Dream (Level 21)

Year End Garbage Review on Pupa is up: http://www.animevice.com/profile/dream/ani-crap-year-end-garbage-review-ii-pupa/107-11977/. My 50th Ani-Crap Review poll will be up in two weeks.
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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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Been a while since I last put together a personal video. What if?

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And we have yet a third instance of this scenario happening again. Despite what people are saying, I'm not finding this next title I'm covering to be a dud. Dull and forgettable, yes. But anything in comparison to 26 of the 29 horrible titles I've covered for Ani-Crap, not so much. So I will be tweaking the review format for this posting slightly to account for my thoughts on this series. With that said, on with the review...

My Wife is a High School Girl is a 13-episode romance TV anime animated by Madhouse and aired from July 2 to September 24 of 2005. The series is based on a 13 volume manga series written by Hiyoko Kobayashi for the seinen magazine Young Jump.

The Plot

Got it bad! Got it bad! Got it bad! She's hot for teacher!
Got it bad! Got it bad! Got it bad! She's hot for teacher!

High school student Asami Onohara is secretly married to her physics teacher, Kyosuke Ichimaru. However while they are married, both have to deal with Asami's father forbidding sexual contact between them until Asami graduates and have to keep their relationship secret from others, a situation complicated from several people taking romantic interest in Asami and Kyosuke who are unaware of their relationship.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Asami Onohara- A 17-year old high school student who is secretly the wife of Kyosuke Ichimaru. While a devoted wife to Kyosuke, she has the desire of wanting to consummate her relationship with him, yet these efforts are often thwarted by her father and others.
  • Kyosuke Ichimaru- Asami's physics teacher and her husband who tries being faithful to Asami despite two women taking interest in him.
  • Iwao Onohara- Asami's father who steps in to prevent any sexual developments from occurring in Asami and Kyosuke's relationship until the former graduates from school.
  • Azuki Mizunosaki- A promiscuous woman with a son named Sasuke and works at a nightclub. She takes a romantic interest in Kyosuke, yet backs off when she and Sasuke learn of his marriage to Asami.
  • Miss Iwasaki- A teacher and fellow co-worker at Asami and Kyosuke's school, who develops a romantic interest in the latter.
  • Kohei Iwasaki- Miss Iwasaki's younger brother with an obsession for photography whom develops a fascination with wanting to take pictures of Asami.

Personal Review

My Wife is a High School Girl follows a slice-of-life plot setup in its focus on the everyday developments that go on with Asami and Kyosuke's relationship. While seeming to be the type of premise you might expect of an ecchi-heavy anime, this series is tame with its fan service and sexual content with such scenes not being excessive in comparison to many recent ecchi offerings.

Wonder who the lucky guy getting a peek is.
Wonder who the lucky guy getting a peek is.

At the same time, there's plenty of wasted potential in terms of what the series could have focused on with Asami and Kyosuke's relationship. The series doesn't explore any of the societal ramifications of their teacher-student relationship nor does it explore how their relationship came about, especially how they convinced Asami's father to agree to their marriage. In addition, there are points where we see that Asami has the desire to consummate her relationship with Kyosuke, yet this element to their relationship never progresses.

My Wife is a High School Girl doesn't provide any major developments to occur with the premise or character developments that happen in Asami and Kyosuke's relationship. Events within the series are left “in the middle” and the only notable developments that take place within the series are a few characters learning of their relationship.

Pretty much, this show's biggest issue is that it lacks a major hook to engage fans beyond those who enjoy slice-of-life titles. It doesn't pander to the lowest of the anime fanbase because of its restrained sexual content, yet it also lacks a major hook that could appeal to a wider audience since it sticks with slice-of-life storytelling. While not the worst anime I've seen, the lack of any meaningful development or elements to engage many viewers make it rather forgettable fare as an anime title.

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