Posted by psgels on 10 January 2011 with categories: Dragon Crisis, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?, Level E, Some Quick First Impressions

Dragon Crisis

Short Synopsis: Our lead character meets a cute girl who can only think about him.
Hmm, this is one with a lot to like and a lot to dislike. To start with the positives, it has one of the best soundtracks of the season so far (and with this season, that is saying something), the animation is surprisingly good for a Studio Deen series and this feels unlike any other series they’ve done before. The action is creative, the car chases are exciting and the characterization for half the cast was actually pretty decent. Ryuuji may be very girly for a guy, but this show actually acknowledges it and gives him more personality beyond “ew, a naked girl!”, and Eriko also turned out to be much more than just that fanservice character which she appeared to be at first sight. Now, the bad thing about this show however is that it just doesn’t make any sense, and it believes that it actually does. This leads to some bizarre situations like hordes of incompetent faceless mafia members that are involved in a plot that has so many holes that there is no way that it can ever be explained, a guy who just skips school for the heck of it and BY FAR the most clingy female lead I’ve ever seen. It’s a very strange combination between something that tries to tell a serious story and something that just wants to act as wish fulfillment by having cute girls continuously spoon over the male lead. The different parts of this episode didn’t mesh well together at all, but I do admit that there’s some potential here.
OP: One of the most unique OP songs I’ve heard in a long while.
ED: Again unique, but this time in a bad way.
Potential: 60%

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?

Short Synopsis: Our lead character lives together with two cute girls.
Here is one that turned out better than expected. Of course, this show still has a completely stupid premise and it had quite a bit of fanservice, but it’s surprisingly well executed: the male lead has an actual personality, the scenarios are well written, the jokes are well built up and actually very funny and the action too was surprisingly good for a Studio Deen series. It’s a pretty effective romantic action comedy that knows when it needs to be completely over the top, and when it needs to be completely serious. Because of this, the few serious moments actually worked well and didn’t end up cheesy, and yet the crazy jokes also fit this show. But yeah, if you want to check this out, be aware of the fact that characters have bizarre costumes and very easily lose their clothes in this series.
OP: Decent song, but especially the visuals are nice.
ED: This one is just terrible, though.
Potential: 70%

Level E

Short Synopsis: Our lead character starts living together with an alien.
Hell yeah! Level E just delivered the best first episode of the new season, it had the most interesting back-story, it was the most intriguing opening of the entire season, it neither was overly moe or bishie, it had the best jokes of the new season, the best OP. For me, it completely blew all of the other episodes that have debuted so far this season out of the water. It’s one of those series of which I have no idea what genre it’s going to be: it has a high school student as a male lead, and yet it’s miles away from your average high school show. For a shounen series there was too little action, for a shoujo series there was too little sweetness. For a slice of life series it had a plot that is just way too interesting and a drama also doesn’t really fit. The episode was wonderfully told and I love the creativity that was put into a simple concept of an alien crash landing on earth. The chemistry between the lead characters was just fantastic. None of the characters here are typical. Hell yeah, if only because of this show, this season is going to rock!
OP: Best OP of the season BY FAR. Excellent song, great visuals.
ED: Much more generic J-Rock, but nothing bad.
Potential: 100%

45 Responses

  1. Frost says:

    I wonder where these guys (David Production) came from… Both Armed Librarians and Ristorante Paradiso rocked, and now this

    I hope they stay around for long

  2. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    Wow, that’s some serious gushing – and that’s on top of high expectations! Just how good is this series?!

  3. garfield15 says:

    Sweetness. These are two of the shows I really wanted to see. Glad to see they didn’t disappoint

  4. Jeremy says:

    Just watched Level E. It was indeed amazing :D Love the main character’s chemistry. I’m just afraid that the girl next door will turn into your typical nice girl and main lead love interest but we’ll see if it can avoid that cliche. + the opening is really cool :)

  5. DmonHiro says:

    Dragon Crisis: Nice show, good visuals, cute characters.

    Koraha Zombie Desuka? : Great show, funny, male lead I like, cute girls.

    Level E: Fucking amazing. The alien is by far the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. He is completely nuts, and also awesome. Funniest show, great premise. Hell, this show rocks.

  6. Jeremy says:

    And there I’m done with the Zombie episode. Wow…..xD This is the best dumb show I’v seen. It’s so crazy and it doesn’t take itself seriously…AT ALL. But yay, I laughed the whole time.

  7. Schmitt says:

    Level E is a bit bizarre and going into this season I had no idea what to expect. The manga ran in Jump back in ’95 and it got cancelled pretty early in its run which is why an anime coming out for it after all this time confused the hell out of me. Having read the manga this series is quite hard to pin down and even though I’ve read it I still had no clue what to expect out of the anime. I won’t spoil anything but I’m pleased to see the anime turned out well. Expect an interesting show out of this is all I’ll say.

  8. Tomtom says:

    Three excellent first episodes. Finally some stuff to really look forward to. With wolverine, freezing (as guilty pleasure) and some other stuff that could turn out ok, I’ll probably be watching more shows than usual this season.

  9. Meep says:

    I loved Level E, but I really didn’t care for the zombie one at all.

  10. Nuuli says:

    About Level E: “For a shounen series there was too little action, for a shoujo series there was too little sweetness. For a slice of life series it had a plot that is just way too interesting and a drama also doesn’t really fit.”

    To me it seems like those are the characteristics of a good seinen show, if you’re trying to classify it.

  11. DanSag says:

    Somehow Dragon Crises! reminds me of Letter Bee. Cute, dragon-like girl with blond, long hair meets male lead. She can’t talk but possesses immense (fire) power. It’s the same with the name (Niche and Rose arew both pretty plain names!).

  12. Moonhawk says:

    Just fnished watching Level E and have to admit that it was quite funny and interesting. I’m not that much of a fan of aliens and scifi in general and only checked it out because I love YuYuHakusho and also enjoyed large parts of HunterxHunter, by the same mangaka. Especially the characters of both series were great to watch so I’m expecting quite a bit of this series, too.

  13. Alec says:

    I agree Level E has the best 1st episode this season. Then again, the animes this season are mediocre

  14. m says:

    Level E: I liked this. The characters have faces and appealing designs. The main character is the comedic foil, but seems to be made of more serious stuff than some other wobbly teen protagonists we receive. The tense soundtrack is often pierced mercilessly with absurd humor, from mischievous guest. I hope it maintains its sense of humor without degrading the characters into more boring types.

  15. Joe says:

    Yep. Level E does have the most solid first episode of the season. The OP artwork was gorgeous. The animation pretty consistent throughout. The jokes timing was spot on, I wish it had been the same with Beelzebub. I laughed quite a bit in the beginning. It would have been better if it weren’t for the awkward pauses between the two guys. But the hideous alien at the end was enough to squash any bl shipping from taking root. XD

    I wonder how it’s going to fare in japan. Level E’s original author is Yoshiro Togashi, of YuYu Hakusho and HXH fame. On one hand I would like for it to be popular, on the other, if it does do well it’s going to give Togashi less motivation to get out of his ass and work on HXH. >.>

  16. I knew it that Level E’s gonna rock! w00t!

    Ah, it’s seinen. So it definitely isn’t shounen, much less shoujo, hehe.

    Those shows are better than they seem? I’m curious to check them out now…

  17. Invitan says:

    @Schmitt: As far as I know, Level E manga was not ‘cancelled’ early, but rather a project of Togashi that was very sporadically updated, which explains its short length.

    @Joe: Level E manga was finished long ago actually. And no, I don’t think it was ever that popular.

  18. John Smith says:

    Couldn’t make it past the 2 minute mark on Level E. What an ugly character design. My eyes burn!

  19. Joe says:

    Finished the first episode Kore Wa Zombie Desu. It was damn enjoyable. Even the numerous fanservice, couldn’t detract from it’s awesome, juicy, bloodfilled goodness. Obviously, a pervert dead lead turning into a saw wielding, cross-dressing, Masou Shoujo makes for a pretty entertaining show.

    Madoka has some serious competition for the title best Mahou Shoujo.

    @Invitan

    I meant if the anime does well. More money for Togashi to play with, less reason to work.

  20. Dgrin says:

    did anyone else get a shone-ai vibe from LEVEL E? man I was begging for the alien guy to embed a kiss to the st8 jock,lol..best season series so far!!!

  21. Puran says:

    @Dgrin : No, and I’m sick and tired of people getting shounen-ai vibes from anything that has two guys that have some (not romantic, mind you) chemistry together.

  22. Machi says:

    Level-E is not a “seinen” so to speak as it is still published in shounen jump, so categorically speaking it is shounen. Hence, I would avoid classifying it as such, simply put there is no real “genre” for these in the first place merely where its published. Albeit Level-E is strange and different kind that shows Togashi’s interests that he keeps refining with each manga he’s taken, best to look at some of the ideas here as to what carried over to HXH. More importantly Level-E definitely got special treatment from Shounen Jump since this wasn’t published in the monthly magazine but weekly – yet it was not released at a weekly basis he got to take his time.

    On to the anime I’m glad they managed to capture the somewhat deadpan and antagonistic humor of Level-E. One thing that still on my mind, and will be answered next chapter, is how they intend to keep the humor references to the 90’s or will they opt to transpose some of it to 00’s. If they do the latter, which I am hoping they do if not its still great because I loved those references, I am curious as to what equivalent they’ve found.

  23. Maki says:

    Dragon Crisis was so so. A good action packed start but after that they devoted their time to unappealing, dull fan service.

  24. c160 says:

    Ooh seems Level E publishing history is quite interesting.My question;was it ever finished? The way I read the comments here it seems to be sporadically updated,but did it ever get a proper ending or is it left in the air just like that?

  25. Bunny says:

    I guess I’m in the minority who doesn’t think Level-E is “amazing”.

    I admit, it’s funny and it’s actually nice for a change that the characters look their age (especially the girl, thank goodness, old-school anime designs FTW) it’s just the humor is too random for me. I really want to like this show but I can’t get into it yet.

    I’ll give it another episode and see…

  26. Bam says:

    The comedy of Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? is top-notch. The scene that references nanaca crash was unexpected to say the least.

  27. tanukichan says:

    About Level E: isn’t it simply a comedy?

    I really enjoyed its 1st episode, and the OP rocks, but somehow I feel the manga is much more humorous. Still it’s definitely a show I’m looking forward to every week now.

  28. RollingCamel says:

    I love how they ended the episode in Level-E. What a creepy scream!

    On the negative side, I hate CG!

  29. rever5e says:

    Level E
    that was good

  30. Machi says:

    @c160: Yup it was finished and not really one to leave you hanging.

  31. Ncky says:

    It was a long time ago since I’ve had laughed this hard like what I did while watching Level E! From the 1st episodes I liked that one the most together with Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

  32. Scruffy says:

    Dragon Crisis is cute in a Chobits sort of way and will probably be an enjoyable show as long as you turn off your brain.

    The Zombie one? Oh my .. I think i almost wet myself with his magical girl transformation! This will by my MM! of the winter season I recon.

    Love the humour and character designs in Level E. Very retro. You get sick of looking at anime that look like they have fallen out of a Key VN after a while. My only concern with Level E is that they seem to be wanting to do the ‘evil scientist’ thing (Pet pieve of mine as I’m a scientist myself). I’ll guess we’ll see.

  33. Aikun2012 says:

    Not a fan of Level E, but was definitely something interesting… However, for some reason the main protagonist feels like a stupid boring sporty lead and he kinda reminds me of the dark skinned guy from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars… (THEY LOOK SOOOO SIMILAR and they both played baseball) and because of that I have a hard time caring about this guy…

    Oh and Bishounens with long hair in an old/retro artstyle do NOT fit… I disliked this guy with a bit of frustration cuz he is soooo ugly and sooooo gay looking (of course, you can say otherwise). I couldn’t care about the girl cuz she was generic and the jokes ARE funny, but kinda scattered and kinda boring as well since most are just satirical reactions towards the events going on…

    Also, an alien/scifi focus is not a focus I’m a huge fan of, unless they make it realistic as to why they are in the show. To have a good alien/new creature series, you need to explain at least why they are here in the first place rather than just keep them for convenience…

    The anime season isn’t all that bad… I believe that Hourou Musuko, Beelzebub, Oniizen, Zombie, Mahou Madoka, Kimi ni Todoke 2, and Gosick are great ones so far… The decent and skeptical ones lay with Level E, Infinite Stratos (IS is worse than Level E), Starry Sky, Dragon Crisis. Everything else is unknown for I haven’t seen them.. (EXCEPT FOR RIO RAINBOW GATE… This show is SOOOO bad SOOOO dumb and pointless… however, there is only one ep and I may be exaggerating…)

    I need some more shojo… like a Beauty Pop anime, or a Shiawasse Kissa Sanchoume Anime, or a You’re My Girlfriend anime!!! I LOVED THE MANGAS!!! Oh and Skip Beat needs to continue it’s anime run… Got any news on that?

  34. danto says:

    is Level – E another one of those boy love anime

  35. brianwuzhere says:

    How the hell are you getting yaoi vibes from Level E?

  36. danto says:

    brainwuzhere, I have yet to see the anime. I just wanted to know if this was another one of those

  37. brianwuzhere says:

    Oh, my bad. No, but if I were to categorize this, it’s probably going to be a sci-fi comedy.

  38. Ncrdrg says:

    Loved Dragon Crisis. What vivid colors. The entire episode was really exciting and had a cuteness overload. I disagree that it’s taking itself very seriously though, it looks more like a fantasy anime that takes plot very lightly.

    Will comment on the other 2 when I’m done watching

  39. Ncrdrg says:

    Zombie was surprisingly hilarious. A male lead becoming a mahou shoujou?! XD! My favorite comedies are always those who aren’t afraid to go over the top (like Milky Holmes) so this should be a pretty sweet watch.

  40. Ncrdrg says:

    Level, I didn’t think it was going to be a comedy. It’s a very interesting mix of all sorts of styles, very hard to categorize like you said pgels. It was great. (Though not the best first episode, I’d give it to Zombie so far)

  41. AKI says:

    Well, that’s so much for the hype on Level E. I was kind of disappointed on the first episode. If this is Togashi we’re talking about, I’m dumbfounded! Unlike HXH, and YYH, this show doesn’t have much energy. Well, I guess that’s something different from Togashi.

  42. moochi2000 says:

    Level E really is one of the best anime this season, in terms of delivering a solid first episode. I totally understand why you gave it such a high rating, but seriously the other anime were just not that satisfying. I think it also depends on the target audience. When i was younger I’d get a great laugh out of kore wa zombie desu ka and beelzelbub. But I appreciate anime with more depth or meaning and not just characters stripping or showing cleavage out of nowhere.

    Level E delivers that sense of maturity and the OP was quite unique in my opinion. And no…I see no shonen ai. And I don’t want to see any in the future lol.

  43. Homun says:

    Well i liked Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka’s ending…

  44. Dgrin says:

    guys I didn’t say LEVEL E is like yaoi or that it will turn to shonen-ai…just the whole set up is kinda like a twisted maho shoujo lands in the apartment of an involuntary pissed off guy by force….the Alien character, who is probably sexless(?) in the way we humans are, he is somewhat effeminated in a very bishoujo way,the way he talks, the methods he uses to persuade..and the other guy who is all types of masculine,athletic etc is sort of building a need to protect the Alien..NOT talking about having feeling for him like sexually, or a lover, but more like a…pet…

  45. AYUMU \w/ says:

    Level E and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka are some of the best animes last year ^^

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:57 AM)
    @Bam: James Cameron hasn’t made a film I’ve enjoyed since terminator 2.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:55 AM)
    @Bam: Wow, someone else who noticed the Elysium/battle angel commonality, I’ve been thinking about that for a while myself also.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:18 AM)
    Also looking back I notice heavy thematic similarities between Elysium and Battle Angel Alita. The labor division and the great disparity in life-quality of Earth versus Elysium is almost a direct parallel to Tiphares and the Scrapyard. I wonder if this is going to hinder the Alita’s Hollywood adaptation, in which case good- that horrendous GitS one is more than enough.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:13 AM)
    Truthfully Seinen is an age/gender demographic and not really a genre or category, but even within Japan the term has come to be identified with manga that have sexuality and violence like the works of Go Nagai instead of those that contain general adult themes. That’s why comedies are pretty much never considered Seinen, even though some are probably only appreciated by the Seinen crowd.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Durarara!!X2 – 07

I think the problem with this episode was evident right from the opening scene. I had to do a double take when seeing a very poorly drawn Simon. I even questioned whether it was a new character entirely. But no, the animation budget took a nosedive. Or the guy who was to do the inbetweens […]

Death Parade – 07

Why is the girl from the last episode still around? This episode brought up three rules about arbiters. The third rule, about arbiters not having emotions, Is odd to me. For the arbiters we have been introduced to are very emotional. They state that Decim was given human emotions yet he is the least emotional […]

Durarara!!X2 – 06

Turns out that assassination attempt got Celty to see her life flash before her eyes. I suppose taking a tumble off a moving motorcycle is a fatal thing. But well in the last arc we saw two people survive getting blown away at about the length of a football field. So I cannot say I […]

Death Parade – 06

Death Parade in a risky move has taken things in a new direction. A daring adventurous move that no one expected. And it is…absolutely terrible. Death Parade, what happened? Did no one read over the script and do a shaft head tilt in wonder? Was there not an Animator who said “Excuse me sir. But […]

Durarara!!X2 – 05

We have yet another new character entering the show. A motorcycle gang leader who has a massive fondness for woman. Personally I am not a fan of him. His brand of female overprotective crazy just seems like a downgrade from the shows already huge cast of crazies. He looks like a character whose introduction serves […]

Death Parade – 05

If asked about how I think of death parade so far, my answer would have to be divided. On one hand the premise is rife with potential and it does have moments where it rises above the bar. But it also seems confused as to what it wants to be. We have death games between […]

Durarara!!X2 – 04

The current story arc ends abruptly and unexpectedly. I am rather surprised that it came here. From how this was portrayed it felt this would be a longer arc than it turned out to be. So with its end I must think back and wonder. What exactly did this arc accomplish? We got introduced to […]

Death Parade – 04

Now this is more like it. An arcade game between two strangers with dark pasts. Excellent. But both did have a similar problem. That being they are both people who couldn’t see past themselves. It’s nice to see people react differently to the game. Here we have the two of them mistaking it for a […]

Durarara!!X2 – 03

If its one thing you to can credit Narita for it that just when you think he cannot possibly make a stranger character, he then does. So the monster that Shizu smashed into the air in the last moment gets their story told and I am sure there are not many who would have guessed […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

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: […]

Clipboard04

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 […]

Clipboard07

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. […]

Clipboard05

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 […]