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 ^^

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