Posted by psgels 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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  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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