Posted by psgels on 9 January 2013 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kotoura-San

Short Synopsis: Our lead character can read people’s minds.
What they did for this series is that they handed what was actually a pretty cool premise to a bunch of soap opera writers. What I mean by that is that I actually quite like the concept of this series, of a girl who can read minds and how this affects her as a child. What I dislike is that the creators lack any sort of subtlety. Throughout the first half of this episode they do whatever possible to make the life of the female lead a complete hell. Of course, there are children who grow up in horrible environments, but this show, it starts off happily, only to throw one depressing plot twist after the other, to the point at wich it becomes laughable and adults completely overreacting. Nobody in this series has any common sense whatsoever… except for the male lead of course. So yeah: this series can go into two directions: wish fulfillment by showing a cute girl warm up to a typical lazy guy with dirty thoughts (ie, a target demographic often used for anime), or a charming coming of age story for a group of scarred teenagers. Which one will it be?
OP: It’s the way in which this contrasts with the really dark first half that makes it stand out.
ED: Good piano song
Potential: 70%

Tamako Market

Short Synopsis: Our lead character works at a Mochi bakery.
Someone shoot me. Tamako Market had the best first episode of the new season. I did not expect this from what was advertised as the next K-On. But really: to see this as the next K-On would be a grave disservice. You do not watch this series for the cute girls: cute girls are just a part of it. No, you really watch this series for the parrot. I love that animal. Beyond that though, this series also sets itself apart from a lot of other Kyoani series in a very interesting way: its cast is varied. It’s not just about a bunch of teenagers at school having a club. It’s got some teenagers, it’s also about a bakery, it’s got shop owners of all kinds of ages. There was so much going on, and not just random chatter. The characters as well: for once they’re not stereotypes. The lead female is ditzy, but it’s not her only character trait. The chemistry between the characters is also really good: no character is trying too hard to be annoying, which is a thing that really got on my nerves with K-On and Lucky Star.
OP: Mostly stands out through its animation.
ED: This is quite good: great visuals and nice song.
Potential: 85%

GJ Bu

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a random high school student.
So, GJ Bu is a show of the genre “bunch of teenagers hang out at school and do random stuff”. It’s a genre that I know is not for me by far. I can only enjoy these kinds of series when there is something else going on beyond just the random sketches… but GJ Bu doesn’t have that. It tries to be funny… but isn’t. It’s just various situations with sterotypical characters who try to be cute/charming/quirky. It also doesn’t help that most of the jokes are focused on stereotypes: the rich girl is rich, so she doesn’t know what instand noodles are. The catgirl eats a lot, so she eats a lot. The calm girl is calm so she isn’t afraid of anything. That kind of dull stuff. It all feels so forced, dull and uninspired, and this just isn’t my type of series.
OP: Some idols got their first singing job or someting…
ED: Generic J-Pop, cheesy visuals.
Potential: 10%

34 Responses

  1. Airies says:

    ooooooooooouch! bitchy op commment ;)

  2. hal says:

    I was also positively surprised by Tamako Market. I thought as well, that it would be a 2nd K-on (I didn’t dislike K-on, actually, it was alright.) The parrot was cool, the heroine likable. And the secondary characters as well. I also liked that guy who has a crush on Tamako. Reminds me a bit of Fujioka from Minami-ke. And what I like the most is, that there are actually guys and older people in the cast. I hate it, when shows are all-girls in highschool.
    I think I’m going to like this show.

    • Kaiserin Emma says:

      @Hal:You didn’t like Azumanga daioh then? =O

      • Litho says:

        Unlike K-On, Azumanga Daioh was funny.

        K-On was just an insult to guitarists. You work hard all your school life to buy a cheap used Yamaha, and some annoying highschool moe-blob who can’t even play goes out and buys a Les Paul. Fuck that shit!!

        • Frost says:

          Agree, even though I just skimmed through, not only that but she gets a guitar and like 3 months later she is freaking Joe Satriani soloing on that thing LMAO

          Insulting indeed

      • hal says:

        No, Azumanga Daioh was funny. The problem I have with those “all girls” shows are, that they’re completely unrealistic. Azumanga never wanted to be realistic, so that’s ok. But most of those “cute girls doing cute things” at least set out to have a bit of realism.
        I hate that glorification of cute, single, virgin girls, just to please fat creepy otaku, in anime nowadays.

  3. Frost says:

    Oh boy, when I saw the pic for Tamako Market I was like “oh fuck me sideways, not another moeblob trainwreck”, but reading your review Ill give it a try anyway, though I didnt like K-on or anything that came after (Hyouka was fine I guess)

    What a sad season… Probably the worst of the decade

  4. Entrav says:

    Tamako Market is definitely interesting enough for me to keep watching it. It had some nice bits of humor and wasn’t overly permeated with moe. The ending bit is quite intriguing as well.

  5. boa_sting says:

    >> moeblob throws a twirly rod thing in the air and it bonks her on the head

    Could’ve sworn KyoAni did that last season too…

  6. Cytl says:

    Good to see Tamako market wasn’t a disappointment: the bird is great and the girl wasn’t annoying as I thought because of the OP. The cast is also quite colorful (we even have what most likely is a crossdresser).

  7. someloser says:

    feels child oriented, which isn’t a bad thing considering it might work for what it’s trying to achieve. the bird felt like a lower tier tonnura-san which could actually work. so much autism though, and kyoani needs to seriously stop with the sameface.

  8. Rachnid says:

    I feel kinda alone on this, I didn’t like the bird at all, feels too forced. I’m thinking he’s gonna fade out a little into the background and the other characters will get their chance to shine, that will be when I’ll start liking this show.

  9. Censor this! says:

    Tamako Market was great! I’m excited about the direction this series will take. The previews seemed to focus on Tamako’s high school life and friends, but this episode actually didn’t do that. I love how varied the cast is, and I’m curious about the construction of this series. It seems as if it will be focusing on two aspects of the heroines life; that with her running the mochi shop and the mysterious bird, and also her daily activities with her friends. It seemed as if the opening pretty much confirmed this as she is marching with her friends in one scene then switches to the characters found within the market.

  10. Komosha says:

    Gotta thank you for the Tamako market review, I was intrigued and watched the ep. Funny stuff, Tamako and the bird made me laugh, and that last shot at the end gave me hope that this will actually go somewhere, almost ala Steins;Gate or Robotics;Notes, which is definitely a plus in my book.

  11. Alec says:

    I love Tamako Market. At first, I thought it was just gonna be a good guilty-pleasure slice of life anime, but it’s a pretty darn good slice-of-life anime

  12. mistress_kisara says:

    I like the first ep. of Tamako Market, I hope there is less focus on the moe schoolgirls :p

  13. Litho says:

    Gotta admit the bird’s got game, plus a helluva funny name.

  14. TheUltimateReaper says:

    psgels I’ll take your first impression on Kotoura-san and Tamamako Market and give them a shot. I wasn’t planning to watch Market, and I didn’t even give Kotoura-san a chance either. Both based on their basic descriptions, but I suppose I should at least try the first episodes. No use not watching something good, especially with the scarcity of good shows this season.

    • DP says:

      I really liked Kotoura-san. The ESP drama in the first half was fun and very different from you usually get. I liked the character designs, especially when put through all that angst. The set up from the second half looks interesting as well.

  15. Silty says:

    “So yeah: this series can go into two directions: wish fulfillment by showing a cute girl warm up to a typical lazy guy with dirty thoughts (ie, a target demographic often used for anime), or a charming coming of age story for a group of scarred teenagers. Which one will it be?”

    Maybe both?

  16. yelp says:

    Jesus. So you thought Chuunibyou was bad but Tamako Market was good?

    I just.. I don’t even…

    Shit taste is shit.

    • TheUltimateReaper says:

      Chuunibyou was good, but something more like 7/10. The ending left a lot to be desired, and unlike Hyouka it wasn’t forgivable. psgels has a more mature taste for the most part, but he’s been analyzing for years and for that sole fact I respect his opinion. That being said there are plenty of times I disagree. It’s just nice to get thoughts that aren’t your own every now and then.

    • Litho says:

      Chuuniwhatever was crap, I couldn’t even finish the first episode.

  17. rufe says:

    I also love Mochimazzi. Such a great name!

    ….for Kotoura-san I seriously don’t get why the girl didn’t just shut the **** up. She honestly deserved all of the suffering of her childhood. By the time she’s like 8 she should have figured out that these people aren’t saying these things out loud (I mean…their lips aren’t moving and they’re saying something else at the same time!) and kept her mouth shut. She hasn’t even figured it out by high school?

    Obviously her life would be a little different since she knows what everybody is thinking, but she wouldn’t be treated the way she was. If I were the mother I would think such a stupid girl obviously is not fit enough to survive and abandon her for that reason (like a mother rat who eats the children she thinks aren’t going to survive), not because I can’t deal with the stress of raising a special daughter. Honestly a human who has neither intelligence nor social skills has neither of the only two real survival abilities humans have.

    On the other hand I loved the reaction when she first reads the male lead’s mind. The wtf is so strong it snaps her out of her depression. Almost Zen.

    • chris says:

      Really hope you’re joking about abandoning a child like that. Those qualities are also found in children with Asperger’s and autism.

      Anyway I agree that her reaction to the male lead was pretty cool. His daydream was hilarious. The series started off ok and actually made my heart ache a bit even if it was super over the top. Sadly the second half of the show was falling into some serious otaku wish fulfillment.

      • Not buthurt that Yuuki died says:

        yeah, the mother in that show FAILED misreably like wtf, yeah I know the kid should have shut up but a kid shutting up is about the fucking hardest thing to ask a kid to do, especially someone who grew up with her esp power. . .being that’s all she knows, and not having the maturity of the viewers. . .that’s why her MOTHER should have stepped in and TOLD her, and WORKED with her to enforce the “shut the hell up about people’s thoughts”

        but. . she got over dramatic, bitchy and failed as a parent. . .which is not really so uncommon as people think!

        However, If you think about the “Honne” and “Tatemae” culture of the Japanese(which is DEEEEPLY enbedded with ALL Japanese people living and growing up in Japan), then you’d probably find the reaction of the other adults/kids in the story, frighteningly accurate.

        Also, grumpy old obasans killing cats when annoying ass kids feed them isn’t uncommon either. . .mostly because cats MAKE A LOT of NOISE when they are hungry, Fight other cats a lot often late at night, so people are actually NOT supposed to feed stray cats in a residential neighboorhood. There are also Lots of cats around neighboorhoods, and can really fuck up the sleep of lots of people living nearby. . .like cats can crone on and on loudly for HOURS!

        So yeah, something may seem over the top to those who don’t know much about the setting (because they aren’t the target audience/haven’t lived/don’t know about certain setting/cultural aspects) but it’s really not (except the fail mother, but that’s actually a lot more common than people think.)

  18. rufe says:

    Of course I wouldn’t abandon a child. I wouldn’t even think of abandoning an animal, much less a human child with my DNA!! (Actually, an interesting question about human psychology to ask at this point is WHY I (and I like to think most other people) would never abandon a child like that. Many other animals except maybe a chimp or bonobo or certain animals that will even continue trying to raise their young after it has died certainly would.)

    Also I’m male so I wouldn’t be a mother!

    I have interacted with people with Asperger’s and am familiar with their difficulty reading social cues and their obsessions. In this case the situation is different because they have this difficulty and it’s easy feel empathy for their condition. In some sense the titular heroine has the opposite issue since she can literally read minds and knows that her peers are uncomfortable with her behavior.

    It’s just hard to sympathize with her past a certain point. Actually, the way I see it she is violating and harming those around her by probing their innermost thoughts and exposing them for everybody around to hear and tearing apart their social groups. That type of child shouldn’t be in school with other children whatever her circumstances.

    If you want to get philosophical about it, you could argue that none of this behavior is her “fault”, simply a result of her genetics, brain chemistry, environment, etc., but you would have to apply that same enlightened reasoning to accept the actions the other children and even her parents are taking in self-defense. We are programmed to value and protect our social interactions as part of our basic survival technique and there is no getting out of the fact that her actions are traumatic.

    • Not buthurt that Yuuki died says:

      ugh, You don’t know what you’re talking about. . .really. . .this is why I’m just sick of anime blogs/forums whatever. . just filled with a bunch of dumbasses frothing off at the mouth of shit they have no fucking Idea about. . .wow.

    • Scruffy says:

      Personally I think what happened to Kotoura is frighteningly accurate. To understand Kotoura as a child you really need to know a bit of the ‘Theory of the Mind’ and how we as individuals view others. Young children initially do not view others as individuals with different knowledge and experiences. They do not realize that what they observe and know is not shared with everyone. This development of the understanding of ‘self’ does take time. She simply did not know that others did not have the same sensory information as her and was puzzled as to why the others were responding in the way they were. Kids do tend to blurt out things and are often exceedingly honest to a fault.

      BTW, Aspergers has nothing to do with this. I have an Aspergers son and her behavior was nothing like aspergers. She was just a kid being honest around people who could not hide their inner thoughts.

  19. HunterWulf says:

    Well, i’m surprised people are surprised that Tamako Market turned out to be good, i mean come one, KyoAni have been improving a lot since K-ON, shows like Hyouka and Chuunibyou clearly demonstrate that they are aiming for something more than just moe girls messing around aimlessly and pretty animation, i know Chuuinbyou gives that impression at first but there a lot more to it once the drama comes into play and characters start growing on you.

    So far they haven’t betrayed my confidence in them, i expected Tamako Market to be interesting and they delivered ^_^

  20. Tomtom says:

    Just watched Tamako Market epi 1 and loved it. This type of show that manages to be funny without trying too much is pretty rare these days.

  21. Emil Brinkley says:

    I am looking into this now. My blog has always been a big target by scammers and haters who want to take me down. Thanks Lori!

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 06:43 PM)
    @Emma, middling would be better than bad. Hell the Japanese AOT live action movie is already adding in original characters.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:30 PM)
    And the best we get as a Hollywood adaptation of a Japanese work is edge of tomorrow if thats anything to go by a titan American adaptation would be middling at least.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:26 PM)
    Although I may wait with Cossette…I have watched it three times now that I remember…
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:25 PM)
    @Bam, hell they are making a parastye live action movie as well. the CG is awful. Just awful. Just why…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:23 PM)
    Now to see if Macross plus and Petite cossette still hold up.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:22 PM)
    Log horizons 2s first arc came to a very fun conclusion this week, Deen did a good job of adapting volume six in a short time and making it feel less like a bit of a slog to get through.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:21 PM)
    Also took a look at barefoot Gen again, despite its dated art and animation for me the nightmarish, bleak and harrowing bombing sequence still carries a high sense of power to it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:18 PM)
    Right thats Patlabor 2 rewatched then. Not only does it still hold up, as an adult I find myself having a better grasp/following of it. Thinking mans scifi in a great clinical, dead serious style thats to its favour and some very good animation for its time, the villain, even off screen still commands alot of presence. Though a bit long winded in parts and in length, its not my favourite Oshi film but a worthwhile one nonetheless. I miss the English dub for it though =<
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 06:02 AM)
    Although given that the the Japanese film industry is steadily improving, this still would’ve worked much better as a big Hollywood flick, mainly because it’s just an over-the-top story with big action sequences, but also because pretty much all the cast (with the exception of Mikasa) have western features.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:55 AM)
    Well it looks like the Japanese have taken it upon themselves to make a live-action Attack on Titan movie, which sounds like a pretty bad idea:
    http://www.otakuusamagazine.com/LatestNews/News1/Liveaction-Attack-on-Titan-Visuals-Revealed-6057.aspx

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