Posted by psgels on 8 July 2010 with categories: Shiki, Some Quick First Impressions

Shiki

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a typical teen-aged girl who doesn’t like the place she’s grow up in.
Well.. so this series really has an issue with its character-designs. The unimportant characters are fine, and the females range from decent-looking teenagers to actually great looking parents. But the males, dear god, the poor males. Some of these guys look absolutely atrocious. What were the creators thinking here? Either way though: putting that aside, then this was a really excellent first episode. The direction was snappy and creative, and it proved to give a great cliff-hanger to its first episode. The horror was subtle yet at the same time in your face when it mattered. This is another one of those series that play in an isolated Japanese village, and the creators did a really good job in portraying the silent and remote nature of this village, full of older people and farmers about to hit retirement. The art direction was really good, and really made this episode interesting to look at whenever the males weren’t in the picture. This episode already showed that it’s great at building up an atmosphere and fleshing out a single character over a single episode. Noitamina looks like it’s going to be awesome this season as well!
OP: Best OP of the season.
ED: Hmm, badly sung.
Potential: 90%

Strike Witches 2

Short Synopsis: Our lead character originally thought that she wouldn’t be fighting anymore, but returns to the battlefield anyway.
Strike Witches… makes no sense. Seriously, any attempts to give any logical criticism to it are the equivalent of gathering a small army to kick in an open door, so therefore I won’t. Instead, it’s a series that’s all about its characters, and weird ideas for its setting and scenarios. Since the first season was obviously produced without this second season in mind, this episode merely serves to put things back into status quo by pulling the lead character out of retirement and having the enemies that were previously thought to be destroyed return. Right now, the second season will probably have more time to explore the different characters, plus it looks like we’ll also get more dime to delve into the cause of all of the evil monsters, which never really was explained in that first season. Either way, this episode pretty much showed that this really is going to be much of the same: if you liked it, then you’ll probably like this series as well as it wasn’t an entirely shallow series, and if you hated it you’re going to hate it even more because nothing much has improved. Personally, it wasn’t that much of a chore to watch the first season, but did it deserve the incredible amount of DVD sales? Of course not. This series is fluff. Charming fluff, but fluff nonetheless.
OP: Pretty much a carbon copy of your standard OP
ED: Pretty much a carbon copy of your standard ED
Potential: 35%

Stitch! Zutto Saikou no Tomodachi

Short Synopsis: Our lead character moves to a new high school with her troublesome alien friend.
I watched the first episode of this one back in 2008, so I figured that I might as well check out what happened to it. But seriously, it has really derailed in the process! The show devolved into some really weird combination between japanese and american kids’ shows. The villains are terribly incompetent morons like you always see in those uninspired american kids’ shows, while this episode showed the lead character as she moved to a new school, gets the attention of the hottest classmate and makes enemies with a spoiled rich girl, in typical Japanese fashion. I mean, East meeting West is nice and all, but that still is no excuse for a kids’ show to treat its audience like idiots. I mean, there are times at which this series tries to educate its audience when Stitch causes trouble (seriously, this thing is like a trouble magnet. For him, entering a door becomes an entire adventure of hopping across the room while breaking as much in the process as possible), but right at the start we see him steal a bunch of donuts and nobody even squeaks at it. Be consistent, dammit!
OP: I really believe that the creators should have put more than 2 minutes into composing this thing.
Potential: 0%

41 Responses

  1. Solaris says:

    Oh what a surprise to find an high 35% potential in Strike Lolis. I’d say you bashed this mercilessly if i didn’t read it with my own eyes. I’m rather happy to hear somebody ho can put Strike Witches on the right place on the shelf after the crap i read in many blogs before, bashing it cause of the pantsu-ness incident (can i make up this brand new word, can’t i?). This is a series that’s good for some mindless enterteinment and nothing more, so let’s lovce it for what it is.

  2. Rockmanshii says:

    I still remember the shock when I read a volume of the strike witch light novel, it was about girls in the army who wanted to regain their honor, who was anxious, there was emotions .I can’t believe how they turn a lot of franchise into mindless fanservice when they animate it.One other example is Rosario + Vampire.

  3. Shippoyasha says:

    STRIKE WITCHES!!!!!! I don’t care if it’s a shallow moe-fest. First season was ludicrous and fun and that’s all I need out of a fanservice anime.

  4. AKI says:

    Strike Lolis, Lolz. Oh wait, Gonzo went bankrupt, didn’t they? Is this the same Gonzo trainwreck or is another company milking the franchise?

  5. psgels psgels says:

    This time, it’s AIC who’s milking it. ;)

    But was it really a trainwreck? For me, the first season didn’t have enough momentum to really fall apart like a trainwreck. There are a lot of things wrong with the show, yeah. But compared to most of the other mindless moe series, it had its charms.

  6. Kalandra says:

    Wow Strike Witches managed 35%! That -70% series must be really really bad.

  7. Aegd says:

    Strike Witches, more like Stroke witches. Get it. Get it?? All you loli-pervs should understand what I’m saying.

    Anyway, it’s a horrible show. Not even fire can cleanse it. It’s beyond saving, much like Seikon no Qwaser, Witch’s blade, KissXSiss and so on.

  8. Sinisgood says:

    @Aegd
    I sense some deep-seated resentment when it comes to shows that are heavy in fanservice. And it’s not right to compare Strike Witches with shows like SnQ and KissXSis, as those shows are loaded down with strong sexual situations. Strike Witches is just panty shots. Does that really deserve the same “loli-perv” label as a show that features a guy being pursued by his 2 sisters? Or even Seikon no Quaser, where there is ample breast-sucking? Both of those shows are much more sexual in nature, its not even the same type of fanservice as Strike Witches.

    I’m usually for letting people’s opinions go without saying anything, but this time I wanted to share my own. I, as well as many others, enjoy fanservice in our anime, and not out of a place of perversion (I’m speaking for myself, of course.)

  9. Solaris says:

    Sinisgood just leave the troll alone, he’s not even worth answering.

  10. mds says:

    Shiki : no,our lead characters aren’t that teen-aged girl…

  11. UnknownVoice says:

    ———–

    Loved the first episode. Its good that they stuck with manga and manga designs and did not try to mainstream-ize everything.

    The only gripe is that I saw the whole truck-driver scene as more of shocking, than they did.

    5/5 easily.

    This as well as HOTD are the only good shows this season…sadly.

  12. Etrangere says:

    … I think I hate those character design in Shiki once animated even more than I hated them in the first volume of the manga. It’s going to be tough to stick to this one just on the strength of Fuyumi Ono’s name.

  13. Frost says:

    Really liked Shiki, something about it reminds me of Higurashi… Probably the rural setting

    Its good to see theres actually a lot of decent anime this season, better than winter for sure

  14. m says:

    I’d like to blame Daume for this, but really the anachronistic Jump characters are the mangaka’s brain fart; they just look worse in color.

    But all I’ve got this season is Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin and this. I learn a lesson or two from Megumi and appreciate the grass on this side of the fence a little. I’m betting the writing makes up for everything else, and the setting actually looks pretty good.

  15. Machi says:

    Um for Shiki the art style of the artist really just does tend to draw men that way XD. Though I never found it jarring, I actually liked it, to each his own I guess :P. Maybe it’ll grow on you with each episode.

  16. Denizen says:

    One thing I liked about Shi Ki is that there was no highschool shown. That’s just so refreshing..

  17. Hunter-Wolf says:

    @UnknownVoice

    Those two only .. why !!? there are many good animes this new season so far … Shiki, Highschool of the Dead, Occult Academy … even Ookamisan turned out to be very entertaining even if some might label it too “moe” or “stereotypical” .. maybe a little but i don’t give a damn .. they can enjoy all their manly fresh anime away from it XD .. i actually liked it a lot and specially loved the storytelling (the narrator being present during the whole episode and using the authentic storytelling style) and all the fairytales references were crazy XD

    I still have “Mago” and “Legend of Legendery Heroes” on my radar … i hope Mago isn’t a typical shonen (more like FMA i’d prefer) and hope Legend turns out to be a good coherent fantasy series .. i will watch their 1st episodes as soon as i can get them.

    Hope psgels gets to say his impressions about them too (i mean Legend of Legendery Heroes and Ookamisan)

  18. slivermoon says:

    I haven’t finished watching the first episode of Shiki but when I took a glance at your first impressions for the OP, it made me happy. Go BUCK-TICK!

  19. Bruce says:

    Shiki’s OP rocks. I love it.

    Like you said, all of the males look weird. They all have super pointy chin syndrome for some reason; it’s like whoever made the character designs can only draw old men/women or teenage girls.

  20. UnknownVoice says:

    @ Hunter-Wolf
    Occult Academy was a major disappointment. I expected a refined interesting hsow with more strong sense of humor. What I got is mainstream comedy show with stereotypes and comedy gags.

    Ookamisan is pure shite and I don’t even plan on trying it. Pictures were enough to put me off.

    Legend of Legendery Heroes was boring as hell with forced comedy and parodies.

    NnoMago was a typical shonen show full of cliches and I had enough of typical shonen shows full of cliches.

    Thus yes, only HOTD and SHIKI are good this season.

  21. Nomus says:

    Hinamizawa 2010, hmmm. Wasn’t that dog a Dennou Coil ripoff?

  22. animedyum says:

    Anyone saw Twin Peaks? Shiki reminds me of it except vampire stuff. Isolated village, hateful and wannabe independent girl, murder(s)…

  23. Des! says:

    The lead character is not megumi. well shall not be a spoiler for non-manga readers :/

  24. Hunter-Wolf says:

    @UnknownVoice

    Ahm … what !? .. HotD doesn’t even come close to Occult Academy .. it might be intense and well made but it’s no way near OA .. it is also very obvious that there is way more than just comedy in OA (wish pretty damn well done) .. first and foremost it’s a show about supernatural phenomena and western occult and even has some horror elements (the agent that got eaten by the huge bat/moth at the beginning and Maya facin-off aganist her possessed father and beheading him with an axe) .. it’s far and no way close to what’s mainstream .. you want mainstream .. that’s things like K-ON!! or Campanella … the show is really excellent on all fronts until now and is pretty damn refined … I think the problem was with your expectations with the show not the show itself (i don’t even know what you based them on) .. but that’s just my opinion XD

    Speaking of mainstream .. you judged “Ookami” before even watching a single episode .. wow .. way to go .. sigh .. So-Ra-No-Wo-To didn’t teach people anything about not judging shows from pics .. that’s really sad.

    I haven’t watched Mago or Legend yet so i can’t say if i agree or disagree with you but we will wait and see.

  25. UnknownVoice says:

    @ Hunter-Wolf

    Just as I said, Occult Academy is a shallow mishmash of everything viewers could want glued together by just as shallow comedy.

    Oh and SoranoPointlessMoeBlob was good according to you? Wow. We’ll agree to disagree I guess. Could not stand that show. It had such a potential in setting, yet it was wasted on the most commercial things possible

  26. Bruce says:

    @animedyum: Not really, since isolated villages are possibly the most generic setting possible for a horror series. Not that it’s a bad setting, persay, just sort of overused.

  27. Solaris says:

    Sorry to say that, Hunter-Wolf, your opinion is biased from the very start by your own nick. Ookamisan would be good for noting more than low level entertainment to forget one day after its own end. It’s heavily stereotyped, has way too much fanservice and little originality, quite bad drawn chars and idiotic chars and has an obnoxious narration (aah pity to hear mah Kuroko like that T_T) on top of all.

  28. m says:

    Ahem. My opinion isn’t biased. How could my opinion be biased? It’s my opinion, and it is therefore an unassailable consequence of the vibrational state of the corresponding molecules of my person. Therefore anyone that disagrees with my opinions is wrong and smelly.

    Anime is not that unpopular punk band from your neighborhood that you listen to because no one else likes it. Some series, like Kaiba, are more risky than others, but by and large the industry is too risk-averse to rock the boat much. It costs at least hundreds of thousands of USD to produce one of these shows, with production so lean it makes research grants look generous, so it’s not that surprising. The shows are adapted to and tailored for certain niches that are small as a percentage of the broader population, often from pre-existing franchises.
    Highschool of the Dead, for example, as you know, was a (and maybe is, if they ever started it up again, which seems likely if they’re bothering to fund the anime) manga published in a shounen monthly written by a reasonably-successful alt-history author in the stupidly-stale zombie apocalypse genre. To which Madhouse (an animation megaopulus that has produced so many shows and animated movies that listing them would take more space than my turgid comment) has added in additional fan service material for characters that are already transparently engineered for sensuality and mellowed the gore. That is some sugary sweet commercialism, baby, so I hope no one here has diabetes and just went into a coma.
    Shiki on the other hand is based upon a reasonably-popular novel’s manga adaptation serialized in little-known Jump Square along with such obscure upstarts as Kure-nai, Tegami Bachi, Rosario + Vampire II, and Claymore. Maybe you’ve heard of them, and if not you might listen closely at night and sometimes overhear the haunting sound of my not-so-manly tears after seeing my money disappear when importing Tegami Bachi tankoubon. The manga is only written by the author of the very-obscure Ghost Hunt and drawn by a regular Jump contributor whose other popular work, Houshin Engi was previously adapted into an anime. It however didn’t get a 100 episode run, so I suppise it’s not too commercial.

    I too sometimes suffer from the repetition endemic to mass market fiction across a variety of mediums. It becomes boring and then it’s hard to obtain much enjoyment from consuming it. The opportunity cost of consuming any particular time sink gets too high and I end up doing something else. The adaptation to certain domestic niches creates a lot of product I don’t care about. But I would probably cool my jets a little if I started repeating the same ‘mainstream’ ‘commercial’ rationalizations to my Internet trolling over what is very ‘commercial’ material.

    People arguing over their respective tastes makes my brain bleed. At least if I die from that I won’t become a zombie.

  29. Alt says:

    If they really do it from her perspective it will be interesting. Yes I am a manga reader.

  30. Solaris says:

    Sorry M, i didn’t catch the point of your essay.

    Beside that High School of the Dead has another level of fanservice in the manga version. The author is also known for having made hentais and ecchi mangas too. What’s wrong with the anime version is the fanservice being toned down and reduced to that idiotic and useless level. They’d better cut it off completely or leave as it was on the manga. They’d give the anime two completetly different directions. But that timid choice just impaired the show imho.

  31. meshed says:

    Just because Hunter-Wolf had ‘Wolf’ in his name doesn’t mean that he’ll like all the Ookami shows out there LOL. … or wait do you?

    I almost forgot about Shiki, but it was good. Unfortunately I have to agree with UnknownVoice; Shiki and HOTD are the ones with first episodes that made me interested in seeing the next episode this season. Occult Academy’s comedy didn’t quite work for me.

  32. m says:

    The bulk of my comment wasn’t directed toward your contribution, other than to apply some mirth to what was a glaring logical fallacy taken up in arms in a pointless argument. I could have just pointed it out directly, but I would rather amuse you than insult you. The subject of preferences in entertainment is inherently subjective, so of course he is biased, but to say that he is biased for such a crazy reason was pretty funny.

    Another part of my comment is just a tongue-in-cheek expression of skepticism about the quality of this-or-that show vis-à-vis Highschool of the Dead and Shiki. These are all, for the demographic under consideration pretty mainstream shows, and they’re all really ‘commercial,’ just fishing in different bowls. Granted, some bowls have more fish in them.

    The rest is a general pissing upstream motivated by the frustration that time-and-time again when people express their impressions of these shows, skirmishes over whether they’re objectively right or wrong to like or dislike them threaten to emerge. If you aren’t entertained by something, or if you would like more cowbell, then it doesn’t do any good to try to tell you you’re wrong. I like reading people’s opinions about shows, even if I don’t share them, and the reasons they provide for their opinions, but it can get tedious when it all goes south.
    When I see someone cite someone else’s moniker for why their opinion isn’t worthwhile it’s like a giant danger sign that the whole thing is headed for the drain.

    Concise writing is unfortunately more time-consuming than brain dumps, and while people undoubtedly deserve better, I am a jerk.

  33. Solaris says:

    So, mr M, all that blabbering was cause i dared say Hunter-Wolf was biased by his own name? That pun was indeed pointed at him and meant for fun. I’d rather expect some arguing by that user rather than from you who weren’t questioned about.
    If i entitled my name like “Railgun-fan” shouldn’t that imply my preference toward that anime more than the opposite? Well i wanted to point out just that concept without making a fuss over it.

    Anyhow his and my own tastes differ regarding ookami-san anime and there’s nothing wrong about that, isn’t there? Should i rather refrain from making comments cause i could hurt somebody’s else susceptivity?

  34. m says:

    The first and last line are the only thing even related to your comment in my post. Since you didn’t “get it” I have made some attempt to explain it for you at a great waste of everyone’s time. I gather that you aren’t a native English speaker, and it’s perhaps difficult to sort through text that wasn’t individually constructed for your benefit, so I hope that it is now clarified. To the remainder I would suggest rereading the third paragraph of my response, but since it may be too wordy for you, let me simply state that no, I don’t see that you shouldn’t express your preference for a show or why you feel that way.

  35. Hunter-Wolf says:

    @Solaris

    Haha, never thought my nickname would start a debate like that … easy guys … maybe my nick is really making me biased .. since Ookami has a “wolf” and a “hunter” in it (the two main characters) .. so .. maybe .. who knows XD

    @Unknownvoice
    Apperantly you don’t know what viewers want these days (check HoTD .. blunt fanservice, blood, senseless violence in bucketloads .. that or the other popular demand .. mindless moe shows full of fluff and cutesy character designs and lolis .. i.e Campanella) .. calling a pretty unique show with decent setting and production values “a mishmash of what viewers want” comes of as a very haphazard comment without much fact to back it up.

    How many shows out there present that mix of horror, supernatural and comedy .. not many .. almost only Ghost Hound did .. most other horror shows are dead serious (shiki, Higurashi, etc etc) and most other comedy shows won’t even dare put a horror element .. not to mention how well designed the characters are (rare to see shows these days that have plausible hair-cuts + proper anatomy)

    I don’t care if supernatural/horror mixed with comedy isn’t your cup-of-tea .. i don’t like sports shows .. that’s a matter of taste .. but i don’t go around bashing them or calling them mishmashes of whatever … so IMO calling OA “a mishmash of what viewers want” is just a big fallacy and doesn’t make any sense.

  36. Snowolf says:

    The main characters of Shiki are male, not female :D

    But Shiki is a fantastic manga, wonderful art and a very interesting story. Let me tell you that it is fantasy though along with horror. Just to give you a heads up when you realize what the causes of the deaths are. *hint hint* But I’m so glad you’re doing two of my favorite mangas: Nurarihyon no Mago and Shiki! :D I look forward to what you think of them.

  37. Snowolf says:

    And I’d have to agree with M, by the way. People constructing a biased and unreasonable decision for judging a show because of it’s unoriginality are ridiculous.

    There’s a certain quality of each genre which is put into the plot and style of a manga; it’s why some underdog mangas are so great and yet never really read, because while you choose quality over fandom, you sacrifice viewers. Highschool of the Dead deals with (SPOILERS) the undead as well as Shiki, but I prefer Shiki because of it’s well done build up of mystery and characters. It focuses more on a original point of view. HotD on the other hand, was a typical fanbased zombie show that has reasonable characters and animation. It is annoying that some of these great mangas (Tegami Bachi) because of their originality, don’t have a fanbase they deserve and thus get only a certain amount of episodes for an anime.

    At least, this is what I got from M. Correct me if I’m wrong. :D

  38. Solaris says:

    How should i point out a show is sterotyped, flat and unoriginal in other way than declaring it out loud?
    And, how does it come if you make a show like shit with zero quality you’d gain more viewers? I dare say you’d just gain zero brain viewers that way…

    … and that is the point Hunter-Wolf just remarked short before your comment: Today anime just follow the brainless and tastless desires of a bunch of idiotic otakus. That’s anime doom nowadays. Kudos to Hunter-Wolf for such a nice hint. (i don’t know if he’d really realize what he was implying though)

    You know what, Snowolf? If im’m just redicolous when i point out they’re giving us shit for our brains to eat, either way you just deserve the shit you like so much. Wanna eat shit? You’re welcome.

  39. Snowolf says:

    ……First, you should try and improve your logic and your grammar before posting. It might improve the little coherency in your backtalks and actually make them worth reading. Second, I don’t watch ‘shitty’ animes, I watch animes that I personally think are refreshing and original. Shiki fits this form in my opinion. If you want to troll on it, go ahead, that’s your opinion too, but at least try and be somewhat reformed and educational in your ‘shit’ talk before you start cursing at everyone and everything.

  40. Solaris says:

    Snowolf know your place and STFU.

  41. psgels psgels says:

    Uhm, solaris, snowolf: trolling is one thing, but you have to know when to stop.

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:20 PM)
    We have reached the moment of truth and what we waited for in space brothers manga. The next chapters cannot come fast enough.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:16 PM)
    @Realist: Like that skull head guy a bit.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Apparently in bloodbourne they are upping the violence…I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:13 PM)
    @Bam: Scott Snyder at least…is one of them.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:11 PM)
    @Realist: I read that mahou tsukai no yome manga you mentioned, the two available volumes. After a few chapters I started getting more into it, but I’ll need more time/updates, looks like its doing a decent enough job setting up a fairly readable plot.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: also isn’t American Vampire written by two guys?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: not only Amira but also Kaiser and Favaro’s dialogue and characterization was pretty weak. Their feud and reconciliation was forced as he’ll, and I just hate it when powerful demons uncharacteristically waste too much time talking to humans they could, and should, easily defeat.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @k-off: the series has some sombre and unconventional stories, it’s just that the story is told indirectly thru lore and subtlety. Demon’s Souls had a decent amount of narrative to the whole affair, albeit short and told mostly thru items and NPC encounters. But unfortunately the series moved forward on from cryptic to straight minimal storytelling. DS2 feels lazy although it has a few cool narratives, like Luciatel, but you have to play your cards right to even get to see that.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 11:55 AM)
    @K-off: Demon’s Souls brought it all tho. It introduced every single aspects that defined not only its own franchise but apparently also a whole new genre. The story and game mechanics were cryptic and for those who played it 1st was never imitated again. We didn’t know what we were playing and it challenged the shot out of us and blew our minds.
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 10:15 AM)
    Hell, my favorite game of all time is far superior to Dark Souls in every possible way, yet the only thing that keeps me playing is the atmosphere and charm the game has in its combat.

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Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

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Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

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Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]