Panning the Stream: World Trigger, Cross Ange, Grisaia, Wolf Girl and Black Prince, Celestial Method

That’s a whole lotta nope, right there.

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After yesterday’s uneven but at least somewhat intriguing premieres, I was starting to worry that I’d end up with another massive watchlist. Now I’m starting to worry that I won’t have very much on my watchlist at all. I’ve crammed five series into this post, and none of them are getting a full Meet ‘n’ Greet. The good news is that (1) most of the more promising shows for this season haven’t aired yet, and (2) a few of these are watchable enough that if we DO have a weak season, I could end up coming back to them.

It’s a wide variety, this bunch, from mecha epics to school stories, and while a couple simply didn’t catch my interest, a couple others were downright infuriating. Hit the jump for some quickie reviews as the nope parade rides through town.

World Trigger

This is a premise-based action/adventure tale, near as I can tell, the premise being that monsters called Neighbors appear from another world, and it’s the job of the “Border” organization to stop them. There wasn’t anything to particularly dislike about this one, save for some fairly cheap animation, and I quite enjoyed the alien nature of the white-haired exchange student. But I set the bar pretty high when it comes to premise-based action/adventure tales (they tend to run long, so I need to be interested enough to stick around for a while), and this one didn’t quite clear it. That said, I’ll keep an eye on other reviews – if it gets some decent coverage I may come back to it.

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon (Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo)

Arguably the most interesting premise of the Fall shows I’ve watched this season, it takes place in a peaceful, seemingly-utopian monarchy where everyone can use Mana – except for a small percentage of women called “Norma,” who are reviled as monsters and taken away (usually at a young age). Also, the music was pretty freaking great. If I’m being totally honest there’s a tiny sliver of a chance I’ll watch the next episode simply because the concept intrigues the hell out of me, but it’s too small of a sliver to give this a full post.

I had the same issues with this one that I had with Lord Marksman and Vanadis, except times 100, because the camera was even more interested in objectifying its female lead (you know when the first shot of the MC is of her cleavage, you’re probably in trouble). This trend continued on into the final “body cavity search” prison scene, which was disturbing as hell, but for reasons involving far too many sexualized angles and shots instead of the dehumanizing nature of the act itself. Is there something brilliant going on here, where the creators are using dehumanizing art to further expound the cruel dehumanization of the “Norma” themselves? Y’know, somehow I kinda doubt it. (And once more, with feeling: Rargh.)

The Fruit of Grisaia (Grisaia no Kajitsu)

As soon as I learned this was a “boy transfers into a school of all girls” show, I figured I’d make it 10 minutes. Props to Grisaia: It teased me with just enough of a story (prison-like school, some vague hints about the MC’s traumatic background) that I made it a whopping fifteen. That’s how long it took for a busty girl to mount a smaller, squealing girl and for the camera to go all a-goggle at the squealing girl’s panties. Aaand we’re done here.

Wolf Girl and Black Prince (Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji)

It’s your classic tale of girl meets boy, girl snaps photo of boy, girl pretends boy is her boyfriend, girl finds out boy goes to her school, girl begs boy to pretend to be her boyfriend, boy agrees if the girl will become his “dog,” girl agrees for some freaking reason, boy treats girl like his personal toy.

If short-sighted girls in abusive relationships are your thing, then this show is for you! By far the most uncomfortable premise I’ve watched thus far, and I watched a woman strap another woman to a table and give her a cavity search. Everyone except the MC’s best friend is insufferable, the show is already trying to make its male lead out to be romantic when he’s really just an asshole… and this thing is marketed towards young girls? Gag. Ick. No. I’m out.

Celestial Method (Sora no Method)

The art for this one is lovely (I had to check to make sure this series wasn’t done by P.A. Works), and the hovering UFO-like object above the town sets a great tone and hints at future story lines, but the interactions feel so tired and formulaic, like the creative team went down a checklist of what counts as “cute,” ticked all the boxes, and then stood behind me shouting “See how cute they are?!” Also, I think I’m developing an allergy to squeaky anime girl voices. There’s something like the glimmer of potential here, but I don’t think I can sit through the acting for an entire season to see if that potential is realized.

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