Care to make a friendly wager on the ISML Grand Final?
You're on Shana's side, I'm on Mikoto's.
The backer of the winner gets to pick two series the loser has to watch/try at least five episodes of. The loser picks one the winner has to watch/try at least five episodes of. This way, there's something to gain for both sides.
Series to be watched mustn't be ones either of us have seen in full. We can also nominate ten shows we will block the other from picking to prevent the element of being made to watch something we truly dislike. Any show nominated will have all seasons/series of it blocked.
Either way, good luck to your pick in the Grand Final.
1. The series itself is the definition of 'Do the absolute minimum required to trick the viewer into thinking enough happened for the episode to be worthwhile.' It is so painfully slow, so dull - any time I ever spent checking this series out is time I desperately wish I could have back.
2. J.C. Staff. intentionally scrimp on the aesthetics. They could make it look better - but they don't. They budget for mediocrity.
3. I can't stand Rie Kugimiya's voice. Need I say more about how I feel about her or any other character? As for Shana the character herself, very simple, snappy, service target. The list goes on. I get people say she grows up at some point. But I don't care. She's merely more than a whiny brat to me. Furthermore, you're the only person I've ever heard to call Shana a feminist. Nearly every Shana fan I know IRL likes her for lolicon reasons...and lolicon reasons only! Therein lies a big problem I have! A lot of people don't care about the fact Shana the character in full! Only that she's a loli that looks cute to them!
4. The battles were pretty generic. Honestly, potentially cool concept/world design made very flat. Side characters I just didn't care about. Just more underwhelming. Then there's scenes like the one in Episode 4 where Shana was changing and Yuji walked in. Someone of Shana's age being shown in that way is sickening.
5. I know a good deal of Shana fans.The thing is, a considerable number of the ones I've met - they are near impossible to get along with. They only talk about moe and lolis. Not just in anime - in ANYTHING. You can't talk to them about everyday life, current events, music, sport or whatever. They only care about things that are cute, are RieKu and loli. They'll shove their graphic merchandise in your face and be super hostile if they don't like your response. They'll play their fave music from shows like that and listen to nothing else. They don't watch any other type of anime. And really, perhaps that is the biggest problem I have with Shana. There's too many people that like her that get warped into lolicons and people you just can't be around in public because they'll say something that is completely out of line/the worst thing they could say in that situation, but they don't care. Heck, there's a 44 year-old guy I know of that only likes pre-teen characters/material only - and he started from Shana. He then moved on to 6 year olds and below...It's sickening...
7. Could you honestly talk about this show to the average, everyday person or show it to them? I don't think so...
It comes down to the show and the behaviour/hostility of a significant proportion of the Shana fandom. It creeps me out. I know not all Shana fans are like that. But some of the fandom is just utterly vile.
And for the record...I'm not that keen on Railgun either. I hate Kuroko in particular. But I genuinely think Mikoto is a good character - surrounded by a stale cast otherwise.
I have no idea what their stance is. Last year, when Ore no Imouto was the big craze, all of their reviewers didn't write anything about it at all. There was also the leaked epsiode fiasco with their streaming, which then got cancelled. Then a month ago, one of their reviewers writes an incredibly positive review, as if to make up for their shunning it for so long. They're a weird bunch.
You'd think that its different tack would mean that, but Carlo Santos is an anti-otaku, ant-moe, righteous ranter master of the time. Recently he called the 2nd Eden of the East movie virtual perfection and that all otaku should wake up. He comes across very high-strung and offensive. He only talks positively about SHAFT and anti-otaku shows. He's one weird character. He seems to be their call guy for controversial material.
I know it's just one place on the Net, but when there's not many places to find decent info in the West, there's bound to be reasonable traffic there. And several companies do streaming via them, so they matter in some way. Hence my anger at such a bitter, cringe-worthy review. My mentor who is normally immune to anything said it was the most painful review he had ever read and had insulted/misrepresented the online anime community in the West.
Yeah, a review like that has absolutely no business as a commercial review, as you state. It would be different if this was just a recreational blogger - like you or me - giving our personal opinion on something, but for a site like ANN, people need to be held to a higher/tighter standard than this.
Those grades are largely unfathomable too. A D for story is incredibly harsh. And C for music is simply silly. I admit this isn't Kajura's best work, but still...
Edit: One other thing, though, if it is ANN's desire to kill off Fate/Zero in the west, I'm truly at a lost to understand why. Of the more high profile one/two-cour anime shows to air in 2011, Fate/Zero strikes me as one of the easiest to market to a mainstream North American audience. Its lack of cutesy moe is actually a strength in that regard. I think there's very little, if anything, in Fate/Zero that would offend feminist perspectives, or would make it seem too "girly" to some potential male viewers.
I swear at times Charlotte felt like a dashing cavalier from 300 years ago. I think that's intentional though since Rose of Versailles was a major trigger in French culture becoming popular in Japan. I think that's why Charlotte was the one character that didn't cop any nationalism jokes/cheap shots. I think the show's big flaws were complete lack of story and not resolving the harem. I almost wonder if they tried to leave the door open to go back there. It really feels like it should have been two seasons.
I intend to get to that soon. MAL had hacking issues for awhile, so I actively avoided the site for awhile. It's probably save now, though. So I'll probably start updating my MAL soon. Will inform you once I'm done that.