Tag Archives: club

Student Council’s Discretion Lv.2

Type: Student Council Anime Lv. 2 (really)

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Synopsis: There’s this school that decides on who will rule their student body based on popularity. So naturally everyone in student government is a pretty girl. One seat is open to the person with the highest grades, allowing a pervy dude a seat at the table. Last season, it was revealed that the pervy dude secretly does all the council’s work to allow the girls to goof off. This was done to repay them for helping him out of his depression during his freshman year. Now, all the girls all leaving him, but he has 10 more episodes to help them contribute absolutely nothing to the student body.

Pros: Fun fact, this season actually premiered in 2012, the first year of this very review site. But since it was coming out weekly during that time, I decided to hold off watching it until it was finished. Ah…better late than never? The anime is 10 episodes ( well, it’s really 9 episodes and 1 prequel). The plot is that the student council, or at least all the female members, are leaving. Two are graduating, and two are moving. This puts the protagonist Ken in an awkward position. As revealed in season 1, the only reason he joined the student council was to make sure the girls had fun. His whole “harem master” character is just an act based on the only archetype in fiction who supposedly makes all the girls around him happy (it’s later revealed that he’s actually quite popular in school). It’s dumb, but endearing, and put a lot of his actions in a different perspective. The show itself is still funny, full of parody and references. The emotional arc is the impending student council separation, but it’s never overdone. Each of the girls get a private moment with Ken to tie up loose ends. We even learn about the people involved in Ken’s “cheating” scandal during middle school, which kinda makes you question what exactly was meant by “cheating.” Overall, a good send off for a show that’s a lot more clever than you’d think.

Cons: The show has the classic harem problem of too many girls, too little time. The show has the 4 main female protagonists, but it also has a bunch of supporting characters that take up a lot of time. I may have thought that Ken’s moments with the student council was short and sweet, but other may view it as throwaway and anticlimactic. Speaking of Ken, we get to meet his former love interests, his step-sister Ringo and childhood friend Asuka. They were the girls that Ken “two-timed,” but they describe it so vaguely that I would have liked a proper flashback to their relationship. I know he feels that he broke their hearts, but it’s two years later and they seem pretty happy about it. And finally, I kinda would have liked to see whose going to replace the student council and keep Ken company. But I guess that’s a whole other story.

Watch it?: Yes. It’s so fun watching people waste time (4/5)

MVP: Ken Sugisaki

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It’s all a scam! He’s not that pervy!

Best Episode: Ep.3 “The student council gets a job” (world president!?)

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Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

Type: It needs a shorter name

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Synopsis: Fighting evil by moonlight! Winning love by daylight! Never running from a real fight! They are the ones called Sailor…wait, wait, that’s not right. First off all, the Cute High Earth Defense Club, or “Battle Lovers” for short, never fight at night. They do do a lot of winning with love. As for never running from a real fight, well, that’s technically true, but does fighting a noodle-man count are real fighting? And one of the central stories involves someone turning their back on a friends, and “defense” is in their name, but I wouldn’t consider them really dependable.

Pros: So as you can tell, Cute High Earth Defense Club is a magical boy anime. Its about 5 high school boys living in this possibly post-apocalyptic world where no women exist. Like, at all. They’re chosen by this space wombat to protect world with the power of love. The show is full with a lot of cute boys of every preference, from the lovable blonde to the guy with luxurious pink hair. The homoerotic undertones are yours for the taking. It’s a comedy, and the boys do in fact comment on the weird turn their lives have made, as well as keep the dead body of their faculty adviser around. The show follows a monster of the week format, which is defeated the exact same way every time.

Cons: The show is formulaic, not particularly exciting, and the overarching plot isn’t that original. Good sailor boys vs bad sailor boys. My real gripe with the show is with the Battle Lover uniforms. I’m not really sure what they’re suppose to be. Their this puffy, short short get-up with ribbons. They look downright silly. Their rivals, the conquest club, had a much better uniform that looked military style. This was probably a reference to Sailor Moon or something, but it didn’t really land for me. This may sound kinda weird for an obviously female-driven audience, but I hope they butch up the uniforms a little for season 2. (Why not make them dress up in tuxedos?)

Watch it?: A solid parody show (3/5)

MVP: Akoya Gero

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Look at this guys hair…just look at it…

Best Episode: Ep.11 “The Trial Called Love” (the fated battle!)

 

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Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Type: I Am Afraid of All Ghosts

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Synopsis: Japan once gain prove they have the best ghost stories. No only are their ghosts smokin’ hot babes, but they can also change clothing, touch you, and mess with your friends. Sure, this particular spirit, Yuko Kanoe, may or may not have a dark past that keep her eternal soul trapped on the mortal plain. But she’s really positive about it and starts dating a freshmen, so it’s cool.

Pros: First, amazing animation. Simply stunning. It was produced by Silver Link studios, who seems to have been inspired by Shaft studio’s work on Monogatari and Sayonara, Zatsuno SenseiQuick paced, creative, and in-synch with the story. Again, amazing. It had one of the strongest first episode I’ve ever seen, which basically depicts the same scene from two different perspectives. And was it just me, of did Kirie starts posing more as the series went on?. The humor was top notch. Despite appearances, it’s really wacky at times. My particular favorite joke was Yuko’s embarrassment over her skeleton, stating its “as naked as she could get.” But it can also get really dramatic. Towards the end, Teiichi and Yuko’s relationship really drew me in, touching on a wide range of emotions. An absolutely stellar anime.

Cons: It’s an intimate story, meaning that it only concerns about 4 people. All the other characters are just blank figures, which is fine. Although, given the first episode, I would have liked more scenes showing Teiichi talking himself, or being fed by floating chop sticks. I also feel that Yuko’s backstory is a bit convoluted, and would have worked better with a more personal motivation. Finally, and this may be nit picky, but the tears used for when Teiichi cried looked off. A bit too thick for my taste.

Watch it!?: This show did everything it needed to do and more in 12 episodes, a rare feat. (5/5)

MVP: Momoe Okonogi

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A part of me kinda wants , a redo of the show, but from her perspective.

Best Episode: Ep.1 “Ghost Maiden” (A great harbinger of things to come)

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Love, Election & Chocolate

Type: Poli Sci, The Anime

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Synopsis: Somewhere in anime land, theirs this school where its student body takes a very hard core stance towards their extra curricular activities. So what starts off as a students attempt to save the Food Research Club by running for school president turns into freakin’ Chinatown, with politically motivated assaults and honest to goodness labor bashing. Again, these are high school kids doing this. I can’t even name my city’s major, much less my high school student body president, but these legally recognized children are willing to kill for the position. Rich people are crazy.

Pros: At times, this is a good comedy, at other times this is a good drama. Not every show can juggle both genres that well, but this one did. I’d rank the humor right up there with shows like Student Council’s Discretion and other student club based shows. The cast had a good dynamic and funny gags, my favorite being Oboro’s shameless remarks towards Yuki. On the drama side, this show hits that particular soap opera character groove that really shines in anime. The plots involving Hazuki-Sensei’s backstory,  Ojima’s plight as a financial aid student, and Chisato’s relationship with Yuki were personal standouts. The show really shined in terms of characters, who were able to range from serious to goofy with ease.

Cons: This is a pet peeve of mine, but any anime that takes a mundane subject way too seriously without a hint of self-awareness gets on my bad side. It happened once with tennis, then discount store food, and now with student clubs. The characters in this show are in fucking high school, they should not be taking things like student government so seriously. There were at least three death threats related to the election. On a more objective note, the opening scene sets up a mystery that distracts from the rest of the show and doesn’t really come up until late in the series. The humor can sometimes be a little flat. And despite my personal biases, the election plot is largely unimportant compared to the other side stories. It acts largely as a framing device. In fact, you could effectively skip most of the election scenes and still find the show very entertaining, maybe even more so.

Watch it?: It may have bugged the hell out of me, but I can’t deny it’s quality (4/5)

MVP: Oboro Yumeshima

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Undescribable

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Disbanding the Club” (The PTA is disbanding!)

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Special A

Type: Not to be confused with Abnormal B or Strange C

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Synopsis: Hikari Hanazono is the 2nd Best in the World in the PHA, which I assume stands for the Pacific Headlock-Wrestling Association. Her only real competition is Kei “Nature Boy” Takishima, whom she has never beaten in a big match situation. She had thus become obsessed with gaining what I again assume is a pin-fall or submission victory over him. Before we get to that, however, we have to contend with the other top 5 contenders, or “Special A,” consisting of Psycho Jun, Miss Megumi, Tornado Tadashi, Akira “The Snake” Toudou, and Sin Ryu.

Pros: This show has some pretty solid gags. I especially liked Hikari’s reactions whenever she loses to Takishima and Takishima’s own jealousy/annoyance towards Hikari’s denseness. I’d say the show is at it’s best when it’s trying to be funny with each of the character’s unique foibles. I could have done with way more “Inner Jun” stories. I also liked the pairings that each character eventually get into, and wish they had been introduced way earlier in the series. The comedic potential of these people trying to figure out how to date each other is staggering. In fact, any anime about two people trying to figure out the mechanics of dating sounds enticing.

Cons: Nothing this show does will surprise you. It’s fairly generic and in-line with most romantic high school comedies targeted at girls. Some of the boys are even prettier than the girls. You can gloss over most of the anime without missing much. The show doesn’t distribute it’s attention evenly, putting a disproportionate amount of time on Akira. Just because she’s the only other girl that can talk is not an excuse. I had a bit of a hard time sympathizing with the “Special A” rich people classroom, though to the show’s credit, it does address this fact in the very first episode. As I said above, I would much rather watch a show about 7 weirdo’s love lives rather than a show about rich people having tea in a green house.

Watch it?: If you’ve never watched a High School Love-Comedy aimed at Girls, this is a good place to start. (3/5)

MVP: Hikari Hanazono

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Hakari-Mania is Running Wild!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Boyfriend-Girlfriend” and Ep. 19 “Singing Voice-Bad Guy” (It should have been just this)

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Medaka Box

Type: Miss Superman Student President

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Synopsis: Supergirl Medaka Kurokami assembles a group of highly skilled individuals, a league you might say, to help others in times of need. This society is made up first by Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, a man with no special abilities but a keen mind. Second is Kouki Akune, the beautiful but deadly secretary. And Third is Mogana Kikaijima, who can swim really, really good. They make up the Justice….I mean the Student Council.

Pros: To be honest, it took a while to warm up to this show. It starts off as your regular love comedy, then morphs into a club show, and ends as an action series. Things don’t really hit their stride until episode 7, when the entire student council has been assembles. The show is at it’s strongest when it’s entire cast are able to play off each other. Luckily, the show employs half segments, so no episode felt dragged out. I really liked what I saw at the end with the Disciplinary Committee, as the show did a really good job at raising the stakes and making everything seem dramatic. I’m looking forward to the second season.

Cons: As I stated above, the show has a lukewarm start. About 2/3rds of the episodes are spend assembling the student council and exploring there backstory. Everything up to episode 8 is essentially this, or members of the student council helping out other students. I would have actually been o.k. with the entire series being a “case of the week” type of show, I just wish that the entire cast had been introduced earlier. The show transforms into an action program towards the end, which I liked, but it did feel out of place compared to the comedic tone of the previous episodes. My biggest problem was actually with the protagonist Medaka. She was like Superman, but not as endearing. Too strong, too smart, and gave off an aura of condescension. She straight up goes super saiyan at one point. Plus, her boobs were huge! Like defying gravity huge!

Watch it!?: Sure, but feel free to fast forward early on. (3/5)

MVP: Medaka Kurokami, War God Mode

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Her power level is over 9000!

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “This Is The End!!” (this is how Man of Steel Should have Ended)

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Excel Saga

Type: Quirky Experimental Anime

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Synopsis: For the low, low price of 26 episodes, you get the “Misadventures of Excel,” “Municipal Force Daitenzin,” and “The Pedro Saga.” Act now and you’ll also receive “Menchi, A Dog’s Struggle.”

Pros: Excel Saga is 26 episodes of cartoony anime goodness. Every episode is a goofy spoof on a different genre, from sport anime to Power Rangers. The series itself is split into three different groups of character that mildly intersect with one another, despite half of them living in the same apartment building. Each have their own charms and are fun to watch for different reasons. My personal favorite was the Pedro Saga, because it made the least amount of sense. The whole show is just a good ‘ol fashion pure comedy anime.

Cons: The biggest negative was the animation style. Being aired in 2000, the show was still stuck in that pre-high definition art  style that made the show look generic. It also may be too cartoony for some people. Any show that makes you utter the phrase “what is going on?” runs the risk of losing some people. Even I found myself skipping a few episodes without much hesitation. On a personal note, I hated any episode that focused on the dog. For some reason, I just drew the line at dog comedy.

Watch it?: If your in the mood for an honest laugh, this is the show for you (3/5)

MVP: Excel

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Unnecessarily Enthusiastic

Best Episode: Ep. 20 “The Best of Pedro” (I wish they had done a few more recap shows)

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Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple

Type: Kung-Fu Fighting

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Synopsis: Shirahama Kenichi is a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooser. But he wants to be better. He wants to be the champion of the oppressed, the lone vigil in the night. Oh, who am I kidding! All he wants to do is get into some girl’s weird purple spandex pants. And with the help of 5 martial arts masters, he might just do that.

Pros: The greatest thing about Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple is it’s simple foundation. Kenichi is a young man with no fighting talent whatsoever, but through sheer hard work, he manages to become a great warrior. The best thing is, Kenichi doesn’t go out trying to be the best. His only real motivation is trying to become strong enough to protect the Dojo’s daughter, his only real friend. But the whole situation get out of hand, and he’s sorta forced into continually improving himself.  The whole idea of having to slowly work his way up the ranks of the town’s local gang leaders, who all somehow know Martial Arts, is great. It also has a fun cast of characters, and each of Kenichi’s Masters are very entertaining personalities.

Cons: My main gripe with Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple is it’s animation style. Don’t get me wrong, their are no glaring animation problems, nor is the animation itself of poor quality. But it just doesn’t match the tone of the source material. The animation style doesn’t do a proper job of making the fighting exciting. The fight scenes look way too generic, which is the one thing in an action show that should not look average. The rest of the show is honestly pretty hit or miss. It has pretty great character moments between the cast, but the conflict in the show isn’t exactly Sheakespere, its a great idea, but a mild execution.

Watch it?: Yeah. It’s a pretty fun Martial Arts anime. (4/5)

MVP: Shirahama Kenchi

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From Zero to Hero

Best Episode: Ep.49 “The Mightiest Transformation! The Ryōzanpaku Rhythm!” (Imitation is the heart of Martial Arts)

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Persona 4: The Animation

Type: JRPG, The Animation

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Synopsis: This is an anime about a video game about TV mysteries. Yu Narukami has to live with his “sister’s younger brother” for some reason. Then he learns that their’s this weird Midnight Channel that only shows up during rainy days, and whoever’s on it dies the a few day later. He also discovers that he can go inside the TV. So he does what any new kid living in a strange town with magic TV murders does, he forms his own gang, talking bear and all, and goes around town solving mysteries.

Pros: This was a very good show, which was surprising given that it was based on a video game. Nothing against Persona, but fiction based on games usually don’t translate well. The plot and characters where all engaging despite having a cast of eight main characters and six supporting characters. The main characters has a real Scooby Squad feel to them. Even the filler episodes where just as fun, and perhaps more entertaining, than the main story. The animation was fantastic, with each entry into the TV shadow world feeling surreal but strangely familiar. An dark, inverted version of our own world. The show does a really good job balancing a myriad of elements in a 25 episode time span.

Cons: The biggest problem with this show is that it’s main story is repetitive. The main story has to do with solving the town’s sudden rash of mysterious murders. So what happens is, a character is introduced, they show up on the Midnight Channel, the gang goes into the channel, they fight the victim’s shadow self, he/she comes to terms with their inner demons, and the gang gains a member. This happens eight times, in practically the same way. Luckily, their are fillers in between that let you get to know the new member on a personal basis. The last episode also pulls the “secret boss” thing that a lot of JRPG’s have, and the whole thing becomes way too philosophical. But in it’s defense, the big reveal before that was well done and a bit surprising.

Watch it?: Yes, this is the best property based on a video game I’ve ever come across. (5/5)

MVP: Yu Narukami

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His timing. Priceless.

Best Episode: Ep.15 “The Long-Awaited School Trip” (I love drunks)

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Ichigo 100%

Type: Strawberry Panties

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Synopsis: One day, a kid named Manaka Junpei goes to the school roof for a peaceful time, but suddenly gets flashed by some pretty girl’s panties. Feeling a mixture of violation and fascination, Junpei seeks the mysterious girl out. Along the way, he picks up a blonde girlfriend by the pull-up bars. Then he discovers that strawberry panties is actually the local wallflower. Then she gets hot. So Junpei has to balance these two, along with two other girls that can’t seem to get enough of him. We’ve all been there, right?

Pros: I’ll give the show this, it has a surprisingly brisk pace. The plot progresses farther than you would expect a harem-esque show to. It starts with Junpei in middle school, and ends in his second year in high school. We see him get and lose his first girlfriend. The identity of the mystery girl in the first episode is revealed in the second. The tsundere character falls for Junpei in the span of one episode. Most other shows would draw this out for at least two seasons, maybe more. It was also refreshing to see a protagonist who knew he liked all the girls in his life, instead of just acting oblivious to it. So kudos Ichigo 100% for actually making things happen in your show. Kudos.

Cons: Every character in this show is way too sensitive. All the girls are like a second away from bursting into tears. So as you can imagine, it gets a bit overly melodramatic at times. The animation seemed inconsistent at times, and you could really notice the moments where it dips in quality. On a personal note, and I don’t know why, but at times I felt that the plot was seconds away from something incredibly tragic happening. Maybe that was just me.

Watch it?: Excellent for a High School soap opera fix (with some humor too) (3/5)

MVP: Satsuki Kitaoji

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Cute face. Big boobs. Actual personality. Will she ever get a date?

Best Episode: Ep.4  “Troublesome High School Life / The Wrong Heart and Mind” (hope that camera wasn’t expensive)

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