New Spring 2016 #4

Superlovers starts and maybe ends in Canada.
Super lovers starts and maybe ends in Canada.

I got the impression reading about Super Lovers that the whole story would be about our hero, Haru, “taming” a wild boy. But in fact the boy, Ren, is more or less tamed after one episode. Haru visits his mother in Canada, gets ordered to handle the boy, gets bitten and scratched a lot, but almost entirely offscreen. On screen we see a slow and steady progress but not the struggle. Ren starts wearing shoes, but we don’t see more than a comic still image. He eats his meals. It’s a bit of a shame because it seems too easy. Maybe it is. Show someone kindness and they usually settle down, perhaps more so when they’ve gone through abuse like Haru has.

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Now what? Does Ren move to Japan and hang out with all the cute guys we see in the ED? What about that weird final bit with the car wreck or whatever it was? I guess we’ll find out. To be honest, I’m not crazy about realistic slice-of-shows, even good ones, and this was a very good first episode. It has serious themes overriding it yet avoids manipulative emotions or preachiness. I haven’t figured out what goes on in Haru’s head yet, but I’m curious to find out. That and whatever other characters show up might override my indifference to the genre.

Onigiri's opening promises a lot of blazing action!
Onigiri’s opening promises a lot of blazing action!

Apparently Onigiri is a game where super-powered girls (and one guy) fight kamikui in a traditional Japan. In the show, they start to fight but argue over whose turn it is until the kamikui blast them to various places. We follow Shizuka and Yoshitsune (I think) as they encounter more kamikui on their way back, until they are removed and accounts frozen for a week for “faulty equipment.” I’m guessing the gun Shizuka whipped out. And that’s it for episode one.

Doesn't really turn out that way, though.
Doesn’t really turn out that way, though.

An amusing enough take on this sort of game. Not only are the girls’ accounts suspended, but Jin, the only male character if you don’t count the narrator, doesn’t speak aloud but has his dialogue written out, like in the game, I assume. Whether this will continue to be funny for more than two or three episodes is unclear, even if the show is only three minutes long.

Bungou Stray Dogs lets you know it from the start.
Bungou Stray Dogs lets you know it from the start.

Bungou Stray Dogs features Atsushi, a starving teenage boy thrown out of his orphanage and contemplating actual theft to stay alive, sees a pair of legs sticking up in the river. His better side prevails and he rescues a guy named Dazai–who didn’t want to be rescued. They then meet Kunikida, a fellow member of the Armed Detective Agency, meaning they have superpowers. They’re hunting a man-eating tiger. Funny enough, Atsushi is being followed by one! You get where episode one is going.

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RC suggested that this might be similar to Kekkai Sensen but without out so much visual flair, and that’s about right. Not as much flair, but on the plus side, it keeps BBB’s sense of humor, odd characters (all named after old writers), and clever direction. Episode one is just lighter on the sheer visual lunacy, I can live with that. This was a lot of fun to watch, not only during the brief action, but when the characters are doing nothing but sitting around bickering. So far this is one of the season’s front-runners, but there’s plenty more to go yet.

Happy happy little town with some misfortuate girls in it.
Happy happy little town with some unfortunate girls in it.

And now, our newest entry in the “cute girls doing cute things” category, Anne-Happy, where we watch a not particularly happy girl named Ruri on her first day of high school, try to rescue Anne, who is suspended from a bridge with a biting doggy in her arms. Misfortune ensues, but Anne thinks it’s all good because the doggy was saved or something. At school they learn that they, plus Botan (always sick or injuring herself), and others we haven’t met yet, are all prone to really bad luck and will spend their high school days taking happiness classes, starting with homework: taking home a raw egg and bringing it back unbroken the next day, which is what the second half of the episode is all about.

That's what I said: happy.
That’s what I said: happy.

Too early to tell. I like my CGDCT shows to be at least a little strange, and this one certainly has a strange premise. The characters are, so far, all strange apart from Ruri, the sensible, voice of reason and hence the straight man but they’re not uniquely strange. Anne is a stupidly happy optimist in spite of what happens to her. Botan’s injury schtick isn’t much, but her comments about her own creepiness makes her my favorite so far. Slack must be made for episode ones, especially with plotless shows like this one. We’ll have to see how the entire gang interacts before making judgments.

Netoge starts with your typical role-playing game fantasy world backdrop.  Fortunately, the characters get to leave when they want.
Netoge starts with your typical role-playing game fantasy world backdrop. Fortunately, the characters get to leave when they want.

Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? is sort of a high school rom-com. We have Hideki, average, decent okatu boy, who was once accidentally deceived by a trap in a game, and swore off love forever. And now another online girl, Ako, is all over him, but he’s okay with it because he decided it doesn’t matter if they’re cute, or something like that. He has a real-life meeting with his dysfunctional guild and discovers that they’re all girls, two are his classmates, and Ako is an innocent sexpot. And, er, that’s it.

Ako is delighted with her, er, husband.
Ako is delighted with her, er, husband.

This is one of those shows where I can only guess the direction. Will it be about the characters getting more accustomed to real life, or just painfully shy Ako? The rest of them don’t need any help. Kyou is a student council president, Akane gets confessions all the time, and even Hideki seems comfortable in the real world. It certainly won’t be about their online experiences. Those are just a sequence of green ogre battles intended for laughs. Whatever the direction, it was a decent if not inspired first episode. They have to work out the chemistry between the characters, but they DID just meet, so that’s expected. If they can do that this might be fun to watch.

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