First impressions, spring 2016

Character study

Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless — So listless, in fact, that his friend Ohta often picks him up and carries him over his shoulder. However lazy Tanaka is physically, though, his mind is active, at least until he falls asleep. It’s a one-joke show, but it has remained entertaining through three episodes with the introductions of Tanaka’s quirky classmates.


Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto — Bespectacled Sakamoto is the cool, cooler, coolest guy at his high school, utterly, ineffably cool in everything he does, from effortlessly thwarting bullies’ pranks to pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He flies through the air with his umbrella like Mary Poppins, to whom he could give lessons in self-possession. So far it’s another one-joke show, but there are hints that that might be more to it.


Bakuon — We’ve had girls & tanks and girls & guns, so why not girls & motorcycles? There’s a pair of feuding comic characters, plus a rich girl whose chauffeur uses an old manual-focus camera (probably an expensive classic, but I haven’t been able to identify it)1, one who never takes her helmet off or speaks, and a viewpoint character who is naive and enthusiastic but not stupid.2 There’s also a talking motorcycle. So far it’s been a good comedy, albeit with several kinds of fanservice3 and occasional double-entendres. (Right-click and open the picture above in a new window to see Rin at full size.)

Love at first sight

Twin Star Exorcists — Rokuro is a gifted teenage boy onmyouji who has Bad Memories and doesn’t want to fight monsters any more. Benio is a similarly gifted girl. Of course they can’t stand each other, and of course there is a prophecy that they will work very closely together indeed. It’s standard shounen fare, combining lots of action with dumb comedy and a dollop of angst. The energetic opening theme is by Wagakki Band. TSE is tolerable, but it makes me wish again that someone would rescue Shounen Onmyouji, a vastly better show.


Flying Witch — Makoto, a teenage witch with no sense of direction, goes to the north end of Honshu to live with relatives. Makoto is eccentric but very nice; her relatives are very nice; their friends are very nice; etc. I haven’t endured such intense niceness since the You’re Under Arrest OVAs. Two episodes were enough. The background music, by Yoshiaki Dewa, is quite pleasant.

Incidentally, Makoto harvests mandrake root the wrong way, and she’s lucky to be alive. This is the proper way:

A furrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must get away. The dog then endeavours to follow him, and so easily pulls up the root, but dies suddenly instead of his master. After this, the root can be handled without fear.

Absolutely normal

Space Patrol Luluco — Luluco is a perfectly normal girl leading a perfectly normal life in a district with a large population of space aliens. Through a sequence of events that are not merely unlikely but downright absurd, she finds herself in the space patrol. Luluco is a series of gag anime shorts from Studio Trigger that are silly to the point of senselessness. Just wondering: what percentage of anime mothers are space pirates?

High School Fleet — Five minutes into the first episode, one of the girls slipped on a banana peel. The hell with it. Steven made it through the second episode and was not pleased.

Dumb, dumber, dumbest

Ace Attorney — I lost patience with the myriad little dumb things half-way through the first episode. Perry Mason this ain’t.

Of these, I’ll probably continue watching Bakuon, Tanaka-kun, Sakamoto, Luluco and maybe Twin Star. I’ve received recommendations for Joker Game and Kabineri of the Iron Fortress, but I haven’t watched them yet.

Let no screencap go to waste:


Tanaka c

Coming attraction

The dangers of bread


Who needs a desk?


Forbidden pleasure

More Rin



Which camera?



Bakuon 2

Bakuon 1

Bakuon 3


Cute mascots are annoying

Twin Star glasses

No script

Her crush



  1. See J’s comment, below.
  2. Clueless, yes, but not quite stupid.
  3. As of the fourth episode: lots of fanservice.

2 thoughts on “First impressions, spring 2016”

  1. ” Just wondering: what percentage of anime mothers are space pirates?”

    …considering the number of junior-high- and high-school-aged shounen protagonists who live alone, probably a larger number than we know.

    Mito and Ririka are the only ones I can name off the top of my head, though. (Were Ryoko or Harlock’s piratical ways inherited?) I suppose there are some in the Gundam-verse and Nanoha-verse somewhere…

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