Posted by psgels on 9 October 2013 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Blazblue – Alter Memory

Short Synopsis: Our lead character has a powerful right hand of doom.
This season sure likes its “really sad flashbacks in the middle of fire”-cliches. This was like, the fourth show that had one? – Anyway, silly trends aside: I’m blank on this one. This show has some action scenes (which weren’t bad by the way), but it’s supposed to be a game adaptation. This did not feel like a game. It also didn’t really feel like the creators were stuffing way too much or too little in the first episode: it’s a perfectly fine episode to start off with with a lot of hints for the future of the plot and the set-up for the characters and the setting (which have a few neat ideas in them by the way). It jumped from scene to scene, but in actually a comprehensible way, rather than making it seem like the story was flying through everything. The characters also have slightly more charm than what I expected from a game adaptation as well. It at times made no sense, but that too wasn’t in a bad way: this episode raised a lot of questions that all look like they can be answered as the show goes along. It’s also good to have a main character as an adult (please tell me that this guy is at least older than 18…). The thing here is that most of this episode was bland, but I saw small hints of interesting stuff like mentioned above. And then there was that preview for the next episode that I happened to watch. A hint, or just a cry of despair?
OP: Quite a standard OP song.
ED: Nice art, bland song.
Potential: 75%

Tokyo Ravens

Short Synopsis: Our lead character can be an Omnyouji.
This one turned out a bit different from what I expected. I thought that this would be another one of those immature shows about a bunch of kids fighting with onmyouji powers. And while this series is indeed a show that features a bunch of teenagers fighting with omnyouji powers, there was a surprising amount of time dedicated to drama, and pretty decent drama at that. You know that with all the fanservice shows, this has been the first one to feature an actual kiss? And there isn’t even much other fanservice in this episode, with most of it being at least a bit more subtle than a horny horse with a craving for skirts. The strange thing with this series is that it knows that it has cliches, but it dances around them, instead of addresing them directly. Well, this episode did at least. I’m not sure whether the creators intend to do that for the entire series.
OP: Not bad, but still not the great ED I’ve been waiting for.
ED: Nice artistic direction there.
Potential: 75%

Yowamushi Pedal

Short Synopsis: Our lead character likes anime.
Why does anime have this fixation with idiots? I mean, isn’t it much more fun to watch actually smart people do stuff? What makes things even worse is that most idiots in anime are also mind-numbingly stupid. Yowamushi Pedal: I found the experienced bikers much more interesting to watch: someone who has been training for years, with a love and passion for the sport, held back by his own pride and having this really good rival as a roadblock. But no, the main character is this kid who lives entirely in his own world, refuses to think straight and who just happens to be really good at cycling. This really is the prime example of a series with the “bad main character”-syndrome, because the rest of the cast: I don’t mind them, and they seem interesting from what we’ve seen of them. Even the female lead, even though she’s held back a lot by her cliche of being the token female in a sports series who can’t compete and therefore just ends up being a manager. Is it that weird to have both a male and a female team? Despite these criticism though, I do have one positive thing to say about this series: I would not be surprised if this was inspired by Kuroko no Basuke, but where Kuroko did not motivate me to keep watching, this episode of Yowamushi Pedal did. Damn you cliff-hanger!
OP: Generic shounen opening with lots of modern speedlines that don’t fit their context.
ED: Generic ending. Come on. Please. Give me at least one great opening or ending this season. Just one that dares to be different and unique.
Potential: 70%

25 Responses

  1. jonas says:

    “Why does anime have this fixation with idiots? I mean, isn’t it much more fun to watch actually smart people do stuff?”

    Because “smart” characters are usually called boring flat Mary sues.

    • Deadlight says:

      Light Yagami is entertaining as Hell. So is Spike Speagel. So is Doctor Tenma. Etc.

      Sensible, skilled and intellectual characters are far more appealing to me

      • Gan_HOPE326 says:

        Add to that Keima Katsuragi. Or Edward Elric. Or Hohouin “Maddo Scientisto” Kyouma.

      • jonas says:

        I agree. From what I´ve seen the older the audience, the smarter the characters are.

        Look at Lupin, Golgo, Blade and Wolverine, the Mazinkaiser Skl pilots, or the guys from PsychoPass (especially the old guy).

        The only smart kids (that weren´t in a detective show) I´ve seen recently were the characters from Attack on Titan, Valvrave and Maou Sama.

        • molibdaenum says:

          You know that Killua in Hunter x Hunter is 12-13?

          • jonas says:

            I said recently, Kilua and Kurapika have been around since 99. You could also count Joseph Joestar who was still a teenager in Jojo part II.

        • titus says:

          I would actually argue Eren counts as an idiot protagonist. The only flash of brilliance I saw from him was when he speared a slave trader at the age of nine. If anything, he regressed.

          Arwin does make up for it, though.

          • jonas says:

            I think Eren, Connie and Sasha are average, it´s just that everyone else outclasses them. Their fears are not those of the classic idiot hero.

  2. dannphou says:

    Is this a comedy?

  3. Kurama says:

    Yowamushi Pedal wasn’t inspired by Kuroko no Basuke, the manga began publishing ten months before it.

  4. b00bage says:

    Once Last Inning or Baby Steps gets an anime then Psgels petty criticisms of recent shounen sports series should be put to rest.

  5. Arno says:

    The best male characters are the idiots and the intellectuals. The average guys don’t make good fiction.

  6. Kiraly says:

    I prefer my OPs/EDs to be impromptu, pretty trailers than unique. That way they have meaning even if I rewatch then 5 years later.

  7. kazid says:

    I dont know why but I fell tokyo ravens really boooreed, pedal was fun.

  8. asb says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed Tokyo Ravens, psgels. I’ve been reading the novels and this is one of those series that builds up slowly. The series isn’t done yet but there are some great moments and I really like how the characters are developed.

    Hope the anime continues well (minus the annoying CG).

  9. titus says:

    As for Pedals, I haven’t checked it out yet, but I keep hearing the manga is really good. This could be one of the rare animes with slow, rocky starts that eventually blossoms into something worth watching.

  10. Juno says:

    To my knowledge, Blazblue characters have no explicit ages, though his jawline makes him look older and more physically mature than some of the other characters the artist has illustrated elsewhere, so I’m guessing, based on that alone, he’s in his late teens or early twenties.
    But huh. The plot set up of the games are interesting, but the characters themselves are typical fighting-game depth. I don’t think the anime will overreach the game’s canon and add anything risky to the character, but if they expand upon the storyline in the games to give it more flesh, that will be lovely.

    Guess I should get on the episode.

  11. jonas says:

    Apparently Ragna is old enough to be mistaken for a pedophile: http://youtu.be/8hyiBl4Z-Rg

  12. Arno says:

    Psgels you disapprove of skirts fan service and you approve of kisses ?

    But but but… what do you do with your hands while you’re kissing ???

  13. Alexandre Martins says:

    The problem as I see it is the same that affects most American action, superhero and comedy movies nowadays: lack of imagination and knowledge. By that I mean that most scriptwriters these days seem to have a woeful lack of culture in general (far form their fault alone) and even lack in-depth reading in their own field. For instance, if you want to write something along the lines of H. P. Lovecraft, you got to read all the stuff from Gothic novels down to Lovecraft and his followers/imitators. If you just read Lovecraft (who is also no Shakespeare or Hawthorne), you will just do bad Lovecraft pastiche, and end up using the same clichés everyone has used already.
    The same applies to anime. Of course, if your target audience is kids up to 7, you’re fine with silly stuff and stupid characters. But, past that point, it’s really annoying that they seem to only be able to drive their plots forward by making their characters do stupid things. The fact that it’s fiction is no excuse to have people behaving like retards that do things no normal person would ever do. Even ex-machina ways out of a situation are fine (if you don’t overuse that), but blind stupidity is just terrible!

  14. C says:

    Ragna is in his mid to late Twenties.

  15. Cornflake says:

    Konnichiwaaa i have a group/page on facebook that is based on anime -games and manga.We are new so i wish to ask for your support in order for us to increase our members. If you wish to attend and become part of our small anime community you re more than welcome to share ideas- creation -thoughts anyhting you wish in general ^^.I hope you take my request in deep considderation and become part of our small anime family. For any further questions you can contact me on facebook :)
    Corina Cornaflake

    Arigato gozaimashu

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/235405056618251/

    https://www.facebook.com/DragonQuestX1

  16. Cornflake says:

    BTW wonderfull reviews and interesting anime!
    good job :)

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  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:48 AM)
    How would that be toxic?
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:31 AM)
    From a critical perspective it was rock solid. Directing, writing, soundtrack – all were excellent. A great cliffhanger for this arc of the teenage condition.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:27 AM)
    ratsgnoF: thanks, may skim through those later.
    Personal reaction to the finale: welp. Things are a complete mess, Yukino x 8man would be a toxic relationship and Yui x 8man would be far healthier, potentially even good.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:43 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:40 AM)
    Here are some of the monologues that weren’t really shown in the anime. They’re very well written. https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/first-memorandum/ https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/second-memorandum/
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:11 AM)
    Ah, then yes, almost certainly. I’d go as far as to expect the author also spends significant time with teenagers to capture their mentality so well.
    I imagine it’d be easier for teens to get emotionally invested, but I’d also say there’s a deeper level they wouldn’t really ‘get’ until older. We can evaluate what we see with a hindsight teens cannot have, so we aren’t worse off for being older.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 12:58 AM)
    Ah yes, the author being like hachiman, thats what I was getting at.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 12:57 AM)
    While watching yahari, one other thing went through my mind “Y’know were I a teenager watching this I can only imagine just how much/even more I’d be getting from this”
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 12:49 AM)
    I’ve only seen first eps for both, but I have hope for Euphonium also being decent on the character front. Plastic Memories looks like it could easily turn out badly and the premiere gave no cause for hope. And I’ve yet to find someone defending it, so unless you’re bored I’d give it a pass.

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