[TV] The What Anime Are You Watching Thread!

drifter

Porkchop Express
By the way, digital copies of Black Lagoon season 1 in HD available for $4.99 from Amazon and iTunes.

Oh, looks like you can't download to PC if you buy from Amazon, only stream. Not sure about iTunes.
 
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Hey @DarkAudit, turns out you're *not* the only person in the world watching the new winter anime season after all!


Dammit, now I gotta sit around waiting for Overlord season 2 to finish getting subbed.
I meant I felt like the only one on HF watching the season. And Gigguk loses points for not mentioning Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (the hitmen anime).
 

Denbrought

The Last Dancelord
I have more free time lately due to [redacted] so I'm trying to catch up in anime. I'll be picking up current shows and slowly working backwards in time.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus' Bride) is fantastic/amazing/yessss. Clearly good source material, but the people in charge of the adaptation care. The attention to detail is good, as are the sets, landscapes, animation, VO... One of the first stories in a good while that grabbed my full attention, and given me genuine feels. I'll rewatch it when the dub is out, since it's set (mostly) in the British Isles.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is exactly what you'd expect. You should already know whether you'll like this, based on your feelings about the original show. The animation is more fluid, the characters feel slightly flanderized (though it's a bit early to tell for sure, since they're probably introducing a lot of people to the story here). I'm probably enjoying it purely out of nostalgia, but that's enough.

Pop Team Epic feels like Robot Chicken and Dead Leaves had a baby. I'm OK with that, but could not do more than one ep a week.
 
I have more free time lately due to [redacted] so I'm trying to catch up in anime. I'll be picking up current shows and slowly working backwards in time.

Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus' Bride) is fantastic/amazing/yessss. Clearly good source material, but the people in charge of the adaptation care. The attention to detail is good, as are the sets, landscapes, animation, VO... One of the first stories in a good while that grabbed my full attention, and given me genuine feels. I'll rewatch it when the dub is out, since it's set (mostly) in the British Isles.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is exactly what you'd expect. You should already know whether you'll like this, based on your feelings about the original show. The animation is more fluid, the characters feel slightly flanderized (though it's a bit early to tell for sure, since they're probably introducing a lot of people to the story here). I'm probably enjoying it purely out of nostalgia, but that's enough.

Pop Team Epic feels like Robot Chicken and Dead Leaves had a baby. I'm OK with that, but could not do more than one ep a week.
If I had to pick just one from the current season, it's be Yuru Camp. But there's a few others depending on what you're into. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is for the noir fan in you. Kokkoku is sci-fi with some existential horror thrown in. How to Keep a Mummy and Gakuen Babysitters are warm fuzzies for the insulin addict. Slow Start is pure CGDCT. You saw what I said about Killing Bites. ;)

@GasBandit got me binging on Overlord. I need to finish that quick to get to the new season. If you're watching subs, the same VA is best snek (Miia (Monster Musume)), best badger (Hitomi (Killing Bites)), and now best lizard (Lulu (Overlord II)). :)
 

GasBandit

Ask me about my Reprehensible Filth
Staff member
Ok, I finished off Amagi Brilliant Park. The final few episodes were better than the series had been so far, though the storytelling was a little disjointed in places. Still, though, it felt like we had 9 filler episodes and then suddenly 3 episodes that scrambled to address the season arc. But all in all, it wasn't terrible. I don't begrudge the time I spent watching it, but I don't feel the need to re-watch it.

I tried to start Slayers, but wouldn't you know it, in the torrent I downloaded, the VERY FIRST EPISODE is corrupt and glitches out 10 minutes in. I'll find another way to watch it, I was just too tired to give a shit last night. Ugh. Don't you hate it when you get 11 hours of sleep and it doesn't feel like enough?
 

GasBandit

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Slayers

Uh.. heh.. with the art style, production value, sound effects library, and hammy voice acting... this REALLY feels like a 90s hentai. I keep waiting for a tentacle demon to show up but this show remains stubbornly T-for-teen.
 
Unless you're waiting for dubs, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. NOW. First arc is done, so no need to wait for end of season.

Not sci-fi, but definitely got a Cowboy Bebop vibe to it.
 

GasBandit

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Slayers

I tried. I really tried. I gave it 13 episodes and I can't take it any more.

I understand that this is 90's proto-anime, when all artwork was bad and everything was always on a shoestring budget, but I also don't re-watch Ranma 1/2 or Robotech for this exact reason.

All the same, even putting all that aside... it's... not my cup of tea, and I don't think it even would have been back then. It's too... flailingly hyperactive, even in the animation style. The characters and plot are about as deep as a rain puddle. The (english) voice acting is atrociously grating (and I don't think I could stand to hear the Japanese VA, if even the english is this over the top), but a lot of that is because the dialog and character direction are so.. nnyyeagghh. Everyone is SO ANNOYING. This..

This is Spongebob. This is the Japanese equivalent of Spongebob Squarepants. It's bright and colorful and loud and goofy and on a perpetual sugar rush and everyone in it is SO STUPID. If it wasn't for all the period jokes and suggestive humor, this would be right at home on saturday mornings.
 

Dei

Always shooting Terrik
Slayers

I tried. I really tried. I gave it 13 episodes and I can't take it any more.

I understand that this is 90's proto-anime, when all artwork was bad and everything was always on a shoestring budget, but I also don't re-watch Ranma 1/2 or Robotech for this exact reason.

All the same, even putting all that aside... it's... not my cup of tea, and I don't think it even would have been back then. It's too... flailingly hyperactive, even in the animation style. The characters and plot are about as deep as a rain puddle. The (english) voice acting is atrociously grating (and I don't think I could stand to hear the Japanese VA, if even the english is this over the top), but a lot of that is because the dialog and character direction are so.. nnyyeagghh. Everyone is SO ANNOYING. This..

This is Spongebob. This is the Japanese equivalent of Spongebob Squarepants. It's bright and colorful and loud and goofy and on a perpetual sugar rush and everyone in it is SO STUPID. If it wasn't for all the period jokes and suggestive humor, this would be right at home on saturday mornings.
The second season is where Slayers really shines, but I can get it not being your cup of tea. I wouldn't compare it to Spongebob though.
 

Denbrought

The Last Dancelord
Utena Still rewatching, still great, though I forgot how unbearable some arcs and episodes are.
Killing Bites Christ the MC dude is unbearable. I like the general idea of the show (furry-mimi rasslin with mostly non-creepy fanservice), but some things grate. I swear out of every three words said, two are "Kiringu Baits". Engrishu doesn't usually bother me, not sure if it's the ratio or the monotony of it here but ugh. I'll keep watching for now because of the premise. Hoping the fights acquire more depth, at the moment they're basically Utena-grade (and I don't watch Utena for the fight choreography).
Kokkoku Probably my favorite OP song (second to Magus Bride's OP1, but that's technically 2017 I guess?) this year. The story is interesting, the characters aren't annoying, good use of mixed 2D/3D. Really improves after the first episode.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Good show all around, definitely will keep watching. Interesting to see a crossdresser in anime that is not a horrible caricature. Thanks for bringing it up @DarkAudit, I wasn't going to even glance at the cover/synopsis because the title had "Ramens" in it, and I can't stand cooking animes.
 
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Good show all around, definitely will keep watching. Interesting to see a crossdresser in anime that is not a horrible caricature. Thanks for bringing it up @DarkAudit, I wasn't going to even glance at the cover/synopsis because the title had "Ramens" in it, and I can't stand cooking animes.
He's still a hitman, but I had to feel happy for Rookie-kun at the end. :)
 

WasabiPoptart

Village Crazy Lady

Kokkoku
Probably my favorite OP song (second to Magus Bride's OP1, but that's technically 2017 I guess?) this year. The story is interesting, the characters aren't annoying, good use of mixed 2D/3D. Really improves after the first episode.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Good show all around, definitely will keep watching. Interesting to see a crossdresser in anime that is not a horrible caricature. Thanks for bringing it up @DarkAudit, I wasn't going to even glance at the cover/synopsis because the title had "Ramens" in it, and I can't stand cooking animes.
I've started watching both of these, too. HTR is better than I thought it was going to be.
 

GasBandit

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Cross Ange

I'm more than halfway through it now, so I think I can describe it accurately -

It's probably one of the worst polluted good stories I've ever seen.

This is the story of an imperial princess in a world where all humans can use mana, meaning that all economies are post-scarcity and nobody wants for anything. Except every so often, a human is born that can't use mana, and these "norma" are severely discriminated against. In fact, even being a "norma" is a crime. Once someone is identified as being Norma (usually as a small child, and always female), they are arrested, taken away, and never seen again. All humans believe this is right and good, as fervently as any one of us believes that the sky is blue and grass is green.

Princess Angelise is no different, until she turns 16 and it is revealed that she has unknowningly been a Norma all along - her parents hiding this fact from both the princess and the world at large by having assigned the Princess a personal assistant/maid since birth who does all the mana stuff. The Emperor and Empress told their daughter that she "must never use her own mana herself" as it is improper for one of her position, so the princess never thought it odd. But the revelation of her Norma status causes her arrest and the death of her parents - and she herself is taken away - leaving the callow, power-hungry brother who exposed her to ascend to the Throne unimpeded.

She learns the fate of the Norma - they are all pressed into a flying-mecha-based military unit that, unbeknownst to the human population at large, are tasked with guarding the world from dragons that invade from an alternate dimension through portals - sort of like X-Com but with dragons instead of aliens. While this might sound noble on the surface, the lives of the Normas are actually nasty, brutish, and short. They are educated until they are around 12, at which point they become soldiers. Princess Angelise not being discovered until she was 16 puts her in an awkward place, and her privileged upbringing combined with a stubborn streak means she has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into what her new life is going to be.

This show has a really great hook, and it's got twists and turns in its plot that make the story compelling and addictive.

But the show has serious issues:
  • The main character is probably the least sympathetic protagonist I have ever seen. She's truculent and obstreperous at all times for no reason, even against doing things that are obviously to her benefit. At no point do I ever find myself rooting for her, and at least once per episode I find myself saying "Oh come on, just do the thing, you stupid twit" in exasperation. Her dumbshittery constantly gets innocents hurt or killed, and she never seems to learn from her mistakes.
  • Most of the supporting characters are one-dimensional stock characters. They have one defining characteristic, and that's it.
  • The fan service. Oh god the fan service. Now, don't get me wrong, I like anime tiddies as much as the next guy (in fact probably more than most), but this show seems to relish any paper-thin excuse to show nudity, and it actually gets kind of tiresome. And that's coming from a guy who loves High School DxD, Keijo!!! and Monster Musume! Furthermore, while the "nudity" is a constant barrage, it's also simultaneously unsubtle and cowardly. What does that mean? Well, first of all, every girl is a Barbie doll. No nipples, no nothing. I haven't seen so many featureless breasts since the 90s. At least HSDxD either coughed up the whole thing, with nipples, or artistically shrouded the sensitive bits behind strategically placed shreds of clothing/locks of hair/convenient tree branches/whatever. But since Cross Ange has decided to embrace the tired old "it's not real nudity if we don't draw nipples" paradigm, they suddenly feel like they don't have to put in any effort or restraint into how they handle nudity. And as I said, it actually manages to get tiresome, especially since there's no real reason for it, nor is there any pervy "payoff," and it all just detracts from a show that otherwise could have gone mainstream and done well.
  • Some episodes (including the VERY FIRST ONE) are... really problematic from a sexual angle, even beyond the fanservice level. The protagonist, as part of the story of her "fall," is subjected to a not-at-all-gentle beating, full body cavity search, and implied rape, all at knife-point. Higher ranking Normas seem to be free to sexually use and/or abuse their subordinates, with higher-ups turning a blind eye and everyone accepting that this is just "how it is." Sexual violence keeps cropping up over the course of the show, and none of it is done tastefully. Less than half of it is there for valid "story" reasons, and all of it is portrayed in a way to titillate rather than inform - and it fails at that because (and I'm pretty sure I speak for most of us), bruises, blood and rape are kinda firmly over in the "boner killer" category. Reminder - most of the characters involved are between the ages of 12 and 17. "Bonus" points? At one point, someone literally grabs someone else by the pussy. To throw them. With the camera framing squarely on the crotch so absolutely nothing is left to the imagination.
  • Between the previous entry and the callous "we want to tap into that Game of Thrones vibe" way the show has of carelessly (and graphically) killing off innocent or sympathetic characters - some characters being introduced in fact have no other purpose than to die poignantly - there needs to be some kind of special "award of ignominy" awarded to the producers of Cross Ange. It could be a statuette in the shape of Green Lantern's fridge.
If you can get past ALL THAT (and yes, that's a LOT to get through), there's a story worth being told under it all. But how much gawd-awful can someone be expected to deal with for the sake of a decent story?

So, I cannot, in good faith, recommend this show to anyone.
 
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Denbrought

The Last Dancelord
Darling in the FranXX Take Evangelion's base plot, remove what little subtelty it has, and filter out 90% of the angst. Sprinkle Tengen Toppa fan service and gratuitous gattai. Serve immediately, paired with this season's besto waifu.
Into the Abyss Very interesting worldbuilding, left me wanting for more (and a sequel is in the works). Ignore any urge to skip due to blobby moeness, the art style is misleading. This show's tone is very wide--there's good humor, very endearing moments, light-hearted adventure, psychological drama, and good ol' OH DEAR GOD body horror.
Overlord I'll try to watch more later, but the first episode was heavily 'meh'. Every other show I've watched this year had me wanting to watch the next episode as soon as I was done, this one gave me a "if I have nothing else left, I guess" vibe.
Houseki no Kuni Dat ass is glass: the anime. One of the best CGI animes I've watched, played to its strengths. Drags a bit early on, but is well worth watching. Some of the themes reminded me of Malice@Doll. Unsure whether they'll make more, but it's an adaptation and the source is ongoing.
 

GasBandit

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I'm rewatching Code Geass. Because, despite its flaws, it's still probably my favoritest anime. I can't wait for that 3rd season they keep saying is coming out.
 

fade

Now with 14% more raisins
Staff member
Future Diary
Future Diary: Redial


This one had good moments, but it was solid middle of the pack. One thing that bugged me about this show--and really it seems to be a running theme in anime--is that everyone seems to be perfectly cool forgiving sins. Like no one has an issue for about half the show's run with the known, undisputed facts that
Yuno killed her family and Minene blew up a bunch of school kids.

The worst part was the ending.
Yukki goes back to world 2 and becomes god, but of what? Was anyone left by then? It looked destroyed. What did he do for the 10000 years that pass before the post-credits scene. And how is he realistically still whining for Yuno after 10,000 years? I mean, he hated or feared her for most of the series's run, but now he's so in love, he's mourning for 10000 years?
 

GasBandit

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I'm rewatching Code Geass. Because, despite its flaws, it's still probably my favoritest anime. I can't wait for that 3rd season they keep saying is coming out.
You know, it occurs to me, I haven't given this the full treatment like I have other anime that I've watched lately, so, for anyone who hasn't actually seen it yet -

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass takes place in an alternate Earth where England lost the Napoleonic war and the royals had to flee to the American colonies. There, the nation was reborn as the "Empire of Britannia," which over the next couple hundred years rose to become the world's only remaining superpower through ultra-darwinian philosophy, oppressive subjugation and exploitation of conquered peoples, and technological superiority. Fast forward to modern-ish day, and Britannia has nearly conquered the world,save for the Chinese Federation and the EU, both of which are rapidly losing ground in the face of Brittanian aggression and technology, the most prominent example of which is the "Knightmare Frame," a cutting edge type of Mecha which brings unparalleled maneuverability and firepower to any battlefield, rendering things like tanks and helicopters woefully obsolete.

Lelouch is a minor princeling of Britannia who is currently living incognito as a high school student in what used to be Japan (now renamed "Area 11" since being conquered by Britannia 7 years prior) with his sister Nunnally. 8 years ago, their mother, the imperial consort Empress Marianne was assassinated, which also left Nunnally paraplegic and blind. Disgusted by the power struggle between the nobles of the Empire (and suspecting the power behind his mother's murder to be a jealous noble rival), Lelouch confronted his imperial father. Enraged by the emperor's seeming apathy for the death of the empress and disdain for Nunnally as being "weak," Lelouch immediately (and very publicly) renounced his place in the line of succession, annoying the emperor to the point that Lelouch and Nunnally were sent to Japan as political hostages. When Brittania invaded the following year, the children were lost in the chaos, and presumed dead - however in reality, they were taken in and sheltered by a minor noble family that had fallen out of favor at court. They run the academy which he attends as "Lelouch Lamperouge," to all appearances, a common Britannian student.

Lelouch is very stand-offish and indifferent to most everything around him. He frequently skips class to participate in underground chess matches, gambling on his own victories. This allows him to indulge himself a little, as he possesses an exceptionally powerful and analytical mind. On the way back from one of these matches, he is caught up in the middle of a terrorist attack carried out by a Japanese resistance group, who have stolen what they believe to be a large case of chemical weapons. However, when the truck carrying the case crashes (with Lelouch also inside the cargo trailer), the case breaks open, and inside is a young woman. As they are hunted down by the Brittanian military (intent on keeping the woman's existence a secret by killing anyone who has seen her), she somehow bestows Lelouch with a supernatural ability to place a Geas on anyone he makes eye contact with - that is, he can issue them a direct order, and their mind is altered to compel them to instantly and completely obey.

The girl is shot in the head immediately after, though Lelouch is able to command her killers to commit suicide. Realizing the immense power of the ability he has received, Lelouch decides that the time has come to begin working for the only ambition he has ever really had - to cast down his father, and destroy the oppressive Britannian Empire.

I've said it a number of times, this is one of my favorite anime serieses, if not my most favorite.

It's got an engaging plot, great characters, exciting action, political intrigue, all combined with coming-of-age struggles and romantic tension. The protagonist is an anti-hero of the utmost caliber - he is motivated by revenge and hatred, and is willing to do violent and deadly things to achieve his goals, even if innocents must sometimes suffer for it. He's incredibly intelligent and resourceful, but still young and inexperienced (not to mention physically a little lazy and unexceptional), so he often makes blunders - but the blunders are usually understandable to the audience instead of breaking immersive disbelief. And despite his foibles and moral shortcomings, you still end up rooting for him. This is largely due to his numerous pet-the-dog moments with his sister and friends, as well as the fact that his ultimate goal is to destroy a tyrannical regime led by a complete monster of an emperor.

That said, the show is not "perfect" (although what show is, really).

The characters' visual designs are fundamentally flawed, often being ridiculed even by fans as "noodle people." However, the costuming, scenery, and mech designs pretty much make up for it, and outside of a few extremely silly scenes, you'll usually find yourself forgetting to notice how thin and wispy everybody is. Lelouch himself looks like a serif typeface come to life, and his love interests look like the letter P in that same font :p

There's a few translation errors and sometimes the english dialog suffers from being too verbose, or insufficient to explain what's going on, and as a result, most people's first run through the series doesn't grasp the entirety of every scene, and heck, even for me, some of the dialog just sounded like meaningless jargon. Son subsequent rewatches, however, more of it makes sense (though the translation errors stand out more).

There are also a lot of issues with the character that is Lelouch's foil, childhood friend Suzaku Kururugi. The show often uses them to illustrate two opposing views of dealing with injustice (working for change from within vs attacking from without, staying pure in deed vs the ends justifying the means, etc). Suzaku's boy-scout routine wears thin quickly and often rings hollow, and his character progression is frustratingly unsatisfying. Even his initial introduction to the show begs a massive contradiction - why would someone unwilling to kill under any circumstances join the military? The amount of fan hate for Suzaku (or "Spinzaku" (Spoiler warning in that link) as he's often called after his ridiculous fighting animations) rivals that of Shinji Ikari. He's the one glaring blemish on an otherwise exemplary cast of varied and complex characters.

The time skip and status reset between seasons 1 and 2 is irritating and confusing, and reeks of real-world interference causing suboptimal plot advancement. Additionally, much of season 2 simply goes right off the rails into bizarro-silly world, and it's easy to get mood whiplash going back and forth between the silliness and the tension. But the ending ties everything up nicely, and IMO it's worth it.

And finally, of course, there's the fanservice factor. Some people might sour on the series because of the awkwardness with which the fanservice is injected into the first few episodes (really playing up the pervertedness of the Student Council President, shower scenes, bathing suits, etc), there's a couple full frontal topless scenes with the redheaded ace pilot :sohappy: that probably could have been handled in a more kid-friendly way, and there's also a really bafflingly inappropriate scene involving a panty-shot of a 10 year old that just really didn't need to be there at all. Compared to that, the scene where a female student uses the corner of a table to masturbate (in silhouette, at least... small favors) seems almost harmlessly comical - though it does take the air out of the seriousness of the situation that it is trying to build.

Jeez, when you put them all together like that, it sounds a lot more egregious. And though they are a little thus, they're spread out over 45 or so episodes (admittedly weighted more toward the beginning), and it's possible to get past them and enjoy a really gripping epic of sociopolitical and philosophical conflict played out over mecha fights, explosions, and high school culture festivals.

Like I said, I can't wait for season 3. It's been 10 years coming.
 
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DA where are you watching it? I've got Crunchyroll, but since I don't have a premium account I can't see episode 5 until they roll out episode 6.
I thought I answered this, but it looks like it got eated. I finally broke down and got the premium CR account. It helped the last couple of weeks where I didn't have internet on my desktop or laptop.

Rookie-kun's first arc is done, Episode 5 started a whole new set of problems.