Henkei Shoujo – 01 (First Impressions)

The wind blows away a girls hat but, before she can get sad, another girl rushes to catch it. Jumping high in the air, she almost reaches it… before transforming into an F15 fighter jet and flying away.

That hat is not returned to its owner.

The Verdict: It’s crudely drawn and features a single joke but, for a 68 second long micro-format anime, it actually worked very well! Unfortunately, this is largely due to my watch it blind policy and that I had no idea what was about to happen. Since I’ve spoiled the gag, and there’s no way to talk about Henkei Shoujo without doing so, there’s not really any reason for you to watch it.

Souryo to Majiwaru Shikiyoku no Yoru ni… – 01 (First Impressions)

The Gist: A girl gets drunk at her high school reunion when she realizes the nice boy she fell in love with, but never made a move on, has become a monk. Later, as she wallows in self pity (and a hang over) that same boy carries her home. Then takes her to bed.

Despite a three minute run time, this is hard to watch. The protagonist is a generic ‘klutzy’ girl and the love interest is what we would consider a date-rapist in the USA. There’s nothing visually compelling about it either, unless you get a kick out of panties and guys helping girls drink water by spitting it into their mouths?

Gross…

Sekai no Yami Zukan – 01 (First Impressions)

The Gist: The World YAMIZUKAN is a four-minute format narrated children’s picture book, featuring an H. P. Lovecraft-like tale of a woman who leaves her husband each night and the night he follows her…to a spaceship! (tragedy ensues)

You may be interested in this for its unusual art style, which has a 70’s French feel but isn’t really animated. The tone is right-on for Lovecraft, even though the narrative itself is more like an incomplete Twilight Zone episode. (There’s no pay off nor a twist, really)

However, you probably won/t find this interesting because its slow pace and lack of payoff are hard pills to swallow. The storybook format didn’t really grip me either, neither with it’s unintentionally funny narrator nor for its oddly erotic imagery. There’s just not enough substance to it.

Verdict: I watch a ton of short formats at the beginning of each season but I rarely stick with them, either because they feel like a single episode chopped into scene-length morsels that would make a better meal at full length OR because the production quality just isn’t there. It isn’t clear if SnYZ will fall into either of these traps yet, but I’m not compelled to watch another episode to find out either…

Nyanko Days – 01 (First Impressions)

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The Gist: Yuuko-chan is a friendless, jealous, high school sociopath. She looks at the popular girl with resentment and disgust and dismisses her own worthlessness as being from a lesser planet. After school, she returns home to her three cats, which she introduces.

Roll credits! Opening credits…

The Verdict: Nyanko Days is a two minute format show where roughly 60 seconds are dedicated to the opening credits. The artwork is decent enough, and the little cat girls may give you nightmares in a “there’s gotta be something wrong with everyone because they are too cute and nice sort of way,” but it’s otherwise unremarkable.

You may like it if you are a serial killer, or if you are in a coma and someone turns it on to liven your empty hospital room (for two minutes), but you don’t want to be either of those viewers. Stay safely away from this one!

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Bernard Jou Iwaku – 01 (meh)

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The Gist: Three characters talk very very quickly for three minutes in a library. One likes talking about books but doesn’t read them, another doesn’t talk but reads them and maybe has a thing for the girl, and yet another girl is obsessed with the value of books and does read them but no one cares…

I guess this is a joke about book lover archetypes but the only joke is a slapstick moment where one girl punches the other in the face. It’s well rendered, in so far as it has bright colors and crisp lines but nothing happens and it either applies to a Japanese cultural aspect I am not familiar, or literally has no point at all.

Moving along…

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Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki – 01 (First Impressions)

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Three quarters (or more) of this 3 minute long show is dedicated to a battle between Yokai that exists only to set up a single joke: these siblings argue over stupid things and take it too far.

While the character designs are …okay… and the animation is …okay… a single joke is a hard sell to make for a series opener. Mildly cute and mildly good looking just don’t cut it and, since nothing else was provided, there’s nothing else I can really talk about.

At least I didn’t feel insulted or degraded by watching it. Just bored…

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Nobunaga no Shinobi – 01 (First Impressions)

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Nobunaga no Shinobi is, literally, a short format anime about Nobunaga’s 2 young ninjas Chidori and Sukezo. Chidori is a sweet but no nonsense murder machine and I keeping Sukezo’s name wrong. (but he’s really just Chidori’s unrequited love uninterest)

The first episode introduces the various characters and has a few smirk-worthy jokes. The pacing and art are decent but unremarkable, but the lack of content truly makes it hard to rate.

I suspect this show will lean towards the ‘a single 24 episode show diced up into 3 minute chunks and spread across a season’ side of the short format genre. Liking it or not will depend on your patience and/or how well the dialog gets you to chuckle.

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Gakuen Handsome – 01 (First Impressions)

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THE PROTAGONIST HAS NO FACE!

The Gist: the protagonist’s parents have changed jobs so he and his sister are going to new schools. His school is an all male private academy and his homeroom teacher immediately takes a pass at him.

Later, he meets a friend from grade school and they walk home with his 3rd grade sister, who’s had 3 guys ask her out on the first day. She also thinks her brother, the protagonist, is homosexual. A stranger watches them from afar.

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The verdict: calling Gakuen Handsome profoundly ugly is an understatement. The character designs are freakish and there is nearly no animation. (characters walk by hopping, their waists unseen below the frame) It may be the cheapest show I’ve ever seen.

While this show may eventually blossom into a boy love piece eventually, maybe showing romance or humor along the way, the first episode gives no indication as to who or what audience would actually enjoy watching it. It felt long at 4 minutes, didn’t even make an attempt at being funny, and…

THE PROTAGONIST HAS NO FACE!

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Ao Oni The Animation – 01 (First Impressions)

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The Gist: 4 students investigate an abandoned mansion (for some reason) and are lynched/eaten/beaten to death by the blue monster that lives there.

You may like Ao Oni because it is a short format ironic horror comedy that pokes fun of the test our courage style horror story. The pacing is quick and easy to under stand and the characters’ response to their situation (denial, logical alternative explanations) is a decent base of comedy.

You may not enjoy Ao Oni if you do not like primitive animation and intentional dumbness. Since the cast is killed off and gets a game over screen at the end, it is safe to assume this show will be a series of nonsensical one-offs, each likely focusing on a single joke or genre convention. If the lack of character depth or long term story telling isn’t you’re thing, this is an easy skip.

Verdict: I enjoyed Ao Oni’s 4 minute blitz well enough but the to-the-point nature of the story and humor left little incentive to review more.

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Zeonic Toyota Special Movie – 01 & 02

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The gist: a charming, high budget mini-sode format as commercial where Char jumps from his Zaku to a Toyota, which he finds comfortably supportive to sit in. Then he drives it down a colony highway until Lalah Sune warns him an enemy is near …from the Zaku he just left… and he drives into a hanger where they trade rides.

It’s very well animated, if a very simple concept, and the Toyota is almost cool looking in red with Zeon details. Oddly, the car model’s saturation is much higher than the Gundam in the background, which separates them in a slightly awkward way. It’s odd because the car’s style is closer to OG UC gundam than the mech, which feels more nuanced. More modern.

I’m not sure why a Zeon theme was chosen, since they are pretty definitively the bad guys in OG UC Gundam? Also, I’m not sure why Char would be a good endorsement for the brand either, since he’s a devious lie-to-your-face kind of guy bent on revenge?

Maybe if he were driving a Subaru WRX I could take it more seriously…

Onara Gorou – 01 (First Impression)

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Onara Gorou is an efficient, budget production, single concept anime that runs for 3 minute. It’s about farts and, more specifically, Fart-san, who lives in an unnamed balding man who does not speak.

This week, a trio or delinquents are on the roof facing off against a trio of teachers. The joke is that each time the delinquents do something more delinquent, the teachers become less motivated to chastise them, to the point of not caring at all about smoking.

Then a Fart-man shows up, talks about Digestion, and the Delinquents vow to change their ways, sobbing.

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Not counting deforms, there were roughly 8 frames of animation in this episode. (This includes 2 dedicated to diagramming the act of digestion and farting) It’s super cheap, and the art style is unpleasant, but it works for the tempo of the humor.

You may find Onara Gorou funny, at least as a one-off novelty, but I can’t imagine watching 12 during a season. There’s not enough to it.

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Ozmafia!! – 01 (First Impression)

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Bashful, good-at-nothing boy shows up at private academy, wanders into forest while not looking where he is going, gets confronted by an aggressive swordsman wearing an Imperial Japanese uniform, the swordsman chases the boy and then we meet the teachers and get formal introductions.

Ozmafia manages to make four minutes feel like an excruciatingly long period of time. There’s a slight ‘super-deformed’ vibe to the characters, each of which sports a 3-diamond glare pattern in his hair, and that’s the full extent of the creativity it has to offer.

This show is watchable in so far as nothing offensive or particularly eye-sandpapering happens…but that’s because nothing really happens at all. Skip!

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Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan (TV) – 01 (First Impressions)

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The gist: Saiki is a psychic who’s loving parents accepted him (and were generally quirky) as he grew to his current age, which is high school. He is very powerful, but slightly down since he can not experience surprise birthdays or a sense of accomplishment.

Also, his parents hate each other now in the most delicious ways…

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The art may be unremarkable but, at 4 minutes, this short format is worth your time because it is packed with humor. Background, foreground, internal and spoken dialog — its layers of fun.

And it accomplishes this without the mad cap million words a second pace of a show like Luluco. Pretty impressive actually.

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