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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  • K-Off
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 11:03 PM)
    Damn Tokyo Mirage is expensive. Costs more than a Fire Emblem game and Persona 4 combined so this better be worth it.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 10:57 PM)
    Always difficult to talk about slice of lifes. Usually its always “This week our characters went to the park. The end.”
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.

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