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What Current Anime Are You Watching Version v4.0


wolfx

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I'm starting to question if the people writing HIGHSPEED Etoile have a humiliation fetish.

How many episodes of a one cour series can you reasonably devote to a protagonist failing miserably at literally everything in a public setting?  Something like 1/3 of the latest episode is devoted to Rin trying and failing to drive a conventional gas-engine car with a manual transmission and her friends being impressed that she gets less sh*tty at it with practice. 

 

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Spending some time getting caught up after I got distracted by the remaster of Paper Mario: the Thousand Year Door...

At around 3/4 of the way through the Spring '24 season, many of the titles I had high hopes for have not lived up to their promise.

An Archdemon's Dilemma is still quite a lot of fun even if it kind of has bogged down in Family Dynamics.  

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio continues to be excellent week after week, for which I am heartily grateful.  It's a strong contender for my "best of season".

Vampire Dormitory's started to drag a bit as its main plot kicks into gear... I'm actually kind of disappointed in how quickly it seems to be abandoning its initial premise.

Astro Note is unexpectedly stuck in a bit of "two lines, both waiting" involving Mira's plot and a love triangle that's more a series of one-sided infatuations with someone who's too oblivious to notice ala To Love-Ru.  

As a Reincarnated Aristocrat... is still doing OK, the story's turned towards the serious but it's not really clear if it'll be able to make any meaningful progress before the end of the season.

Tadaima, Okaeri is practically impossible to take seriously thanks to some unfortunate narrative decisions and terminology choices, and A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics jumped the shark HARD in the last few weeks... 

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Posted (edited)

I started Seiyuu Radio no Uraomote,  and meh.     I am only 3 episodes in will go abit further but the line of no desire to keep pressing close.

So far the top for this season IMO,  in no particular order.    Dungeon Meshi, Shuumatsu Train Doko e Iku?, Kono Suba S3, Date Alive,  and Duke of Death and his Maid S3.

Honestly I never thought I would put Date Alive back on any list of relevant animes so color me abit shocked.

Spice and Wolf,  while good is the same.. exactly the same....  did I mention the same as the previous release. 

It took 1 episode in Astro Note to totally turn me off of the series,  kinda sad but such is life.

Lastly,  I am still trying to make heads or tails of Kaii to Otome to Kamikakushi.    The premise is kinda horror,  kinda supernatural.    Its held my interest so far.

 

 

Edited by Stampeed Valkyrie
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Spring '24 is limping into the home stretch...

I have to admit, I'm kind of upset with Bartender: Glass of God.  Its final story arc predictably decided to delve into the faux-philosophical advice-giving bartender's own trauma, and it decided to do so by trivializing depression and suicide.  

Spoiler

Ryu's hidden trauma is that one of his customers committed suicide a long time ago, and he believes it's his fault... with the implication being, and the rest of the cast stating outright, that he believes if he'd served a different drink he could have prevented that suicide.

Kinda wondering how many of the characters in this show are alcoholics... most people don't have a list of dozens of cocktails they want to try, or go bar-hopping multiple nights a week.

 

Oddly, The Irregular at Magic High School seems to have become one of the more interesting titles this season thanks to the latest story arc having a very different focus from the previous two.  Instead of focusing on Tatsuya being the most broken MFer around and curbstomping literally everyone who looks at him funny, they're focusing on worldbuilding and the larger setting.  There's some actually pretty good stuff coming out of it now related to the international balance of power based on strategic magic, the implications that magic's importance to the military has for education, the pitfalls of relying on conventional/standardized measures of academic/athletic ability to measure a person's worth and how those can miss exceptional talents, and even the ethical and practical concerns of autonomous unmanned weapons as a substitute for living soldiers.  Seasons one and two did not thrill me, but this has me about ready to start looking up the light novel.

 

At the very least, HIGHSPEED Etoile remains a completely irredeemable turd... there's something to be said for its consistency, if nothing else.

This latest episode confirms explicitly that Rin's useless and that they would actually do better to take her out of the car and let the car's AI drive.  After she gets in an accident and passes out during a qualifying round, the car's AI driving autonomously without her sets new lap records. 🤣

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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9 hours ago, Beltane70 said:

Are you a masochist or something, Seto? I dropped High Speed Etoile after the third episode and this is coming from someone who rarely drops a series. 

No, I'm more of a sadist. 😅

As to why I haven't dropped HIGHSPEED Etoile... well, I'm something of a completionist by nature and dropping a series partway through has never really felt right to me.  Those rare occasions where I have dropped a title partway were because the story did something so heinous, offensive, or stupid that I couldn't bear to look at it anymore.  Some of my favorite titles are shows that had a rough start but later hit their stride and became something amazing, the most recent example being Star Wars's Andor, so there's also an element of me hoping one of these scrubs will surprise me.  Even a badly written title can sometimes be so gloriously insane that it becomes entertaining in an entirely inappropriate way, like what happened to Birdie Wing.

The few anime titles I've dropped partway were mostly because they took their fanservice to genuinely creepy and questionable places (e.g. Strike WitchesStratos4) or because the story became such a dumpster fire I simply couldn't pick it up without cringing.

The only title I've dropped this year so far is Tadaima, Okaeri... which I dropped mainly because the show's story comes off as an excuse plot wrapped around the author's fetish and because the series fumbles its own premise so hard chasing that fetish that it's actually kind of offensive and laughable at the same time.  I'm on the fence about Mushoku Tensei, since its otherwise capably-written isekai fantasy story has several truly revolting moments of sex offender behavior by its protagonist that've left me seriously thinking someone ought to call the cops on the light novel's author.

 

 

HIGHSPEED Etoile is unmistakably bad, for sure.  It's not So Bad It's Good or So Bad It's Awful... it's just kind of there doing a bad enough job to be bland and insipid and boring while not actually being offensive.  If I had to pick a word for it, it's misguided.  It could've been an interesting racing anime if the writers had any idea how to make racing interesting, but instead it's a story where racing happens and the protagonist isn't really engaged with it.  I'm watching a disaster unfold in slow motion, and the suspense is killing me... especially since the studio animating it is the same one that did the 3D animation for Initial D and Initial D Second Stage.  It's Studio A-CAT's first ever original work, and probably their last if this keeps up.

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On 6/8/2024 at 12:59 PM, Seto Kaiba said:

This latest episode confirms explicitly that Rin's useless and that they would actually do better to take her out of the car and let the car's AI drive.  After she gets in an accident and passes out during a qualifying round, the car's AI driving autonomously without her sets new lap records. 🤣

So what I'm hearing is she's training the race AI by showing it what not to do?

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22 hours ago, JB0 said:

So what I'm hearing is she's training the race AI by showing it what not to do?

They went with a "Yes, except no." answer... Team V-ZEN's AI system "Ami" is using both her driving and the driving of her competitors as training data. The story then comes up with an excuse for why it can't simply take her job, which basically boils down to the AI system being limited by its programming to avoid taking actions that would put human safety at risk. So they can absolutely crush it at time trials, but their safety first attitude towards strategic driving means they will lose the race every time.

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2 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

They went with a "Yes, except no." answer... Team V-ZEN's AI system "Ami" is using both her driving and the driving of her competitors as training data. The story then comes up with an excuse for why it can't simply take her job, which basically boils down to the AI system being limited by its programming to avoid taking actions that would put human safety at risk. So they can absolutely crush it at time trials, but their safety first attitude towards strategic driving means they will lose the race every time.

KITT instead of KARR. They've made the right choice.

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1 hour ago, JB0 said:

KITT instead of KARR. They've made the right choice.

Let's be honest, there was no right choice there because either choice had terrible implications for the story as a whole.

HIGHSPEED Etoile's writers had to choose between:

  • Revealing that V-ZEN's AI "Ami" no longer needed Rin Rindo and that AI drivers could be developed to the point of being competitive against top-tier living drivers, making the show's protagonist completely unnecessary.
  • Revealing that V-ZEN's AI "Ami" was inherently limited in ways that mean it can never be a truly competitive driver outside of solo time trials, keeping Rin Rindo in the car and in the story by shooting several huge holes in other parts of the story.

They went with the latter because it's transparently obvious they're hoping to sell racy figures of the predominantly female cast.  By revealing that AIs are limited in ways that mean they can never truly be competitive against living drivers, it raises some awkward questions as to why several teams are relying on AI drivers that have no chance of winning.  That also kind of kills the idea that Rin isn't blindingly incompetent, since she has consistently placed below AI-driven cars throughout the series and an AI almost certainly wouldn't be racking up disqualifications for rules violations and failing to start/finish races (never mind totaling a car).

Basically, they established that AI drivers are incompetent... but that they still would've been a better choice than Rin Rindo. :rofl:

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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Caught the latest episodes of Re:MonsterChillin' in Another World, and I was Reincarnated as the 7th Prince while I was picking up a car...

Chillin' in Another World is still cute but substance-less.

The other two are just unapologetic trashfires... it says a lot about I was Reincarnated as the 7th Prince that even the protagonist is bored with the direction the story has taken.

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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

They went with the latter because it's transparently obvious they're hoping to sell racy figures of the predominantly female cast.

And no lie, the only reason I was interested in the show was the character art, so I'm sad it's a trainwreck. 

1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Basically, they established that AI drivers are incompetent... but that they still would've been a better choice than Rin Rindo. :rofl:

At least we know she stands firmly in the "less than useless" category.

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20 minutes ago, JB0 said:

And no lie, the only reason I was interested in the show was the character art, so I'm sad it's a trainwreck. 

Well, you're likely to get some character figures out of it at the very least... Good Smile seems to be one of the sponsors.

(Also, we just sleeping on that pun I threw in there?  Racy figures for a racing series?)

 

20 minutes ago, JB0 said:

At least we know she stands firmly in the "less than useless" category.

That we do... though that was also never in any doubt considering her very first race saw her disqualified for a rules violation and something like 1/3 of her total career has been some form of disqualification.  Now that they've gone and said that the AIs that've been outperforming her all series are technically not even competent racers, the win that they'll hand Rin at the end of the series is going to feel extra unearned... like how her only prior decent placement was because she was blindly following the instructions of the AI.

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