Plot Synopsis: “In 1973, the invasion of an extra terrestrial life form, the BETA, began a war that has driven mankind to the brink of extinction. In an attempt to counter the BETA’s overwhelming strength in numbers, mankind has developed the humanoid weapons known as TSFs, deploying them on the front lines of their Anti-BETA War all across the globe. For nearly 30 years mankind has remained bogged down in its struggle against the BETA with no hope in sight.”
Thoughts: Something you may notice if you watch this show, assuming you are a decent, respectable human being, is that it has quite a few similarities to Gunbuster. The main cast is composed pretty much entirely of high school girls. The high school girls go to a school that teaches them how to pilot mecha. The guy who teaches them how to pilot is clearly a coach, though they never address him as so, and unfortunately he is not voiced by Norio Wakamoto. It was enough that when I started watching it, I was prepared to write it off as a shitty Gunbuster clone. But that was a little unfair. It’s not really shitty. There wasn’t even anything really bad in the episode, aside from the stupid outfits the girls have to wear when piloting their mecha, a pretty generic alien invasion storyline, and the CGI mecha themselves. I hate CGI mecha. Gunbuster didn’t have CGI mecha, because it was made in the ’80s and there really wasn’t CG back then and it was a much better time for all mecha everywhere.
The only other thing Total Eclipse has working against it is that it’s connected to an eroge, so there’s high probability it could get into some creepy otaku pandering nonsense. It’s pretty much halfway there with the skintight mecha pilot outfits, which it doesn’t even attempt to justify at all. I’m too lazy to find the novel/manga to see if it does delve all the way down the creepy otaku hole, so I’m probably just going to give it another episode or so. The first episode is worth checking out, as it’s surprisingly not bad.
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse is available streaming at Crunchyroll
Plot Synopsis: “After speaking with the Fairies about problems the humans have been having, mysterious things start to show up around the village.”
Thoughts: This show has fairies with big dumb smiling faces saying morose things, a skinned chicken hitting a girl in the face, and a piece of bread tearing itself open in a gruesome display. Everything in between is pretty uninteresting and the main character girl narrates way too much, but a piece of bread killing itself is pretty funny.
It is supposed to be a comedy, right? Right?
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is available streaming at Crunchyroll
Plot Synopsis: “The Arcana Famigila protects Regalo Island with powers granted to them the Tarocco. At birthday party for the head of the family, “Papa” Mondo, he tells them he is thinking about retirement and the Arcana Duello will begin.”
Thoughts: If there’s one thing that bugs me in any kind of media it’s terrible storytelling. The line in the screencap is a pretty good example of something that gets under my skin. The character just comes right out and explains where everyone’s powers come from and how they work, when they really should already know that. It’s exposition dry-jammed into a scene in the least natural way possible. The episode then parades out the entire cast one by one to demonstrate their power and cuts away to explain real slow like exactly what they can do, in case you didn’t grasp that the guy who was invisible has the power to turn invisible. While this is going on it also sets up some plot that I can’t remember/didn’t really pay attention to that involved some kind of tournament with the main heroine essentially being offered up as a prize, which is just great really.
So yeah, it’s pretty bland and I didn’t like it. But it’s an adaption of an otome game, and I am not a girl, so it’s really not meant for me. If you’re into bland, cookie-cutter male anime characters though, fucking go for it I guess.
La storia della whatever is available streaming at Crunchyroll
Plot Synopsis: “Summer, 1966. Kaoru Nishimi has moved to live with relatives in Kyushu. He’s been an aloof honor student his whole life, but that starts changing when he meets Sentarou Kawabuchi, the school’s notorious bad boy. Through him, he learns the appeal of jazz and forms his first real friendships. “
I no little about jazz music so let me start with that. However you do not have to be an expert in jazz or even now jazz to enjoy the first episode of this new series. The cards are not all laid here and most of the episode is basically character introductions and some background information on Kaoru and what he has been through in life and what he has to go through as a new student at a school. The animation is good and the voice acting is nicely done and does not feel like it has to through moe voices to the females.
So the question that is on everyone’s mind is this going to be the best show of the season? Still way too early to tell but if things go the way they did with the first episode it is a strong change that it can be.
Kids on the Slope is streaming on Crunchyroll
PS: For those who are wondering the title of the episode is the name of iconic jazz song
Plot Synopsis: “Kaoru is sick about moving from Yokosuka to Kyushu, since it means living with relatives, being separated from his father, and starting at a new high school filled with students whose accent he can barely understand. And when Kaoru has a run-in with feared classroom thug Sentaro, it seems his life is about to get worse. But instead, he reluctantly starts to find out that there’s more to Sentaro, like his passion for jazz.”
Thoughts: This is nothing like Cowboy Bebop. I am so disappointed.
Nothing At All Like Cowboy Bebop is available streaming on Crunchyroll