Simulblast! Week 001 Of Fall 2013

Posted on Oct 15 2013

Simulblast Fall Week 001

The rules are simple: Staff members participating get a randomized anime to watch that’s airing in Fall 2013. They can decide to keep what they get or trade with another staff member. The trick is that each of us has put our money at stake. If a player misses a week, he misses a dollar. If a player drops out, he won’t get back any of their money. Who will drop out first? Who will win the million dollars? Who will be voted off the island this week?! The only way to find out is check out Simulblast!

Beyond The Boundary (Episode One)
Player: Zero Gravity
Class: DJ

Simulblast Beyond The BoundaryBeyond the Boundary, did anyone else think of Zone of the Enders 2? No? Well now I feel foolish….

Beyond the Boundary is an action fantasy anime based on a light novel series of the same name by Nagomu Torii. Jumping straight into the episode, it starts us off with a philosophy of suicide. Enter main protagonist Akihito Kanbara, who, as he leaves school, notices a rather timid looking girl in glasses standing on the edge of the school’s building rooftop. In an attempt to save her, he runs to the roof and pleads to her not to jump, stating that someone who looks great in glasses shouldn’t waste her life. The girl then proceeds to tell him how “unpleasant” (a word she’ll throw at him very often) and, without warning, stabs him with a sword, by which he doesn’t seem to be phased. Soon after the opening plays, I’ll talk about that once I reach the end of this review.

Cutting back to the episode we find Akihito at school the next day, as though the opening sequence never existed. He’s joined by another protagonist, Mitsuki Nase, the childhood friend of Akihito. They’re both members of the literary club, an eager to finish a murder mystery novel that they appear to be writing. Their time is cut short by the presence of Akihito’s stalker, the girl in glasses who stabbed him previously. Akihito confronts her, reminding her that her stalking him daily is pointless since he’s already told her before, he was an immortal, which explains why the stab in the opening sequence didn’t phase him.

Mirai insists he must be lying because she’s never heard of a youmu who can possess humans and give them immortality, to which he argues he isn’t possessed but he’s half youmu. In case I just immediately lost you, no, they do not immediately explain what a “youmu” is, other than it’s something that possesses someone, but that’s up for the viewer to figure out. Akihito goes onto explaining that he’s the offspring of a human and youmu, of course I dare not question which one is the mother, nor is it touched upon (yet). Mirari explains she’s from a clan of Spirit Warriors who have been hated, feared and despised with their unusual ability to create weapons, a sword in Mirai’s case, using their own blood.

It’s made clear by this point Mirari is also extremely clumsy and very bad at playing dumb, as she continuously tries to insist that her stalking and wanting to kill him is all in his head. Upon returning to the literary club, Mitsuki reminds him he has to work hard if he’s ever going to have his dream fulfilled of having her confess her love to him at graduation, to which Akihito complains she teases him too much. As a warning, she suggests he avoids Mirari, as her clan are Spirit Warriors who are in charge of their district.

Mirai, despite Akihito’s pleading that her efforts are useless, appears before him after school. Akihito proceeds to run away, claiming that, despite his immortality, she’s the better fighter and it still hurts to be stabbed. He manages to outwit her as he runs from her, using her clumsy nature against her before cornering him in a classroom. At that time a large gorilla looking monster breaks into the room, a youmu. Mirari is frozen in fear, unable to attack, at which point, the pair are saved by an older woman who manages to clobber the beast. The beast then flees by breaking through the wall and escaping. It’s at this point it’s hinted to the viewer that normal people don’t seem be aware of youmu, as the beast runs passed several people and no one notices. The woman proceeds to give chase and tells Akihito to call the Cleaners; again it’s given the viewers a presumption, based on the name “Cleaners” that they’re a group of people who fix damage caused by youmu. Akihito informs Mirari that woman just now was Shizuku Ninomiya, a famous Spirit Warrior where they’re from.

Afterward, Akihito offers to buy Mirai dinner in exchange for not chasing him anymore, Mirari implies the deal is only for that day. They continue to discuss that Mirari despite her skill has never actually killed a youmu before, and while she tries her hardest with Akihito, she uses him as practice since can’t die, which annoys Akihito. The following day at lunch, Mitsuki calls Akihito inform him that she’s giving him a final warning to stay away from Mirai, as the Nase clan is now watching her, warning that the leader of the clan is unwelcoming and conservative. After school Miari once again approaches Akihito, but using the same strategy as the day prior, he buys her dinner in exchange for her not stabbing him.

Akihito asks why she came to their area, since she was under watch, to which Mirai implies it doesn’t matter since everyone hates her regardless. She then informs him that, if there was a reason for her arrival, she won’t tell him. Akihito also discovers that, even though she has an apartment, she can’t go there because it’s being haunted a youmu, to which Akihito agrees to go help and slay. Upon arriving at the apartment, a youmu in the form of what looks like a miniature mummy-phantom attacks, followed by random screenshots of other characters yet to be introduced. The episode ends.

If I had to describe the first episode of the series, I’d describe it as Mirai Kuriyama. It has incredible potential, visually pleasing, and doesn’t have any qualities about the characters you can hate. However, like Mirai, the series is a bit clumsy, and dodges the important subject while trying to impose itself. One of the things that I dislike in a movie or show, especially in anime, is when they pull you into the world without explanation of rules. If you’re not quick on the mind you’re left with a lot of questions. What’s a youmu? Where do they come from? Why can no one see them? What is a spirit warrior? What makes them different? Why is this clan so hated for their blood powers? What’s a cleaner? How do they operate? How does no one notice the side of a building exploding? For that matter why do they need “cleaners” if no one can even notice it anyway? Why was Mirai about to commit suicide? Was she going to commit suicide? It’s anime like this where a narrator would generally benefit the show, so the story can progress without leaving the audience feeling absolutely befuddled.

Then there’s the opening and ending. One of the biggest baits in an anime for me is music, specifically, opening and endings. Giving an example, when I watched Bleach, I would always watch the entirety of the first, second and third opening every episode, however that changed until Velonica. While I do enjoy some of Minori’s work, I don’t feel that the opening theme, translated as “Beyond the Boundary” really captures the feel of where the series wants to go, at least not until halfway through the entire opening. When it starts, it has a strong presence of a “slice of life” intro, but even when it leaps into the animation for the supernatural fantasy series it’s supposed to be, the beat doesn’t change that much, which I feel it should have capitalized on by surprising the audience with a sudden shift in tone.

The ending theme, “Daisy” sung by Stereo Dive Foundation, is a rather nice quiet beat, like with most ending themes, it relies heavily on the visuals, which is executes wonderfully, it shows the inevitable bond between our main protagonists Mirai and Akihito, as well as silhouettes of future characters, if I have one small complaint about it however, it still has that “slice of life” feeling to it, but with an ending theme, I think we can let that slide. I hold great expectations from this show despite the stumbling opening bit. I suggest giving it a watch, but if you don’t like my opinion, please don’t stab me, unlike Akihito, I’m not immortal!

Watch Beyond The Boundary on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Diabolik Lovers (Episode One)
Player: Midnight
Class: DJ

Simulblast Diabolik Lovers

You know, I’ve hung out with a lot of vampires in my time. In fact, I’ve spent the entire last 800 years hanging out with them. Never any like the ones in Diabolik Lovers. The little research I did on this show told me it was a story based on a otome game. It’s easy enough to tell by the time you’re done with the first episode.

We first see our female protagonist drive up to this big creepy mansion. She walks in and within the first three minutes of the episode is pinned to the sofa, looking like she’s about to get raped. What a lovely start. We learn that she’s been sent to live in this place by her ‘father’, who we quickly learn adopted her. We also meet our lovely harem of vampire men. As of this episode they seem about as cookie cutter as the girl.

Ayato, the red-haired, hot-tempered one seems to me like he’ll be the main male. The most I can say for him is he reminds me of Kyo Sohma. So maybe I’ll like him.

Aside from him, we have the other ‘sons’ who all seem like one giant group of tropes from the calm glasses man, to the suave hat wearing one, to the shouta, the punk, and the lazy one. The most I can say for this show at episode one, is that the animation is pretty. Other than that, it just reminds me of Vampire Knight and nobody wants to know what I think of Vampire Knight.

Watch Diabolik Lovers on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Galilei Donna (Episode One)
Player: Christmas
Class: Guest Relations

Simulblast Galilei DonnaIt’s everyone’s favorite holiday-themed-guy’s turn! I’m actually writing this review at the very last-minute because I’ve been super distracted as usual. Not only have I been watching most of the other shows on Simulblast, but the new Pokemon games came out, and I just can’t ignore them. I’m very happy with both distractions though, it looks like this season has a lot to offer and hopefully I can actually stay on top of it.

First, a little research into the show I’ve been assigned. Normally Wikipedia is a good source of info, but I have to hunt around a bit for this one. First off, it’s airing in Japan on the noitaminA block, possibly my favorite block of TV. It’s been home to other great shows like Guilty Crown, Kids on the Slope, and Eden of the East. Samurai Flamenco is another show this season airing on that block, so I expect them both to be great. The only real info I’ve gotten about Donna is that it’s about three sisters who are descendants of Galileo and all have clashing personalities, so naturally hilarity will ensue. Other than that it seems to be another action/mystery show like Un-Go or Gosick that I’m a big fan of, so let’s get rolling!

We start off in a weird-looking airship that seems to be carrying giant mechs. Giant mechs that are attacking a Methane mining facility somewhere cold, maybe the Arctic. They just blew everything up and flew away, and then we cut to a little girl on a bike/scooter being chased by her own mech. While I try to figure out what’s going on, we have a very nice OP. I need to pause to do some research on this song because it’s really nice. Both uplifting and relaxing at the same time, very much like a School Food Punishment song. Ironic since School Food Punishment did songs for three noitaminA shows. After some quick searching, the song is called Synchromanica by a group called Negoto, who apparently also did a song for Gundam Age. Since it’s a song that I have decided that I like, the full version won’t be out until November.

Enough crying over music release dates, back to the episode. Here we get introduced to our first sister, Kazuki. Apparently she likes to skip out on group activities in school. Back with our first girl, it seems she’s being chased into an old nuclear plant and her scooter can transform for easy transport. And now another jump to Hazuki who I assume is the second sister. She seems to be a prosecutor, but isn’t feeling very well. I’d imagine she’s feeling worse now that this man in black has come into the women’s restroom just to kidnap her. Oh I guess she’s just a law student drop-out. Kazuki has her own kidnapper, but she seems to have a better handle on the situation, while Hazuki needs help. Both make it out okay for now, and it seems our youngest third sister’s scooter has turned into a giant stun gun.

With all three girls safe for now, we get to see them all together. Oh, Hazuki wasn’t sick, she was out drinking in the middle of the day. Hozuki is the final sister, meaning that this will become extremely confusing if I don’t pay close attention to which sister is which. I probably should have seen it coming though. It seems like the sisters are used to this kind of chastising speech. It’s kinda cute how they all have nicknames for each other. I find it odd that this anime universe is focusing so much on Galileo.

In addition to an advanced scooter, Hozuki also has an advanced secret hideout with an advanced goldfish. Since Hozuki is apparently moving in with her mom, she’s taking inventory of all her important things to take. Suddenly this random dude blows his way into the house. Literally, he uses a bomb and everything. Seems he’s the one who was trying to kidnap the sisters, and now he’s back to finish the job. I guess he’s looking for Galileo’s inheritance and he’s got a needlessly long pistol to do it.

I feel like Hazuki fails to grasp the situation of being held at gunpoint, but luckily our flashy intruder is more interested in the World Cup to care. We’re being introduced to his glorious mech, but I guess Hozuki has her own plans with a mech of her own. It looks like a goldfish; that is adorable. I can’t tell if this is the real goldfish or the ship’s computer, but it’s got an attitude, and I like it. It looks like the Goldfish is pretty well equipped for aerial combat and manages to scare the Flash Master off. With promises to be fulfilled another day, that wraps up the first episode!

I’m still not sure where this show will go, but I’m pretty optimistic for how it pans out. The ending is a very nice song, done by Earthmind who did the OP for Vividred Operation. It won’t be out until even later in November though, so more despair on that front. Anyway, I can’t really say how much I like the series overall, but it has hooked me with an interesting premise. Unlike other shows, it doesn’t give a preview for next week so I guess we’ll just have to catch it then!

Watch Galilei Donna on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Gundam Build Fighters (Episode One)
Player: Elk
Class: DJ

Simulblast Gundam Build Fighters

So I’ve got Gundam Build Fighters, which is lucky for me because it’s the series I wanted most this season. It’s been anticipated with dread and with glee by many, and I was on the side of the joyous. Gundam has always been about selling models by making cool robots people want to have and display. This series is just cutting out the middle man and making it entirely about building Gundam models and using them to fight in a VR space called Gunpla Battle.

This is an introductory episode all about getting everyone caught up to speed with the world the characters live in, as well as introducing us to the main players and hooking us with some action. Sei Iori, the main protagonist, is the series beaver. He is a hard worker at his father’s Gunpla store. He looks up to his dad who came in 2nd place in the first Gundam Battle World Championship, and builds all the store display models. However he’s a crappy pilot, and is shown up by his friend/rival Sazaki (who is a the arrogant penguin of the series) when he takes out Sei’s well-built Wing Gundam with a Gyan, to prove that a master builder cannot overcome a decently built model with a good controller.

Before I get into the other characters, THAT is the beauty of this series. As this is a series taking place on this Earth (albeit in the future where VR battles like this are possible), it has an internal knowledge of all the Gundam series, and all of the models made by Bandai (as well as customized versions by Gunpla maniacs). This makes for exciting cross-series battles in every conceivable environment.

After his defeat, Sei heads out to wallow, where he runs into Reiji. Reiji seems to be an alien, as he has no idea what Gunpla are, doesn’t understand outdoor storefront displays, and was completely shocked by the fizziness of soda (as well as having some sort of communication Gem that he gives to Sei after he clears up a theft of bread with a shop owner). That, or he’s a Canadian. Reiji tells Sei that if he makes a wish while holding that rock, Reiji will come to him and help him with whatever problem he is having, before promptly disappearing.

Flash forward, and Sei has finished his customized Strike Gundam called the Build Strike. On queue Sazaki shows up suggesting he should pilot it because Sei is a sucky pilot. Fed up with Sazaki’s arrogance, and with one of the judges, the majestically elk-like Mr.Ral (Any fan of Gundam will immediately recognize this man and squeal with happiness) to adjudicate, Sei musters up the courage of a polar bear and challenges Sazaki to one last fight. If Sei loses he’ll let Sazaki control his Gundam, even though he doesn’t like the way Sazaki treats Gunpla.

With so much on the line you’d think Sei would pull it off, but he gets beat up, and right as Sazaki is about to ring out the Build Strike, a hand reaches forward over Sei’s, and pushes the controls, causing the Build Strike to shoulder dash into the Gyan knocking it back.

Ta-da! Reiji shows up to save the day! Despite not even knowing about Gunpla, he fiddles with the controls a bit to understand how they work, and then with the finesse of Sei’s father, completely dominates Sazaki before disappearing again. Sei runs out to look for him, knowing that Reiji is the one with movement perfect for his Gundam, but doesn’t find him. He arrives home to find Reiji in his house having supper. We end with Gunpla commercials and a taste of next episode, which will include a Char custom Zaku.

I’m pumped, are you?

Watch Gundam Build Fighters on Gundam.Info or talk about this episode on our forums.

I Couldn’t Become A Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided To Get A Job (Episode One)
Player: Bobby Henshin
Class: DJ

Simulblast Couldn't Be A HeroThis is it. You have been fighting a never-ending war for the sake of all man kind against The Demon King. All for the one chance where you and your friends can be called… heroes. But then you learn that, out of nowhere, The Demon King was slain by an unknown force and all your hopes of being a hero were shattered. That’s the kind of story we are in for here, folks.

Our wannabe hero, Raul, now works at a discount appliance store. That’s right, a discount appliance store. Where instead of electricity, all of the appliances run on magic, and vehicles are pulled by fantasy creatures. After being hit by a wave of pushy customers, our hero is confronted by a petite little boy in a hoodie with a bit of an attitude. The boy yells for the manager and throws down a job application. Reluctant to call the manager, she already appears and calls the boy to her office. Raul looks at the application to find out that, in the background section, the boy is actually the child of the deceased Demon King. He pleads to the manager not to hire him, but she does anyway and orders Raul to train him.

While training happens, hilarity ensues when he can’t seem to stop touching things and scaring customers away with a snarky remark and evil aura. So he decides to show him the storage area and look at all the products. The boy pushes the button on a magic dehumidifier, the machine malfunctions and gets covered in water, then the boy passes out. Raul takes him to the break area and realizes that he should help him change clothes so he doesn’t catch a cold. Once he starts to unzip the hoodie, he is slapped with the fact that “he” is actually a “she”, and was also wearing nothing underneath the hoodie. So in normal anime timing, she wakes up to find Raul hovering over her with her hoodie unzipped. Stuff is thrown and Raul manages to defuse the situation. Now after learning her secret and helping her around the store, he sees a future for her at this magical discount appliance store. Just cause you can’t be a hero, doesn’t mean you can’t stop helping
others. Then he learns that this new girl will actually be living in the store’s break room. We are in for a long night as he helps her dry her hair with a magical hair dryer… that explodes after she hits the “Turbo” setting. Thus ends day one for our would-be hero.

My feelings on the first episode is that I can truly feel for this character and his dream of wanting to be a hero. I also know the frustration of training new employees. I love the factor that it is a fantasy world with real world objects but run on magic instead of electricity. Makes me wish I lived there and I wouldn’t have to buy batteries again. All in all I give this episode a 8/10. I would like to see how our little demon girl does in the future.

Watch I Couldn’t Become A Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided To Get A Job on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Kill La Kill (Episode One)
Player: Knightshade
Class: DJ

Simulblast Kill La Kill

Evening everyone, I’m DJ Knightshade, and I’m here to talk to all you about a new anime I started watching called “Kill la Kill”. Kill la Kill is set at Honnoji Academy, a high school in post-apocalyptic Japan that’s ruled by the evil student council and led by Satsuki Kiryuin. The council members wear special jackets called Goku Uniforms that grant them super powers, which they use to oppress and control the rest of the school’s students and staff.

Ryuko Matoi, a student wielding an awesome scissor like sword, transfers to Honnoji Academy in search of the scissor blade’s original owner, who killed her father. Defeated and beaten, Ryuko comes across a living sailor uniform. He puts himself on Ryuko and using the uniform’s special abilities, Ryuko stands up against Satsuki and her henchmen. After beating Takaharu Fukuroda and ripping his uniform she promptly escapes.

After watching the first episode I have to say it was pretty good. The action was great; a show with over-the-top battles with crazy weapons is my kind of show. Crazy action sequences flow surprisingly well with the at-times calm atmosphere. It’s done in a comedic way, so it can be good and bad. Good way would be to serve the purpose of telling a funny action story. Bad because when you start to take it seriously it becomes crazy just as fast. It gets confusing at times, and, unless you’re willing to listen to the show, you will get lost and have no clue why things are happening the way they are happening. Also the art style at times can make you kind of sick if you’re not prepared, though that doesn’t make the animation style bad.

In my opinion, the show has great potential to be a great crazy show; only time will tell if it lives up to the expectations of the fans who watch it.

Watch Kill La Kill on Crunchyroll & Daisuki or talk about this episode on our forums.

Log Horizon (Episode One)
Player: Siege
Class: Content Provider

Simulblast Log HorizonIn all my days as a cop/DJ, I saw some pretty weird stuff. Ranking them all, I’d think “demonic ferret-squirrel-dogs chasing a wizard” falls around 6th weirdest, just below “stopping that one party where everyone was dressed as a household appliance.” It is with these rabid ferret-squirrel-dogs that Log Horizon initially greets its viewers, and I’d say it’s a pretty effective hook.

Right from the start, Log Horizon makes it incredibly clear to you that it’s based on a fictional online RPG. This has become a pretty common setting in anime even as far as .hack, and even more recently with Sword Art Online. Luckily, I have never watched an anime with this basic plot, so I’m actually in for a unique experience. Log Horizon seems to take place in a virtual-reality game, complete with augmented-reality-style HUDs. All of this expectation is quickly and naturally implied in the first minute or so during a battle, just before the (awesome) opening theme plays. I love any show that can pull that off without feeling like it’s piling exposition onto viewers.

Now, take all of that plot you think is obvious and inferred and throw it away. These people aren’t playing a game, at least not in a traditional sense. The main character, Shiroe, finds himself unexpectedly thrown into what seems to be a post-apocalyptic Akhiabara. He quickly finds himself surrounded by thousands of people in traditional JRPG garb, wondering where the hell they are. He soon meets up with close online friends Naotsugu, a bulky warrior-class character, and Akatsuki, an assassin with a secret identity. As he and his friends explore, Shiroe slowly comes to the shocking realization that he is in the world of an MMO called Elder Tale, along with tens of thousands of other Japanese players.

And so, the mystery of Log Horizon is unveiled. Immediately I’m hooked by the sense of the unknown. The best stories I know are ones where none of the characters have any clue what’s happening to them. There’s something very relateable and human about having no control and no understanding. Yet it seems like the characters don’t have any real desire to figure out the “why” or the “how” of their new video-game fate. I’m sure that mysteries will unravel as the series goes on, but I just wish the characters were a little more curious about the situation.

Instead, the trio has the natural human reaction and just kind of accepts their fate, exploring the limits of the world around them. In order to understand how their abilities and strength change in the new world they’ve been given, they venture out of the city to fight… rabid ferret-squirrel-dogs (Which are actually weasels. I guess you learn something new every day). See! They did the old-loop-de-loop on us, putting the end of the episode at the beginning! What will writers think of next!

Writing clichés aside, I’m really enjoying Log Horizon thus far. It’s got an interesting premise, and seems to be aiming to be a lighthearted action/comedy. While that’s not normally my cup of tea (I’m normally more into slice-of-life-type anime), I think I’ll be able to get into this show without any problems.

I would definitely say to add this one to your watch list this season. Maybe it won’t live up to the mysteries it sets, but it seems like it’s at least going to be a fun ride.

Watch Log Horizon on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Meganebu! (Episode One)
Player: Kanashimi
Class: Boss

Simulblast Meganebu

Let’s just get this out of the way: Meganebu! has big shoes to fill, all things considered. The series is airing right after Kyoto Animation’s foray into the fujoshi market. Fujoshi is a term used to describe girls that have a love for the Boy’s Love (or yaoi) genre. The term, much like otaku, appears to be adopting a very broad way of simply saying “female otaku” here in the States.

Why is this a big deal? There have been plenty of series in the past that cater to women, and you would be right in saying that! Reverse-harem type of shows, usually based on visual novels, are pretty common every other season or so. Original content that features an all-male cast written specifically for females has happened, but is gaining traction thanks to recent trends involving culture and how that culture affects consumers.

I’m sure, if you explore most anime communities, that there are quite a few people crying foul at the inclusion of male fan service for females. I’ve seen plenty of excuses why, the most predominate one is that female anime watchers will simply not support the show, but if my wallet has anything to say about Tiger & Bunny or Free! …well, it wouldn’t be very happy to tell its tales of being dry without funds. I’ve made impulse purchases to buy as many Makoto related items as possible or even fake Tiger & Bunny nails. I don’t even know how to wear fake nails, but they’re on the way straight from Japan.

Internet arguments aside, Free! did well in showing all anime fans that a show without fan service can have a driving plot, good characterizations as well as satisfactory growth, and still give fangirls the ability to admire or pair the cast together. It’s fair to say I’m apprehensive that Meganebu! can do the same despite being in the works for a while. The fujoshi inside of me is thinking of those nights in my final boss dungeon where I roamed Tumblr and gawked at glasses wearing bishounen characters. That side of me is ecstatic, but the realistic side of me can’t help but to approach the title cautiously.

I’ll admit right off the bat that the opening was not what I expected. There seems to be a tendency to incorporate some sort of rocky tone with male fan service shows. I do think Mucc was a decent pick for the opening despite how bright, color, and peppy it is. I still can’t help but imagine that a group like Perfume, who is known for their techno sound, would do somewhat better with the vector-like style they’re going for.

After the opening, The Glasses Club is standing upon the school roof shouting to a crowd of stick figures. Their leader, Akira, declares that their desire to finally see a girl naked can be fulfilled with the use of x-ray glasses! At least, I thought it was x-ray glasses until he summoned a giant mech titled “X-Ray Glasses Mk. 33”. The machine transforms into the pair of glasses, but once they try to active them it just effectively blows Akira’s face off. The club sulks at another failure. It truly makes me wonder how often they do this sort of thing and how they can get away with it. Obviously, I was expecting something just a tad more realistic.

Good thing it was just an elaborate daydream sequence by the title character! From this point we see the group is working on something on the roof of the school. Here we’re introduced to Mitsuki and Hayato, both of which seem younger than the other members and are probably the driving “cute” factor. However it appears that Mitsuki doesn’t like sharing his dear Akira, so there’s a hint of shota rivalry brewing. After that we’re given Yukiya, the colder and more serious type, while his polar opposite seems to be Takuma, who is only interested in eating or sleeping. With the main cast intact, we find out that they lost their club room due to an explosion and that most of the student body doesn’t recognize their existence.

We’re unable to dwell on this fact for very long though because the scene is cut to Akira finding out about a vision test. He immediately notifies all the members and tells them to assemble on the roof. Instead of being excited for the vision test, which was my presumption, they begin to fantasize about the female nurse. From this point on, it’s all about testing the x-ray glasses they don’t have. They then rally together and struggle to get the x-ray glasses functioning. They waste a good deal of time since no one can read Yukiya’s blueprints and for whatever reason none of them said anything. Somehow, they get their spirits back despite, let’s face it, being big, perverted, dorks.

Morning comes and they… haven’t made any progress. Big perverted dorks, it is.

They devise a plan to finish the glasses during the vision test. Mitsuki and Hayato will stall while Akira, Takuma, and Yukiya stay behind to work on them and then they’ll switch. We find out that Hayato has perfect vision at this point and only wears them as an accessory. In addition, we find out Takuma can run faster without his shoes and Yukiya runs faster without his shirt because, let’s face it, male fan service.

When all is said and done they actually finish the x-ray glasses?! I was pretty surprised since I assumed they wouldn’t be capable of achieving such a feat. However, Akira gets over excited as they leave to go see the female nurse and trips. The glasses are effectively broken… and then they explode.

Akira heads home defeated and is greeted by his glasses wearing brother Hikaru. Akira begins to tell him the tale of the x-ray glasses and his brother inquiries about the pretty nurse. At this point, the leader of The Glasses Club realizes there was no female nurse. The group was too preoccupied with the glasses to actually scout for her beforehand.

The ending kicks in and has a magical tone that I can’t help but smile at. I was a little conflicted initially with the episode since I was expecting something remotely realistic, but it was cheerful and energetic in the end. It has a lighthearted feel, which makes me think we won’t get a whole lot of depth, but for a comedic show you don’t necessarily need something profound. I think if you can enjoy Meganebu! for what it is–which is difficult to describe, but wacky is the best word that comes to mind–then I believe it’s an enjoyable entry to the series.

Watch Meganebu! on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Nagi No Asukara (Episode One)
Player: MakiMaki
Class: Content Provider

Simulblast Nagi No Asukara

:Begin transmission:

IL Palazzo combu!

I write this report as part of my log for fellow mad scientists and would-be lab assistants who wish to watch Nagi no Asukara. It will be a refreshing break from my quest to rule the world! Though not as refreshing as a bottle of Dr. Pepper! *note to self, go buy more Dr. Pepper.

Episode 1 begins with a boy, Hikari, cooking breakfast for his family with fish swimming around him. What is this?! Fish? In the house? Not in a tank or bowl? Am I hallucinating? It must be the effects of countless hours working on my precious computers as I plot to take over the world!! Hue hue hue!!

The episode moves on to Hikari meeting up with his friends for their first day of school…wait, he’s swimming…more fish!? I am hallucinating. *note to self, check supply of anti-hallucinating spray.

Ah worthy lab assistants in Manaka, a seemingly helpless crybaby; Chisaki, a helpful friend; and Kaname, a quiet intellectual? Perhaps not.

Scatterbrain Manaka is scolded by Hikari for wearing the land-school uniform instead of their sea-school one…an act of solidarity gone awry I suppose. She runs off and manages to get caught by a fishing boat net where she meets Tsumugu, the land-human fishermans son.

The main cast is set.

The episode transitions to the land-school where the sea-kids are introduced. There is a tension between the sea and land humans similar to types of discrimination that is seen in our real world. Hikari stands up to the heckling by the land-kids during their introductions. It definitely sets the stage for tension between them and the land-humans. *note to self, research tensions between humans as a potential tool to take over the world.

I found the background for the sea and land humans explained by Hiroko, as he argued with the elders about an upcoming ceremony called The Boatdrift Ceremony, to be quite interesting. It helped put things into better perspective in terms of how the sea and land humans deal with each other. Their common ancestry should be a source of pride not prejudice. I look forward to seeing how this history plays out in the affairs of both civilizations.

Segue to Lord Uroko, the sea god’s messenger and spirit fire. Apparently, there is a demi-god living among the sea humans to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes as the land humans did. He seems to be something of a lazy, old dragon sitting atop his treasure. The sea humans bring him offerings in exchange for the spirit fire, which appears to be a flame that can exist underwater. Uroko is also a bit lecherous, which was a bit comical, especially after he curses Manaka for throwing her offering in his face. Manaka is in heat?! *note to self, stay away from Uroko-type beings.

Back to school, we see the tension between the sea and land kids come to a boiling point when Manaka is being picked on over the sea-humans protective barrier “skin”, which sparkles in the sun. Manaka is visibly embarassed. Even Chisaki’s efforts are in vain. Tsumugu comes to the rescue, but Manaka’s cursed knee ends up embarassing her even more and she runs away, falling down a hill. As her protective skin starts to crack, she passes out. *note to self, research protective barriers.

As Hiroki frantically looks her Manaka, Tsumugu finds her and brings her back to his house. As Manaka recovers it is clear there is a developing love triangle. In fact a few of them. Ah, love triangles, such wonderous things. Their power to cause chaos could be used to take over the world! *note to self, develop love triangle potion. Send to Syndicate to destroy them.

Overall, a good start to a unique series for the Fall 2013 season.

What is this Syndicate conspiracy of humans living underwater before living on land? Hue hue hue! Sea-human children moving to land-human school because of their sea-school closed? Nonesense! Clearly a plot by the land-humans to do away with the sea-humans and take their salt! *note to self, keep an eye on the land-humans, something smells fishy.

IL Palazzo combu!

Dr. MuMaMi aka Dr. MikuMokaMaki aka MakiMaki, but not MahiMahi

:End of transmission:

Watch Nagi No Asukara on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Outbreak Company (Episode One)
Player: Kayarath
Class: Content Provider

Simulblast Outbreak Company

So, Outbreak Company is an anime where a total otaku is transported to a fantasy world with the job of promoting Japanese culture. My initial feelings were that the series would be just a vehicle for moe scenes and anime fanservice. Shin’ichi, the main character, applies for a job in order to escape the giant island of fail that is his life and ends up getting brought to a mysterious new world. There he can drink his fill of moe characters and fantasy tropes.

While there is a good deal of sugar, there is some actual thought to the show premise behind it. I imagine that if a new alien species were to make themselves known to Earth, Japan would use its pop culture in order to build and promote a friendship with them. It also notes that it would best be done through private enterprise because the government itself is bad at it. They even take the time to point out that the maid is an illiterate half-elf and that half-elfs are discriminated against. Shin’ichi himself makes that observation, meaning he actually has some smarts behind all those otaku tendencies.

I think it’s safe to predict that Shin’ichi will undergo some character development as he comes to terms with being an otaku. I can also imagine him being a major factor in changing the dynamics of the fantasy world he is now in. There will also be some teaching scenes and more cute girls to fond over! I wonder how exactly does one promote Japanese culture? Will it be enough to ensure Japan can get along with this new world? What fetish will be featured next? Find out in episode two!

Watch Outbreak Company on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Week 001 Tally

  • Bobby Henshin: 50
  • Christmas: 70
  • Elk: 70
  • Kanashimi: 70
  • Kayarath: 70
  • Knightshade: 50
  • MakiMaki: 70
  • Midnight: 70
  • Siege: 70
  • Zero Gravity: 50

Next week’s challenge: Find a friend (or force a hobo!) to watch the episode with you and utilize their honest opinion in your write-up. This person cannot be a player participating in Simulblast!

Make sure to vote for your favorite review below! You can give your favorite an extra 30 points.

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  • sister ray00 October 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    i vote Christmas!

    • JohnnyDeppFan October 21, 2013 at 2:04 AM

      Elk, as always, is Grade A+ Beef.

      I vote for Elk.

  • christmas4477 October 15, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    I also vote Christmas, he’s so awesome

    • Kanashimi October 15, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      You don’t count

      • christmas4477 October 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        SURE I DO

  • nerdwerld October 15, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    I vote for Christmas’s review, because I might actually start watching the anime after I read his review. XD

    • christmas4477 October 16, 2013 at 5:45 AM

      That’s how I tend to write my anime reviews. It’s almost like a play by play so it’s good to watch and read someone else’s thoughts as you go

  • Level 16 Miltank October 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    I vote Siege because I actually had to sit down and watch this anime for him.

  • Nirvash_Redemption October 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    I’ll vote for Kana’s choice because I pretty much have seen everything else on the list. :Y

    • Kanashimi October 15, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      You’re my new favorite. I have sent you your packaged kitty in a box.

      • Nirvash_Redemption October 15, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        Cool beans.

  • Zaane October 15, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    I vote for Kana. the dice say so, so it must be.

    • Kanashimi October 15, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      You get a puppy in a box.

  • Cerulaine October 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I vote Christmas

  • pepperwright October 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I vote Zero, very interesting analysis

  • Cheshy October 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I’m going to have to stick my completely unbiased vote to Kanashimi. Despite what she might think every now and then, she’s actually a better writer than she gives herself credit for. Her explanation on the anime she watched provided plenty of imagery, especially since I’ve never heard of nor seen the anime that she wrote about.

  • pissedsilentbob October 19, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    PiSsEdSiLeNtBoB votes for Christmas…….

  • JeweledRose October 21, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    X3 I vote for Kanashimi; I could use her eternal gratitude

  • SegaDreamcats October 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I vote for Elk, as he is the clear winner here.