Hyperdimension Neptunia – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Hyperdimension Neptunia.

What’s the show? Hyperdimension Neptunia (2013).

Uh-huh. And what’s it about? Anthropomorphic video game consoles in revealing clothing fighting generic bad guys and having conversations about international diplomacy with lots of lame video game puns and references.

I wish.

Scathing! And here I thought it would be right up your alley, what with ‘cute girls’ and ‘skimpy clothing’, least that’s what it says here in my notes… *shuffles papers* I don’t like the fact that you seem more prepared for these reviews than you are usually… it’s unsettling.

Well get used to it, bub! So what’s got you so negative about something you’d normally be all over. I don’t like the insinuation that just because something has good lookin’ ladies that I’d be “all over it”, there’s plenty of shows that fit my niche that I’ve not ended up liking, I just don’t find it easy to write negative reviews so I rarely cover them…


Why not? Why don’t I like writing negative reviews?

Yeah. Well, every show is someone’s favourite show, just seems kind of mean to pick on something someone out there loves…

That’s a dumb reason, you’re dumb. Fine, you want me to let lose?!

YES~! Fine, this show, no this whole series, is just unbelievably lazy and stupid and inane, it’s kind of like the thing that a couple of ten-year old’s would come up with while having a sleepover, like “omg imagine if our video game consoles were countries and they were ruled over by sexy anime girls, hur hur hur!”

So many characters, so little point.

I’ve probably heard worse ideas for a series, but go on… It’s not even that the idea is stupid (which it is), but that it’s that it feels so half-assed that every idea was like the first idea they had, like “okay, we need a name for the Xbox country/how about Leanbox, lol ok sure whatever” The Japanese are so much smarter than this, and so everything about this series just screams ‘lowest common denominator’. It’s like The Big Bang Theory of anime. Cheap references, lame jokes and zero point to it all.

…Did you watch this in English? Maybe, so what, sometimes I watch shows I know will suck in English so I don’t have to pay as close attention.

Y’ever think it might be better in Japanese? Of course it’s fucking better in Japanese, but that still doesn’t fix the inherent issues… as if I could sit through 12 whole episodes of this shit while also reading subtitles. The only thing that made this tolerable was that I could stare at the eye candy.

I don’t even remember who this is, but ‘Yay boobs!’?

You are unbelievable sometimes… What?!

You’re so judgmental but I bet if you found this show under different circumstances and watched it in Japanese you’d be singing its praises! Haha, okay… And what pray tell are these “different circumstances” you speak of?

If you were a teenager when you watched it! …I-I… no, that’s…

I’d like to give her the D-pad.

That’s…? Okay fine! Maybe, just maybe I would have been into it if I was a ‘young’ and ‘impressionable’ (read: horny) teen! But that me is stupid too, I’m so much smarter now! I’m an educated, well-read adult of class and sophistication with a taste in anime and manga to match!

Didn’t you just give ‘Mononoke Sharing‘—a manga with copious amounts of boob related fan-service, a positive, dare I say glowing review on your blog? Oppai… oppai never changes…

Well~ not really.

Was that a f**king Fallout reference?! So how about them (local sports team)!

I… I don’t even know what’s going on at this point… This show is boring and dumb and I feel like I’m a million years old and let me shake my fist at the unceasing callousness of the passing of time! Just let me be young again and I’ll pay you a million yen!

See what I mean?

Who are you even talking to? God, the devil, I—I don’t know, I think… I think I’m having a midlife crisis!? FFFFuuuu~

SO—final score and recommendation? Ergh, umm—if it isn’t already abundantly clear I don’t like this series, it’s lazy and repetitive and obnoxious and just fucking stupid but I do admit that some of the girls are *kisses fingers* bellissimo! I just don’t care about their “plight” and I certainly don’t care about their characters beyond the superficial, much like the original creators probably! Oop~ there I go presuming things I couldn’t possibly know! Oh well whatever, ahaha, this is why I shouldn’t write negative reviews while drinking: 55 out of 100.

This Digimon spin-off certainly took a turn for the perverse!

Unbreakable Machine Doll – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Unbreakable Machine Doll.

What’s the show? Unbreakable Machine Doll (2013).

And what’s it about? Robot loli.

Where’d she come from?

Oh good, I’ll just go and entertain myself with something that won’t get me put on a government watch list while you talk about your creepy show. You can’t just walk away, your contractually obligated to stick around for the full 20 questions the minute you ask me ‘what’s the show?’

Damn contracts… Fine, let’s get this over and done with… Don’t be so dismissive, because we’re in the midst of something rare here.

Oh? And what’s that? A negative review.

Wait! Really?! Like not one of your review’s where you complain about a show and still end up giving it a score in the high 70’s? That’s right! We’re in the presence of a rare mystical beast here!

Well now I’m interested! But before we get into what you do and don’t like about the show, firstly what’s it about? It’s like, alternative history set in England in the early 20th century, it’s got ‘automatons’ who are controlled by ‘puppeteers’ using ‘machineart’ which is basically a fancy way of saying we’ve got robots controlled by magic.

Sulk all you want I’m still giving this a negative review!

And who are our protagonists? Raishin Akabane is a Japanese ‘puppeteer’ who’s come to study at Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machineart with his loli automaton Yaya, who takes every opportunity to disrobe and try to have sex with him. Rinse and repeat for twelve episodes interspersed with some shitty, 3D-CGI action and some obnoxious, unearned harem tropes and you have Unbreakable Machine Doll /review.

No, no, it’s way too early to end the review. You’re going to have to justify your dislike for it a lot more than that. Why?! You’re just as quick to dismiss stuff I like with broad generalisations.

Because that’s my job… devil’s advocate and all that. Fine, you want me to go into more detail, FINE! *throws chair across the room*

So, tell me something good about the show? Something good, something good… Oh! It’ll never get a second season that’s something good—

Nice puppies.

No! Something actually positive about it. See the thing is there are good things about the show; it’s just secondary to everything that’s shitty about it.

I’m still waiting… Okay, so the setting has promise, being set in England is a nice change of pace and it lends the alt-history. The idea, while nothing ground-breaking still lends itself to creativity. It’s got an “interesting” art-style that (when it’s not forcing in shitty 3D) is enticing to look at and some of the flashbacks help explain some of the character flaws.

Some of the side-characters are cool, too bad the show doesn’t care about them.

Okay good, we’re making a more balanced review now, so in a few short sentences explain what’s bad about the show? You know how sometimes you watch an anime, and most of it’s good, if not really good, but then there’s something niggling that persists, like the original author is trying to impart his fetishes on the audience via character interactions, and usually it’s innocuous enough to overlook. Or it’s at least secondary to the central plot?

Well not really, but I’ll say yeah just to keep this review moving. What about it? Well here it feels like all the plot and action and side-characters and everything is the afterthought, and the only thing the writer is actually invested in is the ‘forbidden’ relationship between Yaya and Raishin. And whatever, if that’s what you want to write about, then write about it, more power to you, but don’t pretend like you’ve got some epic action series around it when said ‘epic action’ amounts to nothing more than poorly choreographed window dressing.

Her automaton is a big dragon, except when it’s a small dragon that sits on her shoulder.

Anything else? Well now that you mention it the way this anime portrays the loli fanservice, is like simultaneously shaming Yaya (the loli automaton) for being promiscuous and attracted to her puppeteer all the while indulging the audience in all the underage fanservice it wants. And if these scenes were in any way funny or cute about it that may be forgivable, but it’s just so forced and not in the least bit fun to watch.

Hmm, fair enough. But I’ll never completely hate this show because it’s got one of my favourite closing credit songs of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Robot just wants the D.

Well hey, that’s something positive too! Would you please stop playing devil’s advocate and just dislike this show along with me?

And where’s the fun in that? I just like making you suffer. Likewise.

So final verdict then? This show’s flaws extend to almost every conceivable aspect of the finished product. It’s characters are worn out tropes that are annoying the minute they open their mouths, the story simultaneously drags on and is frustratingly vague, and the fan-service feels like this show’s sole reason for having been made. Unbreakable? More like almost unwatchable; 44 out of 100.

Left: The Show, Right: Me.

Darling in the FranXX Episode 8 – 20 Question Anime Review (Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Darling in the FranXX Episode 8.

Please note: This review is no longer representative of the author’s feelings on this show for an up to date review please read: Puberty & Robots – A 20 Question Reassessment of Darling in the FranXX (Episodes 1-15)

What’s the show? You know what the f**king show is, don’t be cute.

Whoa! Where’s this anger coming from? You ever watch something so insulting that you despair for humanity?

Hmm, like Adam Sandler’s ‘Pixels’? Right, sure, except the difference is there aren’t thousands of people proclaiming the brilliance of Pixels a lot of people are with Darling in the FranXX.

Oh boy. We’re going here again aren’t we? I intended to do a quarterly review of this show every 6 episodes, content to watch on in eye-rolling disbelief as the show progressed. But episode 8 made me so mad I almost put my fist through the screen!

So the clothes melting monster slime only touches the women, hmm? HMM?

Haven’t you heard the phrase, ‘don’t blog angry’? No, and I think you just made that up.

Well someone has to be the voice of reason, besides no one likes reading your rants… They don’t want to read it, they don’t have to.

No chance of that, I’m in full rage mode!

Way to antagonize, buddy. So I guess there’s no stopping this 50 ton freight train of hate, so what about the episode has got you so riled up? Oh you know the usual trash you’d come to expect from this show: casual sexism played for laughs or titillation, women being reduced to less than objects as they are stripped and ogled and then told to not be so up right about it. Reinforcing toxic gender stereotypes, suggesting that women should just ‘get along’ with men regardless of how uncomfortable it makes them.

It’s like ‘the Fappening’ all over again…

U Mad Bro? Don’t you fucking meme with me!

Sorry! I just thought we needed a little levity. So the show continues to be shitty to its female characters, what else is new? Not to be harsh but you knew that 3 episodes in, why do you keep watching if it aggrieves you so much? Because I’m fucking delusional obviously, it’s like the dog who keeps going back to its owner even though it knows it’s going to get beaten down. Because the owner was once good and kind and fun, but is now content to do everything to undermine any sense of what used to be.

Did I forget to mention “heteronormative” because, well yeah…

So ‘all that’ aside, is there anything redeemable you can say about it? I know you praised the animation and the mystery behind the larger story in the previous review, what about now? Nada.

Yikes, you’ve really lost anything favourable to say about the show haven’t you? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this defeated by something. It’s like if you went to a decent restaurant for a while and then one day after going you get the worst food poisoning of your life, like literally body sweats, white knuckle, out every orifice kind of food poisoning. You’re not going to go, when asked “how’s that restaurant?” Say “yeah the bread sticks are good and the wait staff is nice,” no you’re going to say, “stay away, I nearly shat my soul out after eating there.”

Who could’ve guessed this show was written by men?! I mean women totally just sit around and lament about how they nag too much.

Evocative imagery… But do you see what I’m saying? There comes a point where it doesn’t matter if a show is half good, if the part that’s half bad is so bad it makes you shake with rage.

So it is half good? You want me to be honest? Fine, yes, the animation is still very good and the setting is interesting, and the mystery is one that begs answers. But it’s also dumb as heck, I mean this episode literally had a trope as tired and lazy as dividing the house in two with a taped line to determine the boys side and the girls side. I mean really?! Why not just get all your plot points from old sitcom reruns since you’ve evidently run dry of all the anime tropes you stuffed in to the previous episodes?!

“Lucy! You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!”

I have a feeling I know the answer to this question already, but seriously why don’t you drop the show? Nobody’s forcing you to watch it. Yes, in fact every one is forcing me to watch it. Every 5 star review or 10/10 score is goading me into try and understand what kind of people are out there and what they could possibly see in this show? Like I long gave up trying to understand the scores shows get on MAL relative to one another, and understanding people is about as fruitful endeavour as trying to drink soup with a sieve. But I need to know that it’s more than just ogling girls in demeaning positions and big robots fighting that has made this show so acclaimed and so quickly.

Maybe it’s just not for you? Maybe, but then who is it for?

People not like you. And why are there so many of them?

I don’t know. And why do they hate women so much?

Okay then. I think it’s time we pull the breaks on this train before you say something that looses you a follower. It’s okay, they probably won’t notice, they’re too busy what with all the women hating.

She’s giving permission for to be leered at, but only a little. Because, you know, nobody likes a king leer. #lamejoke

You know you could be wrong and this show goes on to subvert all your expectations by the end. I hope this day comes, I truly do. I hope after episode 24 airs and it’s actually revealed to be a masterclass in feminist discourse, that everyone who’s been aggrieved by my comments towards the show they love comes to me and says, “ha! You were wrong, it was smart and sensitive and actually about deconstructing all the things you said it was enabling” and I’ll say, “guess you were right all along, pardner” and I’ll tip my Stetson to them and ride off into the sunset on my gallant steed content in being wrong and contrite enough to know that I was a fool to ever doubt the geniuses at Studio Trigger.

Well I’m glad you got that off your chest, it must feel better to have written that all down now you can do the sensible thing and delete it and everyone will be happy. And published!