Posted on 11 January 2013 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Sasami@Ganbaranai

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a shut-in.
I thought that I was over my bias of Shaft after Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru and Madoka Magica. But no. This season really reminds me why I dislike these guys so much: wasted potential. So much of it! The animation in this episode was gorgeous. There were a few scenes that were incredibly fluid. Now if only they’d adapt some actually good series! For starters, this show loses a lot of points by its pointless incest. But the problems are beyond that: this series does not understand how to use randomness well. Over the course of the episode everything suddenly turns to chocolate, but it’s completely unconsequential: it doesn’t lead to anything, it has no point beyond being random and leading to some really cool animation sequences. It’s completely boring and filled with allsorts of fetishes once again! And what gets to me the most is that there seems to be no improvement in this whatsoever, and yet the solution is so simple: GET SOMEONE COMPETENT TO DO YOuR SERIES COMPOSITION. Balance out the characters. Manage your pacing. Give your scenes consequences. Drop the freaking stereotypes. It’s such a simple thing, yet Shaft is currently way too busy with looking cool and edgy.
OP: Artsy, but a bit of a dull song.
ED: At least an interesting parody, but the characters involved are incredibly annoying and it’s filled with incest.
Potential: 50%

gdgd Fairies 2

Short Synopsis: Our lead characters are fairies.
Gasp! Shock! This show’s episodes are not three minutes long. Instead, they’ve got fourteen minutes to work with. That is much better, although that did lead me to having to sit through this thing even longer. gdgd fairies looks so awful that I didn’t even give its first season a chance. As the episode started playing, my fears were indeed confirmed: terrible CG animation, really awkward voice acting, and really forced characters. For the first half of this episode the characters just kept going on with a bunch of slow and badly delivered jokes. And then… something happened and this series took a turn for the bizarre in which a bunch of oiled up men in tutus ended up dancing around in a field of flowers. Afterwards the characters poked fun at sound effects, which… I actually found a bit funny. I didn’t expect that. Don’t expect too much of it though: it wasn’t drop dead hilarious: this episode was enough to make me want to check out the second episode, but it was not funny enough to completely sell me.
OP: Lucky Star parody? More like you just copied Lucky Star’s intro…
ED: Ugly CG dancing ED alert!
Potential: 45%

Vividred Operation

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a magical girl.
Uh, Vividred: the gutter called. They want your mind out of there as soon as possible. Seriously. The first two characters in this show are introduced by their ass shots. Thankfully the rest of this episode was not as bad as Strike Witches, but nevertheless, pretty shameless. Vividred is a populist series: it does things very calculatedly, not for the sake of storytelling, but because of what it thinks is popular. The show is focused on cute girls piloting mecha near a beach, there are ass shots, and they’ve got a stuffed animal shoehorned in. Throughout this episode I could recognize various scenes that seemed to have been directly lifted from other popular scenes, and this was a bit too much for comfort. The biggest sign of this was the stuffed animal, though. The grandfather was actually an interesting, albeit archetypical character. But then this show found one of the most contrived ways to turn that guy into a stuffed animal. Not because it would fit the story (having him as grandfather would mean so much more for the female lead who lost her parents), but for the sake of marketability. Alone, this would not have been a big deal, but this show is chock full of tricks like this, to the point where it lacks its own identity.
ED: Clouds, and a boring song.
Potential: 20%

14 Responses

  1. Litho says:

    Not planning on watching this (I didn’t even know it existed till your write-up), but I’m willing to bet your single paragraph capsule-review contains more substance than an entire 24 minute episode of this. Props to ya, mate.

  2. skeine says:

    After reading a review like this, I have to commend you for your inexhaustible willingness to take one for the team, to spare the rest of us the agony of suffering through it ourselves. Thank you.

  3. tanukichan says:

    Heh, I actually enjoyed this a lot, despite not being a fan of fanservice myself. Excellent production values, exciting music, likeable characters and a potentially interesting plot, all that I need to tune in next week!

    Oh and that transformation sequence!

  4. gdgd says:

    gdgd Fairies was a dark horse when it first aired in 2011.

    Even if it was a cheap “anime” made mainly with MikuMikuDance, its bizarreness and the parts when the seiyuus were ad-libbing made it popular.

  5. Pillow Predator says:

    I would say it’s best to check at least two episodes of first season – to see with what they are doing.

    and OP they didn’t copy Lucky Star… they copied first season of gdgd Fairies (which was mentioned in the show – they do a lot of those out-of-character references here to how this series is made or what they think about it).

    one of funniest parts are still previews, this time it was Gundam I think.

  6. Cytl says:

    It’s getting more and more frequent for you to miss the subtle details, Pgels. The brother was obviously responsible (unconsciously more likely) for the whole chocolate thing and that surely is the whole reason for the three sisters to be in the series. Though I agree that the characters need to get away from the cliches (so far only Sasami showed a multilayer personality), but it’s still the first episode (a first episode that felt more like a 20min. hook, btw). At the end I liked this first episode, even If it wasn’t my favorite of the season.

    • Nssstt says:

      Yeah, that’s pretty much right. The next episode should explain this whole incident and offer a possible explanation for the face-covering too if they follow the novel’s progression. They should probably have inserted some of that into this episode so that people won’t think all of it was completely random. Also, I don’t remember if they mentioned that Tama is in third grade or not.

  7. wicked says:

    Yeah, unlike a lot of other anime, the incest theme of Sasami Chan is purposefully set up to be straight forward. It’s a giant roll call of Japanese mythology. The relationship is specifically set up to parallel Izanagi and Izanami and other incestual relationships in mythology(actuall quite the rampant theme in mythologies across the world). Their names are of the moon god Tsukuyomi, but they are connected to the god Amaterasu. The 3 sisters have names after the 3 sacred objects, the sword, the mirror and the jewel

  8. Entrav says:

    Will be watching Sasami for sure. SHAFT will at least make it worthwhile.

  9. HunterWulf says:

    The problem with Sasami for IMO isn’t series composition, but rather direction, as it is obviously directed by non-other than Shinbou, and the problem here is that he is too fixated on his current direction style (which some people actually consider avaunt-gaurde, if not for the fact he has been abusing it for few years now), seriously .. he did direct some fresh and interesting shows like Madoka Magica, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Soul Taker (which was visually interesting), but since he started the ‘Monogatari’ series with SHAFT and his stuff has been one-note .. just the same thing over and over and over.

    In regard to Sasami, i have seen many people keep saying that things will get explained, and that the characters are based on mythological entities, all that is fine and dandy, except it doesn’t change the fact the formula itself is flawed, it’s too focused on bizarreness, fetishes and trying way too hard to be edgy and avaunt-gaurde, i can’t really stomach that kind of formula .. yeah the visuals are impressive and i tend sometimes to watch some shows just for the visuals (I got into Mardok Scramble just for its visuals only to got hooked to the story later on) .. but this really gets on my nerves becasue it feels pretentious .. i guess Sasami will be out of my list XD

    Will be waiting to see if Shinbou will try something new and interesting or not, it’s kinda sad to see a talented director waste his potential on fetish driven shows.

    • Litho says:

      It’s basically generic current-gen SHAFT. Get a director or writer (or both) that likes to fap to his own face, grab a jarring colour palette that wouldn’t work anywhere outside anime, make it all pseudo edgy (key point being “pseudo”), and then get the audience (mostly lonely young men) to “ooh” and “aah” at a bunch of nothingness.

      Not that I’m saying that style coexist substance. Shows like Kaiba, FLCL or Mardock Scramble balanced them very well, and there are even rare cases where the style holds such significance that it becomes the substance, like Samurai Champloo or Mine Fujiko.

      Sasami-san was neither of those. All I felt while watching with was a sense of utter “flatness”. It just felt like a chore.

      • Litho says:

        Sorry, missed a word.

        First line in second paragraph should read – Not that I’m saying that style can’t coexist WITH substance.

        Stupid touch keyboards, deleting words at random.

        • HunterWulf says:

          Well, that’s pretty much the case with Sasami, even other shows by Shinbou like Madoka Magica had both substance and style … but it seems that’s the exception, but sadly the Monogatari series and Sasami sadly follow the style over substance that both SHAFT and Shinbou have been following lately, i was hoping that Sasami will be more like Jinrui Shimashita but it turned out to be more of Monogatari formula with slight differences.

  10. AdyShearer says:

    What the heck’s with these winter season anime?
    I had three on my list, GJ-bu, Sasami@ganbarai and Tamako Market.
    The first one lacked everything and was stopped after 9 minutes. The second one lasted until the OP, while the last one was better, but it turned me off once the bird talked.
    Oh well, at least I’ve got Jojo and Yawara.

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  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 06:11 PM)
  • TheUltimateReaper
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 06:00 PM)
    @kj No Game No Life is fucking awesome what the hell are you talking about. It delivered in every way, I was worried there for a second but I think it’s all good. I hear it’s only getting a 10 episode run though. That’s a shame.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 05:50 PM)
    @kj This GIF pretty much sums up my feelings on NGNL episode 2
  • K-Off
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 03:11 PM)
    @Raggers I like people for short periods of time. No extension included though.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 01:32 PM)
    @kj I actually quite liked it. The MC is so fundamentally broken it’s hilarious, the fanservice is deliberately played for jokes, and in the background we got lots of exposition.
    Oh, and lets not forget the JoJo reference.
  • kj
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 01:17 PM)
    Is anybody else disappointed by No Game No Life episode 2?
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 01:16 PM)
    @Aidan: I make little notes to myself in a list of things I should remember. On them are “happy places” , “people are stupid” , Izaya’s “3 day” quote, and some other observations which I feel should be held on to.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 12:47 PM)
    @Raggers, part of me knew that. But at times I try to believe humanity isn’t that stupid. God how hard I try.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 12:42 PM)
    @Aidan: Something I learned long ago was to never underestimate the stupidity of humanity.
    I once read that it is hard to understand someone 20 IQ points above you, and I suspect it works the other way as well.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 10:29 AM)
    You know I must wonder. Everyone hates spam bots. And pretty much everyone tends to ignore them. Meaning they are a terrible form of advertisement as it inspires hatred for your product more than interest. And yet people keep using them. I mean are there actual idiots who click on every spam bot they see?

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