Dream (Level 20)

My Ani-Crap Review on Wanna be the Strongest in the World is now up: http://www.animevice.com/profile/dream/ani-crap-review-44-wanna-be-the-strongest-in-the-world/107-11709/. Next poll will be up the weekend of September 5.
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Kodomo no Jikan is a 12-episode ecchi/ romantic comedy anime that was animated by Studio Barcelona and aired on Japanese TV from October 12 to December 28 of 2007. The series was based on the 13 volume seinen manga series created by Kaworu Watashiya and published in Comic High magazine from May 22, 2005 to April 22, 2013.

The series is quite controversial and infamous among many anime and manga fans for its lolicon content, which affected the series to varying degrees. North American manga distributor Seven Seas Entertainment originally planned to release Kodomo no Jikan in the United States in 2007 under the name Nymphet. But due to concerns about the title's appropriateness to American audiences, Seven Seas was forced to cancel plans for releasing the manga series stateside.

Kodomo no Jikan's reputation also affected its TV anime broadcast run in Japan. Two TV stations that were originally going to air the series, TV Saitama and Mie TV, removed it from their broadcast schedule. TV Saitama would later make a press release announcing that they decided to cancel their plans of broadcasting the series due to concerns that the series could be associated with a then-recently arrested child pornographer named Takayuki Hosoda, who was revealed to have been the vice principal of an elementary school before his arrest. Broadcasters that aired the series aired edited versions of the episodes that had varying levels of censorship applied to them. Japanese DVD releases of the series would show the episodes completely unedited.

The Plot

This is the high point of the series. Endure five episodes of lolicon ecchi content before you reach it.
This is the high point of the series. Endure five episodes of lolicon ecchi content before you reach it.

Daisuke Aoki is a 23 year old young man who recently gained his first teaching job as a grade school instructor at Futasubashi Elementary School. He is placed in charge of the mischievous students of Class 3-1 where he encounters Rin Kokonoe, a nine-year old precocious and troublemaking girl that develops a crush on Aoki and desires to be his girlfriend. Aoki finds his teaching career complicated by Rin's romantic efforts, the antics of Rin and her friends and dealing with the complicated relationships involving his students and the adults within their lives.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Daisuke Aoki- A recent addition to the teaching staff at Futasubashi Elementary School. Having idealistic notions about his job, Aoki finds his intentions tested dealing with the complications of his job that come from the advances and mischief caused by Rin and her friends.
  • Rin Kokonoe- A nine-year old mischievous girl with a large crush on Aoki, known to make forcible advances on the teacher and willing to jeopardize the man's job to have him acknowledge her. She normally causes trouble for Aoki with her two friends, Kuro and Mimi.
  • Kuro Kagami- One of Rin's close friends who comes from a wealthy family and known to indulge in expensive fashions, mostly Gothic Lolita mixed with catgirl ears and tail. Kuro is known to make snide remarks about Aoki's virginity.
  • Mimi Usa- A shy and reserved girl with glasses who is also a close friend of Rin's. Her shyness, intelligence and unusually well-endowed figure for her age made her a target for bullying and teasing among students and her previous homeroom teacher before she befriended Rin and Kuro.
  • Reiji Kokonoe- Rin's first cousin and current guardian. Having suffered from an abusive past from his parents as a child, Reiji moved in with Rin's mother, Aki, and fell in love with her. After Aki's death, Reiji became Rin's guardian and becomes overly protective of Rin to the point where he hates the close affection that she has for Aoki.

Why It Sucks

While I do feel some of the infamy to Kodomo no Jikan feels a bit overblown, this is still a turkey of a series that relies very heavily on tasteless humor involving its quite young female cast and having wasted potential on an element to its story.

Breast groping a 9-year old well-endowed girl? Ugh, I feel dirty.
Breast groping a 9-year old well-endowed girl? Ugh, I feel dirty.

Seemingly catering to the lowest of the otaku fanbase, Kodomo no Jikan milks ecchi humor off the questionable behavior of Rin and her friends. Occasions of Aoki walking in on fourth grade girls undressing, Rin making sexual advances on the guy, panty shots with Rin and pals, an episode that has some creepy humor involving Mimi's surprisingly well-developed bust size and innuendo gags that involve double entendres and teasing about Aoki's virginity are the norm for much of the series.

Good kids shouldn't be giving their teachers hard-ons.
Good kids shouldn't be giving their teachers hard-ons.

For the most part, many of the characters fulfill the same tiresome character types you can expect out of modern high school rom-coms such as Aoki being the idealistic doormat to the antics of Rin and pals, Kuro being the sharp-tongued ojou, Mimi the busty and shy glasses girl and Rin being part tsundere and part sexually aggressive student in her advances toward Aoki.

However the show has a story element that makes you question “what if” when a later episode reveals the pasts of Rin and her guardian Reiji, that is the best quality element of the series and a rather tragic back story. The developments of this story element are focused on again in the final two episodes of the series, though build up to a somewhat inconclusive ending due to the anime's limited remaining episode count and having caught up to the manga source material. The mentioned backstory with Rin and Reiji had me thinking Kodomo no Jikan could have worked better if it committed more to serious drama involving dilemmas faced by Aoki's class instead of mostly littering the series with the exploitative and tasteless behavior coming from Rin and her friends towards Aoki.

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Hyperdimension Neptunia was a 12-episode fantasy/ comedy TV anime that aired from July 12 to September 27 of this year. The series is an adaptation of a video game RPG series developed by Idea Factory and Compile Heart, with the anime adaptation being created by David Production. Funimation currently has North American streaming rights to the series.

The Plot

Who knew Pedobear had a cousin?
Who knew Pedobear had a cousin?

In the virtual world known as Gamindustri, the four goddesses of each country agree to a “friendship treaty” that bans each country from using military force to gather Share Energy, an energy source that grants a goddess influence and power over any territory in Gameindustri where their populace strongly believe in them. While the goddesses learn to get along with one another, they have to face enemy threats attempting to exploit Share Energy for their personal gain over the world of Gameindustri.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Neptune/ Purple Heart- The childish and energetic goddess of Planeptune with a habit of jumping headfirst into trouble. As Purple Heart, Neptune's personality is more serious and mature as she makes use of a sword in battle.
  • Noire/ Black Heart- The goddess of Lastation who prefers to deal with things on her own and has a strained relationship and rivalry with Neptune.
  • Vert/ Green Heart- The goddess of Leanbox who is smart, yet tends to overestimate her abilities. As Green Heart, she has a more stubborn and arrogant personality.
  • Blanc/ White Heart- The goddess of Lowee who is short-tempered and prone to being angered easily. She has a rivalry with Vert due to the Leanbox goddess's large bust size.
  • Nepgear/ Purple Sister- Neptune's younger sister who has a shy and reserved personality compared to Neptune.
  • Uni/ Black Sister- The younger sister of Noire with a strong admiration of her sister, which also leads her to have an inferiority complex. She is more perky and outgoing compared to Noire.
  • Ram and Rom/ White Sisters- The twin younger sisters of Blanc. Ram is talkative and bold with her personality while Rom is more shy and timid.
  • Arfoire- The first major enemy threat faced by the goddesses who desires to rule over all of Gamindustri.
  • Anonydeath- The second enemy threat faced by the goddesses, this hacker is known to talk in a feminine matter and has an obsession with Noire.
  • Rei Ryghts- The final enemy threat faced by the group, Rei appears to be an anti-goddess activist who is actually the goddess of the former nation of Tari with plans to destroy all of Gameindustri.

Why It Sucks

Neptunia is yet another case of an anime series shamelessly being used as promotional material for its video game source material. It also panders fairly heavily to the otaku crowd with its milking of the moe craze for its female cast and nods to the video game industry coming from characters, country names and elements to some of the worlds that the characters visit.

Naked bodies censored... or are they?
Naked bodies censored... or are they?

All the characters seen throughout this series milk differing character archetypes that they don't really grow out of and have little depth to show for it, many of said characters milking differing character types that have become popular from the moe craze. Much of the female cast serve to pander to its audience with their character quirks, idiosyncrasies, revealing or fetish-themed outfits (these especially prevalent with the transformed states of the goddesses) and usually getting into suggestive predicaments during comedic or serious moments.

The series also panders to video game fans as character names, countries and elements to the worlds that are visited by the characters are nods to past and present elements of the video game industry. For instance, Neptunia and Neptune are references to Sega's canned attempt to create a Genesis/ 32X combo video game system called the Neptune, and Nepgear being a nod to Sega's handheld game system from the 1990s called the Game Gear.

Someone has way too much time on their hands.
Someone has way too much time on their hands.

The series attempts to mix comedy and adventure in its focus on the goddesses focusing on the group either bonding in crazy predicaments involving whatever video game nods that are referenced or dealing with any random enemy threat either causing trouble for anyone among their group or attempting to whore up Share Energy for their personal gain. Both elements to the title's storytelling are hard to care for because of Neptunia's shallow characterization and a number of the villains in the series being hard to take seriously as threats because of their comical behavior or incompetent actions. Even in the instances where the group have to deal with a serious threat, Neptunia quite often milks plot devices that are either too convenient or milk the tiresome “power of friendship” cliche to thrash the enemy they confront.

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Itsudatte, My Santa! was a two-episode romantic comedy OVA series animated by TNK and released to video on December 7, 2005 in Japan. The series is based on the 1998 manga series created by Love Hina and Negima creator Ken Akamatsu. The series was licensed and released twice in America by Funimation. Funi's release was notable in that when first released in December 2007, Funi later ordered a recall of the series when they accidentally made a printing error with My Santa's TV rating being TV-PG. They released the series the following November, this time with a TV-MA rating for its packaging. Both releases of the series are now out of print.

The Plot

Who's more jealous of the kid: you or Santa? No, I'm not talking about the busty one.
Who's more jealous of the kid: you or Santa? No, I'm not talking about the busty one.

A young man named Santa is known to hate Christmas because of being born on Christmas Eve and was never known to celebrate festive occasions as a child because of neglect from his parents. A cute girl named Mai appears before him on the streets on Christmas Eve night, claiming to be the real Santa Claus and wishing to make Santa happy for the holidays.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Santa- A young man known to hate Christmas because of being named for Santa Claus and born on Christmas Eve. He has never celebrated festive occasions due to his parents neglecting him for their career duties.
  • Mai- A Santa Claus Academy student who is capable of using magic whenever she uses a word with the letter “san” in the Japanese language. She appears before Santa to make him happy on Christmas Eve and is capable of transforming into an attractive adult form when she gains enough magical power.
  • Sharry- Mai's rival and close friend who is more skilled in the use of her magic, using the word “Gorgeous” as an incantation to increase the size of any object she uses her magic on.
  • MaiMai- Mai's younger sister who tags along with Mai throughout much of the title's second episode.
  • Ms. Noel- Mai's teacher at the Santa Claus Academy who tries pushing Mai to improve in her studies at the school.

Why It Sucks

My Santa is a rarity for an anime in that it is themed around the Christmas holiday. However, the holiday theme doesn't save this short OVA series in being a cliched, poorly written and rushed mess.

Someone's turned on by Santa! And this time, it isn't our male lead!
Someone's turned on by Santa! And this time, it isn't our male lead!

The characters of the series are walking paper-thin archetypes that have little in the way of personality and depth, with any back story they have also lacking focus as they are only backdrops to set up the show's romantic antics with Santa and Mai. Even the romance to this is uninspired as the series rushes through developments in the relationship between Santa and Mai, lacking any kind of buildup or believability to have you think their love is anything besides superficial.

The comedy to the series is also uninspired, having the bad habit of rushing through gag after gag that lack much reason to even happen and the moments falling flat in getting a reaction out of yours truly due to feeling forced in their delivery. Plus if you are an Akamatsu fan, this series does have fan service and some ecchi content that pop up on occasion with innuendo gags and some nude shots of female characters. However due to the bad comedic delivery and subpar visuals of this series, the occasional sexual humor fails to deliver and the female characters aren't as appealing on the eyes compared to Akamatsu's work on the designs of his cute and attractive gals for Love Hina and Negima.

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If you've been keeping tabs on the blurbs from my profile, you'll see that I will be bringing back Ani-Crap Review next weekend. For those new to my contribution to Vice, this is a section where I post my thoughts on the worst offerings that anime has to offer which can consist of anything like ecchi titles, ultra-violent 80s/ 90s anime, horrible adaptations of video games and even some trash from notable figures of anime whom you may be familiar with. In most instances, I determine the next title I cover through a poll where I leave it up to members of this forum to determine what I will rip apart for my next review with a listing of ten titles featuring five recent duds and five older duds.

This will be my last run that I plan to do with Ani-Crap Review as I am starting to get to the point where I'm probably gonna settle down on my regular load of anime offerings. I'm hoping to push up to 50 reviews, but I'm not gonna make any guarantees depending on how long I can push things with my viewing. But at the very least, I have a few things I plan to definitely cover before I have my swan song from Ani-Crap all together. Here are the definite plans I have to cover for my upcoming run of Ani-Crap:

  • Holiday-Themed Crap (Weekend of December 6)- For my return, I will cover a rare instance of an anime that is Christmas-themed yet not very joyful with its offerings. Anyone familiar with harem anime will likely be familiar with this dud as it was made from one of the notable creators of harem titles.
  • Year End Garbage (Weekend of December 20)- What better way to commemorate the end of 2013 by covering one of this year's notable duds for anime. I will have a poll posted following my Holiday-Themed Crap review where you will get to vote among 10 notable anime duds from this year and you get to vote on what one you want me to rip apart to conclude 2013.
  • Adult Swim Month (February 2014)- Many anime fans think of Adult Swim as being one of our gateway drugs into the world of anime with offerings like Cowboy Bebop, Trigun and Fullmetal Alchemist. However, not even the block was safe from airing the occasional dud that the folks at Cartoon Network neglected to question any worthwhile quality with. For three straight weekends in February, I will be covering three notable duds that fans were unfortunate to see get broadcast into their TV screens as I will cover Pilot Candidate, Reign the Conqueror and The Super Milk-chan Show.

That's all I have to present, for now. I'll be seeing folks next weekend in my return of Ani-Crap Review.

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To those who haven't received the news, this will be my last Ani-Crap Review I'll be doing for the next two months as I will be taking a hiatus from posting this section onto Anime Vice. Don't fret, as I will be back in December to continue my usual ripping into the worst of anime with Ani-Crap. The next run I plan to do with this will be my final one, though I'm hoping I can push 50 reviews before all is said and done! I actually have a planned monthly theme I want to implement with this at some point. But I'll reveal it when the time comes. Otherwise, on with the review and I'll return with Ani-Crap in December.

Seikon no Qwaser II is the 12-episode sequel to the similarly-named first season of the ecchi/ action series that I covered in an earlier Ani-Crap Review. The series was animated by Hoods Entertainment for TV broadcast from April 11 to June 28 of 2011, which was heavily censored for television airings and shown uncensored on the online streaming site called AnimeOne. The series was released to video in America earlier this year by Sentai Filmworks and can be streamed in its unedited format on the Anime Network website.

The Plot

Ekaterina showing off her S&M slaves.
Ekaterina showing off her S&M slaves.

Sasha has received word that a magical circuit called the Magdalena of Thunder is present among one of the student body at an all-girl's academy called Roman Curia Surei Academy. Taking the guise of a female transfer student, Sasha is unaware that an Adept named Wan Chen has infiltrated the school as well to acquire the Magdalena of Thunder for his group's plans of world domination.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

Note: To learn more about the major characters of the Seikon no Qwaser franchise, please refer to my Ani-Crap Review on the first season or any wiki article about it here on Anime Vice. I will only be covering new characters with prominent roles that appear in this season of the series.

  • Tsubasa Amano- One of Sasha's classmates during his infiltration of Roman Curia. She has been bound to a wheelchair since childhood due to an accident involving the virtual world that was created for the school by her grandfather. Unbeknownst to her, Tsubasa is the bearer of the Magdalena of Thunder.
  • Miyuki Seta- A top student at Roman Curia who is the leader of an elite group of students called the Sorority. She is a close friend of Tsubasa and seems to have a romantic interest in her.
  • Ayame Satsuki- A Sorority member at Roman Curia with an obsession with Miyuki, yuri and lolicon. To her dismay, she later finds herself becoming a sadomasochistic slave to Ekaterina.
  • Wan Chen- A member of the Adepts with the power to manipulate silicon and Sasha's main foe during his quest for the Magdalena of Thunder at Roman Curia.

Why It Sucks

This second season of Seikon no Qwaser carries many of the same issues that plagued its first season. The series still milks gross-out ecchi content using its breast-sucking gimmick for action, comedy and dramatic moments that are as creepy and uncomfortable as the first season and still take away from meaningful moments that the series attempts to explore.

If you think this is cute, pray you don't get whacked.
If you think this is cute, pray you don't get whacked.

In addition, the cast and plot elements for this series are still as cliched and archetypal as they were from the first season. If you've seen a good number of anime titles, you will pick up on things like the loner avenger with a heart of gold (Sasha), the well-endowed ditz (Tomo) and the evil organization out to take over the world (Adepts) pretty quickly.

In addition to these issues, this season is surprisingly worst than the first one since the quality of its second half takes a big hit after things are resolved with Sasha's quest at Roman Curia. The series shifts back to St. Mihailov Academy with the main cast as the series shifts to slice-of-life and comedic filler that do nothing at advancing the show's plot, even with hints dropped of a new threat looming at the academy. The final episode then rushes through its revelations concerning the new threat and hinting of more to come from the Adepts in a montage at the end of the episode, abruptly leaving the series open-ended for a possible third season.

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