Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a rich noble’s son.
Well, there you have it. The fourth awesome opening episode of the season. I mean heck: this was absolutely delightful. It just screamed retro cheese, but it was so incredibly over the top that it became stunning. I mean, Dio Brando is such a great villain that every time he appeared on the screen I just sat there with a giant grin, but just about everything in this episode was done with incredible passion. Normally I’d complain about overacting, but the way in which this episode just took it over 9000 made it so enjoyable to watch. The show also has this reallly interesting visual style: like expected the animators didn’t attempt to make everything look clean and the characters often look off-model (not to mention the inclusion of some manga-style sound effects – really!), but the direction was so good. It knew what to animate properly, and the use of colours and poses was just delightful to watch. Why did it take so long to make a proper anime of this thing?
ED: Great song there, with great vocals and a very good use of a guitar.
Short Synopsis: Our lead character has this evil side that murders people.
Whoa, now this is a feast for the senses! The graphical style really shows that this comes from the same people as Mardock Scranble, but even then I was surprised by what a visual orgasm this was. And they made it look so easy. Every frame of this episode looked utterly gorgeous, but what’s even more impressive is that at times they actually bothered to animate the background art. Keep a look-out for the skating scenes, because those were particularly gorgeous. On top of that, this show has a very creative soundtrack: it’s diverse, has very catchy songs and comes with a ton of different styles. The voice acting though… not so good: Lotsa Engrish! Beyond that though, this is a show that was clearly inspired by Durarara, and that’s a very good thing: there were lots of different characters, lots of stuff going on at the same time. It very much was an introduction episode, and this can still go anywhere, but I’m glad to see that this show tries so hard: so many characters are difficult to balance well, but they can get some very good stuff out of this when they manage to pull it off. Some minor complaints: this show has bad hacking going on, and for some reason they did manage to include a school in this series. There are a few cliches in this show that just seem to be there in order to look cool. I know that that’s exactly what this show is trying to do, but there is such a thing as taking things too far.
OP: Utterly gorgeous OP, plus a nice song from Angela.
Short Synopsis: Our lead character wakes up in a video game.
One of Madhouse’s specialties is adrenaline: creating those series that focus on building up this stuff. In that way, Btooom is the perfect series for them. It focuses on this teenager who ends up in a game world, but usually with these kinds of stories, the game is an RPG. This time, we’re talking about a full blown action game in which people kill each other with bombs. This is really what I’m looking for for a weekly dose of adrenaline: it got the emotions of the lead male right, combining bewilderment with this sense to survive. This episode already gave a bit of a taste of what the battles will be like, and they’re tense, but also completely unrealistic. It’s a missed opportunity that this series should have put some thought into its explosions, but right now they’re mostly plot devices. The soundtrack and animation are pretty solid though. I mean this isn’t going to win any awards, but if it can keep up this atmosphere then it’ll be pretty damn entertaining. Just handle the lead female with a bit of tact, okay?
OP: Quite stylish, but degenerates into a bit too much of a copy of other OPs as it goes along.
ED: Is that Chiaki Ishikawa? One of my favorite singers for these OPs and EDs. Not her best work, but still a great voice.