Fall 2011 Anime First Impressions: Squid Girl Season 2

Squid Girl Season 2

Plot Synopsis: After being reminded that she hasn’t really been trying very hard to take over the world, Squid Girl decides it’s time to get her invasion plans back in full swing. Along the way she must contend with various traps from the humans, a crazed stalker, and an attack on the beach from a school of rogue jellyfish.

Thoughts: Squid Girl is back and is pretty much exactly the same as last year only now they don’t have to waste time with introductions so they can get right to the gags. Seriously, it’s pretty much indistinguishable from the last season. That’s hardly a bad thing though, so long as you thought the first season was funny. It’s all the same type of humour; Squid Girl does wacky things and says squid a lot. If you thought that was funny the first time around then you’ll probably think it’s funny now. If you didn’t think it was funny the first time around you probably won’t think it’s funny now. That’s pretty much how sequels work.

If you haven’t watched the first season, you can pretty easily start with the second if you wanted to. The characters aren’t exactly deep since they’re just foils for Squid Girl’s hijinks. I honestly can’t even remember the other characters’ names and instead just identify them by their defining characteristic (the serious one, the scary one, the stalker, etc.). Not seeing the first season might leave you lost on certain elements of the series, but nothing that would prevent you from finding the second season funny. Crunchyroll still has the first season streaming anyway, so you might as well start there.

Score: 3/5

Squid Girl is being simulcast on Crunchyroll.

Mini-Review: Magical Cannon Girls

Magical Cannon Girls is a bullet hell type shoot ‘em up game, available in the android store.

That sentence right there may be the single most interesting part of this rather generic feeling shoot ‘em up game with surprisingly poor controls.

 

 

So, the plot. Well, the advertisement says it is a combination of orthodox magical girl characters and story. When I got the game (the free version, not the donate version, as I assumed the free was a demo of the donate version.) I was unable to actually see if that claim was true, due to any bits being in Japanese. In fact, I sucked at easy mode at that point, as the instructions were also in Japanese. However, a recent update to the game switched most of the Japanese out for very badly translated English.

Back to the plot. Thanks to the update, I can say it is basically a magical girl series (pick any) crossed with a game. you fight other magical girls of increasing difficulty, eventually reaching the final magical girl boss. And I guess defeating her…turns her back into who she used to be? The power of beating someone to death makes them recall they were once your ally? Well, ignoring such gaping holes that reek of handwavium, the game has some stuff going for it.

First off, the gameplay isn’t entirely awful. The controls are slow and laggy. I would say it is due to the touchscreen control, but Danmaku on iPod touch/iPhone/iPad has absolutely amazing controls for a shooter-responsive and easy. It even scales-move quickly for quick motions that cover larger areas quickly, and slower for smaller slower movements. Magical Cannon Girls doesn’t get that, although a future update may bring it.

Secondly, I do believe the donate and free versions are exactly the same. You can get it for free, and I would suggest that route if it was a demo. Yes, despite me having said positive things about scans (I’ll save my thoughts on that for a future article) as you can get the same game in english, just like the free one, for a small amount of money, buy the donate version. As you have the original item in your language (if you are reading this without the use of a translator, it is in your native language because you quite obviously speak english) you may as well support the people who made it. Whoever they are.

 

Given the poor controls, you will get quite used to seeing this screen, or some other variation of ‘game over.’

Even better, when I managed to beat the game, entering my name into the thing completely glitched out, forcing me to try to close 10,000 windows that opened in the background. Actually, they then locked up my device, forcing me to reboot. So it does have its flaws even when you make it past all the other issues.

 

 

 

 

 

So, you are probably wondering how can this be recommended? Well, I can’t recommend it as a bullet hell shooter for a touchscreen device. Danmaku does a much better job and is much prettier and is, in a word, cooler, for lack of a better phrase to describe it. For fans of bullet hell, Danmaku will also be more fun for a portable game. Forget putting this on a regular computer or console-every defect would be multiplied tenfold, and computers and consoles have good games like Ikaruga, Touhou, DoDonPachi, and any other thing that shows up when you google bullet hell games.

But, this game doesn’t feel like a bullet hell, most likely because it really isn’t. It’s a regular old arcade style shooter, but with a little twist on the health mechanic and trance mechanic. In short, it works. If you are totally used to pure arcade style shooters, there will be a little adjustment. Plus, Magical Cannon Girls is one of the better 15 minutes of nothing games. Let me rephrase that-it is a very good game for very little money when you have 15 minutes of nothing better to do.

Score: 3/5 not a good example of shoot ‘em ups, and has a lot of room for improvement

Pros: It is fun, simple, and entertaining/amusing. Provided you can deal with the poor controls, you will get your money’s worth out of it (you did pay for it, right?) Plus, if you have a few minutes to spare, like waiting for a bus or a friend, it is perfect for those times. The game doesn’t take a lot of time to get through on the easier modes, nor does it take a long time to get the hang of it, so you can probably beat it in 30 minutes while waiting for something.

Cons: The controls are abysmal. Slow and unresponsive guarantee that until you learn the boss attacks and move a bit before you need to, you will die often. If you beat this game through on your first try, you must be able to predict the future given how slow the controls are.

Anime Review: Midori Days

High school delinquent Seiji Sawamura is desperate to have a girlfriend, especially after being rejected by 20 girls as of late. He’s afraid that he will end his life with his right hand as his only companion. Apparently, that doesn’t change when one day when he wakes up and discovers that his right hand has become a girl named Midori Kasugano, who confesses that she has had a crush on him for the last three years.

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Plot:

If the plot synopsis above sounds creepy, do not panic.  The story is not as creepy as it may sound.  It would seem easy to make a story about a girl who becomes a dude’s right hand perverted and sleazy, but Midori Days take a different approach to the scenario above.  Instead of going the ecchi route, we get a touching if not humorous story about a misunderstood male student who everyone seems to be fearful of, but only because they do not understand that he is not like what he may be seen as.

While the show is part of the romance genre, I would be remiss if I did not mention that this is a harem show.  While this is a harem show, Midori Days is in some ways a bit different from most shows in the harem genre out there today.  One of the big differences from most of the harem shows out there is that unlike most male lead that show up in the harem genre.  Seji is not milquetoast and actually has a backbone.  Seji is a misunderstood delinquent who while most people assume that he fights because he enjoys to, he only fights to protect those who cannot defend themselves from others.  Seji is quite the nice person but is feared because of his fighting.  The fact that Seji has some personality, the way he does things explains why he does have several females who like him and want to be with him.  Of course, one trait Seji does share one big trait that most harem leads have and that is pretty obvious to the fact that most of the girls are in love with him.

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Sentai Filmworks December 2011 Releases

Sentai Filmworks announced their releases for December today, and all are now available for preorder on RightStuf. This month sees a few new releases along with a couple re-releases of older ADV titles.

December 6

Rozen Maiden Complete Collection DVD
Rozen Maiden Overture OVA DVD

December 13

Kino’s Journey Complete Collection DVD

December 20

Elfen Lied Complete Collection DVD
Modern Magic Made Simple Complete Collection DVD (Sub only)

December 27

Himawari, Too! Complete COllection DVD (Sub only)