Category Archives: comedy

Little Witch Academia (Series)

Type: Believe in the you that believes in yourself, that’s the true magic.

Synopsis: Akko has a dream, to kill all hu–, oops, wrong show. I mean, Akko has a dream, to meet her Idol, becomes best friends, and revitalize the magic industry together. It’s basically the story of an obsessive fangirl trying to make her delusions a reality. But in the nicest, most welcoming sort of way that you can’t help but root for her.

Pros: Amazing. It’s Amazing. It’s also stupendous, terrific, astounding, inspiring, marvelous, wonderful, excellent, sensational, superb, great, first rate, dazzling, and, dare I say it, magical. It’s the first Trigger show, scratch that, the first anime show in a long time that I could easily recommend to everyone, any age and any background. The show follows Akko, a in student at a prestigious magical school as she tries to learn magic to live up to her idol, Shiny Chariot. The first half of the series focuses more of Akko’s day to day life, her struggles in class, and her relationship with her roommates and friends. One of the things I was immediately impressed by how true to life Akko’s portrayal was. Because Akko is shown to be airheaded, lazy, heastrong, whiny, petty, but also brave, kind, and empathetic. An actually teenager. You can laugh at her one minute, but be inspired by her the next (ex: That scene by the fountain. Wow!). Her friends are also a great addition, and each character gets at least one spotlight episode to explore there character. I personally liked Sucy’s spotlight episode and her Eternal Sunshine-esque adventure. The second half of the series focuses more on the search for the Seven Magical Words, and moves the spotlight into some of the more auxiliary characters. Overall, this is the type of show that makes me happy to be an anime fan. This is the type of show that I could realistically give to my 5 year old niece, and/or her mother, and/or her grandfather, without any reservations about the content of reaction to it. It’s a truly all-ages property, joining the rank of Ghibli movies. It’s one of Trigger’s best shows, I would argue the BEST up till now, and a true spiritual successor to Gainax’s Gurren Lagann.

Cons:…maybe Croix. Professor Croix is the series antagonist that’s introduced halfway through (a traditional Trigger/Gainax mid-season twist). She’s not really too imposing, nor that interesting. Unfortunately, we never get a spotlight for her, making her feel more distant than the other characters. I also feel that the teachers at the school weren’t given the proper “cool guy” moment that I expected them to have. I did, however, like how the school’s business side was handled. The world in the anime knows magic exists, but no longer believe in it due to the rise of science and technology. Kinda like Tinker Bell, magic gets weaker the less people believe in it. So magic is kinda on it’s last legs when Akko shows up. And, I guess another negative is that you can’t binge watch it. Or shouldn’t, at least. It’s too good. You have to watch each episode one by one. YOU HAVE TO.

Watch it?: Officially on my Top 10 Favorite anime list. (6/5)

MVP: Akko

She may be a little witch now, but she’ll be shiny one day!

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “Sleeping Sucy” (I am just so happy this went from a Kickstarter show to a full blown production).

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King of the Hill (April Fools Day Special!)

Type: Slice-of-Life Americana

Synopsis: The anime focuses on a father trying to deal with the asinine world that surrounds him. His son is a well-meaning otoku in training. His niece is a ditzy neet who can’t go home because her “trailer flipped over.” His best friends are a gun nut, a foodie, and a hentai. And his neighbor considers him his rival for some reason. At least he has his wife…who sometimes goes yandere at the prospect of anyone being better than her. It’s a taihen life, I tell ya h’wat.

Pros: The main difference between Japanese anime and American anime is the audience. Anime, in general, tries to appeal to a younger demographic overall, and a younger male demographic specifically. So even anime meant to appeal to “adults” really appeal to 14-35 year olds who share the same mentalities. That’s why most anime characters are under 30 years old. American anime is a lot of stratified. An anime is either for children or adults, no middle ground. So you get shows like Spongebob or Gumball, which are meant for kids ages 5-11, or shows like The Simpsons or Bob’s Burgers, which is meant for people 24-50. That’s why a show like King of the Hill mainly stars adults in their mid-40’s, and deal with mainly adults subjects. No fake adult like stuff like sleeping around or spreading gossip, but real stuff, like infidelity, financial issues, self-identify, raising a family, and propane and propane accessories. King of the Hill’s strength is it’s realist take on absurdity. A situation where one of the characters feels depressed about letting himself go after high school can escalate into the main characters dodging tank missiles during a war game. A feeling of unease in a marriage can wind up with a character falling to her certain death off a plane. You can, and several people probably can, analyze almost every episode of King of the Hill and find multiple topics of substance. Every King of the Hill story could be filmed in live-action, but it reaches its full potential thanks to animation. It’s a satire of American society during the 2000’s, without ever losing respect for the people that had to live through it.

Cons: That’s not to say that King of the Hill is perfect, or that American anime is superior. For one thing, American anime can’t escape the yoke of comedy. Unlike Japanese anime, which explores almost every genre, American anime only deals in humor. Even bleaker shows like Rick and Morty or Moral Orel still are categorized as dark comedies. King of the Hill probably came the closest at dealing with serious issues in a non-condescending way. That being said, it did so because it was never all that wacky or laugh out loud funny. It was expertly written, don’t get me wrong, but it never really penetrated the zeitgeist like other shows. Some characters also verged on annoying, to the point of polarizing the audience. Peggy Hill’s arrogance was funny at first, but then it became obnoxious. Same with Dale’s paranoia and selfishness. Even Hank’s stubbornness became an issue. I remember one late episode where Hank effectively blackmailed his minister to guarantee reserved seating for his family during sermons. What the hell was that!? I would also like to contradict myself a little by pointing out that despite adhering to realism, the show never aged any of the characters and ended up showing at least 4 Christmas episodes and 3 Thanksgiving episodes. I wish we could have seen Bobby transition from middle school to high school, but the show didn’t want to lose Bobby’s voice actress by aging up his voice. The show also tended to forget certain characters in the later season, namely Connie and Luanne, who got less and less screen time in the last 2-3 seasons. However, despite it flaws, it was still one of the few American tv shows, period, that showed a realistic portrayal of a working class family at the time. And whether you noticed it or not, King of the Hill was always there, and a lot of us wished it always would be.

Watch it: Yep. (5/5)

MVP: Hank Hill

“I hope I never make it to L.A.!” (real talk though, he’s probably one of the best example of how positive and negative masculinity can interact in a person).

Best Season: Season 4 (Miss Liz, Connie’s first period, Peggy and Cotton’s therapy, Randy Travis, just a good combination of all time great episodes) (p.s. Hank! There’s a little state between Hollywood and San Francisco called California, come visit! It promise it’s not all Hippies and Buzzfeed!)

 

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Shonen Maid

Type: Boy Maid

Synopsis: He’s a boy who’s also a maid. That’s the joke.

Pros: The basic story is really just Cinderella, only with a boy and nicer guardian. In the beginning, young Chichiro’s mother WORKS HERSELF TO DEATH, leaving the 4th grader to fend for himself. He manages to escape grave poverty thanks to his rich Uncle, who happens to run into him on the same day. Understandably emotional over the death of his only mother, and wary of an extended family that never lifted a finger to help him, Chichiro is hesitant to accept the kindness of strangers. Blood relative not withstanding. So his Uncle does what any sane person would do, and takes advantage of Chichiro’s almost manic desire to clean by hiring him as his maid. Not butler, because Maid outfits are cuter. Most stories revolve around Chichiro getting use to his new life and his new family. This eventually leads to him learning more about his mother’s family, with some hints about why they were estranged. Chichiro’s age actually works well with this kind of story, since it explains why he wasn’t told much about his family, and justifies his behavior. (It also goes a long way to explain his androgynous looks).

Cons: There’s nothing really wrong with this show. It’s a solid story. But there’s also nothing incredible about it. It’s biggest positive/negative is that there’s isn’t any overall conflict in the story. There’s no end of the season fight between Chichiro and Madoka, where they have to reaffirm their love for each other at the end. The biggest conflict is Chichiro feeling a little weird when he discovers that the nice old lady he hung out with was his estraged grandmother. The jokes are all solid. I especially like Chichiro’s adoration of all things cleaning. Chichiro’s slowly developing relationship with Madoka is cute. The only real cringy moments were stories involving cats, or involving a male idol group that shows up sometimes. Both weren’t great. The cat stories were a little too sweet for my liking. And the idol stories felt tacted on.

Watch it: A pretty good, middle of the road anime (3/5)

MPV: Chichiro’s love of cleaning

I also appreciate a good cleaning session

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Those Who Don’t Work Don’t Eat” (he’s a boy, but also a maid!)

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Space Patrol Luluco

Type: To infinity, and beyond!

Synopsis: Wait, wrong space cops. This is actually a story about a normal girl who learns a little lesson about what normal actually means….by having her father be frozen and being forced to work for an understaffed and under trained police force while also sorting out her complex feelings towards her criminal mother and budding sexuality. Normal girl stuff.

Pros: The show is produced by Trigger, everyone’s favorite pseudo-indie anime company. Like, they don’t make millions of dollars, but they can still afford to release season long anime every few years. Anyway, Luluco was their latest anime in 2016. The animation style was a mix between mostly Panty and Stocking and a little Kill La Kill during the action. I think the Kill La Kill song even plays at some point. The show is full of references to other Trigger/Gainax shows, with full blown, and surprising, cameos at a few points. I haven’t talked about the story because Luluco is your typical Trigger side-project farce. Most of Luluco’s adventures are silly stories with a punch-line ending, with the climax being about a girl’s first love. At 10 minutes per episode, it should take you under two hours to finish the whole series.

Cons: I liked the show. Fun plot about space hijinks. It does drags a little in the middle when the Space Pirate shows up, but I’ll forgive it for plot reasons. But I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very enthusiastic while watching it. Maybe I’ve watched too many Trigger/Gainax shows, but the magic just wasn’t there for me. Which is ironic, considering Little Witch Academia cameos. Speaking of, this really felt like a side project. Something for the team to do while finishing Little Witch Academia, Trigger’s actual next anime release. Luluco felt like Trigger’s Greatest Hits: The Anime to me. The show literally ends by fighting an galactic entity who can’t understand emotions! I don’t know, maybe I’m just a jaded old man who can’t remember what it’s like to be a 13 year old girl in love for the first time. I guess time makes fools of us all…

Watch it?: I mean, JUSTICE, right? (4/5)

MVP: Luluco

She got a space bike at the end.

Best Episode: Ep.11 “I Never Knew” (Legends never die!)

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Pop Team Epic (Anime of the Year)

Type: Is this a joke?

Synopsis: No really, is this a joke?

Pros: Pop Team Epic is…Pop Team Epic started as…f#$% it. Pop Team Epic is weird as s#$%.

Cons: Whether or not you like Pop Team Epic will depend on what you think is funny. There are 6 main types of skits. First, regular skits based off the manga. Second, Bob Team Epic, which uses disturbing looking animation that will haunt my nightmares until my last breath. Third, a lovely 3D runner in french. Forth, 8-bit bumpers that parody video games. Fifth, puppet shows and songs. Sixth, the rest. Apparently, the show had various animation studios and voice actors work on it throughout production. The show is actually 15 minutes, but it runs for 30, repeating the episode with different voice actors. The next episode preview is actually parodying love comedies that looks surprisingly disconcertingly interesting to me with “Hoshiiro Girldrop,”

Watch it?: Pop Team Epic isn’t a meme anime. It’s a sh#$post entity given life by our collective consciousness. (5/5)

MVP: Alien Cat

GET OUT OF MY HOUSE ALIEN CAT!!

Best Episode: Not ever going to try (too hard. too weird. f##$ you.)

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Aggretsuko (2018)

Type: Working 9 to 5…

Synopsis: An office is a place where dreams come true. Except when you boss is a pig, your supervisor is a snake, and your only real escape is the sweet, sweet release of DEATH….metal.

Pros: Aggretsuko is a pretty great, and pretty short, anime about a young woman working in an office. She faces sexist discrimination from her boss and the daily grind of her work finally gets to her. She decides that the best course of action is to find an alternative. At first she fantasizes about starting her own business with an friend, but then settles on the more traditional, and outdated, plan of getting a husband and becoming a housewife. Despite it’s cutesy demeanor, this is actually a pretty mature show. Not MA mature, but real mature. Aggretsuko has to deal with real world stuff, like a bad boss and feelings of dissatisfaction. She has bills, love problems, and isn’t immediately comfortable with co-workers. I love that we finally get a 25 year old in anime who doesn’t have it all put together. Life isn’t solved at High School graduation, no matter what anime implies. In fact, one of my favorite moments was when two more senior females employees, Gori and Washimi, the goddesses of the company, decide to take Aggrestsuko under their wing a little. For no real reason. They just wanted to get to know her. As someone who’s been fortunate enough to experience the same thing, I loved that they helped get Aggrestsuko out of her shell a little. Every character in this has more layers to their personalities than you first think. Which makes total sense. Despite spending all day with them, do you know what your coworkers are actually like at home? And would your coworkers be surprise that your reading a review about a cartoon made in Japan about animals working in an office? Plus, seeing this cute little red panda go into metal mode was always a delight.  (If you want more, there’s apparently a lot of shorts online)

Cons: No enough metal.

Watch it: YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES (4/5)

MVP: Shin Aggrestuko

Some people have anime, some people have Screamo. We all need a release.

Best Episode: Ep.7 “The Duel”  (Maybe there’s hopes for chauvinists pigs. Then again, maybe not…)

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High School DxD Hero

Type: This show is stupid

Synopsis: I loved ever minute of it!

Pros: Just by looking at it, you should know what to expect from High School DxD Hero. It’s a comedy-action show about a pervy high school boy how became a thrall for the buxom student body president whose also a high class demon. Being the fourth season, a lot of things have changed from episode 1. Issei, our protagonist, has gone from an unknown servant to a famous warrior. He’s also now treated as one of the most eligible bachelors in the underground. All the main female characters have gone through their individual arcs, and are in total love with Issei. This is so pronounced, that most of the characters will immediately enter a room and strip in front of Issei. That’s right! The pretenses are over. It’s basically naked boob town every episode. Now, normally, I would decry a show leaning mostly on fan service as lazy at best, and misogamist at worst. But High School DxD has always been very honest about what it is. It’s a fan service show where the protagonist gets powered up by grabbing breasts. That there’s a certain…nobility in it’s honesty. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Cons: That being said, this show is one big a lazy boob joke. Now that all the characters arc have ended with the girls falling in love with Issei, I feel that the fan service has gotten a bit lazy. Akeno isn’t quite the tease anymore. Koneko isn’t as annoyed anymore. Asia isn’t as shy anymore. As one character said, “you see their boob’s every night Issei! Why are you still trying to sneak a peak?”  I mean, real talk, there was a scene were these girls found Issei in a room, started a conversation, stripped naked, and then continued their conversation. It’s pretty much soft core hentai at this point. In addition, besides Issei, no other character gets any character development. The cast is now mostly there for fan service. Story wise, we get two arcs: The Kyoto Arc and the Rating Game Arc. The Kyoto Arc was pretty good, as we got to see Issei in a leadership role, which really reminded you of his growth as a characters. The Rating Game Arc was less interesting, as it was mostly a tournament arc with no real stakes. Issei did get a powerup, but mostly out of pride than anything. However, this arc does get points for developing Issei and Rias’s relationship. (p.s. The animation style changed, but I don’t mind!)

Watch it?: Even though a lot of fun characters didn’t get to do anything, it’s still a fun watch for the English translation alone (3/5)

MVP: Issei

Boobielingual. Yeah. That’s a major plot device this season.

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “A Girl’s Heart is Complicated” (the turning point for the season)

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In Another World With My Smartphone

Type: Wait, this was made in 2017?!

Synopsis: Jeez, really? Hold up, let me double check…I’ll be damned,  released 2017. I mean, OK? That’s fine I guess. A harem show revolving around a guy trapped in a fantasy world. That’s…man, that’s incredibly lazy.

Pros: This is show is about a Japanese boy who goes into a fantasy world, forms a harem of pretty girls, and gets celebrated for being the biggest and the strongest. Now, this isn’t Sword Art Online or Konosuba, because this protagonist has a cellphone! Hooooorayyyy!!!! Sigh. OK, in actuality, the show kinda a mix of the aforementioned shows. Our hero, Touya, accidentally dies. God, being a straight up kind of dude, reincarnates him into a fantasy world where his cellphone still has access to the internet and never has to recharge. Touya adapts to his new world pretty easily, especially considering all the psychological trauma associated with death, leaving everyone you ever knew behind, discovering that God not only exists, but is neglectful of his people, and that multiverse theory is real. (P.S. On an actual positive, I did like Touya’s use of his cellphone and internet as a resource, and the gag of using the spell “slip” to win every important battle).

Cons: Generic. Generic. Generic. But aside from that, nothing much. It’s a harem show. It’s a Isekai show. If you don’t like either, you won’t like this. It’s the kind of cookie cutter show that belongs in the discount bin at Walmart. That being said, its also a great show for stress. Like, if you just came off an emotional high from a better show, or your anxiety levels are rising due to life, then this show is a great remedy. It’s predictable, the protagonist win with no real effort, and there’s no drama for miles. It’s a shot of vanilla when you need it. And aside from the typical fan service, this show seemed like the kind you would find on TV back in the 2000’s. Which is all the more surprising to discover that this was made in 2017. The cheap animation, the uninspired story, the mary sue protagonist. I’ll tell you this though, the show won’t insult your intelligence as much if you frame all of Touya’s accomplishments as God’s way to making up for his death. Like, what better way to make a teenage boy happy than by giving him a gaggle of adventurer girls that all love him, making him the strongest warrior/magician in the world, and have kings and gods view him with awe. Either that, or get him a new phone.

Watch it: A sedative, but in a good way (3/5)

MVP: Leen

For being the only girl to point out that Touya didn’t technically earn any of his abilities or talents. They were a pity gift.

Best Episode: Ep.5 “Slime Castle, and New Functions” (a running gag that’s paid off)

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Ai Tenchi Muyo!

Type: Sponsored by the city of Takahashi, Okayama

Synopsis: Come visit beautiful Takahashi, Okayama, home to the beautiful Bitchū Matsuyama Castle. Be sure to also visit Raikyū-ji, a Buddhist temple with a historic garden. That’s all I could find on the Wikipedia for Takahashi!

Pros: This anime is also based loosely on the Momotaro, or Peach Boy, legend, and serves as a 20th Anniversary special for the Tenchi Muyo! series. We’ll get to how well the show represents the franchise later. Since Tenchi Muyo! holds a special place in my heart, this entry has been on my list for a while. As luck would have it, it’s got an English dub with all the original actors (except for Ayeka). So for a long time fan like myself, the best part was hearing Petrea Burchard play my girl Ryoko one more time. And the story really is the strongest when the original Tenchi Muyo! cast take part it it. The core characters get updated looks, which are pretty good (though Ryoko and Washi apparently grew a few cup sizes during the franchise break). And while the show says it has 50 new episodes, there’s about 8 minutes each with credits. So it’s really more like 10 regular episodes.

Cons: First of all, the show did a poor job of detailing Takahashi, Okayama natural splendor and charming locals. If I was the city council, I’d ask for my money back. Because all I know about Takahashi right now it that it has all girl’s high school that is severely understaffed, may have buried treasure, and suffers from dimensional breaks. It makes be reconsider my planned stay at one of their numerous and affordable 5-star hotels (free wifi included upon request). As for the show itself, the length of the show makes watching it inconvenient. While the episodes divided up, the story lines aren’t. So 3-4 episodes are really just one big story cut up to bloat the episode count. The plot isn’t all that special: Tenchi becomes a student teacher at an all girl’s school, and sexy misunderstandings happen. Being anime, the teenage girls naturally all hit on their new teacher, making feel all types of uncomfortable. To it’s credit, the show does try to utilize it’s short episodes by mixing in two parallel stories every 3-4 episodes. One parallel story follows Tenchi escorting a young girl in the past, while another shows Tenchi’s home life with the original girls. These serve as nice breaks between stories, though they do make you wonder they can’t be the main plots. Teenage anime boobs is probably the answer, I guess. Things do ramp up towards the end, with all the story elements coming together rather nicely. Except for why the Feudal Japan girls look exactly like the student council. Speaking of which, how are the new female characters? Ai Tenchi Muyo! basically adds a new harem for Tenchi to interact with. And it falls into the typical harem overcrowding problem because of this. Five characters in a harem is fine, moreso is hard to follow. But let’s review anyway: Rui and Yuki are nice comedic foils, Tori is pointless, kinda the same with Hana, Hachiko is fine, Beni is a good stoic addition, and Momo is…Momo. Yeah, Momo’s good girl “let’s all be friends” gimmick was not fun, and doesn’t really mesh well with Tenchi Muyo’s humor. Even Sasami has a playfull side. Plus, Momo’s speech defending the love between a teacher and student was weird. Ultimately, I just don’t know who this anime is for. If it’s for long time fans, then why focus on a new cast. And if it’s for new people, why use Tenchi, Ryoko, or the others in the first place? And easy fix would probably be using a new main lead, like GXP and Geminar did, but it’s a little late for could ofs.

Watch it: Skippable, but maybe hunt for the Ryoko scenes (3/5).

MVP: Ryoko

Because she’s always MVP

Best Episode: The Tenchi at Home episodes (a little too dispursed to track down the episode numbers).

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Akiba’s Trip: The Animation

Type: Gonzo’s 25th Anniversary special!

Synopsis: Akihabara, the city of Otoku dreams! Well, really its a small area in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo that mainly sells electronic goods. But really really, its a place where Japanese nerds can hang out. Which is cool, until bugged out aliens try to ruin it by introducing things like employment and girlfriends. Screw that! I got figurines to buy!!

Pros: Here’s a fun fact. Apperantly, Akiba’s Trip was one of the first anime that Funimation tried to silmudub with the Japanese release. When you think about it, it’s not that surprising. The anime is a fairly straightforward comedy show. While it is based on a video game, the show’s main focus is showcasing the various hobbies that Otoku tend to obsess over. Things like guns, idols, fighting games, card games, and even audio equipment for some reason. A lot of the episodes are really just fun stand alone stories where our male protagonist Tomatsu falls deep into a different Otoku hole while his friends sorta watch (his life’s dream is to live off “unearned income). What ties all the stories together is the sub plot where our heroes, dubbed “Electric Mayonnaise” have to protect Akiba by stripping their enemies of clothing (the actual goal of the original game). So you get some nerd lessons and some fan service, what’s not to love!

Cons: This anime was released in 2017, but it feels a lot older. We haven’t really seen this level of silly story telling in a while. At least, not one set outside of a high school. The show could even be described as cartoonish at times. Shades of Excel Saga even, though nowhere near as irreverent. Not that I’m complaining. I loved the humor, right down to watching an entire episode revolve around getting good at Street Fighter. Knowing that this anime was meant to celebrate Gonzo’s 25th anniversary, you can really understand why so many Otoku references and Easter eggs are crammed in here. I’m guessing it’s the studio’s way of thanking the very fan base that allowed them to survive all this time. I mean, the last episode is basically a commercial for why Akiba and Otoku are so great. Not that the show is perfect mind you. The enemies are all forgettable, and Matome largely becomes a side character after her introduction, despite being the female lead. But overall, it’s a fun show that you can watch or put on as background music.

Watch it?: Honestly, it’s a lot of fun (4/5)

MVP: Tomatsu

HQIZgxT

For some reason, I really resonated with this character…

Best Episode: Ep.9 “Whoa, I battled with Game Cards!” (all the episodes are great, but as a old fan of Yugioh, this one hit home)

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