Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita 5: Fairies, robots, and blobs from outer-spaces…

This week episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita had a lot of strange creatures: a  moe robot girl name Pion, some strange blobs in an abandoned facility and a robot dog (killed by the robot girl..), and of course, the creepy fairies!

The episode start with some strange little monolith that felt from the sky near the village, but everyone decide to let it there (?). We then learn that the humanity monument (what Y was to suposed to work on instead of producing boys-love mangas…) will finally be constructed and this will bring electricity to  the village. The director of the project will also makes an electricity festival ( with Christmas lights and electric fans…) But the fairies decide to quit, because the electromagnetic waves kill them. The heroin then learn (in a tiny book…) that death and misfortune will descend upon the village if the fairies leave. During the festival, “Watashi” meet a strange girl with cat ears who have a memory loss. Seems that she is some sort of humanoid robots or whatever and she is looking for someone.

 

The day after, “watashi” and her assistant are exploring the ruins of the ancient city and takes an elevator by accident. Since they can’t go back, they explore the ruins and get lost. They soon don’t have anymore food or water, but a fairy aprears. While looking for water, they are attack by some space blobs or whatever and run. They discover that the city was build to protect the citizens from the electromagnetic wavelengths and they finnish by shuts themselves in. But they are attacked again, this time by another blob and a robot dog, but Pion saves the day! And the episode end.

Ok, sorry for the super-long summary, but there was so much things happening in this episode. Seems like a built-in episode for next week, because a lot of things happened, but there are so many things left unexplained: the strange monolith, who is Pion and who is the person she is looking for, who build the city, will the fairies come back, etc.

I thought there would be some critics about our modern overconsumption of electricity, but there was none. Regarding the fairies fear of electromagnetic waves, some scientific haved effectively raises some serious questions about the potential problems they can bring to the human body. Nausea, migraines, depressions and to a higher concentration leukemia and tumor could be induced by them. But wait before freaking out and go live in the wood like an hermit: everyone is exposed to lots of electromagnetic waves and few dies of it. It’s the sure-exposition that is harmful… Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the dangers of our everyday life, but here is a site that explain it well.

Other than that, Pion is a mysterious character. I kinda like the way she talks but it feels a little too convenient that the protagonist meet her just a few days before going to explore the ruins and meet her there… But it seems that the electricity is the key here, because Pion thanks her for bringing the electricity back. Maybe she was dormant because there was no electricity and now that the power is back, she woke up.

Attack of the outer-space blobs…

Another mystery is what are the blobs that attacked “Watashi” and “Assistant” in the facility? The fairies says it’s water (it wanted to drink it…), but the blob melted a knives and somehow plugged itself in the power outlet (well, I’m not sure what I’ve seen, so…), which started the robot dog. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe the robot dog have nothing to do with the blobs.

The fairies are as creepy and hilarious as ever. I’m even starting to like them! The face they makes while talking about the danger of the EM waves (in fact, more like the face they don’t makes… since they always have the same smile) or the way the fairy that followed our protagonists says that “the robot dog wants to play with you”, or that they could drink the blob, each of these situations were really funny. This episode also makes something clear about them: the fairies help the humans and without them, humanity will really disappear. The tiny book that uses the fairies system to count was also really cute.

But I felt that this episode was less interesting than the other. Maybe it’s the change of places and actions that occur a few times or
the fact that the whole episode feels like a built in for the next one. The new character introduced, Pion is also a bit plain, but I can’t really judge since we haven’t see her for long.  “Y” was so lively and cool, in comparison Pion seems really boring! However, don’t get me wrong: maybe it was less interesting, but it was still pleasant to watch and  I look forward the next episode.

And a little Pixiv picture to end it this week review:

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Natsuyuki Rendezvous 4: A date without a ghost

So, Hazuki finally got his date to Hanayashiki Park with Rokka. But while they are enjoying rides, everything isn’t going so well. Hazuki wants her to laugh and have fun, but Rokka, remember her husband and she “sees” him everywhere. Back to the flower shop, things get random…. Hazuki go buy cigarettes and drinks a lot of beer (alone in park…) and come back drunk. And… I can’t tell it’s too much of a spoiler!

This was a good episode. Well, there wasn’t too much of the spoiled-brat ghost and the date was cute. I really like the ambiance and the background music really fits in (if I talk about it, it’s because I really liked it, since I don’t usually talk about the music except in the final review). I even felt excited for their date, I wanted to know more, I wanted them to get comfortable togheter, to enjoy the day! It’s silly, but I  was really into it! And the final scene was great. Really great. Go watch it if you haven’t!

On another note, Rokka’s hat was ugly. Sorry, I had to say it. It looks like a lamp! ok… sorry…

Hazuki reaction when he saw Rokka’s hat

Talking about Rokka, we get to know her a little more in every episode. Her characters seemed so flat at the first episode, but when we get to see the flashback, we understand her more and more. Her ambivalent feelings toward Hazuki makes her interesting, but it could become annoying too. I really liked the little sentence she says when she remembered what Atsuhi told her. She says she would have gone without him anyway.

And Hazuki awkwardness is cute. His passion, his love, but also his incomprehension and his youth are well depicted in this episode. The scene in the sky promenade, when he takes Rokka’s hand is very touching. And when he smoke cigarette on cigarette because he is nervous, or getting drunk in a park instead of getting cigarettes!

I’m really looking forward the next episode, particularly because of the end… but I don’t want to spoil here…

Joshiraku episode 2: Lottery Winner, Tokyo Tower and false Pregnancy

Joshiraku is like Japan extract in twenty minutes: cute anime girls, traditonnal Japan, language puns, Tokyo sight-seeing mixed with a bit of craziness. And it is highly enjoyable.

Each episode is divided between a few subjects and this episode subjects were as random as the first episode. The five girls started the show with a talk about lottery and lottery winners: what would you do if you win the lottery? how do you recognize someone who won the lottery? Would you tell your friends if you had won? And if someone had won and is not telling us? Suspecting followed.

The second segment was in Tokyo Tower:  talk about the others towers in Tokyo region (the Skytree isn’t a tower, it’s a tree…), dou you prefer the right or left and talk about forks in the western world…. yeah, forks…

Coming back to the backstage, the girls talk vaccination, then it turns into  new things and theirs necessities and the last segment was certainly the best one: imaginary pregnancy. They try to explain Kirigumi how babies are made and told her to close her eyes and imagine herself with a boy, but she fail. But  Kukuru tries and is  (mentally) pregnant…

What else there is to says about Joshiraku? Not much. It’s funny, but there isn’t really a plot or something to analyze. But I like it, it change from other shows with ” cute girls doing cute things”.

Alien, Fishing and Friendship: A Tsuritama Review

What does fishing and aliens have in common? Well, not so much, except in the excellent spring 2012 anime Tsuritama.

Summary:The story is about four boys who start to go fishing together and learn a lot about human relationship and end up saving the world from a danger for the whole humanity. There is Yuki, a social dysfunctional high school boy who makes a scary face each time he don’t know how to react in society. The boy who start it all, Haru, is a self proclaimed Alien who came to earth to fish and goes around talking to a fish or shoots people with is water gun. Natsuki is a young fishing champion but also an introvert boy who doesn’t know how to act with his family. And there is finally Akira, a 25 years old Indian spy send to Enoshima to keep an eyes on Haru. He have a domestic duck called Tapioca and he doesn’t really know how to have friends or laugh.

The Story: 7.5 on 10.

The story is really amusing. The idea of fishing, a underestimated sport and aliens, clashed with the social outcast bring a crazy but interesting story. The pace before the story really start was a bit slow: the first part of the show is really about  the techniques for fishing and presenting us all the cast. But when the setting is set, the story takes a surprising turn and is really enjoyable!

The Characters: 9 on 10.

The characters are really the best thing of the show: every single one of them is interesting, even minor characters like Akira’s boss or the old shinto  priest at Enoshima Shrine. Enoshima itself takes a great place in the story. But I’ve felt that the show could have be a bit longer to really present us each characters: we really learn to know about Haru and Yuki, a bit more about Natsuki and his family but Akira’s story is a bit left out and he join the cast a bit later. Some minor characters, like the girl working to the  shrine feels important in the two first episode but isn’t really used after this. I think that if the anime was a few episode more, like 16 or 17 (I know, there isn’t animes of that length… but 20 or 26 episodes would have been too long) we could have learned a bit more about everyone.

The visual: 9.5 on 10.

I loved the visual! Everything was so bright, so joyful, so fresh. A lots of original ideas (the Duck team with their fantastic intervention costume were cool), some fantasist colors here and there, but with a touch of realism that makes Enoshima and the area easy to recognize for anyone who had already been there. The Op visual was great too with the dance and all, and the animation made like “collage” in the ending or in the introduction to the show were original too.

The Sound and the Music: 8 on 10.

The opening song was really fun and catchy, it really suits the show. The ending song was good, but forgettable. The sound during the show suits the story and I really liked the Enoshima dance. But overall, the sound were ordinary. The voice acting was interesting and well done, but nothing exceptional or special there. But this isn’t a story that need a special voice acting or voice modulation. But Haru’s voice really suited him and sounded real (for an alien who is learning human relationship).

So did I enjoyed Tsuritama? A lot! It’s one of my all time favorite! I really liked it and since I marathon-ed all the episode in two days (something I rarely do), I can says that it was pure enjoyment. Of course there were some flaw in the story and this isn’t a story everyone will like. But personally, I loved this anime and the original story, the lovable cast, the funny visual… it’s a cute little anime without being pretentious, something to watch on summers days. I must says my enjoyment was also due to the fact that I love Enoshima, it’s a place I want to return absolutely. But even if the story was somewhere else in Japan (there are so many places with fishing histories), I would have enjoyed it.

DUCK!

The little details like Tapioca, the domesticated duck, the anti-aliens agency (“DUCK!”) with turbans, the young love-sick boat captain, Eno-shima-Don, all those little things made me fall in love with this anime. Of course this isn’t for everyone, but if you like a light and original story, strong bonds of friendship and great  characters development with an original visual and a summer vibe, you will likes Tsuritama for sure.

Hakuouki Reimeiroku and Aracana Famiglia Episodes 1-2 Well… first impressions!

Ah! These inverted harem… the guilty pleasure of so many perverted healthy girls around the world. This season bring us two of that underestimate genre: Hakuouki Reimeiroku and La storia della Arcana Famiglia. I’ve watched the two first episodes of both series and will tell you my toughts about it.

First, why would someone watch one of theses series? But, for the bishies! The story is quite bad, the characters one-sided, the girls annoying… All that left are the bishies! I’m a bit mean when I says the story is quite bad. In fact, come reverse harem can have interesting stories. Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan had an depressing interesting story, telling us about the shinsengumi and the Japan opening to the western world while the guns get to the country and the sword get forgotten. Ok, there were some diabolical oni-vampire potion too… and Chikage Kazama (that sexy beast) wasn’t exactly historical, and the end is so depressing, but that wasn’t too bad. And for the Arcana Famiglia, I had played the Otome Game and quite enjoyed it, so I thought I could give the anime a try.So let’s start with Hakuouki Reimeiroku, a prequel to the precedent Hakuouki anime. And good new: no bland lead girl! Hurrah! It’s not that I didn’t liked Chizuru, but she was annoying. The story start with Ibuki Ryonosuke, who is starving to death on the road to Kyoto. He had a fight with some rogue ronin and now waits for death. But he is found by the bad Serizawa who bring him to Kyoto. There, he wake up and meet Heisuke Toudou oh, and fuck the rest he meets all of the Shinsengumi. But while he wants to go, Serizawa tell him he is now his bitch dog and he have to stay with them to thanks him for saving his life.

So this is basicaly Ibuki’s life with the Shinsengumi and the start of the story. In fact, the shinsengumi aren’t the shinsengumi yet in this story and Kondou is the co-chef with Serizawa. We are shown fast the fact that Serizawa is a villain: he hits Ibuki on each occasion (but I somehow understant why…); in a flash back, he burn an hotel because they didn’t get him a room (yeah… quite a freak); he even confront Hijikata! So he will surely be betrayal-material soon. And the magic oni-vampire potion made an aparition in the second episode, so Serizawa will certainly seek power with this.

But I’d lie if I says I wasn’t happy to see all the sexy interesting characters that makes Hakuouki a cash cow: Hijikata, Saitou, Toudou, Harada, and of course Mr. Hot: Okita! So their character design is as hot as ever. Ok… for the moment it’s pretty much all there is to says about this series, so let’s pass on the other one (I’ve been able to write 450 words on Hakuouki yet!).

La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia is about a kind of gentle mafia (anime and their non-criminal mafia…) who keeps the security on the island of Regalo in the Mediterranean. But the Papa of the famiglia will takes his retreat and to know the new ruler, there will be a big battle between to hottest strongest guys and the winner will have his daughter too. But the daughter don’t want to marry yet (16 is a bit young…), so she will participate too.

So we have a bunch of hot (and not so hot, unfortunately) guys who all want to marry the young bland girl. She also have a power who permit her to see in other people hearts. In fact, they all have a power in link with a tarot card (arcana, tarot…all links….). Ok, so the first episode present us to the whole cast  and the setting of the story. And the second episode: they are looking for a freaking cat… Yeah, a cat. But I knew it would turn out that way, since I’ve play the game (not to the end tough…)

Well, some of the guys are cool, others not so much. The two main guy are the protagonist girl age: there is Nova, the serious katana holder (WHO IS HER COUSIN! Yeah… she could marry her cousin…) who never smile and Liberta, the hot-blooded young guy with temerity. Felicita (bland young girl name) will certainly ends up with one of those two. Then there is the middle trio: three twenty something guys who are certainly the most interesting characters. There is Luca, who is Felicita butler since she is young and saw her grown up; there is Pace the gentle lasagna freaks who love to laugh and there is Debitto, the sexy guner who loves women and dirige the casino. Finnally, there are the two old men: Dante who is bald and hold a bazouka (what else there is to say….) and Jolly, the mysterious family counselor who wear sunglasses inside.

So the attention in the two first episode was mostly around Felicita, Nova and Liberta. The difficulty when you adapt an otome game to an anime, is to choose wich route will end up being the girl story. In the game, the players will choose the guy who is to her taste and finally play all the route, but one of these route will be her favorite. But in an anime, you can mixed many route or choose one, but it’s difficult to makes a good adaptation. A lot of game (be otome or eroge) adaptations have pathetically failed, and most of them are forgettable.

So why watch shows like Hakuouki or Arcana Famiglia? Well, even if these aren’t great anime, if the story don’t suck too much and if  the visual is well made, it can be fun to watch. Common, we all have our  guilty pleasure and inverted harem with sexy bishies is certainly one of mine.

Natsuyuki RendezVous Episode 3: the annoying husband and the flat women

Ok… the flat women in the title don’t refer to the flatness of a breast, more like the flatness of a character: Rokka character in Natsuyuki RendezVous. But don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this week episode.

This week, Rokka learned that it’s Hazuki who helped her when she felt unconscious during her sickness. When she wakes up, Hazuki hug her and Atsuhi gets mad because it’s his and Rokka bedroom. He create a located earthcake and throw things to Hazuki. Later,he ask him to let him borrow his body. Hazuki goes to a restaurant with Miho, where they talk about the two Shimao. She shows Hazuki a picture taken in an amusement park and Hazuki decide to makes a gambling: ask Rokka to go there with him.

Don’t get me wrong: I really apreaciate the anime so far: the setting is interesting, the visual is good, the story original, Hazuki is cute (in his own manner)… but some little things are deranging me. First is the annoying husband, Atsuhi Shimao: I understand that the whole concept of the show is him being unable to let Rokka fall in love with someone else and all the fact of mourning our dead and passing on the other side. Great. But after the first episode originality and presenteing the concept, the second episode where we get  a little more of his background, in this third episode he just look like a spoiled brat!

First, not only he is being annoying to hell by always being in Hazuki’s way, but he now annoy him because he wants to borrow his body. Uh no! I wouldn’t let a ghost borrow my body, especially the late husband of the girl I love (well, being a boy… since I’m a girl… I’m just imagining myself in place of the character… ok sorry…). He keep on asking it and I get the feeling he will keep asking each week and Hazuki will eventually let him take his body, the two characters will have sex and basta. But of course, Atsuhi will still be sad, because Rokka will be having sex with Hazuki body, so she will say Hazuki’s name and Atsuhi, being a brat, will get angry. Well, perhaps it will end up being another way but thid id my little prediction (now I so want to go read the manga to know if I am right! but no. I’ll wait.)

The second reason why Atsuhi is a spoiled brat: he can now uses supernatural powers to makes objects moves  and to throw things at Hazuki. He can now play the poltergeist. Great. Really, if he is that spoil while being dead, I really wonder how he was being alive. That also seems to be what Hazuki wonder, when Miho goes to eat with him. In fact, Hazuki should forget Rokka and go out with Miho: she is much more interesting and alive.

In fact, Rokka isn’t that boring, she is for the moment a bit predictable and one-sided. Unfortunately, in a 12 episode anime, it’s quite rare to see a more developed character when it start this way. The emphase of the show is directed toward to the man (the alive… and the dead!), and Rokka seem a bit forgot on story-tell. Each time she is talking about the past, it’s about her late husband, how much she miss him,etc. I understand that the show is about the fact that he is dead and can’t let go but it would be more interesting to learn about her. Because if we don’t, we can’t understand why Hazuki love her so much and is accepting to stay by her side, even if she is haunted (maybe it’s for the fun of defying the spoiled brat dead…).

But even with theses flaws, I keep loving this show. The subject is serious, but the execution is refreshing. I also love the fact that there are flowers everywhere. Hazuki atitude toward Rokka sometimes feels rush, but it looks more realistic that way: the difference between Hazuki impatience to be with Rokka and her ambivalence feels realistic. But seriously, if you want to see the girl you love smile, don’t take her to the amusement park where she used to go with her deceased husband… no girl would start to smile, there is more chance that she start to cry instead!

On another note, I really like Rokka’s hair. Some people says that she looks like a boy, but I don’t think so. She probably cut them after her husband death and I think it add a little something to her character. It’s also a great change: girl in romance show usually have beautiful long hairs  or shoulder-length hair. The fact that Hazuki love her even with so short hair (and by the same part, find her beautiful, since the love-one is always beautiful!) add to the character. I hope we get to see why she cut them and Atsuhi reaction to this scene.

So, did you liked this week episode? What did you think of Atsuhi atitude and supernatural power? I’ve read that some people think Hazuki act like an asshole. Do you think so? Please comment.

JInrui wa Suitai Shimashita 4: The Hard Life of a Manga Character

Did you ever ask yourself what it would feel to be a manga or a comic character? Well, maybe you haven’t… but this week episode of Jinrui wa Suitay Shimashita bring us in the hard world of manga and popularity polls.

At the end of the third episode, our heroine and “the Queen of Manzine” Y were send inside a white room. To their amazement, sound effects appears when they do something. In another room, they found the assistant. They soon discover that they are inside a manga panel and they have to bring entertainment if they want to keep people reading their adventure, For Y, the Queen of Manzine, it’s easy to do! Well, that’s what they first thought, but keeping the reader is more difficulties than what they thought, and if they fail, they will fall in the abyss of forgotten manga…

Well, we ship countries in Hetalia, so why not chess pieces…

Each episode of Jinrui bring more craziness. I like how they explain something the manga world via the popularity of the medium, since we usually see this world through the view of the writer (like in Bakuman). The main character is as subtly ironic as usual and Y energy is refreshing. In fact, Y energy counterbalance “watashi” irony and the assistant silence.

Some reviewer have seen the last episode as a critic of the otaku subculture,   and will certainly sees in this episode another commentary of the reader hard critic on manga artist (they even says in the show “if you can’t draw manga anymore, you can’t find a place in society”…  depressing…) and the public eye who decide on what stay and what goes. Well, there is certainly a critic and the whole concept of the series is to tell us what are the reason humanity is declining in a bubblegum environment, the fairies are a way to bring theses critics without being too direct.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the whole concept and certainly the end (you are doomed to continue your family business… sorry fairies, I’m already in the family business…) really makes me laugh! Well, not laugh… more like… ok let’s say I enjoyed it.

But I really quite like the series so far. At first, I didn’t wanted to watch it: the idea of a cute girl in a world of fairies didn’t seem really good. But I must admit that I was wrong: the fairies and the cuteness aren’t the main role of the anime. More like irony, criticism but also humor and craziness. With creepy fairies…