divine Gate: Some people have the ability to manipulate the elements. And if you get really good at it, you might be able to find the Divine Gate, which will grant any wish. There's a school for "gifted children", with some sort of shady "World Council" running the show. One particularly morose boy seems to be a very able water-manipulator, but he doesn't want anything to do with the school. Two kids are sent to recruit him, but he refuses.
There's a lot of stuff going on, but it's all kept behind the scenes in order to make it all mysterious and all. There's quite a bit of a disconnect between the clean and light atmosphere of the school and the background of our morose hero. It's just not that good.

Ao no Kanato no Four Rythm: A new girl is going to enter the school on a little archipelago. It's a special region where anti-gravity shoes are allowed, which gave rise to a sport called "Flying Circus". The new girl has to learn how to use the shoes, and when she sees an elite player bully someone else, she challenges the bully for a match.
The main heroine has a voice that's so squeaky only dogs can hear her. It's just not very interesting, and why do they insist on flying around wearing relatively short skirts...!?

Dimension W: A scientist found a way to tap into another dimension with some sort of 'coil', offering unlimited power -- but then he disappears. There's a brisk trade in unlicensed coils, and it's the task of Collectors to get those off the streets, getting a bounty for each coil. One of these is Kyouma, who maintains a fondness for gas-powered cars. On one job, he meets an android girl, and he brings her in.
There's more to the coils than meets the eye. Kyouma isn't really a sympathetic character, but as far as SF action series goes, this promises to be interesting.

Saijaku Muhai Bahamut: Lux was a prince of a country that was defeated, and in its place a new country was established, leaving Lux and his sister to wander the land to pay off their ransom. And of course he manages to drop into the bath of the Dragon Knight academy, which of course only has female students... He is challenged to a duel using the magical swords that summon magical armour, and afterwards he is offered a place as a student in the academy.
We were ten minutes into the first episode, and klik asked me: "Wait, haven't we seen this already?" Yes, if you keep up with all the series, you have seen this concept (with slightly different backgrounds) many, many times. And it's never interesting!

kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: A hikikomori dies in a traffic accident as he returns from buying a new game. He gets presented with a choice by Aqua, one of the godesses. He can go to heaven, or he can reincarnate with his memories intact in a sparsely populated world that is threatened by a demon lord. He also can choose what to bring with him -- and to spite the goddess, he choses her! That's not what she bargained for, but since it's within the rules, she gets sent along with him. Once they're there, they find out they don't even have enough money to join the Adventurer's Guild!
Very amusing setup: funny to see how the goddess deals with being an adventurer and how the boy will deal with this world not particularly conforming to the ideas and knowledge he has from computer games. Lots of lightweight fun.
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Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?
Jan. 19th, 2016 @ 12:06 pm New anime
Current Mood: okayokay
When the new season rolls around, I try to stay on top of watching the series and writing my first-episode reviews. This time... not so much. But we've seen everything that's out (so far), so let's see how fast I can blaze through!

Gate Season 2: More Gate! The cast is expanded somewhat when we make the acquaintance of the crown prince, who seems a stupid brute. Other than that, it picks up right where we left off, so that's good.

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar: It seems like one of those "players get stuck in a game"-type of series, but this time, they can't remember their old lives. They get drafted in some sort of 'volunteer army', because it's the only way to make a living for newly arrived people. But they have to start at the bottom of the ladder, and everything seems to be geared towards exploiting the newbies: they get 20 gold for joining the army as a 'trainee recruit', but then have to pay 6 gold back to get their badge, etcetera. The strong people band together, leaving a band of weaker people to fend for themselves -- and they can't even defeat a single goblin with their full party!
Interesting concept,and I feel for the plight of the newbie party. The visuals are quite nice, and I think the plot will gradually open up when the party gains experience to show just what it is that the volunteer army is fighting.

Dagashi Kashi: Kokonotsu (nicknamed "Coconuts") wants to be a manga author, but his father wants him to take over his traditional sweets shop in rural Japan. Then one day, the daughter of the president of a sweets company comes to scout his father to work for them (turns out he's kind of a celebrity because of the weird combinations he thinks up), but his father has one condition: Kokonotsu has to take over the shop! So now Kokonotsu is pursued by a gothloli who wants to win him over to the idea of contuing the shop, while he also has to juggle his budding relationship with the coffeeshop girl...
Amusing series, fun to see more of rural Japan depicted in anime, and a great setup for all sorts of bizarre situations.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi: Satoru is an aspiring mangaka, but he needs to work at a pizza delivery place to make ends meet. He has a special power: he gets transported into the past when something bad is about to happen. When he saves a boy from being run over (there seem to be an awful lot of truck accidents involving pedestrians in Japan...), he gets wounded and his mother comes to visit to stay with him. They reminisce about Satoru's time in grade school, and how a girl in his class was abducted and killed -- Satoru was the last one to see her alive. Then he gets another one of his 'episodes' and he warns his mother. She sees something happening that she later realises was a kidnapping in progress, which is related to the abduction back then...
I don't want to give too much away, but let me tell you that it is really interesting. It's a supernatural detective story, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Ajin: The Ajin are immortal: if you kill them, they will simply get back up. They are a favourite subject for study, and are not considered human. But of course you only discover that someone is an Ajin when they die. So of course our protagonist, a studious boy of seventeen, gets run over by a truck (yes, really) and then gets up again. Of course, now the hunt is on, and he has to escape! His erstwhile friend is the only one he can turn to for help.
Stilted CGI animation, and a main character that I just couldn't empathise with.

Musaigen no Phantom World: Spirits have returned, and school kids are assembled in teams in order to contain and seal them. A particular duo isn't that effective, but they get gy -- until they find a 'spirit eater' who can seal the spirits quickly. They recruit her in their team, and their first mission is to seal away a trio of limbo-dancing utility poles.
Not interested, especially not when one of the main characters has to jiggle her boobs to make the limbo...
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SD Fub
Dec. 31st, 2015 @ 05:26 pm Finished series: Hello!! Kin-iro Mosaic
Current Mood: boredbored
We've finished watching Hello!! Kin-iro Mosaic. It is the second season of the series, and it just sort of continues without any plot twists. It's just goes... on and on without any real character development. The girls have aged one year, but that is not apparent from how the act... If you liked the first series and you are fine with some eternal status quo, then it's fine I guess. We were getting bored pretty quickly.
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Dec. 30th, 2015 @ 11:52 am Finished series: GATE
Current Mood: okayokay
We've finished watching GATE. The series starts when a dimensional gate opens on the Ginza and a fantasy army, complete with dragonriders and orc contigents, streams out and starts attacking the shopping public. Lt. Itami, an otaku who was just on his way to the summer Comiket, coordinates the protection of the civilians and gets recognised for this. So when an expedition force of the Self Defense Force enters through the gate to establish a base there (in what has become a 'special administrative region of Japan'), he is sent along and given command over a scouting team.
After some initial battles (hint: knights in armour are no match for tanks) things quiet down a bit and the team gets to do some scouting and makes (friendly) contact with some civilians from the region. Through various adventures, they gain hangers-on in the form of an elf, a priestess of the god of death and a sorcerer apprentice -- things that push Itami's otaku buttons quite a bit... He gets to protect the civilians while demonstrating to the forces of the empire that it's best to be friends with the Japanese army!

It's an interesting mix of harem anime and a rather realistic depiction of what would happen if a modern military expedition would be met with swords. One part is kinda... cutesy, the other part is kinda bloody, which makes for a weird combination. But for me, Lt. Itami makes the series: he's a smart slacker with enough personality to make people work with him. I liked it a lot, though I could have done with depictions of battle that were a little less... gory.
The series ends right in the run-up to another plot, but I'm guessing the second series, which will start next season (this January), will pick right up.
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Bishoujo squad!
Dec. 30th, 2015 @ 11:36 am Wiring up the house
Current Mood: pleasedconnected
The glassfibre modem is at the front of the house. From there, an ethernet cable runs to the router, and our desktop computers are wired to that. Works like a charm, no problems there.
We also have a computer underneath the TV, about ten to fifteen meters away to the back of the house. At first, I had created a cable and looped that through the plinth to where the computer is, but either that cable is of low quality or my plug crimping skills are insufficient, because we've only had really slow connectivity there. Then I plugged in a wireless card and relied on the wifi, but that had spotty reception at best -- not ideal when you're watching streaming video or playing a game online. Then I bought two of those homeplug adapters. That worked, and we had good throughput, but with high throughputs the adapters crashed and needed to be taken out of the socket for a reset. Workable, but certainly not ideal.

So I bought a 20m cat6 ethernet cable, and simply ran a cable through the house. I bought a cable with a brown sleeve, to color-coordinate it with the plinth. It was a bit of a hassle to run the cable behind the bookcases and all, but with the two of us working together we had it done within an hour. I didn't want to run the cable through the plinth, because we have foil pinths that you attach to a slat nailed to the wall with tiny nails. I suspect the first cable fiasco was due to a nail going through the cable, and I didn't want to run that risk again.
So we went for a bit of a ghetto solution: hot glue. A big dab of hot glue on top of the foil plinth and simply press the cable in there when it cools a bit. And since it runs behind bookcases and other things for most of the way anyway, that's just the right solution. And who knows, if we want something else further down the line, it's easy to dissassemble too.
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Dec. 29th, 2015 @ 09:54 pm Finished series: Classroom Crisis
Current Mood: calmcalm
We've finished watching Classroom Crisis. It's about an advanced engineering class that is part of the company that invented a solar wind interplanetary drive, ushering in a new era of solar system exploration (and exploitation). The class combines specialists in various disciplines to create new spaceships to compete in a yearly race. This mirrors how the company was created: two friends built the first version of the engine for the school science fair. However, now the department is to be shut down, and the youngest son of one of the remaining founding family is sent to downsize the department since it only costs money!
And that sets off a rather convoluted story of corporate procedures, corporate (and political!) infighting and literal backstabbing. It's almost as if the class was an afterthought, and it mostly is, except when they take a class trip to the beach and prepare for the school festival. Still, it's an interesting series with plenty of plot twists to keep things really interesting right up to the end.
I liked it. There's a hint as to a sequel, but I'm not sure I'd be up for more of this, though. The story is finished, and while there are some unresolved plotlines, I don't think this particular series would benefit from continuing.

I have noticed a trend (or trope) in the depiction of wealthy families though: they seem to get away with everything, including murder, and they have their fingers in just about every pie. This is another one of those series where the conflict within a family spills over into corporate and political manoevering. I can believe that old and influential families exist in Japan and that they are highly valued members of economic and political society, but I find it hard to believe they would actually be above the law.
It would have been cool if the scheming would have to be within legal confines, because that would have made it much more subtle. Just killing the heir's minders in order to abduct him is kinda lazy storytelling.
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Dec. 21st, 2015 @ 08:10 pm Sake tasting notes
Current Mood: okayokay
We kinda enjoy sake as a drink. The national off-license chain has two types available, and we kinda like the cheapest bottle, which is around 16 euros. Chilled, it's pretty nice. But in Japan, when we were staying at the ryokan in Aso, the owner came by with chilled sake for a taste, and that was really something else! So smooth and sweet, and while 'our' sake isn't bad, it's not like that.
It turns out there's a Dutch webshop specialised in sake, and one of their offerings is a sake tasting package, consisting of three different bottles to try out, for a price of 15 euros per bottle. So, why not take a chance, we might find something that's better than our usual type!

These are the three bottles that we received. Left one is Minatoya Tosuke. It's best drank chilled, and it's smooth and sweet -- the best one in this bunch, I think.
Middle is the Shirataki Classic Red. It's hard to describe, but the sake tingled in our mouths, giving it a really full flavour experience. Not as smooth, but that means it had more 'structure'. Best when drank at room temperature.
Right is the Hokkan Junmai Ginjo. It had a slight acidic taste that we didn't like when it was chilled or at room temperature, but when we warmed it up, that disappeared and it got a bit more full-bodied.

I would happily drink any of these again, so we ordered another tasting package! It came in today, but more on that later...
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Dec. 12th, 2015 @ 09:07 pm Three years
Current Mood: lovedloved

These ladies have been with us for exactly three years today!
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kitty tongue
Dec. 8th, 2015 @ 10:53 pm Finished series: Non Non Biyori Repeat
Current Mood: calmcalm
We've finished watching Non Non Biyori Repeat, the second season of the Non Non Biyori series. Interesting thing about the series is that it is not a continuation, but it tells some stories that are occurring in parallel with the original series. Sometimes the characters refer to something that happened in the first series, which is kind of cool.
The contents of the series hasn't really changed: it's about four girls of different ages who live in a very, very rural town. The series itself is also rather laid back: the shots are long, which reinforces the small-town feel.

It's funny and relaxing, which is a golden combination in my book.
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Dec. 7th, 2015 @ 10:22 pm Finished series: Himouto! Umaruchan
Current Mood: calmcalm
We've finished watching Himouto! Umaruchan.
Main character is Umaru, who has it all: she is beautiful, gets good grades and is athletic. But at home, she is a total slob who does nothing but play games and read manga, while eating snacks and drinking cola. This is all much to the despair of her older brother who frequently gets manipulated by Umaru to do her bidding -- otherwise she throws a tantrum in public, and when a cute girl is crying, she is always right...
This disconnect between Umaru at home and outside is the biggest source of comedy, but of course it starts to wear thin after a few episodes. So by and by, more characters are introduced -- some know Umaru as she is at home, others only know her 'public' face, thereby expanding the situations wherein Umaru's secret could potentially be exposed.
You know, the usual pattern for comedies that have a not-so-strong premise. It's twelve episodes, and after that you're kinda done with it too.
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kitty tongue
Dec. 6th, 2015 @ 10:37 pm Four kilos of candy
Current Mood: fullfull
Last Saturday, we went to the wholesale market to get things like nuts, soup packets and stuff like that -- it's simply cheaper there, and since klik is an entrepeneur, we got a card to shop there. We go maybe once per month.
As Sinterklaas is leaving the country, all of the associated candy was heavily discounted, of course. We didn't buy any, but when we were paying, the lady at the cash register told us that our total was above some threshold and we could get a free bag of Sinterklaas candy.
So now we have four kilos of strooigoed squirreled away in a large assortment of boxes and tins...
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Dec. 6th, 2015 @ 10:32 pm Finished series: Charlotte
Current Mood: okayokay
We've finished watching Charlotte.
Yu has a super power: he can take over the bodies of others for five seconds, while his body falls unconscious. He uses this to cheat his way into a high-ranking highschool and getting into all sorts of mischief, including getting the most popular girl of the school as his girlfriend. In short, he is a self-absorbed prick. But then he gets found out by the student council of another school -- and they all have special powers too! He gets blackmailed into transferring and living in their dorm, together with his sister.
From there it turns into a bit of a 'esper of the week' format for a few episodes, but then it all goes to hell, involving time travel, terrorist plots and human experimentation! But this is a Key-story, so it stands to reason that it starts off relatively tame and then quickly escalates into a mayor disaster that somehow gets a kind-of good ending.

It was OK to watch, but it's not groundbreaking in any way. If you liked other stories by them (like Little Busters! or Air) then this will not disappoint you.
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Bishoujo squad!
Dec. 2nd, 2015 @ 09:54 pm Finished series: Akagami no Shirayukihime
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
We've finished watching Akagami no Shirayukihime. Basically, it is about the romance between Shirayukihime (who seems to be the only one in the world to have red hair) and Zen, the second prince of the neighbouring kingdom.
Shirayuki ("Snow White" in Japanese...) works as a herbalist, but when the crown prince decides he wants her as his concubine because of her red hair, she flees. She crosses over into the next kingdom, and meets Zen and his retainers in a cottage in the woods. There's also something to do with a poisoned apple, but it ends with Shirayuki moving to Zen's kingdom to build up a new life.

What I really like about the series is that Shirayuki has her own agenda: she is independent, competent and capable. And all of the female characters are, which is rather... untypical for a Japanese series, which I found very refreshing. The women wear practical clothes, there's no fanservice, and there's a few episodes where Shirayuki's strong character actually changes the kingdom for the better. That doesn't mean that it's boring: there's always something interesting going on.
The series looks very nice as well, but the very filmic soundtrack warrants a special mention too!

All in all, I really liked it: it shows that you can do a good fantasy series with strong female characters.
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Dec. 1st, 2015 @ 10:23 pm Finished series: Overlord
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
We've finished watching Overlord. The series starts when the servers for an online Virtual Reality MMORPG (on par with Sword Art Online or Log Horizon's Elder Tale) will be shut down. The guild leader for a particular high-level guild sits around waiting for the game to end... and then it doesn't and he gets stuck in the game. But the NPCs are suddenly becoming sentient, and his (powerful) servants are (still) loyal to him.
Meanwhile, the guild HQ has been transported to an unfamiliar place. The player sets out to see if there are other players still stuck in the game, but he does get stuck in the politics of the world.

The concept is interesting -- it's quite different from Log Horizon and Sword Art Online, even though the premise is similar. However, instead of setting out to conquer the world or something like that, our player gets knee-deep into all sorts of petty politics and low-level stuff. And he has such a large reservoir of really powerful items and skills that he is never really challenged by what happens. Even if he is a mage and poses as a fighter, he can deal with everything by simply overpowering it. (And there are some really nasty scenes as well...)

In the end, it's just not as interesting as it could have been -- it degenerated into a childish power fantasy trip.
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Nov. 23rd, 2015 @ 05:31 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, breyten!
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Nov. 19th, 2015 @ 09:26 pm More new anime
Current Mood: okayokay
[First episode reviews here]Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan: Touya meets Hakone, a hot-spring spirit who has lied dormant for many years. She agrees to help him with winning the heart of a girl, but he has to help her regain her power.
This one is just not very interesting. Hakone is a bit of a whiny kid, and the episodes are too short to do anything about character development.

Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!: Komori is a middle-school student who can't refuse a request. It's just not that interesting, and the emphasis on Komori's... physical assets is jarring.http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=16973

Hacka Doll: The Animation: Hacka Dolls are programs designed to locate information for humans, like a search engine in the form of an android (female, of course) with a personality. But some are more succesfull than others, and three hacka dolls are sent away on probation: they have to make a human's life better by assisting them -- which is of course easier said than done.
Again, not that interesting, with the hacka doll's personalities being really grating. The concept is interesting, but then they had to go and make it a stupid comedy out of it...

Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note: Aya is doing great at cram school, so she is placed in a special class, where she meets four boys -- each with their own character. Aya is not off to a great start with them, but that gets smoothed over. Then a bicycle goes missing and the five of them start to investigate.
Pretty well drawn, and I like how Aya stands her ground when the boys belittle her. Interesting to see how they come together to solve crime.

Fushigi na Somera-chan: Somera learned some secret, magical technique that she uses with the best of intentions, but it only serves to make the lives of her friends harder...
It's short, shouty, ugly and random. I don't know why anyone would watch this.

Osomatsu-san: There used to be an old gag anime of seven brothers, with an additional cast of characters. They're now being re-made, but of course they feel they need to modernise -- which they do by turning into the bishounen student council for a high school...
Fourth-wall breaking, kinda weird. Describes itself as a "whacky comedy", but none of it was even snigger-worthy.

JK Meshi!: Short episodes about highschool girls cooking. It's short and kinda stupid, but if you can't cook, then maybe you'll learn something from this. Do not expect anything like Koufuku Graffiti.

Itoshi no Muco: Muco is the dog of Komatsu the glassblower, who lives somewhere on a mountain. Muco really adores Komatsu, and she is a friendly, enthousiastic dog. But of course, she doesn't really understand how humans work...
Kinda fun, and if you're a dog person, then this will probably all be familiar. We liked the first episode well enough, but it didn't really 'grab' us.

Brave Beats: Hibiki meets Bureikin, a dancer from the Dance Kingdom who challenged the king and was defeated -- so as a penalty, he was transformed into some sort of robot and sent to the human world. He latches onto Hibiki, and lets him use the Power of Dance to collect all the 'dance fragments'...
Made for little kids, with a weird plot. Learn new dance moves every week!

Shin Atashin'chi: The 'adventures' of a normal family. Amusing situations depicted with a compassionate view.
It strongly reminded us of My Neighbours the Yamadas -- which is good. Cool detail: the eldest, a daughter, is called Mikan, and the youngest, a son, is called Yuzu...

Peeping Life Season 1?: Short sketches, some using characters from Tezuka's works (like when Black Jack visits a doctor and gets swindled out of his wallet). Seems like they're made with motion capture. Oddly intriguing.

And that concludes my reviews of the new season!
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