Oigakkosan’s Winter 2015 Bracket (First Round Losers)

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Winter’s first week was a busy one! I reviewed 12 new shows, gave second opinions on six, and continued to co-review two more. Overall, I’m not exactly blown away by anything the season has to offer so far, though I’m happy enough.

So here we are on Monday morning and, as promised, I must drop half of the new roster. Honestly, these weren’t hard choices. That, I think, comes next week.

The Cuts:

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1. Sengoku Musou (4/10)

By far the easiest show to drop, Sengoku was all wrong. Ugly, fussy design, constant exposition, and no attempt to ease us into any of the characters (let alone introducing any of them in a way we could keep track of while all of their names were thrown around) it is a terrible show. Tragic really, because I have a deep love for samurai and pseudo-history.

2. Tantei Milky Holmes (5/10)

Even if it weren’t otaku-pander-food, which I had no interest in watching, Milky Holmes is rather disposable. The fact that this is it’s third season but didn’t require any knowledge of that, nor showed any meaningful connection to earlier work, proves that point. There’s a slim chance you’ll enjoy it if you liked Magic Kaito 1412 last season but I doubt it.

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3. Juuou Mujin no Fafnir (4-5/10)

It’s subjective but Juuou beat out Absolute Duo for blandest magic school harem fighter in my book by the narrowest of margins. Even if it weren’t dull, derivative, dribble, the lolicon vibe to the ‘students’ at elite magic whatever is a turn off. Despite it’s lower rating, Juuou is worth more than Milky because it’s a more palatable genre…

4. Absolute Duo (6/10, 6/10)

‘Absolutely’ unoriginal. Nothing about this show stands out, which means it isn’t terrible but devoid of value. If you are very new to anime you may enjoy it. Otherwise, if you absolutely must watch a bad harem this season, try World Break instead.

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5. Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha (6/10)

Some reviewers have noted that Demon Step Sister does a better job than most in its genre. The protagonist comes pre-trained, which avoids the laborious process of mid-season teaching. Likewise, he isn’t special (at least, not yet) He’s just a hero, which is more special than a normal person, but not uncommon for the mystic world. Still, ugly, fanservice heavy, and zero emotional attachment makes it awful hard to recommend.

6. Military! (7/10)

I’m not exactly sad that I’m dropping this show (I’ve never managed to stay with a mini-format for an entire season) but it wasn’t that bad, as far as silly over the top comedies go. Honestly, if I wasn’t so confident that I’d lose interest it’s debatable if I would keep this over World Break instead. Still, what’s a wacky, forgettable three minute program really got to offer?

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18 thoughts on “Oigakkosan’s Winter 2015 Bracket (First Round Losers)”

  1. It doesn’t look like there were any tough decisions here, but nice cut all the same.

    On behalf of the rest of the staff, thank you for enduring these five shows so the rest of us didn’t have to.

    For future reference though: It’s World Break, not World Breaker.

  2. Let’s see, my predictions. World Break is obviously going to fall in the next bracket, it got in here by sucking the least. It would have to dramatically improve (and it won’t) to have any chance. It’s so bad it’s hilarious cannot carry a show.

    Aside from that, I likewise predict that Yuri Kuma, the only initial 9, will make it to the finals for sure because it would have to fall quite a bit to get under the other shows. Ikuhara is apparently a symbolism genius so I expect it’ll work out.

    The other four really depend on their second episodes. Death Parade has the least tenable position right now, but if the second episode is great, like a 9 or a 10 great, it has a good chance of making it. Of course, that means it’s the most likely to fall after World Break.

    If Binan descends to bad BL or if the humor gets old, then it won’t make it; I personally consider that while it might have gotten an 8 on its first episode, its staying power might very well be minimal.

    World Break and Yuri Kuma aside, the second episodes showing consistency, improvement, or a significant decline will matter the most. If Junketsu can continue to be stylish and inoffensive, it might make it, and the same is true of Yoru.

    My personal predictions for the final three are Yuri Kuma, Yoru no Yatterman, Death Parade.

    1. You and I are on the same page :D However, I do honestly enjoy everything that made it to the semi-finals. At least, their first episodes.

      Keep in mind, unless some late arrivals show up that I haven’t heard of OR if my fellow reviewers pass a show over to me, the 3 pairs that I have listed will be shooting it out for the semi-finals. So…

      World BREAK vs Junketsu
      This one is the most up in the air, prediction wise. Junkestsu, which was originally on Zane’s list but landed in mine due to unexpected air date, was surprisingly good. However, it’s nothing approaching brilliant and, if boob-blush-squee happens, it’s kinda anyones’ guess if it will be worth more to me than BREAK.

      Yuri Kuma vs Death Parade
      This is probably the most interesting and, potentially, painful pairing because Death Parade could really be good now that it’s gotten it’s short-film proof of concept out of the way. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a great looking show (and it even streams closer to HD than many of the shows I stream) Likewise, even if Girl/Bear falls apart, it is so weird and lovely that I’d feel like I’m missing out by dropping it. READER COMMENTS AND OPINIONS MATTER FOR THIS ONE

      Binana v Yatters
      I think this will provide the most predictable outcome of the pairs but was the only sensible matchup I could think of. I was surprised and really enjoyed Binan but, lets face it, even if it stays a mile away from BL turf, a charming but safe parody has to be brilliant to take on the best new show this season.

      That’s right, I may not have rated it the highest but Yatterman is my prediction for King of Winter’15!

      1. I get that this is supposed to be a weekly tournament, but given how risky some of these concepts are, if I were you, I’d seriously consider only dropping one or two next week. Something like Maria might take a few episodes to shake out. I’m also not sure I see much reason to force yourself to choose between Yuri Kuma Arashi and Death Parade.

        Personally, I’m watching Yatterman, Death Parade, Kamisama Kiss 2, and Koufuku Graffiti. If it’s good, I’ll watch Roller Girls after the season ends.

        As for Binan, it’s Shoujo, so I doubt it will get too explicit.

      2. This came about due to fall season’s lengthy, organic, slog through 30+ shows. I took too long to drop a bunch and, in the case of shows like Princess Yona and Seven Deadly Sins, mostly just annoyed their fans because I didn’t enjoy watching them. (yet kept watching them over a few weeks)

        Fewer shows should reduce my chances of burn out (or just missing episodes because of schedule snafus) and make my roster tighter, and more practical to write 1,100 word count reviews for each week :) I mean, if that’s something I feel compelled to do

      3. Funny that you mention 1,110 words specifically. That’s precisely how many I put down for Steins;Gate 12. I’m not proud of it, but as Zane mentioned in one of his longer Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso reviews, something about a truly great episode makes you want to just keep writing about it. Either that, or it’s so good you’re at a loss for words and it takes writing lots of words to arrive at the words you want.

        WORDS.

      4. The funny thing about long reviews is that I forced myself to stop doing them. As a writing exercise, I started doing reviews that consisted of three sentences (plus one logline, which would always be spoiler-free). I did about forty movies last year and some anime. It really helped me figure out what I actually felt about a given work. They’ve also been something I can pass to my friends as a quick way to get them interested in anime.

        Here’s a few of series you guys did.

        Zankyou no Terror (***) – Two teenage terrorists square off against an aging detective in a game of riddles, conspiracies and many, many bombs.

        When this show focuses on its core premise (the one listed above), it is a masterful thriller that feels destined to become a legendary series. Unfortunately, in a misguided attempt to rush its plot forward, a third party is introduced that only serves to lower the complexity and tension of the conflict. You should still watch this series for its stellar action, acting, and mostly good plot, but be prepared to feel the limits of the writer’s confidence in his own material.

        Gekkan Shojou Nozaki-Kun (****) – A teen girl confesses to her crush, only to find that he’s an emotionally distant manga artist interested in roping her and her friends into helping him with his work.

        This is a rare comedy that both cares about its characters and is obsessed with entertaining its audience. The cast is filled with memorable and very well acted characters (including Seo, the Greatest Woman Ever) that are all able to bounce between being the straight man and a source of comedy. Almost every seemingly sentimental moment in the series winds up subverted for the sake of a joke, but the very rare few that aren’t are still paired with a sense of humor.

        PSYCHO-PASS 2 (**) – Desperate to kill time until the movie, Tsunemori Akane decides to hunt down a criminal unrecognizable to the computerized judges of her time.

        Despite the title, this is more of a side story than a true sequel to Psycho-Pass. That is, admittedly, an excuse I started chanting to myself when I realized that the action of this season, which is more violent and less disturbing than the first, would bore the series’ original villain. I can just see him looking at all of the exploding bodies, the convenient resolution, and the brainwashed woman who had time to find an evil red leather suit, and going, “How vulgar,” before dismembering someone for an art project.

        (Yes, I sometimes torture sentences to fit into the tree sentence rule.)

      5. I really like these. They’re so short, and yet they distill the shows down to their essence quite nicely without abandoning your voice. Though I do worry about breaking my brain trying to write a Violin Girl review this short, I’m tempted to try!

      6. Thanks! I’m glad you like them. They’ve really helped my professional writing by making me value how much information can be put into a sentence. It also forces me to choose what needs to be said most about a show.

        I actually came up with the idea in 2012 after I wrote a long post about a movie and realized it didn’t really say how I felt. I write them all the time now, including for older movies and anime I’m catching up on.

        For movies, I usually think up a few sentences on the drive home. For anime, I write down potential sentences as a series goes along. Some get dropped, others merged, until the series ends. I have a gigantic Word file of old and ongoing reviews.

  3. The only shows that have yet to air are the like the thirtieth installment in the Precure magical girl series for kids, and Isuca, some genericish supernatural thing not airing for ten days (why is it airing so late)

    Yeah, Yatterman really impressed me. I certainly wouldn’t think it a pseudo-sequel to some kids show from the 70s.

    Oh, so they can only fight among their pairings? (so either Junketsu or World Break will make it to the finals?)

    1. I think Preston claimed Isuca?

      Technically, Go! Princess Precure, Soukyou no Fafnir: Unlimited and Dog Days were on my list but those all turned out to be sequels. I’m also still watching Ronja but remain unable to write a coherent review of it each week due to the subject matter.

      Because all the shows aired earlier than expected or on time, the ‘late arrival’ slot looks to be unnecessary

  4. Fighting in pairs was the original idea. Actually, we’d talked about pairing the shows off for a 5 week tourney but couldn’t make it work. The genre overlap was awkward and either meant we’d have obvious winners that would draw-out the first few weeks OR potentially lose some good shows early, while being stuck reviewing stupid shows for a few extra weeks until they ran into real contenders.

    Since ‘hate watching’ didn’t go well last season, and honestly burnt me out as a reviewer, it seemed better to cut quickly to the point.

    If our readership advocates for it, I could see extending the semi-finals to 3 weeks, with only one pair per week getting resolved? That would buy Yuri Kuma / Death Parade and/or Binan/Yatterman an extra week or two of reviews?

  5. Pardon me for being the Johnny Come Lately to this class, but I was wondering why _ewveryone_ skipped this season’s addition to the Soukyuu no Fafner franchise?

    While the first series was no masterpiece, it wasn’t a slouch by any stretch. The themes of coming of age and the “us-vs-them” mentality were (IMHO) not badly done.

    Of course, I binge watched the first series (with liberal libations) so maybe that’s why I have a fond view of the series.

    And I’ve watched the first episode of _Exodus_ and while nothing note-worthy happens it was interesting to see how the characters of the first series had moved on from those events into new, and even surprising directions.

    Of course, as it is with most sequels, the fit is about to hit the shan in the last few minutes of the first episode.

    I’ll be following the series if anything, but was just curious what the RABUJOI staff thought if the first…if they had any reason to watch it in the first place.

  6. I didn’t know this at the time but Sengoku Musou is based on the Samurai Warriors video game… which explains the over the top character design.

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