Posted by psgels on 19 April 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

So, some feedback on my previous entry: it seems that people were actually expecting something else when I said that I’d do a kaleidoscope this season, and that is more of an entry with short impressions on a lot of different series.

I can get behind that. I also like to highlight a lot of different series. The problem is going to be to keep up with all of it. Ever since I got a life I can’t just consistently keep up with everything every single week, so be sure to expect some delays.

These entries won’t be complete, but every thursday, I’ll try to give a rundown of my favorite episodes of the series that I’m not blogging, along with disappointments or other noteworthy episodes that I happen to watch. Enjoy.

Top 3:

#1: Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z – 02: very rarely is a comedy sequel better than its predecessor. And yet, Azazel-san here had its best episode yet. With this I include all the OVAs and TV-series together. With the first episode I already said that Moloch is by far the best character of the series, but he really surpassed himself with this episode; it was just brilliant. The creators had so many hilarious ideas with how they made him pretend to be a stuffed animal and they built up their humour perfectly. Heck, this was the funniest thing I’ve seen all year.

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 75: Finally. After waiting for more than a year and a half. Throughout 75 episodes. We are finally about to get to the new material. Finally I won’t have to bitch anymore about the series just being a glorified recap. Anyway, the Greed Island arc was done better in Madhouse’s version compared to what Nippon Animation did to it (better pacing, better action, better acting, things flowed much better), but it remains for a large part a training arc that is just boring to watch. This final episode though was really good, as it showed some of the people behind the Greed Island Game. Just one thing: didn’t Hunter x Hunter have its own alphabet? What are they doing then toying with latin letters over and over here? And then the text on the cards for Greed Island is in Japanese… how do languages work there anyway?

#3: Danchi Tomou – 02: Oh come on, people. It’s been a week and still no subs? What is this? 2008? Anyway, Tomou is good. It’s slice of life without much happening, but the characters are quite endearing so far, and it’s about actually interesting situations. I actually quite liked how everyone just got out and had dinner outside on a whim. It’s full of these small relatable things, but sometimes it does go on for a bit too long (the smelly hands thing got awkward quite fast, and it just went on and on!)

Notes about Aiura: sorry, but being the fan of Ryousuke Nakamura I have to talk about this. The second episode still was funny, the voice acting was still very good, but there are some stereotypes. Well hidden stereotypes, but you can see that this was based on a mediocre manga.

Disappointments:

Karneval – 02: I’m not going to watch the second episode of everything, only the series that I thought had potential. Out of those, Karneval disappointed me the most. Listen, there is a difference between stupidity, and acting like you’re outright lobotomized. The male lead acts like a completely whiny kid with no grasp of who he is. The rest of the cast tries way too hard with their acting. If I dropped the Hakkenden, I also have to drop this one, because the Hakkenden was much, much more solid.

Devil Survivor – 02: You know what really surprised me? How boring this show is. I mean, even Persona had some fun elements when it started, but this… the characters are completely bland and I’ve already forgotten what half of this thing was about. The animators try, but I see no motivation whatsoever from the scriptwriters or directors.

38 Responses

  1. gedata says:

    Devil Survivor 2 has disappointed with the 2 episodes I’ve seen. It’s like their not trying to bring character to these characters. Hopefully episode 3 and beyond will rectify my issues here.

    • nil says:

      Even aside from the atrocious characters, the way they handled the story doesn’t really help the clumsy premise—an Eva setting with Digimon battles and oversimplified organizations.

    • anona says:

      I’m actually under the impression that this director-writer duo of Kishi Seiji and Uezu Makoto only put effort in projects they really want to do, while in other projects they’re just in for the money and don’t put effort. If you look at Jintai and Sunred, they were both really well done up to the details. But in Persona and and DeSu, it really looked like there was no effort put in directing/writing it.

      • Kiraly says:

        Uezo Makoto didn’t do Persona 4.

        And there was definitely a lot of effort put into writing it – the entire scenario is changed from the game! And so many little details are added to explain the setting without the aid of game stuff.

        The problem is that the direction is entirely uninspired – it feels like Seiji Kishi is just going through the motions. I really hate the guy.

        • anona says:

          My bad on PS4, I didn’t check.
          Oh, I haven’t played DeSu 2 so I didn’t know. There’s still the problem with characterization though. Then maybe it’s just Kishi Seiji who doesn’t put enough effort in some titles, since Jintai and Sunred is directed well imo. And also Kamisama Dolls, even if I didn’t like the series.

  2. Airies says:

    PSGELS, Perfect. This is exactly what I was hoping for but its even better because we get to see disappointments as well! Awesome and thankyou! Delays are no problem if this is the reward :D

  3. Loz says:

    I definitely agree with you about Devil & Karneval.

    Cant comment on Danchi as i haven’t seen/not watching it.

    Also im very glad to see more Azazel & im still loving HXH.

    However I disagree with you about Aiura. After the first episode I thought ‘I dont see any potential here, but its really short, it didnt really have time to get going, lets see where they go with this’. My initial thoughts were confirmed with the second episode. Its a waste of time, and thats saying something in itself, considering its 4 mins long and the OP consumes just over a minute of that time.

    I actually thought the voice acting wasn’t very good in it. Funny how different people perceive things.

    • Airies says:

      I agree with everything you have said about Aiura. Nothing has happened, what are these jokes he is talking about? Like I actually re-watched ep 1 again to try and understand but I still dont. its interesting that psgels likes it though. I’m lost with where the potential was found.

  4. Vast says:

    At the begining of GI arc, in the “GI Tutorial”, they said the card’s text was in their language, but they were going to translate it for us so we could understand the meaning.

    So, it’s like the cards are in their language for them but in japanese for us.

    But the thing with the latin alphabet seems like a mistake.

    • Glossa Bingo says:

      Actually, there are many different languages in HxH. The text made-up by the series’ creator is the Universal Language. However, both English and Chinese exist too.

  5. Ruca says:

    If the characters are bland, it’s fault of the adaptation.Io’s reaction after the dead of her parents and Yamato usual smiling (he has a very charismatic character in the game, for me) wasn’t saw in the second episode, which is bad because the anime have only 13 episodes. Even if the production is a masterpiece, it’s a hard task to show everything the game did, and all the character development.

    Which is a shame… Storywise and characterwise, Devil Survivor 2 (the game, for sure) probably is better than most of the things in this half year.

    • Airies says:

      “Which is a shame… Storywise and characterwise, Devil Survivor 2 (the game, for sure) probably is better than most of the things in this half year.”

      wait are you talking about the aniem here or the game, or both?

      Because if you are talking about the anime you are wrong. Better things happened in winter than what has been shown in the first two eps.

    • boa_sting says:

      When people talk about the game being decent or some such (*ahem* correction: when -I- talk about it, and clearly my opinion is shared by the rest of the world, no questions asked…) I thought that was about the game aspects. Not the story, characters, etc.

      I’m not even sure if there’s a decent way to adapt the material, but what’s going on so far sure isn’t it. So far the approach seems to be to mostly cram in exposition and make the characters react to that in mundane ways. As would be expected, some events and scenarios are new, and others are cobbled together with elements from the source material into something that’s not quite cohesive.

      The pace isn’t that fast, so we just get weak characters and then not all that much excitement from the storyline itself.

      That said, episode three has a trick up its sleeves regarding character development, considering the time constraints and large cast (no, it doesn’t really get executed better, but you’ll see what I mean, if you haven’t watched it already).

  6. Emma-hime says:

    I’m beginning to get a cardboard feel from devil survivors characters, when the action stops it can’t really cover for itself. Still I’m liking it more than persona 4 if only for the action bits, so I’ll stick around another bit if only for the action.
    Azazel’s ova, I just can’t imagine that being topped by a tv version, It just seems like it would be neutered. Danchi, Aiura and hunter I’ve not followed so I don’t know there.
    Karnevals voice acting is kind of middling and their rushing it a bit. That said I loved the manga for that one.

  7. Emma-hime says:

    Maybe its just me but the latest devil survivor kinda cool action aside feels a bit like watching a game in a bad way.

  8. Juno says:

    This is it, psgels. I think you can sum up a lot of what you want to say right here without getting yourself crowded with too much to cover. If something isn’t covered, then that simply means you haven’t enough to say about it to make it worth the time you might need for other things outside of this blog.

    I’m happy about this, even if I only watch Aiura out of the ones you chose this time. =P

  9. kekkanseihin says:

    It’s not like games were an easy medium to adapt anyway, but ATLUS Games just aren’t fit at all for that. I never heard anything absolutely negative about adaptations of the Tales series, so I’ll just assume they weren’t completely horrible even if I didn’t watch them simply because I’m easily bored when I already know the content as such (I’m also just skipping through Devil Survivor 2 really). I’ve played most mothership Tales titles so far and anyone of them would be easier to adapt as an anime than ATLUS stuff. Why is that? Tales games, while I’m not saying they don’t have twists and excitement in their storylines, are rather linear experiences. You follow a set route from town to dungeon to town etc.; the oldschool way. Especially Tales is more like an interactive anime anyway. On the other hand in games like Persona or DS you as a player decide over the outcome of events and the development of the plot. How do you weave that into a linear anime plot? And is it even possible to create something for viewers that don’t know the original? I don’t think so. On top of that with ATLUS you can’t even see all of the content in one playthrough. So just think about how much is left out in the respective anime adaptations…

    • Király says:

      DeSu2, unlike the first DeSu, is very liniar. I forgot that the character development isn’t though (being something of a social link system).

      They handled the story pretty much perfectly in ep2, but it’s missing all of the details that made the characters (especially Yamato) so endearing. Which is less of a problem if you’ve played the game.

      Well, I still have to watch ep 3.

      A non-standard 17 ep. length would have been ideal for this game.

  10. starry says:

    Devil Survivor just feels very average right now. A shame because I wanted to watch it since I never played the game (SRPGS don’t gel with me).

  11. Starss says:

    Very sad about Karneval, seeing a lot of resemblances to K which I was not a fan of. A huge cast of characters each with a quirk and a special power, the most annoying wimpy white haired main character, the awful annoying bland main character… But it looks nice, and there’s enough interesting characters.

    Did you see the ginga bishounen? That came out of the bear suit and boosted up two star swords? hehe

  12. jzar says:

    Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z

    I’ve been a big fan of this and it continues to be one of my favorite shows for the season. I’m so glad to see it back and doing well.

  13. Lirael says:

    “Listen, there is a difference between stupidity, and acting like you’re outright lobotomized. The male lead acts like a completely whiny kid with no grasp of who he is.”

    If this is your main reason for dropping Karneval, then I suggest you watch the 3rd episode, it explains why Nai (the lead) acts like that. And no, the answer is not “because he has amnesia”.

  14. saris says:

    Well, for Devil survivor, just watch EP.3, personally it got really better.

    • gedata says:

      this, I actually liked it’s third episode, psgels should give this thing one more shot at least

    • Kiraly says:

      I’m still surprised at how different from the game it is. I mean, I don’t think it actually ‘adapted’ anything past the first half of the first episode. It just makes up its own sequence of events, loosely based on the game.

      I like it, in other words.

      (And I can’t believe they actually let THAT happen in ep 3 *lol*)

  15. dominus says:

    Well “that” had to happen to create some tension in the series I mean its not a survival “game” if everybody gets by everything without some “damage”.

  16. gedata says:

    Well, at least this Devil Survivor 2 proved it’s worthy of the 3 episodes test. Doubt it will be worth much more.

  17. meaqui says:

    Karneval:
    Well, I already commented on the first episode of Karneval that I thought it was pretty bad. I had a look at the manga, but its just so stupid that I had to drop it. Cant be compared to Pandora Hearts. I stopped when the Girl said “Karneval is going after dangerous criminals, so people are afraid of them. To take that fear away they perform a show”. That was just too ridiculous…And the characters are walking stereotypes – especially the one that smiles all the time and never says anyting, while he actually knows everything that is going on :S And then those hats…What purpose do they serve again in a fight???

    Hunter x Hunter:
    While I absolutely love the Chimera Ant arc – especially the climax and the storytelling in the manga at this point, the last time I was skimming through those chapter I found quite a lot of cliches. Well, the antagonists are getting better, but at the beginning they are pretty much evil personified. I dont think psgels will like that;) Im betting at the end of the arc psgels will write something like “not that bad, but definitely much worse than the Yorkshin arc”. (not my opinion)

    • gedata says:

      I don’t. Think the Ant arc has a villain issue really, some of thm are of course evil and that’s it, but it also has ones that are fully realized characters. It works out.

  18. Blue says:

    I wasn’t too impressed with the first two episodes of Karneval either. That said, I do think that third episode is an improvement. That might not mean much in the overall shape of things, but they finally started building Gareki and Nai’s relationship. I won’t say it completely turned around my opinion of the show, because it didn’t, but it helped perk me up for the next episode when I was beginning to think of it as a drag.

  19. Silty says:

    With Karneval, you really have to decide how much lobotomized behavior bothers you *even when it gets justified later on*. Some things are annoying even when lampshaded. This may be one of those things.

  20. Arno says:

    Hi psgels, as for me you don’t have to apologize, or provide explanations.

    Just write what you like during your free time, and I will be happy to read you. When I have time too.

    And thanks for the great intros to animes that without you I would not have thought of watching.

  21. Chan says:

    The problem with Karneval is that it takes a while for you get into it. It is not a series for those who seek instant gratification, but at the same time it does reward those who actually give time for the story to set the stage. In a way it resembles D.Gray-man if the anime was aired in order (if the series in its proper order Allen would have reached the order in episode 3 or 4 not 2 and a few other episodes would have been flashbacks). So for this I would say give it one more chance and watch episode 3, it will change the way you look at the characters the story itself.

    As for K the anime was never meant to be a stand alone, its a part of a multi-media project.

  22. Renny says:

    Stick with Karneval. I just watched Ep 3 and some things now makes sense. Devil Survivor is downright boring.

  23. Tanz says:

    I read Karneval manga up to the latest chapter just for the fun but it turned out pretty impressive after a couple of chapters. There’s actually an explanation for the said whimpy kid so I dropped all charges I had with him. But the primary reason I may have fallen slightly a bit to Karneval is Gareka. He’s turning out to be a wonderful character.

  24. Kim says:

    There is a reason Nai (the white haired character in Karneval) acts the way he does. It’s explained in episode 3.

    He’s also not really the main character. If you follow the story, we are mainly following Gareki’s pov. He’s the normal character in the story so to speak.

    That being said the plot isn’t anything amazing so I can’t say you are missing a great story. To me its more a guilty pleasure.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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