Posted by SuperWooper on 6 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Bakumatsu

Short Synopsis: A pair of good-looking swordsmen from the Edo period get transported to an alternate reality.

Wooper’s review:
How many times has it been now that a bunch of Japanese military figures from different eras have appeared in an anime together? A lot of the recent ones (recent anime series, not military guys) tend to be game adaptations featuring a lot of handsome dudes, for what I’m confident are purely artistic reasons. Some of them sport better production than others, but this one unfortunately resides on the less impressive side of the spectrum. There are some really jarring visual moments here, with occasional character stills being tossed around the screen as a substitute for movement, and hurriedly drawn faces with mismatched eyes cropping up during a few of the medium shots. The soundtrack is one of the strangest I’ve heard in a long time. It features traditional Japanese music during quieter moments, but some of the chase sequences employ the sort of score you’d expect from a Hollywood comedy about a talking dog (seriously). The characters are full of knowledge about the show in which they’re starring, but none of the dialogue is terrible, which is nice for an anime so thrown-together in other respects. As for points of interest, we’ve got time travel, history, and that’s basically it. The series seems more interested in pushing its premise than laying the groundwork for Deeper Themes, and I don’t expect that preference to waver going forward. On balance, Bakumatsu isn’t my cup of tea, and it certainly won’t be included on any AOTY lists, but it’s not the worst of its kind.
Potential: 15%

Mario’s review:
Bakumatsu is another excuse for throwing pretty boys with awesome inhuman ability together to fight… what exactly? I know for a certain that I’m not within this show’s target demography. For the plot it tries to do something different by using time-travel, which itself makes for a fresher world design, but it brings a fair share of narrative issues as well, namely how these two fit in with this new world and how consistent other characters gonna be. Provided that we know next to nothing about these characters, it doesn’t come as a huge loss, still the inconsistency is there. Can’t say I care much for this cast, and in this episode we still have little clues on how that time-device works (conquer the world? Yeah, it’s the usual crap). Putting all the historical figures together getting a bit predictable lately, so if Bakumatsu doesn’t make full use of it then I don’t see the point of including it in the first place. Overall, it’s an easy skip for me.
Potential: 10%

 

Hinomaru-Zumou

Short Synopsis: A high school boy wants to be the best sumo wrestler in Japan.

Lenlo’s Review:
You know, it’s always been a pet peeve of mine with anime where the high schoolers look NOTHING like high schoolers. What’s the point of making it a high school series if they don’t look or act like high schoolers? Oh I guess I should talk about the actual anime at some point to, huh? Really there isn’t much to say. Its a sports anime, decent production and alright plot. The weakest part to me is the sport chosen as the subject material. Maybe it’s just me, but I just am not in to the sport. Sumo might be a cultural past time in Japan, but to me it’s just two fat guys pushing each other. It doesn’t help that the characters are ones we have already seen before, and the “power” scale is a bit ridiculous. 15 minutes straight of getting punched and no reactions? As someone who boxes in their free time, it stretches belief for that bare knuckles could garner so little a reaction. If you like sports, it might be for you, but there are better sports anime in just this season alone.
Potential: 30%

Aidan’s review:
Much like Lenlo commented, it is funny how the set these things in high school but draw full grown men as the cast. It’s a bit like those high school romantic comedies where everyone is clearly past their twenties yet they try to pass them off as teenagers. Well this is basically a sports anime through and through so as such the sport itself becomes center of the universe and treated as the holy grail of living. All mundane techniques are superimposed to the level of super powers and everyone learns just how amazing and beneficial playing is. So we got the usual gambit, the highly talented rookie, a romance that’s bound to go nowhere, the goal of getting to nationals which clearly is not going to happen in a single cour and a rival character set up. Honestly the single cour thing is my biggest gripe with these kinds of series as more or less all of them are serviceable but end just when things get started. Even when a second season comes along it generally enters a nonstop marathon of tournament arcs which lead nowhere. So my point is this, this show is fine for those just wanting something to pass the time but much like any other sports show it will end half baked.
Potential: 30%

 

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

Short Synopsis: A first year high schooler joins the student council after being inspired by an older girl, who later confesses to her.

Mario’s review:
Bloom into You opens with an overly pretentious monologue that I was afraid it’s just all about those vague feelings that amount to nothing. Thankfully later on we get to know the reason behind it and I feel much more related to her issues. But immediately after that, it raises another issues: the confession is way too abrupt, in a manner too clumsily, that it takes me out to the romance again. This first episode is told from the point of view of Yuu (while literally as we have some scenes in the first person perspective), that’s why Nanami’s confession doesn’t work because we know next to nothing about her character. In term of romance I can say that it attempts more at the feeling, rather than physical exploitation in the same vein of Citrus and the likes, but to tell an intimate romance takes a lot of insight and this is just half-way there. Design-wise, the flat, big eyes of the characters might get some time to get used to, but as a whole I’d say that the production is pretty good. One of the trick to make a good romance is that they need to establish characters we can care about, and so far Bloom into You just barely makes it there.
Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:
It seems to me that the desired mood for Yagate Kimi ni Naru (English title “Bloom into You,” which is a very pretty localization) was delicacy. The soundtrack certainly supports this, with woodwinds and strings as a pleasant backdrop for the romantic woes of our main character Yuu. There’s a lot of floral imagery, which shouldn’t need any explanation. And the constant references to being swept off one’s feet, or experiencing a floating sensation, paint love as the most beautiful of all feelings. Pretty delicate, right? Not quite, actually. Yuu’s hand-wringing over how to turn down a romantically interested guy is the plot point on which the premiere turns, but the agony this causes her doesn’t mesh with all the talk about true love. Perhaps we’re meant to view Yuu as naive (I certainly did), but the show doesn’t put in the work to support that interpretation. On the contrary, it uses a handful of superfluous POV shots to put us directly into her shoes, and encourages us to celebrate her little victories. The confession right before the credits, too, is the opposite of delicate – it works more as a hook for the rest of the series than a moment of unfiltered emotion. Why would a successful rejection be the trigger that causes the older Nanami to fall for her new underclassman? I know she sees herself in Yuu, but is that any reason to blurt out that she loves her? Rather than feeling any sort of spark between them, my heart may as well have been a pile of soggy firewood during that scene. The show’s got sun-drenched backgrounds and evocative music down to a science, so there’s definitely something here for romance fans, but I prefer my relationships to be a bit more grounded.
Potential: 40%

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Evaluation says:

    Yagate Kimi ni Naru

    It is always difficult to converse about highly subjective genres like yuri or shounen ai. The opinions are exacerbated by the fact that many such genres remain niches and the fans are left (having to look for their fix where it isn’t, e.g., reading into yuri subtext in a non-yuri series) craving, and ultimately carrying positive bias, because for them, the production has its merit simply by existing. This is not to say that such approach is (or is not) a flawed one, I merely try to point out the difference in perspective.

    I.e., yuri fans love (good) yuri anime and even now, the genre offers very little (Kannazuki no Miko, Aoi Hana, MariMite, Strawberry Panic bubble up in my mind).

    I approach this series as a yuri fan (surprise…) and my takeaway reflects that – this episode was enough of a fix for me to ignore its issues. Those are not interesting for me. I put yuri show through different (not any less rigorous) set of standards. For reference those standards would put Citrus (anime) into a trash can.

    So, I resist the urge to provide my own potential value here. I do agree with some mentioned criticism and I have more of my own, but nothing big so far.

    Anyway. I liked the episode. Why:

    1 Yuri. I don’t care who ends up with whom, whether at all or how long this will stretch. The ground work has been done, personalities (roughly) defined, relationships set off. The mind can do the rest if the story cant.

    2 MariMite similarity. S class. Enough said.

    3 Nanami. Oh how long I have waited for Yuri anime with Rikka Hishikawa/Cure Diamond (Doki Doki Precure) as a main character? Nanami has both similar personality and the same voice actress (Minako Kotobuki). This voice actress nails the mature super-sempai character type (another example is Asuka Tanaka from Hibike Euphonium). She is the perfect Yuri character. Perfect human, but still incomplete, fueled by an emptiness of some sort.

    4 Artistic approach. Falls short of Koi wa Ameagari no You ni, but still miles ahead of the run-of-the-mill stuff. Yagate also emphasizes the power of body language and while it often overdoes it at times (in fact most modern anime annoy me when they shoehorn these ‘impactful’ Evangelion body language shots everywhere and diminish their value) it is armed with impeccable timing with which it consistently nails moment after moment, expression after expression. Speaking of expressions, yeah, they (faces) give us insightful glimpses into the personalities of the characters. Full check in my book.

    [Why would a successful rejection be the trigger that causes the older Nanami to fall for her new underclassman?]
    – Because in truth, Nanami was someone special, but never met that person until now.
    – Because MC had the balls to turn down the guy, officially, directly, firmly, kindly (not crushing his spirit) and rationally (after thinking about it), which means she is not like 99% of the people that confess to Nanami. This is painfully obvious when the guy confesses to Nanami and says “we would never fit together”, which is an ugly self-derogatory comment which Nanami is quick to point out to avoid.
    – Because MC is contemplating the idea of true love (just like herself) and searching for it – that makes Nanami’s heart flutter. MC turned the guy down because it would not be the love she wanted, the fluttering love. And that in effect makes Nanamis’s heart flutter.
    – It’s not that Nanami sees herself in MC (though it is true I think in one scene prior to the confession), she realizes they seek the same thing and she doesn’t want to go back to being the only one. Because Nanami is very honest, and even to herself and she knows what she really wants and also that it’s staring her in the face. Chance like this wont come again.
    – For Nanami it is not sudden at all since she had already been committed to an ideal that has just happened to imbue the girl in front of her.
    – Please do not forget that MC saw Nanami being confessed to and she turned this into a secret they now share – a sense of intimacy was already sown. Then they had a talk about love and then MC had that call. It was fast succession, but everything was there.

  2. Avatar Evaluation says:

    Just stopping by to comment on how Yagate Kimi ni Naru, now at ep4, continues to do every single thing right. The intricate details of several characters’ personalities continue to captivate me – in this regard the show is top class.

    I recommend everyone to stop watching Monogatari/Oregairu knockoffs and watch this instead.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Glad to see you here again, Evaluation. I happen to still follow both Bloom into You (I love this English-translated title so I will refer the show by that name) and that Monogatari/OreiGairu knockoff (in case you wonder, I prefer the latter ^^), so let me give my thoughts about Bloom into You thus far:

      I guess your involvement with this show will largely depend on whether or not you’re on the same wavelength with these characters, especially Yuu. I’m on the fence with this show, mostly because I feel Yuu cold-hot behavior a bit irritating. Which is kind of exactly the point this show wants to bring across, given she herself doesn’t quite know if she likes Nanami or not. Affection takes time, it’s more of a matter of getting to know the other person and then develop a feeling for them. In that aspect, Bloom into You nails it with its slow-burning approach so far. But at the same time I still don’t relate to their relationship at all. To be frank, I don’t see the sparks between them. The nattative builds in a way that Yuu will slowly realize her own feeling for Nanami (episode 4 showed that), but for me, there are signs that Yuu don’t really like her senpai romantically. It’s more she goes with the flow and takes Nanami’s affection to her for granted. As I said, the romance all depends on how well you can relate to Yuu and so far she ticks me off more often than not.

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