Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On the seventh day of aniblogging I give to thee: seven shows that disappointed me~

Alright, time for some hot takes.

703X: I totally started watching this show because the main character looked like Pidge from Voltron and I kept watching it since I was dragged onto the Taiiku Podcast to talk about it. If someone ever tried to design a sports anime parody (and like, have the project actually work) then it’d look a heck of a lot like this show. It has all of the usual elements, tropes, and passion of a sports show, but it’s about quiz bowl and guys I just can’t take this seriously, I can’t! And you ARE supposed to buy into it and take it all seriously, I just can’t at all!

The Ancient Magus Bride: Usually I won’t put a title on my end-of-year lists if the show isn’t fully over but that’s more due to fears that the story will suddenly nosedive more than anything else. I know where the story in The Ancient Magus Bride is going (assuming no anime-original endings, although frankly I wouldn’t blame them since there aren’t any good stopping points in the story yet), I’m more disappointed in the presentation. When the initial PV for the OVAs aired I was captured by how magical they made the story work but so far that “magic” has been missing. The lighting, backgrounds, and layouts are fine but they aren’t inspiring, I was really hoping for visuals to lift up a story I already knew very well, not just visuals that would merely float along. I just wish the series had a director or a storyboarder who was really thoughtful, someone like Rei Matsumoto who puts so much thought into each shot. I’ve really slowed down watching the show as a result, this is always a worry when an anime is adapting material I’m already familiar with but it’s still a real shame for me as a fan.

Atom the Beginning: I’ve already done an entire essay about how this is a kids story which assumes that its own main characters are stupid and that still sums up my problems with the story. I wish the anime had been more like the fantastic OP (link), the OP had a real sense of adventure and fun as the characters went around their setting, nothing like how the show actually played out (at times it felt like the characters spent half the time in the lab and the other half of the time at the robot tournament, the story was also really unbalanced with the ratio of episodic vs single arc focused episodes). I felt like the idea for Atom, a reimagining of the creation of the iconic Atom/Astro Boy, had so much potential and so much free space to run around in, this just feels like one of the most boring paths the story could have taken.

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond: I miss Reeeeeei. Specifically, I miss the director of the first season, Rei Matsumoto, and I was startled with how sharply different this sequel was. Before the first season aired I was hesitant about the show, I love Matsumoto’s other directorial works but I disliked the manga-ka’s other source material (Trigun, both by Yasuhiro Nightow) and I had no idea which would win out for me. In the end, it was Matsumoto’s vision that won me over; I liked the central, anime-original, story she created to hang the episodic stories from but I also loved just how frantic and chaotic she made Hellsalem’s Lot out to be. In the first season, it was easy to see why Leo was always getting into trouble, there was plenty of trouble to be found! This second season is much more straightforward and now Hellsalem’s Lot doesn’t feel mysterious and intriguing, it just feels weird and dirty. Hell, even Leo comes off as more crass and cranky in this season (instead of well-meaning but snarky in the first) which I really didn’t expect! I do appreciate how this second season has put a bit more focus on some of the side characters, like Zedd and Chain, but overall it’s far less interesting and impressionable.

The Eccentric Family 2: I also have another entire essay on this show which elaborates my basic thought on it: why is there a season 2? Knowing that this is supposed to be the “middle” of a trilogy explains a lot actually (not a ton of progress for any character except the oldest brother and Benten) but that still doesn’t mean that I liked it more in the end. I wanted to like this but this is a story without a clear reason for beginning or ending and I need that, I need the rest of the story so that it can all be put together as one thing.

Kado: The Right Answer: Can y’all just STOP declaring each new CGI show to be “the best CGI show so far?” Like, I totally love Land of the Lustrous from this season and do think it’s the best so far but man, Kado didn’t look better at all from previous all CGI shows like BBK/BRBK! Each time I started thinking “oh this looks fine, I’m getting used to it” the shot would cut and nah, I had been looking at a 2D shot all along and the 3D was still disorienting. The plot wasn’t great either, it worked fine for about half the story but since a lot of the endgame hinges on “oh the laws of physics in your universe just work the way they do because that’s how they were set up, no deeper reason, I can mess with it at will” then you have A Bad Sci-Fi story. I mean, maybe some people could make that NOT feel like a giant asspull but the folks writing this story couldn’t pull that off.  

 Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul:

I’m so disappointed in you show.

(disappointed enough to break from my usual formatting)

My complaints with this show are basically the same as everyone else’s on the internet: the first 3/4ths of the show were great, then the show had a genocidal ruler get off scott-free for his crimes without any commentary or remorse.

Like, this is a fixable point people! Chaorice’s actions are pretty hard to justify by the end of the story (since they were pretty self-defeating in the long run) and the fact that sweet sweet Nina wants to stay by him despite what he’s done just didn’t feel right to me. Yes Nina is young and deeply in love but, Nina is also really compassionate to everyone around her, that disconnect can’t be fully summed up with just “she’s being selfish in her love.”

At this point I have no idea if I recommend this story with caveats or not at all at this point, I feel betrayed yo, I FEEL BETRAYED.