Throw another potential gold nugget in the season’s li’l pile, at least.
I sat on this post for a bit because there are still technically a couple premieres left, but none of them are available for legal streaming as I write this and I’ve got a packed weekend ahead of me, so I figured I’d go ahead and queue this up now. Consider it the last batch of new fall shows—I’ll throw up a post tomorrow for the extensive number of sequels (and “sequels”) I’m watching, and that’ll wrap up for the madness that is premiere week. If any of the stragglers catch my eye, you’ll hear about it in a Rule of Three.
As for this final batch, it features one of my favorites of the season and two more to add to the stack of unremarkable-to-ohGodwhy LN adaptations flooding our streams this season. Hit the jump for praise and headshakes alike.
The Perfect Insider (Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Based On: The novel by Mori Hiroshi (The Sky Crawlers)
Streaming On: Crunchyroll (click here for the full list of regions)
In a Sentence: A group of college students and professors plan a trip to a remote island where the brilliant but reclusive scientist Magata Shinki resides.
How was it? Smartly written and directed, if not a bit slow-paced and difficult to know exactly where the story’s going at this point.
I had tentative hopes for this one given the source material and some of the talent behind the project, so it was good to see those hopes amply rewarded (for now, at least). The characters are realistic and recognizable (if not always likable) individuals, and their dialogue snaps with a stylized realism as they sometimes talk to each other but often just talk at each other. The exchanges between Saikawa-sensei, a misanthropic “genius” professor, and Moe, a bright but down-to-earth college student, are particularly sharp, with Saikawa going on broad philosophical rants about humanity and Moe boiling them down to the petty personal issues they really are.
The camera work is more similar to a live-action film than an anime, using a lot of straight-on shots, and the art is desaturated and subdued, with animation focused largely on subtle but detailed body language. The story has the heady, character-driven pace reminiscent of a Nakamura series (Lain, Kino’s Journey), which will either bore you or suck you into its dimly lit, mystery-laden world. I’m in the latter category, so I pretty much loved this thing start to finish. It’s too early to get excited, but… yeah, I’m a little excited for this one.
Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon (Tamaidou Gakuen 5 Shilken Shoutai)
It’s another light novel adaptation about a school full of people with special abilities, although in this case instead of magic it’s martial arts and technical skills used to combat witchcraft. It has exactly every tired and distasteful stereotype you’d expect, but the camera is slightly less skeevy than usual and the director hurries through the worst of the tropes, seemingly more interested in the combat than the crass fanservice checklist.
Don’t get me wrong: It’s bad, but I actually got through the entire episode, so it was less bad than the other LN adaptations this season. And, I mean, any project that lets Shinichirou Miki vamp as an eccentric headmaster can’t be a total waste. So, you know, I guess if you have to watch a crappy LN adaptation this season, this is the one I’d recommend.
Shomin Sample (Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets-Sareta Ken)
Aaaand here it is, the LN adaptation that crosses the line from generically offensive to aggressively offensive. The first 10 minutes are awash in classism, homophobia, and that “impressive” brand of sexism that manages to be insulting to every gender under the sun. It thinks it’s a wacky comedy and is really just lazy and off-putting. I didn’t stick around long enough to learn anything beyond that, and you know, I’m really okay with that.