The one with all the Lesson Reviews.

Lesson Reviews.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this blog ever since I started using Hummingbird last fall. So, I decided to try an idea of mine called Lesson Reviews. Essentially, it’s more of a “what I learned from X anime” than a review, but the thing is, there will be good and bad things I learned. The list can be short. Depending on the number of pros vs. cons, it can determine my overall score for a particular show. I don’t really like scoring based systems, but statistics are easier to deal with. This also means I can skew a show in any favor by adding more lessons to either side. It’s the best way for me to be subjective, since that’s really at the heart of reviews (no review is really objective, and even if one is, it’s probably more of a synopsis/summary with technical data).

Anyway, I’m going to start this experiment with the recent Winter 2014 season titles, and see if this could be something I can stick with. Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board. :P

以上。。。であります。

The one with all the Winter 2014 titles.

The one with all the Winter 2014 titles.

A new spring season is upon us (which also means hanami in Japan)! All hail our new loli overlords! With that, it’s time to look back at the previous season and put out my thoughts on what made my list and what didn’t, as well as what exceeded or failed my expectations as the season went on.

Most Hyped But Well-Deserved Anime

For me, it was KILL la KILL. Everything I saw from the preview until the show aired in Fall 2013 not only met, but far exceeded my expectations. I thought I would go into a title like this expecting non-stop, over-the-top, fanservice-cropped action, and I ended up getting a decent story and likable characters especially in Mankanshoku Mako and a damn talking sailor fuku. Well done, Studio Trigger! The BD release will empty my wallet for I shall be re-watching this one many times over! Now I just need to finish Gurren Lagann at some point…

Most Over-Hyped Anime

After you watch the intense RESPECT FOR THE DEAD MAN OP, you were properly hyped for action with NOBUNAGUN, the story of a weapon otaku who becomes a weapon due to E-Genes she inherited from Nobunaga Oda himself. Or something like that. Instead, I got a show with pacing that rivaled this season’s abysmal Z/X IGNITION and a main character so boring that Nobunaga himself would rise from the grave, find Studio Bridge, tell them she sucked, and then… I dunno, go eat some taiyaki or something because washoku is delicious and a resurrected person shouldn’t pass up the chance to eat more. Actually, that would be a better plot twist. I dozed off during multiple episodes, and I really tried to give it a fair chance by sticking it out to the end, because some parts weren’t entirely terrible (Gandhi and Newton were fun characters and I liked the flashback episode that revealed the commander’s past). I went into this as I usually do, not expecting anything, and it turned out to be just south of okay for me. Not the worst show ever, but I’ve definitely seen better. It’s kind of sad because the premise of reincarnated historical figures with superpowers protecting Earth from bug aliens a la Starship Troopers sounded really awesome.

Most Surprising Comeback Anime

Somehow, Witch Craft Works turned around a boring first few episodes into a slap-my-hand-on-my-leg-while-laughing-out-loud series that had me start reading the manga after the series was over.Every episode managed to make me laugh multiple times, and I love how even through serious plot points, the show managed not to take itself too seriously. Finally (and I think most people with the same sense of humor will agree), that ED sequence was just darkly hilarious, and even the song gets my vote for the most catchiest theme of the season. Sorry, Hoozuki-san.

Cutest Anime

This was hard to choose, but Mikakunin De Shinkoukei ended up winning me over the most. The show itself was tickle-me-funny because of Benio’s ultra imouto-con powers, but with both Mashiro and Kobeni in a race to the top of Moe Mountain™ sandwiched by a plot that went in an unexpected direction, it wasn’t too hard to choose this one. The catchy OP/ED combo was a nice bonus, and I’m sure I’m not the first to hum along to the opening bars of the OP. Although, what was up with the fanservice in the OP sequence? This show ended up being rather clean. Haha.

Runner-Up: Sakura Trick

Most Beautifully Animated

Nagi No Asukara, hands down. I even have hydrophobia and I thought it was great. But peel away the beauty and you have one of those rare products where the inside is just as attractive as the outside. The story packed a lot of feels (but nowhere near as frustrating as my Most Feels selection). Excellently crafted OP/ED themes made sure that you felt the impact of each episode, and I find a lump forming in my throat every time I hear them. Coincidence that one of the artists was named Yanagi Nagi? I think so.

Guilty Pleasure-est Anime

Sakura Trick is a slice-of-life show where yuri isn’t just implied; it’s right in your face. I’m not a fan of yuri, but I found myself pleasantly surprised with how innocent and cute this show stayed despite all the lip-locking scenes. I made sure to watch this one with none of my family members or friends present, thinking either I was going to hate it or the show itself would move into ecchi territory. Neither happened, but the fact that I continued this ritual meant it was a show I didn’t want others to see me watching. Shame is a silly thing, but without it, I wouldn’t have this on my list!

Best Trapped-in-an-MMORPG Anime

Yeah, yeah. I’m just trolling (or is Japan trolling us?). LOG HORIZON actually turned out to be a well thought-out show about how the mechanics of real life would apply to video game mechanics. SAO touched on this briefly but didn’t explore it full-on like this one did. This show also taught me a few things, which I will amusingly cover in my upcoming Lesson Reviews. Excuse me while I go push up my glasses…

Most Feels Anime

GOLDEN TIME was such an up-and-down experience that it was more of a feels-rollercoaster than a feels-train. The 2nd OP really did not grow on me, though. Calling a jerk “Ghost Banri” became an niche insult within my group of Hummingbird friends. Ghost Twig was exempt from this. :P

Runner-Up: Toaru Hikuushi E No Koiuta

Best Manzai Anime

D-FRAG! -D-FRAGMENTS- continued to grace us with levels of random manzai where the tsukkomi (Kenji) is outnumbered by boke (pretty much everybody else in the cast). Certainly not the first time this has been done, but thankfully, this is the one we were given this season. I happen to like manzai acts, so this show really pleased me, especially when Kenji would cave in to become a boke himself, with one of the many boke taking up temporary tsukkomi status to knock him down a few pegs. Manzai is a tough act to follow (especially if you don’t know enough Japanese) (also: see what I did there?), so this is a rather niche genre that few non-Japanese would even consider awarding.

Best Special Genre Anime

Despite a lack of afterlife folklore knowledge, I still managed to make it through Hoozuki No Reitetsu with a grin on my face (though I can’t say the same for the titular character). The depiction of Japanese Hell as being run like a Japanese corporation was amusing and even including some Chinese and Western “districts” really kept the show flavorful. However, Japan sure had a big head when trying to show that Japanese Hell was scarier or more extreme than the others, because in actuality, it’s Hoozuki-san that makes it scary. He’s so scary that even I don’t dare to mention his name without a proper honorific. LOL.

Runner-Up: Tonari No Seki-kun

Most Random Anime

STRANGE+. Like, WTF. That is all.

Most Trolling Anime

SPACE DANDY. To quote a famous American TV line, “Oh my god, they killed Dandy! You bastard!” Bones even trolled us further with episodes that had almost no comedy in them. The main villains’ spaceship is the head of the Statue of Liberty with a ball gag in her mouth. There’s a universe-wide restaurant franchise called Boobies, and yet the fanservice was rather mild in this show (except for an episode where lots of boobs are exposed in a rather horrific way). Zombies take over the universe and it’s not so bad. I say we got trolled. :)

Honorable Mentions

This whole season had more hits than misses to me. I also enjoyed Nisekoi, Hamatora, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha., Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai! Ren, Nourin, Sekai Seifuku Bouryaku No ZVEZDA, NORAGAMI, BUDDY COMPLEX, WIZARD BARRISTERS, and Wake Up Girls! Finally, Saikin, Imouto No Yousu Ga Chotto Okashiin Da Ga. turned out to be entertaining enough, considering I was expecting it to be a non-stop ecchi fest after the first episode. Considering that I only dropped Super Sonico and Nobunaga The Fool, not bad at all.

以上。。。であります。

The one with Ore No Imouto Ga Kon’nani Kawaii Wake Ga Nai.

Oreimo - Group

I had my doubts going into Oreimo at first. However, it was very popular, so I started reading the manga at first. It had some funny parts to it, and didn’t appear to have any incestuous undertones. So, when I saw the anime on Crunchyroll, I decided to give it a whirl. The seiyuu really [...]

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The one with all the anime industry support.

B Gata H Kei

I’ve been watching a lot of anime lately. A lot. I’ve neglected video games, TV shows, and movies just to watch this much anime. It was very sudden too. All it took were a few key series to get me hooked in and suddenly, I was addicted again. I’m ready to accept my otaku status [...]

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The one with Sakurasou No PET Na Kanojo.

Sakurasou No PET Na Kanojo Poster

After another long hiatus from Japanese media (not due to hate mind you, just other media taking up my time), I finally sat down and started watching a few shows at random last winter. I even read a few manga to get a preview of what to expect from the anime, but of course, I [...]

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SexArt from MET-ART.

SexArt from MET-ART.

It looks like the creative force behind MET-ART has decided to move forward with eroticism using their unique style and tasteful aesthetic. As they describe it, it’s “high tech hardcore meets high art.” Now, this isn’t actually anything new when compared to X-Art, but what I find very interesting is their introduction of erotic web [...]

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Malena Morgan – Ebneo by Jason Self

Malena Morgan - Ebneo by Jason Self - Photo 1

I’m going to try and post a little more often, even if it’s a geeky review of art nudes. Is that even possible? There aren’t a lot of guys out there like me who appreciate the complete art side of nude photography, so be prepared to read a complete deconstruction of the entire photo set. [...]

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Lynne – First Session at Hegre-Art.

Lynne - First Session at Hegre-Art.

Petter unveiled a new model earlier this week on April 1st named Lynne. I was mildly surprised that he didn’t have an April Fool’s joke, but I suppose it’s become somewhat of a cliche on the Internet these days. It’s hard to judge from just the two cover photos released on the site unless you’re [...]

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Caprice A – Kirsos by Luca Helios

Caprice A - Kirsos by Luca Helios

Happy (late) April Fool’s Day! Fortunately, I have no tricks up my sleeve this year. I do, however, have a favorite free gallery to share with you. Met-Art gives us fan-favorite, Caprice A, in Luca Helios’ Kirsos photo set this time, where she wears an already provocative red tank top and a white miniskirt to [...]

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The latest in art nude sites.

The latest in art nude sites

I’m still admiring beautiful ladies that are professionally photographed, and the big two (MET-ART and Hegre Art) are still the premier choices, but within the past year, some new contenders have shown up to put in their own two cents. Erotic Beauty  Formerly known as MetModels, EB has been around for quite some time as [...]

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