Posted by psgels on 5 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Noragami

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a god.
Okay, so I mistakenly got the director of this series wrong. Apologies, my bad. Still, this episode had its problems: it looked stylish, but ultimately it just got a bit too generic. Characters had basically two modes and nothing more: snarky and serious, and that got old a bit too quicky. The monster design is quite nice, but this series isn’t really impressing anyone in that department after Space Dandy. From this first episode it rather looked like a standard shounen supernatural series to me, with perhaps better animation than usual.
OP: Nod bad. The style works here.
ED: I’m not a fan of this song, it’s very generic.
Potential: 40%

Tonari no Seki-kun

Short Synopsis: Our lead character sits right next to someone with an overactive imagination.
Tonari no Seki-kun is a weird series. It’s only 5 minutes per episode, and it’s based on just one and only one gimmick: during class, the titular Seki-kun does the weirdest things as a means to alleviate his boredom and the teacher doesn’t notice a thing of it. Remember doodling like crazy during classes? This series takes that to an art-form. Here is the thing though: if it’s just got one gimmick, then why would I want to watch more than one episode? The next episodes are just going to be exactly the same, only with other hobbies that the main character ends up doing on his desk. The female lead also is a very stiffly acted for a straight man. That also breaks the flow of each episode a bit.
OP: Yay for spoiling what the future episodes will be about…
ED: Again, there’s no nead to make even more clear what the gimmick of this show is going to be.
Potential: 40%

Space Dandy

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is dandy and in space.
This was an incredibly silly episode. It didn’t take itself seriously at all. But oh my god, the creativity! At heart this is an adventure series in which we follow the characters to all sorts of fantastical worlds with all kinds of weird and crazy creatures. It makes no sense whatsoever in the process, and the obsession with boobs probably wasn’t the best way to start with, but this episode was a lot of fun to watch. The animation in the second half in particular deserves to be watched. Bones really put their top people on that sequences; the movements were amazing! I do have some complaints though: some jokes were really corny (and I mean 1980s corny), plus the animation is quite inconsistent: the animation in the first half of the episode strangely cut all sorts of corners. Given that usually, series splurge the most of their budget in the first episode, Bones does need to have the resources to make this consistently good.
OP: Dandy.
ED: A great ED. It flows really well from the ending of the episode rather than starting abruptly.
Potential: 85%

28 Responses

  1. vjott says:

    So it’s another Kill la Kill that’s gonna be praised as the salvation of all anime despite glaring issues and tasteless fanservice that will be overlooked by the majority of usually critical elitists because of retro appeal and “it’s unpretentious and doesn’t take itself seriously”?

    • psgels psgels says:

      No. Saikin Imouto Blahblahblah also doesn’t take itself seriously. And I’m not praising this as the salvation of all anime.

      The thing is, I critique the sum of all parts. Yes, the fanservice is annoying, however this series has more than enough to make up for it. Same as Kill la Kill.

      I indeed used to be like “omg this series shows boobs in a tasteless way! it’s terrible!”, however my opinion is a bit more nuanced now.

      • vjott says:

        I wasn’t referring to you but to some other elitist reviewers who specifically pride themselves on bashing widely enjoyed series. They do this while making bemusing exceptions for other series, mostly on the basis that they have the same staff of another show that they like even if the series has the same elements as other shows they have reviewed negatively. Due, perhaps, to their own duplicitous nature or that they may be trying desperately to convince themselves that the show is a profound work of art and not a pile of drivel that they would have otherwise dropped.

  2. hurin says:

    I think they’re trying to repeat the success of Cowboy Bebop. But whereas Bebop had complex characters with a lot of depth, the details of the characters of Space Dandy can be written on the back of a stamp.

  3. Mazz says:

    The fanservice in this show or Kill la Kill don’t bother me. It would be like if I was bothered by the fact that Al Bundy From Married with Children went to the nudie bar and saw hot chicks. What else would I find at a nudie bar? That isn’t tasteless imo. Tasteless would be Bakemonogatari, where they take every chance they get to flaunt off the characters ass and boobs. Or making the main character trip and land on some random girls rack. That’s also tasteless. That isn’t the dandy way. That isn’t the kind of show this is.

    Anyway, I liked the first episode, but many of the jokes were seriously bad. Besides that, this show was exactly what I was expecting. I loved the music, animation, and the overall style of the show. And the dub was great! Too bad Toonami likes to cut the OP and ED. I just listened to both and while I liked both of them, neither stuck out to me. I really liked the music that played during the 2 minute PV, where the girls keep chanting “Space Dandy” and then it goes into the second half of the opening. Really liked that.

  4. Mikey says:

    I thought Tonari no Seki-kun was great. And the seiyuu for the female lead wasn’t stiffly aced at all. In fact she was quite expressive.

  5. Joe says:

    Having read the Tonari manga, trust me when I say they use this premise to great effect.

    • Joe says:

      Give it more of a chance. It might becoming one of your favorite shorts.

    • AidanAK47 says:

      I agree with Joe that the premise is used to pretty much it’s full potential. As a manga it’s a damn enjoyable one. Still there’s still the issue whether this works in anime format. One thing that annoys me is how Youko says her thoughts instead of thinking them. Makes me wonder why no one noticed how she screamed when the dominoes started toppling.

      But this isn’t psgels show. It just isn’t his thing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    >Potential: 40%
    No, just no.

  7. Flawfinder says:

    Regarding Tonari no Seki-kun, just think of it like Teekyu but five minutes longer. If those extra five minutes are too much for you, then yeah you probably won’t want to continue.

    • Hogart says:

      I’d say it’s more like Nichijou than Teekyuu so far, but I guess it depends on what they do beyond the obvious premise. With 8 minutes they can do a fair bit of fun stuff, while Teekyuu struggled to smash as much into 2 minutes as possible (with very mixed results even if you like Gag Manga Biyori style randomness). It’s just too early to tell with Tonari.

      • Mikey says:

        Well Tonari is more 6 and a half minutes with the opening and ending taken out of the equations. I just read some of the manga and this seems like the perfect length.

  8. Hogart says:

    I’d say Tonari is no more worse for the wear than Poyopoyo was when it started, though 8 minutes for such simple episodes is probably pushing it. I’m surprised you didn’t like the ED though; I found it rather charming and atypical of anime EDs.

  9. Deadlight says:

    Wait, I don’t think Seiji Kishi directed Noragami

    • psgels psgels says:

      Ack, it is. It was waay too similar of his style so I made that mistake.

      • Progress says:

        I think you mistook Noragami for Hamatora; the latter is directed by Kishi. Noragami i’m sticking with for the moment cause I like shounen written by female mangaka. Also, BONES.

  10. Vawn says:

    Yeah, isn’t Noragami being directed by Kotaro Tamura?

    • Scruffy says:

      Also Noragami is not about half dead kids fighting monsters! It’s basically a Seinen version of Kamisama Kiss. I’ve enjoyed what we have of the manga so far so am really looking forward to this show.

  11. Litho says:

    Space Dandy
    Pretty good (as expected), even if there’s zero substance. Looking forward to more.

    Tonari no Seki-kun
    Just started the manga. I think I’ll stick to that version. Anime isn’t bad, but I don’t see the point.

    Noragami
    Already reading the manga. That Hiyori chick gets increasingly annoying later on. Dropped.

  12. nodbgp says:

    Man, Tonari no Seki-kun was amazing, even the ED was great.

  13. Ignatz says:

    I think you should edit your post. Seiji Kishi has absolutely nothing to do with Noragami.

  14. JaK says:

    errr psgels kishi is not directing noragami…

  15. Alexandre says:

    Question to everyone around: is it just an anime cliche that most students in Japan are jerks who bully others and seem to hate their classmates for no reason? I mean, the opening scene of Noragami has the WHOLE CLASS thinking horrible things (like “die already”) about this one girl for totally stupid reasons. I mean, isn’t it too much competitive behavior to think that you hat this girl because she’s apparently getting special treatment because she was bedridden for two months? This and several other things in many anime of today make me think that either Japanese youths have become complete bastards (I feel absolutely disgusted by these things) or the clichés are going way over the top.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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