First Look: Winter 2014 Anime Shorts

Fuck you, Trigger. Thanks to your glorious Inferno Cop, we are now obliged to plough through the arsenal of horrible anime shorts released every season in the hope of ever finding another gem like that. I volunteered for the — rimshot — short end of the stick because I am apparently a sucker for punishment, and also because I simply couldn’t allow Jel escaping having to cover Pupa on the grounds of it being just a short. I am so evil. Anyways, let’s take a look at Tonari no Seki-kun, Robot Girls Z, My Big Sister Came, Strange+ and The Best Anime To Have Ever Graced Mankind, and see if any of them are worth your ti– Okay, yeah, sorry, I can’t finish that sentence. Hold me.

The frustration turns her hair white.

Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time

Alternate Titles: Kana Hanazawa Loses Her Marbles: The Anime
Manga Adaptation by Shin-Ei Animation
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise

Rumi Yokoi, a diligent middle school student, has trouble concentrating in class, all thanks to Seki, the boy who sits next to her. Day after day, she observes his imaginative and ever-stressful methods of killing time.

Aqua’s Verdicts: Kill Some Time

If the thought of Kana Hanazawa blurting out chaotic rants appeals to you, stop reading this immediately and go check out Tonari no Seki-kun. Even if your name isn’t Jel, however, this little short might still be enjoyable enough. It’s a formula at risk of turning stale in record time, but the sheer creativity of the titular Master of Killing Time’s contraptions could be enough for the show to survive, at least if every episode is scened as bombastically as this one was. Seven minutes is a few too many for what Tonari no Seki-kun essentially is, but for a way to kill some time, you could do a whole lot worse.

Jel’s Verdict: Worth Your Time

From the moment the elaborate opening song literally constructs the show I couldn’t helped but be charmed by this little short – and no Aqua, it’s not just for Kana Hanazawa I swear! I love when you can tell so much about a relationship with hardly any words. Is Rumi more intrigued by Seki-kun’s complex domino chain or by the boy building it? The simple premise of “boy creates elaborate diorama on his desk, girl freaks out” could wear thin quickly, but at only 7 minutes an episode it will be hard to overstay its welcome going forward. Definitely worth a look.

Underground Army > Robot Girls

Robot Girls Z

Alternate Titles: Moezinger Z
Anime original by Toei Animation
Streaming on Youtube

Premise

For some reason, classic 70’s super robots Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger Z and Grendizer have been turned into cute girls. Hanging around Nerima Ward in Tokyo, the trio tries to raise awareness for a new energy source named “Photon Power”, which puts them at odds with the nefarious Dr. Hell and his Underground Army associates. Or something.

Aqua’s Verdict: Your Favourite Anime Is Dumb

I do wonder… Who is this show ever made for? Fans of cute girls beating the crap out of each other probably have no idea what a Mazinger Z is and fans of classic 70’s super robots most likely think stuff like this is exactly the sort of cancer that is killing the anime industry. A colourful slapstick comedy where both the good guys and the bad guys are as loud as they are incompetent, Robot Girls Z and its sheer amounts of animation certainly invoke the farcical spirit of Detective Opera Milky Holmes, yet where that show was so dumb it became hilarious, this show is just kind of dumb — and not even dumb enough to be outrageously dumb.

Jel’s Verdict: Moe Robots Are Silly

I’m with Aqua in that it’s hard to fathom who this was supposed to appeal to, but in watching the first episode I can’t deny it was kind of amusing. The novelty of classic robots translated into hilariously incompetent magical girls bent on blasting each other to hell can’t be understated… at least for 8 minutes or so. At the time of writing there are actually 5 episodes of Robot Girls Z available and while I chuckled at the first one I didn’t have much desire to watch more. If you’re more familiar with the classic Toei robots then maybe you will get a bigger kick out of this than I did.

What a beautiful metaphor for this show. It is a pile of ass.

Strange+

Alternate Titles: What.
Anime original by Seven
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise

Kou is looking for his older brother Takumi, who ran away six years ago. However, when he finds out Takumi has started a detective agency in the city slums and isn’t planning on ever coming back home, Kou decides to stay and help his brother out solving crimes. Or something.

Aqua’s Verdict: And I Thought D-Frag! Was Bad

See that summary over there? Be glad you read it, because none of that is actually explained in the show. In stead, Kou, Takumi and their random colleagues head out to protect a rich man’s precious treasure from a master thief, which somehow only takes three minutes to devolve into our poorly animated heroes shooting disembodied butts at a maid on a hang glider. Don’t believe what your psychiatrists says, folks; suicide is always an option.

Jel’s Verdict: Strange, with an Additional Amount of… Strange

Having read nothing about this beforehand, I had ZERO clue what was going on. All I could tell was some weird group of people were hired to protect a rich man’s gold statue and end up exploding the thief/maid while she was escaping by slingshotting a gunpowder filled butt (I am not clear if it was a replica or what) at her hang glider. While that may sound AMAZING, let me assure you it was not. Instead I just felt like I was jumping in the middle of something I was supposed to understand and ended up understanding it even less. I don’t mind when things go in a weird direction, but if it doesn’t serve any purpose other than shock value then you are probably wasting our time.

At least she's dedicated.

My Big Sister Came!

Alternate Titles: Onee-cha ga Kita, My Big Sister Can’t Be This Cute
Anime original by C2C
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

When Tomoya’s dad remarries, out thirteen-year-old protagonist gains a new stepsister as well. However, it soon turns out his new older sister has completely fallen in love with him, with… errm… hilarious results.

Aqua’s Verdict: My Big Sister Can’t Be This Short

I’ve seen commercials that are longer than My Big Sister Came! This show was three bloody minutes long and half a minute of those was the ending credits. It was over before I could even find a knife to cut myself with. What the heck is the point of cutting up a single episode worth of content into twelve wastes of precious bathroom time? Just imagine everything you could do with those three minutes you spare by not watching My Big Sister Came! What do you say? Nothing at all? Well, still better that this bloody show.

Jel’s Verdict: I’ll Bet She Did, But I Sure Didn’t

I hated everything about this, right down to the Big Sister’s stupid triangle mouth. Are they trying to be clever by mixing up the usual awkward step sibling lust or are they just trying to appeal to the under serviced onee-chan market? I guess they may have been marginally successful in one or both of those areas, but I don’t care either way. I will note that the art was really pretty with a bit of a painterly, watercolor look to it, but sadly it just goes to waste here.

wow such explosion very gore

Pupa

Alternate Titles: Poopa, My Little Sister Can’t Be Thi– OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK
Manga Adaptation by Studio (lol)Deen
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Their abusive father has driven Utsutsu and his younger sister Yume into each others’ arms. One day, Yume follows a red butterfly and contracts a mysterious, horrifying disease that leaves her with a craving for human flesh. Utsutsu decides to sacrifice his own body for his sister’s sake, and I’m pretty sure you can figure the rest out by yourself.

Aqua’s Verdict: Comedy of the Year

No one at the Glorio Blog really wanted to watch Pupa. Oh, how wrong they were. In just under five minutes, the notorious studio Deen manage to give a whole new meaning to the “so bad, it’s good” phenomenon with what has to be the least scary horror anime of all time. Pacing gets thrown out of the window, everyone phones in their lines like they’re busy eating, the lips don’t match up with what the characters are saying, the music desperately tries to sound creepy despite being produced entirely on a MIDI keyboard and the only thing even remotely animated is the guts flying around whenever something hilariously explodes, like a cute doggie or something. That is, if it isn’t covered up by a big bad black bar. Ah, these are good days for anime.

Jel’s Verdict: Bleeding Nonsense

What a masterful, scathing commentary on Japan’s sub-cultural fascination with little sisters! Clearly imoutos are demonic and cannibalistic monsters that are eating away at the industry and dropping the nation’s birth rates! That’s right, “the insides are spilling out”! Your true nature is exposed, you sick incestuous pedophiles! That is totally what this is about, right?!?

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