Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan – 01 (First Impressions)

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What is it: A combination of Chrome Shelled Regios (floating cities, giant bugs, flying battlemages) and Majestic Prince (a team of underachieving misfits with issues who need shaping up). The first episode is spent getting the group together, as former ace and branded traitor Kunata Age meets the three members of team E601, notorious as the worst in the Academy City of Mystogan, before being told he’ll be instructing them, to their shock and displeasure.

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Why I won’t be watching: There’s almost nothing remotely original about this show’s themes, setting, or characters. It’s about as predictable as these kinds of shows get, from girl-with-toast-in-mouth running into the guy resulting in inappropriate touching. What really got my goat was the fact she asked him if he thought she was flat, when she is clearly at least a C-cup.

The pseudo-Chuuni narcissist isn’t much better, and the less said about the nervous wreck that is the mousey blonde the better. The fact they all come to ridiculous conclusions about Kunata is surpassed by the utter lack of character in Kunata. He’s just sorta…around. Everyone calls him a traitor, without ever being told why, but it’s painfully clear he isn’t really a traitor.

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To its credit, the show gets off to a fast start, throwing us right into the middle of an aerial bug battle, but it’s apparent this show doesn’t have the strongest budget. But even a middling battle is better than the painfully slow remaining 9/10ths of the episode, which were just Kunata milling around bumping into the very girls he’ll be instructing.

I’m going to go for broke here and predict I won’t be missing much if I pass on KMKK, mostly because I felt like I’d already seen everything it had to offer, and in all those cases the stuff I’d previously watched was better. It wasn’t terrible, just extremely meh. It’s a big Summer. Don’t waste your time on this one!

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Seiken Tsukai no World Break – 02

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What really sets World Break apart from other shows is how openly it accepts ridiculous tropes of its genre, and anime in general, yet how it also feels so halfhearted when it presents them.

There’s even a tasty-looking crepe shop in this episode that the girls go to for no particular reason…though buying a crepe is immediately interrupted by a gigantic monster, which prompted the animators to just stop drawing the crepes that should still be held in the characters hands.

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Forgetting about the crepes, forgetfulness seems to be the thrust of the episode over all. It opens with kissing from various girls, including a loli-chan for ‘magical healing reasons’ but quickly shifts to the romantic tensions of the three main characters, who don’t seem to have any need for tension since they all seem to actually like each other…

Then it shifts to two of the three being invited to the school’s sports team* then a training montage, then some T&A on a sleeping girl, then shopping for a present, then fighting a monster, then saving the day — it just keeps shifting and shifting from one theme to the next in a forgetful sort of way.

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On the upside, World Break was funny-bad again. I really wasn’t expecting a HYDRA to attack a shopping mall for no reason while our love interests were buying crepes.

Additionally, while our hero has zero personality, at least he’s reasonably nice about it and a little more attuned to the emotional needs of the harem building around him.

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On the down side, the HYDRA fight was dull to say the least. The heroes basically walk along the serpent’s body with their swords out to cut it, and even when the hero shows up, he basically floats through the air finger-painting his goofy magic spell until the hydra is all dead.

Everything about the visuals comes off as lazy or budget. Frankly everything about the storytelling too, but if it doesn’t even look that good, who cares right?

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World Break isn’t going to survive its semi-finals match against Junketsu no Maria but I’m not holding that against it. It’s not trying too hard and I don’t get the sense that it thinks we should try too hard to care about it either.

At the end of the day, it’s just a silly, almost ironically by-the-numbers action/magic/harem show and that’s all it wants to be.

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Seiken Tsukai no World Break – 01 (First Impressions)

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World Breaker is the third generic magic-school-battle-harem anime I’ve reviewed this season and in many ways, it’s the worst. However, and this is a deeply subjective opinion on my part, I found it so bad I was laughing my ass off for the first half of the episode — and that should count for something!

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In a nutshell, World Breaker’s… world… revolves around a small group of people who inherit the memories of their ancestors… and magic. Each student’s magic (yes this is a magic school anime) manifests in the form of some sort of energy field armor, as well as being able to materialize historic weapons around the student’s dog tags. Also, some people can cast dark magic in the form of spells or something.

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At school, this means that students will know each other, even though they’ve never met… sorta. Many of them have spent past lives together, after all. Though, in the protagonist’s case, he doesn’t have a strong sense of memory and only barely remembers his sister and lover of old.

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Summarizing the first episode is pointless. It’s more or less like Absolute Duo, except with more interesting character relationships, but delivered more (or equally) generically. There’s a lot of boob-grinding and flapping of arms and who cares.

The important details are: the protagonist’s ancestral sister and lover are in his class, both want his sexual attention, and that he’s very powerful all of a sudden. Possibly a dragon. Somehow…

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The good: What sets this otherwise idiotic show apart from the others in its genre is how absurdly terrible it is — and how enthusiastically it pursues its terribleness. In fact, it spends an uninterrupted 90 seconds AGGRESSIVELY GRINDING the protagonist’s face into some deep breasts at lunch time to prove that point.

World Break takes it’s lack of visual style and general ugliness seriously too. The character design really is weird and abstract but it’s damn well going to make them flail around and show off their skins as much as possible if you’re going to bother looking at them in the first place.

Strange praise I know, but it’s already a strange season.

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The bad: About half way through, World Breaker runs out of manic steam and it settles in for a run of the mill magic school fighting story. The protagonist stands up to the bully who bullies his sister and loses until he remembers he’s the best he’s the best he’s the best and then wins with superpowers.

Also, did I mention there are already two other completely generic shows in this genre this season? Beyond the laughably bad, made me shit my pants giggling opening flash-forward where our hero is casting magic through finger painting, there isn’t anything new here.

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My first impression is actually hard to pin down. On the one hand, I thought World Break tried so hard to be bad that, at times, it was actually really funny. However, it can’t escape the fact that it is a terribly generic show fully of tropes and soft-ball ecchi that pales in comparison to all the free hentai Google-san will provide for 30 seconds of effort.

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I really can’t imagine caring about this show but, I suppose, if you are going to watch any of the shows in this genre, at least it put in the effort. Keep in mind that effort was to be actively bad, but it’s still effort and worth some small respect all the same.

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Juuou Mujin no Fafnir – 01 (First Impressions)

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Juuou Mujin no Fafnir is terrible. There’s no avoiding that and no value in digging deeper than that. It has one of those narrated openings that tells us that monsters showed up for now reason and without warning and that people started to gain abilities like monsters…

…and then dumps us on an island with a teenage boy who’s drawn like he’s twelve stumbling on a girl who looks about the same who’s naked on a beach for no reason. His sister is there, though not naked, and she’s the student council president at the all-girls school that he’s enrolled in 120 seconds later. JMnF is a cliche, pure and simple.

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If you liked World Breaker last season, and if this show’s dialog eventually manages  irony, without sounding forced, then maybe you would like it. The art is sub par. The effects are sub par. The animation is sub par. The voice actors are doing all the can but the writing is a smelly turd.

If you can get through all of that, or if you are massively desperate for loli no-nipple boobs, loli-harem, then maybe. Maybe you would watch this.

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But realistically you wouldn’t watch this. Even in a slow season, there are shows you’ve missed in previous seasons you can go back and watch or games to play or for God sakes go read a book.

Don’t watch this show!

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Trinity Seven – 04

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Trinity Seven is the next show to fall off my review list this week and, honestly, I’m not sure it will even stay on my watching list either. The girls are varied and the bodies are good but come on T7, we can get solid hentai anywhere these days.

You’re a broadcast series that can’t show me anything more risque than censored skin. So You’ve got absolutely nothing to work with without a plot.

And you’re plot is terrible.

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For my final review, T7 focuses on Yui, who lives in the dungeon under the school. She’s a sleep-mage and super powerful and if she ever wakes up we’re all screwed. Also, she’s Levi’s lover, maybe? So everyone goes down to save her and they save her. Then end.

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Honestly, I think it was the guns that finally did it for me. We can debate phallic pistols and Lilith’s mega cannon that she straddles to fire — but the penis penis penis of it all isn’t even what bothers me. Well, not the biggest thing that bothers me, anyway.

I just hate shows that give us magic…then turn into the magic into gun scenarios. That whole aesthetic is dull to me and feels dumb. For goodness sakes, why make firing a gun take longer by requiring a spell to be cast? So dumb.

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Trinity Seven – 03

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As a rule, it’s a warning sign when a show gets spends its beach episode nickel so early in the rotation. For sexy harem shows, it’s usually the best thing they’ve got, which means the rest of the season will be drab by comparison (not worth watching) and for less harem-y shows, it usually means they don’t know what they are doing or don’t have a season’s worth of interesting content.

Truth be told, I would have dropped Trinity Seven right here…except, for some reason, episodes 3 and 4 appeared in my queue at the same time and I accidentally watched them out of order! Oops.

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So? Beach Episode? Yes! With a hot spring hrown in for good measure! Arata and Arin are punished for destroying the school and forced to work the grill while all the other girls get to flaunt and swim. Everyone talks about boobs and their different sizes and agree that all boobs are good as long as they are attached to a cute girl.

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I have to give Trinity Seven a tiny bit of credit: It does just come out and say it’s a harem. Literally. The characters just say that. I don’t think that’s brave or anything but at least we’re not shovel fed fake pretext. I guess that’s good?

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Then we get a flash back to the end of last week where Arata was killed in a fight to stop him destroying the world but wasn’t because he was sucked away to Yui’s room and he learned more about magic.

I guess that’s what happened anyway. Trinity Seven likes to blather on about its magic systems in such a way that my brain goes into pre-stroke shutdown and, when I reawaken to whatever fanservice follows, I only have the vaguest memory of what it was saying.

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Then we see Arata turn into magic mode, which maybe was explained at some point when I wasn’t listening but he looks like a goth kid with a techno trench coat now and he has a magic gun. Then his magic makes everyone naked.

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Eventually we learn that Levi is a lesbian. I guess. Maybe? Then we get rape fantasies and kimonos and stuff and…you can guess why I would have dropped this show here, can’t you? There’s just nothing here but boobies, lengthy and idiotic sounding diatribes about magic and more boobies.

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Trinity Seven – 02

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Trinity Seven gives us another week’s serving of Demon Lord Magic High School Harem genre. This time Arin is drawing Arata way too much attention though her constant staring and following him around school. When finally asked why, she explains that she must do this. He is probably the demon lord and she will probably become the demon lord’s wife. Eventually.

Then Lilith, Levi and the blonde student reporter girl are trapped with Arata in his room and they really have to pee!

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A reasonably powerful barrier prevents them from opening the door or windows and Arata’s book (the Astil Codex) wants Arata to figure it out on his own. Unfortunately, with no training yet he doesn’t know what to look for and resorts to tricking Astil into revealing her secret instead.

Yeah… and the whole pee thing is kinda weird. I appreciate that something so ignored by adventure scenarios comes up but… ick? It gets overly sexualized here. At least, it does for my taste.

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Some time after escaping the barrier, Arin uses her special magic to unleash Arata at full power, which starts to destroy the world. We learn a bit too much about magic while this is happening, and way too much about magical ethics and philosophy.

Whatever the intent, it comes across as a garbled, confusing mess. Ultimately Akio Fudou and Mira Yamana show up and, since Arata is alive in next week’s preview, presumably beat him up enough during the credits to turn off his powers but not kill him.

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Trinity Seven seems… aware that it’s a harem piece and so does Arata. See, Arata plays the part and actively pokes fun at his sexual situation but, given his constant frown, I get the sense he’s less amused by it than perplexed and putting on a cool-guy front.

Still, if it weren’t for Arata’s flat delivery and his role-reversal when dealing with Arin, this should would be unwatchable. (Like Invaders became last season)

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That was a lot of exposition and exploitation for one afternoon! T7 threw too many names and magic terms and laws about how magic works at me all at once and none of it really felt like it mattered.

T7 did deliver a few good jokes and has a funny sense of timing (and the banter between Arin and Arata remains great) but… ugh?

I’m leaving T7 in my TBD category and NOT giving it a higher mark than a 6. Take that for what you will.

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Trinity Seven – 01

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Trinity Seven is not exactly an odd mashup of elements…it feels like we get a super-powered male transfer student to a magic school is identified as a demon lord with a harem angle almost every season these days. However, T7’s vibe feels just a hair different.

Maybe it’s the magic school, which reminds me of Occult Academy? Maybe it’s the absolutely bleak opening where Arata, our hero/demon lord, learns that his cousin and childhood friend Hijiri has been wiped away along with his home city by some sort of…black sun…thing?

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Still, as hopeful as I am about T7’s darker spin on the Demon Lord Magic Harem genre, I’m hesitant to get invested. For one, the episode opens with boob-grabbing and continues with that level of objectification even after Arata learns about magic and remembers the not exactly death but like death of his cousin.

I mean, really? is now the time to be so self-assured and forward about liking boobs? It just disconnects me from the tension of the narrative.

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Interestingly, Trinity Seven makes a reasonable explanation as to why more girls are mages than boys (and that they tend to be more powerful). Simply, magic is the study of a mage’s own mind and emotions.

Our hero finds this satisfying too and muses about being open with his true desires and feelings. Or he’s playing along, since he’s talking to a female student ninja who just implied that she’s rather good in bed.

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As for the seven girls our Hero must harem…erh…defeat:

Lilith Asami, the first mage Arata meets, is you standard mild prude who’s put off by our hero’s nature but obviously already likes him. Levi Kazama is a ninja and has already implied she wants to sleep with him. We’ve only seen Akio Fudou and Mira Yamana through a window but they look like the big boobed tomboy and prickly academic, respectively.

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Lastly is Arin Kannazuki… who Arata-kun meets in the boys bath. She’ll be playing the “doesn’t get it girl” archetype and also looks like Arata’s cousin Hijiri, which is weird and unexplained. Arin’s timing and interactions are the best of the bunch, as she actually takes Arata out of his comfort zone and doesn’t play into his hand.

Levi is also good, if only because her goal is more or less to tease everyone in the same way Arata does already.

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On another note, Trinity Seven uses really dull and muddy colors. I’m not sure if this was due to a bad stream (it was fairly low-res, as you can see in my screen captures) but I did find it a little weird how much the characters blend into the backgrounds at school.

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At the end of the day, T7 is about a teen guy who suddenly gets magical powers, who suddenly has to learn to use them to get his friend (and lover?) back from the void and the only way he can do that is to go to magic school and defeat the seven top magical students, who happen to also be girls.

As the headmaster says: “Magic allows for all possibilities.” So I’ll give it a Chance. T7 has good timing and a few charming characters but…all season long? You guys may have to give me some encouragement!

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