Oct 122014
 

No pics because I fucking hate these, so I’mma not gonna bother looking for their pics. To be fair though, the one I truly FUCKING hate, rather than just regularly hate, is #1.

5. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
I liked the original Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. In fact, I really liked it because it was such a surprisingly good show for what I thought would be only mediocre. It had cute chibi art, decent humor and I liked all the strategies the “dumb” class used to defeat their higher ranked schoolmates.

But then season 2 came along. Remember that I said season 1 had decent humor? Well, part of the “humor” is from the “love triangle” with the main guy, the tsundere childhood friend and the smart but sickly chick. It was “humorous” in season 1 because it wasn’t overused. Well, now imagine taking all other forms of comedy out of the show and focusing on the romcom bits, oh, and take away the only thing that made the series unique, which was the class battles, and you have season 2 of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. Essentially, take out Test and take out Shoukanjuu and just leave the Baka, and you have season 2.

The main reason this show is at my least hated of the hated shows here is simply because I’ve dumped it after just a couple episodes. Why? Because the OTHER shows I hate came out first, and Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (season 2) was merely following their trend of suck.

4. Magical Lyrical Mahou Shoujo Nanoha StrikerS
The original Magical Lyrical Mahou Shoujo Nanoha started as an extremely generic magical girl show. But after a few episodes, it got better with the introduction of new characters and an actual plot for what was till then, a generic magical show based on a naughty dating sim game. While I normally don’t dig anime movies that are just retellings of the actual series, Magical Lyrical Mahou Shoujo Nanoha’s movie is one of the few exceptions. I would actually recommend a newcomer to watch that if they don’t wanna invest too much time on the franchise. Since while season 1’s pretty good, it’s not super stellar. Although I do prefer the TV version of the main villain as she’s totally unrepentant there.

But it wasn’t until the second season, Magical Lyrical Mahou Shoujo Nanoha A’s, that the franchise actually got awesome. Season 2 was action packed, balls to the wall fun. It’s one of the few anime I’ve rewatched.

Then came season 3, Magical Lyrical Mahou Shoujo Nanoha StrikerS. In a word? BOOOOOORING. The characters from season 1 and 2 have aged up and the story focuses on a buncha new characters, who with the exception of Subaru, because she’s the personification of a Super Mecha in the form of a dyke, are so booooooooooooooring. The first half of the series is composed of nothing but training, training and more training. The only times when it gets sorta awesome are when the original girls get to do stuff, but their screentime’s limited to just the occasional minute or two.

And it doesn’t help that the villains suck. Only 1 of the villains is any decent, on account of being a complete bitch, the others are pure rubbish.

Anime-wise, StrikerS killed the franchise. From what I understand, the fiction’s gone downhill since StrikerS as well.

3. Mai Otome
I loved Mai Hime when it came out. The first 5 episodes or so were quite rough, but it just got better and better until the very end. At which point, it had built up enough goodwill that I didn’t mind the ending, but I reckon if Landon watched it, he’d hate the entire series just because of the ending. Because he’s a JERK whom you can’t build goodwill with. But my insulting Landon for no discernable reason aside, let’s get back to Mai Otome, which, as you’ve guessed by now, is the sequel to Mai Hime.

Set in… some weird possible future or alternate universe or plot hole or whatever, again, we focus on a new generation of characters. And these new characters are fine. The problem is that the old characters also seem to kinda possibly still exist? But they’re pretty much nerfed as hell.

Where StrikerS was boooring, Mai Otome’s mostly just lackluster. Why that makes it rank worse than StrikerS is because where StrikerS you were excited in those rare instances the original cast got to do something, in Mai Otome, you’re left groaning that they get any screentime at all, because they’re just shadows of their former selves. This just makes them all the more disappointing.

Mai Otome would spawn OVAs, all based on the stupid-stupid-stupidly inconsistent Mai Otome universe and giving us characters that are utterly shitty. Which is ironic, because the main reason they’re shitty (aside from general shittiness) is because we the audience, don’t give a shit about them. Why should we care about some legendary character from a version of a show that’s lackluster at best?

2. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
Now we’re getting to the “good” stuff. And by good, I mean bad. Which is bad and not good, because bad hasn’t been good since the 80s and maybe part of the 90s.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that all the anime I HATE have been sequels. The reason’s simple. If I watch an anime and it doesn’t jive with me, I’d likely just drop it. So I’ve no opportunity to develop a hatred for it. With the exception of a few shows that might get amended into this list, that’s generally the case. But sequels are different. With sequels, if I liked, or perhaps even LOVE the first season, I’d stick with the sequel, even if it’s crap. Of which A Certain Scientific Railgun certainly is. In fact, I hate it for much the same reason I hate the Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu sequel, which is that it took out all the good bits and focused solely on the worst aspects of the original. But unlike BakaTest 2, I’ve actually watched more episodes of Railgun than I cared to.

Not only that, but while I really enjoyed the original To Aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index), the one character that I truly grew to like, was indeed, Railgun.

The Tsundere character type has been around for years. You know, the one where the girl is normally a frigid bitch to the main guy (Tsun-Tsun) but has moments where she’s sweet on him (Dere-Dere). Ordinarily, this doesn’t jive with me. Especially since most of the time, this Tsundere type is represented with the girl being a violent bitch whom we’re supposed to forgive? Uh-uh girl! You don’t get off for being cray-cray (I have no idea what that means) bitch just because you have moments of vulnerability. Abusive relationships are a no-no in my book.

But Railgun in the original To Aru Majutsu no Index was different. She was frigid to the main guy for most of the series and only toward the end, was she more dere-dere. And it worked. Her exposure to the main guy was infrequent anyway, and he didn’t exactly let her HURT him. By the end of the series, she was a character worth Squee-ing over.

Then came To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, where she’s just this… this… nerfed… braindead useless piece of shitFUCKYOUyoustupidwhoreidiot! You’re a whorediot.

Railgun went from a strong yet ultimately lovable character to some pandering lil’ otaku fantasy rape bait. Hey, you know how Nagato Yuki from the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya went from some mostly emotionless alien to… whatever the hell she became in her spinoff? Yeah, the EXACT same thing with Railgun. Except Railgun was a better character to begin with, so her fall was even worse. And this was further illustrated whenever the main guy from Index would cameo in Railgun, since those were the only times she acted even vaguely how she did in the original Index, which just reminded us of how far she fell.

But hey, as much as I fucking hate Railgun’s fall, I don’t fucking hate the anime per se. Because…

1. (FUC)K-On!!
I suppose the show’s technically called K-On!! but FUCK K-On!!.

Season 1 of K-On! was okay. Episode one had 1 good joke, which was a Detroit Metal City reference. Then we got a decently amusing and perhaps even somewhat charming run of a series. K-On! was very much Azumanga Daioh with all the bite taken out, but it had its redeeming qualities. The music was extremely catchy and spread around the series quite evenly. And we even got to see the growth of the main character Yui, from her montage in the first episode and then the last episode. Finally, just as To Aru Majutsu no Index Railgun gave us a truly viable Tsundere character, K-On! gave us a truly “moe” character in Mio Akiyama. The whole cake eating thing that’s become synonymous with K-On! was actually relatively restraint.

But then, a problem arose. K-On! became crazy popular. Which wrought the fucking sonuvabitchpieceoffuckingshitcrapK-On!!.

K-On!! not only has the worst of everything that I’ve hated on in this entire list. From removing all the good bits in favor of the shit parts like in BakaTest2, such as ignoring the Azumanga-ish aspects to focus on the whole tea drinking and cake eating and inanity; to destroying the break out character like in Railgun, such is the case with Mio; but to top it all off… the one thing that makes me HATE K-On!!, that makes me detest it with the vigor of a dozen blue suns and for me to declare this as probably the worst anime in give or take a 5 to 15 year period, is this:

It was also popular.

And because it was popular, it was imitated. It brought upon us, the Moepocalypse. Inanity became the word of the day. To this day, we still get inanity in place of entertainment, which is why I now place a show’s entertainment value at a higher importance than I once did. And this is the case because of K-On!! It wasn’t the first. But because it got popular, it won’t be the last.

I don’t hate K-On!! because it was terrible in and of itself. It certainly wasn’t great. Hell, it wasn’t even good. It was inferior to the first season (which wasn’t awesome but wasn’t too bad) in every way to the point of being on the lower-middle end of mediocrity. It was bad in every way a sequel could be bad. Even the music wasn’t as good, and it was less frequent too. BUT, in and of itself? I’ve seen worse crap.

Nein.

K-On!! is not hateful simply because it was mediocre in and of itself. K-On!!’s hateful because it spawned hundreds upon hundreds of hours of crap that’s even WORSE than itself. If it simply killed the franchise like StrikerS or Otome, that’d be one thing. I’d probably only hate it. Hell, I might not even hate it at all. It’d have been forgettable. Like Moyashimon’s second season.

But all the inane bullshit crap we’ve all had to sit through for the last 5 or so years since its release? I used to be excited when new anime come out. But now I look at their write-up and think of how likely they’ll be yet another derivative of K-On!!.

K-On!! reduced my love for anime.

So yeah, that’s why it’s the Anime I Fucking Hate.

Self-Indulgence 12: One Million Total

 A Certain Magical Index, Anime, Astro Fighter Sunred, Azumanga Daioh  Comments Off on Self-Indulgence 12: One Million Total
Feb 282012
 

Mecha Guignol hit one million hits earlier today.

Goal achieved. The End. Adios. Etc.

Also, I lied. About the “The End” part, that is.

I’ve talked about this before, but I may as well talk about it again now that I have a few more regular peeps at this place. I originally started this blog as a way to get my creative juices going again. Before I started blogging, my main online activities revolved around a fiction writing website. But when I started Mecha Guignol in 2009, my drive to write was waning hardcore. I hadn’t written anything of substance in, like, a year. I needed some project that’d force me to write on something resembling a regular basis so I’d get into some kind of rhythm. Since I had the idea of doing an anime blog running in the back of my head for a while (despite never having read an actual anime blog up to that point), I decided to use that as the “spark” to get my writing mojo back.

I figured I’d do this for a bit, get used to writing again, and re-channel that energy into one of my other projects. I never intended to, like, be an anime blogger. I like anime, but at the time I wasn’t really watching that much shit. I’d check out one or two new series a season and rarely finished them. When I started this thing up, the only series I had finished from 2009 was Canaan, and the only reason why I picked up things like the second season of Darker than Black and Trapeze was for something to write about when I first started my blog.

Fast forward a few months from then. I’m watching more anime at that moment than I had at any given point prior. I was writing a couple of times a week. I had my mojo back. But what do I do? I don’t work my magic and funnel that enthusiasm into something else. Sure, I’d write something non-blog-related every now and then, but my focus was on Mecha Guignol. Fast forward another two years or so, and here I am bragging about how this blog that I never intended to keep has reached one million hits.

Yeah, I got into this shit purely by accident. It’s an experiment gone awry, like some otaku Frankenstein rampaging across the Balkan Mountains or whatever.

Anyway, here’s some photographic proof that I’ve hit this point, to prove to y’all heathen skeptics that this shit is real. The first pic shows my stats from my wordpress.com days while the second is what I’ve gathered since switching over to self-hosting.

And that’s pretty much it. Mecha Guignol is one of those happy accidents that parents talk about when they refer to that kid they never really wanted but love regardless.

Also, since I talked about my fiction writing and shit, here’s an example. It’s called Celestial Cleaner Celeste (with Pussycat). It’s a little something I wrote inspired by the pic I used at the start of this post.

Jun 072011
 

It’s that special time of the year again, where everyone gathers around the warm glow of the computer monitor and rants and raves about how their arbitrarily ranked list of Japanese cartoon shit is superior to everyone else’s. Some do it passive-aggressively by saying it’s “just their opinion,” while others are brazen and proclaim their will is God’s will and that their God is a better otaku than yours. It’s a true holiday miracle and the reason for the season.

So here’s the only top whatever list you need to read. Because, yeah, my God’s dojin collection is bigger than your God’s.

12. Shinryaku!? Ika Musume

The second season of Squid girl is more of the same. That ain’t a bad thing, since it has the same comedic timing and excellent exploitation of its gimmick. It has the same mixture of awesome gags and middling ones, just like the first season. It’s all about consistency and comfort. It makes for a good sitcom, but it’s lucky to be on this list because I decided to extend it to 12 instead of the traditional 10 for various reasons. I’ll gladly accept another season of Squid Girl come Fall 2012, but hopefully they mix things up a bit next time.

11. Wolverine

Easily the best of the four Madhouse Marvel series. Iron Man was alright, X-Men was atrocious, and I didn’t bother with Blade because X-Men was so horrible I threw my arms up in the air and shouted a stream of obscenities that could probably be heard from Madhouse’s animation studios. But Wolverine was genuinely cool. I talked about it here, but the gist of it is this: it takes the classic 1980’s Wolverine miniseries, expands upon it, adds in some anime conceits, and manages to improve upon the story for the most part. If only they could have done a similar thing with the X-Men anime.

10. Working’!!

Last year, Working was essentially tied with Squid Girl in terms of quality. They both ran with their setting and pulled off some good jokes. The difference this time around is that Working managed to expand upon its premise. We’re seeing the characters change. It might not be drastic change, but it’s a hell of a lot more character development than most similar series. Relationships are maturing, both in terms of characters accepting their feelings and in terms of their dysfunctional nature. All of these relationships feel natural and “realistic,” but at the same time they’re pretty screwed up and worthy of our derision and laughter. It’s that growth that differentiates between a decent sitcom and a genuinely good one. It isn’t on the level of, say, Maison Ikkoku or whatever, but it’s good stuff.

9. Mazinkaiser SKL

Mazinkaiser SLK is trash. Pure exploitative trash. It’s the sort of mecha anime I like– absurd machines smashing against each other in an illogical, chaotic symphony. No pretenses of reflecting upon society like most Gundam series. No romantic undertones like Macross. It’s robots hitting robots– violence begetting violence. It’s the perfect sort of OVA. It sets up the carnage, plays out the ordeal, and gets it all over with in three episodes. Much like my favorite anime from 2011, it’s the sort of shit that made me a fan of anime to begin with, and it’s good to get a few doses of this senseless beauty every year.

8. Ben-To

The best fighting anime since Air Master. It doesn’t quite reach the same blissful levels, since the fights aren’t nearly as well-choreographed and it isn’t coming together as well, but it’s still damn good for the genre. It has the same sort of ridiculous premise that every other fighting anime has (Really, is “fighting for half price food” any sillier than “superpowered ninjas living in themed villages” or “the exact same story as Superman except everyone is named after food and underwear?”) but it revels in its nature rather than try to make you take it seriously. At the same time, it isn’t a parody or anything like that. It just accepts what it is and plays it as straight as it can be, all while having its sense of humor take a more sarcastic nature. And it cracks me up to see how they integrate the characters’ Sega Saturn obsession into the series.

7. Un-Go

Un-Go is everything that the likes of Code Geass, Guilty Crown, Dance in the Vampire Bund, Eden of the East, and whatever other politically minded series are out there wanted to be. Not that all of the above series are bad, but none of them pull off the modern political angst with as much style and wit as Un-Go. It mainly comes down to how Un-Go is far more willing to play around the issue rather than beat you over the head with lingering fears of western imperialism, the existential threat of terrorism, and the breaking down of “traditional” values in favor of almost alien-like trends and values (the fear of AIs, cults, and so on). It gives you the pieces of Japan’s turmoil and lets you piece them together, and that’s the true mystery of the series. It isn’t about the individual cases in each story– it’s the overarching “what in the hell is the overall picture here” that’s at the heart of this series. It’s all about the big picture rather than the minutia, and I love that.