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Steel Bar Combat!

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Rail Wars is an okay show. I’m not sure what convinced me to watch the show. (Besides that Fukuyama Freakin’ Jun and Horie Yui are in it.)

The red-headed, trigger happy female lead, Sakurai Aoi, is starting to grate a bit on me. She surprisingly stubborn in her perception of the main character, Takayama Naoto, as a coward despite him having the will and courage to step in front of a knife to prevent a civilian from receiving a fatal injury (episode 5). Did she already forget that? Sometimes I wish characters were given a bit more believable personalities, otherwise this credence of mine in the show is going to be destroyed in less time than it takes to cook scrambled eggs on high heat.

I may have over-hyped the show for myself. I was hoping for a Toshokan Sensou type thing to occur. Instead I got a run-of-the-mill anime with a couple of savory ingredients.

If you were interested in the worth of this show, I’d skip it unless you needed some filler between the heavy-hitters of this season. Although, I suppose marathoning it now with 8 episodes to burn through might make one think to just finish what they started, since this show is going to be done soon. I’d be powerful impressed if this show managed a second season due to trains. Not even the regular fanservice was delectable enough that you’d buy the discs just for an uncensored version.

I was able to detect a Chihara Minori in the idol character’s singing style. Her output and timbre are unique enough compared to her contemporaries. But you’d never be able to tell if your only exposure to her was Nagato Yuki. Which did make me wonder what I was about to hear when I heard Nagato’s character album.

-maserbeam

Nakamura Yuuichi, The Consistent Anime Badass

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Nakamura Yuuichi’s characters are consistently portrayed as some badass, although I’ve nothing against it. (He sort of is one, in real life.) Mahouka takes it to unbelievable levels that would make everyone in Kill la Kill want to hug Shiba Tatsuya in hopes of absorbing his powers through osmosis and romance. The only time I know Nakamura’s been some variant of a soft foppy plantain bastard, are the few scenes in Uta no Prince-Sama 1000% I randomly stumble upon on youtube. But that’s not him being a bastard, that was him being a trap. The themes contained therein however are not exactly my kind of thing. It’s probably being deceptive as usual however. The last show I veered away from in repulsion due to its artwork was Princess Princess, a pointy-chin anime filled with handsome young men dressed as girls. It ended up being a decent show. At least I didn’t need someone or some contraption to hold me down while watching it. Surprisingly, that wasn’t my first introduction to traps, despite being released way before OtoBoku, which was my first trap sighting.

Traps?! Engage tactical invasion! I mean.. evasion!

-maserbeam

Dark Cartridge – The Loli Hugging Anime

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Give a loli a hug, won’t you? Wait. Don’t do it. Who knows which agency she works for?

I didn’t expect this show (Black Bullet) to be so.. cute, while dispensing gore at no delay. The studio producing this show (Kinema Citrus) has some pretty shiny clean cels going on here. It’s definitely easier to watch a show if the visuals are strong and clean, but I’m not sure how much this will detract from the supposed seriousness side the show was trying to portray. I’m a firm believer that visuals which synchronize with the atmosphere can elevate a show into higher tiers of awesomeness. Take for instance Mushishi and Mononoke. The art style of the former is familiar. However, it maintains consistency by having character designs that do not betray the location (Japan). Not a single character has vivid blue or pink hair. Mononoke fulfills its art direction and creepy vibe with the closest emulation of Yoshitaka Amano’s works.

By the way, don’t take this as if I’m saying Black Bullet is on the same level of Mushishi and Mononoke. For fuck’s sake, it’s only the first episode.

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-maserbeam

Kobayashi Yuu, why? WHY?

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Episode 5 was simply a multitude of sucker punches packing the strength of 15 bulldozers, 3 worker ants, 7 ancient Persian spearmen, and 4 strips of breath-saving, minty bubblegum.

From the second you realize that Lucy slept next to someone, you’re then given two facts: it’s a girl, and it’s a Hasebe. Then she pulls the “I’m actually a woman!” trope, which is quickly proven wrong when Hasebe Yutaka walks in. Then you realize Kobayashi Yuu is voicing Hasebe Kaoru, the girl in question. Mere seconds into the episode I had to pause and catch all of that.

Then proceed to get an even more ridiculous revelation from Chihaya mid-way through the episode.

But really. Let’s go back to Kobayashi Yuu. She’s kinda weird. I remember watching the extras for Maria+Holic. She’s a very hyper person. Or at least, can change her temperament on a dime.

Then I also get to think about who else is in this show. Toyosaki and Takahiro are pro. I already know how much I like their work, but I’ve been missing out on Nakahara Mai roles that I enjoy. Wish there was more Miyoshi no deban. The café scene wasn’t long enough. Even Touko was a little cute during that part. Actually, I really think Touko is cute. Her character design is so simple, and rather plain if you remove that perma-angry vein. I’m just kinda waiting until there’s some kind of joke about that anger vein; they are really just flower stickers she puts on in the morning.

Please don’t let Kobayashi draw an end card.

Interesting revelation after I checked Nakahara’s wikipedia entry: I saw every 2003 anime she was in.

-maserbeam

Yui Hirasawa: The After College Years

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Megumi Chihaya is awesome. She also bears an uncanny resemblance to what Yui Hirasawa of K-ON! may mature into. Just imagine Yui mellowing out a bit after college, growing her hair out while adding another pair of hair clips  to manage her bangs. Not only that, Chihaya’s exhibits the ability to shamelessly cosplay in a public place such as a civil ward office. Mmmhmm, our Yui-chan is definitely an adult now. It’s also infinitely more plausible since Chihaya is voiced by none other than Toyosaki Aki herself.

So yeah. I’m definitely enjoying Servant x Service. When one starts living past that rosy high-school life and enters that gray area of adulthood, this show connects with you at a deeper level; unmistakably so if you actually work as a civil servant. But it’s not like you need to be working as one to enjoy the show. We watch these crazy, fantastical shows with settings and characters that rarely depict themselves as realistic as possible. If you want that, you’d be watching a regular TV channel [at non-anime hours] for that. Perhaps after years of watching fantasy and sci-fi anime, something down to earth starts looking more appealing, instead of boring.

What’s the latest Servant x Service episode about? I’m not telling. Particularly because I’ve never understood the reason for reading a episodic summary. I’m not about to do one either.

Let’s ignore that. The music of this show is spot on. It sounds like stuff in my current non-anime collection, with an eclectic mix of jazz-influenced instrumentation, in addition with the typical A-1 Pictures “working man” music stylings. Should have expected this, since Working!!‘s OST is the same goodness that we hear in Servant x Service. And the ED is damn pleasant to listen to. Almost sounds like it was performed by Round Table feat. Nino, who has nothing to do with this show. Go listen to them anyway. They’ll remind you of a lot of different anime. Like Aria the Animation. Or Chobits. Maybe even Gunbuster 2.

Why the hell are trumpets so perfect for sitcoms with office/job settings?

Also, Toyosaki’s voice is so sexy when she’s given a calmer, or deadpan, character. Hnng. It always lets me sleep at night. Interpret that as you will. (Oh yeah.)

-maserbeam