July 17th, 2014

Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?

New anime

Hanayamata: A 14-year old girl is quite average, and he is bored with her average life. One night, she meets another girl and asks her to come and take her away from her average life -- but when said girl turns up as a transfer student the next day, our heroine gets cold feet. The new girl is trying to recruit people to dance 'yosakoi' with her -- but no-one is biting. But then our heroine decides she does want to do non-ordinary things, and joins up with her.
Almost everything about this is nice: the character designs, the coming-of-age story (and which teenager wasn't concerned about what others did or thought at that age?) and the cheerful and unrelenting optimism from the mysterious transfer student.

Jinsei: Yuki is a member of the second newspaper club at his school. To widen their appeal, his club president decides to introduce a new advice column for the students. She arranges a panel of three girls: a jock, a science-type and a humanities-type. Obviously, their take on the different questions are quite different, and their personalities clash. Yuki has to manage all this...
It's quite lighthearted fluff. Sure, it's all girls and a single guy, and there is some fanservice, but it's not harem-like, thankfully. If you're in the mood for inconsequential fun, this is it.

Momo Kyun Sword: This takes the legend of Momotaro and turns it around, which results in Momoko (with appropriately sized bust) and her three divine companions. When the demons attack to gather the pieces of some divine thing, Momoko merges with one of them and gains tremendous power. She will need to save all the other pieces from the clutches of the demons, or otherwise some unspecified bad thing will happen!
If you enjoy watching a squeaky girl with big tits jumping around being clumsy, then this is the ticket. If you value plot, or even want to care what happens next, then steer clear.

Sengoku Basara: Judge End: More Sengoku Basara, featuring overly confident, shouty warlords with improbably destructive attacks! It takes off right where we last left off: Ieyasu Tokugawa determines that enough is enough, and rebels against Hideoshi. Will he succeed in uniting the land, or will one of the other warlords (most notably Date Masamune, the One-Eyed Dragon) succeed?
Again, over the top destruction. I like how it sort-of follows the historical facts, but adds its own spin to things. And Masamune is the coolest one around, like usual -- I almost feel sorry for him, because we know he didn't succeed in the end in conquering all of Japan...

Love Stage!!: Izumi is the son of a singer, his mother is an actress and his brother is a pop star. They have their own agency, but Izumi doesn't want to be in the spotlight: he'd rather draw manga. He was in one commercial, ten years ago, when he got dressed up as a girl to stand in for a starlet who couldn't make it in time. His co-star at that time has since grown into a huge idol, and when a 'ten-year anniversary' commercial is to be shot, he specifies he wants the exact same cast. Izumi needs to be put into a wedding dress and pretend to be a young girl...
It's a pretty amusing set-up for what promises to be a good dose of yaoi. It's obvious that the co-star idol was very impressed with the girl from back then -- I wonder what happens when he discovers it's actually a boy.

Bakumatsu Rock: Set in the Edo period, when the Tokugawa Shogunate was in control. Their top samurai are actually idols, and their popularity is used to control the population -- no-one else is allowed to sing! But then a trio of young rockers (complete with electric guitar and able to summon bass guitar and full drum set!) rebel against the status quo, spreading their music illegally and defying the Shinsengumi!
Easily the most bizarre male idol series this season. Shouty main character who shouts at people to listen to his 'music'. Two supporting characters who can conjure up instruments and who perform their own CGI-scripted routine... This first episode left me exhausted and confused. What were they smoking when they thought this up?