Cunting Arc the Lad Episode 1—Wait, This is Bee Train??

I ran a site called I Hate Bee Train for a bunch of months last year, but haven’t posted on it since November out of laziness. It’s a site wherein I episodically blog Bee Train shows for the purpose of insulting them, because Bee Train is the worst studio ever. As part of my effort to migrate all content here, I’ve imported its posts to this blog under the eponymous category. I won’t be closing the original site because it’s still awesome, but I will post all of its content here.

Moving along: Arc the Lad. I’ve been aware of this show via ADV previews for an eternity, and was interested in the games before, but never got to play them.

Arc the Lad was Bee Train’s second production (after PoPoLoCrois Monogatari), made when the studio did nothing but video game adaptations. (Wild Arms: Twilight Venom and Medabots soon followed). These shows differ greatly from what has come to be the Bee Train norm.

One huge difference is that Wild Arms and Arc the Lad were directed by Kawasaki Itsuro (who did a little work on Noir and then presumably left the studio), as opposed to studio head/chief director Mashimo Kouichi. More noticeably, Arc the Lad doesn’t feature a Kajiura Yuki soundtrack, but one by Oshima Michiru (who hadn’t made music for the game that the anime was based on, but would work on the soundtracks for later games in the series.)

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That Fight in Sakamichi no Apollon ep 1

I don’t know if Shinichiro Watanabe actually choreographed the fight scenes in Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, but both shows featured spectacular combat sequences often showcasing strange and eccentric fighting styles. Clearly, Apllon isn’t a story heavy on fighting, nor would it make any sense for the characters to show of eclectic maneuvers.

Were this another show, I’d probably be complaining about the fight scene. Why waste high-grade animation on a fight wherein you can’t tell what the fuck is going on? I might assume that since it’s a non-fight-centric show, maybe they didn’t care that much about how the fights looked.

But of course they did. Watanabe always cares how things look, and I don’t care if this is a manga adaption, he’s going to leave his mark on it. The fight is meant to disorient. Not only does it not establish a horizon line—it seems to purposefully avoid one, cutting to random parts of the fight, showing people anonymously getting thrown around, all set to insane jazz music.

That’s the fight Kaoru witnessed. He didn’t know what the hell was going on—he just saw the magnificent beast that is Sentarou going nuts on a bunch of dudes and had about a million questions running through his head along the lines of “what the fuck just happened?”

Alright, ep 2 is done dling now.

First Impressions: Nekogami Yaoyorozu

Since Nekogami Yaoyorozu is the only show that I had expectations for this season and met those (moderately high) expectations, I’m very excited about it. I came for a fake Touhou anime, and that’s what I got—lazy immortal gods grappling with poverty, awesome character designs, yuri hijinks, and a very “yukkuri shiteite ne” vibe of comedy—but also well thought-out classifications and fighting systems for the occasional lighthearted battle. This is exactly how I imagine a Touhou anime would be.

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Digi-chan Check! Sacred Seven Episode One

As a database animal with an eye for details, Sacred Seven is playing hard in my court and letting me believe that it’ll continue doing so. Ghostlightning, a “mecha database animal,” feels the same way, and wrote a post highlighting the show’s appeals to his database instinct. Amazingly, while his coverage was quite extensive, his mental database is different enough from mine—and the show makes enough appeals to both of ours—that I feel I have the material for a companion post.

This post will mostly consist of screenshots. I won’t be covering the ridiculously great sakuga animation because there’s not much to say that you can’t get from watching the ep.

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Hanasaku Iroha, On the Other Hand, Can Wait.

Ghostlightning described Hanasaku Iroha to me as “hipster artfag porn,” but also said it was very good and that he enjoyed it.

His description was spot-on. The first half of the episode was so hipster porn that it felt like it was trying too hard, though that might’ve been on purpose to set up for the beatdown Ohana would receive to her hipster pride. The first names to flash through my head with regards to the writing were “Matsuo Kou” and “Diablo Cody“. The episode’s first half reminded me of the small bit of Jennifer’s Body that I watched, which was so overloaded with cheeky “smart” dialog that I felt like I was in the break room at art school all over again and couldn’t take it anymore.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the true nature of the show, and with Ohana’s new company being a load of hard-asses, there won’t be anyone to play off of her witty hipster dialog anymore.

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Shocking Terror Beyond Your Imagination! 2010 Digital Boy in: HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD!

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I love zombies. I got into them when they became a craze, and I’ve adored them since. This is hideously ironic, because I’ve seen very few of the proper zombie flicks, always having been afraid of them; I don’t do well with horror (although these days I can pretty much handle anything, so maybe its time I viewed the classics.) I love zombies in spite of this, because they’re an excuse for mass wanton violence, and as I detailed in my last post, there’s nothing I love more than violence.

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Ookami-san and Seven Companions 1 is Great, But Something's Not Right…

First things first: Aniblog Tourney. I’m up for my quarterfinal match against Listless Ink. It’s unbearably close so far, which is everything I’d hoped from my most worthy opponent to date. Head over there and cast me a vote (or 3) if you haven’t already!

Anywho, the summer season has begun with one of the shows I was most looking forward to, Ookami-san to Shichinin Nakama-tachi (or, as the English title-cards refer to it, ‘Ookami-san and Seven Companions’). It’s a fun first episode, but there’s one thing that threw me off about it. That thing was Akazukin (erm, Akai Ringo).

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The Ultimate Love-At-First-Sight Scene in Kemonozume Ep. One

Kemonozume’s opening scene kicks off by introducing us viewers to a race of man-eating demons called the Kemonozume, who take the form of human beings and lead normal lives apart from the fact that they subsist on eating people. After the OP, the first scene (which feels like a total sendout to every two-guys-talking scene from any Tarantino or Guy Richie film) is a dialog between two man-eaters on the subject of eating people itself, beginning with one of the guys stating that he ‘only eats cute girls’. The conversation is brilliantly written in that it is ground into real conversational habits and lines that make the inhuman subject matter wholly relatable.

It also teaches us a lot about the way the Kemonozume think – eating people is primarily subsistence, but different people have different tastes, and the act of eating someone can be more than just an act of consumption. The guy who eats only females makes it quite clear that he takes incredible pleasure in doing so, and that there are some definite sexual reasons for it. He talks about a girl who he had met that was ‘totally his type’ and states…

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Mayoi Neko Overrun 1 – Not Doing Enough To Be the Refreshment it Wishes it Was

Because I like to watch random episodes of sleazy fanservice shows in my spare time, I decided to give Mayoi Neko Overrun a shot. Unfortunately, it is not that sleazy. Actually, if it had been really sleazy, then that might have been enough to keep my attention, paired up with the things this show does right. Sadly, as it stands, it doesn’t do enough.

The interesting elements I speak of become evident immediately – the main guy is woken up by his obviously modernly-considered-tsundere childhood friend girl, sees her panties, gets yelled at through a blushing face, etc. – the difference between this and every other time that’s happened in a harem anime is that this guy is fully aware that the girl is dishonest as hell. In an attempt to be the polar opposite of every male harem lead, the Mayoi Neko lead is actually incredibly perceptive, and is wise to the ways of all of his friends and what they want.

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