Regarding Sekai Seifuku ~ Bouryaku no Zvezda

Since this was in my preview, I thought I should address the series briefly.  I watched the premiere and yes, it isn’t as terrible as it sounds.  In fact, it might be more not terrible than a couple of shows I did First Impressions posts on.  But this season has worn me down, and I just can’t blog any more shows based on “It’s not as terrible as it sounds”.  So my apologies.

I would, however, add one postscript – I do think there’s a point where the anime industry becomes way too inward-looking, and this series is good evidence that we’ve reached it.



  1. C

    NP Enzo-chi.
    I know I have this switch on for lolis but
    The only thing that kept me going for this show was how her speech has comedy and seriousness depending on the situation.

  2. Yes, that kind of mock-but-not-quite seriousness is interesting. There's enough that's similarly discordant about this show to make it at least minimally novel, and in another season I might have felt more motivated to cover at least the first ep. But there's just been too many of these marginally interesting shows this season and I'm exhausted with the whole process.

  3. D

    I found it really quite fun, and the writing was surprisingly up to scratch as well. I wasn't expecting to get any actual themes from this show, but I got them. I also got Valvrave level one liners with gold like "Lincoln had potential, but his weakness was that he couldn't handle bullets".

    Also, considering the creators, I doubt it's going to get vapid any time soon. The writer has a pedigree.

  4. Do you mean Okamura Tensei?

  5. D

    No, I mean Hoshizora Meteor, he's doing the series composition here. Though it's true that Okamura Tensai certainly has talent, even if Darker than Black wasn't really my cup of tea.

  6. Ah, thanks. I'm not familiar with Hoshizora Meteor's (I'm going out on a limb and saying that's a fake name) manga, but I wasn't aware that they were held in high regard. Okamura is co-credited with series composition, by the way.

    It's entirely possible that next week, when I can lop off the truly awful shows and limit myself to second episodes of the ones that were at least mediocre, I might have more stamina left for this series. But setting aside the execution – which I agree is quite decent – I'd reiterate that I think it's a symptom of a major problem in the industry. We're increasingly seeing shows that are either completely formulaic – moe/loli, harem, etc – and the shows that are considered "different" are ones like this, that tweak the formula a little. That's not true difference, and that's not true variety. Anime can't survive if that's the limit of its scope.

  7. D

    Hoshizora Meteor is more renowned for his visual novel work than his manga, I believe. Forest was a very interesting read.

  8. y

    How well does his work stack up to different media? In the realm of visual novels, there are renowned concept guys who write questionable prose (main strengths might be plot construction and experimental wordplay. Kinoko Nasu, and to some extent, Romeo Tanaka fall under here. A light novel analogue would be Nisio Isin), as well as elegant writers who are much better at developing other people's ideas than their own. Others are good at creating appealing characters but don't stand out otherwise.

  9. E

    To be honest, I'm also picking this up just to test Meteo's mettle as a writer for animation. I'm not interested at all in the premise and Okamura Tensai's works have never appealed to me, but I just want to know if the wait for Girl's Work (who has Meteo as a main writer both for the game and the show) is actually worth it.

  10. M

    yause, have you read any of Romeo Tanaka's visual novels in Japanese? I've heard his prose is so masterful that it cannot be translated in any way which does it justice, but I don't know Japanese. Could you describe his style if you have?

  11. t

    looks like this winter brought you down.
    not only first impressions, also samumenco (and if I may add then GT and NNA timeskip).
    well, I feel you.
    looking back a year ago from now, it was much more intriguing with a lot more great(!) leftovers from fall (THO not many shows in winter).
    well, at least we have lots of sports this time. I am sure you have a soft spot for the combination of the 2 sports (3 in my case)+kingdom somewhere around sunday/monday.

    it's true Sekai isn't as terrible, but premiere after premiere this season doesn't give the right vibe one should wish for in terms of premiere.
    this doesn't mean all shows or leftovers are bad. the fact we had no "WOW" premiere doesn't determine the value of a series. a lot of great shows start to shine after a couple of episodes (the longer the show – the long one need to waste on that initial part until things are going smoother like in 12 kingdoms or kingdom which take a little while to start the engine :P). and indeed some series require some time in order to demonstrate their true colors.
    still, there are quite a few good series even if the premieres aren't a "wow". for example, silver spoon, Toaru Hikuushi, Noragami, Chuunibyou, Nobunagun(possibly the "fool" one too), Nisekoi and some more potential as "not bad"
    so I hope you are not that much disappointed.

    maybe if it gets better and you had the urge, you can always post some first or middle impression of Sekai (THO I doubt LOL).

    there is also "wake up, girls" movie and series (movie is 1 hour and must come first). I don't know if you are much in idols stuff, but I had a nice time watching this.

    p.s 2
    forgot to ask..I know you've dropped samumenco, and I feel you. really.
    but don't you wanna know who is Goto's girlfriend?:P

  12. I really don't care who the GF is anymore. They've lost me.

    As far as Nagiasu, while I wasn't keen on the timeskip I think they managed it as well as they could, and the episode itself was excellent. I'm certainly not down on that show as a whole.

  13. K

    Space☆Dandy and Noragami are pretty good, but I'm still holding out hope that Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. will be this season's saving grace.

  14. It's really the last bullet in the chamber, so I hope so. But with a 10-episode run and a no-name staff, I'm keeping expectations in-check.

  15. J

    I know how you feel man. This season feels like some sort of litmus test for whether I am actually a fan of anime somehow. It has me consistently asking, "wait what was I liked about this stuff again" and if it weren't for some old shows I'm catching up on and the carryover from Fall…well I don't know where I'd be right now. I know Winter is usually a poor season but this just feels worse than usual somehow.

  16. Z

    No, it's just one of those seasons. Sturgeon's law applies just as equally to anime, and in this case we are largely getting the next 90 percent.

  17. S

    Lol, your tone is getting more cynical and pessimistic with each new post this week. Am I detecting signs of an anime burnout?

    Anyway, I couldn’t get through the first half of Sekai Seifuku, it was boring and seemed pretentious.
    This season seems to be missing a show that is the cream of the crop. They’re either bad, mediocre, above average but none of them (except Silver Spoon) are outstanding. But I hold some hope for Wizard Barristers, though.

  18. I have very little hope for that one, TBH.

    It's not anime burnout, it's bad anime burnout. Once first impressions are done with and I no longer have to have my hopes dashed three times a day, I'll focus on the carryovers and the two or three shows I pick up and enjoy a slower-paced season. f the rest of the year is this bad, then I'll be seriously worried that the medium is dying ahead of schedule.

  19. R

    No need to apologize, Enzo. You've been the most dependable and hard-working blogger already — remember last Fall and how you beat many other sites in the number of shows blogged.

    Winters are comparatively unsurprising — if not boring — but, to be honest, I find that this Winter is better than last year's — I could only pick up one show but felt disappointed mid-way and dropped it at the end. I agree with you that there hasn't had anything that wows, but I have a feeling that I can pick up 4-5 shows — versus 0 last Winter. Spring will be better, and who knows — maybe there will be shows later in the year that will be in the calibre of SSY or shows like Uchouten and Kyousougiga that totally will exceed our expectations. :-)

  20. Z

    Besides this is the perfect time to work on those old backlogs.

  21. M

    I agree that Winter 2013 was worse. Less variety (if that's possible) and nothing remotely interesting to boot (sequels don't count). There's a few shows here to work with, despite some productions going through the slaughterhouse even before airing.

  22. R

    @Zeta Zero: that's true, or Enzo can write more Tokyo Diaries or do other things that he's too busy to do in previous seasons.

    @Maxulous: "…some productions going through the slaughterhouse even before airing." I still feel sad about Pupa. Oh well, I guess this happens every season, and it just happens to one of my anticipated shows this time.

  23. A

    I would have thought that if there was a poster child for what happens when the anime industry is too inward-looking, that'd be "Recently, my sister is unusual" which reaches new depths of abhorrence! That's what you get when anime companies are slaves to sales and pander to the toxic otaku hive-mind too much.

    As far as Sekai Seifuku goes, I did get the occasional flash of "What if Squid Girl had been more serious about that whole invasion thing", and the hope that it might turn out to be as entertainingly stupid as "Tantei Opera Milky Holmes", in which case this show might get a pass from me as something to watch.

    Brave heart! Don't Panic! When all seems terrible, just keep reminding yourself that in April there'll be the second season of Mushishi to remind us what good anime can be like. In fact, just saying "second season of Mushishi" cheers me up no end!

  24. Yes, but the difference is that Saikin was so heinous that I couldn't even watch more than a couple of minutes. This was actually decent enough to sit through, which makes it a more natural topic of discussion.

    My point here isn't really that complete pander-fests like Saikin suck – obviously they do. My point is that instead of real alternatives, what's increasingly passing for alternative are shows that cover the same ground but tweak their approach just enough to seem alternative. And that, in its way, is more insidious for the future of anime than the horrendous pander shows at their worst.

  25. S

    I feel you. This season's new shows seem to range from okay to fucking disgustingly terrible. Many a blogger seems to agree that it also contains what could become remembered in ages to come as the worst single most offensive piece of otaku pandering bullshit, aka ImoCho (that I can't help but notice you wisely simply ignored altogether).
    I've liked Noragami so far, but everyone says it's just another, not very good, shonen action manga that'll run dry soon. Hozuki was not genius and not especially funny, albeit interesting. Zvedva is… well, curious and original in a weird sort of way. But still, my time would probably be better spent watching – or doing – other stuff. Even Space Dandy looks kinda disappointing, compared to its on paper value. If it wasn't for the carry overs HunterXHunter, Kill la Kill, and Silver Spoon, for me this season could as well be devoid of anime altogether.

  26. S

    Ah, and of course, the guys at Samurai Flamenco are now beyond smoking pot; they are now smoking the ashes of the previos writing staff who was smoking pot.

  27. l

    So far only 2 new shows from Winter season that interest me enough to follow:

    – Buddy Complex: Sucker for Sunrise big mecha series even though they're mostly a variation of plain vanilla =P

    – Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta (The Pilot's Love Song): I like planes a lot. The dogfights in the early part of Episode 1 looks nicely done. Story and characters? It's still early.

    Those popping up as Winter season shows but are sequels and/or continuations – only Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon) interests me.

  28. S

    Hey, at least they didn't have any little sister incest shows.

  29. Z

    Furthermore only two of those you could have seen for free.

  30. C

    Having a bad anime season is just normal. It's like with life, we have the ups and downs, and what we have now is not any different. Let's just think of it as a breather after all the shows we've seen last year. In fact, I'm still catching up other titles from 2013 that I missed. So maybe this is the time for us to do other stuffs or find other anime's that went off our radar. Some space is also a good thing. Before we know it Spring is around the corner and maybe there the shows would be a lot better. Think happy thoughts.

  31. D

    I liked D-fragments a lot. It gave me Baka and Test vibes, which was a good thing.

    I don't think it's so much inwards-looking. It's always been like that. I think it's more that certain tropes have just been played out to the point where you can't rely on them like World Conquest does. It would have been great five to ten years ago, but evil loli is kind of expected now. I think we might be at the point where we were a bit ago when people were getting tired of Rei Ayanami clones and organic mecha. Not because its bad, but because its overused.

  32. B

    Hey look at the good part, this kind of season gives me more time for manga :).

    As for Sekai Seifuku, i think it was OK,i mean i was expecting it to be just loli-crap, but i could watch it without feeling like killing myself (which is good).
    Hell i'm on vacations so i got time, i'll give two more episodes and then decide what to do with this one

  33. D

    I hope you've perhaps continued watching Sekai Seifuku…through four episodes, it's become utterly inspired, and to this point I would personally call it the best show of the season. It's whimsical, funny, and profoundly melancholy.

    If this is what it means for the anime industry to be "inward looking," long may industry poobahs continue to contemplate their navels! (Which is to say that while I agree that the show uses several current industry trends – e.g., scantily dressed little girls – I believe it far transcends those tropes and has a lot more on its mind than lolicons.)

  34. F

    I like the show for one and i also hope one punch man gets adapted into an anime

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