“Good” and “Interesting” are not necessarily the same thing; I wouldn’t waste my time trying to defend Astarotte’s Toy as a quality anime, but I also can’t deny that I found it interesting. Sometimes, the joy of watching a show is to see just how the writers will dig themselves out of this incredible mess they’ve created, and that’s this thing in a nutshell.
It seems that while basically treading water until the two leads decide to hook up in episode 12, the show has, perhaps inadvertently, done some interesting things with mother-daughter relationships and sexuality that I don’t see a lot- and maybe there’s something to be said for that.
Summary: As usual, the X-Men are incredibly slow on the uptake figuring out what’s going on in terms of the foe they’re fighting- guys, reality warping power means your reality will be warped. As I predicted (not that it was much of a feat), Hisako saves the world through the power of friendship, Jean’s conveniently omnipotent, and Takeo’s last wish is to make sure that his psychopath of a mother doesn’t get what’s coming to her. On the plus side, Hisako totally feels up Cyclops, making it a pretty good day to be Hisako. Continue reading X-Men Episode 12: Friendship is Indeed Magic→
Summary: The X-Men defeat their opponents, including Mash, the Unlimited Semen Works guy (FINALLY), Professor X gets his bacon saved by Jean’s sultry disembodied voice again, and Mastermind may have had the worst plan to take over the world ever. Since #12 is already out as I write this, I’m going to kind of gloss over this episode and just comment on the major plot holes- it really doesn’t merit any more attention than that.
Summary: In keeping with the recent trend for X-Men episodes, the action was pretty decent- nice Wolverine and Storm team-up there, finally- while everything else was illogical at best, mind-numbingly stupid at worst. There were some pretty significant plot bombs dropped finally, but while we may not have known exactly what was happening, anyone even half paying attention won’t be surprised by any of this.
Summary: For the first time, I actually regret choosing to blog this anime- not because this episode was particularly bad or anything (we’ve been given worse this season), but just because I am so incredibly bored with this already. Still, I made a commitment, and someone should point out that the X-Men attacking Mastermind would be kind of a good idea.
The slow death of my hard drive and subsequent new hardware installation has delayed my anime recapping and other such activities for a bit, but you know what we haven’t had for a while? Otakubites, all the news that doesn’t fit to print whatsoever but can totally go here.
1. Guess Who’s A Baka?
Lately I’ve been appearing on Bakacast, now the only anime podcast I’m aware of that reviews currently airing anime on a weekly basis. If you’re watching Steins;Gate, [C], Soft Tenni, AnoHana, HanaIro (anything with “Hana” in it really), or X-Men, you may want to give it a listen, as we discuss them for entire minutes on end, I tell you. Also, if you want to hear Dustin, Jon, Larry and Glen riff on previous season hits like Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt and High School of the Dead, there’s always the old episodes- which don’t feature me at all, but hey, what can you do? Nothing’s perfect.
2. Spring 2011 Anime at the Moment
While I’ve discussed a fair amount of this on Bakacast already, for those who were curious, here’s my current stance on the shows I evaluated at the beginning of the season:
1. Nichijou: I wanted to like this, but too many of the jokes weren’t funny to me…or even jokes, necessarily. I may go back and finish this series at some point out of curiousity, but it stopped being weekly viewing pretty soon after it started. I also kind of hate Nano because she looks so much like Azumanga Daioh‘s Osaka, yet she is so NOT Osaka.
2. Soft Tennis– frequently stupid, but refreshingly absurd and sometimes a lot of fun. It reminds me a lot of Excel Saga at times; sure, it’s probably not as good as Excel Saga, but most of Excel Saga wasn’t even as good as Excel Saga, if you catch my drift. A lot of people don’t like it for being such a check-your-brain-at-the-door kind of show, but I have to say this for it: it delivered exactly what the first episode promised, something most shows I’ve watched this season very pointedly have not done.
Also, how long after the Evangelion TV series aired do we have to wait for other shows to stop parodying it so consistently? The Eva parodies on this show make me laugh, but I suspect it’s a cheap laugh.
3. Hanasaku Iroha– This was a bait and switch. While not a terrible show, the tone of the first episode was not maintained for long, and the protagonist seemed to lose about 100 IQ points between episodes 1 and 3. I’m still watching it, but if it weren’t for Bakacast I probably would have dropped it by now.
4. Battle Girls: Time Paradox: Another show that didn’t deliver what it promised. The first two episodes promised some silly, over-the-top time traveling, gender-swapped adventures, while the actual show after that point has been mostly dull and pedestrian. This wasn’t necessarily a terrible show right off the bat- the potential for something entertaining was definitely there- but it seems like everyone involved just got very lazy very quickly.
I’ve also been watching Astralotte’s Toy for some reason, which I didn’t write up at the beginning of the season because I had NO. IDEA. How to explain it. I think I may have to wait until this one’s finished airing to know what’s going on here.
3. @TheOtakusphere: It exists
Hey, did you know you can find out when this blog is updated by following @TheOtakusphere on Twitter? Lamentably, many on the internet are not yet aware of this fortuitous situation.
After years of using my personal Twitter for everything, I realized hey, I might want to tweet something about cake at some point, and that’s really not fair to those who follow me for anime and game stuff, not cake. So you can stop following that OTHER Twitter account and start following @TheOtakusphere for all your Otakusphere needs, and I promise I won’t tweet about cake with @TheOtakusphere account unless I’m discussing Yumeiro Patisserie or something. Yum, cake anime.
Normally I wouldn’t bother actually posting about Twitter (considering the whole purpose of Twitter for me is to tweet about posting), but it’s come to my attention that some regular readers of this blog had no idea there was a twitter account to begin with. So! @TheOtakusphere! I’ll just keep typing that name until I erode any subconscious resistance to it you may have.
Okay, the title’s misleading: Mayuri isn’t necessarily an evil mastermind. But she’s definitely a mastermind, alignment pending.
While contemplating my favorite show this season that’s not about underage succubi princesses and cognitively-impaired mutants, I got to wondering: what purpose does Mayuri serve on Steins;Gate, exactly? She’s just kind of there. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that not only is everything about Mayuri, but she must be a genius the likes of which Okarin and “Christina” can only imagine.
Here are just some of the reason why Mayuri must be the key to the kind-of-sort-of puzzle that is S;G.
Summary: X-Men takes a turn for the better this week as they’re all far too busy fighting insane Resident Evil bosses to have the time to say all of the stupid, contradictory nonsense they normally say. Also, Storm does something! Wolverine does something! Cyclops gets punched in the face! What can I say, it’s kind of a winner.
Summary: The X-Men spend an awfully long time sitting on the couch chatting, Sasaki Yui and Prof. X have one of the most patently ridiculous conversations I’ve ever seen in my life, and Wolverine takes a page out of Storm’s book and forgets what his powers do. I would say things are deteriorating fast, but they’ve kind of been deteriorating at a real steady rate all along, honestly.
Summary: What is this, I don’t even…okay, this episode. Hisako continues to mostly outperform Storm and Wolverine in combat for no reason, the X-Men continue to have great difficulty with the “the U-Men have analyzed your powers and are using them against you” concept, and everything I thought I understood about the whole secondary mutation/DHS thing is kind of thrown out the nearest window and into the snow. Lots of snow. On the plus side, Beast does stuff.