Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! S2 #1

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Jul 082016
 

Sequel seasons pretty much ruin even the most beloved of series.

But not with Magical Boys, now this is how you do a sequel. Which is basically to give us exactly the same thing as from season 1.

Having said that, Magical Boys S2 is particularly good in reminding us of all the running gags we may have forgotten while only slightly ramping up the gayness and bukkake-ness of the first season.

I think the key to spotting a good second season vs a terriblefuckingpieceofruinousshitstain is in the number of !. If they stick to just one !, then the second season’s good. If they add a second ! like in K-On!/K-On!!, then it’s the latter.

tl;dr, I dig Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! S2 episode 1.

Super Virtua Food Fighter

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Dec 072015
 

The previous two episodes of Ben-To, 8 and 9, kinda had me worried. I was digging them, but they were straying from the “kick ass to get half price food” bit that was the heart of the series. By focusing on that very specific motivation for fighting, Ben-To had basically become the best fighting anime since Air Master.

But those two episodes strayed from that. The food fighting was referenced. It wasn’t like it disappeared completely. But it was no longer the thing going on. Then the latest episode, number 10, got back to it and delivered the best fight thus far in the series.

I figured these twins were gonna be the second half’s big bad, but I was worried that whatever conflict they wanted to bring about was gonna stray from the path. They seemed to care more about stalking people and playing mind games rather than beating the shit out of you to get some cheap grub. Their antics were pretty amusing, which was a relief since most light novel adaptations tend to get pretty lame when they resort to “antics” to keep your attention.

Instead, all of that now feels like build-up for what went down in this episode. It’s like how the main villain in a shounen fighting series will talk and rant to his underlings or something while the main character wanders about and trains or something. They give you a reason to hate (or love to hate, or root for) the villain by letting him monologue or whatever. Except they’re trying to rape Sato while thinking he’s Ice Witch. Yeah. Something like that.

Whatever, man, I’m just grasping at ways to rationalize how the series went off track. Roll with it.

But damn. That fight where everyone got their asses handed to them by the twins was great stuff. Like, it’s probably the best anime action scene I’ve seen this year that wasn’t in Redline. But what particularly amused me about it was the stylized “blackness” that enveloped all of the twins’ attacks. It totally looked like the “ink” effects you see in Street Fighter 4. That’s especially funny because SF is made by Capcom and Ben-To is blatantly sponsored by Sega. By having the final big bads of the series use a technique used in a rival company’s game is a neat touch. Doubt it’s deliberate, but it’s amusing regardless.

Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girl #1

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Oct 122014
 

11 minute short, I like it.

Of course, it’s mostly filled with retro references, but some of the jokes are legitimately funny. I for one, liked when they asked Sega Saturn what kinda guy she liked. If you’re familiar with the Sega Saturn commercials, it’s obvious what kinda guy she’s into (Segata Sanshiro, duh!). Megadrive having a book with a presumably huge library is also an obvious but still amusing design choice. And Dreamcast and her internet connectivity…

Then there’s the obvious but nostalgic school song.

From the previews, the girls are gonna get beat up by Akira from Virtua Fighter next episode. Color me excited.

Gundam Build Fighters Try #1

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Oct 082014
 

Y’know, sequels in anime seem to usually be worse than the original. There are exceptions like Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s, which was better than Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. Then again, the next sequel, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, was rather crap. And oh hey, speaking of Nanoha, her fan nickname’s the White Devil, which apparently, was the same nickname for the first Gundam. And since we’re talking Gundam…

Let’s talk Gundam Build Fighters Try #1. If you didn’t already know, I actually liked Gundam Build Fighters, which was itself, another attempt at what Gunpla Builders Beginning G tried to do, which was be a show about Gunpla rather than Gundam (and to tap into the Pokemon/Angelic Layer/LBX/Monsuno/etc market).

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. So here’s the premise. This series is basically set in a world where technology has advanced to the point that it can remotely manipulate specially treated plastics in a simulated environment. Only instead of using such technology for the fields of medicine, aeronautics, or anything that might benefit mankind; they decide to use it to stage elaborate robot fights using Gundam Plastic Models as the base.

The original Gundam Build Fighters followed a couple of kids named Sei and Reiji, as they make their way toward winning the Gunpla Battle World Championships. Gundam Build Fighters Try is set at least 7 years after Gundam Build Fighters. A new generation of kids now seek to compete in a virtual pit fight to get their jollies off.

While this new series seems like it’ll have a bit more sequential storytelling than its predecessor, what makes it work is much like what made its predecessor work. And that’s the jour de vivre the characters find in their obses-err, I mean, their hobby. It’s kinda like Tribe Cool Crew. The subject of their interest might be a tad inane for those who don’t share it, but the enthusiasm shines through.

GBF Try has a bit more of that regular anime feel to it, but it incessantly reminds us that the characters do love their cash cow franchise. As someone who is a nerd/geek/stupidtoycollector, I can appreciate that.

One thing I like in this ep is that when the main character (who is a super genius Gundam pilot, natch) gets his first Gundam, it turns out to be a mook mech. Naturally, he’s a genius who is able to do extremely well despite it being his first battle, BUT, the point is, he wasn’t using yet another derivative of the RX-78-2 (aka the Gundam). I was actually kinda hoping that his thing would be that he’d use villain or at the least, mook mechs as his go-to. Especially since this series has 3 leads, and the other two were already using conventional “hero” Gundams. Alas, turns out, the main kid’s mook mech was hiding a *yaaaawn* Gundam inside its body.

But that aside, it’s still pretty fun so far. If the quality is at least only a little bit under par with the original Gundam Build Fighters, I’d be totally fine with following this series.

Edit: I also dig the “rape” bit.