Friday, 29 January 2016

First Impressions: Winter 2016

New Year, new Anime.

So fall 2015 may have only had a handful of enjoyable shows but i am really looking forward to this winter season... even if only for some shows that are coming off a 3 month break.

Ground rules:

1. I will TRY to give every show one Crunchyroll, Funimation and Daisuki a chance but that doesn't mean i am obligated to watch a full episode. If i stop early i will give a timestamp and reason for stopping.

2. No shows that are under 20 minutes in length, i don't like waiting a whole week for a 3 min gag. there are some exceptions it's rare.

3. No shows with Brother, Sister, Father or Mother in the title... too often it goes into incest... which i really do not like.

4. If the show is a second season of a show i didn't watch before i'm not going to talk about it here.

5. No card game shows, i may give them a chance but they really aren't my thing.

6. All opinions are my own and based solely on what i have seen. I tend to go into these shows completely blind. If i don't enjoy the show after 1 episode or even quit out of an episode early i'm not saying the show is bad... just that i didn't enjoy it.

Okay time to get started

Returning Shows

Mr. Osomatsu
Three month ago if you had told me i'd still be enjoying this show i would have called you a liar. while the first episode is very different from how the rest of the show ended up (and unfortunately it was taken down cause someone felt it was copyright infringment) the rest of the show is still very funny. And yes my fav Matsu is Choromatsu who is voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya... partially because i'm weak and really enjoy his voice but also because he's very much the straight man at times and he is just so funny. So yeah i know it's a bit of an odd show but give it a try if you are curious. it can be seen on Crunchyroll (except ep 1 until they remake it)

please don't go kuroko's basketball on me again... i can't deal with that...

Snow White with the Red Hair
So good, it was a long 3 month wait but now i am so happy. Looks like were jumping right into a certain arc which is full of cuteness... and then i imagine the next arc will be a bit..... chilly... and then there will probably be a wait of who knows how long for more *sobs* oh well cute show is cute and i will enjoy it while i can.
Also someone needs to license the manga... like now... i need it on my shelf.

Durarara!! X2.3
That intro song... so good, as good as complicated? probably not but still so good.
oh... looks like they are finally addressing the issue of "main character" and who it truly is in a cast so large.
such a good show.
Also that ending song... may end up my fav of the entire series (which is saying something cause Durarara has amazing intro/ending songs)

Utawarerumono 2
I have been told to wait for a few episodes and just marathon it... hopefully we get plot soon

New Shows

Active Raid
At the halfway point and i have to say... i'm bored.
I'm all for shows throwing you into the fray... many of my fav titles could be considered as starting In medias res but... this is just.... dull.
we start off with a girl we know nothing about on the train watching a video of getting a job and fancy glasses that are showing her the videos.
there theres a crime and even though she's just an intern to this police corp she's trying to run the show (then pouting when people tell her no cause she's the newbie)
then there is discussion about route and locations and motives and it's all done at breakneck speed and i am finding it hard to bring myself to even remotely care.
i know nothing about these people, i don't like the one they are insisting is the main and so far there is no plot... unless the plot is "police doing stuff in an increasingly corrupt society" in which yeah great... still don't care.
lets see if the second half changes my mind.
not really... i still don't know any of their names.
i'm sure if you like highpaced action with lots of terms you are just expected to accept then this show would be great... i just can't bring myself to care at all.

Myriad Colour Phantom World
oh... a Kyo Ani title...
i remember when i was so happy to hear Kyo ani was animating something... who knows maybe this will hearken back to the days where not every show looked like K-on
While it still has a bit of K-on in it (everything is so bubbly) it actually looks much better then what Kyo-ani has been doing lately... the proportions are pretty good and the animation is very smooth.
however this show is just going to be about how lovingly they can animate this girls breasts isn't it.
First off, maybe she should get a better bra, those shouldn't be moving around as much as they are... i mean the point of the bra is to keep them in place.
hm... he should probably think his fairy friend for making the girl land the way she did... otherwise he probably would have broken his arm (i know this cause i did break my arm in a similar fashion... only i was on a trampoline so maybe a surface that doesn't flex wouldn't hurt so badly.)
also being meta enough to realize that particular trope is overdone is fine... but the trope you followed is just as overdone so.. no points for creativity there.
*just watched the limbo scene* ok... so i was right about the purpose of this show... but putting that aside there was a far easier and less painful solution.
if she unhooked her bra (assuming she's wearing one cause again... they are supposed to prevent that amount of movement) and leaned back gravity would take over and she would on had to turn her chest into... uh... reverse basketballs?
I don't mind fanservice if it serves a point to the plot... but when the plot is just fanservice then sorry i have better stuff to do with my time.
the concept is neat and i've always been a fan of Paranormal things happening in a modern world but kyo-ani has burned me so many times before... i know this is going to be 90% fanservice with a little plot at the end and i'm sorry but there are enough other shows to keep me entertained.

wow that was a great first epsiode.
um summary.
this guy who wants to be a manga artist works at a pizza place.. however he has this odd ability where he suddenly gets sent 1-5 minutes in the past and is able to stop a terrible disaster.
The hook is great, the music is wonderful and the animation is pretty well done... not to mention one of the best first ending episodes i have seen in a while.
Definitely going to enjoy this one... thank you ERASED for making me feel like less of a sour puss.
ok onto the next one.

Please Tell Me! Galko Chan
oh thank god this is only 7:50 long... though for a short show it's got a pretty good cast... also good animation.
uh... since i ended up watching a bit... there are three girls who are friends and they all have pun names (galko the kogal, Otako the otaku and ojoko the princess [or ojosan]) and the gags seem to focus on making the one girl (galko) uncomfortable with things like questions about Breasts or kissing scenes in books.
so yeah if you find teenagers talking about rumors regarding certain aspects of the body funny then this show will be hilarious. i have a feeling though if your older then a teeager it wont be that amusing.

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
48 mins?
well i don't have a rule about shows being too long
it's funny the main guys voice was oddly familiar... so i checked it on MAL cause i couldn't place it only to find another character is being played Ishida Akira... who lately i've been able to pick out instantly but i had no clue with this one... and now it's all i hear...
Another great first episode.
I knew nothing about Rakugo before but it seems to be a on man show where the performer provides the voices of many characters and sound effects.
A man, after just getting out of prison, goes to one of the greatest living Rakugo Masters and begs to become his apprentice.
Normally he never takes an apprentice but for whatever reason he decides this one may be worth it.
Granted it is a long episode but it managed to get me connected and even tear up a little on episode 1... that isn't an easy task.
i want to stick with this... i don't know if every ep will be this long but part of me kinda hopes it is.
But why must everyone smoke *sighs*
update: only the first episode is long, the rest are standard length

Ojisan and marshmallow
3 min show... about a guy liking marshmallows? but being all tsundere about it... and then havingto deal with his co-workers sexual harrasment by trying to get him to kiss her in order to get the marshmallow
i don't get it
marshmallows by themselves are kinda gross anyways...

Sekko Boys
oh a pop group anime--- what
i don't even care that this is a short show... what
so... this girl is tormented by art school and the fact that all they draw is sculptures (ha ha poor thing, my school was pretty much all life drawing ) so instead she decides to become an agent and her first group is... well quite literally talking sculptures...
i wont watch it but yeah... very odd.

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation
i should make a rule about no shows about playing Online games... but they aren't "diving" in this one so that's good at least.
ugh this is just going to be "advertise all the games we can" the show well all the sega games we can...
ok i get they are trying to make PSO2 seem important but... the way they are going about it is kinda creepy... like it almost makes the game seem like the antagonist... which seems counterproductive.
but yeah i'm not up for a cour of being blatantly advertised to... pass.

Tabimachi Lateshow
yet another short show... this is going to be the future of anime isn't it... though calling this an anime is a stretch since... well it's more like a bunch of keyframes... no inbetweens. well unless you consider crossfades the same as inbetweens
ugh this is actually kinda painful to watch... oh well luckily i don't have to.

While the animation for these purely CG shows has gotten better in the past few years... i really don't like the look... everything feels so thick and stiff.
it's odd through it almost looks Fire Emblem-ish *does a quick check* oh... i wasn't expecting to be right... uh... neat.
oh so the realy title is Bubuki Buranki.... why the silly abreviation...
Good Smile Mart... ha ha ha that sounds like a dangerous place for someone like me.
hm... i'm on the fence about this one... while im not a fan of the animation the character design is very nice... but i don't know if i care enough about what little story has been shown to continue... the pace is a little breakneck and it feels like some of the stuff they revealed could have been... over multiple episodes...
i doubt i'll continue with this but i may give it another episode.

Nurse Witch KOMUGI R
this looks kinda like that magical girl show that was done by the people who did Excel Saga... it's not from what i can tell but yeah... the vibe is there. however knowing this is by the same people who made that bakemonogatori series....
Also i will never understand CG dancing for these pop idol stories... it doesn't really gel with the rest.
SO... i do consider myself a fan of the magical girl genre.
however there has to be a point to it all...
Even Madoka magica, which has the most saccharine first 3 episodes before the plot is exposed managed to keep my attention long enough (and yeah  i did almost quit)
this just felt... "lets be wacky!" and sorry... that not enough for me... i'm sure there is a plot somewhere in there but the first episode wasn't enough to give me a reason to keep watching.

Schwarzes Marken
this is going to be a show full of black censor bars isn't it?
Again, In Medias Res is fine... but i have to be given a reason to care... dropping me in the middle of a battlefield with so many characters and dropping a few characters motivation so blatantly as to make me care about them when i still don't know their name... like... you can make the music swell but i still wont care.
it's a bit annoying because the last 2 or 3 minutes before the credits are the most interesting part of the show... and it's the part that has nothing to do with the alien war... and i'm sorry but it seems like the alien war could be completely taken out and very little would be lost... and yeah i would rather watch a story that knows the plot it's trying to tell instead of trying to make it something it's not.

Ooya-san wa shishunki
2 min show... you know the biggest issue i have with these shows is the talking so incredibly fast. like... pacing is an important part of comedy and so... this isn't too funny cause it's just constant jokes.
anyways this guys landlord is in middle school... i assume hi-jinks ensue

Rainbow Days & club RAINBOW
for a shorter show (13 mins) it's got a really long intro song...
uh... it's about a guy who likes a girl... could have been a full length show but oh well...
wait... oh i get it...
half the show is the animation... and the other half is live action with the actors.
correction: the other half is dedicated to embarrassing the actors.
i don't get why they split it up in 2 episodes but ok... the show isn't my thing.

Divine Gate
Another really interesting show, love the style.
The story is basically about these people who can use elemental magic and a gate that can grant all your wishes. However Aoto refuses to accept his power and instead hides it away and continues to deal with unsavory rumors.
i feel like i'm not doing a good job of explaining it but they give yo ujust enough to hook you in that first episode without revealing too much at once.
still i think i'll end up enjoying this one.

wow that cg crowd.... and not really loveing how the eyes are done--- PA works? really?
hm... i hope this acting against her nature thing only lasts the one episode cause wow it's irritating.
also... where are these schools with small music clubs....
maybe my highschool was unique but i swear we had like 3 huge clubs dedicated to music (a normal band, jazz band and vocal band (it wsn't really a choir so not sure what to call it)
not to mention art club was packed and drama had a good chunk of most of the school in it...
and it wasn't an art school or anything.
oh hello Fhana... i don't even need to look it up...
anyways the first episode isn't enough for me to base my opinion on, PA Works shows always need a bit of time... i just hope it wont end up being a waste of time.
i will say there a 'mystery' element to this episode... and i sure hope that isn't a main theme cause yeah i really didn't like that... just stick to playing music and love triangles...

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across the Blue
The flying shoes are an adorable idea but... uh... why would a school focused on flying have the girls wear skirts it seems impractical.
uh... is there gunna be plot? cause... i just can't deal with this much cutesy moe crap without a point to it all.
Also... if you decide to change right infront of your window with the blinds open... well you can't be mad if people see you.
uh... well... the first episode was really boring... the music seems pretty good and even though i'm easily swayed by a good score... i just can't get into this...

KONOSUBA -God's Blessing on this wonderful world!
girl... either have a longer skirt or put on underwear...
in fact, goddess or not... transparent skirts are dumb
ok the midroll is kinda funny.
too bad this show is too focused on this girls ass to really be taken seriously... also that thigh gap.... lets just say it must hurt to have yoru legs detached from your hip like that.
ah it hit me... this show is what i was worried "Is it wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon" would be... but that was good... this is just fanservicy crap... it's like it saw the title of the other show and went "i'm going to copy that!" without actually watching it and yeah... you get this. It probably could have been good... some moments made me genuinely laugh but it's so focused on the girls Assets and has little to no charm or heart. also kinda terrible animation...
well i'm sure people will like it.... i'll just continue to watch for "is it wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon" season 2... or more of the light novel... which actually i have one more on my kindle i need to read~

Mahou Shujo Nante Mouiidesukara
short show... about magical girls i assume
moe as well... while the transformation sequence is better then sailor moon crystal...
so the joke is she transforms into essentially a bathing suit.... end episode.... and thats why short shows suck.

Pandora in the Crimson Shell Ghost Urn
uh... lesbian loli robots i guess? my fever is too high to deal with this shit.... pass.

Dagashi Kashi
So there are these japanese snacks... and a store that sells them... and the son of the owner of the store wants to be a manga artist. one day he's told to watch the store and a girl who looks like his main character comes and challenges him to a dual for who will be the best 'dagashi' store.
this is just going to be 24 mins of advertising food that i have never tried and have no reference of similar equivalents... with a character who looks like she would fit better in a danganronpa game...
I can see why Funimation is saying Barakamon is similar because of the small town vibe but... i dunno that show was so sweet and sincere... this one just wants to sell me candy i can't get (well i probably can but it's probably way more expensive)
yeah this isn't even amusing enough to give any more of time time... one ep is enough... you wanna advertise? fine... be a little less blatant about it. stopping everything to go "oh look at this candy, this is the slogan... mm so delicious" is just irritating.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Based on promotional art... this is the new show i'm most curious about... please don't suck
Well the animation is simply stunning. so much care in the motion and backgrounds and colouring.
ok well.. so far it doesn't suck but i need another episode to make up my mind. the concept seems to be something like normal people were brought to a fantasy world or even a game but none of them know how or why or even remember anything from before they arrived in grimgar.
there was a little bit of fanservice but not nearly as bad as the goddess one so hopefully we learn more soon about this one

Prince of Stride: Alternative
is this Free but with running?
well hopefully it has a better plot then free.
Ok while i do not for even a second believe there would be a school allowed club for parkour racing... this show was REALLY enjoyable.
sure at face value some of the characters look like free but
1. the animation is so much better
2. no fanservice... i'm sure we'll get a little later but as far as this first episode is concerned none and that is so incredibly refreshing.
now this is a shorts anime so i may not end up sticking with it till the end but as far as first episodes go i look forward to seeing more.

Luck and Logic
i'm really noticing it this season but if there is an info dump before I know anything about the world or characters i immediately lose interest... show not tell and all that... the concept seems neat, character design and animation isn't awful just... i can't care about the plot when shit just keeps getting told to me like i am expected to know and accept it without seeing why.

Dimension W
The intro reminds me of Gansta... which makes me a little sad... but lets see if i'm right that it's the same artist
Yep... so i guess i like how they handle 'Dubstep'... good to know.
Well i guess in this world robots... or whatever that charcater is... don't follow the three laws of robotics...
So... another story about a green haired robot girl who seems to have extremely human emotions... well it seems far better then Solty Rei... still overall the robot with humanity story isn't one i tend to enjoy. I may give it another episode if i run out of things to watch (cause that intro song is really enjoyable) but i probably wont keep up with this one.

OK so... last time i touched this was Jan 16 2016... and i have been holding off on posting because there are still some shows that i hoped would be picked up... just so i could give them a chance.
However January is coming to an end and 4 episodes in is usually when i end up posting these things.
Yes i know there are 'other' means to watch these shows however due to the industry i'm a part of i really dislike going to those other means... i haven't watched a show like that in over a decade... not about to change that
So shows i would have loved to have given a chance but can't because none of the sites picked them up:
Norn9 (this is apparently on Hulu but i'm canadian so no Hulu here)
Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage
Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut (again, on hulu but in this case i'm glad cause boy it just looks like a fanservacy mess)
Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu (hulu.... hm... i don't mind hulu getting anime but let other people license it for other country or get a player that has candian licensing please)

anyways that is it... would be nice to see some of those shows but what can i do~

So considering that i've had a couple of weeks to enjoy these shows the ones i will be watching are!

Snow White with the Red Hair
Durarara!! x2.3
Mr. Osomastu
Utawarerumono 2
Erased (probably my fav new show of the season)
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (my other potential fav of this season)
Prince of Stride: Alternative
Grimgar of Fantasy and ash (still on the fence... it needs plot to happen soon)
Divine Gate (also on the fence, interesting visuals but i need a reason to care)

So lots to keep me entertained this chilly Winter 2016.
what have your favs of this season been so far?

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

Well... this is going to be fun to talk about spoiler free.

and i promise... no spoilers... even though i desperately want to talk about each and every little thing.

Oh and Thank you to Xseed and Falcom and Marvelous and the translation team for bringing this game (and the next) over. you make me so happy that i get to play all these falcom titles (in fairly short succession... Second chapter just released like... at the end of oct?)

Thors Military Academy has quite the history, however after 120ish years in operation seems the faculty want to shake up the caste system that has been with them since inception.
Normally classes are divided between nobility and commoners.
Nobles, dressed in white, occupy Class I and II
Commoners, Dressed in green, Occupy III-V
However this year there has been an aditional class which mixes the two... Dressed in the best colour (or at least my personal fav) Red they are Class VII
because who needs counting...

Anyways everything about this class is a little different, these students have oddly high aptitudes with these new ARCUS Units so they were specially selected and go on these field studies where you would be convinced that the fate of the world may be on their shoulder.... because well it might be.

Anyways we Follow Rean Schewarzer, a Swordsman who apparently flunked out of the "Eight Leaves" school of swordsmanship and has resigned to being just another military grunt.
However either by chance or twist of fate he ends up the classes leader whenever they are on the field.

Normally i would describe gameplay like "this game and that game had a baby" but that isn't fully the case here.
this is more like a Legend of heroes game had two popular friends it hung out with... Tales of and Persona.
LoH desperately wanted to be cool and popular like them as well so it added a calendar and social points you can spend on certain days... and it added more skits after it's battle system
however despite these new elements it still feels just like the LoH games i have come to love. (minus the god awful translation of the Garghav trilogy... this actually has a fantastic translation that had me laughing quite often)
To me at least it didn't feel like it was ripping off these features... more adapting them to fit this new form (but hey... thats just me... i'm a Falcom fangirl so i'm more then a little biased)

If you have played Trails in the sky combat is very similar. Turnbased with use of Arts and Crafts--
i see what yo udid there falcom.
anyways Arts are magic attacks that tale time to charge, crafts are attacks that can do all sorts of unique things but you have to have CP which charges up as you fight.
S breaks are powerful attack that can be used at any time as long as yous CP is over 100 (max is 200)
However new to this game is Linking (like tales of Xillia but way better) and Bravery points... if you put an enemy off balance you can do an assist where you linked partner attacks and earn a point.
If you get 3 points you can Rush with you linked partner
if you get 5 point you can Burst with everyone (not accessed until quite late in the game but so good)

Other then that the game spends just over half a year with Class VII and their adventures across Erobonia
Also the music is really good, like some of the best music in the entire Legend of heroes Series (well... based on the ones i've had a chance to play)

Is it all perfect? no...
The game did crash on me once (luckily only once)
and there were certain instances where the lag did have me worried (specifically the 3rd floor of the final dungeon where the lag actually happens in battles as well... it's the only time there was lag out of a cutscene though [for me])
The graphics (while i like them) are not stunning or mind blowing but the world is filled with life and colour.

In the end i ended up with a timestamp of 77:03:01
so for a point of reference.
Ys games 8-50 hours (mostly thanks to Origins.. i think Ys4 was only like... 25 hours)
Assorted Tales of games - 30-60 (avg 40)
Trails in the sky 1 - 40ish hours
Trails in the ski 2 - 60 hours
Cold Steel - 77
Persona 4 - 80ish
Persona 3 - 120

I never expected the game to be that long... i thought it would be shorter then Second chapter (cause Second chapter is so long it's apparently on 2 UMDs)
and the best part is there is another one almost done translation... i wont have to wait 4 years (i hope)

to be fair the ending of this isn't quite as.... soul crushing as the ending of First Chapter.. but still i desperately want the next game now.

I really loved this game, i'm actually debating doing a New Game + of it cause i feel like i missed so much (well i know i missed like... all but 3 hidden quests...) and apparently some characters act differently on a second playthrough... i'm curious.

However there is one thing that makes me incredibly sad... and it has nothing to do with how the game was handled.

I figured out the biggest Twist of the game in the second chapter by accident.
so i spent the rest of the game trying to prove myself wrong
but in the end i was right.
And i was so incredibly sad about being right... i desperately wanted to be wrong. it'll make for interesting drama in the next game but dammit...

also apparently Cold steel 3 was recently announced as being a possibility... well... that'll probably be a few years away... *sob* one step at a time i guess.

One word to the wise.
Play Trails in The Sky First.
so many spoilers by character cameos
i feel like theres a whole chunk of the story i'm missing cause we haven't been able to play The Third, Zero or Ao or Nayuta... ok Nayuta no kiseki has no bearings on this plot but the fairy does show up as a plush toy
but yeah... play trails in the sky first, you'll get much more out of cold steel.

ok i'm gunna start a new game+ file and see what costumes it gives me (cause yeah... thats an option)
Also i wish i could play the field studies that Rean doesn't go on.... feels like there is half the game i haven't even experienced yet.

Then when i have had my fill i think it'll be time to give Final fantasy Tactics a try for the first time.