Posted by SuperWooper on 10 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dakaretai Otoko Ichii ni Odosarete Imasu

Short Synopsis: A beloved actor loses his #1 spot to an industry newcomer, whose attraction to him complicates their relationship.

Mario’s review:
Oh boy, they go for *hardcore* borderline-porn BL. Oh boy, it’s the usual boy force-kisses the other, and of course the victim finds the predator too charming that they can’t do anything but be swept away. Damn it. I have to kick myself for watching this in public, as I don’t know how the people around me would think when the lines “I want to have sex with you” flashing repeatedly on the screen. Damn it. It would’ve been a powerful love story if they don’t rely on those uncomfortable tropes. One thing this show works quite well is that it portrays the male lead in an interesting way. He’s a mountain of personal conflicts: he hates this guy and loves him at the same time. His actions sometimes contradict with his thoughts, but they all reveal a deeper side of him. That he tries his earnest to help “his rival” with his experience makes him an interesting character to follow. The main draw of this series, however is the hot, burning hot passions from two sexy “huggable” naked boys, and for me, it’s just way too hardcore for me to fully embrace. It might be one of the better shounen ai titles, but it’s strictly for the fans of this genre.
Potential: 10%

Wooper’s review:
This would be a hard review to write if I danced around the subject, so I’ll make it short: there’s an attempted rape scene around the midway point of this episode, and it’s kind of played for laughs. An up-and-coming actor takes incriminating cell phone footage of an older co-worker, who says he’ll do “anything” for it to be deleted, and the younger man’s request is sex. The older guy’s refusal is ignored, and he has to construct a literal barricade of furniture, potted plants, and a flat screen TV to trap his attacker in the bathroom. A rowdy, vaguely flamenco-influenced guitar tune plays intermittently throughout this scene, which is in remarkably poor taste. What’s worse, the initial awkwardness this causes quickly gives way to an amicable relationship, which eventually features consensual sex. Based on the terrible message at the heart of its plot, I’m tempted to label this entire series a dumpster fire, and for many viewers it will be. But I do want to praise the internal monologue of the lead character (the victim of the aforementioned assault), whose arrogance and narcissism create an interesting lens through which we view the entertainment industry. His love for himself is equaled only by his love of his work, which is expressed in the form of both scathing criticism and smart advice. He’s a funny, worthwhile character, conceived with more purpose than a lot of the useless teenage protags that populate anime right now. Shame about the visually boring, morally repulsive show surrounding him.
Potential: 20%

 

Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet

Short Synopsis: Legitimized Highschool gang warfare in the style of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but now with Tsundere’s.

Aidan’s review:
As far as this story is concerned this was likely the best opening episode it could have. I will even admit to being a bit of a sucker for a good confession scene. Of course this is pretty much as good as it gets as we already have a second girl her whose feelings are doomed to be unrequited along with the other girls about to come along. For this is my most hated kind of harem, the one that keeps adding characters despite the fact that the main couple has already been decided. I mean the point of a harem is having a bunch of girls go after the main and each having at least a slim chance of winning. Here every girl after this has no chance so what is the bloody point? Outside of the relationship between the two leads this show has nothing really to offer besides cliche. It’s decently watchable so far but as someone who rea don in the manga I can say that whatever charm it has wears thin quite fast. Not to mean the constant competition between the two houses just gets really annoying as they constantly repeat how much they wanna kick the crap out of each other. I say for some this could prove to be a decent show to pass the time with but otherwise there isn’t that much to it.
Potential: 20%

Lenlo’s Review:
So, as has happened all too often this season, I have no idea what to make of this one. Based on the title, it looks like Kishuku is supposed to be some kind of Romeo and Juliet story, once again revamped for high school in some fictional Not Europe country? If so I really don’t know what to make of it, because it takes the basic premise of Romeo and Juliet and then proceeds to just ignore Shakespeare and go off on its own thing. On one hand that’s refreshing, in that its not the same story over and over again. On the other, there is a reason Shakespeare is still performed today hundreds of years later. Looks like another generic “Will they, won’t they” rom-com to me. Dull.
Potential: 0%

 

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

Short Synopsis: A passionless depressed witch gets sent back in time to experience life with her young Grandmother.

Mario’s review:
I’m not hard-pressed to say that Irozuku is the most gorgeous production in this season so far. It has rich background arts, expressive characters, fluid animation and it’s so goddamn striking in everything it does. The fireworks scenes are beautiful both in color and in muted black & white through Hitomi’s point of view, and the train sequence is impressive. In fact, its production values are too great that it kinda overwhelms the narrative. I like the meat of the story, a girl who loses her passion for magic, and for the colors of life, literally, but what sold me on her characters and the world so far is purely on the visual level, not the narrative. Her character is passive, not in a good way. She’s passive in a way that she seems lost and always waits for the plot brings her along. In addition, while I appreciate the way her Grandma brings her back to this world, the manner the show does it is way too contrived with a vague explanation that “it has been decided. You will understand”. I’m not too sold with the story so far, but the natural chemistry between the cast, and the rich art designs in both worlds more than make up for its more familiar story.
Potential: 70%

Lenlo’s Review:
You know, I am starting to think I was wrong about this season, that it just might have a decent set of shows. Irozuku is one of the prettiest series I have seen so far, as Mario said. The backgrounds are full, the colors pop and I was never visually bored. Narratively I am concerned, as the female lead Hitomi isn’t very compelling with how passive she is. The contrivance to start the plot, “It was decided” and “You’ll understand” bug me more than anything else though. I figure we can give it another few episodes to see how that and her relationship with her grandma works out however, as the crux of the series seems to be a metaphor for overcoming depression and finding magic and color in your world. Those kinds of things tend to be slow starters, with how dependent they are on the characters. I personally have been watching March Comes in Like a Lion recently, and while Irozuku doesn’t quite measure up narratively, it is a subject I am in the mood for. I see no reason not to stick it out for a few more episodes and see how the relationships play out.
Potential: 60%

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Vonter says:

    I wonder. Has there been a BL show on the level of Utena, Aoi Hana, or even Noir?

    Maybe Yuri on Ice, and Banana Fish?

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      It’s not a show, but Doukyuusei is a great BL film with experimental animation and emotional honesty. I’d definitely recommend it, especially since the runtime is only one hour.

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