Posted by: Leek | February 10, 2014

Unproductive Season Review: Fall 2013

You know this might be the favorite article series I do. Why? It’s so formulaic and really takes me no effort to throw together. Just take new screenshots, put words on them, and then change a few things here and there. Templates are really the best way to get through life.

A friendly disclaimer. If you’re a young child then you should get parent approval before proceeding forward. The internet is a terrible place and I don’t want you reading things that your parents will blame the internet on. If you’re a parent and have young children present then you should probably escort them out of the room and sit them down with some Pretty Cure or Kamen Rider. Heck, you should probably just ignore this article altogether and join them. We all know it’s better than anything I’ll be talking about in this article.

Unproductive Season Review is back with scores that are about as relevant as character development in a 12 episode anime. But I kid. This time I come to you with a not so whopping nine shows because nothing that started in Fall wanted to actually finish. It’s a good thing.

Rise of the Ads (Part 3)


Fact: The punchline was there really is no fourth season

Teekyuu has really become one of those things that you don’t realize how great it is until it’s gone. For the longest time a lot of us (including me) have mocked Teekyuu for being the stupidest and strangest ways to spend three minutes.

And now that it’s gone it’s easy to feel incomplete. I mean how do you replace so many blatant advertisements pushed so hard over the course of 3-4 minutes. How do you continue to crack the same jokes in the same places and seem to blatantly ignore a show so badly that you sometimes forget what actually happened, when in reality it’s so strange that it subliminally planted itself in your brain.

Teekyuu is like a really bad drug. One that everybody is going to just have to learn how to live with until it eventually comes back or vanishes from our systems forever. But hey, I heard Roots is authoring a new series as I write this so there’s always a chance a new drug is on the way.

The Final Score: A now unsatisfied craving out of 10

Alice in Kyoto


Fact: Nothing says love like a forehead to the face

If you happened to read it, you might remember I listed Kyousougiga as one of the better series of 2013 you might have overlooked. Even writing this, I stand by most of what I said when I talked about it there.

Kyousougiga is just fun to watch. That’s about all there is to it. There are those few times where Toei just gets a new project and puts the kind of oomph into it that makes you remember why you love anime. The characters are likable, the animation is playful, the soundtrack is great, and it gives you a compact yet intricate story to follow.

And each episode was an experience of it’s own. I realize this might have easily been because before the series even aired we had seen a lot of the episodes in short stand alone preview forms. So seeing them reinserted into the larger story turned each episode into a standalone movie. And it turned the entire series into a multi part movie. Kind of like Harry Potter, except Kyousougiga consumes marginally less of your time and leaves you feeling a lot better about yourself after watching it.

The Final Score: 10 domestic abuse cases filed.

Improper Uses for Anime Vol.1


Fact: Santa also gave Kyary her first break (he still regrets it)

The short anime boom shows no signs of stopping and we have now learned that just about anybody can throw something on the drawing table. Horie Yui caught wind of this and decided to put her cards on the table. So what did we get? A something part long anime meant to promote one thing.

Her new single.

Yep. That’s all that Miss Monochrome was actually about. Story? Well though out gags? Anything? Scratch all of that. Actually, you could say it also promotes the oh so wonderful game Girlfriend where you can go ahead and try and get Miss Monochrome. That’s right. Shameless self promotion down to the bitter core.

I’m fine if you want to use an anime to promote music. But at least make it longer than five minutes and give it more of a selling point than leading up to one episode meant to pitch a single release 2-3 months after the damn thing finishes airing.

The Final Score: It wasn’t even a good song.

Decider-man


Fact: You really can’t see anything during this opening

Noucome tells the story of Decider-man. A hero with the super power to make decisions of what strange thing to do at all the wrong times. This super power was given to him by some angry god that seems to like fucking around with people. Thus, Decider-man embarks on a quest to fight evil by making decisions until the villains get weirded out enough to either:

A) Beat him up
B) Fall in love with him
C) Both

Actually. I kid. Noucome was actually a fairly decent romp and ridiculously stupid enough to be entertaining. In all honesty, it just suffered from being too short. I don’t know what budget was given to the show and why it was trying to pitch some shitty idol group I don’t care about. But it was funny and at least managed to be entertaining (in some really weird way) every week. It just kind of ended so abruptly and was forced to rush so badly that things all kind of blended together. But watching everybody doing headstands during the opening was really entertaining. All anime OPs from now on should have everybody doing headstands.

The Final Score: I decide not to give one.

Marginally Larger Busters


Fact: The answer is nothing.

You know what. You’d think I’d have some compliment for the show. But they’d have to work really hard to fuck up the most linear parts of the game. Yet they still managed to leave out some of the most comedic sections for the few things they decided to skip.

Really? I feel the first season was like buying a super ball only to realize it was a marble. The second season was you going back to the shop, returning the marble, and ending up with a set of cards. What? Of course that doesn’t make sense. I make the rules here so it doesn’t have to.

The Final Score: 52 Card Pickup

Idol Fighter II: Turbo


Fact: Despite the naysayers, people decided to call it a 9:1 match-up.

I’ll be honest here. I am about 80% sure I would not have watched Sekatsuyo had it not been for the fact that you were redirected to it after every Teekyuu episode. So let’s do some imagination exercises right now. Imagine you’re sitting with your best friend after school watching your favorite TV show (Teekyuu) and then it finally comes to an end. After that you talk about the episode over the commercials and before you know it the next show comes on (Sekatsuyo) that neither of you are really that fond of. But if you turn off the TV you’ll have to do homework so you decide that you’ll buy some time by sitting out the next program. And before too long you make a habit out of it and find that the two of you are talking more about the show then you really intended to.

That’s how Sekatsuyo really was to me. It was free programming that I just generally spent some time on. By the way, it was ridiculously stupid and made absolutely zero sense. But to be fair it was wrestling. And they never once decided to wrestle in mud so you can’t say it was disrespectful to woman. Because female wrestling only gets disrespectful when they do it in mud.

The Final Score: 200 Boston Crabs out of 400 Wrestling Moves Performed

Production Costs


Fact: Effort is overrated sometimes.

I have this strong feeling if all the mini anime groups were to bind together they could make something really great. Take Tesagure Bukatsu-mono for example. It’s not exactly a bad concept for an anime but has absolutely zero production value. Now take what I talked about before with Miss Monochrome. It somehow had more production value than Tesagure yet lacked any real concept. But what if we were to COMBINE them? We might get some mediocre anime that more people would put up with watching.

But decent concept or not. Tesagure’s concept is one you can only laugh at for so long. You can only make so many meta jokes before it stops being funny and the pattern gets really, really old. I’ll admit I liked how they had the guaranteed adlib section in the middle of the show. It felt like some watered down version of Golden Eggs via less good jokes and more meta. But it had all of the random awkward chatter that you would expect out of having no fucking clue about what to say.

Heck. It even got a second season. But I assume that’s based less on success and more on the fact that it was cheap as fuck to produce and they had leftover budget.

The Final Score: $5 spent out of a $20 budget.

Welcome to the 9 to 5


Fact: I thought hard over the irony of this statement

You know the better stories are the ones never told. Like the one about the side character who never gets to save the world or get a statue built of him in the middle of the town. Instead he gets a 9 to 5 and realizes his life is a swirling deathpool that he wants nothing more than to get out of.

I’ll admit I don’t like the stereotypical fantasy setting all that much. I’ve always been a sci-fi kind of guy. But there are times when you can use fantasy settings to do really amusing things. Yuushibu uses it as some really amusing way to do a social critique and still manages to keep an interesting casts of characters. Heck, they even animate some random battles.

We won’t talk about all the shameless reasons I watched Yuushibu which, surprisingly, have nothing to do with the boobs. But should we talk about the boobs? They bounce a lot. But in all honestly if you’re getting more caught up in the fanservice rather than what the show is actually doing then it proves you’re a terrible person. That’s right. It’s your fault.

The Final Score: Enough to satisfy the cost of living.

Doki Doki Ball Z


Fact: Mana is, in fact, a bad enough dude to rescue the President.

You know it’s kind of nice when franchises do something different every once and awhile. Ever since Precure entered the dedicated squad phase it’s been all about the team ethic. Everybody gets to be strong in their own way and that sort of drives the entire series. That’s not to say that the usual character development didn’t happen in Doki but it did something different.

It took the straight up Dragon Ball approach. Why not just make one ultimately amazing main character that everything just seems to circle around for once? It seems like it’d be really stupid but it surprisingly works. I read back to my previous statements about Doki after the season ended. From the first episode, I didn’t like Mana. Actually, I seemed strictly against her as a character. Yet the entire framework of the series forced me to go against that and become another member in her fanclub. That’s just how magical Doki was.

But overall, Doki had really great writing. It kept the usual Precure formula while still managing to have an overarching story that all pieced together and was really fun to see unfold. Even if you managed to predict exactly what was going on it didn’t mean the journey there wasn’t fun. Doki was the first time in the past few years where I’ve been excited every week for the next episode. Not because I was waiting for something new or waiting on a new gimmick but because it was really damn fun to watch.

I’ve been waiting for another magical girl series that I could really set next to my top ranking Rider Series and think, “Yeah, this deserves the credit I’m giving it”. And while modern day Riders are spinning themselves into a whirlpool of bad gags and terrible gimmicks, it was nice to see a cleanly executed series like Doki. It makes me think that after OOOs all the great writers jumped ship to the Precure side of things.

The Final Score: A Royal Flush

Summing it Up
I feel like I kept things briefer this time. But I’m pretty sure that’s only because I don’t have the extra shows of baggage. That and half of these shows are 5 minutes or less and are only on the list so I can make fun of them. Oh well.

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