Ah, Ouka, please, I have some shame!
Nevertheless, I’ve finally gotten into my annual vacation. As a government employee of this particular agency, my seniority means I get to choose my vacation after the higher seniority people have taken the weeks they want. No matter, I got Halloween/All Saints weekend, which also means I’ll be attending Anime USA. Unfortunately, things fell apart and I got car repairs to pay. This led to the hotel fund getting dipped into pretty regularly, so I just cancelled my reservation. Will be commuting from the suburbs into DC all three days (or maybe just Friday and Saturday).
Oh right! I’m here to talk about the shows I’ve seen so far. There will be more, and I will do a Part 2 next week. Which would mean my TER post will have been two weeks late at that point. Anyways, I blame things being hectic at work for the drop between the award posts and this one.
I also blame Medieval Otaku for the one I intend to blog about. He can ruddy well guess which one. 😄
Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Watched: Ep 1-3
“A New Gundam!” was my initial thought when I heard this announced and appearing on the pre-season lists. So far, it’s done better to immerse me into the world than AGE ever did, or 00 for that matter. I repeat the praises it’s getting from the press on its animation and characters, and even with the cringe-worthy content was bearable to watch. Hell, conflict is hell, and Gundam has often put adolescents into cockpits. The main character duo reminds me somewhat of Simon and Kamina, though Mikazuki and Orga are not as…hot blooded as the other two pairs are.
Barbados was a nice touch, apart from being named after a demon Lord (was wondering why it sounded familiar, thanks wikipedia), the fact it’s old and decrepit brings a bemused reaction to my face, though while I slightly frowned at the child soldier aspects of the main characters and their cohorts, the thing that REALLY made me cringe was the implants. Damn that’s gotta hurt.
Orga has grown on me, no doubt that’s the reason he’s there, while Mikazuki’s detachment makes me a little harder to understand what the boy wants. If anything, I immediately took an interest into Biscuit, no doubt the main characters would fall apart without his presence and ensuring things went smoothly. In all, I like what I’m seeing so far, and I like what I’m hearing too. Sweet Jesus, it’s Man with a Mission, the same folks who gave us the extremely catchy OP to Log Horizon.
Hidan no Aria AA
Watched: Ep 1-2
I honestly was excited a bit going into this, but not as much anymore. Primarily because whereas the original was rather good in that it focused on Aria and dealt with a pseudo-supernatural organization, this adaptation seems to be heading down the school slice of life kind of deal. Granted, it’d be a high school I wished I attended, because really, we get to use firearms, and help solve cases in an alternate Japan where crime rates make Detroit look like a safe, suburban gated community. Needless to say I’m highly bemused at the Butei world, though since this is a spinoff manga of the original, it doesn’t have most of the original gang other than Aria (well Reki made a cameo in episode one).
It’s a slice of life school show with a underclassman struggling to overcome her own failures and insecurities and an upperclassman who realizes there is a diamond underneath that roughness and will help in polish it out. Pretty typical, but the gunplay and gunporn is alright so I’ll give it that. Still, it doesn’t develop that ‘fizz’ as James May would say. I’ll give episode three a go tomorrow, but it’s one of those binge watching shows where I wait a few weeks then watch em all on my ‘Friday’ (meaning day 5 of 5 of my workweek) with a finger of Bushmills after a long day.
Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai
Watched: Ep 1-3
This wasn’t going to make the top of my list, I was pretty sure Hidan no Aria would but this did. As I’ve told someone, it’s an alright series, the animation isn’t something to write home about, and it’s another harem-y show. But the male lead isn’t as dense as Ichika from Infinite Stratos, you got a tsundere main female lead who is an overachiever running from her past (and her glorious orange/red hair), another tsundere who was introduced on the second episode but in full in the third. You got the clueless ditzy sniper and the aloof techie. Add the nonsensical but plotting under the stupid smile principal and the action, I damn near though I was watching a spinoff of Chrome Shelled Regios or Gunparade March all of a sudden.
Another thing I liked was the musical cues they gave at the mid-point and end titlecards. It brings back memories of Adult Swim’s titlecards with similar sounds. I dunno why that was relevant, but it is for me. I do feel a little for the main lead, though it seems he’s no ordinary swordie, just that in a school setting, and armed only with a baton versus paint rounds or immobilizer rounds, it isn’t exactly his sword.
Ouka’s character using the Beretta Px4 is an interesting choice. I guess it’s to just differentiate her from gun-toting protagonists. Black Bullet had Rentaro using the Springfield xD, the original Hidan no Aria had Aria using a pair of customized M1911A1 Colt Government, and Angel Beats! had Yuri using a Beretta 92FS Brigadier Inox. The shock rounds seem similar to what I imagined for a Negima! based rp/fanfic, and the paint rounds they used seem to be one of those magical paint rounds that can be fired from standard firearms with enough power to cycle the action but not really harm the one on the business end.
Anyways, I think I rambled enough for this. I will come up with some blog post for episode 4, hopefully by Friday…hopefully. It’s an enjoyable show, it isn’t turn your brain off kind of deal like Aria is. 35th Test Platoon is a good mix of action, supernatural elements, and a male lead and a female lead that seems like they won’t be shoe-horned into an uneasy romance. It just is a good show.