Posted by psgels on 1 October 2012 with categories: From the New World, Some Quick First Impressions

Tonari no Kaibatsu-kun

Short Synopsis: Our lead character falls in love with a bishie.
So, there’s lots of shoujo on the start of this series. And really: after so many bad shoujo series, it felt very refreshing to see a show that had a lead female with an actual personality. She has elements of your generic shoujo lead, but she also has elements that are completely different from her peers. Especially her wit was nice to watch. Overall this show knows its comedy: the few comedic scenes are well animated and delivered, as expected of Brains Base. The lead male though… I didn’t like him too much. He’s this incredibly smart character who at the same time is this wild beast who needs to be tamed and on top of that this enigmatic mystery… he’s trying too hard. He feels like four cliches thrown into one character. The romance in this episode was neatly done, in the way that the feelings of the two leads kept changing rather than being bland and one-sided, but for a high school slice of life series, it does need to include more than what it showed here if I want to keep watching it. That’s what you get when choosing an overcrowded genre.
OP: Generic song, generic animation, but that art direction is quite nice.
Potential: 70%

Hiiro no Kakera 2

Short Synopsis: Our lead character gets to be protected by cute bishies.
Okay. So last season I made the huge mistake of being too guided by my own ambitions and overlooked the gem that was Kokoro Connect, so even though I dropped Hiiro no Kakera after two episodes in anger, I am going to keep an open mind here. Screw biases! Just see for yourself whether the anime has improved or not… wait a minute… why do these scenes seem so familiar? Why do I get the feeling that I’ve seen this all before… it’s a recap, isn’t it? Seriously, Hiiro no Kakera, you are making it very difficult for me to like you. I mean, a recap is okay and all, but out of all series, does this show really need one? Well, with this episode I at least got a bit of a view of what I missed with the first season, but most of these scenes could just be divided into two categories: characters looking at each other with either a very strange smile or the same sad expression, often romantically charged, and a character looking cool while doing something with power. That’s all! It was incredibly cheesy, but the worst part is that it was incredibly generic. And here is the thing, I used to love the production company behind this series, Studio Deen. In the past, their series stood out due to fantastic characterization. Instantly likable characters. The cast here is inconceivably bland. Everyone is either acting like a stereotype, or just vaguely staring into nothing with that strange smile of theirs. I mean, there is definitely an idea behind that smile: the creators probably wanted to go for something warm with that smile, but they don’t seem to understand how acting really works. You can’t just go for one type of emotion all the time. You have to be dynamic in this. It’s like having hot dogs for dinner every day. On the flip-side: the use of the soundtrack was very good. This episode actually had an atmosphere.
ED: Dull J-rock with uninspired pictures.
Potential: 0%

From the New World

Short Synopsis: Our lead character has psychic powers.
Um, let’s just get this straight first: this series may have children as lead characters, it is most definitely not geared to them. The first scene of this episode shows them using their powers to violently murder a number of people around them. And seriously: this episode rocked. The direction was just fantastic. It really toyed around with its timing, camera angles and narrative in order to create this really intriguing episode. tHe music was fantastic and really well used. And then there was the animation: seriously, A-1 gatherered a number of really talented animators for this show. The characters moved in all sorts of interesting ways. There were a ton of very artistic scenes to spice up this episode as well. I’ts probably a level of quality that they won’t be able to keep up throughout the entire series, but still, this was amazing to watch and the perfect way to open the Autumn Season with.
ED: Catchy song, lazy visuals (it basically is just the promo art and nothing else)
Potential: 95%

39 Responses

  1. Avatar Tuuli says:

    Just watched some videos where the original author and some of the animators talk about how they didn’t really know how to animate this one…makes me really curios what it will be about after the first episodes! :D

    I would want to know about the boy that’s in the start of the episode but he will not be necessarily be talked about anymore but might be. Brr. Pretty violent start in the first minutes.

  2. Avatar Momo says:

    According to the preview screening of the first 3 episodes, the real ED will debut in episode 3.

  3. Avatar wicked says:

    It’s definitely not for children. This is a guy that writes dark mystery psychological thrillers for a living, almost all of his work has some sort of intrinsic evil.

    • Avatar wicked says:

      well i guess it’s relative, from 12 is not exactly children either

      • Avatar Mark says:

        I’m not sure where you’re from but in England at least someone younger than 16-17 is still going to fall into the kid/child category to anyone older.

        • Avatar wicked says:

          They’re teenagers. If 14 are not children, then 12 arent either. If you flip it and say if 12 are children then 14 surely belong in the same category, which is why i said it’s all relative

  4. Avatar TheUltimateReaper says:

    Thank god, this is why I come here psgels, if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have known this aired today. I knew this would be one of the seasons with potential, I might have missed it otherwise. Going to watch it now.

  5. Avatar dsa says:

    Best first episode in years.

  6. Avatar KaZuHiRo says:

    Mindfucked… Very intriguing indeed. And here I am losing all hope for anime (only watched Moyashimon and Kokoro Connect last season).

  7. Avatar Bunny says:

    Dsa – I couldn’t agree more. This has given me back the excitement of when I first watched utena. I knew I was going to like it but I didn’t know I would like it this much. I know, I know it’s very early for this much praise but still it ticked all the boxes and I mean all. If this keeps it up it will make my top 10 easy. I already love the main characters and learnt their names. I am so excited for this show that I’m probably going to be fanboying until it ends. Now to ring up my friends and get them watching this. :)

  8. Avatar Litho says:

    Whoah…. That was one hell of a premier ep!!!
    I’m not into the whole “children killing/dying” thing, truth be told, and personally prefer my anime more laid back and satirical (Jinrui), but I’m definitely gonna follow Shinsekai Yori.

    How many eps?

  9. Avatar Bunny says:

    Psgels I honestly think you should review this whole show. I doubt it will fail us. Also are you to do actual hunter x hunter reviews now?

  10. Avatar Reverse says:

    O_o awesome setting

  11. Avatar Anca says:

    You did overlook three series that I’m aware of – Kuroko no Basuke, Accel World and Oda Nobuna – but I wouldn’t really count Hiiro no kakera among them. While it was better than the recap implied, it still took a long while to get going and never really stepped out of its dating sim roots.

    And Shinsekai yori looks fantastic. The other series will have a hard time topping this.

    • Avatar imredjimmy says:

      I don’t find Kuroko no Basuke to be anything special really. Especially now…it’s just so…expected and cliche.

      • Avatar Anca says:

        The series wasn’t really about defying expectations as much as keeping you on the edge of the seat long enough that you forget about them (the last match in particular was fantastic at that).

        And even then, how Seirin’s match against Touou turned out wasn’t at all expected. And the fact that the last episodes, the climax, utterly sidelined the main characters also wasn’t exactly expected. Or even the main characters themselves, Kuroko is as close to being an anti-cliche as a character can get without becoming an anti-hero.

      • Avatar wicked says:

        You mean you expect shounen to be shounen? Also Seirin loses a lot. People who watch Kuroko are for the cast chemistry, which is rather good

        • Avatar imredjimmy says:

          HunterxHunter is shonen and it keeps defying my expectations. My problem with sport shonens is that not only is the cast too crowded but it feels like their basketball skills improve but they often forget to make the character’s personnalities develop as well. I watched the whole 25 episodes and it was fine. But it really isn’t noteworthy.

          • Avatar imredjimmy says:

            And Seirin’s match against Touhou was predictable. They couldn’t win all the time, they needed that lost that will make them power-up…same as Bleach when Ichigo gets defeated and now he needs to power-up.

            I agree that the cast’s chemistry is one of the series strength, all I’m saying is that this is a nice series for fan of the genre. It just could have been more.

      • Avatar Avalon says:

        While I understand where you are coming from, sports anime are pretty much all like that. It had great characters and great matches as well. A lot of other sports anime have either or, but not both. I’m looking forward to any sort of sequel announcement.

  12. Avatar stallionweasel says:

    This is the first show all year that doesn’t look like piece of crap. Really excited.

    • Avatar wicked says:

      well darn, you just jinxed it. It’s going to be terrible now that you like it. Maintain the hate, man. Go whatever country you’re from

  13. Avatar wicked says:

    Didnt Rinne did a recap too? I’d not say Rinne season one was eventful enough for a recap episode either

  14. Avatar mulligan says:

    It reminds me strangely of Ghost Hound from all those years back. Really intrigued, hope it doesn’t disappoint

  15. Avatar Arno says:

    Looks a bit like Elfen Lied.

    A beautiful cover to express authentically evil passions.

    However I watch anime for entertainment, so I’m better off watching Ebiten. Not the same ambitions, certainly, but much healthier way of spending your time.

  16. Avatar Raye Peneber says:

    Great spot Psgels! I wouldn’t have found this if it weren’t for you. Did anyone else enjoy the spot on music? I watched this twice just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

    Hmm. I hope the evil secret is that the children who are struggling with developing their magical abilities are turned in to soylent green. Note that the girl who supposedly disappeared is not confirmed dead. She could come back and hopefully make some heads roll.

    Anybody who knows whats going on comment on the horror vs. adventure elements of the story? Will we see these young characters get destroyed by psychic powers? Fingers crossed we get some horror elements all throughout.

  17. Avatar uberwok says:

    yeah, I didn’t think Haru in TnK was portrayed very well. Honestly he never struck me as a bishie when reading the manga, more like a man-child, but the charm isn’t quite there in the anime. it seems to cut too fast through the scenes to me…

  18. Avatar Kiseki says:

    Both Shizuku and Haru are unorthodox protagonists when it comes to shoujo. For the most part, those cliches you mentioned about Haru are explained to come from a certain reason…

    Why is everything labeled “slice of life” nowadays when it shouldn’t be…

  19. Avatar tt5 says:

    Tonari no Kaibatsu-kun: Meh, if it would have been a single episode show and a little more stuff packed into it, it would be a very good show. But I don’t see how this could be entertaining more than 3-4 episode. But I will stick with that.

    Hiiro no Kakera 2: Turned off after a few minutes, completly nothing for me there

    From the New World: Could be good but no way to say since I was a little bit lost in the end. Has everyone such powers? what was that in the beginning(outbrake of something) and why do kids disappear???? Not much about the kids in the show, they were very stereotypic and not really likeable. Can develop into something good but also turn into something surreal.

    • Avatar Billish says:

      I agree with New World… too scattered. The first scene built a tower and what followed just started making another tower. From the synopsis… those first scenes were from the ‘history’ or ‘reign of terror’ of the psychics in the 21st century. The characters live in the thousand year future world, but discovery of the past may be part of the plot. So far, so nothing.

    • Avatar Billish says:

      Furthermore, without that first scene I’d be interested perhaps only in some of the creative art scenes. I predict the second episode sticks with its characters. I feel the pacing could go either way, and with it my interest. I will see!

      OP: I’m not surprised with your interest in this psgels; it seems right down your alley. Depending on where the following few episodes go, I may just keep up with your blog posts… so make ’em good! lol

  20. Avatar Nyangoro says:

    Gotta agree with you on Shin Sekai Yori. The way they established the world was extremely interesting. I loved the Buddhist ritual scene the most, both in terms of meaning and animation. Really well done.

    I don’t think I liked Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun as much as you did though. I kind of enjoyed Yoshida for his over-the-top antics, but even those were too gimmicky. And Shizuku failed to leave a lasting impression on me at all. To top it off, the episode didn’t really convince me that it could really go anywhere; although, the promise that it will ensures that I’ll at least check out the next episode.

  21. Avatar Anraiki says:

    Hopefully “From the New World” doesn’t take on some Bokurano direction. But that’s just me.

  22. Avatar RABUJOI says:

    As New World and Kaibutsu-kun were the first episodes of the new Fall season we’ve gotten ahold of, we can say we’re excited by the potential of both, particularly the former, with its lovely, otherworldly tone.

    We were also impressed by how much it managed to tell – a whole relationship arc from first meet to first kiss – in its first episode, leaving us in anticipation of where it goes from here.

    Shizuku reminded us of Kare Kano’s Miyazawa Yukino – someone whose sole purpose in live is top marks suddenly falling for someone who just happens to be her academic rival. We tend to benchmark all rom-coms against that Gainax classic.

  23. Avatar Tuuli says:

    Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: Well…that was fast from one point to another. xD Made me laugh some too.
    But I really couldn’t get the hold of this, probably because it went so fast or there is something about the characters that just don’t click with me. Something seems absent. It is only the first episode though.

  24. Avatar HunterWulf says:

    FROM THE NEW WORLD, Loved the great atmosphere this show has, creepy, haunting and somewhat scary without being in-your-face or using jump scares .. rather with mystery and a very strong sense of foreboding (you always get the feeling something very sinister is happening, going to happen or happened already) .. the supernatural and religious elements were used very nicely and added flavor to the setting (the ritual of the-coming-of-age was pretty creepy specially with the power-sealing paper figure and Saki crying part).

    The art style, music and animation were superb too, and personally i liked the character interactions more than the characters themselves (maybe except Saki whom we got to spend most time with) .. but i’m sure once we get to know them we will care more about both their interactions and the characters themselves.

    I also liked how the series completely refrained from any form of spoon-feeding yet managed to deliver a coherent story so far (albeit a very mysterious one) .. i kinda felt lost in the first 10 minutes of the episode (like i was floating in zero gravity) .. but slowly i as i went into the 2nd half of the episode i started getting the hang of it and the pieces started falling in place .. AND I LOVED THAT FEELING.

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