Posted by psgels on 6 April 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Mahouka

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
Potential: 30%

Baby Steps

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
Potential: 65%

Haikyuu

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
Potential: 30%

25 Responses

  1. Mikey says:

    And somewhere Mentar blows a gasket. lol.

  2. AidanAK47 says:

    Not that I disagree with the general consensus but just to be clear so the fanboys don’t throw a fit explaining this. The show isn’t about incest, but it has incest in it. But the incest is not the main focus.
    And it is is a shit show. I told you so.

  3. Scruffy says:

    I don’t think you have to worry about Baby Steps. While there is some romance in the manga it is never the main focus. It is primarily a sports manga first. Also when couples form it comes across as a natural occurrence as people slowly getting to know each other, rather than weird love triangles.

    I was really happy with how the anime turned out. I thought from the comments that had been made before that the story was going to be original but it looks pretty close to the manga from what I can remember.

    • Mir says:

      We’re enjoying it. I read many chapters of the manga, so I know it focuses mostly on the main character’s skills development as he meets players with quirky mad skillz along the way. I so want to see the match with the “artist” guy. :D

  4. berax says:

    ^ Nope, incest would mean there is sexual activity between relatives, and this is not the case in Mahouka.

    And it’s not ‘shit’ either just because you say so, that’s nothing more than your opinion. I feel sorry for if you can’t even comprehend this.

    Before you call me a ‘fanboy’, I’m not. I didn’t really like the light novel and dropped it, but I don’t like when people spout all these nonsense and think they know everything better.

    • berax says:

      This was reply to AidanAK47

    • AidanAK47 says:

      “incest would mean there is sexual activity between relatives, and this is not the case in Mahouka”

      Based on how you define sexual activity that could mean that any show with incest in it is not an incest show because they don’t actually get down to business. Don’t argue semantics. It just makes things lose meaning. You know exactly what we mean. The theme of incest is present.

      Oh, I comprehend just fine. It’s just to me my opinion is the only one that matters. I say what I want, you guys can just deal with that. Though I usually refrain from saying crap without giving reasons why but in this case it seems like the general agreement by those with good taste will deem Mahouka crap.

      • guest says:

        Anyone with shit tastes will say mahouka is crap, ‘no one else needs to have an opinion since only mine matter’, I like that, very open minded of you, you’re going to have a lot of fun once you get out of school

        • AidanAK47 says:

          Anyone with good taste will say mahouka is crap. Out of college. In work. Bitch please.

          • Sitrus says:

            Anyone saying they have good tastes due to differences in opinions really need to reconsider how others look at them.

            I have read the LN and although I agree that it has got more hype than it deserves but that not a good reason to bash other people.

            You saying other have bad taste in anime because they may be interested in something you are not, not only make you look arrogant, but childish as well.

            FYI, the first episode bored me the most of all the new seasons’ first episodes.

          • AidanAK47 says:

            @Sitrus, My friend I have heard that arguement a thousand times. And it never ceases to be idiocy no matter how many times it’s repeated.
            Because no matter how bad a show is(And I mean genuinly bad because bad entertainment does exist) it will have at least one person interested in it. And you say I shouldn’t call crap crap because there are people who may like it? I say no.
            And apperently that’s childish. Silly fool. If you are saying being a adult is restricting your opinion for fear of offending others then I say hand me a packet of skittles, a coke and let me get back to my video games. Because if being as utterly boring as you are is the alternative, no thanks.

        • Progress says:

          I won’t be so presumptuous as to say I have good taste, but I watched Mahouka, and I’m still not sure what all the hype is about…

          But hey, I’m judging based on the anime’s first episode. It could get better along the way for all I know. Whether the LN gets better after so and so chapters or volumes is irrelevant.

  5. guest says:

    “I say what I want”. When I read that, I heard Eric Cartmans voice “Wahever, I do what I want” XD Dude, you’re a friggin sociopath XD Have fun with your life, my dear!;)
    (btw, I dont give a f** about Mahouka)

    • guest says:

      @Aidan (of course)

    • AidanAK47 says:

      I prefer egotistic bastard to sociopath but hey, either or. Got to say how utterly astonished I am that you can gauge my entire character from a single post. Bravo sir (Sarcastic clapping) Bravo.
      Currently having a blast with life. Things couldn’t be better. Thanks for the well wishes though.

    • Progress says:

      Huh, didnt you say above that “anyone with good taste will say mahouka is crap”? Why defend it if you don’t care about it?

      • Cinnamon says:

        He has to let the world know how good his life is and how his tastes are first class compared to us lowly denizens of the human realm.

      • Progress says:

        My bad, I meant “anyone with shit tastes will say mahouka is crap”, directed at “guest”. Why defend it if you dont care about it?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The entire first season of Mahouka will be pretty average.

    However exciting the global conflict arcs may be, the high school parts are not really a shining star in Anime by any stretch of the definition. The bloom vs. weed thing, which is a major focus in the first part of the LN, was very shoddily written especially with the harem elements. It feels more like the other males were jealous of the MC rather than looking down on him as a ‘weed’.

    Without that, really, the school arc devolves into nonsense harem with an overpowered protagonist. I doubt that the MC’s family issues will be revealed in the first season, so I echo psgel’s first impressions here.

    That being said, I really hope Black Bullet, when the first episode releases, follows the LN instead of the manga. I need more soul-crushing, raw depression in my life that the anime should more than adequately bring.

  7. KaZuHiRo says:

    Mahouka was pretty much below average.

  8. nodbgp says:

    I know Mahouka, in a good or bad way, has taken out all the spotlight, but I did have a blast with both Baby Steps and Haikyuu.
    Baby Steps mostly thanks to its main character. Haikyuu maybe because I did play volleyball in middle and high school, but besides that I can sense that this series will deliver as much testosterone as Kuroko’s second season did, so I’m keeping up with both, at least for now.

    As for Mahouka, well, what I can say is that between the first chapters of the LN, the first chapters of the manga and this episode. The anime is at the bottom of the list.

    The thing in Mahouka that keep me entertained for some time was the exposition, exposition to the magic system and how it works and exposition to the world itself and how it works. These things made the “Bloom and Weed” thing bearable, because there was some background to it. The anime may bring this stuff up, up ahead, but they just lost a bunch of viewers because they were too lazy to at least explain what the “numbers” are (and it’s only one example).

    As for the Incest debacle of late, having a sister I know how impossible all this is. So I just laughed it off every time they try to use something so stupid and improbable as a plot device. Thing is, I’m tired of laughing, they are using this shit way too much these days.

    • Mir says:

      WE really need not to be amused at incest themes. Seriously, fandom. Let’s get over this shit.

      My hubby and I both are enjoying Haikyuu! and Baby Steps. We like the plucky sports guy trying to overcome obstacles genre. Both have them. They’re good fun. Haikyuu! may not be super original, but it has made me giggle and I enjoy it. Baby Steps has a protagonist with that meticulous “I can learn it if I make great notes and study a lot” habit that I find endearing and even a bit inspirational. He works his butt off to succeed (like the Yowamushi Pedal’s Onoda). I file it under plain, old, sportsy “we work hard to succeed” fun. At least they dont’ wanna swap spit with their siblings. :D

  9. Libero says:

    I reckon that you rewatch haikyuu and watch the second and third episode as well because Kageyama is not a rival ahaha. Volleyball is a team sport so it actually does not focuses on Hinata alone. You have the setter, spikers, middle blocker, libero and defense specialist (these positions will be explained). Everyone have a role and it is a very good anime + manga.
    And yes, dropping an anime after 10 minutes or whatever is extremely unprofessional if you are going to write a review about it.
    And lastly, don’t you even dare diss Spyair. Lol.

    “The volleyball player is not a soloist.”

  10. helleboros says:

    So, did you ever get around to actually giving Haikyuu! a decent chance? I hate the “ambitious kid steals the show” trope as well, and the first episode certainly gave me pause for that very reason, but Haikyuu! ended up really delivering for me. It’s really an ensemble piece: just about every named character gets his chance to shine; nearly every character grows in some way; and to top it all off, unlike a lot of Japanese anime where it’s all about the team until the chips are down, and then it’s actually all about the main character’s individual brilliance, this one really is about the team coming together to deliver the best game they can. If you haven’t already and you manage to find the time to do so, I really do suggest you give this one another go.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:27 AM)
    Also I wholeheartedly agree that marijuana immensely helps with quitting other harder drugs. Benzodiazepines like Xanax are a powerful tool as well, especially against the anxiety they’ll be going thru, but they are also very easy to get hooked on. Don’t want to trade one addiction for another.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:25 AM)
    @K-off: I’ve helped a couple of people lay off the needle, so I’m not too shabby at supporting. There is a willpower component to it that is essential and falls completely on the individual themself. It’s so frustrating to deal with an addict, one of the main reasons of my recent stress, but my stupid conscience kicks in at most inopportune moments.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 04:57 AM)
    and they couldn’t physically wean off it without the inevitable torture. They just went through lots of isolation, sleep, and weed (which happened to work for them personally but isn’t the case for everyone) so it’s hard to say without coming off as authoritative.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 04:52 AM)
    Now weaning off meth is different for everybody, and without personally knowing your friend I’d be hesitant to make any flippant recommendations like “take this, do this,” etc. But if it helps my close group of friends often dealt with it as well,
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 04:49 AM)
    @Bam It’s one of those strongest games I’ve played this year, and I also played the hell out of the original. But I can’t speak for the console port so you’ll have to read up on that at least. Otherwise I recommend you buy it, it’s worth the price.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 04:38 AM)
    Also I’m helpin this girl get off meth. Do you know of any medication that alleviates the withdrawal symptoms? Somewhat like how Methadone and Suboxone help Opiate users.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 04:35 AM)
    @K-off: would you say Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is worth a full-price purchase for someone who already played the original? I’m thinking of getting it on the PS4. The remaster looks stunning on the big screen.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 04:27 AM)
    @Bam For those shows that don’t need more than a few sentences and are legitimately blase (as opposed to assumed beforehand), if I don’t have anything meaningful to say about a show, I feel it’s a waste of everyone’s time writing about it.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 03:57 AM)
    @K-off: no but you’re right tho. There are shows that you can write a dissertation on each of its episodes, and then there’s others that you’ll be stretching it past a few sentences. They don’t all deserve the same treatment.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 03:50 AM)
    @Aidan Gamestop is a block from my apartment, and I couldn’t find anything better than 60 online.
    @Bam I said that in humor, but I agree every show has an audience and it wouldn’t hurt to get to those less covered animes every now and then. Hell, I remember psgels reviewing AKB0048 and ended up actually liking it.

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