Stella no Mahou – 01 (It’s Garbage)

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The Gist: Honda Tamaki-chan is a hick from the sticks with her ghost and/or robot grandma. She’s starting her high school life at a private all girls high school, which means this is a club-activity-anime. The club she eventually picks is the Doujin Games club, which is comprised of three second years who are *quirky™…in a fairly generic way.

Stella no Mahou presents a special kind of hell. At the 22 minute mark, following barely 4 actual scenes of story, Tamaki draws a picture and decides she’s finally found purpose in her life. Amazingly little happens in this anime, including a 10 minute scene dedicated to introducing 3 club members in a largely static room shot with plodding dialog and cliches.

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The Verdict: SnM doesn’t pander, it dose not insult, it isn’t hard to understand, it isn’t hideous… it isn’t noteworthy good or bad in any meaningful way beyond the utter boredom it produces.

The only favorable note I made why watching was “her work desk is nice, I guess” (but she owns an ancient ###tty PC). I am also not sure if her grandmother is a Robot or a Ghost because no one else sees her and, baring one scene where Tomato-chan gets encouragement to do… whatever… she only exists in flash backs, where she’s still generically encouraging her grand daughter.

There is no reason to watch this anime.

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Oreimo 14

I really enjoyed Oreimo as a whole, but would have enjoyed it so much more if the multi-talented, cute-as-a-button Kuroneko/Ruri Goko was the focus, rather than Kirino and Kyousuke. These extra episodes have given Ruri the screen time she deserved, and she doesn’t disappoint. Her character’s growth is even more apparent when comparing her to Sena Akagi, who is more or less a nerdier, more perverted version of Kirino and simply not as interesting.

While last week she resented Kyousuke’s doting, this week she is much more receptive to it. Is Kyousuke supporting her simply because his real little sister is absent? That isn’t the whole picture. Even when Kirino was around, the two of them had their own independent rapport. The fact that Ruri can now comfortably hang out in his bedroom and even profess her affection for him (in a manner of speaking) suggests she’s no longer hung up on the belief she’s filling in for Kirino. Kyousuke would prefer he call her senpai, not nii-san.

Ruri is a finisher; when she sets her mind to something, she won’t back down or give up until that something is achieved. She swallows her pride and asks Sena to help with debugging her game. The game even wins an award, albeit for “Most Shitty Game”, but what matters is she got it done, and didn’t compromise her creative vision. The powerful, passionate speech she gives to the game club in her initial bid is one of Ruri’s finest moments. At this point, Ruri is also probably my favorite Kana Hanazawa character. Rather than simply ditzy or cutesy, she really gets to explore the full range of her voice. Rating: 4