Girlish Number Review

a18676-1837812794-1472196440Story:
Chitose Karasuma is a newbie to the voice acting business. With almost no experience and an unexplainable amount of self-confidence veering into egomania, she lands a lead role for an upcoming anime that has more than a few kinks to work out…

Violence:
Super low here aside from some slapstick stuff, but even then it’s pretty rare.

Language:
Another low one. A few dumb-ss comments and maybe one or two b-words, but that’s over the entire show. This one was pretty light. But then, most slice of life titles are so long as the leads aren’t super violent or sarcastic in nature.

Nudity:
A bit more here. We have one or two flashes of a bath scene with rear nudity that the girls are voicing over. It’s very quick stuff and besides that we just have the required bikini episode and insinuating talk here and there concerning the girls being “easy on the eyes.” It’s not a progressive show by any stretch of the imagination, but I did appreciate not being subjugated to an insane amount of fanservice. Especially considering the set up.

Theology/mythology:
Besides seeing temples in the background and the girls tying their wishes to a tree branch, nothing to speak of here.

Personal impression:
Another anime riffing on anime production? Well, I still like learning tidbits about what the industry is like on the other end. When I was a kid, finding out how things really worked was like watching magic disappear from the planet, but now that I’m older it’s a bit encouraging. Because I see that this huge project really just stared with a few people and slowly grew and changed over time, but even so, it was still up to a key group. One person is therefore capable of far more than we think, often times.
Putting that aside, however, this show was a blander look at the industry than other takes in the past. Shirobako was enjoyable to me because we were clearly dealing with adults in their field. It was also far more focused on how things were actually getting made due to the lead being part of the producing team. While this show does reveal a bit of the production side of things, usually in the form of negotiations with the author and directing teams, its main lens is squarely on the shoulders of our lead, Chitose, who, quite frankly, I found to be annoying around 80% of the time. While I was able to finally warm up to her slightly by the end, I left this show feeling lukewarm over her character development, which wasn’t much progress at all (we also don’t get to witness her acting improving all that much, but have to depend on what other characters say about it). In fact, two side characters get further along in their stories than Chitose does. Although that hardly saved the show for me as their “development” was painfully cliche. It was the old “my parents are kinda rude to me, but they mean well and I eventually find that out and we ignore how rude they are because intent excuses people from being jerks” run through. And while I understand that Japan is very family-first minded, this particular storyline is getting beyond old.
In the end, the story itself was focused far more on drama and cute girls in the industry than on the industry itself, so if Shirobako was too much production for you, this might be more your speed. Just don’t expect any new territory to be broken here. Or many questions on voice acting getting answered either.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Slice of life, drama
Production: Diomedea
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Yahoo View and Crunchyroll 

Flip Flappers Review

6f23cba5886611b854a147890757cdfa1475754586_largeStory:
Cocona is a straight laced student, dedicated and always on time. Until she bumps into a strange girl named Papika who drags her down into a strange alternate world called Pure Illusion where they must find magical crystals that supposedly have wish granting abilities. So much for perfect attendance.

Violence:
At first it seemed blood violence would be low in this, but around midway it jolts up and by the end it’s decently high. Bullet wounds, monsters cut in half and spewing blood… Think between Black Cat and FMA levels.

Language:
The isn’t too bad. A rare b-word in a few spots, but mostly just sh-ts and d-mns.

Nudity:
Ok, here’s where it gets strange. This series is obviously trying to address some queer questions, but unfortunately they stumble into sexulizing it here and there. Like both characters suddenly in lingerie with one implying they should “have some fun together.” Nothing actually happens, but it’s awkward to say the least. We also have a villain early on who has a bunch of other female “creatures” (?) in bondage poses. It’s really brief, but undeniably inappropriate.

Theology/mythology:
Super powers that create other dimensions, a cult that surrounds these special people, if any of that bugs you, this isn’t for you.

Personal impression:
My thoughts on this one are… complex. On one hand I liked a few of the questions that were brought up for the lead. I felt her musings on her emotions were actually realistic and came about pretty naturally despite the strange chaotic set up. But that was one of my main issues with this title. The choatic nature of it all. The first few episodes are kinda all over the map, as if the creators had some characters and a vague story idea, but no clue how to execute it. Eventually they got into a better rhythm, but it was still rough enough to leave me lost here and there, wondering if I missed a scene and backing up to make sure. And the decent fight scenes about midway through were lost pretty fast as well, the animation getting shotty at the drop of a hat. While we’re spared the horrid fate of still scenes with dialog only (a sure sign that production fell WAY behind), the separate realities don’t really keep in line symbolically with what the characters are going through at the end and more than a few cliches kept the climax from feeling all that, well, climatic. In the end I simply found myself relieved it was over. A shame as a few scenes here and there showed promise. If they had a tighter vision and team, this might have been a better show.
Of course, staying away from sexulizing scenes that contained queer exploration would have been nice. In fact, staying away from the sleazy scenes period would have been nice, but whatever.
In the end, if you’re cool with trippy visuals and moe and conveluted plotlines, you might like this one. It’s not horrid. It just… could have been better.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Language: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Fantasy, adventure
Production: Studio 3Hz
Company: Showgate
Official streaming: Crunchyroll and Yahoo View

WWW.WAGNARIA Review

news_xlarge_www_workingStory:
Daisuke Higashida is unfortunate enough to be the oldest child of a family of idiots. When his father loses his job and doesn’t get another, he’s forced to work part-time himself to get enough money for his family to live. He also has the horrid luck of applying for said job at a family restaurant filled with crazy people.

Violence:
Slap stick only for this one, though some of that slap stick does use blood and such as a visual aid now and again so be warned.

Language:
The usual TV14 levels of d-mn and sh-t apply.

Nudity:
Besides some innuendo in a few spots, nothing to put in this section, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
One character can see and communicate with the dead, a running joke in the show. Her mother is also an exorcist. One character is supposedly a ghost herself. If these things bug you, you might want to skip this show.

Personal impression:
This show was easily the funniest of the season for me. The cast was solid and not as predictable as I had originally feared. Which isn’t to say this was super unique. Not quite. But it was very enjoyable as it was also a title I ran into by accident. At the time I started this one, no one else was really talking about it.
Art and music don’t stand out in the slightest, and the plot doesn’t really exist, so really the comedy is the only selling point for this title. But it sells it well. Even the couples that form as the series progresses continue to be comedic landmines, despite (or perhaps because of) their happy endings. If you’re worried romantic angles will take away from the comedy, this is one title that goes in the opposite direction. It gets funnier. There’s even a bit of character growth thrown in near the end.
Overall, if you’d like a comedy with little to no depth and/or ever wished Spock was an anime lead, this might be the one for you (our main male lead is known for being pretty emotionless on the outside).

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Comedy, slice of life
Production: A-1 Pictures
Company: Aniplex
Official streaming: Crunchyroll