Posted on 3 October 2009 with categories: Letter Bee, Shugo Chara, Some Quick First Impressions

Letter Bee

Short Synopsis: Our lead character delivers packages and fights monsters.
Usually, series have a tendency to start out with a bang. Letter Bee however, is different, and instead very much takes its time. The scope of this episode is very limited: we just see three characters: a postal worker with a magic gun, a kid who lost his parents, and the postal worker’s dog. This episode progresses very quietly as the two of them meet and travel together, learn to deal with their differences, and explore each other’s problems (a very convenient power of the lead character seems to be that when he uses them, anyone can look into his heart). So yeah, because of that this wasn’t the most exciting episode of the new season, but if it picks up in the future it could be something interesting. The storytelling was solid, the characters are all fleshed out. Now all that’s left is the creators, making use of this.
OP: The song has nice vocals but fails to stand out otherwise, visuals are pretty basic foreshadowing.
ED: Again an impressive singer, but not really an impressive song.
Potential: 60%

The Sacred Blacksmith

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a rather incompetent teen-aged warrior.
Ah, I hate it when these series come that can really go anywhere. This series has absolutely gorgeous graphics and monster-designs, a snappy direction that really brings the best out of the different sword-fights that for once aren’t just focused on just slashing swords around, but also concentrate on the quality of each weapon. The characters are far away from stereotypes as well, and seem to have well-motivated back-stories. But yeah, on the other hand the lead character remains a moe teen-aged tsundere, and her love interest is a genius swordsman and blacksmith, despite also being a teenager. While on one hand, the lead character strikes me as an ambitious girl who takes initiatives, there’s also so much potential for this to turn into yet another one of those generic fantasy-series that never really goes anywhere, where she’s stuck as the eternal damsel in distress that always needs to be saved. The execution really rocks, but if the rest of the story doesn’t go anywhere then it’s just a waste to put such a powerhouse as Manglobe behind this series.
OP: Mostly just standard J-Pop with cheesy Engrish parts thrown into it.
ED: Again very generic J-Pop and the animation attempts to be cute but ultimately isn’t.
Potential: 60%

Shugo Chara! Party!

Short Synopsis: Our lead character gets bugged by an overmoralistic elementary schooler.
I figured that I might as well check out what became of the extremely fillerish series that I once considered as something with potential, but oh my god. WTF have they done with this series!? The creators successfully brought the target audience down with six years with this episode, this now has turned into a series that you show to four-year olds. The entire first half of this episode was nothing more than the voice actresses for the different cute mascots of this series as they “attempted” to talk to their audience throughout the TV. Heck, Sesame Street is more mature than this… thing. The second half was actually animated, but there too you can see that the creators are going for an entirely different target audience this time, when they introduce an elementary schooler who is probably going to hog Amu’s place as a lead character with her powers to talk to X-Eggs. I disliked this series for having too many fillers, but this is a treatment that it definitely doesn’t deserve!
OP: THE proof why live-action should stay FAR away from anime. Cheesy J-pop at its worst.
ED: The live action! It burns! At least the song didn’t.
Potential: -50%

20 Responses

  1. Nomus says:

    Well, tsunderistic Alice from PH scared me at first. But, in the end, she didn’t ruin the show. Let’s hope for something like that in The Sacred Blacksmith.

  2. Machi says:

    Am I the only one whose wary of good looking animated shows? The better the production values in general a show has the more wary I get, since they tend to look pretty uniform with other high budget shows. Course there are easily exceptions, but still rare. So far no real show catches my attention for fall :(. Whether it be creative animation designs or plot.

  3. CL says:

    OMG! You are so correct with the Shugo Chara! Party live action counter part. It burns my eyes! It feels that I’m seeing the live action counter part of Karin in Karin Revolution. Is the title correct? Anyways, it really is scary… And let’s not forget disturbing…

  4. Nomus says:

    Machi:
    Good quality of animation just proves nothing. Neither that show is good, nor that it’s bad. But anime is complex art – it must look nice on the inside and outside at the same time.

  5. Frotee says:

    Well, the sacred blacksmith apparently follows a light-novel series, so let’s hope for some decent story background…

  6. ZACK says:

    PSgels u ought to blog Darker than Black2.
    I’m sure Bones won’t dissapoint with probably what is their most anticipated title this year.

  7. psgels says:

    Machi: not really. Take Guin Saga in the last season for example: it looked beautiful, and had a great plot to boot. and take Manglobe’s previous series, Michiko e Hatchin. Excellent graphics and yet it had an excellent setting, story and cast of characters.

    The reason why I’m worried about blacksmith is because it really can go anywhere from this point. sure, similar series have proven to be worhtwhile, but for every Pandora Hearts there also is a Valkyria Chronicles.

  8. Shinmaru says:

    Ugh. I actually like Shugo Chara! quite a bit despite all the filler (at least it is entertaining filler), but this … yuck.

  9. Bane says:

    Sacred Blacksmith doesn’t just have potential to turn into another generic fantasy series, it has “generic” written all over it in big red neon letters. Nevermind the issues of introducing Japanese swords into a medieval setting (this is anime after all), it must be convenient to travel with a jailbait elf who can insta-summon a forge where the protagonist can put in inferior materials, babble a couple of blacksmithing terms, and pull out within seconds a new sword sharp enough to cut other swords in half. This also explains why he doesn’t wipe the blood off the sword after slaying those monsters… if the blade happens to rust, he can just use Lisa to forge a new one.

    With what seems to be a generic “save the kingdom from demons” plot just around the corner, cute/moe character designs are pretty much all that this show seems to have going for it at the moment. Since it’s a light novel series, give it another 3-4 episodes before final judgment though.

    I won’t even bother with those other two series. Especially not with Shugo Chara.

  10. coyos says:

    I have to say blacksmith seems pretty generic and mediocre already.

  11. Kimi says:

    Hmmm. Letter Bee looks a bit promising to me. I might actually watch it since it seems to be piquing everybody else’s interest. As for Shugo Chara! Party… I used to love SC. I self-mutilated myself by watching all those sickening fillers. So it’s nice to see that all my hard effort and watching was rewarded with an ages 10-and-under variety show with a bunch of idiots who act like five-year olds and a probable Mary-Sue. THANKS A BUNCH, SATELITE!!

  12. psgels says:

    Coyos: hence my dilemma: right now the premise of that blackmith using magic to make shwords is pretty generic, but the execution of this story was pretty damn good. Who knows what it might develop into?

  13. Irie says:

    psgels: Like you, I enjoyed Sacred Blacksmith regardless of it’s concept. Not exactly sure what’s expected from a fantasy story. You’ve got a hero, heroine, some monsters and magic. It’s been done before. OK. For some of us, it’s still enjoyable and reasonably well executed entertainment.

    I might add this could turn into a harem pretty quickly and that would surely hurt it’s value. New female party member next expisode?

  14. Denizen says:

    I think Blacksmith deviated from generic-ness with that interesting Sword-forging scene. It was that small sequence that lead me to understand why Manglobe were animating this manga – hopefully intriguing things like that will feature a bit more in this anime and give it an extra technical dimension than others. I also like that things like “his sword cuts through other swords” wasn’t just an accepted thing like in most anime with magical swordsman – it was something that mattered much more because it really was peculiar, and it formed part of Cecily’s interest with swords.

    Overall it’s showing good signs – but as you say, absolutely nothing is easy to say this early in the game.

  15. death13a says:

    Letter Bee is slow to develop strong story but well worth it.Give it 5 episodes and you be sorry as you want to have more. Setting, characters and story are put in one neat package.

  16. m says:

    Someone please find the manglobe that made Ergo Proxy and Samurai Champloo and have them cut through The Sacred Blacksmith’s mediocrity.

  17. Ikuto'sAngel says:

    WTF what in gods name happened to Shugo Chara? i used to watch it all the time but now that i saw that new episode i was like O_O nu uh no more….its such a shame it was a god anime till now

  18. foamer says:

    re: blacksmiths: yes it was mediocre & its the same guy who directed Linebarrels…oh god

  19. Perrin4869 says:

    @Denizen: As for what you can expect from a fantasy story, watch again the first episodes of Guin Saga or Seirei no Moribito or, 12 Kingdoms (although the first episode too was a bit generic), and answer yourself that…
    Sorry, the first episode was mediocrity redefined… And I don’t see in what universe the characters are not complete stereotypes… If it weren’t a Manglobe anime it would have been dropped already.

  20. riddle says:

    shugo chara never fails to shock me. That show has now gone up to a whole new level. First they had the cheeseness level up, now they are making it more and more impossible to watch. Good job shugo chara producers, you all made the worst possible anime in history. Never make an anime into live action!

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 10:47 AM)
    Now this is very very good news to me, dark horse is releasing more of Satoshi Kon’s manga in the west, seraphim and opus, I’ll grab anything this guy has worked on. Definitely excited for this.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 10:46 AM)
    Not bad at all not bad songs for the new jojo at all =3
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 10:14 AM)
    @Juno, you aren’t alone.
  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    Because as of this moment, my childhood could NOT be happier…
  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    I can’t be the only one FREAKING OUT OVER THE NEW JOJO ENDING THEME, right?
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:32 AM)
    And although everyone said already, the launch scene is gorgeous.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:30 AM)
    @Friend Man, you are something else. The chapter reeled me into the story. I didnt see any faults with it, except for one typo. The scenes are well composited, and like nyan said, the only “faults” are nitpicky things :)
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:21 AM)
    Yeah, I think this falls more into the category of typesetting than anything else and there’s plenty of different ways that can go depending on preference. If the readers don’t have an issue, then it’s fine.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:11 AM)
    A problem ve faced with american comics is that they usually dont contrast the speech bubble with the surroundings too well. That might be a factor, as large bubbles mean more visibility of the text itself.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:05 AM)
    ah well, I don’t really mean the amount of content, but a negative space thing. it’s easier on the eyes when there’s a bit of space around the bubble for me.

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