The Fall 2013 Anime Preview Guide Zac Bertschy
Hapless megadork Onoda can't wait for his first day of high school. In middle school, he never fully "came out" as an otaku and has dreamed of the day he'd join the anime club in high school, where people would finally understand him.
Turns out the anime club has shuttered due to lack of interest.
But Onoda has a special talent - or at least a special determination - for riding his bike, something that gets noticed by cold-hearted straight-faced Imaizumi, who is determined to join the bike racing club, defeat his rival and become "the fastest man in the world". Imaizumi and Onoda wind up taking the same dangerously steep downhill route after school, and Imaizumi can't help but notice Onoda's determination, riding a totally inadequate "mommy bike" all the way to Akiba to buy nerd merch. Turns out this sparks a small rivalry between the two - at least in Imaizumi's head - and soon he's challenging Onoda to a race, much to the little dorkling's surprise.
So this is pretty standard sports anime fare, with a mild otaku twist to it. We pretty much know how this is going to go - Onoda's going to wind up as the underdog in the bike racing club, Imaizumi will slowly warm to him as a sempai figure, he'll develop a relationship with the cutsey-poo new manager of the club, etcetera and so on. The animation's fine, the character designs are distinctive, and it's all relentlessly unoffensive viewing. There's a lot of technical bike jargon (what would an anime about an obscure sport be without it?) but the characters are kinda-sorta interesting enough to make this a relatively pleasant sit. Onoda reminds me a little of the lead character from Felipe Smith's Peepo Choo, and right now the most interesting thing about this show is whether or not it'll really do anything with the whole "nerd vs. jock" theme it has going on. Potentially this could be an interesting character piece about a helpless otaku eventually embracing his natural athletic talent , getting over his disinterest in sports and excelling at something other than being a nerd, but who knows. Not really a strong recommendation but if you're looking for easy-breezy sports anime entertainment, you could do a whole lot worse than this.
Yowapeda is available streaming at Crunchyroll.
Welcome to the Glasses Club! 5 eccentric cutie-pies with fujoshi-friendly personalities are determined to let the world know about the sublime perfection of corrective eyewear. There's the impassioned, boisterous leader, two shouta types, a tall dark and mysterious guy and the shaggy-haired guy obsessed with cream puffs. Together, they're out to increase the Glasses Club budget by creating a pair of X-Ray Specs that can see through ladies' undergarments, like the kind you'd see advertised in the back of an old comic book. As it turns out, there's a vision test coming up, and the boys all assume the visiting doctor will be a hot lady with a hot lady assistant that they can test their x-ray specs on. Will the Glasses Club have enough time to complete the vision test AND finish the prototype?!
Meganebu! is extraordinarily goofy, obnoxiously stupid fujoshi-bait nonsense that moves at a breakneck pace while accomplishing very, very little. Story-wise, it's barely trying - it feels like it's based on a gag manga even though it isn't, stuffed to the gills with cheap fanservice gags (in case you were wondering, the first "cum on glasses" joke happens about 6 minutes in). Everyone in the show - EVERYONE - is wearing distinctive glasses, exhausting the average selection of men's frames you might find in a Lenscrafters before the first eyecatch. In the second half of the episode the shaggy haired cream puff guy takes his shoes off (if that's your thing, ladies!) and the tall dark mysterious guy strips his shirt off (if that's your thing, ladies! That is probably your thing, ladies.) The pretense that these dudes just want to see a naked lady is probably the funniest thing in the episode, because... come on, guys. You're fooling no one.
In terms of character, story, comedy, and nearly everything else that makes a show a show, this is a complete waste of your time.
But there's one saving grace here - in spite of the show's actual content, director Soubi Yamamoto has made the proceedings somewhat tolerable thanks to an explosive aesthetic flair little-seen in TV anime. It's a riotous neon explosion, parallax sliding panels and bursts of eye-searing pink and yellow filling the frame. Crappy fujoshi fanservice nonsense aside, I enjoyed looking at (hurr) Meganbu! enough to bump it up a full half point. There's literally nothing else here, though.
If Free! is the gold standard of goofy fujoshi bait - the In-N-Out Burger of campy dudeservice, if you will, then Meganebu! is clearly the Arby's. Wait, no, the El Pollo Loco.
Eh, just pick your least favorite fast food chain. It's that.
Meganebu! is available streaming at Crunchyroll.
I couldn't become a hero, so I reluctantly decided to get a job.
Rating: doesn't matter
I don't need to write this show up. It's basically the premise of The Devil's a Part-Timer minus all the charm and genuinely funny jokes that show had to offer.
Here's what the show's about:
There, now you know.
I couldn't become a hero, so I reluctantly decided to get a job is available streaming at Crunchyroll.
It's Tada Banri's first day of law school in Tokyo! He's fresh off the train from Shizuoka, can't figure out Tokyo's subway system, winds up missing the entire entrance ceremony and then can't find the law school campus, so he follows two random girls who seem like they know where they're going. On the way he meets Mitsuo, a guy who looks exactly like him except a little taller and manlier, and it turns out they're both goofs who couldn't find the right building.
Mitsuo hints at having a checkered past before a beautiful blonde in a Forever 21 dress steps out of a car and savagely beats his ass with a bouquet of roses. She's Kaga Koko, his betrothed since childhood, destined to be his bride thanks to a lifetime of wealthy family friendships. Turns out she's totally Kaga for Koko puffs, though, and is essentially hunting down the hapless Mitsuo, who enrolled in a different college just to escape her crazy shrewish ways. Naturally, Tada takes one look at her and starts falling in love, but she's off to ruin Mitsuo's life before he can get a word in, and that's when he meets cutie-pie Chinami, who looks exactly like Koko except a little younger and shorter (GET IT?!).
Anyway, Tada steps outside into the warzone known as college club recruitment, where a menacing gang of dancing "Latin Music Club" girls in Vegas showgirl costumes trap him in a circle of gyrating flesh. He's saved by "Linda", a demure, caring girl from the Festival Club who looks remarkably like Koko. This is followed by a lame-ass lame-wad speech about how college is totally gonna be awesome and he's gonna be a new person and maybe even fall in love!
The episode concludes with him standing on a pier and nearly getting hit by someone on a motorcycle. What?
Golden Time affords you the amazing opportunity to do the following:
THRILL! to the sight of two totally uninteresting law school students meeting for the first time, blathering on about where they're from!
STRUGGLE TO TOLERATE! the secondary male lead's horrible abusive one-sided relationship with a miserable psychotic bitch that's played for laughs!
FIND YOURSELF DESPERATELY WONDERING WHY ANYONE WOULD CARE! about the lead character who seems like the lamest, least interesting butthead on the planet!
SHUT THE EPISODE OFF! before the next episode preview because you have better things to do with your time than watch badly-written romantic comedies!
Golden Time is available streaming on Crunchyroll.
In postapocalyptic Tokyo, a wasteland of abandoned buildings and rotting infrastructure, three high school girls - determined but defiant leader
Alvin Ibara, brainy Simon Taeko, and super-genki, super-hungry Theodore Aoi - wander the city looking for survivors under the supervision of the "Vice Principal", who communicates with them via radio from a helicopter high above the city. The girls are genetically engineered to survive in the wasteland, following SOS signals, searching for signs of life. Eventually they come across dogs that appear to be friendly - nature-loving Taeko separates from the group and attempts to communicate with one - but they turn out to be a feral wolves, one of which Ibara winds up shooting dead. The hunt is on for Taeko, seemingly attacked and dragged off by the wolf.
So this first episode of Coppelion, lovingly animated by color-filter-happy GoHands, is mostly deliberately-paced worldbuilding. We learn the basic personalities of the three lead characters, the rough structure of the Ground Defense Force Academy they're in, and are given some hints as to what exactly happened to Tokyo ("Pandora's box was opened by human hands!" says the Vice Principal, referring to the toxic epicenter of whatever disaster befell the city). Mostly it's just long shots of these three girls wandering through gorgeously-rendered background paintings of postapocalyptic Tokyo (anyone who played The Last of Us will find the aesthetic familiar). The character design is fairly distinctive - I liked the thick black outlines around everything, and the animation is top-notch for a TV series, but with a backdrop this familiar and a premise this seemingly simple, they could've given us more story movement. The cast is fine for the most part, although Aoi's character in particular is pretty irritating - referring to herself in the third person, "I'm eating a lot isn't that hilarious" moments and generally loudly overreacting to everything the girls encounter. Regardless, I'm interested to see where this goes and how the narrative shapes up - I have a feeling we don't know yet what this story is actually about - but let's pick up the pace on the storytelling, shall we?
Coppellion is available streaming at VizAnime.com and Hulu.com.
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