Spoony Bard Saturday Morning Anime: Ninjas


Gillman and Stark are back at it again, this time with the power of anime and ninja “science”. Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit wets our appetites for more than just sushi, but also 2D healthy girls.

Please enjoy our weekly stream.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.  Remember to subscribe and such.


Gillman’s 2013 “Special” Awards

Most Disappointing: 

Don't be surprise

I don’t want to do the sad parent thing where they explain that they aren’t even mad, they are just deeply disappointed in what has happened—that has always felt like a cover for saying that you are mad, and disappointed, and changing the will for your STD infected youth.  The truth is that I don’t even know what I expected this game was going to be aside from what we ended up getting.  At its base it is solid and interesting and tells a great story; move away from that even a little and things start to get hazy and starting dropping off cliffs like so many bodies left near Trevor.  Sometimes I wonder if it is me that has changed and the games are still delivering the same great content and I am just blind to it, but then I hear one of the ads on the radio and remember that it is the same humor, and almost exactly the same jokes, that they were delivering two console generations ago (almost three) and I know that I am the one that has changed and that isn’t wrong or bad. It was one thing to be making jokes about massive SUVs destroying the world and being entirely more than anyone on the planet would ever need, save possibly an entire team of marines taking a full soccer team to a warzone away game, but doing it again all these later with almost the same exact delivery isn’t interesting in anyway.

It knows what it did

The game annoyed me to the level that I started to wonder if the only thing that I ever found amusing in my early 20s was anything that was anti-establishment sentiment.  Then I feel dumb.  Thankfully I can only feel that way for so long before Rockstar was nice enough to drop the terrible and broken online mode in my lap and tell me to go fuck myself with a handful of glass shards.  Sure, it launched broken and that could be forgiven. Sure, they pretty much delivered what they promised.  The problem was that they found a way to turn the promise into almost the same hot street trash that the last game had, while remaining entirely less interesting and kind of making me hate the game in the same exact instance.  I am almost glad that this mode didn’t start functioning until I was done with the single player as I would probably not have bothered to spend more than 15 minutes inside of the game after I booted it up.

Harvest Moon Award for harvesting the most Moons:
Rune Factory

Day to day life has... No, most people will still think it is boring...

Considering the fact that there were two Harvest Moons this year, and I didn’t even force Stark to play one of them, I would consider this a victory for Rune Factory to get this nod over the standard HM (as those of us in the know call it)—save the fact that the company went out of business directly after shipping this product to North America. For years now there have been off shoots of the core farming games set in other genre conceits, one was the future and several have been in a Fantasy realm: the only thing that they have in common is that they are normally not made by the same company that makes the standard game.  I think the fact that this is probably the best one of these non-core games to come out in over a decade, by a large margin, should say something to the weirdness of the company going belly up when the game was released and greeted with pretty favorable sales.

Sure, the game still has strange callbacks to when it first came out—like attacking ghosts and orcs with your fully upgraded hoe because you have ignored upgrading your sword and all your farm tools, including watering can, now do more damage—but it is also the first time that one of these games felt like there was something pushing the player forward instead of just asking them to exist in this weird and strange world where they had to farm and kill tons of monsters.  So this decade long experiment has concluded in producing the first real and stable experience in the series, but also managed to drive everyone at the company that made it insane.  I don’t really get the management strategies in Japan, but I can tell you that I approve of their results.

Year of Luigi Award for Best Luigi:
Luigi Mario

Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty!

If you were a child of the 80’s at all, in any way, even if you can look back and enjoy some of the pop-culture moments that they managed to give children, you should probably have been sadden to learn that the entire cast of the Super Mario Super Show is now dead.  Danny Well’s had a career that spanned longer then some countries, and managed to be part of the greatest movie of all time (Shaft), but he will probably always be known for acting as Luigi next to Mario.  The show wasn’t good, the cartoon was something that was farmed out to the lowest bidder at that exact moment, and all of the guest stars were whoever Captain Lou Albano was representing with his talent firm that week.  Mr. Wells died in this, the year of Luigi, giving us possibly the best ending this side of a sequel to the live action movie where everyone does the dinosaur.

I know it came out last year, it was new to me

The fact that Nintendo managed to start this year off with a Tuesday announcement stating that they were going to double down on everything and make you totally want to buy every system they have made, and that they were going to do it with their number 2 guy, seemed like a stroke of pure insanity and genius and retardation and the best E3 press conference that took place 6 months before E3.  It was like they loaded an old and rusted shotgun full of candy and made kids believe in Santa by killing hobos with jolly ranchers, it was an act of pure will that worked so in their favor I can’t even believe I want say that Nintendo won this year simply by promise alone—that an by giving me a cloning Mario in a cat suit.  I have seen many things in my life, but the brothers Mario dropping on all fours and meowing at the screen after hitting the top of a flag pole is probably a high point.

Best Call Back:
Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds

2D Link... It works so well

There is a fine line that needs to be walked between remaking an entire game, save with better graphics, and doing something completely different and just slapping the number 2 at the end of it.  This generation has seen tons of examples of both of those, and while some are great games they are still basically not what you want from a sequel.  A Link between Worlds is what the kid who played A Link to the Past thought that the next game in that series was probably going to be, exactly in the same place but with totally different dungeons and puzzles and new mechanics that changed everything.  There are about two companies on the face of the Earth that could pull off this game without messing it up so badly that the company would be declared a war crime the next day, and I am pretty sure that Nintendo owns both of them. Oddly one is a love hotel.

It is pretty much one of the only games I wanted to play again after I finished it

It is strange in the most off beat ways too, because the over world map is almost identical to the previous game in tons of ways, as is much of the music—but in the same instance there are pieces and moments scattered throughout that make it just different enough that it stops feeling surprising that something completely different and unexpected is around the corner after the first dungeon.  It seems odd that a game would lift, with such love and care, exact and impactful moments from a game and implant them in another, and still manage to make it this wonderful and worth playing.  There are times that I swear all of this companies design documents are just letters from children taped to the wall with the words “make this happen” above them.

Spent Way too much time with:
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Check it out, a rare victory!

Earlier this year I picked up a copy of Monster Hunter 3 and the second stick add on for my 3DS and proceeded to spend amazing amounts of time slapping creatures in the face with entirely underpowered weapons in hopes that they might drop a fraction of a piece to make a sword that would do more slightly more slapping damage.  It is less a quest about being the most OCD and completion-ist to gather up every single piece of monster excrement to form something that finally feels useful and powerful, and more about the continual refinement of play throughout the life of the game.  I will happily be the first person to admit that Monster Hunter is not a game for everyone, but it is oddly a game that is designed to prove the point that video games can make you gain a feeling of accomplishment through play, even if that is just making a virtual persons that much more interesting while your own life suffers.

Run away, always run

For me the game seems to be about fits and starts as well, long periods of passion where my boss basically has to tell me that I am not allowed to have the 3DS at my desk as it has seeped past “just playing at lunch” and ignoring my wife while she watching crime shows on the Television, to forgetting about it for months at a time.  I would lie if I didn’t say the entire reason for picking up a Wii U was to secretly get back into it, but with better controls and the possibility for people to tell me directly online how bad I am at the game.  Fans of the stream will also notice that I have picked up a rather devoted friend that is insistent on getting me through the trials of late game hunting, so as far as I can tell this game is probably going to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future.

I just want to talk about this game Award:
Senran Kagura

Boobie boobie boobie

I wrote a review about this game about a month ago and went clearly out of my way to avoid talking about how much fun it is to play a game with ninja that run around with giant breast that beat the ever loving hell out of each other.  It is the kind of thing that I would have written as a design document when I was a teenager and then spent the rest of my life working towards to make a reality.  There are moments in your life that it all becomes clear, and you are suddenly happy that people who grew up in different countries can grow up just as perverted as you and strive to make the world as wonderful a place in the same odd and entirely deranged methods as you.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning smiling, thinking about these things—then I drive to work and have 8 people cut me off and someone jay walk in front of my car in a clear attempt to kill themselves and that is all forgotten for a while.  Senran Kagura has a weird way of bringing me back to that happy place though.

This game is totally about ninjas

Did I mention that Nintendo didn’t want the game to come out; because they actively did that exact thing I just said.  When it was released they put on such a back shelf in the virtual goods store that it would literally be like having to walk into GameStop and ask the clerk for a game, then spell it correctly before they sold it to you.  Joke ended up being on them as about three days after it came out it ended up being the hottest selling game of the week in the store and was automatically promoted to the front page, which is like if Karma wasn’t just the name of a really good stripper but also the doctor that you saw because of that rash you got from her.

Worst Game of the Year:

Do it the same way again, total success

So you take one game that is pretty universally beloved by anyone, Trials HD, but slightly in the back of most people’s minds, as it came out a couple of years ago, and then you slam the most generic physics system in the world on a cheap copy that you had some third world high school students—who’s only contact with the original was on low resolution YouTube video— make for you in a day.  Don’t QA test it, make sure there are some conditions that levels are unbeatable and then throw it out the door.  Oh, and over charge and hint at micro-transactions.  Kids love those.  Everyone loves those.

That barrel from earlier in the level, randomly following the player around

The truth is that I am given a ton of terrible games to play throughout the year, most of the time I am able to either say no or pass them along to someone farther down the food chain of the site.  Every now and then, though, I get something that I get stuck with that has manage to so completely missed the point of enjoyment it is a wonder that my system didn’t eject the disc at top speed in an attempt to kill me like the classic 1990 film “I come in Peace”.  In all honesty most of the time it would be a sweat and joyful release, and something I will be sad I can no longer hope for in our all digital and downloadable future.

Stark’s Picks: Game of the Year

While I typically do not participate in Varms.net’s GOTY rankings outside of our annual Spoony Bard GOTY podcast, this year Gillman asked me to put up an article with my choices for GOTY.  This time around I get my chance to share my shit taste in games with the internet in top five format, for your reading pleasure/anger.  In typical Varms fashion, you won’t find this ranking dominated by GTA and Cowadooty like every other publication *GASP!*.  Try not to take it too seriously, my taste > your taste.

5)  Dragon’s Crown

Dragon’s Crown is a beat-em-up with RPG elements that came with a controversial release thanks to the fact that “gaming journalism” websites will do ANYTHING for web traffic, even if that means creating artificial controversy.  If you are smart enough to rise above the stupidity of yellow journalism, you will find that Dragon’s Crown is a really fun brawler with amazing artwork.  This game makes the grade because of awesome gameplay, RPG-like elements, beautiful graphics, and a well done, yet rarely seen D&D-esque fantasy setting.

4)  Far Cry:  Blood Dragon
Yes, this game is THAT awesome.

Blood Dragon is a stand-alone addition to Far Cry 3, and some would even argue that it is even better than the game it is based on.  Blood Dragon takes the engine of Far Cry 3 to present a story based entirely on the insanity of 80’s action films.  This game brings us all back to an era when political correctness wasn’t a thing in movies, and justice came in the form of killing bad guys in the coolest possible manner, as long as an equally cool one-liner was dropped after the deed was done.  This game is worth playing for the intentional cheesiness, action-flick references, ridiculous weapons, and dinosaurs that shoot fucking laser beams.  This game can also be picked up for 15 bucks or less, and it is worth every penny.

3)  Pokemon X & Y
You WILL catch them all.

Just when you thought Pokemon was getting old, this series continues to improve itself with its latest entry.  A few tweaks to the leveling system and awesome online trading and battling features help make this one of the greatest Pokemon games of all time.  Catching and training Pokemon is as addictive as ever, making this a hard title to resist for gamers young and old.

2)  Disgaea D2:  A Brighter Darkness
These adorable demons will steal your soul (or at least a shitload of your time.)

Disgaea D2 is a direct sequel to the original game that started it all, meaning Laharl and company are back!  Much like Pokemon X&Y, some simple tweaks and a bit of streamlining to some of the Disgaea franchise’s more tedious tasks are what make this game really shine.  Being re-united with Overlord Laharl and his legion of cute demons is a pleasant trip down memory lane for fans of the original, and the improvements to the gameplay make this game just as addictive.  Prepare to lose potentially hundreds of hours of your time to an overlord’s never ending quest for power.

1)       Tales of Xilla
 I still think Jude is way too trusting of Alvin.

While Square-Enix has completely fumbled with Final Fantasy for the entirety of this console cycle, Namco’s Tales of franchise continues doing what it does best.  Tales of games aren’t out there to break the mold of JRPG’s, or bring about a paradigm shift with every new entry into the series.  Tales games simply set out to tell the story of a group of adventurers in colorful, carefully crafted worlds, with simple, but engaging real-time combat and character-driven side-stories.  Xillia continues this tradition successfully, making it one of the best Tales games since Vesperia.   Even with a few technical issues here and there (mostly draw-in, especially in towns), I had a great time playing this game.  A must have for any Tales fan, and probably anyone with a thing for JRPG’s.

Special Categories

The entries here are for games that didn’t quite fit in as GOTY material for one reason or another, but are noteworthy under certain circumstances.

Best Bang for your Buck
Metal Gear Solid:  Legacy Collection
The adventures of a soldier and his otaku friend will never be this awesome again.

This box contains the Metal Gear HD Collection, Metal Gear Solid 4, a voucher for the digital download of the original Metal Gear Solid and VR Missions, and a few extra bonuses, including a book with art from the entire series.  This nice little box pretty much contains all that is Metal Gear, minus a few odd titles here and there.  I’m not going to repeat how awesome the Metal Gear games are, but I will say that for 50 bucks, this collection is money well spent.

The “Not Giving a Fuck about Feminism” Award
Senran Kagura Burst
The creation of EVIL WHITE MEN (That are actually Asian)

2013 has been a terrible year for video game “journalism.”  It has become more and more difficult to look up a preview for upcoming games without some sort of “article” written by white men making the claim that video games oppress women, because they are made by white men.  It has become hard to read a review for a video game without a game’s perceived views on equality, social standing, and political correctness factored into the review score.  Add the YouTube rants of a certain internet diva making herself into a “damsel in distress” while denouncing the trope of “damsels in distress,” and you will find game “journalists” have waged war on fun here in America.

However, in a world gone mad, one hero amongst publishers stood up and localized Senran Kagura Burst, with not a single fuck to give for political correctness and social justice.  Senran Kagura is a simple, yet fun beat-em-up with some RPG elements.  It’s about ninjas, Sexy ninjas with huge, bouncing boobs and clothes that rip apart as they continue to fight.   Is this the best game ever?  No.  Is this game cute, sexy, and still lots of fun to play?  You are damn right it is.  Thank you for bringing this game to the west, Xseed.  You have done great things for fun, freedom, and your nation, and I applaud you for that.  Also, just for the record, Hibari is best girl.

Biggest Disappointment
Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory
Microsoft should really consider making Green Heart the official Xbox mascot.

Neptunia is a series that had a rough start, but suddenly became amazing when the second installment came around and rebuilt everything in the game from the ground up.  Neptunia V set out to bring this series along even further, and in some ways, it did.  V gave us a refined battle system, better graphics, more great characters, and even more of the series goofy storytelling.  Unfortunately, with most of the graphical assets, and even a good chunk of the soundtrack, ripped right from the second game, this became more of a glorified expansion pack for Neptunia MK. 2.  This entry in the series is even further marred by some serious balancing issues and a crafting/scouting system that is nothing short of a pain to deal with, even though it is necessary for equipment upgrades.  It also doesn’t help that NISA practically scrapped the original dialogue script and replaced it with their own for sake of jamming in more game references that weren’t there to begin with, along with other bits of western pop-culture nonsense that have nothing to do with the game or the characters.  This is a blunder that took INTERNATIONAL effort to create, but I will still hold up hope that future entries in this franchise will improve.  The universe of Gameindustri is too fun to run into the ground.

For the Love of Ecchi: A List of Modern Marvels, Beloved Classics, and Hidden Gems

If you’re reading this article right now, there is little doubt that your web search landed you here for one reason: a love for 2D girls.  The previous articles I have written about ecchi anime have had mixed results; some fans became enraged that I did not include one of their favorite shows in the lists, or simply became upset with the manner in which I “ranked” them.  But every now and then a reader would come out with words of praise for introducing them to an anime they have not known about.  This article is for those kinds of people.  Manly men (and maybe some women out there?) with a thirst for cute girls, bouncy boobs, striped panties, over the top harem fantasies, and all the other wonders that can only be realized in glorious 2D.  The following list of ecchi anime is a handful of shows I enjoyed, both old and new, along with a few suggestions from previous readers included for good measure; all in hopes that someone out there may find a show they have never seen before for their enjoyment.

Asobi ni iko Yo!  (Let’s go Play!)
AKA: Cat Planet Cuties (Really, Funimation?)
I would gladly submit to a Catian invasion.

Here is a sci-fi/comedy that tends to be overlooked by anime fans.  The story is about a boy named Kio that becomes involved with an alien from the planet Catia, and the adventures that follow.  The important thing to mention is that the alien he meets is a sexy cat girl named Eris, and his other love interests include a busty CIA agent in training and an ex-government agent with teleportation abilities.  This show follows typical harem antics while exploring the entire cat girl fetish, and there is some awesome action to tie everything together.

Futari Ecchi
AKA: Step up Love Story
Yes, this is a manga to help you get girls.

This series is one I have hesitated to place in previous ecchi articles because I pretty much classify it as softcore porn.  I decided to include it in this article this time around because of reader feedback and the fact that this has a rather interesting history.  Futari Ecchi started off as a manga with a two-fold purpose.  It was meant to be a “how-to” guide for people starting romantic endeavors for the first time, while also telling an entertaining story.   The original manga even included real-life facts, techniques, and statistics, and eventually spun off into a 4 episode anime OVA and several live-action series.  Despite the very heavy-handed erotic content, the anime presents an entertaining, romantic, and dare I say it, cute story of the beginnings of a married couple.

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou (The Great Demon King in the Back Row)
AKA:  Demon King Daimao (Another bad English name, because Daimaou already means “demon king”)
It’s good to be king.

The world of this anime is a fairly interesting one, taking place in an era where magic and technology have become one and the same.  This sort of thing has been done before, but never with such sexy results.  The story centers on Akuto Sai, a student entering a prestigious Clergy academy in hopes of making the world a better place.  When one of the sages in the school predicts that Akuto’s future profession is that of a Demon King, his life is turned upside down.  While this seems like a bad thing, he actually ends up gathering a group of sexy magical girls of assorted abilites that follow him, a cute android girl that watches over him, and a really badass dragon.  This anime is one my favorite harem comedies of all time, so it’s worth checking out if this is your thing.

Fox deities are the best deities.

Stories of deities and other assorted spirits and gods are nothing new to anime.  Kanokon dares to ask the question: why can’t they be sexy?  Kanokon is about a student named Kouta that is constantly chased by his classmate, Chizuru.  Chizuru not only has a pretty big rack for a high-school girl, she also happens to be a powerful fox spirit.  The anime is full of mysticism and oddities, but the highlight is in the fact that Chizuru will attempt to force herself on Kouta ANYTIME, and ANYWHERE.  The anime was done by studio Xebec, a studio known for having a knack for animating voluptuous girls.

Koe de Oshigoto
How lewd!

Just as Hollywood has made a few films that look into the inner workings of the porn industry, Koe de Oshigoto is a story about Japan’s eroge (erotic video game) industry.  On her 16th birthday, Kanna Aoyagi is approached by her sister to do some voice acting work at the game company she works for.  The catch is, her sister is in the business of making erotic video games.  This isn’t technically considered to be an ecchi anime, but the sexual content in this short pair of OVA’s can put an entire ecchi series to shame.  This show is short, sweet, and fun for ecchi fans, and a must see for eroge players.

Queen’s Blade
Would you let them rule your kingdom?

Queen’s Blade started off as a series of “game books” that work something like a “choose your own adventure” kind of book, a sort of combination of a novel and a tabletop game.  The overall story surrounds a land where a tournament known as “Queen’s Blade” is held every 4 years in order to pick the new ruler of the kingdom.  This franchise has spawned a multimedia empire of books, anime, manga, and video games.  Queen’s Blade combines high fantasy, awesome fighting, and exploration of a wide variety of 2D fetishes to create a guilty pleasure few can resist.  Clearly a must see for any ecchi fan, but it is so good I’d go far enough to say any anime fan with an open mind should check it out.   There are 3 TV series and a handful of OVA’s and even a few crossover specials, so there is plenty of content for anime viewers.

Gotta catch ‘em all!

Sekirei combines the idea of harem anime with Pokémon.  The “sekirei” are girls with superhuman abilities born from alien technology, forced to fight in a tournament by a madman who runs a powerful conglomerate.  Humans known as “Ashikabi” are able to gather Sekirei to serve them while empowering their abilities, in other words, Ashikabi have a harem of hot girls battle for them.   Sekirei puts an interesting twist on many of the typical tropes found in harem comedies, and the awesome fights almost never stop coming.  The anime is a blast to watch, but fans of the manga clearly hold the advantage considering how little of the story the two anime seasons cover.

Senran Kagura
Ninjas+Boobs= Awesome

This anime aired very recently, and was featured in my weekly anime article here at Varms.  Senran Kagura is based on a series of video games that unfortunately have yet to make it to the west, despite a growing demand for them.  The story is about a group of high-school girls undergoing ninja training in secret, and the battles between the factions of light and darkness.  The games and the anime present a simple but effective formula of sexy, busty ninja girls fighting each other for various reasons, and the result is nothing but purified awesomeness.  The anime is loaded with action, comedy, and clothes that easily rip during battle.  The only drawback to getting into this anime is the fact that you will want the video games to come over to the west, something that isn’t likely to happen.

Maybe I should start watching Tennis…

Softenni is about cute girls in a “soft” tennis club.  Before you think this is the typical sports anime, you would do well to know that this is a sports anime that is filled with comedy and perversion, and that is why it is great.  Softenni never takes itself seriously; this show is full of just about every flavor of anime humor, ranging from perverse to parody.  While this show is filled to the brim with ecchi content, the comedy is the real charm of this show.  This anime is completely depraved and ridiculously hilarious, a winning combination.

Vividred Operation
Cute girls, cute butts, alternative energy.  What more could you want?

Vividred is another show that I featured in my weekly anime round-up.  This show is about a group of girls that transform into “Palette Suits” to battle giant aliens known as “Alone”; beings determined to destroy the world’s revolutionary power supply, the Incarnate Engine.   Vividred is all about fanservice, and not just the sexy kind.  No other anime offers the opportunity to see high-tech magical girls fighting alongside fighter jets and naval fleets.  This show’s adorable character designs, incredible action scenes, light-hearted comedy, and truckloads of fanservice aimed at ecchi otaku and military otaku combine together to make one of the most fun shows of 2013.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: March 25th – March 31st

Winter anime has almost entirely finished for the season, with Little Busters being the only show included in the round up that did not end this week.  This season was a lot of fun, but the upcoming spring anime lineup looks very exciting, with lots of variety and the return of some popular shows from last year and beyond.  Since this article consists almost entirely of endings, I’m going to try and keep things short and sweet.

AKB0048:  Episode 26 END
Can’t… resist… the moe…

AKB0048’s final push to retake Akibastar involves singing to a crowd of disenfranchised citizens that feel they were abandoned during the DES assault.  As expected, this show wraps up with a spectacular performance of idols vs. space marines, along with answering a lot of the viewer’s burning questions.  This is the kind of show someone will either love or hate, but it was a fun ride and worth watching by any fan of idol anime.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT:  Episode 12 END
(I Don’t Have Many Friends)  AKA: Haganai
I’ve heard this is a common practice in American prisons

This episode reinforced my opinion that Haganai is awesome when it sticks to comedy, and just plain awkward when it tries to be serious.  I really loved watching this season, and I still recommend it to fans of Haganai, but be warned, the ending for this season is going to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.  Unless a 3rd season comes around, this will be one of the worst endings to a TV anime I have ever seen.  Now go ahead and watch it and rage.

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 12 END
B-b-but tanks are supposed to be fun!

The conclusion of the biggest tank battle the girls have faced is finally here, and it was worth the wait.  The creative team’s decision to take the extra time needed to do this final battle the right way paid off, because both of these episodes were simply amazing.  This show is yet another example of anime’s unusual knack for transforming strange concepts into fantastic entertainment.  The massive popularity of this show practically guarantees another season, so it is almost safe to say we can expect even more cute girls and tanks.

Little Busters!:  Episode: 25
A true anime rarity:  a girl with an eye patch for actual medical reasons.

This week the Little Busters are… actually getting ready to play baseball?  A game has finally been arranged for the Busters to play against a team formed by the schools other athletic clubs, but they are still short one player for the game.  Will unusual circumstances once again bring another player to the Little Busters baseball team?

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru:  Episode 13 END
(My Girlfriend and my Childhood Friend Fight Too Much) AKA: Oreshura
The final battle for the title of best girl begins…

The “Oredere” game promotion contest has begun, in a seemingly cruel display that forces the girls to pour their hearts out for Eita in front of a large audience.  The sacred answer to the question of “which girl won” is up for debate after the conclusion of this show.  In the end, Oreshura was enjoyable, but also a fairly average romcom anime with a fairly average romcom ending.

Senran Kagura:  Episode 12 END
Best girls have arrived to save the day!

The conclusion to boobie ninja’s is upon us, for better or worse.  This show set out to be an ecchi/action/comedy and achieved exactly that, and it won’t ever fall under or exceed those expectations.  Was Senran Kagura a pervy action show made to pander to fans of ninjas and boobs?  Yes.  Was Senran Kagura awesome for those same previously mentioned reasons?  Absolutely.

Vividred Operation:  Episode 12 END
C’mon crow god, have you seen gas prices?  Taking away the Incarnate Engine is a dick move.

The interdimensional crow-god thingy has spoken, and naturally it wants to destroy all of mankind, because that is the only reasonable thing to do.  Can Akane and her friends save mankind and alternative energy with the power of friendship and yuri overtones?  We are going to find out!  Vividred is a really fun show made to entertain anime fans, and is completely unapologetic about it.  Obviously this means this show isn’t for everyone, and strangely enough that is also what makes it devilishly fun.

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 24 END
AKA: The Civilization Blaster
Can anyone stop the tree of Genesis?

Studio Bones is infamous for the way they end anime (Just ask Soul Eater fans), but I have to admit, they did a good job this time.  Everything wraps up nicely, and a very satisfying ending was delivered.  It’s obvious that my enjoyment of this show was lacking during the second half, mostly due to some really bad pacing issues.  This show could have been amazing if it was trimmed down to a single core season of 12-13 episodes, especially because I always had the feeling every bit of the story was being stretched beyond its limit.

Yet Another Show I Watched:

GJ-Bu:  12 Episodes
Anime high school once again proves superior to real high school.

GJ-bu is yet another show from this season that I regrettably did not include in the roundup.  The story basically involves the daily activities the GJ club, a school club that consists of four girls and a new member nicknamed “Kyoro”, the only male member of the club.  The GJ club is pretty much just an excuse for everyone to have a place to mess around, and that is the basic premise of the show.  This is a slice of life/comedy that strongly represents everything that is great about slice of life anime.  The show is both relaxing and humorous, and features a cast of colorful and memorable characters.  Slice of Life shows can be very hit or miss with me, but I really enjoyed this one.  If you are in the market for something cute, silly, and relaxing, this show hits the spot.