Backlog: Week 13

There was no Backlog last week, because I only watched 8 episodes and did not finish a single anime… This week I did better and watched 23 full episodes. No shorts! (Although Aho Girl and Tsurezure Children are only 12.5 minutes.) I finished 4 anime.

Working!!!

This is the third season of Working, a series about a family restaurant in Hokkaido and its employees. This season is the last with this cast, so many story lines are being tied up. It’s very satisfying because of that.

Everything else is the same as in previous installments. Animation, sound,… all in pretty good quality.

What I mind is that the finale is in a 50-minute special, instead of the series having 15 episodes. I’m pretty sure there’s a good reason for that, like finances or something similar, but like this the series is definitely not a concise project. Just like the other seasons, which ended with so many loose ends. Continue reading

First Impressions: Stella no Mahou

Stella no Mahou, Magic of Stella in English, is originally a yonkoma manga (see cover of the second volume to the right). It’s about a small group of high school girls who make indie games. Two have already worked on one game, but the main character, Honda Tamaki, is a newbie. She joins the SNS部 to fill the position of an artist, even though she is a little rusty at drawing and can’t draw digitally at all. It seems like the anime will depict their journey through making a new game together. It’s a pretty simple story with a clear goal.

Unfortunately I haven’t read the original manga, but I feel like the adaptation is a lot smoother than what I would expect from a yonkoma one. The episodes aren’t cut into smaller segments, but flow naturally.

So far, not much has happened. (Though I should have expected that. It is a slice-of-life anime after all.) Meaning we have been introduced into the story and gotten to know the main characters. I wouldn’t say they’re too inventive, but they’re not cookie cutter either.

The main character, Honda Tamaki aka Tama-chan, is from the outskirts… so far out it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Not only is she a baby among the other club members, who are a year older and have worked on a game before, she’s also immature compared to her best friend Yumine. But Yumine is a pretty bad pervert, who sees sexual undertones everywhere (yaoi goggles). Tama-chan’s drawing style is influenced by old anime. Her quirk is a penchant for older men.

The president of SNS部 is Murakami Shiina, the programmer. She appears cold and like she has no sense of humor, but she’s actually nice, just responsible.

The writer is Seki Ayame. She is pretty irresponsible and her writing is always overdue. She also reads game dialogues out loud to herself… to improve her writing of course.

Then there is the sound engineer, Fujikawa Kayo. And that’s it for the club.

The story is a regular cute girls making a game. Nothing to see here.

As for the animation: as you can see from Tama-chan’s character design, the style is a bit rounder than today’s anime. The backgrounds are pretty. It doesn’t really stand out, but it’s above average.

Overall, Stella no Mahou is a tiny bit better than average. I’ll keep watching this, so there will be more in my Backlog… one day. The OP and ED are worth a watch too!

By the way, I have already finished some anime this week, so get ready for Backlog #13 this Sunday.

Backlog: Week 12

My backlog adventure is back after…three months. My exams are over and, while I’m still studying a little over summer break, I do have time for some anime. This past week I watched 20 episodes, including 15 shorts.

Nyanko Days

I’m a cat person. We have a British Shorthair actually. So naturally, I jump at all cat anime. This one is a series of 2-minute shorts about Tomoko and her three cats – a Munchkin Maa, Russian Blue Rou and Singapura Shii. The cats have their cookie cutter personalities and Tomoko is an average Japanese high school freshman. Within two minutes there’s not much happening… It wasn’t a complete waste of 24 minutes, but I really don’t have anything to say about it. Continue reading

First Impressions: Room Mate

Room Mate is a shorts series related to One Room which aired last season. When I reviewed One Room in Backlog: Week 10, I wrote:

The main character, you, interacts with three girls one after another. Everything is from his/your POV and you only hear one side of the conversation, the girl’s of course. The animation is nice, but the plot is very simple — it’s just like every other visual novel. All the girls like him/you. Boring really, but the girls are cute.

I was expecting Room Mate to be just like that, but with bishounen. What is my opinion after the first three episodes? Spoiler warning! Continue reading

Backlog: Week 11

This week was awful as far as anime goes. I was very busy and when I had some free time, I’d study and not watch anime. I watched 21 episodes, including 12 shorts.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go

New seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou are always a safe bet. I was having a hard time watching stuff at the beginning of fall last year and was looking for something I could depend on to be soothing and well-done. Well, this is it. There are a good number of regular “youkai-of-the-day” episodes, but there’s also some development with the Matoba clan and Natori-san gets one episode. Overall, exactly what you’d expect.

Young Natori

By the way, the next season, Natsume Yuujinchou Roku, will start airing on Wednesday. Continue reading

First Impressions: Frame Arms Girl

First of this season’s first impressions is here. It’s Frame Arms Girl, an anime that’s basically an advertisement for Kotobukiya’s Frame Arms Girl model kit line. I will spoil the whole episode, so read after watching, please.

Ao opens a package that arrives at her doorstep. Inside the package is Gōrai, a Frame Arms Girl: a small robot capable of independent movement. Gōrai is a newly-developed prototype: a Frame Arms Girl equipped with an “Artificial Self,” an advanced AI that gives her a personality.

The anime will focus on Gōrai, the first model released for the line, as well as Stylet and Baselard.

The main human character, Ao, who lives alone, because her parents are overseas for work, receives a package with Gōrai. It turns out that the developers of Frame Arms Girls sent them out to various people to test-drive them. Ao is the only one who activated her doll though, so she makes up for 100% of the data. She is new to the model kit world and not particularly interested in dolls. But if she collects enough data, she will get paid. *kachink* That’s roughly the first half of the episode. Continue reading

Backlog: Week 10

This was the last week of the winter season, so I have one anime from this season. In all I watched 21 episodes, including 13 shorts.

Tamako Love Story

Tamako Love Story is a full-length movie following the Tamako Market TV series. Mochizou is seriously considering studying film-making in Tokyo and has decided to confess to Tamako before going away. It’s a love story with one airhead heroine and one poor, sweet boy. I don’t want to give anything away, but he confesses! And her reaction! Aaaa! I cried.

Subjectively, I loved it. Objectively, the art is KyoAni. The plot is more than just a love story — we are confronted with all the main five characters’ visions of future and then there’s the baton club entering a contest. Plus there’s a little more development of lesser characters, like the shopping district men and women. I don’t think there are any bad points… maybe the yelling, but that might be more cultural? (When the characters are frustrated they run out into an open space, like a riverbank or a field, and just scream.) Let me know, what you think. Continue reading

Backlog: Week 9

Week number nine, huh? I watched the minimum — 21 episodes — including 16 shorts. I watched a lot of shorts, because I have an exam on Tuesday and have been studying. I barely finished anything…

Barakamon: Mijikamon

These are two-and-a-half-minute chibi skits, breaking the fourth wall and talking about the anime a little. They’re nothing stellar. I mean, you don’t really have to watch them unless you’re a completionist like me.

That’s it! Nothing else this week. I am keeping up with Kobayashi-san’s Dragon Maid, so that should have a finale next week, and One Room, which will end on Wednesday. I hope to finish Tamako Love Story and Natsume Yuujinchou Go. So yes, this should be longer next week.