Posted on 4 January 2011 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke, Showa Monogatari, Some Quick First Impressions

Showa Monogatari

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a regular kid who grew up before WWII.
Whoa, where did this come from? Wasn’t this supposed to not air for three months or something? Anyway, this was a pleasant surprise: it’s basically a slice of life series of a young boy in what I presume to be the part of the Showa Era somewhere before WWII. I’m especially impressed with how much the creators did in just one episode: they showed about him, his friends, his family and even a friend of his sister. It gave all of them a bit of attention and personality, and it even included some good drama that centred around the typical problems that a guy of his age had. By far the worst of this episode was voice acting of the different children that appeared. I have to applaud the creators for making them sound like kids, and the rest of the voice cast is also pretty decent. But the voice actors for the kids just can’t act. This especially hurts when they’re just unable to raise their voice when they’re angry. In any case though, this thing has potential. Whether the second episode airs next week or next year, it’s something to watch our for if you like historic slice of life series.
OP: Minimalistic, but effective.
ED: Neat idea to use a radio tune from those days.
Potential: 80%

Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season

Short Synopsis: Our lead character hardly ever appear in the start of this new season.
Okay. So it’s been more than nine months since Kimi ni Todoke first ended. The staff has had plenty of time to prepare for the second season, so naturally they start off with a recap. Yeah, this episode pretty much retells Kurumi’s side of the story. But then again, like with a lot of other series that take FOREVER to get from A to B, it wasn’t really bad for a recap: it neatly compacted Kurumi’s story into a digestible 20 minutes, rather than the seemingly endless 17 episodes that it took up in the first season. And also, this episode wasn’t bad at all in the technical terms. My problems with this series really lie when you look at the big picture: it’s pretty much angst, angst and more angst; Sawako is too pure, Kazehaya is too perfect and the angst itself is decent, but it lacks fleshing out and therefore it has no chance of remaining fresh for a whopping 25 episodes. Let alone this second season!
OP: Granted, by far the best theme song this series has shown. Neat visuals.
ED: Bland song, neat visuals.
Potential: 50%

Rio – Rainbow Gate

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a really famous dealer at a casino city.
My biggest concern about Rio Rainbow Gate was whether or not it had its mind in the gutter. As it turns out, it did: the camera just refuses to focus on anything other than Rio’s ass or boobs and the entire premise of the show is meant to get her into as many sexy outfits as possible. Beyond that, the direction for the most part is also pretty bland and the acting also leaves a lot to be desired. As for the entertainment value this show has some potential, though: the climax of this episode was ridiculously stupid, but surprisingly enjoyable in a “so bad it’s good”-way, including a pretty creative depiction of Poker. At this point, the only way that this show can make it is as a guilty pleasure, but for that it needs to pack variety: think of many crazy anime variants of casino games and vastly different premises other than “let’s stuff Rio in the umpth sexy outfit here”. At the very least, this show really knows that it’s a silly fanservice show and there are no signs whatsoever of teenaged romance or an annoying male lead or shallow drama.
ED: Another one of those boring fanservice EDs.
Potential: 25%

26 Responses

  1. redfactor says:

    I don’t really know how can they get budget to make this kind of anime…this is just too stupid to be shown on tv.

  2. Frost says:

    Yawn… Im really excited for this season since there seem to be about 5 or so animes with lots of potential, but yeah, the fanservice crap always comes first

    As it goes, you gotta leave the best for last

  3. sage says:

    including a pretty creative depiction of Black Jack

    It’s called “Poker”, you lunatic. That wasn’t “Black Jack”.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Oh well, that makes two less anime to worry about. If we count the other two you reviewed before, it’s 4 shows that I certainly won’t watch! Can’t wait for next week for Hourou Musuko to start. Although I am worried, I don’t know what part of the manga they’ll manage to fit in the anime. The manga is rather long (almost twice the size of Aoi Hana). Oh well, we’ll see!

  5. psgels says:

    Sage: ack, my mistake. It’s fixed now.

  6. i-k says:

    I believe the second season of Kimi ni Todoke will only be 12 episodes, so hopefully the pacing will be better…

  7. p-pea says:

    im looking forward to kimi ni todaoke’s second season I recall you never really liked the first which i liked so hopefully it will appeal to me again.

    however, I agree with what you say about the lead characters. If it follows the manga then there should be more character development for the side characters Yano and Chizu. IMO they make the show.

  8. DmonHiro says:

    I thought Rio would be about gambling. Stupid me.

  9. The Showa show is supposed to be set in the 1960s (I think Showa 39) and you’re right, it’s not supposed to air until the spring, weird.

  10. psgels says:

    wandering dreamer: ah, so it is set after WWII after all. Now that you mention it, that does explain that single line of English that suddenly popped up near the end of this episode…

  11. Kat says:

    Rio…wow…that was just…wow…I’ll probably watch the 2nd episode…but if its anything like the first I am going to drop it after that.

    Its times like these that I really wish I could understand japanese. Just a few words here and there are not helping me any to try to watch the raws, and I’m sure its going to take a while to see Showa Monogatari, especially since it came out so early. Strange thing is, that theres also a torrent on naya for Beelzebub, even though its not supposed to air until the 9th, and a raw version up on youtube. I wonder whats going on here.

  12. Ncrdrg says:

    Bah, I hoped Rio would focus on gambling. Too bad.

  13. Scruffy says:

    About ‘Showa Monogatari’ apparently that was a special eppisode. This is from AnimeNetworkNews

    “The film, which is about 100 minutes long, will open in Japan on January 29, 2011. The television series of 13 30-minute episodes will follow in April, although a television special will air at the end of 2010.”

  14. AuroraFlame says:

    Yeah, I have to admit — I was complete baffled when you previously stated that Rio would be a return to Xebec’s good roots…. I really didn’t see anything like that in the premise, especially considering its source material. Any particular reason you felt that way?

  15. psgels says:

    Auroraflame: it pretty much had to do with this being an anime original series: there was no plot to the pachinko games, so Xebec really could have gone all out on creativity instead of being bound by some shallow moe manga or light novel, especially considering tht they had an excellent scriptwirter for this one. It seems that I majorly overestimated them, though.

  16. Kalandra says:

    To be fair, the company that was sponsoring the show might have some guidelines of what Xebec should and shouldn’t do.

  17. Sapphire says:

    Was this really Kimi ni Todoke’s first episode? They’re calling it “episode 0″ on MAL and considering some sort of previous OVA or something.

  18. psgels says:

    Sapphire: yup, it’s on all of the versions I watched. My guess is that the creators really intended it to start next week, and used this week to hype some stuff. Honey and Clover did something similar with its second season.

  19. Showa Monogatari seems really interesting *_* Hopefully the other episodes air earlier too? ^^;

    Too bad on Rio… I’m more interested on the gambling parts =_=

  20. Juno says:

    This isn’t an attack on anybody, but an alternate opinion about Kimi ni Todoke:

    I hear tons of people complaining that Kimi ni Todoke is unrealistic and full of Mary Sues. However, at least by my own experience, Kimi ni Todoke is THE most realistic shoujo series I’ve ever read/watched. In addition to that, the manga is heartfelt, but the anime is paced slow enough with a nice track to give it even more impact, assuming you have the patience. If you DON’T have the patience, though, I think you may be missing out on some nice feelings to be had.
    As for the “Mary Sue” portion… well, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what constitutes a “Mary Sue” anymore. I honestly feel connected to Kuronuma, as she reminds me of myself and makes many of the same decisions as I would in the same situations. How she feels isn’t unrealistic or super-goody. It’s just how she values things. Kazehaya is a male lead who fits in his place–because otherwise, what kind of guy would she fall for (and vice versa)? That doesn’t take away from the realism of his character, either. All the characters are just being true to themselves in the roles they were given by the mangaka.

    Of course, that’s my own opinion. To say that the show is flawed for being “angsty” sounds to me somewhat like saying Naruto is flawed for focusing on action. Kimi ni Todoke focuses on the emotional part of high school age youth, but with a slightly different theme than most other shoujo I’ve read/seen–instead of posing hurdles for the characters to learn from, it presents characters that stick to their own principles to overcome the hurdles. That’s why I think people are considering them “Mary Sues,” at least. They always come out on top in the end, proud and happy for themselves and each other, without changing their attitudes.
    I guess you have to watch it with certain values beforehand in order to appreciate that.

    That was probably longer than necessary… but hopefully, it makes sense. ._.;;;

  21. hardrock says:

    Yep, Rio was bad. Like an episode of scooby doo, only daphne wears skimpy clothing half naked.

  22. Ncrdrg says:

    I just hope that Rio was just using fanservice to lure fans in. I decided I’ll be dropping it if next episode is similar to the opening one.

    It’s nice though that CR picked up Saint Seya, something I never saw before, though it’s not the original. I’ll check out Gosick and Dragon Crisis too.

  23. Medha says:

    meh, I watched the PMV for Rio, and I have to agree. it feels like a mostly fanservice anime, and since I’m not really a fan of those, I’m going to pass on it. But I do think that this season has some pretty promising new series that I’m looking forward to watch. [:

    and @Juno, I agree with you too. but I dunno if I’m going to watch the new season of Kimi ni Todoke, I may or may not depending on the pace at which it goes, and I really hope they pick up the pace of Kazehaya and Kuronuma’s relationship. >

  24. Kim says:

    I think what you saw of Showa Monogatari is just a TV special (I guess to advertise the upcoming series) but the actual series will air in the Spring. I really hope it will be subbed because it sounds like something right up my alley.

    I also heard there is a movie so it sounds like they are going all out for this series.

    Although on ANN it says there might be up to 4 advanced episodes (not sure if I am reading this right)

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=12275

  25. mds says:

    IMO that Kimi ni Todoke’s ED Song isn’t bland at all !! best ED this season so far …

  26. Sho says:

    Rio was hilariously bad lol. In your face fanservice about every couple of seconds, terrible acting, laughable character designs (mainly the old guy), random plot nonsense, and a suspicious looking teddy bear? I could not stop cracking up, so bad it was funny. Well, that’s one less show off my list.

    Kimi ni Todoke is still on my “to watch” list, so i won’t be messing with the 2nd season anytime soon.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:55 AM)
    I think I watched about 4-6 episodes of myself, yourself and just stopped.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:51 AM)
    Realist if your on I recall you were a Kubrick fan, I also got a look at the killing by him there, it embodies the noir genre reasonably well, stands the test of time, fits a decent, competent, quick plot into a short run time, satisfying enough film even if its not among his best.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:47 AM)
    Does anyone else on here follow Ubell blatt? Fantasy mangas my thing so it fits my area.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:44 AM)
    Yozakura never really had much of a flow to it what I read/watched , waste of good animation. Samurai girls had interesting art direction but was to me no more than one of the many action fanservice fare that couldn’t even work for me as a trashy guilty pleasure, starry skies was that otome one right? I may favour the bishies now and then but someone would be hard pressed to get me to watch that one.
  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:34 AM)
    *Skies. But it sucks, so I don’t feel like getting it’s name right
  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:32 AM)
    Bridge to the Starry Stars, Myself Yourself, Hyakka Ryōran, and Yozakuru Quartet.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:32 AM)
    @Enka: Figured out what your watching for that excursion as of yet?
  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 06:30 AM)
    Going to have a “shitty anime marathon” tonight.
  • Enka
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:49 AM)
    Played Fallout New Vegas again. After Metro Last Light, the game is horribly drab and lacking style, but I do always love me some surface world post apocalyptic exploration.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Aug 31. 2014 02:39 AM)
    @Emma: I haven’t, though I found out about after the first ep of the US version. Surprisingly the US remake is extremely good (very few US remakes are) so I’m watching this first.

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