Short Synopsis: Our lead character uses magic and enters high school.
Really now? This is the next big thing to appear? Where we last year had Shingeki no Kyojin, we now have a show taking place at a high school where people fight with magic with a heavy dose of incest? This is the best you can offer? There was just this world war, everything has changed, and the only thing that the creators could think of was to start with was a high school? I mean, I had hoped that at least the execution in this episode would make up for things, but we only got some nicely animated fight scenes, plus a few characters who take themselves a bit more serious than usual. But even then, the dialogue has some really weird issues. Characters make random leaps in logic, things don’t make any sense, and the comic relief is incredibly forced. And really, I don’t care if the light novel that this is based on is really good: it’s the execution of the anime that really matters. The fact of the matter remains that this is YET ANOTHER show about incest. Also, “Weed” and “Bloom” remain really stupid names. If it were supposed to be about discrimination, it did a pretty generic and black-and-white job about it. I’m not expecting tons of depth from a first episode, but I am looking for hints that this show knows what it’s doing. I got none here!
ED: Generic J-rock
Short Synopsis: Our lead character wants to play tennis.
Haikyuu could really use some lessons from Baby Steps. This episode actually worked, and it showed that a first episode doesn’t necessarily have to be full of excitement. I just need to see that the creators know what they’re doing. This episode had its problems, but at the same time it actually tried to break some of the cliches of the sports anime. For example: while the series is yet again about high schoolers, it’s not about a high school tennis team, but instead the characters practice at a tennis club outside of school. Watching anime, you’d nearly think that those things don’t exist in Japan. This also allows for some variety in the people you see walking around, ranging from kids to adults. Beyond that, this first episode nailed how you’d obviously get extreme muscle ache when you start training really hard from out of nowhere. Plus the characters actually break some molds. Not all of them; there still are some obnoxious cliches present, but I do appreciate how this show is trying to remove some of the blatant sexism that exists in the genre. Usually in sports series, the women get delegated to be a manager. Pretty much a pointless role other than for some romantic tension. Here, the lead female actually wants to go pro, and is actually very talented. That’s a nice step here. Just don’t let her degrade into this romantic trophy, okay? That would be even worse. Heck, there still is enough that can go wrong here, but the start is there, at least.
OP: Generic J-rock, though I guess better than average.
ED: The singers don’t work together, this ED sounds weird
Short Synopsis: Our lead character plays volleyball
I like sports anime, however I dislike watching sports. How is that possible? Well, because of the incredible execution of some of these sports series. Giant Killing, Cross Game, Chihayafuru, even think sports Shogi and Go. These shows made me throw away all of my biases and managed to make me like something I normally have no interest whatsoever in. Because of that though, I have come to expect high standards from sports series: stand out. Promote your passions. Don’t just go lazy and show this ambitious bratty kid who just enters school who somehow becomes the center of the series. And yeah.. that’s exactly what Haikyuu does. A first episode that didn’t really stand out in any way, they keep to all of the basics. There also is this rival who also fills in way too many cliches. I mean come on. Use some creativity for god’s sake. I also did not manage to finish the first episode of this one. I know it’s unprofessional and all, but right now I don’t care. I find it more important to check out as many series, rather than force myself to sit through an entire episode that I already know is not going to be anything for me.
OP: Generic sports OP blah
ED: At least the guitar is nice