Quick Thoughts on Azur Lane: Different Strokes

Because the last two episodes of Azur Lane have been delayed until March (March!). I’ve decided that in lieu of a proper Shallow Dive on the series, I’m just going to give you my quick thoughts on the series so far. While I don’t expect these to change much, if at all, once all is said and done. I do want to talk about the series, so join me after the pic as I give you my thoughts so far on Azur Lane.

Azur Lane

When you watch Azur Lane, you most likely fall into one or two camps.

You either have played the mobile game, so the show is a fanservice-filled fest as you watching your favorite ship-waifus do cute and awesome ship-waifu feels.

Or you are just an anime fan and your watching a show that has a decent, but bare bones story, with animation that has varied from impressive to just plain bad.

Now I’m heavily in the first camp. I love the Azur Lane mobile game, fuck I am playing it right now as I type out this post. I have put down decent money on this game, collected so many ship-waifus, and fuck my banner on my twitter is from the fan-art that people got all pissy about. I love this game, and I have enjoyed the anime immensely. Mostly because I am going into the show not expecting some grand narrative, or even a decent story. I just want to see my cute waifu ship-girls doing cool things and looking sexy doing it. With that, Azur Lane delivers and despite the animation whiplash, I’ve always enjoyed every moment I’ve spent in the series.

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Incestuous Bi-Sexual Ninja Fox Girls!

But if you aren’t in that camp, then Azur Lane is just kinda ‘eh’. It’s got some cool ideas and is creative in adapting real life battleships into cute anime girl, but that is something that’s been done before and sometimes done better. The characters are all just cardboard cut outs of the classic anime tropes, and the cast is just so damn big that none of the characters ever really get any depth.

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There’s just too MANY…characters.

Azur Lane is probably the purest example I’ve seen of a “commercial anime.” It’s here to sell people on the mobile game and that’s it. However despite that it never feels like a truly ‘bad’ series and it looks cute enough to entertain you while doing it. If you play the mobile game, see this out for the enjoyment of going “I have that girl”, but if your not playing, then you might want to avoid getting on this ship. But either way, the opening theme fucking ROCKS.

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Laffey approved.

Re-Dive: Sense of Values of Wine: Wholesome Hentai

I’m no stranger when it comes to talking about hentai on this blog. Most of the time it’s for fun and laughs, but I do believe there are legit good pieces of art and entertainment to come out of the genre, even if it is 100% just porn. While people may not engage with it, it is as part of the genre as anything else, and it should be looked at with fair eyes and clear judgment.

I’ve spoke about this series before, and even did a shallow dive on it, however as my skills as a blogger have grown, I wanted to come back and give this series a second look, because I felt that I didn’t really dive too much into it. So join me after the cut as I take a Re-Dive into Fuuga’s hentai manga: Sense of Values of Wine.

((IT’S A GOD DAMN HENTAI, EXPECT NSFW PICTURES RIGHT UP AHEAD))

Sense Title
Cute Story, Cuter Butt

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The Anime Tiddy

With the recent grumblings online lately, I’ve been mulling this over in my head and I felt that I wanted to say something. I have always maintain that this blog stays away from aggravating people. I just talk about the shows, whatever is related to them, and move on. Yet during my time on this blog, I’ve also spoken about my feelings towards anime rapidly entering the mainstream, what that means and what will happen because of it. The arguments cropping up lately concerning are connected to that, so I just want to get some thoughts, logical, fair thoughts out on this subject.

So after the cut, let’s talk about: fanservice and cute girls in anime. Or as I’ll just say ‘Anime Tiddy’

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Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie?: Yes, yes I would.

I’ve said this at least have a dozen times, and I’ll keep saying it. 2019 has NOT been a good year for ecchi. Aside from a clear lack of ecchi and fanservice shows in general, those that we have had have ranged from the decently ‘eh’ (Date A Live III), the forgettable (Nobunaga’s Sensei), the overly censored (Why are you here Sensei?), and depending on who you ask, the disappointing (Two-Hit Mom). It just hasn’t been a good year, but to be fair, 2018 has been a hard act to follow with the double whammy home runs of How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, and High School DxD Hero.

However hope is not lost, and there is actually a series in 2019 that isn’t only a great ecchi, but it is a reminder of just how fun ecchi can be. After the cut let’s dive into the series Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie?

Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka?
Like a man dying of thirst. I drink deeply

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One Year of Shallow Dives in Anime: Shinmai Maou no Testament

In the summer of 2018, I got set up on a blind date with a girl, sadly I struck out and nothing came of it. This of course happens, but I was bummed out enough that I needed something to rid my sorrows. Earlier that year I had recently come back into the anime world after several years “in the wilderness,” so I decided that a good ol anime binge-fest was what I needed. The binge I chose was a buffet table of harem and ecchi anime. Date A Live, Shomin Sample, Majikoi, and more. Over the next two days I shut myself away and just enjoyed the onslaught of comedy and harem hijinks that High School DxD had caused me to fall in love it. At the end of the binge-fest I came across another series, one that I had been told about, but I had somehow waited to the end to watch.

That series was Shinmai Maou no Testament, or The Testament of Sister New Devil. And I fucking hated it.

I disliked it so much, that hours after that final episode of season one rolled, I was literally pacing back and forth trying to figure out my feelings. How could have something I should have loved turned out so bad? How could a show, with all the ingredients for a home-run hit, just completely shit the bed? Had I just reached peak harem? Had my binge caught up with me? Or was I mad that it wasn’t another High School DxD?

This provided the catalyst for me to create Shallow Dives in Anime. For months I had been humming and hawing over creating a anime blog where I could get my thoughts on, hone my writing skills, and just have a project to work on. It was Shinmai and my anger towards the show that finally made me bite the bullet and do it. On September 9th 2018 I threw up my first post: Indulgence, Self Reflection and Shinmai Maou no Testament. A few months later in December, I published my second post examining the character of Basara Toujou called Shinmai Maou’s Basara Toujou: Anime Blue-Balls, Sexual Independence and A Moment of Greatness

Over year and the dozens of posts on dozens of different anime, I had dropped references to Shinmai Maou, and my dislike for it, always in jest and so much so that it became a running gag. Yet as time went on and it got closer and closer to a whole year of blogging, I realized that I would need to do something to celebrate. I have always believed in second chances and watching something again with your “fan expectations” set aside. Part of me wanted to go back to the series and see if my hatred had dimmed, or if I had misjudged the series because, as I said in my first post on the series, didn’t indulge my personal tastes. I thought it was the right thing to do, the mature thing to do, instead of just sitting in an echo chamber of self-eating hatred of something that frankly, isn’t really important. So I did that, I watched the entire first season again.

This is Shallow Dives in Anime, and welcome to my One Year Anniversary Post.

This is my re-dive into Shinmai Maou no Testament.

((You know what this show is. NSFW shit coming up))

Shinmai Maou no Testament

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No Game No Life: Please Press Start to Continue

I’ve made more than few comments on the Isekai boom, and that the genre is squandering it’s vast potential by focusing on the same story beats over and over again. As of this era in the anime world, I consider only a handful of series to be the truly excellent, well done and just plain ‘good’ Isekai. These big four: The Saga of Tanya the Evil, ReZero, Konosuba and Overlord. There are other series that are of course good, I always have a soft spot of love for In Another World with my Smartphone, but I do believe that “The Big Four” are the best the genre has had to offer fans.

However I might have to change that number, because I’ve finally gotten around to finishing this one. After the cut let’s take a dive into the series No Game No Life.

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Seriously, somebody press start to continue!

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Parallel Paradise: No Happy Endings, Probably…..

After watching a shit ton of harem and ecchi animes over the past year and a half, I think I have a good idea on what makes certain shows work, and other shows fail, and it’s quite simple. Harem and Ecchi are at their best when they combine good fanservice, with strong storytelling. You cannot have one without the other and enjoy the level of success and fan reception that several shows have had.

Why though?

Honestly, it is because we live in the age of the internet, where some of the raunchiest and sexiest porn and adult content is a few google clicks away. If you want your dose of fanservice or just straight up porn, then you are more than sated thanks to the internet. With most ecchi harem comedies often taking a light touch compared to what else there is, there is little need for viewers to stick with a show that just has fanservice and nothing else. Once has an ecchi show has delivered “the goods” or you’ve watched enough shows to get used to said “goods’ appearing in your anime, it doesn’t do much to keep a viewer coming back. What does keep people coming back to those shows however is the characters and stories.

High School DxD may have found initial success with it’s no holds barred embrace of the titty but did that alone carry it to four whole seasons? No, it was the great characters, amazing music, and solid storytelling that led the series to strength after strength. Did How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord become last years unexpected hit simply because of its well done ecchi? Perhaps, but it was also its good characterization, spot on humor, and mirror-shine polish of its isekai story that carried it through. Shows like Shomin Sample, Majikoi, Shimoneta, and Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple all found success BECAUSE they remembered they also had to tell a story and didn’t slack off in that department.

This is why so many other ecchi/harem shows often fail to maintain viewer interest. This year’s Senran Kagura was just BORING when it had to just depend on its weak characters and run of the mill plotline. Another World with my Smartphone didn’t even have any real fanservice to offset its abysmal female cast and Master of Ragnarok sucked even more. And yes it is probably the main reason why just watching a complication of all the fanservice scenes in Shinmai Maou No Testament is better than having to subject yourself to its worthless story and main characters. Shows like these never put the effort into having both story AND fanservice, and they all suffered for it.

I say all of this because a few weeks ago I came across a manga series that reminded me how much ecchi/harem shows can work when you put in enough effort for the story. So after the cut let’s take a shallow dive into Lynn Okamoto’s Parallel Paradise.

(NSFW IMAGES RIGHT UP AHEAD, PLEASE READ WITH DISCRETION)

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Brought to you by the guy who did Elfen Lied

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Quick Thoughts on Senran Kagura Shinovi Master Tokyo Youma-Hen: Numerous Nude Ninjas.

I love Fanservice. I absolutely adore it.

The boobs, the butts, the midriffs, the thighs, the jiggles, the bullshit tropes, the comedy. Fanservice and Anime go together like PB and J, they are joined at the hip. Frankly, I do not believe the anime industry would be what it is today (good and bad), or successful as it has been if it didn’t have fanservice as one of the cornerstones.

Now that is not to say that Fanservice can’t be disruptive, or intrude on a story where it doesn’t belong. Anime is, can be and will always be successful it if doesn’t engage in fanservice. One of Fairy Tail’s problems is that it shoves in fanservice where it isn’t needed. Sometimes though, some extra fanservice can do a series some good, especially when the overall plot of the anime is rather dull. With that being said, let take a dive into Senran Kagura Shinovi Master Tokyo Youma-Hen.

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Great Poster, Long Ass Title

I have not watched or knew any part of the Senran Kagura franchise before this, and since this is a sequel to the first series, I came into this without much knowledge. However, from what I have seen and looked into, Senran Kagura is a rather clear-cut series.

It is at its best when the fanservice is cranked up to eleven when the girls’ clothes are about as durable as tissue paper. The idea of all these female ninjas fighting demons, being able to do amazing feats, but unable to keep their clothes on is the type of absurdity that makes the ecchi genre work. However it is at it’s worst when the series has next to no fanservice and is forced to depend on the overall plot and characters, which is..less than satisfactory. That is not to say that it is a bad story, just that it is a basic story. Everything I saw in Senran Kagura I’ve seen a dozen times in a dozen other anime and manga. There just wasn’t anything that stood out that surprised me, and when that’s all Kagura has, and several episodes are notably light on the TnA, then the show is just really forgettable.

Overall Senran Kagura was a solid addition to this year’s menu of Ecchi animes. While nowhere near as well done as Demon Lord or High School DxD, it had some great moments when it fully embraced the absurdity of being a show about smoking hot ninja babes. I just wish it had a bit more to say when it decides to not be about busty beautiful babes bouncing bashfully.

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Where was this on the 12 days of Ecchimas huh?