Sunday, August 30, 2015

Anime Summary: August 2015

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt


Very rarely do you find a series as different and memorable as PSG. In fact, this is a series which is so out of place that it is difficult to ascertain if what you are seeing is the most awe-inspiring thing ever made, or actually incredibly repulsive. Maybe it’s both?

The premise starts off typically enough, with Angels fighting the forces of darkness in order to return to Heaven. But they’re crude, vulgar, violently unstable Angels. Who use undergarments as weapons.

And they cuss. A lot. I don’t think I’ve ever heard as many expletives uttered in any animation I’ve seen up until now. The fact that Japanese voice actors are partaking in all this filthy Western language just blows my mind. It’s absolutely amazing.

Anyway, back to the PSG series itself. The animation, music and voice acting are all top notch. The length and content of it, not so much. Each short episode seems to be directed by a different person, which causes the quality and feel of the series as a whole to fluctuate wildly.

Sometimes an episode fits in well with the plot and character development, while other episodes seemingly go in an entirely unrelated direction. A few episodes even seem totally redundant. Had the series been much longer than a measly 13 episodes, it might not have felt quite so scattered and rushed. It could really benefit from more consistency and a longer running time.

Other than being generally disjointed at various points in the series, PSG is both one of the shortest and highest quality anime series I have ever seen. You can see so much effort in the fast paced Powerpuff Girl style animation, the catchy soundtrack, and in all of the characters. It’s just a shame more episode time wasn’t devoted to developing the characters and plot further.

Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill is a very fast paced, action packed, comedic punch to the face. It doesn’t really deliver anything new to the anime genre, but it delivers almost every theme you could possibly hope for in an action comedy series, and it does all of it very well.

The most commendable thing about Kill La Kill is that it never wastes your time. Every moment is there to catch your interest; every fight is clean and quick. Each episode is to the point and never drags on unnecessarily, unlike something like Dragonball Z, where a mere 5 minutes drags out to an eternity.

The series somehow reminds me of Neon Genesis. Only if it were funny. And all about fan service. In Kill La Kill, clothing is the enemy. By the last quarter of the series, there are literally suits eating people. This brings us to the most important thing that you’ll ever learn from the series: People wear clothing. Clothing does not wear people. Remember it, kids. It’s the most important lesson you’ll learn from anime, second only to this line: People die when they are killed.

I’ll be honest with you. Kill La Kill is full of shameless fan service shots of girls in stripper outfits. But the series never paints this in a sleazy light. In fact, by the last quarter, just about everyone is naked and nobody bats an eyelid or makes any inappropriate comments about it. As if it’s just a natural state for a human to be in. This would make perfect sense if all the clothing in the world was indeed trying to eat you.

Not everyone can appreciate humour blended in with serious underlying themes, but I personally thought it was a very well put together series. You could delve deeper into the plot and develop your own views on what this series is trying to show us – but I’ll just briefly sum it up like I did with Neon Genesis: Aliens are taking over, so let’s fight them with magic suits also made of aliens! Just replace aliens with clothing (or alien clothing), and Bob’s your uncle.

Your Lie in April

Good Dragonite, the artwork in this series is stunningly gorgeous. That’s what first got me into watching it. Then it started dropping uncomfortable hints that someone was going to die. About halfway through, I realised that this series tells the story of pretty much every first generation Asian kid ever.

It became too predictable to me despite the beautiful visuals, and I just couldn’t stop thinking after every scene that I knew said person was going to die. However, I would absolutely recommend this series to anyone who was not forced into learning a musical instrument as a child by an insane Asian parent. I believe this would convey a greater understanding of the Asian community to other cultures, and change some of our more twisted Asian ways for the better.

Besides, if you don't watch it, how will you know what the lie was? 
(Don't Google it like I did.)

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