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What Anime are you watching now?

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On 11/26/2018 at 11:12 AM, Plk_Lesiak said:

This is a bit of a follow-up to my "Sundays suck" post, as one of my primary "workarounds" for being too tired to do anything is watching anime so dumb that it requires no intellectual effort to follow. So I've binged nearly the whole season of Sakura Trick. And it's... Well, just as bad as I've expected it to be and I like it as much as I hoped I would.

Its story and writing are pretty much trash-tier, being neither compelling nor really funny or witty. It's pretty much just a neverending stream of yuri fanservice, but also not just any kind of fanservice. It's both bold with how it inserts kisses and making-out sessions into literally every episode, but also does not go overboard with creepy shots and nudity. It's definitely ecchi, but a particularly cute variant of it, which really fits with the overall theme and stylistic. I actually thought that after a few episodes the kissing scenes and awkward interactions would get boring but... Not really. Obviously, it would be virtually unwatchable for someone who isn't into yuri, but the only things it does right, it does quite right

Just a shame there's so little substance in the SoL and comedy sections. It could've been quite a good show even without toning the fanservice much. 

And, well, now that I'm nearly finished with it, I guess it should be easier to start on the better yuri shows after it. My plan is to climb the quality ladder going: Sakura Trick —> Aoi Hana —> Strawberry Panic —> Maria-sama Ga Miteru. Should be fun. :3

I hope you enjoy Strawberry Panic, that was my first taste of the yuri scene way back when. It also has one of the best supporting characters of all time.

 

As for me it is still Bloom and it is still really wonderful and everything that I hoped it would be.

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35 minutes ago, Ranzo said:

As for me it is still Bloom and it is still really wonderful and everything that I hoped it would be.

It's pretty great indeed, although if you look carefully, I think Touko sometimes gets close to Mei's level of being messed up and emotionally abusive, she's just much more discreet about it. It unsettles me a bit and I wonder whether there's enough time left to make her believably change her attitude within this season... 

Anyways, I was also wondering, what's your take on those "lesser" yuri anime from the list, Sakura Trick and Aoi Hana. Have you seen them? :)

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Just now, Plk_Lesiak said:

It's pretty great indeed, although if you look carefully, I think Touko sometimes gets close to Mei's level of being messed up and emotionally abusive, she's just much more discreet about it. It unsettles me a bit and I wonder whether there's enough time left to make her believably change her attitude within this season... 

Anyways, I was also wondering, what's your take on those "lesser" yuri anime from the list, Sakura Trick and Aoi Hana. Have you seen them? :)

That's been a comparison that has been brought up quite a bit but I think they are on two completely different wavelengths. For one thing at least with Touko we get several crucial moments from her perspective compared to getting jack shit from Mei. Also, Touko is considerate enough to ask for permission and knows when to back off while Mei is pretty much incapable of that. Her reason for being who she is also more well defined, and comes from a place of actual loss. I'm not going to deny that Touko is manipulative but she does have warmth.

I have only seen a few episodes of Sakura Trick and while I thought it was okay I didn't find anything that really made me feel invested in it at all (even thought the kisses were pretty rad)

Aoi Hana I've never seen but I read the manga a bit and got bored of it.

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So on this beautiful, sleepless night (my stomach was apparently fed up with the way I was treating it lately and went for a mutiny), I've finished watching Aoi Hana... And TBH, this was quite a beautiful show. I understand well why people might not really enjoy it - the art is heavily dated, some plot elements seriously overstated, the conclusion open-ended and involving friendship rather than straight-up romance. It's also this kind of old-school, non-fanservice'y yuri that can easily bore someone who isn't very tolerant of slow-paced, SoL content - I can imagine that in manga form it could've been genuinely dull, just as @Ranzo suggested.

I, however, loved most of it. While Fumi is a fairly meek and at times annoying character, A-chan is absolutely lovely and the drama in the show, for the most part, feel genuine and interesting. It's also not as detached from reality as most yuri shows, dealing with the social stigma and uncertainty that would come from the characters being in similar positions is RL Japan. It was definitely imperfect when it goes to details, but generally highly satisfying - I would definitely love to see more yuri shows like that instead of creepy comedies or fanservice-filled disasters such as Citrus (although with Bloom into You I can't complain that much I guess). A solid 8/10.

Learning a bit more about Strawberry Panic, I'll probably skip it for now and go straight to Maria-sama ga Miteru the first opportunity I get. Before that, however, I don't think it would feel right to go forward without watching the worst yuri anime ever created: Netsuzou TRap. It's a short series with 9-minute episodes, so I won't be wasting much time for it, but I'm extremely curious about just how dreadful it can be... :nico:

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OK, I'm done with Netsozou TRap - here are my general thoughts (copied from my Crunchyroll review):

Spoiler

As the title suggests, this is a show about cheating, so by that point alone, it won't be for everyone. If you don't want to see major characters being complete pieces of shit and toying with other people, just avoid it altogether.

The problem with Netsuzou Trap, however, that it's not even good at being an NTR series. Because of how short it is (9-minute episodes, including a full-length opening and a short ending sequence, leaving a stunning 6,5 minutes for actual plot), it ends up feeling rushed and shallow. To make some kind of impact, it could've chosen two different approaches - going grimdark like School Days, punishing the characters for their behaviour, or elaborate on the internal conflicts in them and give them a proper chance for redeeming themselves. It did neither, ending in a horribly unsatisfying note.

I think it didn't have to be that way, if not for one fatal problem - Hotaru. Her boyfriend, Fujiwara, being an abusive dickhead fitted the formula, just like the fact of the protagonist, Yuma, being torn between her attraction to, and later love for Hotaru and unwillingness to hurt her genuinely nice boyfriend, Takeda (spiced up by the confusion about her own sexuality). Yume makes questionable choices and could be considered a bit spineless, but means well all throughout the story. Hotaru, however, not only acts like a psychopath, seducing, sexually assaulting and toying with Yume, but the justification the show gives for it is simply absurd. She receives a happy ending with Yume, while everything she deserves from her is a slap across the face. Paradoxically, the one real "romantic moment" the show offered was the one that upset me the most - it didn't earn this conclusion in the slightest.

The show is also pretty tone-deaf, including comedic moments that completely don't fit its general climate - it makes School Days look like a masterpiece of an NTR drama. Unlike some, I don't really hate all the characters and the general concepts Netsuzou Trap uses (I really did enjoy School Days after all). It simply doesn't know how to use any of them properly or how to appeal to any of its possible audiences. It fails as a yuri romance and it fails at least as hard as an NTR show. Even the fanservice isn't very interesting, always either including Yume being sexually assaulted or the scene being interrupted by someone (after all, you have to condense all the conflict into the tiny runtime). It ends up being and series for no one and without any real redeeming qualities.

Avoid, unless you want to watch it from morbid curiosity,like I did.

4

The sad thing is, this show actually had some potential. I realized that I'm not against this kind of messed-up cheating drama if it sets up the tone right and sticks to it. I actually liked the School Days anime quite a lot, because it not just followed some particularly awful characters, but led them to a properly horrible conclusion. In a way, it was a logical conclusion of the harem fantasy - a scenario in which the protagonist screws every girl around him without thinking of the consequences and is punished for it. And that's exactly what this show needed in order to be at least marginally satisfying - a tragedy, and a one horrible enough to show the characters the full extent of their misgivings. And it ends up with a "I know you sexually and emotionally abused me for the last 11 episodes, but now I understand you did it out of love". And I find that way more perverse than any head in the bag on any boat...

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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I think I'm going to drop Kimagure Orange Road :( While girls are great, and I love the music, I cannot stand the protagonist. It surprises me, as I'm mostly okay with donkan/hopeless protags. I had no problems with Maison Ikkoku's Godai most of the time, but Kyousuke is just too whiny and childish for me. I know, he's only 15, while most high-school protags are 17, and maybe those two years make a difference, but still, he annoys the hell out of me...

Does he get better later? (I'm past Ep.13 currently)

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