Posted by SuperWooper on 16 July 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shoujo ☆ Kageki Revue Starlight

Short Synopsis: Students at a girls’ music academy compete for a top spot in a surreal stage play.

Wooper’s review

Kinema Citrus saves anime yet again. Last year they produced our AOTY Made in Abyss, and now they’ve tapped Ikuhara devotee Tomohiro Furukawa to helm what may go down as the best idol series of the decade. It’s not actually about idols – the show is set at an all-girls music academy that emphasizes contemporary theater – but it *does* have a big cast of cute girls who dance to music. That’s where the similarities to the genre end, however, as this show is highly symbolic, beautifully scored, and lavishly produced. Just listen to the orchestra that plays as the students enter the dance studio around the three minute mark. There’s a gentle air of mystery to it, as though the show is inviting you to consider what’s truly transpiring at this school, even as the characters act cute and say their usual Good Mornings. Before that, there’s a beautifully staged intro that gives way to an image of eight girls lying on a flight of stairs, with a blood red curtain that connects them and foreshadows conflict (and perhaps even death). Things get overtly Ikuhara-esque around the halfway mark, with dream sequences, yuri undertones, and talking animals all making their mandatory appearances. This weirdness culminates in some of the best fight/dance sequences I’ve seen since the “Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win” episode of Evangelion. To provide too many details would spoil the experience, since the last scene is such a departure from what comes before, but I’ll just say this: if you think you’ve got a handle on anime transformation sequences, Revue Starlight will turn your perception on its head. The only real shortcoming of this series is the same-faced character designs, but even that works to create a familiar sensation that is shattered by the episode’s end. This is the kind of anime that everybody should check out, at least for the premiere – if you’re on its wavelength, you’re in for a hell of a time.

Potential: 95%

Mario’s review:

Well, what a second half this one was. Initially, when I watched the first half, I took it as a above-average idol show and thinking to myself “the rest would have blown me up in order to not drop this” and that was exactly how I felt, totally blew away. This show (especially the magnificent Starlight fight) has a clear Utena-vibe, which come as no surprise since the director Tomohiro Furukawa was an apprentice of Ikuhara himself. What’s more impressive is that the whole fight at the end justifies all the things come before that. Not only it’s weird in a delightful way (talking giraffe!!), it’s inspirational and just downright expressive like those Utena’s duels. You can also pretty much take these fights as a dream, or the performance, or the audition and it all makes sense. In fact, now thinking back it’s more that these girls won’t work together like idol shows, but will have to fight against each other for the main spot. I’m thrilled on that. The characters, however, are on the underdeveloped side, but I’m sure when these “stage performances” start we will start to learn more about them. Personally, I’m excited to see how this story is gonna pan out.

Potential: 70%

Aidan’s review:

Well this one completely blind sighted me. I originally wrote this one off completely, but then watched the trailer and thought there might be more to it but still wrote it off again. As it was the case there was in fact more more to this one but allow me to be the contrarian to contrast the two excited ducks above. Take note that the thing that makes this show stand out is the very clear inspirations from Ikuhara, in particular Utena. The director it seems has worked with Ikuhara’s previous works and learned some tricks. But let me make clear, I am not a fan of Ikuhara. I find Utena fascinating but to me Ikuhara’s works is style promoting the illusion of substance. If this new guy can take Ikuhara’s style and give it genuine substance then he will have sold me on this particular show. But the other hurdle is that this episode was ⅓ Utena and ⅔ love live. Outside of the surprise wammy this series was a above average idol anime and it’s going to need more in order to prove itself. This series has managed to grab my attention by playing it’s strongest hand but now that the surprise is out it’s going to have to measure up to those which inspired it. What I am basically saying is, less idol training, more character development and girls getting pushed off of tokyo tower. (I really liked that scene.)

Potential: 50%

 

Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger

Short Synopsis: A group of vampire hunters enter Tokyo to hunt their enemies.

Aidan’s review:

On a production level, aside from some awkward CGI, this series is top of the line. Fantastic animated action with great backgrounds and a nice setting. However story wise this feels far too familiar with the squad hunting supernatural creatures. There are plenty with that premise, even Blood + did that with vampires. I even got some Blade vibes from how the series opened. I give credit to the cast for having an Irishman but I can’t say anyone in the cast stands out. I will say it’s not as if the story has bad writing or it’s done poorly as in both cases this is done quite well. The problem more lies in the fact that it all feels done before. But if that aspect does not bother you then I am sure you will enjoy this one for the fight scenes and general production values. The story won’t wow you but get past that and this is an enjoyable watch.

Potential: 60%

Lenlo’s Review:

Aidan is right about one thing, Jaeger is certainly one of the best looking/produced anime of this season. Everything, CGI aside, just looks good. I disagree on the story aspect though. Unlike similar anime this season like Phantom however, where our cast just… stumbles together, it feels like things are actually happening in Jaeger. It probably has to do with our cast being the aggressors, the ones acting, where as in Phantom they are just reacting. It made me much more interested in what was going on. Sure, the monster hunting story has been done before. But that doesn’t matter to me, so long as its done well. Just look at the plethora of fantasy novels about young chosen ones rising up to defeat the great evil. Originality is less important than general quality. And Jaeger has, so far, a lot of quality.

Potential: 75%

 

High Score Girl

Short Synopsis: A boy has a rivalry with a girl who plays games at the arcade.

Aidan’s review:

Though fully CGI, I found it rather bareable though that might be because the episode was mainly focused on video game screens. This does feel like a series that was better suited to a short format as this episode contains three separate stories between these two. The positives is that this story has a lot of factoids about various video game techniques which is quite interesting and the nostalgia is heavy with this one if you are a nineties kid. But the bad side of this is that the comedy is very much the “Shout till it’s funny” variety or focuses on our protagonist getting beaten up by the girl. I don’t find this show all that funny but I do like the featured games and learning about glitches and tricks used in them. Overall I find this show just alright and it is rather a shame that because Netflix has acquired the licence that to follow it I would have to rely on fansubs of questionable quality.

Potential: 30%

Mario’s review:

This 90s arcade rom-com manga was a hit back when it first run, throughout many disputes regarding legal issues of using all these games’ characters, now it becomes a full CG show licensed by Netflix. Which mean, not many people gonna watch this based on these conditions alone. My very first impression after watching this is that the CG looks “cheap”. Characters on games look on point, but our characters move way too stiff, and the art in general in uninspired. The series’ first episode runs several small encounters where those two main meets at the arcade and play game, but based on what I heard there will be an arc and the story deepens later on. So basically this episode introduces these two kids and gives us a “feel” of the year 1991, both of which I regard it as barely succeed. There’s some odd pacing at the beginning, which take me awhile to realize what’s going on. Haruo is the protagonist that is easy to follow, mostly because he has a keen sense of his world. Oono, too, with the way she behaves hint at her pressure at home and the two has a strange bond of sharing the same hobby. Story-wise I can get behind but I’m more worried about the production, which can become more unbearable as it continues.

Potential: 30%

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