Poco’s Udon World Episode 12

Review:

We’re sickly sweet right up until the very end but this show managed to stay on the adorable and heartwarming side (at least for me) rather than the nauseating overload of sweetness some of these shows go for. This final episode is the perfect resolution and it really feels like this show has done exactly what it wanted to. Possibly the flashbacks with the father were a little overdone. We kind of got the point of where they were going significantly faster than that scene finished but that’s probably my own impatience getting in the way rather than an actual criticism. Anyway, I’ll do a full series review of this eventually but it was really sweet.

Poco’s Udon World is available on Crunchyroll.


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Poco’s Udon World Episode 10

Review:

We are closing in on the end of this series and this episode is full of tears. I’m kind of wondering about Nakajima. Rin was not drinking Sake which came as a surprise to you. She then got angry with you for lighting a cigarette. They made a big deal out of both. Surely you can connect the dots and realise she’s pregnant. Oh well. That little bit of denseness aside, this episode was interesting because Poco did something when they were visiting the grave of their mother and both Rin and Souta recalled a scene from their childhood which gave this episode a wonderful emotional ending and raised a few more questions about Poco. Very interested to see the last couple of episodes.

Poco’s Udon World is available on Crunchyroll.

Poco’s Udon World Episode 8

Review:

This episode attempts to inject some actual tension into the fairly sickly sweet atmosphere and in the process finally has Souta think about his relationship with Poco and what it actually is. The realisation that it has gone beyond just looking after a strange pet has been a long time coming but it is a welcome relief that Souta has understood that Poco is now definitely a part of his life. But that leads to the question of whether or not the two can stay together. The missing child search has just enough tension in it to be interesting but never gets particularly dark or meaningful and the side-story with the brief but thwarted romance is an amusing enough diversion at the end. All and all, a fairly decent episode.

Poco’s Udon World is available on Crunchyroll.

Hagane Orchestra Episode 1

Continuing to check out shows I skipped over last season.

Review:

Self-aware supposed comedy. My favourite (severe sarcasm warning). While maybe there will be a joke or two in this that will make you smile the first episode was 4 minutes too long for my liking. We have incredibly terrible (but it’s a joke so laugh anyway) narration followed by an introduction to some truly dense characters who all assume being zany makes up for being truly insufferable (okay, I didn’t like it). Obviously I am done with this show after episode 1. Here’s a positive though, at no point is this show trying to be something it isn’t. Right from the word go it is clear about its intentions and ambitions so at least they aren’t stringing us along.

Hagane Orchestra is available on Crunchyroll.

Keijo Episode 1

This one I skipped on the write up but decided to see what it was all about after reading many positive reviews throughout the Autumn season.

Review:

This show is actually very pretty and fairly well put together even though this first episode goes through most of the generic steps you kind of expect from the summary. That said, this isn’t a show I’m going to get in to. The sport that it focusses on is ridiculous no matter how you look at it and to be honest the ‘humour’ here isn’t my thing. While the characters seem diverse enough and the story is functional, there just isn’t any reason for me to invest time in this series.

Keijo is available on Crunchyroll.

Gakuen Handsome Episode 1

Another Autumn catch up review.

Review:

I really did not miss anything by passing on this series earlier in the season. They take faceless protagonist to a new level and while I get this is supposed to be funny, mostly it just creeped me out. Between the generic set up (again, I understand they are trying to be amusing), terrible narration, and poor animation, this show is not one I’m going to invest even 3 minutes an episode into. It might be hysterical but it certainly isn’t for me. I didn’t make 100 words so I’ll also throw a rock at the inconsistent character designs. There we go. Done.

Gakuen Handsome is available on Crunchyroll.

Brave Witches Episode 1

Continuing my catch up on shows I passed on this season, here’s Brave Witches.

Review:

I actually really enjoyed Strike Witches, once I stopped asking why the girls couldn’t actually be dressed, but I wasn’t so fond of the follow up so I didn’t just straight into Brave Witches. Watching the first episode of this, I’m reminded of things I liked and didn’t like about Strike Witches so I guess it is just more of the same. I like the magic and flight mechanisms, some of the characterisation, and the portrayal of war. I dislike the main protagonist, the girls’ outfits, and the simplicity of some of the character relationships and interactions. I also had to question the use of narration to info-dump at the start of this like they assume you’ve either watched Strike Witches and even if you haven’t they don’t want to bother with world building so here’s the information. The use of the newspaper article to explicitly link to Strike Witches was kind of clever though. All and all, I will probably find some time to finish this during 2017 because this first episode was entertaining enough but much like the original series I don’t see this becoming a favourite.

Brave Witches is available on Crunchyroll.

ClassicaLoid Episode 1

Well, we are inbetween seasons so I’m just checking out first episodes of shows I passed over this Autumn. Here are my thoughts on this gem.

Review:

No. Absolutely not. I have no idea who came up with this idea but no.

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t make it through the whole first episode of this so maybe it settles into something watchable but if this had been on my watch list this season I would have placed it below Bloodivores from what I saw this episode and to be honest, while I made it through Taboo Tattoo, I would most definitely have dropped this show after this trainwreck of an introduction. What’s actually wrong with it? Between over the top attempts at comedy, mashing classical music with modern, and just the sheer amount of effort this show puts in to making things ‘look cool’ while failing at doing so, it’s just painful to watch. It’s like watching your niece do ballet when they are dreadful. You just sit there with this forced smile on your face, knowing the time they put into it, but they suck (this is not based on a real life experience but merely a way of explaining how I feel about this show – though there is no need for a forced smile while watching this).

Okay, done and moving on.

ClassicaLoid is available on AnimeLab.

March Comes in Like a Lion Episode 11.5

Review:

Well, you should know I hate recap episodes by now so 11.5 isn’t exactly going to do much for me. That said, at least the timing on this makes sense. If you didn’t pick up this show in Autumn but are considering it (given it is continuing on in the Winter season), 11.5 does an excellent job of catching you upon the pertinent plot points and characters so you would be right to just continue on from this point. What it also does, however, is point out how much this show relies on atmosphere over substance given this one 25 minute recap actually did cover all of the major plot points. There isn’t very much happening in this show in terms of plot. The recap fails at capturing the spirit of any of the characters though, and that is perhaps the more charming part of the show. Pretty much watch it if you are wanting to start this show and haven’t or skip it if you’ve been watching the show.

March Comes in Like a Lion is available on Crunchyroll.

Flip Flappers Episode 13

Review:

This episode gave me a sinking feeling fairly close to the start. While part of me just kept hoping that Flip Flappers would actually do something noteworthy other than the visual spectacle the final episode overly relied on the power of love and friendship (without offering anything interesting thematically about either) and pure coincidence. No answers about who funded research into Pure Illusion, where the weird cult came from, who is funding Salt and his group now, who is looking after any of the kids even though clearly the weird cult was responsible for raising them and has now been destroyed, and no real answers about what gathering the shards would have actually done given apparently none of it mattered at all. Let’s just narrowly focus down on Cocona, Papika and Mimi and not give Mimi any real character. She’s either evil, controlling Mimi, or sweetness and light Mimi and neither side of her has any more depth than that. The one moment I genuinely enjoyed in this final episode was when a second ┬áSalt appeared and more or less echoed evil Mimi’s words from a few episodes ago but Salt wasn’t having any of it and just shot his potential evil twin. Just think how much better off Mimi would have been if she’d done similar. And that was the best moment to get you thinking in the entire episode as everything else was pretty visuals and frantic energy but little substance. While this series is still very enjoyable it is definitely the biggest disappointment for me this season. I’m going to give myself some time before reviewing it because right now I’d be pretty negative about it.

Flip Flappers is available on AnimeLab.