Mori no Yousei: Kinoko no Musume – 01 (First Impressions)

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for a short period of time, this character was on fire for some reason…

The Gist: A nationalist tourism piece for Japan that asserts that Anime (or Anime-chans) are real there. It’s set in a magical realm past the mushroom circles and gates found all over Japan.

It looks vaguely like an MMO running on a Sega Dreamcast and features looping character animations and empty conversations with random Anime-chans that can be found there, narrated and guided by a male fairy. There is forgettable JPop in the background.

The Verdict: thankfully, Mori no Yousei: Kinoko no Musume is only ten minutes long. That’s ten minutes longer than it could be and I have no understanding who this program is for, as it the low-poly models, hyper saturation, wash out, and light bloom make it look worse than most modern tablet games?

I don’t get this at all…

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Tiger Mask W – 01 (First Impressions)

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The Gist: imagine a world where WWF from the 1980’s was really real and the absurd backstories of its actor/wrestlers were harsh and traumatic. Now imagine that world is crudely drawn, quickly (but incoherently) paced, and you have Tiger Mask W.

The plot is about two boys who enter wresting to take revenge upon the man who destroyed their father/ father figure. Each boy ends up wearing a tiger mask, but for different organizations and will, probably, have a show down with each other at some point in the season.

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bad figures, color pallete, composition and scale… at least it has a picture of a motor cycle in the middle of it…

The verdict: Tiger Mask’s plot is almost terrible enough to be funny but it’s too convoluted to engage. The whole Global Wrestling Monopoly Conspiracy is weird and distracts from the initial thrust of the story, and I’m not even getting into the whole gym of under dogs that somehow get rolled into ‘Monopoly’s plan to take over Japanese wrestling.’

Maybe I’m too old for this? But, even if I liked wrestling, animation this ugly and narratively slapped together would probably be a turn-off.

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Sengoku Musou – 01 (First Impressions)

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Sengoku Musou opens with what can best be described is a flaming pile of horse shit.  It is, perhaps, the best example of how not to open an anime (or start a visual story of any kind) that I have ever seen.

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No, I’m not being hyperbolic. Go ahead and watch the opening and tell me that you understood who anyone was or why a viewer would care about any of it with so little context. Jerkily animating gaudy samurai drifting in and out of clouds and popping into focus only to show us moments of dialogue we have no context for is *&$%ing idiotic.

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You may like S&M if you like dozens of long historical Japanese names vomited at you by gaudy, overly ornate and, frankly stupid-looking characters. I presume it’s marginally based in Japanese history, though I’m not familiar with anyone in this show and it’s so profoundly ugly that I don’t care and I would rather eat dog $#!†t sushi for lunch than watch any more of it.

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When we talk about info dumping and expositional over load, we’re usually criticizing a show for attaining 50% of the motor-mouthing presented by Sengoku. It’s truly numbing.

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You probably wont find anything interesting about S&M because any value it may have (eventually interesting combat, sexy lady samurai in sexy lady samurai armor) is buried under an uninteresting, cliche period drama.

If I knew more about the source material, I would claim this was actually parody.

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My immediately, unwavering verdict is: Skip it.

If you must watching it, drink heavily and turn off your brain. The character design is bad. The story is incoherent and slow. The characters are archetypical cliches. It’s a mess and if the visual presentation was any worse, I’d give it a 3 or lower.

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Samurai Flamenco – 14

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Perhaps it would be better to get down to brass tacks: we can tolerate the wacky direction Samurai Flamenco has gone in (to a point), but we don’t have to like it. By giving over most of its running time to completely implausible and often tacky situations while the smaller, more intimate, more human realism takes a back seat; that just feels backwards to us. We miss the old Samumenco, dicing with petty crooks and litterers. Yes, the show has been taken to dizzying heights and depths of lunacy and adventure, but, well…let’s hear it from Dr. Ian Malcolm, shall we?

I’ll tell you the problem with the power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it…

We think that applies especially at this point in the series, because Samurai Flamenco no longer strikes us as a smart, savvy satire of superhero shows; it is just another superhero show, full stop. There has been less and less ironic subtext, and more and more going through the bland, unsatisfying motions, ostensibly recycled from the superhero trope repository. Back to you, Doc:

…Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

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Replace “scientists” with producers. Here we have an enormous, potentially Japan-shattering “all-out attack” by the 65,000-odd members of From Beyond, and the execution was sorely lacking in every way. The bad guys were pathetically lame; the superheroes who showed up with Kaname (surprise! Ugh.) weren’t much better; and there just wasn’t any artistry or creativity in any of the action. The show clearly didn’t have the budget for these things. Someone should have stopped and thought about whether they should have done them at all.

Throughout the big battle, we were far more interested in watching Maya’s forced reunion with the other two-thirds of Mineral Miracle Muse. But the show isn’t interested in the same things we are; not in this episode, at least. The final twist is that From Beyond’s last man standing is Masayoshi’s doppelganger, which is so random and out of left field we’re not sure what, if any, reaction we got aside from a figurative shrug of apathy. This episode was way too much WTF and not enough TLC.

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Rating: 4
 (Fair)