October 11th, 2013

SD Fub

New anime

I've gotten a bit of a backlog. Let's see if I can clear that up.

Walkure Romanze: There's this school where jousting is the main sport. Students enroll in the 'Knight program' to train for jousting, while the people in the 'Squire program' train to support them. Takahiro used to be in the Knight program, but switched to the Squire program after some kind of accident. Now he looks after the horses -- mainly a horse called Sakura who seems to have a fondness for eating the skirts of the female students!
It seems like Takahiro is pretty much the only male student in this series. And everybody wants him as their squire, because he was pretty succesfull when he was a knight. So yes, total harem anime -- but in a rather unique setting with a male protagonist who is not a total idiot. Designs are nice too, which also helps.

Log Horizon: When a new expansion to the once-popular Elder Tales MMORPG is launched, players find themselves in the game and unable to log out. It seems like they are actually in the game, and while the console commands are still available (except for the 'log out' button), it seems possible for them to execute their special attacks by trying to move their bodies. Of course, the player base is in a bit of a panic, and the guilds quickly grow as people flock together to exchange information and seek protection.
One of the players, the strategist Shiroe, does not want to join a guild, and assembles a rag-tag band of friends to band together to see what they can do while trapped inside the game.
It seems like the second coming of Sword Art Online, except there is no talk of some sort of virtual reality helmet. There doesn't seem to be a mastermind behind it all either (as far as we know after the first episode). But it's interesting, and it promises to be much more character-driven than SAO. Good fun.

Unbreakable Machine-Doll: Raishin is a magician. He has a magical mechanical doll, Yaya, who feeds off his mana. Powering Yaya with his spells, the duo can perform remarkable feats of power -- but Raishin is by no means unique, and even the next-to-last on the school ranking. He is there to do battle with the magician who killed his sister.
So, it's a battle series with lots of flashy effects and lots of shouting. And Yaya has the hots for Raishin, which makes for some awkward scenes. It looks gorgeous, but we didn't find it very interesting.

Yowamushi Pedal: Sakamichi is an otaku, and he wants to start an anime club on his new high school (though he seems a bit embarassed to be a lone otaku). And even though he looks like a wimp (and even considers himself to be one), he has no problems riding his 'granny bike' up a steep hill with a 20% slope, or ride the 40 kilometer to Akihabara and back in an afternoon. In short, he has a natural talent for cycling, even though he doesn't know it himself. But the members of the cycling club are looking to recruit additional members...
A sports anime. About cycling. It's kinda refreshing to have the main character not know that he is a natural talent, and even not have any interest in the sport at the beginning of the series. And it's fun to think of a lone otaku out-cycling a guy who considers himself to be a talented cyclist, in full gear.

Meganebu!: Literally, "The Glasses Club". Akira loves his glasses, and he assembles various other bespectabled boys on his technical highschool around him. Together, they are the glasses club -- and their mission seems to be to build a pair of X-ray glasses to see through the clothes of pretty women.
We wanted to like this, but it was too stupid for our tastes. I didn't like the style of direction very much either. Pity.

Arpeggio of Blue Steel: In 2039, sea levels rise. And a mysterious 'fleet of fog' appears, which cuts off all shipping routes and starts jamming electronic communications, effectively isolating countries within their borders. The superior offensive and defensive capabilities of the fog fleet prove too powerful for the fleets of humanity. But Gunzo, whose father is rumoured to have defected to the fleet of fog, one days is contacted by a girl. She is the avatar of a fog submarine, and all she knows is that she is ordered to obey Gunzo. And so Gunzo recruits a crew and sets out as some kind of mercenary on his fog ship.
It's interesting, with a solid back story. The fights are pretty cool, though not of the caliber of Red October. It seems like every fog ship has a cute girl as avatar, so that'll be weird. And the character animation is also done with CGI, which makes for some oddly animated scenes. In the end, it couldn't charm us to convince us to keep watching.