Fall 2013 shows #2

Our hero pisses off the queen on his second day.
Our hero pisses off the queen on his second day.

Outbreak Company is tame and predictable. We got an otaku named Shinichi who gets a job as a company representative in a bad rpg-type world spreading the joys of moe and whatever else there is to the various elves, dragons and others. There’s a hole in the earth near Mt. Fuji that had a “hyper-dimensional passage,” you see. Actually, that’s the most interesting thing in the show so far. Not only the hole, er, HDP, but how the government’s first move was to establish a corporation with government interests there in order to facilitate relations and seek profit. Then they got an otaku kid to run it. The upshot is that Shinichi falls asleep (drugged) in one world and wakes up in another, one where cute half-elf maidens are maids, and the queen is a loli. Naturally he gets into some trouble. Give the boy credit, though. He has certain otaku-joyous exclamations at times, but shows some sensitivity around people like the aforementioned half-elf maid once he gets used to the idea. The first episode might have been tame and predictable but it’s also a first episode, so give it a chance.

Guess who they're mad at.
Guess who they’re mad at.

I haven’t decided whether to watch Infinite Stratos 2 yet, as I was lukewarm on the first season, but I thought I should give the new first episode a try. And what a clumsy, ham-fisted episode it was! Ichika wants to invite all the girls to go to a pool event, and naturally they all think he’s inviting them on a date, one-on-one, leading to Ichika saying “Why is she so mad for?” a lot. That’s about all he does or says the entire episode. The rest is spent with each of the girls, doing their things, and it is magnificently dull. Only the Charlotte/Laura clothes-shopping scenes show any life, and that’s because armed thugs burst into the cafe (huh?) where they’re working (double-huh? Oh, it’s so Charlotte can dress as a butler. I get it now) and they get to kick ass for a bit. Oh, some girl infiltrates the compound on the way to stealing a robot, if anyone really cares. I guess things will pick up next week, if I decide to watch.

Do you really need to know my opinion of Kill la Kill? Everybody already knows that it’s done by Gainax veterans, etc. I’ll just say that episode one lives up to the hype.

This happens in the first thirty seconds.
This happens in the first thirty seconds.

A hypermiliteristic school called Honnouji Academy has been subjugating the other high schools and, with Student Council President Kiryuin leading the way, forces its cruel will on the students and townspeople. A girl, Matoi, comes to town looking for the other half of a giant pair of fighting scissors … and gets beaten up, because she’s no match for the powered suits the higher-ups wear. Thanks to a teacher whose name I didn’t get, she falls into a hole and encounters a living suit who forces her to wear it. You can imagine what they did with THAT scene. She goes back and beats up the boxer-guy who beat her up before, and now it looks like it’ll be an opponent of the week until she can get the other half of her scissors and avenge her father.

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I keep wanting to type “Gainax.” It’s non-stop crazy (and often funny, like how they keep putting up the names of characters in huge red letters even though they have been introduced several times), but unlike Kyousougiga, which also likes to throw everything at you all the time, this show is more focused on the story and hence a lot more watchable. I’m worried that the formula might get tiresome, but it’s too soon to tell about that. I’ll just say for now that at one point, early on, after the student council has punished (killed) a hapless student, the scary march music gives way to a tense guitar lick, the camera dizziingly pulls back away from the school and the town, to give us our first view of Matoi, I realized I was grinning like an idiot.

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Golden Time is on probation. It spent the first half trying to annoy me as much as it could, and it didn’t get much better in the second. First, we have our hero Banri, lost on his way to college orientation. He sees a couple of girls who are obviously heading there, but instead of asking them where the school is, or joining them, he STALKS them. He then manages to lose them and meets a guy named Mitsuo who was doing the same thing Banri was. Hahaha! When they get to orientation Mitsuo starts going on, loudly, about the girl who’s after him. On and on he goes, during the damn orientation, and then it turns out that the girl he so despises, Koko, is sitting right behind him! Hahaha! By now, everything would be an improvement, and the show gets a little better when it shows Banri as a wide-eyed freshman, taking in all the clubs, cornered by scantly-clad dancers, meeting a nice upperclassman who might be his love interest, beginning to enjoy his new life as a college student. So I’ll keep watching. But they better stop with the predictable, endless comic bits they tried this time.

A point of contention between Fourth Progenitors and Sword Shamans.
A point of contention between Fourth Progenitors and Sword Shamans.

Strike the Blood looks pretty routine. We start out with a lot of people talking about a “Fourth Progenitor,” and then we meet a guy who must be him, because he gets a nosebleed when he gets turned on. If this was a comedy they could work with this idea alone. Imagine your average harem lead, except he’s been turned into a vampire, so they they send cute girls in tiny skirts that flutter up to locate him–which is almost exactly what happens here, except it’s not on purpose. The girl stalking him, Yukina, sent by the (I kid you not) Lion King Organization, or at least that’s how they translated it, was sent to find and follow Kojou and NOT show her panties, which is why Kojou (and we) wind up seeing them twice. By the end of the episode they’re on good terms, because Kojou, apart from his condition, is a pretty normal guy, and Yukina isn’t the idiot she seems at first. Anyway, he’s got amnesia and a dark secret and the ep2 preview has a lot of fire in it, so consider this an introductory, meet cute opening to a bloody supernatural show. I guess. I’m not sure I’ll watch it.

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