Posted by: Leek | July 29, 2014

Unproductive Season Review: Spring 2014

So we’re back again and Winter never happened (really, it didn’t). Due to some complaints (and budget cuts) this article will be slightly different. Unfortunately, we had to slash the pasting large text over screenshots this time around. But, instead, we’ve implemented a brand new grading system that will give you a stronger idea of the overall impression the show gave. So while we took some steps back you’ll notice we took those same steps forward.

The usual 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 scoring that still manages to stay as relevant as the animation budget in a SHAFT production. Joke. Don’t like it? Too bad. This time around we move forward with nine shows and a brand new scoring system. Did I mention it’s done via Word clip art? I didn’t? That’s too bad.

Just might be but probably not Soul Eater


Fact: We here at Ore to Kudo do not condone polygamy of any form

We start this edition off with not a sequel, or a new show, but a spin-off. I remember I had heard about Soul Eater Not! a little prior to the season starting (I forgot why) and proceeded to check the main website. You know that thing where a webpage opens up and you kind of have to pull your head really far back and away from the computer screen? That’s pretty much the entirety of what happened and then I closed it out without actually reading anything about it.

Soul Eater Not! doesn’t exactly follow in it’s predecessor’s dark, gloomy footsteps and instead turns pink into the new black. Well, for the most part anyway. Soul Eater Not! was essentially the series you’d expect to find nowadays. You know. That semi-normal series with tons of fanservice and lesbian undertones all over the place. It’s actually so normal it’s annoying that I can’t actually fathom the will to complain anymore. There are those times when Not tries to pose as an action series in the latter half, but I’m pretty sure at that point you’re not watching anymore or are too jaded to really care. Saying I hated the series would be wrong but it’s easy to tire of the really laid back way it takes everything until the last few episodes.

The Final Score:

Sunshine, a small storm, and then a bright rainbow is a pretty good way to describe Not. It never really erupts into anything interesting and it really just feels like sunshine and rainbows most of the time. I will admit, it was kind of nice to see how it tied into the Soul Eater plot and what little things it explains here and there prior to the main series. But overall it really felt so mild on it’s own that it’s hard to call it the best use of anyone’s time.

“Hey that’s a flag featuring flag anime flag!” The Animation


Fact: That’s a I don’t know what the fuck is going on flag.

Keep the flag flying, or If her flag breaks, or really long Japanese title shortened to Gaworare (or something like that) goes back a bit to what I thought of Decider-man however many seasons ago. It was a show that probably could have been interesting but let it’s ambitious self try and squeeze this year’s ass into last year’s bathing suit. And let’s just say it hasn’t been hitting the gym that often and enjoys going for seconds at the dinner table.

If you listened to me talk about it during the season talk on the podcast, you’ll remember I beefed on it about the artwork looking awkward and the actual plot making zero sense. I still stand by that point and I don’t think my opinion changed at any point during it’s entire run. This show’s plot was all over the place and half the time I was confused as to whether I was watching the same show every week. And, while the overall idea was somewhat clever, it became stupid when the MC had to yell out “OH GOD! THAT’S A ____ FLAG! I BETTER DO SOMETHING!” every few minutes. I get it. You can see the flags. No need to remind me every five minutes and making me feel really awkward.

The Final Score:

That’s all there is to it. Flags a plenty made zero sense to me and generally blew up into a ton of chaos at the end. It took me to the ends of the universe and back without taking any stops or really introducing me to anything. So at the end every character felt like a stranger or some small puzzle piece that I couldn’t quite fit into the larger picture. I guess the staff didn’t notice the “this isn’t a sensible plot” flag.

50 First Crepes


Fact: They’re currently looking into Adam Sandler for the western dub

So I’ll admit everything I’m going to joke about this show is going to revolve around 50 First Dates. If you haven’t seen the movie, then you’ll probably be wondering why I’m cracking all these jokes. And if you ever have some free time I suggest you check it out because it’s incredibly stupid but probably more worth your time than this anime.

Outside of me pasting Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler over the main hero and heroine of this story, this was one of those shows where drama made me want to turn it off. While I understand drama was kind of necessary given the concept, it felt more forced than anything else and even repetitive by the end of the show. Essentially, it turned into 12 episodes of Hase rethinking whether or not Fujimiya actually had memory problems. What if she’s lying? No, really. She might be lying. I mean, I can’t prove she’s not lying, right? I’m so confused that I’ll just act like a little bitch. It’s kind of hard to take pity on a situation when the same kinds of issues keep arising over and over and over again. Just because Fujimiya is suffering from groundhog day syndrome doesn’t mean the viewer has to.

The Final Score:

Maybe this series would have been more rewarding if I wasn’t singing “Wouldn’t it be nice” over every episode. But I’m pretty sure had I not been laughing about The Beach Boys every episode that I wouldn’t have made it past all the sub-par drama it was forcing on me. No tears here. Just me wanting a trip to the beach.

La Gold no Corda: Bleu Sora


Fact: That bird totally doesn’t match his shoes

From boring forced drama comes off the wall, ridiculous drama (which I can somehow stand). All is fair in the world of classical music and that means things get weird. And I mean really weird. I could give you some long talk about Kiniro no Chord but it would probably be wasted. So let’s just call it what it is: ridiculous. And that’s perfectly fine.

In a world of crazy over the top sports anime and idols getting naked, you have to bend the rules a bit. So why not allow musicians to create crazy over the top illusions where their audience can interact with mother nature? Why not have a ridiculous cast of guys that rank from common delinquents to some obnoxious Brazilian guy who needs to be tranquilized? And why not have a male lead that has less balls than the cute, harmless main heroine?

The Final Score:

I somehow found this clip art and realized it describes Blue Sky perfectly. This shit is weird. And I’m sure if I investigated some flowers before every episode that I would love it’s ridiculousness even more than without the help of flowers. It’s nonsense and everything you’d expect from something not intended for the male gender. That’s a compliment by the way.

Loco Live Dos


Fact: Honestly, I just clicked randomly and this is what I got

In my eyes, Love Live and Utapuri (how I wish I was reviewing that second season) had the same problem going into their second seasons and chose to attack them in somewhat different lights. I mean, once you have a group assembled you can’t do the “up and coming” plot line anymore. So where do you go next? Well, you either go into individual character development or find SOMEWAY to get the group to interact together.

Love Live tried to do a bit of both and it’s hard to say if it worked or not. Yes, there was still some episodes to help give some characters (mostly the ones that got gypped first season) a little more limelight. And then they did that Love Live thing. You know, the part where they make everything 100x more dramatic than it really needs to be. There’s always that joke about how old people talk about the old days, right? The one where your old man tells you he used to climb a mountain to go to school and back in the middle of tornado. Yeah, that’s exactly what Love Live likes to do. They really don’t need to but for some reason everything becomes some big fish story complete with ridiculous music, bicycle horns, and elephants on unicycles. But at least they still broke out into song in the first episode.

The Final Score:

If you’re not brainwashed into liking this series by now, chances are this show will be a pain to watch. And, unless you’re a dumbass like me, you were probably smart enough not to watch it. But if you do, you’ll probably ask yourself, “Does it really need to be this melodramatic?” every other episode as you twiddle your thumbs. It was kind of forgivable in the first season but the fact they couldn’t drop it and make it more stomach-able turned the show into a weekly chore. Go clean your room instead.

Daimidaler: The Boob Powered Robot


Fact: The mech designer has a complex about right arms

I believe I have a quote on record where I say something like “What good, self-respecting mecha series is under 13 episodes”. Let’s pretend I never said that or just go with the reasoning that Daimidaler isn’t the most self-respecting series out there (for it’s own good). But I’ll be honest here and say that sometimes the best way to cover a genre is by doing a spoof of it. Daimidaler is very much out to poke fun at the mecha genre and it’s really damn good at it.

Daimidaler is one running gag after another. It isn’t trying to necessarily be cool or badass but it just tickles your mecha senses enough that you see it that way. Everything about the series (if you have a long history of mecha) is bound to make you laugh, look back at other shows from the same genre, and then proceed to laugh harder. That’s just the beauty of a well done spoof. Heck. Even if you don’t watch mecha you might still fall for the stupid gags, overall charm, and ridiculousness of everything.

The Final Score:

Naturally if I typed “boobs” into the clip art search it wasn’t going to give me anything. So you’ll have to take this censored photo despite the fact that Daimidaler was anything but censored (on some broadcasts anyway). It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, if you’re a long time fan of mecha you’ll probably get a good laugh out of Daimidaler (unless you’re really afraid of naked bodies). The writing is terribly witty and it’s just the perfect length that the jokes are still funny by the end of it.

Nisegrass


Fact: That grass is fake.

So I figured it would be a good idea to watch Nisekoi because, well, Nisekoi. I had heard a lot about the series prior and, despite not being the biggest fan of harems anymore, it felt like a must. So I actually did read a little bit of it before and during the time the series was running. But let’s be honest here. I don’t think very highly of Nisekoi as a series even in it’s original format. To me, it’s a pretty shitty harem when it could have been a simple romance story about two characters that hate each other. I realize that doesn’t sell but it would have been oodles more fun to read plot wise.

But now, let’s talk about Nisekoi the anime. I blabber on a lot about how I feel how much the staff loves a series will come through in the final product. And, if I had to take a guess, I feel like nobody working on this show seemed to give much of a damn about the material. Watching Nisekoi was like playing a game of look the other way. Every time I felt like something was supposed to be happening on screen, there was something random in the background intentionally telling me “Don’t look at the characters, they’re just talking”. So rather than watching characters with fluid, interesting, and more realistic motions I was told to stare at some rainbow cascade of blinding light or a piece of grass blowing in the wind. And that was just it. It was a lot of cases of two characters pasted over some background that didn’t seem to match. Kind of like a bad green screen.

The Final Score:

Let’s be honest though. Nisekoi is a story about “Who’s the mommy?” Just imagine a guy banged a ton of girls and a baby showed up on his doorstep. After that, he has to figure out who the heck actually gave birth to that baby and, rather than being able to find some practical solution, he has to sort through it in the hardest possible fashion. Actually, forget it. That series would have been a bit more interesting. This is just some propaganda telling you not to fall for pair accessories.

Is the order a rabbit that looks strangely like a cat?


Fact: Small girls are bad for you health (and wallet)

So there are two things to keep in mind about anime nowadays. I brought up lesbian undertones before but it’s important to remember that 99.9% of those series come out of Manga Time Kirara. It’s just THAT kind of publisher. With that said, let’s talk about coffee.

Now I had my beefs with a lot of series from Manga Time Kirara for having a total lack of focus and just appealing to your sense of cute. But what happens when one of those series manages to have a well rounded out concept and manages to actually push a little plot and character development forward? Well, you get a really adorable series that actually manages to give you a nice beginning and end. All while keeping that stupid adorable fluff you can’t help but “awww” about. You get to feel that warmth in every chamber of your heart.

The Final Score:

Gochiusa is cute; it’s hella cute, and the music, atmosphere, and overall affinity of the cast makes it incredibly enjoyable to watch. Nothing is overdone and the humor is just witty enough to make you laugh from time to time. Heck. It’s even got a bit of fantastical elements that, while never really explained, are just kind of an add on to make it a little more amusing. And it all just adds to the charm. Unlike most of it’s ancestors, Gochiusa holds together as a well rounded, heartwarming package, and if you watch anything that came out of Manga Time Kirara this is probably a prime choice.

The Amazing Chimera Ant Adventure


Fact: Life is hard when you’re a giant lobster.

Now if the world were to take an honest poll I’m pretty sure the results would come up that 50% of you assholes didn’t bother watching the remake of HxH until this arc. You waited like little pussies in your caves because you wanted to see this or you wanted to see that. You’re the little assholes in the Little Red Hen that didn’t do shit. But rather than being forced to starve, society is nice and decides to throw you a banquet. I’m not sure who actually wrote that tale but they’re probably rolling in their grave somewhere.

I’ll admit that the HxH remake has (literally) been a long trip. Naturally, I was skeptical and I was still skeptical going even as far as Greed Island. The adaption still didn’t feel like it had the same charm or polish as the original and I still feel the early arcs were handled better in the older anime. And it’s hard to say that it’s fair to state that “The new anime really did this better”, when the old anime never go to cover the most recent arcs properly. But that doesn’t change the fact that the HxH remake staff has really grown with their project.

In the early arcs, music felt unfitting and even forced sometimes. Action didn’t feel as great as one would have wanted. And in some ways it just didn’t feel like they were capturing the environment and utilizing all the tools they had at their disposal. But their growth has really come to fruition with the Chimera Ant arc. Music was utilized skillfully, fights were a ton of fun to watch, and everything came together so picture perfectly that it was impossible not to be emotionally wrecked when it all ended.

The Final Score:

Whether you sat through the entire trip or got on midway, the Chimera Arc was a spectacle to behold. There’s really not that much to say beyond that and the only sad thing is that the remake will be coming to a close before we know it. But I’m sure the staff will be leaving plenty of ripples in the water even after they finish the job.

Summing it Up
Had it not been for the combined efforts of Gochiusa, Daimidaler, and Hunter x Hunter, I’m pretty sure I would have hated this season and never wanted to review it. But the Chimera Ant closing out this seasons basically made me feel indebted to the point I couldn’t just ignore it.

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