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Author Topic: Winter Season 2017 : First Impression Reviews & Dicussion  (Read 1977 times)

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Offline The SlamJam

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : First Impression Reviews & Dicussion
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2017, 06:17:02 PM »
Kinda surprised you didn't watch Interviews with Monster Girls, to be honest.  It manages to be pretty chill while also having an unexpected amount of substance to it.


Demi Chan is awesome

Offline Manimal

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : First Impression Reviews & Dicussion
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2017, 06:18:52 PM »
I thought it would be so-so when the season started but it does surprise me what I've heard about it. I'll likely go back to watch it after to see how I like it.

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : Final Thoughts
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2017, 11:54:42 AM »
In Conclusion : Gabriel DropOut


Angels will be demons and demons will be angels, and angels will also be slobs. Gabriel DropOut is the lazy tale of our title character Gabriel. A new graduate of heaven, she is sent to earth to study but on the discovery of videos games her life makes a change for the laziest. Once a pure and kind angle, Gab is now lives the NEET life. With her is the angel like demon Vignette, the boastful and unlucky Satania, and playful sadist from heaven Raphiel. This series follows their episodic, skit based, adventures.

Gabriel DropOut is Doga Koba's cute girls show of the season. With the angels and demons twist we have a bunch of funny characters who don't act like they're suppose to. It's set in school and each episode is divided into about two parts, typically focusing on the different characters. Each one of the main four is colourful and has her own set of odd traits. The characters all have different dynamics with each other, Vignette is always nagging Gab to fix her life, while Raphiel completely plays Satania like a fool, just for entertainment.

The comedy is quite strong in the series, with a lot of silly jokes. Satania is always on the butt end whenever she's in a scene, but there are some nice moments to show some actual friendship in the group. There is a tight group of side characters, the restaurant owner is perhaps the best as well as the tough looking teacher. A lot of scenarios in this series revolve around wacky characters with an onlooker or straight man questioning them. For the kind of series it is Gabriel DropOut is surprisingly funny.

Artwise the show is okay. It has bright colours but the overall style is sort of bland. It's just a decent looking production, nothing is too great about. It's certainly nowhere near as good looking as New Game. Voice acting is fine, and as a production it's solid if not fantastic. Gabriel DropOut is a fun series, it can be quite humorous at times and the characters are likable. It's best when it gets outrageous. I would recommend Gab for a light comedy watch, it has a lot of good moments.


Offline Manimal

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : Final Thoughts
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2017, 11:26:38 AM »
In Conclusion : Akiba's Trip The Animation


The time has come to strip back the layers and just get wild with it. Akiba's Trip is a comedy expose about a group of teens fighting against the vampires of Akihabara. Each episode follows a new adventure and hobby in the otaku world. The bugged ones are the evil threatening to destroy the culture, the way to defeat them is simple, removing their clothes. Our hero Tamotsu was just chilling with his sister Niwaka when a fatal encounter lead him to meet the bat swinging red haired heroine Matome. When brought to the brink of death a fateful kiss turns Tamotsu into an advanced bugged one like Matome. Now with the help of Arisa the gang fights the bugged ones and...ya it's a silly show.

Akiba's Trip is structured like a game. Each episode one of the cast gets into a new hobby, like idols, competition eating, pro-wrestling etc. The bugged ones end up appearing and the gang beats 'em up. A narrative progresses with the mysterious villain chilling out as her minions do evil things. It's a theme of the week kind of show and all centres around aspects of otaku culture, which makes sense given the Akihabara setting. This is an otaku show and it can be pretty fun. It gets predictable by the end, going down the typical superhero formula of, great defeat and great comeback, but really, who's watching this for a story anyway.

The humor is on and off in the show. Some episodes like the one where Tamotsu gets super into idols and audio equipment and quite funny. There are nice touches and details in the show, like his giant cell phone and the background characters from the games making cameos. The ecchi element can be fairly light, often the characters end up in their underwear and Arisa is always wearing some type of cosplay. The artstyle and overall tone is far too crude to make these stripping moments anything more then silly, it's played up pretty well. The idea of the show is stupid but that's the point. The show realizes this and delivers a lot of silliness and fun along the way.

Some elements are pretty stiff in the show. The cast is alright, Tamotsu is a good male lead who has explosive passion and a real love for the otaku lifestyle. He goes from hobby to hobby and is taken to some dramatic extremes. Matome is a semi tsundere who not so secretly likes him and Arisa is the large breasted blond who goes moi moi and talks in a high voice. Certainly they are a fairly likable bunch but I feel they can be a little cardboardy at times. The voice direction adds to this, Rie Takahashi is an excellent seiyuu but her performance as Matome lacks a certain expression. It's just bland. Arisa's voice is no better, she has a very contrived and pitchy tone.

Conflicts are resolved quickly, in most episodes the bugged one reveals themselves in the last minutes and is fast beaten, sometimes with a sort of plan. It pays off in the end with a big final conflict of sorts but for me I found Akiba's Trip to be a series which somehow got worse episode after episode. It's not a great series, fun for a couple laughs, but I can't completely recommend the series. It's not terrible but a strong meh is my overall reaction.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 11:28:17 AM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : Final Thoughts
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2017, 11:37:58 AM »
I typed this before watching episode 12 because I was like ya I get the idea the last episode won't lower anything. It was a good ep but there's still one more...oops.

In Conclusion : Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid


Ju Ju Ya! Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is a lovely tale of Tooru, a dragon who lives among humans. One day she shows up at office worker, Kobayashi's, apartment and they begin living together, Tooru serving as her wacky, crazy and clingy maid. Along the way others come and a little community forms around Kobayashi.

Kobayashi is a normal office worker who goes about her daily routine, when Tooru comes her life brightens and she is given a sort of family and group of friends to hang out with. The show is full of warm and cute moments, Kobayashi becomes a sort of mom for Kana who acts just like a kid. Kobayashi is an otaku, along with her co-worker Makoto. We see them serious at work and in geek mode outside, especially when drunk. There is also a Comiket episode and we see Makoto life of non stop gaming and anime excess.

Kobayashi is a sort of fantasy, an office worker in a boring life who suddenly has all these weird non-human friends. It has a warm tone, and though Tooru admits to being sexually attracted to Kobayashi in episode 1, things keep up the tone. The stuff with Shouta and Quetzal is the kind of "fantasy". Shouta suddenly has this large breasted woman who is willing to do anything for him just to live under his roof, but he's a kid so he's more scared of her. It's a silly bit, if this was the main dynamic in the series it wouldn't be half as good. Kobayashi and Tooru have a great relationship with each other. Makoto and Fafnir also have a broship, brothers in the otaku.

The warm moments are throughout and add a nice emotional level to things. The cast is very strong and their interactions and adventures are fun to watch. Given that it's Kyoto Ani the show looks fantastic. It's a simpler approach but the animation is spot on and all the sequences move very well. The art is wonderful, the style is nice, it's well coloured, it's Kyoto Ani! Voice acting is also pretty great, Kobayashi is a great production and a great show. I would recommend it very much.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 09:43:18 PM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : Final Thoughts
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2017, 09:25:48 PM »
I want to type a review on Scum's Wish but I really don't have the words to describe it correctly. It's a fantastic mature romance series that explores the characters personal feelings like nothing else. It's a tale of love, intimacy and all the ugly feelings of being lonely, longing to be wanted, unrequited love, the whole nine. It gets in great detail with the character's emotions the conclusion is satiying in that it's not happy. Compared to White Album 2, Scum's Wish is less of a romance as it's not about a boy who likes a girl, it's more like...a girl likes a boy who likes a girl so she's with a boy who likes that girl because she wants somebody, it's a whole thing.

It's not even half as depressing as White Album 2 either. I mean that show effected me for a number of reasons, and nothing can top it, but Scum's Wish actually had a light emotional effect on me. In fact the only scene that really got to me in anyway was the Ecchan and Hana rain scene because of how dramatic it was and how Ecchan never had any hope from the beginning. Scum's Wish is the kind of anime we need, something that isn't just a gleaming and happy romance but rather a mature show about love, and all the complexities. 

I wonder if my engagement in anime has dropped or if watching this weekly ruined the pacing a bit. I liked the show a lot for what it was doing but it didn't get to me on a personal level. Perhaps because I couldn't relate to it. Still it's my favorite show of the season.

Offline Manimal

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : Conclusion
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2017, 05:33:32 AM »
Okay now we can say bye bye to this winter season!

Overall Kobayashi's Dragon Maid was the best show. Scum's Wish I overrated, it was pretty good but I had no emotional attachment to it and truly the main reason I like it is obvious. But it was a good mature romance series that explores ugly and complex emotions. Looking back I feel like this season was kind of meh for me. I dropped half of what I started and Akiba's Trip ended being bad. Gab DropOut was good but already forgettable and Konosuba 2 was of course more goodness.

Last winter I completed 7 full lengths and this time it was only 5. There where three great shows I watched this season however, where last winter had only Konosuba. My focus is just going going going, I wanna get it back. I hope this spring that what I start will be worth going the distance. Some shows from winter might be worth going back to like Little Witch Academia, which was fine but I wasn't feeling it as much. Interviews With Monster Girls maybe but I wasn't getting into it after 5 episodes.

So ya to be quick.

Best Show : Kobayashi's Dragon Maid
Best Character : Hana (Scum's Wish)
Best OP : fhana "Rhapsody of Blue Sky" (Kobayashi)
Best ED : Sayuri "Heikosen" (Scum's Wish)
Best Art : Little Witch Academia




Oh nope it's not over yet. Got back on Bang Dream. It's very flawed and actually is a fusion of K-On and Love Live but without the elements that make those shows so good. There are like apolitical riot grrrls except kawaii rock style. More thoughts when/if I finish it. Actually I think it finishes next week.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 05:33:52 PM by Manimal »

Offline Manimal

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Re: Winter Season 2017 : First Impression Reviews & Dicussion
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2017, 09:50:13 PM »
BanG Dream! Series Review


BanG Dream! is a flawed product that tries to recapture the vibe and feel of Love Live but ends up as a slightly cheesy, dorky yet ultimately decent take on the genre. Not all idols dance and sing for you, in BanG Dream! our five leads form a rock band together. The series is a multimedia project, with many singles released for the Poppin' Party unit. The point of interest however is the voice actresses actually perform concerts, playing the instruments and all. It's also an upcoming mobile game! But with all of this promotion, the show doesn't quite do much that exciting or different. But let's smash into it.

Kasumi is a normal high school girl with no direction and no idea what she wants to be. One day she is led by literally stars of fate, leading her to schoolmate, Arisa's storage space. Inside there happens to be a ESP Random Star guitar. Kasumi is instantly in love. In their town is a venue, Space, a spot for all girl rock bands to jam out. It's a friendly environment that encourages fun, improvement and community. Kasumi watches the band Glitter Green and decides she must form a group. In a matte of time she gathers more friends, and through a series of arcs the band Poppin' Party comes together. The band aims to perform at Space, their one big goal.



In the group is our excitable lead Kasumi on guitar. She's basically Love Live Sunshine's Chika, the super motivated, hyper and single minded leader. Arisa plays the keyboard and is a raging tsundere, always in a sort of gumpy mood. Rimi is the shy bassist who's sister is the frontwoman of Glitter Green. Saya is the drummer, a troubled but hard working girl who's family owns a bakery. Rounding out the group is the only unique character, O-Tae is the odd, easily amused, lead guitarist. It's a simple bunch, composed of a lot of tropes. O-Tae is really amusing and she has a really weird personality, ever scene with her is great. Arisa is also solid. Rimi and Kasumi fall most to their respective cliches.

The series is basically about their struggles and journey to the try out at Space. It takes all the ques from Love Live, even down to the moody drama of why Saya can't join the band, and Kasumi over working and getting sick. In K-On Yui lost her voice, it was resolved quickly when Mio took the vocals and we got the awesome Husky Yui version with her on backing vocals. In this show Kasumi losing her voice is a whole dramatic and drug out thing. The show has a lot of this and drags heavily in the middle, going along overly slow.



It's a very simple story and it's told straight forward, with little else behind the scenes. The idea of Space is pretty cool, similar to the whole Riot Grrrl thing in the sense that the Owner formed the space for girl bands to play without worrying about the sweaty and unsafe rock crowds. But these bands ain't quite Bikini Kill or anything...in fact they are much less interesting. The music in this series is okay, but it's pretty standard. In a way Poppin' Party has a sound similar to those groups like Silent Siren, but the vocals and melodies are fairly standard.

Still by creating this little community there is a cool dynamic of multiple bands working together and being friends. The members all have connections and stories, and when it comes together in the end it was actually really nice. This little space is the only real unique or interesting thing BanG Dream has to offer aside from actually instrument progression. In K-On!, Yui learnt to play guitar super fast because she played all the time, but we never saw much of her struggle. In this series we see a little of Kasumi learning, O-Tae teaches her a few things and there is a sort of progression. In three months time she's still too good, but it's an anime.



The animation for this series is where it losses a lot of points. It's a stiff cardboardy show, with some truly dorky frames and an overall poor quality. The character designs are okay at best, Kasumi has some odd hair buns, and a lot of the side characters actually sport more interesting looks then our main five. It's a pretty weak presentation overall, and in the band scenes it all turns into CG. Now, the playing is very accurate to the music, but it's still CG. We have a long way to go before CG starts looking normal in anime, but this, well off-putting a bit, was not terrible. The main voice cast was composed mostly of rookies. Aimi Terakawa has a few roles behind her, and Ayaka Ohashi is one of the most promising rising seiyuus, but the other girls are fresh. They do...anime voices.

BanG Dream is a major shot at recapturing Love Live's success. However it ends up copying way too much, let's compare it to Sunshine for example.

Bang Dream
- Kasumi is a high school girl with no idea what to do
- She is lead by literal fate to discovering a hobby
- She sees a concert and instantly is dead set on making a band
- Kasumi gathers a group of friends to form a band with her
- There are issues to overcome to form the group
- In the end the group gets together but at first are unsuccessful
- Drama
- Small success


Love Live! Sunshine!!
- Chika is a high school girl with no idea what to do
- She is lead by literal fate to discovering a hobby
- She sees a Muse PV and instantly is dead set on making an idol group
- Chika gathers a group of friends to form an idol group with her
- There are issues to overcome to form the group
- In the end the group gets together but at first are unsuccessful
- Drama
- Small success


It would be incorrect to compare BanG Dream to K-ON on a basis of it being moe girls in a rock band. K-ON is not the story of Hokago Tea Time rising to anything, it's the tale of 5 high school girls chilling out in their little music room and living their normal lives. Love Live and BanG Dream are stories about a group with a goal and a dream. It's the struggle to achieving this goal that makes the series progress. It tries to win the viewers affection, and makes you want to pick a best girl. It's one of those type of anime. Not grounded, just a pure rising up, dramatic and generally fun show of moe girls in a rock band.

Overall BanG Dream is a bit flat. It does much of what's already been done before, and to more watered down results. However it does present a few interesting elements, such as Space, and the cast is fairly likable. It's not the best of shows animation wise, and in general it's a pretty mediocre production. A show like this would need a second season to really become something, as this one had too much moody stuff in the middle. I don't recommend this show that much personally. Still, BanG Dream! is a flawed product that tries to recapture the vibe and feel of Love Live but ends up as a slightly cheesy, dorky yet ultimately decent take on the genre.