Posted on 7 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Hamatora

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a detective.
Okay, I now feel really sorry for Noragami for mistaking it with Hamatora. Sure it was boring and all, but at least it was well told here. Seiji Kishi has no sense of timing whatsoever. This episode was a huge mess, and while it wasn’t such a huge waste of potential like Dagan Ronpa, under a good director I could have seen potential here. Seiji Kishi, let me explain something to you: think of any anime there. Do you recall those random background shots that they keep showing? They do that for a reason: to establish the setting, so that we know where the current scene takes place. You can’t just take that out in an attempt to save time. The same goes for small-talk: the purpose of that is to build your characters and show what kind of people they are. You don’t need to make every sentence in small-talk funny, and you by all means don’t want to force a laugh, because now we got this incredibly stupid analogy about that egg of Columbus that just doesn’t make any sense. A lot of directors and writers nowadays have completely missed the point of build-up! Adapt the freaking story so that everything fits well, don’t try to cram everything in! Pick the right points you want to focus on! Make the story flow already!
OP: Nice and artistic, but the song sucks.
ED: Dull and formulaic j-rock.
Potential: 0%

Super Sonico the Animation

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a gravure model.
Watching this episode really made me facepalm, and realize even more what a terrible state the anime industry is in. It’s not that this episode was terrible. This show does remain incredibl commercialized, being basically nothing more than a way to glorify the incredibly moe mascot of some company. And the moe indeed went through the roof in this episode. But guess what? It wasn’t that bad compared to its contemporaries. The thing with Sonico is that she’s a mascot, so she needed to be portrayed in an as good light as possible. The creators knew that all too well, and in the process they created an actually good character. The thing is: Sonico works hard. She does well in school, she can take care of herself with a part time job, she performs in a band, she models. She has an actual life! Usually characters just have one hobby. One thing that they do, and nothing more. Sonico actually has an interesting life. Sure, there are cliches and the gravure part was cringe-worthy and the preview for the next episode showed that there is no point in watching beyond this first episode, but the creators here delivered a more complex character than a lot of other uninspired series out there. Only because she’s a mascot and therefore cannot be put in a bad light. When such a sell-out actually trumps you, it’s time to start wondering what the hell went wrong.
ED: The CG! It burns!
Potential: 30%

D-Frag!

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is forced into a club.
Comedy is hard. Anime can do good ones, however they’re in the vast minority. D-Frag is about a game design club that doesn’t really do anything (well, where have we seen this before?), who need to recruit new members and they reel in this one weird guy. And to be honest: it doesn’t really get better. The whole gimmick of the series is that it’s got weird characters who all have this “element”, like the water girl throws glasses of water around, and the “earth” girl plays with sandcastles. The jokes are all badly delivered, they lack inspiration, they try too hard. I see no potential.
ED: Oh god the terrible vocals!
Potential: 0%

17 Responses

  1. dp says:

    I enjoyed your analysis of Super Sonico – I think you’re spot on.

    I kind of liked the episode for the same reason: she is busy and sort of interesting. If she had room to breath, it might be fun, but she probably won’t… I’ll check out episode 2, anyway, as it was about twice as good as I expected (having low expectations).

  2. AidanAK47 says:

    “nothing more than a way to glorify the incredibly moe mascot of some company.”

    Some company?! She’s the mascot of Nitroplus. They are sort of a big deal. Hell they are the ones who published Urobuchi Gens first works.

  3. Astolfo says:

    fuck you and your horrid taste psgel. D-Frag was the shit.

  4. Vawn says:

    D-Frag and Hamatora 0%, but Sonico gets 30%. What is this I dont even…

  5. Progress says:

    Hamatora’s Minimum Holders very slightly remimded me of the Contractors in Darker Than Black, with the characters having to do a certain action before having to use their powers. But with Darker Than Black the Contractors used tactics suited to their powers, and felt very realistic within its setting. The Contractors themselves were vastly different from normal humans, prioritizing logic above all else.

    In Hamatora we have a detective agency of power users working against other power users. Our leads are so badass they can one-shot their enemies. Also, they have 2 modes ‘snarky and serious’ (sorry, it was way more obvious here than Noragami).

    If Hamatora is 1-cour, my guess is that it will just develop the story around the murder at the end of the episode, with not much world building or explanation.

  6. Mormegil says:

    This season is terrible so far. What is going on?

    • Jeevas says:

      Yeah, from all the first episode I watched so far, nothing actually makes me interested enough to continue except Space Dandy and MAYBE Witch Craft Works. It was probably my mistake marathoning Shinsekai Yori right before this season start, but there’s a lack of anime with more serious or mature theme this season. This season just feel dull.

      • Wicked says:

        well since we’re talking about essentially cartoons, most of them are not going to be serious and mature to began with

        Anime doesn’t kidify, but they still gotta go hard at their core audiences.

  7. Jikman says:

    I thought Hamatora was alright but the way they solved the crime seemed a little unnatural for me (even though it was kind of predictable). I think it has potential if they develop the characters and have some sort of direction with the series rather than episodic/arcs of random crime solving.

    I can see why some people may be turned off by D-Frag’s comedy but I really enjoyed it and don’t mind if its not the most philosophical or meaningful show.

  8. Wicked says:

    seriously no one commented on the insanely saturated colors of Hamatora?

  9. Litho says:

    Didn’t watch D-Frag (got bored after one volume of the manga). Didn’t even bother with Sonic Whatever. Hamatora needs more hamsters and college hookers to be compelling enough.

  10. Malkuth says:

    Oh! I have to completely agree that the CGI in Sonico’s ED was indeed eye-scorching :(

    Otherwise, nitro+ has a “realistic” mascot, now the question is if all the exalting set-up of the first episode and potential setting can lead to anything interesting to bother with over the next ten or so episodes.

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:59 AM)
    And holy hell,it would appear I have a thing for Tsukiyama and Touka =)
    The direction was very good when things hit the fan in the last few episodes too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:53 AM)
    Additionally, the rushed pacing in the end it never came to bother me, I think from reading the whole manga that it needed a good pruning/trimming and what was left was the worthwhile material. I never really cared much for the characterization in the manga, it wasn’t all that miss-able.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:51 AM)
    Marathoned the tokyo ghoul anime there on a whim. I enjoyed seeing the fights animated even though visually there was room for improvement in places, the censoring while poor in places was nowhere near as bad as I had expected and didn’t ruin things for me as I thought it might.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:36 AM)
    At this point they have become a caricature of their own subcultures lol
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:25 AM)
    I mean we like the edgy, dark, gory sex stuff with a grotesque twist but the J-pop inspired art with star-shaped eyeliners, Ganguro, the green hair and accessorizing with 16 belts and dog collars … probably not as much.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:23 AM)
    @K-off: yeah that and a misunderstanding of the nature of the world’s infatuation with Japanese culture.
  • k-off
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:15 AM)
    @Bam They started falling apart when they began streamlining the game for casual players. Same story with so many good developers.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    I mean I get it, SquareEnix has lost quite a lot of face. I like action RPGs tho so I think given the graphics and the gameplay framework this could’ve been something special, but it seems that bad character designs, writing, and the J-popification of the series is continuing on with this one.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @Bam: Lost interest in the FF franchise arounf FF10, had a love/hate relationship with 11.
  • k-off
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:04 AM)
    @Bam Eh, I’m already going to blow all of my money on Civilization BNW, Witcher, and Alien, so that’s the last thing on my list. I really refuse to buy into the hype for the FF franchise anymore.

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