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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

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