Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a dinosaur.
Forget about the title. Forget about the main character, he’s just some random kid with superpowers. No, this series is about a bear named Ussu. This is the guy who made this show surprisingly entertaining for a kids’ show. I was really fearing after having to sit through that Naruto SD show, but these series can actually be funny. Aside from Usu, there are a couple of other characters in this show who had some good jokes, the albatross in particular. Gon really is just a vehicle to bring everything together. In the meantime though, he also is very annoying. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the heck mammals are doing in a dinosaur show: the show also doesn’t explain that. It’s just a random island with a bunch of animals in which a dinosaur randomly appears. This series is obviously very childish and all, but here is the thing: aside from Uchuu Kyoudai (which isn’t a real comedy anyway), this was the funniest first episode i got to sample this season so far.
OP/ED: Warning: do not listen to these songs, unless you want them to get stuck inside your head for the rest of the week.
Arashi no Yoru ni
Short Synopsis: Our lead characters are polar opposites.
This is what I mean by kids series trying harder: this series has an actual story that challenges the characters, rather than being random fighting or hi-jinks. Movies have already gotten this down, but there are very few TV-series like this, which is why I’m glad this was made, even though it already was adapted into a movie. What I hope is that this show will expand on the movie’s themes and allow everything to flow more naturally. This episode gave a good start: it was pretty similar to how the movie started, only with a bit more dialogue here and there; a good start. I especially liked how this episode focused on how forced this entire premise is, but in a good way. In terms of animation this series clearly is inferior, because the CG can look quite ugly at times, but at least the characters move around a lot here, and they do so differently from your average CG-show. My big fear of this show will be the overacting: this episode kept it from going overboard, but there is potential for this to dive into straight-up melodrama.
OP: Um, guys. A little too much of romantic undertones here…
ED: The same “let’s have the cast walk nowhere”-ed that you see everywhere (this makes three this season already)
Kuromajo-san ga Tooru
Short Synopsis: Our lead character does magic stuff.
So, this turned out to be a story of a girl who gets harassed by a black witch and ends up as one in training. Episodes are only 7 minutes long, and it’s all fairly plain and all, but for a kiddie show it could have been worse. If you want your kids to be quiet for 10 minutes, this show is good bait for this. For older audiences though…. I don’t think that this show has much to offer. A lot of stuff in this episode just happened for the heck of it, and this show is also pretty bad at explaining why everything is happening, with pretty minimal animation. It’s not as bad as with the horrid flash shows, but any less animation and this would be a slide-show. Also, the teacher in this series is an asshole. In the end, the creators could have taken more chances. I mean, Risky Safety was a show with the exact same premise, but it was 50 times more adorable and creative than this here.