Anime: Winter 2017, Weeks 1-3

We need more sociopaths!

Evil little girls make interesting characters.

Hello, Lusi-nerds! It is finally time, the first in a (hopefully) long series of anime posts has arrived. To briefly touch on the format, These posts will cover the week in a few select anime from the season, from the previous Friday to the most recent Thursday. A brief synopsis and review of the episodes that aired that week can be found here-in. As a special treat/torture, and because the season had already started at the time of this post, this first entry will cover three weeks. As such, expect this post to be a bit longer than the posts will tend to be in the future. Enough of that nonsense, no one is reading this for boring details about the process! Let the nit-picking and selected praises begin.

Or maybe he has inside information?

Jean displaying a high attention to detail.

ACCA 13 Territory Inspection Dept.

ACCA comes from the animation studio Madhouse. In the kingdom of Dowa, in which this series takes place, there are 13 states. Each state has several agencies under the control of a large organization known as ACCA. This episode begins with the 99th birthday of the currently reigning monarch, and the disbanding of the Inspection Agency, whose job it is to basically travel to all 13 states and investigate any unrest in the kingdom, and keep track of all of the branches of ACCA and what they are doing. Considering the kingdom has been prospering greatly, it feels to those in charge that an inspection agency is an archaic and outdated organisation, and a drain on taxpayer money. The story of the episode follows the second-in-command of the Inspection Agency, Jean Otus, Also known as “Jean the Cigarette Peddler” (a name that surely sounds much more intimidating in its original Japanese) as he inspects his own branch, and shows that he is not above finding corruption even in his own subordinates, even while his branch is under threat of termination. Also introduced are the other members of his agency, and a group of individuals known as the Five Chief Officers. The episode does a fair job of showcasing Jean’s ability to sniff out problems, as well as his keen awareness of his surroundings. Another character shown is a rookie officer who seems to hold some sort of grudge against Jean, and is constantly finding himself in his company, is if he is tailing him. In all, the episode was good, ending with a definite desire to know more of the characters, as well as setting up a good premise for the rest of the show by keeping the branch open and having Jean perform surprise audits on all 13 districts.

The second episode opens with a more in depth description of the formation of the ACCA 13 and what it is exactly that they do. Jean continues his audits as an arson runs rampant throughout the districts. Meanwhile, the officer who has some sort of grudge with Jean tries to find a way to frame him for the arson. At the same time that Jean is conducting his audits, the director of ACCA 13 -a woman named Mauve- is also auditing the districts on her own. Could there be some sort of coup d’etat in the works despite the appearance of peace in every district? The Five officers seem to think so, and seem to think that Jean is responsible. The animation is in the typical Madhouse style with focus on environments and food taking priority, though as always their characters do look quite nice. For a fan of detective stories with a good level of drama, ACCA 13 feels like it will have much to offer.

Deus Vult!

Tanya protecting the Fatherland

Youjo Senki; or, Saga of Tanya the Evil

The next anime in the lineup is from the studio NUT. Youjo Senki asks a very important question that has surely crossed the mind of many historians over the ages. How would The Great War have ended if the Germans had access to loli magicians? The first episode follows a small squadron tasked with delaying the forces attacking the fatherland, who are surrounded on all sides by countries that, for some reason, seem to detest them. The leader of the 205th is a ruthless, powerful… little girl. Her name, as one might suspect, is Tanya Degurechaff. The anime shows some interesting technology, as the mages have the ability to fly using strange gadgets attached to their legs. Throughout the episode, Tanya is shown to be incredibly powerful, but the end of first episode gives some major insight into her character, as it is revealed that many see her as a monster.

All she wants is an easy life...

Tanya the hero post-battle.

The second episode jumps from the year 1924 to the year 2013, from Germany to Tokyo, where a brief meeting with a sociopath businessman is cut short as a man that he fired pushes him in front of a moving train. Fortunately, in the moments before his death, time is stopped by a being claiming to be God, speaking to him in the voices of various people in the train station. The man lectures God, telling him that his model for faith is broken because only the weak and those in dire straits would cling to the idea of a God. Upon hearing this, God tells him that he will not be reincarnated, but then decides that, since the man feels faith is born from desperation, he will in fact be reincarnated to a much darker, and more desperate time. The man is then told that if he dies again, there will be no second reincarnation. Following this, Tanya is born into the world. Still possessing the mental faculties of a modern salary-man, “Tanya” is raised in a orphanage, but shows signs very early of being a powerful mage. She decides to use this to her advantage, volunteering for military officer training in hopes of being stationed somewhere safe to live comfortably for the remainder of this life. Things do not go exactly as planned, as her base of operations comes under attack, and in an act of desperation, Tanya accidentally becomes a war hero and gets promoted. Right away it must be said that this is one of the better concepts for a show in recent memory. A sociopath businessman annoys god so much that she is reincarnated as a loli mage during the great war is definitely an original concept. Studio NUT is a relatively new animation studio, formed by a co-ex founder of the studio Madhouse, and it definitely shows in the art style. The character designs are a little odd, but the action is absolutely stunning. So far this one is highly recommended.

Masamune-kun’s Revenge

The third anime being examined is from animation studio Silver Link. Despite what the name might suggest, this anime has nothing to do with legendary sword smiths. The story follows a young man, Makabe Masamune, who recently transferred to a new school. In the first moments of the first episode, we are also introduced to the “Cruel princess” Adagaki Aki, a high school girl who has a reputation for destroying men in their school, and see her in the act of doing so to one who confessed to her. Makabe is a boy that used to be quite robust, and once as a young child also confessed his feelings to Aki, but she rejected him and gave him a cruel nickname as well, leading him to believe that only “hot guys” can succeed in life. With this mindset, he moved away and slimmed down with the plan to get his revenge by making Aki fall for him and then cruelly rejecting her in a similar fashion.

Compared to the others, he got off easy.

The Cruel Princess, doing what she does best.

In the second episode, Makabe finds out that somebody recognizes him from his childhood despite his appearance change and a different last name (he was adopted by his grandfather who apparently had a different name). At first it appears as if his plans are ruined, but then the person reveals that they want to help him with his revenge. The main focus of the episode beyond that are Makabe overcoming his fear of asking a girl for her email address. Finally, he works up the courage and asks Aki for her email, only to be rejected in a rather amusing fashion.

The third episode opens with the revelation that if anyone in their class fails exams they will all have one month of supplementary lessons, oh no! As it happens, both Makabe and Aki have dumb friends that they must help study. Makabe makes a wager, if his idiot scores better, Aki must go on a date with him. If her idiot does better, however, she will give him a cruel nickname that he must wear on his back til he graduates, as well as buy her lunch every day until she is satisfied. It is worth noting that Aki appears to have a bottomless stomach, and so this is a monumental amount of food he would have to buy. The characters so far have enough depth to be interesting, though the concept seems like it may end up being predictable. As of right now though, there are enough laughs to keep me interested. I am unfamiliar with Silver Link as a studio, but the animation quality was pretty decent.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

The fourth anime this season is from the famous studio Kyoto Animation (KyoAni). The first episode opens with our main character, Kobayashi, rather suddenly greeted by a dragon at her front door. The dragon shortly takes the form of a well endowed maid. The dragon, named Tohru, informs Kobayashi that the two met the night before in the mountains, and that she had told the dragon that she would employ her as a maid. Slowly, Kobayashi remembers her drunken journey into the mountains and the conversation, and though reluctant at first, eventually hires her (because she needs a ride to work). The bulk of the episode is spent teaching Tohru the ins-and-outs of being a proper maid, while she does her best not to eat people.

Who would not want a dragon bride?

Tohru confessing her feelings.

In the second episode, Tohru and Kobayashi go shopping together. A friend of Tohru’s, Kanna Kamui, shows up to try and bring Tohru home. Tohru teaches Kanna about living in the real world, and a bit more of the dragon’s true power is showcased. To start, not much is expected from a series like this. Despite it being from KyoAni, all that is expected to see is ecchi and dumb jokes. There was surprisingly little of either, and the characters seem enjoyable enough so far. Hopefully the show continues to surprise as it draws on.

Akiba’s Trip: the Animation

The final anime this season I do not view by choice. Lusipurr himself included this in the selections, because he was told there were vampires. In fact, there are not any vampires at all! Based on the video game of the same name, Akiba’s Trip comes from Gonzo, normally a very good studio. Set in the Famous Akihabara shopping district in japan, this story focuses on Mabu-Neet, a prince sent by the Space God Goldiva from Tekan Riser, the Eleventh World, or Denkigai Tamotsu as he is actually known when not trying to scare off pushy salespeople, his little sister Niwaka and a mysterious pink-haired girl. In the first moments, the main characters dump a huge pile of exposition about the creatures that the kids know as Bugged Ones, dark spirits that infect a person and give them super strength, as well as the desire to infect and pass on being a Bugged one to others. In his quest for organ-based sentai figurines, Tamotsu meets a strange blonde girl with superhuman strength and once again bumps into the pink haired girl, who appears to be hunting the Bugged ones. The only way to defeat the creatures seems to be to rip off their clothing, as their bodies are extremely sensitive to the air. After saving the pink haired girl and sacrificing himself, Tamotsu is gifted with the power that makes his hair glow and gives him clothes-removal martial arts, for some reason. He takes this momentous revelation surprisingly well, and sets off on an adventure to defeat clothes.

the power of nudity, I guess.

A Hazoku being “defeated”.

The second episode explains that Bugged ones that have the power to inhabit humans and pass the ‘virus’ onto others are known as Hazoku, and that the pink-hair, whose name is Matome Mayonaka, is one of them. Some Hazoku want to co-exist peacefully with humans, like Matome, but others want to overthrow humanity. After becoming a Hazoku, Tamotsu is trapped in Akihabara and must help to defeat the evil Bugged ones.The rest of the episode is mostly centered around the formation of their vigilante squad and Tamotsu trying to find a job. It is also revealed that, while lesser Bugged Ones revert back to humans when disrobed, the high tier ones like Tamotsu will evaporate and die if they lose their clothing. The third episode has Tamotsu become an idol fan, and develop an addiction to high quality sound equipment, which once again forces him to look for work. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast are approached by an idol agency several minutes of pointless fan service follows. After this persists for far too long, it is revealed that the talent agents are actually Bugged Ones, to nobody’s surprise. Gonzo has put out some pretty great content, this does not feel like one of their best works. There is some humor, but it is far out-shadowed by the time wasted on copious amounts of fan service. This will be a tough one to make it to the end, but as Lusipurr said, “we can’t have you enjoying them all.”

With that, the end of this overly bloated post has finally come! Hopefully there was something to enjoy for everyone, and I look forward to writing several of these in the future. I imagine it will become much less of a process when it is only one episode of a series at a time, rather than 3 weeks worth. Are there any anime not included here that you are watching this season? Do you disagree with my review in any way? Have you recently tried a new brand of cookie that you wish to tell the world about? If so, feel free to leave a comment below! I am sure someone will read it. Until next week, Lusi-drones!

2 Comments

  1. Sebastian
    Posted 2017.01.20 at 15:33 | Permalink

    Enough of that nonsense, no one is reading this for boring details about the process!

    As you may have noticed from my own writing, I love boring details! I have watched the first episode of Masamune-kun’s Revenge and was entertained. I will watch the second. However, the more I think about it, the “Cruel princess” Adagaki Aki sounds suspiciously similar to our own cruel princess, Agitated Adeki!!

  2. Lusipurr
    Posted 2017.01.20 at 15:54 | Permalink

    I am REALLY upset that Akiba’s Trip does not contain vampires as it promised, but considering the way in which Hazoku are defeated, maybe I will enjoy it after all.

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