Kekkai Sensen returns and this time it’s Beyond! The first season was so crazy I don’t know if there IS a “beyond” for it, but ep1 certain tries. We start, after a “Dear Sis” moment, with Leo calmly driving through the city’s usual explosions but then he’s free-falling with a bug thing on his head toward certain death. His allies show up and do their bits, and it’s fun and crazy, just like the original. After that a “calmer” story where a US envoy gets his head stolen and Leo has to return it, while going through several different armies, militias, and cults, and more things blow up. And he loses his Playstation or whatever they called it, the bastards.
I think the creators wanted to remind us just how wild a BBB episode could get, so they threw everything they could into the first part, and I for one did not mind at all. I was happy to see they are still capable of delivering the silly grins when they want to. What the big story will be this time I don’t know. This was a standalone to reintroduce everybody. And that’s about all I have to say about the show this time; there’s so much going on that I get worn down.
In Animegataris, there’s a girl named Minoa, your typical clumsy high school girl heroine, who doesn’t know if she wants to join a club. While talking about an old anime series to someone at school, the class’s haughty rich girl, Arisu, overhears and calls her out. Turns out the rich girl is an anime fanatic who thought she had found a kindred spirit, only Minoa knows next to nothing about it. But she encourages Arisu to form a club. Arisu, delighted by the idea enlists Minoa to be the second member. Let’s go recruiting! … Oh, there’s a mysterious beret, Minoa going into a trance for no reason, and a talking cat. That all happens in the last three minutes.
I realize that the show was deliberately making the most generic comedy show it could (no Minoa running out the door with toast in her mouth, though) before starting up the more insidious part of the storyline, and the generic part, while a little familiar and dull, wasn’t bad. I enjoyed Arisu ratting off shows she liked, she reminds me of me when I get started on anime. But I’m confused on where the show will go next. Will it keep playing up the mundane parts, apart from the cat (who himself is kind of mundane, like a magical girl show mascot), or will it now jump into the mystery of the beret and forget the first 20 minutes of the episode didn’t matter much? If the former I’m not sure I want to watch. If the latter, maybe it will get interesting. Too soon to tell.
Imouto sae Ireba Ii starts with a rather disgusting scene involving a little sister waking the hero up, gets weirder and more disgusting, until we learn it’s actually a manuscript by our real hero, Istuki, which is thankfully rejected with extreme prejudice by his editor. Then his little brother, I think, comes over, along with some friends and novelist colleagues, and they have a nice dinner and go home, except for Nayuta, who keeps coming on to him. Then she leaves too. Er, that’s really it.
I almost stopped watching this two minutes in, and I still have worries that they’re going to show more of Itsuki’s siscon fantasies, and since little sisters are all he thinks about, there’s potential for that. But I rather enjoyed the rest of it. No overriding story arc apart from deadlines, potentially interesting characters, just people joking around. Oh sure, there’s Nayu’s nearly pathological obsession for Itsuki, and his refusal, though he rather likes her work, and I’m sure the others have issues we’ll learn about, but overall the tone is light and playful. I’m running out of room for shows this season, but I might look at this one again.
Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau brings us to a fantasy world where our hero, Chakuro, lives aboard a ship-thing everyone calls the Mud Whale, which sails on an endless ocean of sand. We follow him around for a bit, getting accustomed to the society and culture there (no crying!), the short-lived people with magic powers and the long-lived people who have no power but run things. They discover a drifting island and discover the first human they’ve ever scene beyond the Mud Whale. Things get mysterious as it becomes clear that the ship’s ruling class is hiding something. Anyway, Lykos the mystery girl gets abducted (again) by a Mud Whale rogue who things her world is probably more interesting than the Mud Whale, and Chakuro is dragged along.
The rogue is probably right. Life aboard the Mud Whale, in spite of the open skies and great views, feels closed off and restrictive. There’s more adventure off of it, and that’s where Chakuro, Lykos, and that rogue are heading now. Overall, this was a solid first episode if you can get past the strangeness of sailing over sand. There are some infodumps but they’re usually slipped neatly into the action or handled with efficient Chakuro voice-overs. They do nice job of setting up the society and its beliefs in 24 minutes, as well as introduce a number of characters and make them interesting. It also looks very good, with much of it seemingly painted or drawn, giving it perhaps too much of a folk-tale quality. But let’s see if the story keeps it on an even keel.
In Netojuu no Susume we meet a brand new NEET, Moriko, as she comes home with flowers obviously from her farewell party at work. She briefly casts about looking for a MMORPG, develops a stupid-looking male character named Hayashi, and quickly meets a cute girl named Lily, who of course is a man in real life, though Moriko doesn’t know that yet and probably wouldn’t care, and vice versa. They get very close online and give each other Christmas gifts, and in real life they go to the same conbini, though of course they don’t know that yet, either. So I guess it’s further adventures of a NEET next week.
Possibly because I’m not a NEET, I don’t know why anyone would want to become one. Those flowers suggest she was appreciated a little at work, so Moriko’s decision to chuck that life in the trash, like the flowers, confuses me. But she jumps wholeheartedly into the MMORG, so she’s at least happy, though first thing that happens is that she gets into a relationship with another character in the game suggest she still needs other people. Maybe that will be one of the show’s themes. And in spite of what I said, I like Moriko a lot. I like watching her play the game more than I do the game characters or any of the quests, well, partly because those scenes are kind of lame. Too soon to tell on this one. If they concentrate more on Moriko and the real world rather than the game, I might enjoy this show.
Finally, for the Fall previews (because I’m going to take the season off from writing about shows and may only watch a couple, so I’m worn out doing this) we have (takes a breath) Boku no Kanojo ga Majime Sugiru Shobitch na Ken, let’s just call it Shobitch. It stars a bland high school boy named Haruka who has a crush on the lovely and perfect Akiho, and so confesses. She says yes, then in the scenes following, tries to get as much info out of him about his sexual proclivities, not to mention what sort of positions she ought to learn, etc. Hayashi just wanted a girlfriend, so he winds up doing a lot of straight-man work, and then there is his old friend Shizuku, who nearly wrecks the whole relationship by interfering.
Not crazy about this one at all. It’s like a lesser Seitokai Yakuindomo, and THAT show wasn’t exactly great, either. I will say that this one has an actual romance in it, but I don’t care for either kid, even if Yuuki Aoi is playing Akiho. The character’s trying too hard got on my nerves after awhile, and Haruka is a boring lead male. Shizuku annoyed the hell out of me. I’m afraid I don’t have the patience to see what the other girls in the harem are going to be like. It also doesn’t look very good. I don’t like Akiho’s character design at all. The others aren’t much better.
So that wraps up the previews. As I’ve said a couple of times, I will write very little this season, if at all. Real life is sneaking up on me again. A shame because there are a handful of series here with potential and I only watched a fraction. I hope you enjoyed this and if one of my recommendations here leads you astray, well, tough.