Posted by psgels on 7 April 2011 with categories: Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji, Hyouge Mono, Some Quick First Impressions

Hyouge Mono

Short Synopsis: Our lead character really likes tea.
I really have no doubt that this will be the most underrated show of the season. It’s just completely void of just about any trope that you usually see in the popular anime: there is no moe whatsoever, nor any bishies. Instead the lead characters are all in their thirties; there is no youth in this show whatsoever. Meanwhile, takes place during the samurai age, yet there are hardly any battles, with this instead being a dialogue-centred series. On top of that, this is Bee-Train, so there is a lot of focus on talking heads. The soundtrack is completely weird and unconventional and the characters all tend to make silly faces. And I absolutely loved this first episode. It’s completely unlike any other series set in the Samurai Age, especially the main character is unique, with his really weird combination of silly facial expressions and down to earth dialogue. Steins;Gate’s lead looks just ordinary compared to this guy. Still, his characterization is excellent, and with Bee-Train, the build-up also was just terrific. Most of this episode was quiet, but the climax of this episode was already amazing. And you know what the best part is? This will go on for 39 episodes. When was the last time that a series of this caliber got more than 13 episodes? Let alone 26!
OP: Quiet and laid-back, with interesting visuals.
ED: I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Bee-Train OP or ED like this. Again really relaxed.
Potential: 90%

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku Hen

Short Synopsis: Our lead character has money problems.
Kaiji is a show about Gambling, but this first episode of the sequel didn’t have any of that. It was just meant to build up, and introduce the next arc, and it was actually very good in doing so. For Kaiji standards in particular, a lot happened here. The creators really wanted to show how deep one could fall if you get on the wrong side of the mafia. They lure you in with the promise that one day your debt will be over, but use very dirty tricks to just push that deadline back and back. This episode did a great job of breaking apart Kaiji’s spirit with basic psychology. That’s the big difference between Akagi and One outs: those are shows to see how well a superhuman can pwn just about everyone around him and their lead characters are more than aware of their own abilities.. Kaiji is at the complete opposite: he’s completely flawed, makes the most stupid decisions, only standing out because he can struggle like no other. Of course, at this point I can’t yet comment on whether this second season has improved the pacing issues of the first season. The only criticism I have at this point is that the narrator is a bit too enthusiastic. Even describing the most mundane activities are announced with that over the top voice of his. But then again, why am I expecting subtlety from this series?
ED: WTF. Just… wtf…
Potential: 80%

Sengoku Otome

Short Synopsis: Our lead character lands is just an average schoolgirl who winds up amongst famous people from the Sengoku Era.
Sengoku Otome’s biggest sin is its blandness. I wouldn’t call this bad.. it just fails to stand out in any kind of way. Just about everything about this show screams “been there, done that”. It has nothing that really sets itself apart of that is actually remotely good. The creators to me just didn’t seem to care here. The premise of a random teenager ending up in a fantasy world has been done a ton of times before, so you really need to set yourself apart in this genre. So what do the creators do? They choose a complete airhead as their main character. They turn it into self-insert fan-fiction amongst famous historical figures. They gender-swap said figures into females. They put no effort whatsoever into the character designs. And okay, the character-designs aren’t as bad as with Dog Days, but they still are pretty bad here. This entire episode just followed one cliche after the other, with nothing really to make up for it. If the characters were likable then this could be forgiven, but even there this show doesn’t do anything. The lead character is beyond annoying, and the rest of the cast is just completely one-sided and uninteresting.
OP: Like the show, bland, both in terms of visuals and music.
ED: Fanservice!
Potential: 10%

13 Responses

  1. Gunslinger says:

    Actually i think pacing will still remain an issue for season 2 especially if it deals with the pachinko arc, my god that was really stretched a bit too much. But the psychological aspects of kaiji will rock.

  2. Zizhou says:

    Zawa zawa!

    Not having read the manga, I don’t really know what to expect, but I certainly hope that they avoid the inanity that was the lottery arc at the end of the last season.

  3. thomas says:

    I just finished Kaiji last week, had no idea a sequel was coming out this spring! I agree it had some very serious pacing problems though. And some half-assed psychology nonsense here and there.

  4. gsilver says:

    See, now that’s why there aren’t women in Kaiji’s world.

  5. Frost says:

    I love how the narrator is the same from Level E, epic

  6. Zizhou says:

    Cripes, just watched the first ep of the new Kaiji. That ending is one of the more horrifying things I’ve seen in anime.

  7. Puran says:

    Yeah, kaiji is much more enjoyable than one outs and akagi, because the character is so god damned flawed. But seeing his thought process is very interesting, even if the show is otherwise forced and really cruel.

  8. Nayrael says:

    I REALLY hope Hyougemono gets subbed on regular basis but I am afraid we will get another “Waiting for weeks” series :(

  9. I agree Sengoku Otome is very ho-hum. It’s just a parade of overused cliches, and attempts to be different come off as contrived (stupid talking dog…). Just blah.

  10. Pax says:

    Hyouge Mono is by far the anime I look most forward to during this new season but yeah, there are enough reasons why it’s the most underrated show of the season. One, we can only find 3 chapters of the manga in english and it’s neither licensed in english. two, let’s face it, Bee-Train is not the most loved studios around. Anyway, I do hope someone will release it in english.

  11. m says:

    Hyouge Mono: I thought it was pretty good. It’s funny in a weird way, with our main character exhibiting somewhat anachronistic obsessive behavior. I see what you mean about the facial expressions; presumably there will be a number of frames taken for humorous use in various forums, if anyone bothers to watch it. The way it’s paced, it’s hard for me know if the show will be interesting for 39 episodes or not, but it’s intriguing right now.

  12. PocariSweat says:

    is any group subbing Hyouge Mono? Tokyotoshokan and Nyaatorrents aren’t coming up with any seeds…

  13. kat says:

    yay for the fabsub group huzzah now subbing hyouge mono…and i really want some tea right now…

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  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:49 PM)
    @Emma I think Deen makes some really good looking anime. People tend to give them crap for some of their mid-2000 stuff and justifiably, but their recent stuff and early stuff is really quite visually arresting.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:43 PM)
    Now granted,deens adaptation of sankarea had some pretty neat visuals behind it.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:14 PM)
    Granted that none of those manga had the type of mass appeal that Sankarea has, but they’re some pof the best manga I’ve read within their specific genre (sentimental ecchi comedies/romances). I love his art style too. It just works so well for sappy romantic stuff. Inu Neko Jump will always be one of my favorite manga.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:12 PM)
    On the subject of Sankarea, I’m about as big of a Hattori Mitsuru fanboy as anyone could be and I have to say that Sankarea is my least favorite manga of his. His strengths and weaknesses just don’t lend themselves very well to that type of horror/drama plot. Umisho, Inu Neko Jump, and Otogi no Machi no Rena even were all better manga.
  • k-off
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:47 PM)
    To be fair to the series though, I thought that the owl was pretty cool.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:18 PM)
    But I’ve heard complaints about the fanservice of rea not making sense considering her past/background and I’m inclined to agree.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:16 PM)
    Ha, and once again another shounen ruined by not being a seinen manga.
    @Aidan: Sometimes..sometimes I feel its the fans that should be writing these things instead…well the good ones =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:05 PM)
    @K-Off, Potentail for Rea to go berserk and starting a zombie apocalypse? Or at least enough to have her slowly lose her mind and chiro having to resort to more and more desperate measures to protect her and stop her from hurting others. There was plently of potentail in the premise, just that the author didn’t have the balls to take it that far.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:51 PM)
    Wasn’t awful now by any means but I’d rather stop with it before any good memories of it get ruined =<
    I think I'm just fed up with these shounen comedies/dramas and pandora hearts is also the last time I take a chance on a shounen fantasy show.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:48 PM)
    Although as a whole sankarea never really geled together for me, series of genre clashing and a master of none, there were little pockets of interest and the art was good and moments did feel like something more. Some of the fanservice, comedy also felt misplaced.

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