Fall 2014: Comedy


Our third preview post covers those anime which are primarily made to make you smile or ideally laugh out loud. Japanese comedies have trouble translating into English but these shows have the potential to break that trend and come up with the goods. We have seven series to go over today so let’s start!

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Amagi Brilliant Park

Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation
Origin:  Light Novel [Gatoh/Nakajima]
Date of Premiere: October 2nd

Summary
It all starts with a young man [Seiya] being held at gunpoint to on a date with another girl [Isuzu]. It then involves them going on a date to a rundown theme park. The ‘princess’ of the park tasks Seiya with managing the theme park and attracting over one hundred thousand patrons in a fortnight. You think that’d be easy? No, Amagi Brilliant Park is a beat-up relic of the nineteenth century. Good luck, mate!

Initial Thoughts
Kyoto Animation has been in a bit of slump when compared to its stature in the mid-2000s. Here’s hoping that this collaboration with Full Metal Panic creator Shouji Gatoh can kickstart things again [even some of his characters from the other title make a cameo!] On paper, it looks pretty good as do most KyoAni productions, but can it translate that into results in terms of ratings.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Denkigai no Honya-san
(The Bookstore of Akihabara)

Animation Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Origin:  Manga [Mizu]
Date of Premiere: October 2nd

Summary
Umi is a desperate boy whose life depends on his employment at a small bookstore located in the heart of Tokyo, Akihabara. The store sells literature of the adult kind and he and his colleagues have to make sure things are properly sealed and hidden away from kids. A mix of personalities all concentrated in a tiny space in a bustling city.

Initial Thoughts
My first reaction was this: I want to see this! Not because of the adult bookstore angle or potential fanservice but by the charming design. Everything about the previews looks so characterful and cute; you cannot accuse it of being bland or generic. You know what you’re watching; it even has a chance of being quite ‘meta’ in that it’s set in the heart of otakudom and will likely poke fun at everything to do with anime or hentai. I’m curious!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
Origin:  Manga [Endo]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
A young girl [Kohina] is messing about with the paranormal when she practices the Japanese divining game Kokkuri. The result lands her with a new friend, Kokkuri-san, a white-haired fox dude. Instead of scaring her, the spirit actually feels sorry for Kohina’s meagre lifestyle and miserly attitude. It seems clear that she won’t stop at one spirit friend, more will come along to add to her existence.

Initial Thoughts
This shows seems a little heavier than most four panel comics. There are themes concerning loneliness and personal neglect which leave the door open for some black comedy to be had here. So expect some darkness mixed with some laughs with this one. Kohina’s appearance is a little odd but at least it’s different!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
(Inou-Battle Within Everyday Life)

Animation Studio: Trigger
Origin:  Light Novel [Nozomi/029]
Date of Premiere: October 6th

Summary
Jurai is an average high school loser who has recently joined the literature club, but its members aren’t bookworms. The girls of the literature club actually possess magical powers that range from creating matter to bending time…problem is, they don’t know what to do with it. They’re waiting for the call to action but must first face the ultimate test – boredom!

Initial Thoughts
Ohhh, I see what they’re doing! I like it. The fact that these people get powers and then six months later have done nothing with them shows that not every power comes with an innate mission statement. If you’re bored of the usual action/comedy series with powered students and are looking for something new then you might be in luck here; it looks the business and should stand out over the average harem comedy.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
(The Wolf Girl and the Black Prince)

Animation Studio: TYO Animations
Origin:  Manga [Hatta]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
This story is all about keeping up appearances. Erika has bragged to her classmates about having a hot boyfriend and exudes self confidence. This ‘boyfriend’ turns out to be Kyouya, one of her classmates and the picture she parades about is not a loving keepsake but a covert snap. In order to keep her reputation stable, Erika has to keep Kyouya in her good books and get him to play along.

Initial Thoughts
Oh what a tangled web we weave. The classic moral story of how lying can get you into trouble. In order to score popularity, Erika has pulled a few fibs and the show is about to punish her to the extreme and we get to watch her squirm. This could be funny but also predictable in the long run but that makes it straightforward rather than convoluted and taxing on the old noggin! Light relief!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Ore, Twintails no Narimasu
(I Will Become a Twintail)

Animation Studio: Production IMS
Origin: Light Novel [Mizusawa/Kasuga]
Date of Premiere: October 10th

Summary
Get ready to be weirded out! Souji Mitsuka is big on sexy hairstyles and is one day visited by a pan-dimensional being who uses his hair-driven passion who grants him the power…to turn into a superpowered girl with twin ponytails. He and his like-minded friends use these new skills to face the forces of evil! Right.

Initial Thoughts
Oh my days. I think that the writer of this show decided to flip the bird to convention and do what he wanted! No inhibitions here; if you’re a guy and wish to be a lolita girl with ponytails, then so be it! You can have it! Want to use this power to fight bad guys? Hells yeah, go for it! I would normally baulk at this due to the potential fanservice and I probably will be subjected to plenty of it; but screw it, this is weird enough for me to give it a chance.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou
(The Special Circumstances of my Bathtub)

orefuro

Animation Studio: Asahi Production
Origin:  Manga [Itokichi]
Date of Premiere: October 6th

Summary
This is the tale of human compassion when a young man [Tatsumi] discovers a washed-up merman on the beach [Wakasa] and takes him home so he doesn’t die. This sets the scene for a light-hearted comedy with a very nautical theme which has the chance to be pretty cute; it’s certainly different.

Initial Thoughts
This is another four panel comic adaptation and it feels like it; like it’s going to be a collection of short stories revolving around Tatsumi and Wakasa. I get a strong feeling that this could be pretty funny and something that will hit home with Western audiences, it’s certainly full of pretty men and wacky music and voices. Plenty of eccentricity to be had!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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So we got some good comedies coming up which can only be a good thing, but what about something a little more magical? Well, find out next time in our Fantasy/Magic showcase!

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Fall 2014: Sci-Fi & Mecha


Next up we have the Sci-Fi & Mecha genre. Surprisingly, this is a very small list for this season. Granted, there are two new Gundam shows [Gundam Build Fighters Try and Gundam: G no Reconguista] but these are continuations or variations of the original Gundam franchise and as such are ineligible for coverage here. Only one new mech series this season! True there are shows that I’ve listed in different categories, like World Trigger, that COULD be considered sci-fi but their premise, I find, is geared more to that other category than it is to sci-fi; your definition may differ from mine. In any case, let’s take a look at the two candidates.

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Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryu no Rinbu

(Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons)

Animation Studio: Sunrise
Origin:  Original Sunrise [Director – Yoshiharu Ashino]
Date of Premiere: October 4th

Summary
Sunrise returns to produce YET ANOTHER giant robot franchise. Enter Cross Ange, a world where magic exists (albeit in a pseudo-technological kind of way). Everyone is able to use this new “Mana” technology; except our main character – Angelize! She’s the heir to the Misurugi Empire but upon the discovery she is “out of mana” she is outcast from the kingdom. She then teams up with a gang of similarly discarded misfits who pilot giant robots fighting against inter-dimensional dragons – woo!

Initial Thoughts
Hmm, the premise is a little harsh, don’t you think? Mind you, why would you want a leader who is ‘inferior’ to the major population? Bold but harsh. What taints my expectations for this show is that the main cast of characters are all exploited in terms of fanservice. I’m all for an all-female team of mech pilots, but I don’t like the fact that their uniforms are pretty revealing; it cheapens their strength and the integrity of the story. I pray that the fanservice is otherwise kept to a minimum, I really do.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium (Medium Low if the fanservice gets out of hand)

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TERRAFORMARS

Animation Studio: Linden Films
Origin:  Manga [Sasuga/Tachibana]
Date of Premiere: September 26th

Summary
This one is quite straightforward. Mankind is ready to conquer Mars; but Mars isn’t ready for mankind. As such, humanity launches a five-hundred year mission using cockroaches and mould to terraform the Red Planet and make it less red. In 2577, a mission to Mars receives a grim reminder; the cockroaches they sent have evolved into super-roaches! After wiping that initial squad, another mission is sent to fight the roaches now armed with genetically enhanced soldiers. It’s time to take Mars!

Initial Thoughts
Oh man, this premise is pretty bonkers. It’s pure science fiction and something I really respect. The whole idea of science fiction is to excite and go insane; you have no tethers holding you back and do whatever you want and this is what is going on here! It looks like a real thriller with tons of action and violence; just be sure that you don’t mind seven foot tall bugs walking around!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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The sci-fi & mecha genre may be small this season but the titles are pretty ambitious in their approach! Tune in next time for comedy!

Fall 2014: Action


Summer’s gone and Autumn [or Fall] has taken its place.  The anime is still coming by the boatload though and on Anifile we are delighted to be able to continue with the previews for the shows coming up. Like in the spring, we are separating shows into different categories based on their primary genre. There are thirty anime eligible for review on this site [As usual, I don’t count sequel seasons of series such as the two new Gundam series] and instead focus on the brand new franchises and see if they’re worth your time. Let’s begin with some action!

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Akatsuki no Yona
(Yona of the Dawn)

Animation Studio: Pierrot
Origin:  Manga [Kusanagi]
Date of Premiere: October 7th

Summary
On her sixteenth birthday, the only princess of Kouka [Yona] is greeted with the sight of her dead father at the hands of her cousin and love interest Soo-won. Before he can kill Yona, her servant Hak rescues her and takes her to an old monk who teaches them about four legendary dragons which can save the kingdom from the tyranny of Soo-won’s faction.

Initial Thoughts
Upon first glance, it’s a decent looking show with average visuals and some grandiose battle sequences thrown in. The plot is somewhat samey with the whole love interest angle despite the fact that one of the subjects killed the other subject’s father; kind of makes things awkward. It seems like a good show overall though but it’s not novel enough to bring to the front of the queue.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Donten ni Warau
(The Cloudy Laugh)

Animation Studio: Dogakobo
Origin:  Manga [Karakara]
Date of Premiere: October 3rd

Summary
In the Meiji era, the age of the samurai was starting to fade away into the history books. Carrying swords was made illegal, but crime spiked as a result. In response, the government created a huge island prison where the only way in or out is via boat. Three brothers from the Kumo family man the vessels as they transport convicts to the island. However, from first glance, it seems that things aren’t quite as straightforward as you might think.

Initial Thoughts
The last hurrah of the samurai is a hugely significant part of Japanese history and to focus on it in an anime is somewhat refreshing. It’s like how the Western genre revelled in the dying days of the cowboy in the 1880s. It’s the same thing! These trio of samurai-born warriors have a cool look about them and clearly show prowess in different ways. I’m intrigued with how this will pan out as it’s clear that the story goes far beyond simply ferrying prisoners. Let’s see!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Garo: Honou no Kokuin
(Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames)

Animation Studio: MAPPA
Origin:  GARO Tokusatsu franchise
Date of Premiere: October 3rd

Summary
The Valiante Kingdom has begun a massive search for wielders of Maki, both priests and knights. In the resulting purge, the art of Makai is brought to a near extinction. One man, Leon Luis, returns to the Valiante Kingdom at the request of the king’s son when his throne is taken from him by his former advisor. Leon wields the power of the Golden Knight Garo and only its power can help the land be restored to its rightful owner.

Initial Thoughts
Two thoughts came to mind. Knights transforming and ‘The past will come back to haunt you!’ This adaptation of the famous Garo tokusatsu series is a curious retelling of the concept. Unrelated to the live-action series, the anime plans to take a grander approach to the idea of knights with sentai-like powers. This show carries a lot of weight behind it and seems to look pretty cool too!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Kiseijuu
(Parasyte)

Animation Studio: Madhouse
Origin:  Manga [Iwaaki]
Date of Premiere: October 8th

Summary
In this world, Japan has been besieged by intergalactic parasites known as…Parasites. These aliens invade the population not with lasers but by burrowing into humans and animals through their noses or ears taking them over – in VERY disturbing ways. One boy named Shinichi is spared such a fate, or at least for the most part, because he was wearing headphones. He is still infected but only his right arm is infected; it develops a personality and together they fight other Parasites whilst using each other to survive and prosper.

Initial Thoughts
Wow. I thought Terra Formars was going to be the shocker of the season; this probably will give it a run for its money. It is a REALLY scary idea; parasites taking over your body without you knowing it and turning you into some kind of monster that likes eating other people. Even dogs aren’t safe! In any case, I really want to see where this goes and how Shinichi and his partner, Migi [Japanese for right as the parasite takes over his right hand] interact and help one another!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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World Trigger

worldtrigger

Animation Studio: Toei Animation
Origin:  Manga [Ashihara]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
The city of Mikado is home to some of the worst Neighbors you’ve ever seen. From another dimension, these beings destroy Mikado and have been for about four years before the story proper begins. The Border group meet this challenge with a brand new class of weaponised young kids, Triggers. Thanks to these Triggers, the city is brought back to a relative peace until a Black Trigger appears and threatens to disrupt the newly formed status quo.

Initial Thoughts
I don’t know. I’m not overwhelmed with the initial premise. I’ve seen this before and I reckon I’ll see this again in the future – demons appearing which cannot be stopped by regular weaponry and as such NEW weapons need to be made. Fortunately, the show in its entirety seems to be quite light-hearted and characterful with a neat main duo. My main concern is that Toei will skimp on the animation [which is somewhat evident IN THE PREVIEW] like it has done with recent shows that aren’t Dragonball or One Piece. If it can give this show a good animation budget then things should be OK, otherwise the look won’t match the feel.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-Low

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So we have five action-packed productions in the work. What else do we have? Well, we got twenty-five other anime to cover and seven of them are comedies which we will look at next time!

Anifile’s People Choice Award for Summer 2014


The summer anime train has almost reached its destination. Shows are wrapping up or have wrapped up as of writing. I’ve listed my TOP FIVE and WORST FIVE anime from this season and I have now turned it over to you guys for your thoughts. I included polls at the end of each list and after a week of voting and around two hundred votes, we have our people’s top five and worst five. Let’s not beat about the bush and get this list underway with the top five!

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#5 – Tokyo Ghoul

The top five was a close affair this season, only five votes spreading as many shows. First off we have Tokyo Ghoul. I remember really liking the offbeat idea of zombies [or zombie-like people] having some kind of community whilst eating people’s flesh. It had a quirky charm to it which I really liked. Why didn’t it make my top five then? It was tough but it was between this or Terror in Resonance and I felt the latter had more shock value.

#4 – Barakamon

I’m very relieved to this on here. Like me, you were all entranced by the simple story and the charming characters which had an original feel and personality about them. Such a laidback show which doesn’t require too much criticial thinking, instead just kick back and enjoy the sweet narrative and gorgeous scenery.

#3 – Aldnoah.Zero

The thinking man’s Gundam. I wasn’t sure about this show in the end all because the main character, Inaho, was a little too dry for my liking. That being said, it’s a very well put together story and supremely clever in its execution; I completely understand why it’s so popular. While it was airing, I regularly saw friends of mine huddled around their tablets catching up on the latest episode; it’s got the West hooked and Aniplex has intentions on bringing it stateside…for a price.

#2 – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

You agree with me that this show is brilliant! It’s so adorable and the characters are genuinely funny and engaging. The execution was flawless and the comedy worked for a non-Japanese audience which is not all that common with comedy anime that don’t resort to slapstick. Everything about this production is first-rate. Buy this on DVD when Sentai Filmworks releases it – their twitter account can’t get enough of it!

#1 – Akame ga Kill!

OK. I get why this is here; the characters are colourful and the premise is pretty accessible. I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about this show from everyone I know but my misgivings with the sudden mood swings peppered about the story, it put me off enough to keep it off the top five list but it’s still up there. [If I had a top ten it would be in it.]

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Next up, is the worst five as chosen by you.

#5 – Tokyo Ghoul

This is odd. Tokyo Ghoul starts off both the best and the worst. This is probably because the idea of the show is polarising to some extent. The idea of zombies lusting over human flesh and the almost fetishistic attitude about it could put some people off the idea as would the copious amounts of blood. It’s not a light hearted romp all the time and I imagine that it didn’t sit well for those that voted here.

#4 – DRAMAtical Murder

A massive flop, good and proper. When a show fails to properly adapt its original source material and completely nullifies it, you’re gonna have a bad time. A game with strong yaoi content and pretty boys is stripped off what made it sell and left with something without a sense of direction and even when it gets close, it’s all tons of awkward.

#3 – Momo Kyun Sword

We now have a jump in votes for the top three and we start off with the story of a well-endowed ninja girl with superpowers which involve getting even more scantily-clad. It’s a shame because the idea itself, minus the fanservice, is pretty decent and could’ve worked quite nicely had the amount of female anatomy on show been dialled back A LOT. It looked kind of fun but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

#2 – Rail Wars!

Another big leap to Rail Wars. Another shameless fanservice show framed around a very baffling premise concerning trains and what if the national rail network was never privatised. The Wars in Rail Wars refers to the rail cops in the show instead of giant train robots fighting; that would’ve been a lot better. Skip this one as it’s cheap, confusing and off-putting. Do not choo-choo-choose this.

#1 – Glasslip

THANK YOU! You, like me, think that this show is one of the least competently written anime in recent memory. Glasslip received almost DOUBLE the amount of votes that #2 got. That is a clear sign that the production was a dire affair full of pointless dialogue, awkward ‘romance’, squandered plot devices, aggravating main characters AND ATROCIOUS PACING. SERIOUSLY.

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So your winner is Akame ga Kill and your ‘winner’ is Glasslip. I guarantee that that will be the only time you’ll get those two anime together in the same sentence! The summer has now ended, sadly; but fear not! We have a new anime season coming up very shortly and I shall be making a preview post on the matter, stay tuned!

Bad Fanfiction Theatre – Digimon 3: Predator vs Digimon


Predator vs Digimon cover

 

Inspired by the works of BennettTheSage, Anifile has a brand new show entitled Bad Fanfiction Theatre. Join Mr Gamington-Smythe as he dramatically reads the finest fanfiction the internet has to offer. Our first story today is entitled Digimon 3: Predator vs Digimon by Peter Chimaera.

Original Fanfiction: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5413251/1/Digimon-3-Predator-Vs-Digimon

Sketches drawn by http://www.youtube.com/FrobmanAKATillman

SPECIAL THANKS TO MY PATREON BACKERS!
Phyllida, David D, Darren180233, Luis V, Brian E, 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, Michael S, Jack D, D’Metrius S, Henry H, Anthony C Poe, Veronica B, Malcolm T, Furst, Alexander and Sean!