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.
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.
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.