The “Undefeated”

lux

As of late, I have been running into a lot of fighting academy shows, where people of varying degrees of talents and abilities are shipped off to this particular institute or that particular school to hone their fighting skills so that they may defend this country or do battle against other schools for honor and glory and all the taiyaki they can devour. It’s like being in “The Goblet of Fire” but without Cedric Diggory. This particular offering, “Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle” (“Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut”, “Undefeated Weakest Bahamut“) related the potentially sad tale of Lux Arcadia (that’s him, keeping abreast of things…..so to speak).

He was the seventh crown prince of the Arcadia Empire that was overthrown via a rebellion five years earlier. He is a new transfer to Royal Knight Academy, but in trying to help a girl, he accidentally trespasses into the female dormitory’s bathing area and sees the kingdom’s new princess, Lisesharte, naked, incurring her wrath. Lisesharte then challenged Lux to a Drag-Ride duel. No, I’m not talking about getting out your souped-up hot-rod and racing for pink slips.

Drag-Rides (machine dragon rides) are ancient armored mechanical weapons that have been excavated from Ruins all around the world. Lux used to be called the strongest Drag-Knight, but now he’s known as the “undefeated weakest” Drag-Knight because he will absolutely not fail in battle. After his fight date with Lisesharte (that’s her on the left), Lux ends up attending the female-only academy that trains future Drag-Knights. You see, after the coup d’état, it appears all the MALE drag-riders either were killed off or went into exile, so he is a rare commodity, thus he is being asked into the Academy.

One of his remaining friends, Philuffy Aingram (right), is also at the Academy. Her family took in Lux and his sister Airi, so that is how they know each other. She also attends this academy, which may be the only place in town to get a quality education. The show profiles Lux’s life and his trying to fit back in to society, plus all the knee-slappin’ boob jokes that come along with an all-girls’ academy. We have a field trip to The Ruins, these odd, out of place ‘buildings’ (for lack of a better term) where Drag Rides seemingly come from and the need to understand what you can get out of them. Not everyone can ride one and, like wands, it chooses the rider, not the other way around.

It’s just that I am in the middle of a variety of shows about folks with talent going to an academy of sorts to learn about their powers and defend the weak from the obnoxiously strong. And since they more or less follow the same formula, it is hard to find any striking difference between the shows, until they all kind of blend together into a smoothie of sameness. In one sense, this show isn’t much different than “The Familiar of Zero” in that Lux is kind of like that level of person who is mistrusted. And since it skirts a mecha-style show, we have just a bit too many fights to see how these weapons really work.

The show had a good idea, but I have seen it done better elsewhere, so it ends up being a tepid serving of the same old things.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           8 (The ladies are really cute)
Plot                  6 (Nothing to write home to Mom about)
Pacing              7 (Fights drag is down a touch)
Effectiveness   7 (Done better elsewhere)
Conclusion       6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagaan”)
Overall            7 (It’s déjà vu all over again)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I challenge you to a Drag fight!

 

Some Thoughts on Crunchyroll’s 2016 Anime Awards Before Voting Begins

Crunchyroll launched its inaugural Anime Awards in late December with nominees in 14 categories selected by a panel of seven judges with different backgrounds. Voting begins January 3rd and lasts one week until January 10th. The winners in each category will be revealed soon after voting concludes with one exception: Anime of the Year. The winner for that award will announced live at a party in San Francisco on January 28th.

Subjective awards are often full of debates about who or what should have or should not have been nominated. I’m not going to discuss the merits of any particular series in this blog post, mainly because I have only seen episodes from two anime that received nominations – those two are Flying Witch and Space Patrol Luluco. I’m more critical of the overall categories and gaps in the types of anime series being highlighted. (more…)

12 Days 2016: Post #4 – Anime From 2016 I’d Like To Start Watching in 2017

Using a screenshot from late 1990s anime Kare Kano to talk about anime from 2016 is *very* timely.

Over the past year, I saw a lot of new anime series being discussed on Twitter and elsewhere that I had mild to high levels of interest in watching myself but didn’t get around to trying in 2016, partly because I rarely watch new episodes on a weekly basis anymore. Different reasons for my interest in any new anime may be its basic premise, cool-looking characters, or word-of-mouth recommendations from friends. I put the ones missed in 2016 into five general categories: action, comedy, drama, slice of life, and sports/games.

Action/Adventure:

Active Raid; Ajin; Berserk; Big Order; Bubuki Buranki; Bungo Stray Dogs; Drifters; Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash; Izetta The Last Witch; Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress; Kuromukuro; Luck and Logic; Luger Code 1951; Lupin the Third Part 4; Magical Girl Raising Project; Mob Psycho 100; My Hero Academia; Qualidea Code; Taboo Tattoo

Comedy:

Ace Attorney; And you thought there is never a girl online?; Bono Bono; ClassicaLoid; The Disastrous Life of Saiki K; Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto; Heybot!; The High School Life of a Fudanshi; Kaiju Girls; Kiss Him, Not Me; KonoSuba; The Morose Mononokean; Rewrite; Sushi Police; This Art Club Has a Problem!; Time Travel Girl

Drama:

91 Days; ERASED; Flip Flappers; Girlish Number; Girls Beyond the Wasteland; The Great Passage (Fune wo Amu); Joker Game; Kiznaiver; Mayoiga (The Lost Village); Occultic Nine; Orange; Re:Zero; Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

Slice of life:

Amanchu!, Ancient Magus’ Bride OVA series, Bananya, High School Fleet, Magic of Stella, Momokuri; New Game!; ReLIFE; Shonen Maid; Sweetness and Lightning; Three Leaves, Three Colors (Sansha Sanyou)

Sports and games:

Battery, Cheer Boys, Days, Keijo!!!!!!!!, Long Riders!, March comes in like a lion, Tiger Mask W, Yuri!! on Ice

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I don’t think I will end up liking all of the anime I listed above but I hope many turn out to be worth the time I put into them.

12 Days 2016: Day 1 – Five Anime With Episodes Under 5 Minutes Long

I’m participating this year in the anime blogging community’s annual “12 Days” posting spree after taking part in 2014 and skipping it in 2015. The current effort is being organized by appropriant and bloggers involved in the project are invited to use #12DaysOfAnime as a hashtag on Twitter.

Anime series with episodes less than 10 minutes long have become my primary type of anime I watch lately. I sampled many short anime in 2016 and I still need to complete some of them including Please Tell Me! Galko-chan, Space Patrol Luluco, Sekko Boys, and Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro. Here are five short-episode anime series I enjoyed watching this year that happen to all have episodes shorter than 5 minutes.

(more…)

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