Posted by psgels on 4 April 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou

Short Synopsis: Our lead character moves into an apartment with a cute girl.
Brains Base seems to have found themselves their own niche: well produced romantic comedies. But here is something they totally missed: comedies don’t necessarily need to be well produced. They need to be well written. Take the Holy Grail from Monty Python for example: it was produced on a shoestring budget for movie standards, but what made it so memorable was the script and the ideas they put in. The script and ideas in this series are… mediocre. Just another kid who starts living in a mansion where a hot girl happens to live in. And the jokes… their delivery is pretty bad. I didn’t really laugh. There were a few times that I was about to, however every single time the show blew that away by awkward timing or focing their laughs way too much. So yeah, I’m not recommending this one.
OP: Mellow, but still nothing more than just a character introduction, though the words and books were nice.
ED: What a corny and sappy song.
Potential: 20%

Blade & Soul

Short Synopsis: Our lead character talks little and kills people
Blade & Soul is the perfect example of how not to do your trailer. Why? It highlighted everything terrible about this anime with a bunch of really badly animated fights plus some ridiculous outfits. And it’s true: the animation in this show is really clunky, the action scenes have awkward animation, and the designers of this series really need to watch this video. However, for some strange reason the creators seem to realize these flaws, resulting in a few interesting positives: the music is actually very good, plus the fights, while plentiful, are kept small and quick. And that for a show that’s based on a game: that takes guts. Because of this, the focus can fall much more on the characters. They’re not anything special, but they work, albeit clunkily acted at times. This episode at the least depended a lot on its atmosphere, which is something you don’t often see with its contemporaries. The question now is: can it keep this up. The atmosphere needs to be like this for the rest of the series. The characters need stuff to do and they need interesting stories. I can already predict: the moment that they will switch over to comic relief is where this show will collapse and start sucking really bad, because with this execution, you can’t deliver good jokes. It’s just impossible. This episode worked because it avoided a lot of common pitfalls.
OP: Bleh, generic
ED: Simple but effective, although the vocalist still can’t sing that well.
Potential: 50%

Selector WIXOSS

Short Synopsis: Our lead character fights a children’s card game in order to make a wish.
Um… Selector WIXOSS, why? Just why? From a technical standpoint, you’re a very good series. Characters are animated in a lifelike manner, the voice acting is pretty good, the production values are pretty much at the high end here and you can see that the creators focus a lot on the details for a series that is about battling proxies. Perhaps a bit too shounen, but it was obviously hinting at a few interesting things to happen in the future. So where the heck did the incest come from? Really? You really thought that was necessary? It’s not edgy anymore. Everybody does it. Screw you, just show some siblings that don’t want to try to get into each other’s pants for goodness sake!
OP: Meh, pretty generic.
ED: This one’s pretty nice
Potential: 20%

13 Responses

  1. Gan_HOPE326 says:

    I tried to hope that “you want to be with your brother forever” meant that he had some fatal illness and she wanted to heal him with her wish… but… yeah. Not only incest, but we have a character that wants to achieve magical wish-granting power to FORCE her brother to fall in love with her. Yuck.
    I’d like the “dark and gritty” mood this show seems to be aiming at to actually mean that this thing will resolve in some kind of “be careful of what you wish for” curse befalling the concocter of such a creepy wish, but yeah, probably not gonna happen.

  2. conyo985 says:

    I find Wixoss intriguing. The incest part didn’t bother me at all maybe because it wasn’t in your face type incest and it wasn’t incest that crossed my mind in the first place. It remains to be seen what the wish really is.
    High production values and an interesting backdrop will keep me watching this for a few more episodes until I decide if this series is good enough to continue or not. That nightmare though! It will be harder to sleep with that image burned in my mind!

  3. ninjarealist ninjarealist says:

    So, just out of curiosity what percentage rating would you have given the first episode WITHOUT the incest sub-plot?

    Because it seems like there’s nothing you really disliked about this opener except the incest and yet you gave the show a 20%. Are you religious or something? Why is incest so offensive to you?

    • Hogart says:

      I think you’re over-emphasizing something that doesn’t really matter to his final score. I don’t remember ever seeing him give 20% to a card-battle shounen, though Cardfight Vanguard is the only one I can remember him previewing this way. I don’t even think the incest subplot comes into play, although if it does it’s because anime with incest in them tend to be pretty crappy.

      • ninjarealist ninjarealist says:

        I have just seen psgels hate on incest A LOT and I was curious if that was do to him being religious or something. I also really liked this first episode so I thought that maybe the reason our opinions differed so much was due to the incest thing, but apparently that’s not the case.

    • psgels psgels says:

      I mean, it was nothing amazing or anything, but I’d definitely give it a higher potential if it wasn’t for the incest.

      I’m not religious by far, but here’s the thing: I’ve checked these first episodes out ever since 2006; I’ve seen many, many different series. And when you do, there is a pattern that starts to become really apparent: when you have a brother and a sister, the amount of series that have one sibling who fancies the other is larger than the series that don’t. According to anime, it’s NORMAL for siblings to have the hots for each other. This has been an awful, awful trend that needs to die.

      • ninjarealist ninjarealist says:

        Yeah, I’ve seen you hate on incest a lot on this blog and I guess I’ve always wondered if you had some kind of deeper motivation (such as religion) for feeling that way.

        I get, though, that certain anime tropes can be incredibly frustrating to specific individuals depending on their tastes. The trope that makes me rage is how almost every anime couple doesn’t kiss, have sex, or otherwise express physical affection. There are counter-examples but this is almost always the case. According to anime it’s NORMAL for couples to never have sex.

        What is up with that? Even in shows like Kataganatari and Bakemonogatari, where the protagonists are actually a couple, and have an intimate relationship with each other we NEVER get so much as an implied sex scene.

        So yeah, I get where you’re coming from now. I totally understand how specific tropes can set people off.

      • Firechick says:

        I totally agree with you. Why can’t anime just make normal siblings for once? It’s not that hard!

        • bokusen says:

          Exactly! It’s becoming too common, not to mention it’s a lazy way to bring in a romance element without having to develop it.

          By the way, I’m glad to see psgels is blogging the Spring shows! This blog has always been really helpful when I’m trying to figure out which shows to follow, as I value his views on shows a lot.

  4. Nyangoro says:

    I actually liked the incest subplot here. Why? Because it’s not being played up for terrible fanservice or empty laughs. The fact that they’re actually treating this seriously, as a part of the character’s psyche, makes it infinitely more tolerable. Hell, I think it could actually be a boon to the series if handled the way it seems to be handling it.

    As for the show itself, there’s a ton of promise here, and I’m willing to bank on that promise. So long as Okada’s melodrama is kept reigned in, and so long as Satou continues the direction of the first episode, I think this could be a damn fine series.

  5. i am bert says:

    Hoping that the incest girl’s wish is going to be something like, “i don’t want to be related to him, so we can have a relationship” type thing. Because that’s slightly better, and a little bit forgivable? But, yeah, I doubt it.

    Enjoyed myself nonetheless though, definitely going to stick around for the slight horror foreshadowing. It’s an interesting mix of genre’s, especially considering there is a TCG-selling strategy in the mix.

  6. AidanAK47 says:

    I think 20% is being harsh. And I am harsher than you, no doubt. But their is something here and I am willing to bank that this is aiming to do a Madoka. The dark vibes are there and so far it’s not mis-stepping like so many Madoka knockoffs have done.
    It’s different enough to warrant merit and like someone here has already said, if they keep Okada reigned in we might have something special.

    That said it’s early days yet and if Samurai flamenco has taught me anything, it’s that a story can go down the shitter faster than you can say “What the hell”.

  7. Jalapeno Bagel says:

    Can’t say I agree completely with Blade and Soul. The trailers certainly highlighted all the bad things that were apparent in this first episode, but what really brought it down for me was this weird like, conflicted direction. On one hand, the characters and situations (heck even the transitions) are super super generic. Not even just “generic” that it’s been done over and over, but textbook generic down to the lines the characters spout.

    But then they have all these small details like keeping the guy’s pants stained even after they arrive at the village or characters understanding implied thoughts without asking twice. I mean, there are even moments of expressive animation when most of it is so clunky that it’s distracting. Feels really weird to see little nuggets in what would otherwise be a very bland series; those pieces really highlight the flaws moreso than the trailer did.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:29 AM)
    Wait wait…his Van helsing film is a reboot sorry I confused it with the other one.

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