Posted by psgels on 4 July 2009 with categories: Canaan, Some Quick First Impressions

Element Hunters

Short Synopsis: Our lead characters travel to another world and hunt monsters.
Chance of me Blogging: 0% (Nope)
Well, so finally we have a bad series again. Element Hunters is an attempt to bring back the parallel world children’s adventures genre (like Digimon, Flint the Time Detective and others), but in the end it’s just lazy and uninspired. Basically we have a bunch of kids who travel to some parallel world with chemical element themes, but the reason why they end up there is virtually non-existent: from out of nowhere, they just run into a gate that transports them, and from out of nowhere they just start fighting some weird monsters like they’ve been doing since they were three. While I admit that the characters have their charms and nice voice actors, but that’s also the only thing that’s inspired about this episode. Also, for a series about chemistry this episode also showed that the creators know absolutely nothing of their subject: this episode was about nitrogen, and instead of discussing its practical uses, or the fact that 80% of the air we breathe consists of it, the only thing it can think of is some weird nitroglycerin flowers. I mean, seriously? This series is in every single way inferior to that other science show that’s currently airing (Marie & Gali).

Canaan

Short Synopsis: Our lead characters kills a bunch of people during a big festival
Chance of me Blogging: 70% (Choosing the shows to blog this season is going to be HELL)
As if this season didn’t already have enough awesome shows: here’s the next one. It’s awesome to see P.A. Works back with their next series, and it shows. This episode had by far the best animation of the season so far. But that’s not what I’m excited about. What really set this series apart was how well it portrayed such a big festival, in which so many things were happening at the same time. The creators didn’t just tell a story, but they also brought the entire festival alive during this episode. Everything and everyone was moving and there was always something going on, from random people having fun to people shooting each other and others going insane and poking their own eyes out. There were so many details stuffed into just this episode, it’s really amazing and it’s going to be awesome if the rest of the climaxes of this series are going to be the same thing. This series has now already shown that it can deliver a great action scene. Now all that’s left is to develop the plot and characters.

Zan Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is in despair.
Chance of me Blogging: 0% (haven’t blogged the first two seasons, ain’t gonna blog it this time either)
And so, the third installment of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei has started. I do have to say that the creators are going to have to put in some real effort to prevent this from turning into one of those franchises that refuses to bloody DIE. The original premise went past its expiration date halfway through the second season, and with this season the creators are really going to have to do more than just repeat the same formula over and over yet again. This episode was… decent. It wasn’t good nor bad, it had some amusing moments, but I really fear that I’m going to get tired of the series in no time if it doesn’t get more interesting.

27 Responses

  1. Denizen says:

    CANAAN really was one of the most impressive shows of Summer so far, i’m certainly looking forward to more of it.

  2. BlueYoshi says:

    Surprise surprise, I might actually have some time to watch Canaan this season. It’s one of the few shows I’ve been looking forward to watch this year.

  3. mulligan says:

    canaan & bakemonogatari are my favs so far, hopefully there are more to come

  4. TJ says:

    Out of the four series premieres I watched for this season, Canaan was the most impressive. Interesting story, fast-paced action, good animation. Thumbs up.

  5. tealovertoma says:

    This is where we differ; IMO Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is one of the most clever anime comedy series ever. The characters do the exact opposite of what they do in every other anime (although, yes, this being the 3rd season means you can kinda expect what they do). This saved Japan’s reputation of having (generally) crappy sense of humour in my opinion. Clever, cynical, crazy and pretty dark at times.

    Canaan sounds better than I thought it would be from the trailer (it looked so-so) but I was planning to check it out when it’s subbed anyway.

  6. tealovertoma says:

    I also find it funny that you criticize Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei for having the same formula (almost) every episode… yet you absolutely adore Jigoku Shoujo? It *really* took me a lot of effort to get through 2 seasons of that for me.

  7. Nomus says:

    We’ll have to live with Zetsubou-Sensei till the end of japanese animation.) And it’s not bad. As you know, Shinbo can do something very different. But here, it’s not the purpose to make charecters alive or deep. This show is social satirical comedy, it makes fun of human complexes, stereotypes etc. It’s like “The Adventures of Asterix” in France, where characters are not developing much either, they are just making fun of real life. So, better not expect not much changes, but much seasons to come.)

  8. psgels psgels says:

    toma: the reason why I liked Jigoku Shoujo despite its repetitiveness is that it does evolve: I liked the overarching storyline and strong characters, unlike SZS. I admit that the series was really good in its first season, when the characters and social commentary were still fresh, but I’ve just gotten tired of it by now.

  9. AnimeNerdz says:

    “Short Synopsis: Our lead character is in despair.” lol xD so true..hated the first season, so didn’t quite bother watching the second

    too bad EH is disappointing..sounded promising

  10. PL says:

    canaan had probably some of the coolest art I’ve seen animated. And the premise so far is pretty intriguiging. I’ll definitely be watching it. I’m a synesthete (mostly sounds to colors or textures, but sometimes other senses) so it’ll be interesting to see their spin on it. And the action was pretty badass.

  11. PL says:

    does canaan have the budget to keep this level of quality up for 26 eps? Or will it become inconsistent after the first couple of eps like shangri-la and guin saga?

  12. windy says:

    I think it was obvious what the most spectacular series would be: of course ” CANAAN” and ” Umineko no naku koro ni”. I was eagerly expecting them, so glad they’ve finally start airing! And maybe it’s a good thing that the summer season series are not as good as the spring season series were, first because it proves that good series don’t hide behind each bench and secondly because the high number of the amazing shows that started airing then are still at the middle so it would be too much at once, so I suppose next season there will be more of good ones, but just looking at the preview anime board and the description below the only good series will be those ,for clear reasons, that is. And also the second season of ” Spice and Wolf” for those who enjoyed the first like I did.

  13. Schmetterling says:

    Canaan is totally in my book now.

    Never tried SZS, not enough time :p

  14. tealovertoma says:

    Canaan was great, it really was. The festival looked amazing, so did the fights, everything had a nice fast pace and if I had to compare it to one anime right now, it would be Baccano. Lots of characters introduced right from the start, they’re all crossing paths which reveal their backstories and you’re kinda put in the middle of a story.
    Also, killer girls. Yay.

    Although it’s on top of my list along with Aoi Hana (mostly cause Bakemonogatari isn’t subbed yet), I do have to note a few things where it could go wrong:

    – Character design isn’t anything special. Thankfully they’re already sorta making their personalities clear in the first episode, but character design isn’t quite up there with the likes of Darker Than Black or the aforementioned Baccano!

    – Storyline. It’s wrapped in mystery right now and it could either turn out to be really good… or become yet another cliche storyline about syndicats and organisations struggling for power or even worse, world domination.

    I have no doubts about this being good, but these are a few things that separate the good anime from the masterpieces.

  15. Schmetterling says:

    I actually got interested in Canaan because of the main char, Canaa. She’s just cool xD

    Sorry, totally avoid Aoi no Hana, yuri and yaoi are the scariest things after harem and hentai :p

  16. tealovertoma says:

    I do like the characters in it (again, killer girls, yay) – there’s a reason I can compare it to baccano, but I guess I just still need to get used to the design. Thought Reiji in Phantom was also the most generic design ever but quite got to like him.

    As for Aoi Hana, it’s just a slice of life serie so far, and it’s not going to turn into a yuri any time soon. I realise the basic premise of it is shoujo-ai, but so far it’s very subtle and beautifully done. I wouldn’t count on the show ever getting ecchi, it just shows a relationship in the same way Bokura Ga Ita, His & Her Circumanstances and Lovely Complex do.
    So unless the basic premise of a girl liking another girl is something you don’t want to see I’d still recommend having a look.

  17. AKI says:

    Thought it was just me but Canaan really felt like Baccano meets Black Lagoon. Spectacular in one word. The festival was amazing – really feels alive. Heck, right now I’m running out of adjectives to describe each show. You’re right psgels, PA Works is really turning out to be a studio to watch out for. That award you gave to them last year did not go to waste. Let’s just hope that the successive episodes will continuously deliver.

  18. specracer says:

    Wow that scene in Canaan where she’s spinning down the pole while killing those guys ranks up there with the 1st episode of Noir where Kirika does that revers hangman

    Canaan fells like Noir mixed with Kara no Kyoukai

  19. PL says:

    ^ I was thinking Madlax, so if you thought Noir, I guess there might be something there…not just the girls with guns, but something about the sense of ordered chaos, and the general narrative style

  20. DangerMouse says:

    Cannan was an incredible start.

    “canaan had probably some of the coolest art I’ve seen animated.”

    I totally agree, the gorgeous art, fantastically drawn sharp character design work (Apharmd so reminds me of Revy’s design even with some differences), and the color work is marvelous.

  21. dark-kyon says:

    is for analysis how makes to sayonara setzuboi sensei what your loses much credibility.your only see the “defect” and not see the “virtues”.
    well i keep see this blog to laugh of the phrases what i found.
    i only can laugh to read what saki is a good show but the voice of yuuki is…
    wtf your dislike to much a rie kugimiya,to say that.please be serius.

  22. Tracer says:

    I don’t really understand your complaint on SZS in that it has no “character development”. That doesn’t make much sense to me to be honest since one of SZS’s primary means of comedy is by using the character’s one dimensional/wacky personality. I mean, they stress this point fairly well since just about each episode is about introducing a topic and seeing the different reactions based on their quirky personality.

    Why would character development even be necessary? Do you think the anime would be more interesting if Nozomu turned into a loving teacher or less suicidal or some other nonsense?

    I can understand that you might be of the opinion that well developed characters are needed to make a show good but I don’t see why you would limit the quality of something based on one particular aspect which need not necessarily be the best thing for every anime.

  23. PL says:

    I think he’s just saying that sense the characters dont grow, the show’s humor has gotten stale for him, because it means the show can’t really evolve. It’s kind of like “family guy”…I’ve been a huge fan, but because the show is similarly built around the family’s quirky personalities, after a while, the jokes all start to seem the same. I find myself laughing at it less and less with each season. I’m not comparing the two, just trying to explain it as I see it. Some people may find this semi-repetitive sense of humor to their tastes, and doubtless will watch the show until its canceled. Other people won’t. For me, this has been the error of most American animated comedies and/or sitcoms, the characters grow little, the running jokes get old, and the show gets stale. The Simpsons, South Park, even Seinfeld. After a while, I find I’m just watching the show out of habit, not because it really makes me laugh out loud anymore.

  24. psgels psgels says:

    Tracer: the lack of character-development indeed isn’t my main problem with SZS. The thing just is, that it’s stopped being funny and it became tiring to watch. And for that, I blame the lack of character-development, which would have been able to prevent this.

  25. Tracer says:

    Oh okay. My mistake then.

    I was under the impression that you disliked SZS solely because it lacked character development.

    I guess I can understand your reason.

  26. AKI says:

    I just watched ElementHunters and was mildly amused. It was not really that half-bad. I might check the second ep and decide whether to continue watching or not. The level of Japanese was understandable and the premise of collecting chemical elements like Pokemon sounded fun.

    Hmm… about SZS, the comedy stopped being funny during the second season. I just checked the few minutes of the episode and I could not fathom anything they were talking about (what’s with that long beard from Ichi) so I guess I’ll just wait for it to get subbed before I lay my judgment.

    As for Canaan, well I already said what I think about it and I can see it now sitting on top of the summer season.

  27. TimeMask says:

    Canaan is a great anime but the ending dragged on a bit, the ending seems to set the stage for a 2nd season with Canaan learning of a “one armed women”.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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