Some Random Anime Reviews From A Very Boring Person

With television, it seems like – for me, anyway – it’s always feast or famine as far as good new shows go.

This autumn, alas, looks set to be firmly on the side of “famine”, at least here in the West. There’s Mythbusters, Outsourced, and The Big Bang Theory, and… that might be it, right now. Detroit 1-8-7 is entertaining, but not (apparently) getting very good ratings, so its future is… iffy. Eureka, Southland, Rizzoli and Isles, and Dirty Jobs are between seasons; pirating overseas television nets a mere six episodes of The Inbetweeners, as Sea Patrol and Rescue: Special Ops are also “between seasons”, alas.

Looks like I’ll be watching anime again this season.

Unfortunately, the selection this fall is pretty lackluster there, too…

As I’ve said before, I’m really mainly into comedy, especially where anime is concerned. I’ll pass on the harem shows, adaptations of “dating sims”, and giant mecha battle-thons. I try to avoid anything with vampires in it, and I’m mildly allergic to improbably large, improbably jiggly… busoms.

That means, right now, I’m watching Squid Girl (Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Fortune Arterial, To Aru Majutsu no Index II, and MM!. Let’s run through these in order:

Squid Girl: A bizarre comedy about a… squid… who gets fed up with all the pollution mankind is dumping into the ocean, and decides to take matters into her own hands. Or tentacles. Or whatever. Cue one squid – who manifests as a short, blue-haired, teenage girl – and her plan to subjugate humanity – all one-thousand or so of us, or so she thinks – and become ruler of the world. Regrettably, her plan for world domination is derailed when she gets shanghaied into becoming a waitress at a beachfront restaurant. Much hilarity, and the vomiting of squid ink, ensues.

It’s a lot better than it sounds. Really. It’s extremely funny, and strangely compelling. It streams on Crunchyroll, and rips can be downloaded from various places on the web. Recommended.

Fortune Arterial: Mildly introverted dude goes off and enrolls in a posh private academy. Misunderstandings and hijinks ensue. It seems to have potential; it supposedly avoids becoming YAFHS (Yet Another Funking Harem Show, where one “lucky” male character gets hounded by a huge cast of potential romantic interests), and the artwork is quite attractive. As of the first episode, though, it looks like a vampire may figure into the plot (if there is a plot) somehow, so I may have to stop watching this on general principle. Or continue, and let it be my (moderately) guilty pleasure of the quarter. Sort of kind of half-heartedly recommended, mainly because it – unlike far too many other shows this season – doesn’t involve poop, incest, voluptuous boobies, or anything else egregiously annoying. It also streams on Crunchyroll, so… yeah.

To Aru Majutsu no Index II: Possibly extremely entertaining, if you saw and enjoyed the first season of To Aru Majutsu no Index. Probably fairly incomprehensible, if you didn’t. (The sheer number of prominent recurring characters in this franchise is… mind-boggling.) Possibly the most beautiful show of the season, in terms of art, and possibly one of the most anticipated, given the popularity of the first season. That said, the first episode, while visually spectacular and with more than a few extremely funny moments, was not the greatest, in terms of plot and whatnot. (I could try and explain the plot, but I’ll just defer you to Wikipedia, which barely scratches the surface of this thing, despite devoting a couple thousand words to the subject.) I’m very much hoping things improve as the season goes on, otherwise one might have to trot out tired cliches like “jumped the shark”, and that would make me sad. If you liked the first season (I did), you’ll probably want to watch this. Otherwise, not so much so. I don’t think it’s streaming legally anywhere, but it’s pretty easily torrented or downloaded.

MM!. Ah, MM, you abhorrently guilty pleasure. A pleasure? Yes, believe it or not; it’s really quite funny, without being particularly crude or obscene. Guilt? Oh goodness yes. See, MM! is the tale of an average (male) high-school student, the girl he’s not-very-secretly in love with (but who is reasonably androphobic, and accidentally turned him into a very hardcore masochist by hitting him), and her enthusiastically sadistic best friend, who happens to volunteer for a student volunteer group to which the main character has turned for help with his, you know, masochism. Also, there’s the main character’s best friend, who happens to be a crossdresser.

With a premise like that… the show should suck sweaty donkey balls. Yet, it… doesn’t. Sure, the unholy meeting between the sadist and the masochist, and the things she tries to cure him of his condition (aversion therapy), are played for laughs; this is a comedy, after all. (And a very funny one, at that.) Yet, one of the more redeeming aspects of the show is that the main character isn’t particularly ashamed of his masochism, and nobody really seems to treat him like a filthy pervert, as other shows might. (It’s not “ZOMG, I have a disgusting secret”, but “Hi, just so you know, I happen to get turned on by abuse, but I don’t really want to.”) Likewise, while the crossdresser is initially a little hesitant to reveal his hobby, when he does, nobody really seems to blink an eye. I know the Japanese are supposed to be a bit more open-minded than, say, we Americans, but it’s still really rather refreshing to see a show – particularly a comedy – that treats deviants like any other people, and this is enough to make me, possibly hypocritically, overlook the very squicky relationship between the main character, his sister, and their mother, urgh. Highly recommended; come for the comedy, stay for the tolerant and accepting characters, and their tentative efforts towards resolution… and romance. It doesn’t appear to be streaming legally anywhere either, but… yeah.

Published in: Geekiness, General | on October 13th, 2010| 1 Comment »

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  1. On 11/3/2010 at 1:24 am Chennen Said:

    I decided I hated Index 2 already. Why are there nuns in garter belts? I wanted just one show that could show the intricacies of religion, magic, and science in a clever and SERIOUS way, and it doesn’t grant me that chance.

    I wanted it to be funny too, but I didn’t like it much.

    Index Season 1 got better toward the end, like everyone told me, but it seemed like it only did for me as character relations matured. Everything else about it was rather ridiculous.