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

Akuma no Riddle

Short Synopsis: Our lead character battles assassins
Yup, this one turned out as expected. Akuma no Riddle is a series that tries to look all cool, but shining behind that is the ridiculous stupidity of the premise. And now don’t get me wrong: I like really far-fetched premises, but not when said premise goes out of its way to include a school in a setting it totally doesn’t belong. I mean really: this just is another one of those school battle shows that’s perhaps a bit grittier than usual. Nothing else stands out. It did not make up for this premise in the slightest. The characters all just have one quirk that they try really hard to shove down the viewers’ throats, especially with the snarky characters. Add everything together and yeah, I see no potential. I didn’t even have enough interest to finish the entire episode.
OP: At least it’s not bad j-pop
ED: Vocalist does a pretty bad job…
Potential: 30%

Mushishi Season 2

Short Synopsis: Our lead character can see strange creatures called Mushi.
Jojo is glorious and all, and that’s of course fine and dandy. But let’s not forget what that show really is: a dose of adrenaline that you watch before you start punching an angry bear or something. It’s consistently awesome to watch, but here comes the real deal: Mushishi goes a whole lot further. It’s on a whole different level. This is intelligent; this is art, this series, more than anything else, has its own vision and doesn’t care about anything else. It’s the best of its genre, and based on this episode, the creators still are incredibly competent: the atmosphere, the animation, the pacing, the mood: everything fits perfectly. This really creates something much more than the sum of its parts, that individually are already amazing. Best show of the year? Something would have to go really weird for it not to be the case. Heck, this show is the best of its genre. Aria, Natsume Yuujinchou? Eat your heart out. This episode again had a wonderful story. It’s told from the perspective of a sake brewer, and more than anything, they portray him as an actual human being. This episode is quiet, but they showed a very authentic story of his that made perfect use of both his childhood as his current life.
OP: HOW CAN THIS NOT BE THE SINGLE BEST OP IN YEARS?
ED: HOW CAN THIS NOT BE THE SINGLE BEST ED EVER SINCE THE FIRST SEASON ENDED?
Potential: 100% (Really, it is that I once vowed not to go above 100% with my potentials)

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders

Short Synopsis: Our lead character kicks ass with magical powers and strange poses.
Oh, this was glorious. This is the Jojo that I remember: completely over the top with weird powers and just lots and lots of energy.What I especially like this time is that it’s really a story that spans many generations. We have the main character, his mother, his grandfather and his great-great grandfather all playing a major role here. Obviously its’awesome to see everyone back again, while at the same time seeing this series go into a completely different direction again. The first Jojo was pretty much the ideal son-in-law, while the second was completely crazy in every way. The third meanwhile is dark and gloomy. The reason he works is because of the context of the rest of the series: every single other character being a complete and utter extravert. The good thing also is that this show wastes no time in explaining its powers, hopefully hinting at only few training arcs (yet again, thank god). And at the same time there is one thing that this show still does really well: alternating huge powers, with really small ones. Joseph’s camera trick was hilarious, for example.
Potential: 100%

20 Responses

  1. Jessifer says:

    Wow, two 100%s in one post. Nice to see you’re enjoying some anime from this season so much.

    I’ve only recently started the first season of Mushishi and I’m enjoying it so far.

  2. Firechick says:

    I only saw the first four episodes of Mushishi a few years ago. I need to get back to watching it, since I managed to sit through Natsume Yuujinchou (which is also very beautiful). And by those comments about the OP and ED, Psgels, are you saying you like them or hate them? I can’t tell.

  3. m says:

    Mushishi follows in the tradition of myth-making to explain the everyday events that humans contended with in a universe they knew little about, which I think is the core of its charm. It’s the series I have the highest expectations from this season, and so far I don’t feel let down.

  4. brianwuzhere says:

    Good news, I believe the last “training arc” in the JoJo franchise was in the first season.

  5. Puran says:

    Hey Psgels. I’ve been commenting on and off here for quite a while and I’ve been reading for quite a bit more than that. This is a request, or more acurately a wish (although I don’t know if I can present you with something of equal value, if we’re talking in XXXHolic terms). Anyway, I’m just… “writing” out loud here and this is going to be much more personal than what is appropriate on a comment in a blog post, so feel free to delete it or whatever.

    But anyway, one of my fondest memories here, on this blog, is reading and commenting on Natsume episodes. I have been reading this blog a bit less lately (maybe because the anime of the past year or so aren’t interesting enough to want to read and think more about them, which I guess is also part of the reason you’re not updating so regularly lately). But watching this Mushishi episode brought back a lot of emotions in me. It has a lot of storyteling qualities that, as it turns out, I’ve been longing for quite a while but I didn’t realise.

    This has also woken up the need to talk (or… read and comment) about it, just watching it just won’t cut it for this series. Watching anime has always been a solidary thing for me. Anime is a subject I never had anyone to talk about in real life. This blog has been a haven for me in the past in that regard, I always enjoyed reading someone else’s thoughts (and occasionaly commenting) on anime that for whatever reason occupied my brain for large amounts of time.

    So here is my request. And I know it sounds a bit like some sort of emotional blackmail, or entitlement, or whatever, but it’s not, it’s a request and it has no strings attached either way.

    Could you blog about the new season of Mushishi in a reasonably timely fashion?

  6. Rodrigo says:

    These shows should not be allowed to air at the same time, it’s totally unfair to the other seasons this year.

  7. Hogart says:

    Wow, Lucy Rose? I think the last song by a British musician I’ve heard in an anime was Oasis in Higashi no Eden. Talk about a nice choice of song, too. I was wondering how they’d top the Sore Feet Song of season one.

  8. fedek says:

    Stands almost end training arcs in Jojo.

  9. Litho says:

    Mushishi. Sublime. Simply sublime.

  10. Petit says:

    I didn’t enjoy this first ep of Mushishi II. I must have problems.

  11. mulligan says:

    Maybe I am reading into it too much but I like the look of the animation in this first ep more than the special new year episode. I’m so glad the studio carried forward the original visual style and voice acting approach from the first season.

  12. Hogart says:

    Akuma no Riddle didn’t impress me either, I was quite bored throughout. I kept thinking “I’d rather just rewatch Noir or Requiem for the Phantom”. I think it was the lack of a properly interesting hook in my case, since Mirai Nikki managed to get me to watch it.

  13. Rincewind says:

    It’s nice to have more JoJo to watch. Great first episode. Seeing Joseph again is nice too.

    And for Akuma no Riddle. Looks promising. Really promising.
    And the lack of male characters is always a plus in my book. The promise of yuri is a BIG plus too.
    Can’t wait to see the next episode.

    The OP is great by the way.

  14. Fukumoto says:

    Umm, just a heads up, but…Mushishi season 1 didn’t have a single ED, but rather a unique song at the end for each episode. Unless of course that’s not what you meant, then sorry.

  15. eln says:

    It’s lovely to read the blog of someone who gets how amazing Mushishi is – it’s honestly at the top of its genre, I’d agree.

  16. anon says:

    Training arcs? in JoJo? HA!

  17. kero says:

    Just watched the first episode.. so beautiful!

    Mushishi makes me wish I lived in that world and OMG grown up Isaza! have we seen grown up Isaza before?

    also sake brewer, it’s like mushishi meets moyashimon

  18. miri says:

    u are maybe the most stubiest people i know! akuma no riddle in fucking master peace!

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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