November 4th, 2012

Firechick's Anime Reviews: One Off

I give this dumb, moe-fied, convoluted car advertisement...a 38/100.

I love Junichi Sato. I really do, despite the fact that I've only been exposed to a few of his works, and Tamayura happens to be my favorite. However...I can't believe I watched this piece of trash! It's a good thing it's only four fifteen-minute long episodes like the original Tamayura OVAs were, and whaddaya know! This is supposed to be a car advertisement, like how Hokago no Pleiades is! Ugh, I can't believe I wasted my time on this dumb OVA. It's such a shame, as this could have been a lot better, and the issues it tackled could have been handled more appropriately. This anime is sponsored by Honda Motors...but how do they start off? By bashing bicycles and introducing characters who are such blatant stereotypes that you can tell just from looking at them for a few seconds that you've seen this type of character before somewhere! A lot of people give Tamayura a lot of flak for supposedly being a K-On rip off, which I don't think is true. Heck, if there's a show haters should be calling a K-On rip-off, it's One Off!

The story's nothing special. Basically it's about a girl named Haruno who envies her friends for having dreams and ambitions they want to pursue and thinks she'll never be able to leave the rural town she lives in. Her jobs mostly consist of helping her parents at their restaurant and collecting eggs from chickens. All of a sudden, out appears this random, badly voiced Australian named Cynthia (who I swear to God is a rip-off of Cynthia from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Look at their character designs! I'm not even kidding!) who does nothing but shout bad English and shove her cleavage into people's faces. You may think me saying that Haruno's life changes after that might be great, me, it's not.

Is it just me, or is the animation for this anime really blurry? The backgrounds look a lot more faded than crisp, like it was done by someone who couldn't afford money to buy glasses. Not only that, the movement that's there isn't very fluid. But ugh, I need to get this out, I HATE the character designs! Cynthia because she looks like a rip-off of Cynthia from Pokemon, which should be fairly obvious, but the girls' designs I don't like they look too much like rip-offs of other characters (I swear, Sayo looks almost EXACTLY like Tsuruko from AnoHana, right down to her seiyuu, who does the voice of Tsuruko as well!), two: I hate how anime over exaggerates and glorifies female legs! They always make it look like the top part of the leg, above the knee, is longer than the lower part of the leg, below the knee. You can tell just from looking at the promotional pictures alone that their legs are too odd-looking, which is especially exacerbated by the fact that they all wear skirts so short that if done in real life, you'd be able to see their undies no problem, and...that's NOT a compliment. I mean, look at the way the pig tailed girl is positioned in the promo art! Her legs are obviously too long, and she could be showing off her undies as we speak considering she's wearing a really short skirt and she's in a rather promiscuous position if you take it out of context. I'm not a thin person, and I never wear skirts, but I've looked in the mirror and pictured myself in short uniforms like this while taking human anatomy into account and quite honestly, if people actually wore uniforms like that in real life, then they'd be showing their undies off 24/7 considering the length of the skirt and how ungracefully exaggerated the legs are. And look at the way the blue haired girl is lying on the ground! Her rear end is right in view! See my point? And even her legs don't look right! Then again, none of them do! I wish anime would stop over exaggerating female body parts and making girls wear short skirts and actually respect realistic human anatomy already! It's driving me up the wall!

The only remotely good thing about this show is the music. I definitely liked the opening theme, as it's nice and soothing, and the ending themes are nice too, even though they're both a little dull. The rest of the, dull. Nothing ground-breaking or bad. Just...dull. I honestly don't remember. The soundtrack in itself is pretty bland and forgettable. I honestly don't remember one spec of it.

Ugh, the characters. I won't lie, these have to be the most blatant and most shallow stereotypes I've ever seen. None of the characters are properly or appropriately developed, they follow their assigned gimmick way too much, the very little pieces of personality they do have are obviously ripped off from characters from other anime I've seen before, and they're overall shallow and uninteresting. This is made worse by the absolutely abysmal voice acting! Haruno's seiyuu is trying way too hard, and that blue haired girl just refused to shut her freaking mouth! I wanted to mute the audio every time that stupid, annoying as heck blueberry head opened her mouth! All she did as scream and moan about not having a motorbike and squealing over how hot Cynthia is! Someone cut this character out of the show already! She's too much of a rip-off of Ritsu from K-On! The other characters are just bland and uninteresting. Cynthia has to be the worst Australian portrayal I've ever seen. I've never met an Australian before, but none I know talk in such bad English as she did, and none I know go around showing off their boobs (AND SHE DOESN'T EVEN WEAR A FREAKING BRA!!! WHAT THE ACTUAL FREAKSHOW?!?)! What especially appalled me is that despite her flaws, everyone suddenly likes her! WHAT THE FREAK DID SHE DO TO GET THEM TO LIKE HER?!? Show her boobs, of course! Oh God, even the characters' reactions to Cynthia are inappropriate and unrealistic! If I saw a woman like her showing off her boobs, I'd call the police and get her arrested for public nudity! It appalls me how anime characters love downplaying the flaws of a clearly problematic character and make them into a straight up object of desire for everyone! That must be why the trope Draco In Leather Pants exists. Heck, if anything, I consider Cynthia to be the very in-show embodiment of this trope!...AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY!

The rest of the show is just bad, bland, and downright boring. Even the supposed moral of the story is shallow and dumb, even cheesy because of the way it's executed. Everything else is just bad. The way the characters react to certain events: bad and unrealistic. All the coincidences: totally contrived and convoluted. The characters' voices: UGH MAKE THEM STOP TALKING! The whole girls riding motorbikes in the future. I can't see that. But from what I'm hearing, car sales are decreasing in parts of the world, so I guess it was to be expected that advertising companies would go to drastic measures to sell a product. But can we do it in a way that doesn't involve churning out stereotypes and beating dead horses PLEASE? I'm taking a class called Effects of Media on Children and one of my assignments involves analyzing how advertisements rely on gender stereotypes to sell a product and how they affect people of all ages. This is NOT a proper way to advertise a product.

Just watch this to consider buying a motorbike. Other than that, give it a miss. It's dumb, contrived, and really not worth your time.
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    annoyed annoyed

My Top 12 Favorite Western Cartoons

I got bored, so I decided to make this.

12. Lady Lovely Locks
I will admit, I had no idea this show even existed until late last year, and that was because someone compared it to Go! Princess Precure coming up. I had nothing better to watch at the time, so I thought why not and decided to watch it to relieve the boredom. I will admit, it's not that good of a show. It's cheesy, Lady Lovely Locks is too perfect, the show has so many creative ideas but never got to utilize them, their episodes are too short for any kind of character development, the villains are cheesy, and it could have been so much better. But even so, I still like it, and it's a heck of a lot better than other stuff I've seen despite the low rating I gave it. Here's hoping I make a fan fic that'll expand on its ideas and characters. It's unabashedly girly, but oddly enough, it didn't repulse me or drive me away, so if it can do that, then it deserves a spot on this list.

11. My Little Pony Tales.
I'm kinda sad people aren't seeing the good things about it and focusing too much on the bad. I mean, yes it definitely has its problems (the worst being the music, continuity errors, the short episode duration, and one episode that's just plain terrible), but for the most part, while it's nothing ground-breaking, it has a lot of things to like. For one thing, the ponies have some personality and some flaws, so they're not totally bland (though I do think Starlight could have gotten more development), it definitely tackles most of its issues in a somewhat sensitive and fair manner unlike most shows like it, and for the most part, it's not as girly as many people think. It's definitely FAR away from G3-3.5, just so you know.

10. The Powerpuff Girls

9. Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!
One of my favorite old cartoons!

8. Steven Universe
When I first heard about this show, I was so sure it was going to be yet another bad gross out Cartoon Network comedy in the vein of Uncle Grandpa and Teen Titans Go, where it'd focus only on pointless comedy and stupid stuff that's all style and no substance at all. And of my favorite internet critics was praising it up the wazoo, along with everyone else around me. My curiosity being piqued, I decided to check it out. Best decision I ever made. Sure, it's no different from other shows out there, but it's just so wonderfully sincere and does its own thing. It's actually a serious show, albeit with plenty of comedy and cuteness, and even though its stylish, there's plenty of substance underneath.

7.Voltron: Legendary Defender
I never in a million years thought I'd like this.

6. Song of the Sea

5. The Legend of Korra.
Is it any wonder why I love this?

4.  Avatar: The Last Airbender.
I love this!

3. LoliRock
Easily one of the best magical girl shows I've seen, the best written and the best executed.

2. Redwall Animated Series
I would never have seen this series had I not began watching The Cartoon Hero's internet review of it.

1. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
I hadn't heard of this show until 2011, and I had long lost my faith in Western cartoons back then. But people kept raving about it and praising it up the wazoo, and I was convinced that any girl themed show was automatically bad. But out of morbid curiosity, I checked it out, and it didn't hook me right away. Sonic Rainboom was the episode that truly made me realize that this show wasn't going to be bad like all other shows I knew. In fact, by the time 2011 ended, I had become a hardcore fan! Well, not TOO hardcore.