Posted by psgels on 1 October 2011 with categories: Bakuman, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Some Quick First Impressions

Fate/Zero

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is about to fight in a holy war for a holy grail.
Okay, so this was completely different from what I expected it to be. When I started watching, I had something along the lines of Fate/Stay Night in my mind, only better, so I expected some sort of teenaged harem-set up with a lot of action. What I got had no action whatsoever, there was no harem present whatsoever and there were no teenagers at all! Instead of action, this entire episode consisted out of people talking to each other. Awesome! The animation budget was surprisingly limited: only the background art was great, though the animation itself made use of a lot of shortcuts, and far-away shots. Yuki Kajiura also delivered a solid soundtrack, although I wouldn’t classify this among her best. Overall though, this seems like an intriguing series where you need to pay it a lot of attention in order to be able to follow it. This episode gave a solid start, introduced some interesting concepts (I also liked the small details like the magic typewriter). It’ll probably take a while for this one to get going, but the script will probably continue to be interesting until that happens.
Potential: 85%

Bakuman II

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a mangaka.
I do want to stress that I’m not guaranteeing that I’m going to blog the series whose prequels I already blogged before. The competition this season is just too strong for that. Instead, these shows also still have to prove themselves. Not particularly by delivering two awesome opening episodes, but by showing that they’ve got enough potential. Having said that, this episode of Bakuman had an effect that I did not experience at all when watching the first season: I can’t believe that it just took up 20 minutes. In my mind, it felt like it was much longer. For this series’ standards, a lot really happened this episode and instead of dragging on, it kept a steady pace and introduced a lot of new and interesting characters. The animation also feels lightly better than what it was before. Can this pacing be kept up for the rest of this season though?
OP: The OP still is pretty dull, though. The kind that sucks the energy right out of me.
ED: Better than the first ED, especially as it goes on.
Potential: 80%

Shinryaku!? Ika-Musume

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is still trying to invade earth.
Creating a good comedy sequel takes effort, especially when its predecessor already was very good: what are you going to do to match it? Will you still have enough ideas to fill a season? Won’t the comedy get stale? With Squid Girl, at least we’re not having one of those comedy sequels that immediately drop down in quality: it was still pretty funny, albeit nowhere near the best episodes of the first season, so we’re just going to have to wait to see whether this show has what it takes to remain funny (also, what the hell was Tomomi Mochizuki doing there?). Nevertheless, the first signs of decay are starting to show. There are various jokes on the verge of being overused, and this episode did not shy away from them. I also felt like the direction in this episode wasn’t as sharp as in the first season. These need to be fixed in the next episodes.
OP: What happened to that excellent first Opening? This was so bland in comparison!
ED: This feels composed at the last minute in a rush-job.
Potential: 65%

21 Responses

  1. fgsbvs says:

    Poor you don’t have a life

  2. x says:

    I agree with you on this episode. The OP felt rather generic compared to the first season. Hopefully it gets better from here on.

  3. mezzoguitar says:

    @fgsbvs
    Completely useless comment. I hope Psgels deletes your comment (and mine as well).

  4. gandalf8 says:

    Erm is it just me, or does Ika musume sound different this time? Did they change the seiyuu or something? Her voice sounded very different in this episode compared to the 1st season.

  5. Shirencel says:

    I don’t think the new OP was so bad, though I must agree that the first one was much more memorable. still, I thought it was quite cute.

  6. Cytl says:

    F/Z first episode can’t be a little cruel when you know (by reading F/SN) what’s going to happen to some of the characters.

  7. Cytl says:

    Sorry, I meant: “F/Z first episode CAN be a little cruel”

  8. Scamp says:

    Instead of action, this entire episode consisted out of people talking to each other. Awesome!

    …err, psgels, I think you may have the wrong idea of what an animated medium should be trying to accomplish

  9. EB says:

    Why didn’t you rate Fate/Zero’s OP (used as the ED)?

  10. psgels psgels says:

    EB: the version I watched didn’t have one.

  11. totoum says:

    well if the new OP of bakuman shows scenes of what’s going to happen in the first half of the show then that would mean the anime team is really going to speed things up,and really,they have like 100 manga chapters to work with so they can.

  12. EB says:

    Huh…weird. It was the full double-episode, right?

  13. psgels psgels says:

    Ah crap. I indeed only watched something of 23 minutes.

  14. m says:

    Fate/Zero: Some of the early compositing was a little distracting, but otherwise that was really good. They try to mix up the dialogue-heavy parts by showing off their 3d work, or sometimes with panning. It’s not like they couldn’t just do close-ups of the faces of the characters and replay the facial animations for 20s, but that would get pretty boring. The OP also looks expensive. The soundtrack for the episode was also really good. I think you should watch the whole double episode to really appreciate the soundtrack.

  15. Perrin4869 says:

    psgels, did you manage to understand the Japanese in Fate/Zero? There are many series I follow raw, and don’t feel the need to check the translation at all, and here comes Fate/Zero, and damn, the Japanese was truly incomprehensible most of the time. Why does crap like Idolmaster air with Japanese subtitles, but here a truly hard series doesn’t?

  16. Puran says:

    Bakuman II definitely fixed the pacing problems, that was nice to see.

  17. psgels psgels says:

    Perrin: no, you’re not the only one. The dialogue was very incomprehensible at times.

    The same thing is going on with Hyouge Mono at the moment: Idolmaster is very easy to translate and because of that it’s very easily subbed. In order to translate Fate/Zero however, you need someone who has a thourough understanding of both languages. These people are much harder to find, and it’s a much more intensive translation process.

  18. Perrin4869 says:

    Actually, I was complaining about the Japanese subbing when it airs, at least if it airs with subs, it’s easier to check out vocabulary I’m not familiar with. It’s annoying though, because out of three series that aired one after the other, Blood-C, Penguin Drum and Idolmaster, the only one that has the 字幕放é€ is Idolmaster… I wish more anime had 字幕放é€. Also, it would make it much easier for fansubbers, having the actual Japanese script.

  19. Sho says:

    More Bakuman! Awesome!

    Fate/Zero looks excellent as well.

  20. Kalandra says:

    lol I felt the opposite with Bakuman songs. The OP meaning fits the premise (much better than first season OP, while the ED sounds like a song from a drama filled shoujo. I think the ED is a good song, but what is it doing in Bakuman?

  21. Juno says:

    The second episode of Ika Musume completely regained my attention. Not only did it give us another new ability, but the comedy was creative again. The first episode was far too predictable. This one felt like it was fleshed out more. Look forward to it~

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  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 04:05 AM)
    “Firechick, answer: Hell no. And don’t impersonate Bam. You suck at it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 03:05 AM)
    Yeah guys! Why aren’t you reviewing Go! Princess Precure?
  • Firechick
    (Sunday, Feb 1. 2015 02:51 AM)
    Is anyone gonna review Go! Princess Precure? I hear it just aired.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.

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