Is This The Worst Anime Ever Made?


I was surfing the internet today looking for inspiration for an article and I came across a list of the worst anime ever made. In this list was an anime I had never heard of before, Tenkuu Danzato Skelter Heaven or just Skelter+Heaven. From the stills I could tell this was going to be a bad one. Then I looked at the credits and saw it was from the studio Idea Factory – remember my review of Mars of Destruction [Anime News Network’s worst rated anime]? Yep! Same studio. Oh boy, we’re going to have a stinker here!

skelterheaven_8

So what qualifies this show to be considered “the worst anime”? Is it offensive? Not really. Is it shocking? Not at all. Is it degrading or debauched? Nope. I propose this to be the “worst anime” ever simply because it’s a shoddy, sloppy and pointless mess. Unlike Mars of Destruction, Skelter+Heaven is a lot more ambitious in its execution. Sadly though that ambitious streak on the latter’s part leaves itself did not work at all and leaves the entire package open to criticism whereas the former was just simply bland.

skelterheaven_4

*SPOILER ALERT*

Skelter+Heaven is set on Earth where giant alien squid thingies are attacking…well not really. All they do is just float perfectly still until they’re attacked themselves. Hardly menacing tyrants from another world now are they? This is explained after a whole minute of nothing but annoying whoo-ing and heartbeats coupled with a slow camera pan over Earth. That’s it. A single shot. Our lead character, Otsuya, is the chief pilot and blank canvas in which we pin our hopes for humanity on as well as five other girls [who are naturally the main focus because they are girls and they are pretty…or at least they might be if the animation quality wasn’t so cheap and tacky.]. These girls are…umm…I forgot. Wait, wait! I think they are called Rin, Konomo, Ayaka, Misaki and Midori. Thank you, Google! Otsuya picks Rin to lead the assault against the stoic squid ahead of Misaki [the blond one] because he is so totally not into her!

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As the team start the assault, Otsuya watches on from his jetplane without moving once [Seriously, he doesn’t move in any cut to him during the battle]. As for Misaki? Don’t worry about her, she doesn’t figure in the actual battle; neither does Midori who dies with little fanfare despite the fact the quintet were close friends. Otsuya doesn’t seem to care, so we shouldn’t! Then when he gets hurled out of sight by the squid, Rin comes to save him and it’s then we are suddenly taken out of the battle and told that Rin is actually an android who doesn’t know how long she’ll live. It’s alluded that there’s a love between her and Otsuya but it’s so forced and so pathetic that it provokes this heart-warming reaction from the guy…

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The only shot used of Otsuya throughout his time in the cockpit.

Yeah. He does nothing, says nothing and his face does not move an inch. At this point I burst out laughing at the sheer absurdity of it all. It gets even more insane when Rin somehow gets inside the squid and kindly tells it to blow itself up and not harm anyone…even though it hadn’t really destroyed anything bar some infantry planes in self defense…so it just slowly moves off camera and becomes a blob of blood [see below]. As a result, Rin and Ayaka [why did SHE have to die?] are killed [I think?], Misaki is injured and Konomo…I don’t know what happened! It’s like the writers forgot about her! How do you even do that?! So only one person makes it out and Otsuya’s records are destroyed for his affections towards Rin, a classified android. Smart move, guys. Especially when the same squid returns to float another day a year later with some of his friends.

SquidDrop

End of story.

There’s no resolved conclusion. No means of defense, the world is left without anybody to defend it. Fantastic job, writers!

 

What makes Skelter+Heaven so terrible is that the voice acting is lacklustre [especially Otsuya], the animation is cheap and forgettable, the plot is incredibly derivative, the villain is stupid and totally not a threat, the commanding officers are jerks, Konomo [a MAIN character] is completely forgotten, incredibly sexist ‘training’ and APPALLING CGI. I can’t emphasise that last point enough. The mech and the pilot are drawn in two different styles. The textures for the robot are so muddy and unrefined and the characters look they’ve been photoshopped in instead of actually piloting the bloody thing! It’s the crowning turd in the waterpipe, so to speak. It’s the visual device which takes the show from being a lazy knockoff to ‘legendary’ status.

PS2_cover_Skelter

The only good thing about this show is that it’s only nineteen minutes long and a one-time affair. No series here. Just one coffee break’s worth. You won’t be wasting your time here and you’ll be giggling at how poor this show is. Is it the worst anime out there? According to MyAnimeList, it is! Do I think it is? In terms of an overall package, it’s certainly a strong candidate. It is a poor product which only exists because it came free with a game made for the Playstation 2 based on the franchise, just like Mars of Destruction. The game is like a normal dating sim wihere Otsuya acts as ‘the player’ and the girls are eligible to be selected by you for some extra training. Seriously, that gif was the ‘training’ portion of the OVA. Poor Misaki. Do I hate this show more than Baby Princess 3D Paradise or School Days? No. I found Skelter+Heaven hilariously bad which gives it character and didn’t make me feel horrible on the inside.

If you want to see for yourself the sheer hilarity of Tenkuu Danzatou Skelter Heaven, then here is the full OVA uploaded by AnimeNoodle. Enjoy!

What did you think of it? Leave a comment or cast your vote!

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(NSFW) Moe-tan


Support Anifile’s Patreon campaign to increase its reach and content: http://www.patreon.com/MasakoX

So you want to learn English and you like anime? You’d think that Moe-tan would be the perfect solution but it’s not. It’s really not. The only thing it’ll do is make you feel ashamed.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Name
Moe-tan [Methodology of English, The Academic Necessity

Created by
SansaiBooks

Animated by
Studio Astac

Published
2007

SPECIAL THANKS TO MY PATREON BACKERS!
Phyllida, David D, Darren180233, Luis V, James H, Dawn S, Alex W, Eric G, Vaati, Jack, Mahan, Brandon B, Griffin, Teitur, Eric W, Matthew D, Aeon, Charles G, Jayro Z, Tim M, Joshua R, Brandon W, Carson C, Benjamin M-D, Lightuke, Alesha F, Alex S, Jack D, D’Metrius S, Henry H, Anthony C Poe, Veronica B, Malcolm T, Furst, Alexander and Sean!

(NSFW) Why Fanservice Is More Of A Disservice


I think there is too much sexual content in mainstream anime.

That’s the summation of my argument. I could just leave you with that and walk away but that would be horribly arrogant of me, so I shall elaborate. What do I mean by sexual content? In this context, I am referring to the notion of characters [mostly female] being sexualised for the purpose of eliciting a reaction or positive sensation in a usually male viewership; the term used for this by most fans or publications is fanservice. I believe this term is far too general. Fanservice can also mean homages or references to other shows or even thanking the fans in some way by inserting a tidbit into the production [e.g. a line of dialogue or a hidden easter egg]. In essence, the term can be geeky but otherwise non-threatening. The inclusion of sexual content under the ‘umbrella of fanservice’ taints the word and makes it something tasteless.

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Jinsei is a noteworthy example of a very good anime marred by unnecessary fanservice.

When fanservice is referred to, it tends to be used to describe scenes or shots in an anime which isn’t pornographic but isn’t aimed at children or for general audiences either; the PG-13/R sector. A more accurate term would be the word ecchi. Ecchi is a shortening of the phrase “ecchi suru” [to have sex or to describe someone/something as lecherous] and is used as a bridging of mainstream anime and adult anime [hentai]. What does it cover? Well, it covers anything that isn’t exposure of genitalia or full-on intercourse. The most common examples would be groping, upskirt shots, skimpy costumes which leave little to the imagination and the objectification of women. In recent years, ecchi has started to trickle its way into more shows and with the advent of online streaming, us Westerners see more of it. This is both good and bad; we have access to everything and we have access to EVERYTHING. Nothing is out of our grasp and nothing is hidden away. How did this come about though? It’s simply down to historical context. Let’s take a look at the panty shot, the most infamous anime trope.

[Source] Love Art Lab
Put simply, it’s a cultural throwback. In nineteenth century Japan, the country was slowly opening its borders to foreign trade. With that came the introduction of Western clothing including undergarments. During the Second World War, women were encouraged to wear trouser-like attire known as monpe over more traditional Japanese skirts or dresses [kimono]. Western underwear, drawers, worked well with monpe during the war; afterwards though, the garments were far too expensive. The only people who could afford Western undergarments were the callgirls that served the occupying Allied forces. As a result, an association of sexual deviance and wealth was established. As time wore on and more risque forms of underwear such as panties arrived in Japan, the association stuck. There was a mystique attached to it and it became a prevalent desire amongst men and therefore it eventually found its way into anime and other forms of media. It’s not baseless titillation, it’s tradition…of sorts. It doesn’t excuse it for being degrading though.

Highschool of the Dead – a notorious ecchi-heavy series.

That’s my biggest problem with fanservice or ecchi or whatever you want to call it. It degrades women and gives off the wrong message to newcomers. Whenever I talk to people who aren’t familiar with anime and about good it is, their first thought is usually “What? The porn thing?” and I cringe. The assumption in the West is that anime is purely sexual and strange…or it’s Pokémon. That’s not true! It’s like any other form of visual media, it just happens to be from Japan. It’s like India’s Bollywood cinema or England’s Shakespearean theatre; it’s a representation of Japanese traditions and ethics. That being said, anime doesn’t help itself in terms of convincing outside audiences that it’s not all “porn”.

What got me concerned initially occurred back in 2008 when I came across a little anime called Kanokon. The main character, Chizuru, was a hyper-sexual girl/fox spirit who constantly flirted with the lead guy in some bizarre scenes and costumes which were pretty blatant and pathetic. I couldn’t quite understand why Chizuru was being this provocative; it was nowhere close to reality and wasn’t that clever. It was just there. Then it hit me, ecchi these days is out in the open and too obvious. Of course, using sexually charged plot points aren’t new. They’ve been in anime for decades with examples going back to the seventies with Cutie Honey being a prime example. The character of Honey Kisaragi acted as a turning point in how manga and anime were perceived. She and Fujiko Mine from the Lupin III series were two signature female characters which really got people turned onto the idea that animated characters could be “sexy” and begun the modern idea of “fanservice”. Also, who could forget the legendary ‘Gainax Bounce’ of the late 1980s? I’m looking at you, Gunbuster!

Today, a lot of anime shows have a character or two that have either a large chest, a rampant sex drive or an inclination to get naked or as naked as possible. I can name tons of shows which are plagued with too much mindless ecchi. Recently My Sister is Unusual, Highschool of the Dead, No Game No Life, Moe-tan and Heaven’s Lost Property to name a few [all no older than 2007 to further illustrate the recent dilemma.] It perpetuates the idea that if a girl in an anime lets a character touch her for no good reason other than for laughs, then it could mean that it’s OK to do so in real life. Why do you think that Japan has a problem with non-consensual groping in public? There are gender-specific carriages on some services on Japan’s rail network today. While this can’t be fully attributed to anime solely, it could be a contributing factor. The whole groping on trains issue is even referenced in some shows and therefore kind of encouraged. In short, a sexist attitude towards women is driven by some shows which convey women as objects which are there for men to ogle. It’s kind of sobering when you find a website dedicated to chronicling counts of ecchi behaviour in anime. I don’t want that and I’m sure you don’t either.

[Source] Anime-Fanservice.org
So what do I want anime to do about this? Well, be creative. Don’t just stuff a busty girl into a plot just for the hell of it; throw in a bit of self-awareness or intellectualism. Women are attractive, clever and confident and deserve every bit of respect that men get. We are one species on this planet and we should be kind and courteous to one another. All nations should express sexuality positively and equally. By all means use the human body, but be original and tasteful about it! That’s not just a message for Japan, it’s for everybody. Sometimes, only showing a little skin is better. Leave it to your imagination…or you could do what Kill La Kill did and just go absolutely insane in order to convey pride in one’s own skin regardless of age, shape or gender!

Jinsei (Life Counselling)


After a short break from reviews, I like to pick an anime which is light on exposition or is not so heavy in terms of philosophical surmising that I want to tear my head in two. In short, I want some cute comedy! After discovering this anime and being surprised by the lack of coverage that it’s received, I want to give it a leg-up and talk about it. It’s a show I’ve wanted to cover for a while and now is as good as time as any. Enter Jinsei and its merry team giving their classmates life advice with a comical twist.
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Yuuki Akamatsu is a guy who is longing to find a girlfriend but lacks the confidence to get himself out there and try his luck. He’s then tasked by the journalism club’s president, Ayaka, to head the school paper’s life counselling section in order to keep the club open. In a fit of Jenga-based madness, Yuuki agrees and he is quickly introduced to the life section’s members – Ikumi, Rino and Fumi. The basic premise in each episode revolves around three to four letters from concerned students concerning topics such as part-time job problems, relationship quandaries and even advice in attracting female members for a mob club. Quite random! Along the way, there are a couple of sub-plots to help keep the show moving forward such as the romantic development between the scientific Rino and Yuuki as well as the rival newspaper team, led by the pervy Asano and their goal of beating Ayaka and her crew in order to absorb the members and readership into their own club. As of yet, there is a fourth character to join the trio named Emi. She has been alluded to in a letter delivered to the club but as of episode six she hasn’t appeared which leads me to believe that she’s the club’s “ace in the hole” or “shark jump”. Either way, it’ll be a game changer in the story’s flow.

jinsei_4I really like Jinsei. It’s got a strong and heartfelt message whilst also being genuinely funny. There were loads of times when I either chuckled or actually went back in the video and watched a clip again because I found it to be amusing. Not only that, but the idea of a life advice column is something which is relatable to students all over the world; the topics even match. It’s something which can easily be transferred to different markets and not be lost in translation or have to be drastically localised if at all. Yuuki is a main character of sorts, but he knows when to get out of the way and let the three girls of the club take the reins. It’s all about them really because they’re the one who are dishing out the advice; makes sense if you think about it. Yuuki has his own goal in trying to find a girlfriend and it’s clear that he will succeed with Rino, the quiet and aggressive “tsundere” stereotype who has an encyclopedic knowledge on all things science-based. On many an occasion where Yuuki would deserve a slap or a scolding, Rino doesn’t seem to bear a grudge for long. It’s cute but slightly predictable. Fumi, the kindly but busty and shy stereotype does have some unusual quirks about her personality. She comes from an ancient samurai family with strong morals and manners but she is beaten down verbally by her grandfather and she actually starts to build a backbone after meeting Yuuki. Who would have thought? The shy girl actually getting more confident on screen! Ikumi is pretty simple to read; she’s the tomboy. That doesn’t mean she’s boring though; most of the laughs are generated from her and the aftermath. In all, I like the characters. Despite their completely different backgrounds, they all have a common interest in helping and all unite under Yuuki’s leadership.

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This show is a little different in that it promotes itself as a show where it dishes out advice for unsure students. Since most anime fans are in their teens and twenties, the advice being dished out by the group can be relevant or indeed applicable to the audience. It’s an anime which can be useful to some extent. Naturally there are some variations between the letters and potential viewers, but the basic idea of the advice given can help a little bit potentially. The girls all have their own opinions and manage to combine them into a final paragraph for the school’s bulletin board where the advice is displayed…followed by a quirky sentence which is mostly contributed by Ikumi and her oddball and brash comments. Is the advice they give any good? I would say so. It’s quite diplomatic and measured whilst also being reassuring, like the writers took time to compose a believable piece of advice, it made it real for me and as such solidified the show’s ‘spine’ as it were. It’s not an excuse to shove sexy girls together!

jinsei_7Unfortunately though, the experience is marred by the overabundance in fanservice. It’s not so bad in the first episode, but as the show ploughs on the rate of ‘boob pans’, awkward moments of sexual tension and wacky hijinx which lead to some kind of sexy result [usually involving Fumi – I wonder why?] goes through the roof. It’s almost as if the writer of the original light novel, Ougyo Kawagishi and the anime’s director, Keiichiro Kawaguchi felt that the premise of giving advice wasn’t enough to sustain an otaku audience and thusly added cheap and unnecessary ploys which simply left me feeling sad and disappointed instead of their intended reaction. It comes off as desperate rather than arousing. Yes, there are some times where it can be considered slapstick comedy where people fall down or get hit in the face with something; but the amount of times where the fanservice is just THERE for no adequate reason displeases me greatly. It not only devalues my respect for Jinsei but it makes me feel sorry for Fumi and Rino who are usually the targets. That being said, it’s not enough to destroy the show for me. The narrative has a habit of coming around and presenting something kind and thoughtful at me in the form of a touching comment or a friendly moral being conveyed. These girls may be polar opposites, but they work together and they want to. That makes me forgive the show for its kinky transgressions…well, nearly forgive it. I just wish they’d tone it down a little at least.

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Jinsei is a cute comedy. I found it to be well presented, cleverly written [when the girls weren’t thrust in my face] and having a strong and yet light-hearted idea. I was left feeling happy from having watched this charming little slice-of-life show; yet it did leave a slightly sour taste in my mouth concerning the over playing of the female form in certain scenes. Ikumi, Fumi and Rino make a good team and Yuuki a good leader. If you’re looking for a comedy which has heart and a helpful message whilst also being quite relaxed then Jinsei is your anime!

RATING: CONTINUE [Cute, caring and charming.]

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Gun X Sword


Support Anifile’s Patreon campaign to increase its reach and content: http://www.patreon.com/MasakoX

What happens when you mix westerns with robots? You get GunXSword that’s what! A fun ride filled with gun-toting action on the back of giant mechs!

ADDITIONAL INFO:

Name
GunXSword

Created by
Goro Taniguchi

Animated by
AIC, ASTA

Published
2005

SPECIAL THANKS TO MY PATREON BACKERS!
Phyllida, David D, Darren180233, Luis V, James H, Dawn S, Alex W, Eric G, Vaati, Jack, Mahan, Brandon B, Griffin, Teitur, Eric W, Matthew D, Aeon, Charles G, Jayro Z, Tim M, Joshua R, Brandon W, Carson C, Benjamin M-D, Lightuke, Alesha F, Alex S, Jack D, D’Metrius S, Henry H, Anthony C Poe, Veronica B, Malcolm T, Furst, Alexander and Sean!