Hajime no Ippo – Third Season
Short Synopsis: Our lead character boxes.
For this new season I did wonder: what can the creators still add, after nearly 100 episodes. Then this episode started off with a story about Ippo’s past and nearly made me cry. Hajime no Ippo at this time is a project that has been going on for nearly ten years now, and it’s interesting to see how it evolved over time. This third series is a little less pimped up than the second season (less shiny, and the soundtrack is not as over the top), but the boxing matches still are really well done and full of adrenaline. The strength of this show lies in its side characters, of which there was very little in this episode, but there were plenty of hints for things to come. One thing that did strike me here is how fast the pacing was: the episode went from backstory, to a new challenger to already fighting this challenger, without much of the preparation work that we’ve usually seen from this series: the challenger got like, three lines of introduction before he started fighting. Let’s see whether this is a trend for the new season, or something purposefully needed for this fight.
OP: This actually looks gorgeous!
ED: One of the few ‘running’-EDs that actually work.
White Album 2
Short Synopsis: Our lead character dates an idol.
Before I start talking about the actual episode, I want to talk about this series’ pedigree. The first two seasons of White Album (or the adaptation of the first game, explaining why this series is called White Album 2, even though it’s the third season) were made by completely different people: a crew from Seven Arcs brought it to life, and for that they decided to go into a completely unique direction that challenged the way we look at harem and idol series. It was incredibly annoying, yet so satisfying in the end. If you’re a fan of that style: forget about it for White Album 2. Now, the director: Seiya Numata. I really am a big fan of his, as an animator. He has this kind of energy that you hardly find with any other animator out there, not to mention that he is completely crazy. His series and episodes are always incredibly fun to watch. Now, if you are also a fan of him: forget about it for White Album 2. It’s not crazy in any single way, and neither is the animation very impressive. Satelite in general seems to be a Studio where the general rule is that the more money they throw at it, the better it looks, without much focus on the talents of individual animators. Having said that though, this series does set itself apart from most other high school romances, in the way that it has an actually sensible and intelligent male lead. And with that I don’t mean the snarky kind who sprouts quirky one-liners that come out of a novel, but it’s someone who uses his head, he’s great at organizing, and connecting people. The female lead also sounds like she didn’t have her head lobotomized, which is always good. It’s not perfect though, because especially the minor cast still consists out of one-dimensional idiots, but it’s something. This is a series that takes itself entirely serious, with no comedy whatsoever, however you can see Satelight’s love for music in this return quite obviously, and that too works quite well.
Teekyu, Season 3
Short Synopsis: Our lead character are supposed to play tennis.
Ooh, Teekyu. You still don’t make an ounce of sense, and I love you for it. At the point of season 3 you still don’t show any signs of slowing down, andthis episode brought us all sorts of randomness from ski lift to chihuahuas. This series still consists out of a bunch of talented animats just having random fun and playing around, and it also helps that the jokes in this series that DO make sense are actually quite good. I’m not that bitter that this was extended to a third season.
OP: What the hell man?