This is one of the best shows this season, and one of the reasons I never seem to actually do anything on sundays.
(Available from Crunchyroll in the following countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. This post is not affiliated with Crunchyroll in any way, I just think it is awesome)
Posted by: Riktol at Monday, June 03 2013 03:42 AM (zDlKl)
I'm quite enjoying it, though it does tread ground already covered by Natsuiro Kiseki (a.k.a. Magical Rock Trolls Four Girls) and Kokoro Connect.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, June 03 2013 01:42 PM (PiXy!)
Yeah, it can get uncomfortable, given that it's a realistic treatment of an unrealistic situation. That part of it is handled quite well - so far, anyway - but as I noted, the tone of the show is extremely uneven, so I don't know how well it will hold up over the season.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, January 28 2013 12:16 AM (PiXy!)
So I'm on holidays for a bit, and I was planning on catching up on my anime watching between bouts of Minxing and spring cleaning. I've already assembled two new computers and a RAID array and fixed my old RAID array, so I deserve to relax a little.
On my to-watch list at present are:
Hidamari Sketch season 4
Strike Witches (all of it, haven't seen any)
Dog Days (again, all of it)
Mouretsu Pirates (watched the first few episodes, then got bushwhacked)
I've missed most of the past five or six seasons, so any suggestions from that time frame would be welcome.
4HidaSketch S4 is wonderful, probably the best there's been in the franchise.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Tuesday, December 25 2012 09:01 AM (cymHZ)
Steven, I did watch half of Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou and part of Madoka. I rated them both a meh. I know I differ with a lot of people on the latter, but many of them also liked Eva, which makes them wrong.
I was going to put Girls und Panzer on the list, but saw you mention that they'd bobbled the production schedule and it has no ending yet, so I'll leave that for another day.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, December 25 2012 09:49 AM (PiXy!)
I would not advise Girls und Panzer at this time. Eps 11 and 12 won't air until March.
With many sadnesses, I gave up on Moyashimon Returns after three episodes. It's just not the same.
What I have been watching is that show about the high school club with no clearly defined purpose that has two boys and three girls as members and one of the girls ends up falling off a bridge and/or horse and landing on her head but then gets better.
THAT are following both Kokoro Connect and Tari Tari if you are seeking detailed reviews. Well, mostly they're shipping for Inaban x Taichi and any girl x any other girl, but they post reviews as well.
Both shows are solid if not groundbreaking (though Kokoro Connect at least has that potential), but involve Japanese teenagers, so a default Category 2 angst warning applies.
What? No, I mean seriously, what? Spectacularly uneven show, a mishmash of romantic comedy, slapstick comedy, drama, tragedy, horror, harem, and fanservice. While it pulls off most of the individual elements pretty well, the whole is about as cohesive as a sack full of angry raccoons.
And worse, while it's clear that no-one involved had any idea where the story was headed, the events within the story are tiresomely predictable.
On the balance, I rate it two little zombie kitties out of four.
My usual sources, THAT and Sea Slugs, didn't touch this one, but Random Curiosity provided full (and warning, spoiler-laden) coverage.
Kokoro Connect. This is the one that looks just like K-On! only with boys* as opposed to Tari Tari, the one that sounds just like K-On! only not with boys.
First episode was pretty good. If it continues this way, as a character-driven series circling around the McGuffin, it could be a standout, because the characters are generally quite engaging.
Music and animation are decent enough, if unremarkable. The character designs are fine, as are the voices, particularly Miyuki Sawashiro as Inaba. (She played Celty in Durarara!! and the landlady in Hidamari, so it's another unexpected but oddly perfect voice in the line of last season's girl-shaped space bee.)
So I'll be watching this one - assuming I don't end up dead again, which is not a given.
Now, when does Moyashimon Chronic start? Huh, Miyuki has a role in that too. Wait, it's already on? Why does no-one tell me these things?!
Episode 2 Update: Huh. It did an Immelman Turn when I was expecting it to zig. Interesting, though.
I previously wrote about this series back in January, and then a spaceship crashed on top of me and I died.
Or something like that.
Anyway, I just finished watching it, the first series I've finished since, I think, A Channellast October. It's been that sort of year.
So, inconvenient spaceship collisions aside, what about the show?
It's pretty good. Enjoyable. It's a slow-moving nostalgia warm-fluffy one-hanky piece (has to be some drama involved) with cute girls (the boys are outnumbered eight-to-two among the regular cast), lush rural scenery, a weird little mascotty thing, and railcars. So all the essentials are covered.
Not much in the way of any actual plot, though. That's not necessarily fatal; A Channel skated by on charm and won my heart. Ano Natsu de Matteru is... Well, it's nice. It's a pleasant watch. It's not going to set the world on fire, it's not a classic for the ages, but it's well-crafted and enjoyable, with some genuinely funny and surprising moments.
The ending doesn't try to resolve everything, but it does provide closure; I found it satisfying. Watching episode 12 I couldn't remember if it was a 12 or 13 episode series, but no, that was it, no episode-long coda. (Not that I would have minded.)
So recommended, yes. You don't need to put it on the top of your watch list, but just the thing for a rainy weekend.
Three out of four little mascotty things, the same as I gave it originally.
The 5-person (!) love scrum was a bit artificial, but hey, it's all in good fun.
Also, you know what?
The "old" Mio was way more moe than the "new" one. If I were in Tetsurou place, it would disadvantage her, ironically. I'm not talkig about the haircut specifically, but actually yes, that too.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Friday, June 08 2012 10:34 AM (5OBKC)
It may help to think of her as a girl-shaped space bee.
The ick factor aside, this is not only the best-show-from-the-worst-premise for the season, it's possibly the best show starting this season. Nice old-fashioned designs, great artwork, it moves at its own pace but without putting me to sleep (Hyouka).
Well, based on one episode, which is all I've had time to watch due to bizarre networking issues at my day job.
Oh, and minor spoiler:
Urabe's voice is surprising when you first hear it, but after just a few minutes, it seems entirely natural. Good casting there.
There's a version of this on vimeo.com: http://vimeo.com/39758142
(I apologize for not mastering the way of making that a real link.)
This looks like the director's own upload and it has a bunch of credits with links (and he has a tumblr with .gif versions of various scenes). The director (Takuya Hosogane) also has a 'making of' video for it (showing rough animation and sketches for various sections) and other, earlier videos.
(Credit goes to people on Twitter, who linked to the Vimeo version.)
Right. That reminds me why I don't like this sort of game.
I don't have any problem at all with the game subject or material; they're fine, and deftly handled. It's the shallowness of the decision tree that I have a problem with. At least when Mass Effect screwed you this way, you could mostly either apologise or shoot someone. Sometimes both.
I note that Katawa Crash has more actual game play (you can slow yourself, give yourself a boost a limited number of times and of course choose your initial trajectory)...you also get to kick Hisao around and there's a sharktopus, (which the VN sorely lacks).
And that's my point (which I also made in my review). KS isn't a game by Western standards, and comparing it to Mass Effect, even in passing, isn't fair to either.
If you object to calling KS a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, then I'll just call it five novellas wrapped together by a computer program. There is no gameplay, just a lot of reading.
Having said that, I had more fun reading KS than I have any of the last five books I've picked up.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sunday, February 19 2012 05:30 PM (ZNgWw)
The problem I have is that you're presented with two or three choices, none of which are quite what you want to do, and which don't accurately represent what your character will do or say (a sin which Mass Effect also commits, which is why I mentioned it) - and then you just press the space bar for a long while.
If you read the credits, you'll see they had a writing team, an art team, a music team... And no-one at all on game design.
I agree that it's a fun read, and the characters are engaging. But I think that all that creative work is sadly let down by the shortage of meaningful choices.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, February 19 2012 05:56 PM (PiXy!)
I'll give it another go, to get some more of the story out. I do like the story (so far). It just needs about three times as many branch points.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, February 19 2012 05:59 PM (PiXy!)
The real culprit there was, the, er... "development cycle", I guess you'd call it. The first chapter was produced as a demo/test the waters/holy shit this is really happening piece, and actually has a lot of decision points and branching etc etc. But the rest of the development doesn't run with that at all - if you don't end up on the Kenji bus, your ride will take you completely to the end of one of the girls' stories.
A game developed in more organic fashion would have spaced that out more, so that you didn't have a Future Destiny With _x_ by the school festival. But it would have also been a long, hard slog with the initial development team - they needed to have something out there to convince people that this was a real, serious project devoted to taking what sounds like a terrible joke of a concept and making a good experience out of it.
That said, there's something to be said for the roller coaster. Contrast with Type Moon's stuff, for example. The Tsukihime game had a bunch of branching options, but only a single determiner between whether you were on the Arc path or the Ciel path... and it wasn't the game asking you "so would you prefer to be bonking Arc or Ciel" either. It was entirely possible to go into the game and play it with a strong preference for one character, then do that particular choice wrong, starting you on the path for the other with massive, insuperable penalties (because, well... Ciel very much does not like Arc and Arc's just jealous in general.) So your game was doomed at that point... but it wouldn't say "oh yeah, you're so dead by now", you'd just play for a few more in-game days wondering why you're suddenly getting all these Ciel scenes when you'd been a lot more friendly with Arc.
Which is to say, designing these stories with a lot of branching points is hard, because an "oh darn, nobody likes you very much" ending is a highly negative experience, especially if you can't exactly work out what you did wrong. FSN had a few problems with this too. If you're playing the game worried that answering "wrong" when you get asked about your favorite vegetable will result in hours of wasted gameplay, you're not going to have as much fun.
Some games get around this by having a strong default option - Sakura Wars (not exactly a dating sim...) rigs it so it's quite difficult to get EVERYONE mad at you, and even blundering your way through the game without much of a focus will have you end up with Sakura. Other games get through it in this fashion - you've got choices that can lead to different scenes, but in ways that aren't story-important (the infamous White Ren/Black Ren selection event...) Some games just blow it and become crapware.
It's fair to say that KS doesn't have a whole lot of user interaction, but eh, it's a visual novel. More interaction doesn't necessarily equal a better experience.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Sunday, February 19 2012 09:43 PM (GJQTS)
More interaction doesn't necessarily equal a better experience, but in this case, and for me, it definitely would.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, February 19 2012 11:25 PM (PiXy!)
Hey, Pixy. I can't log into blog.mu.nu. I'm getting an Internal Server Error page. Could you have a look at that? Thanks! :-D
Posted by: Tuning Spork at Monday, February 20 2012 11:40 AM (yh6+P)
Spork, I'll get that fixed ASAP, but in the meantime try the backup login at blog2.mu.nu.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, February 20 2012 03:49 PM (PiXy!)
Do you remember when I whined incessantly about the spam on Ace's blog, and you finally tried to block me while you and Den Beste shamed me for my awesome ability to whine about stuff?
Well, sorry for all of that, but more importantly, congratulations on fixing the spam problem! If it's not a secret, how did you accomplish it?
*fingers crossed that it was one of my ideas*
Posted by: Kevin at Monday, February 20 2012 07:26 PM (3o64G)
I'm not sure exactly what did the trick. I updated the spam filter to scan the database for repeat offenders, find all the IP addresses they use, and ban them en masse.
I also spent several hours manually identifying spam and zapping the hell out of it (and banning people the same way).
It worked a lot better than I'd expected; spam levels have gone way down.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, February 20 2012 09:12 PM (PiXy!)
Thanks, Pixy! The main login is still out, but the backup worked like a charm.
Posted by: Tuning Spork at Monday, February 20 2012 10:25 PM (yh6+P)
Original address should be happy again now as well.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, February 22 2012 11:42 AM (PiXy!)