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

Radiant

Short Synopsis: A young sorcerer takes on a giant monster without his teacher’s help.

Aidan’s review:
This was certainly quite different from the French manga I read and I was concerned that the Japanese animation studio decided to go anime original with the product. However it seems the creator of the original french manga(Yes, French) decided that the first 5 episodes would be a rewrite of the story. This could be due to the general consensus that I heard that Radiants first two volumes are too formulaic shounen and not very interesting. However it seems that most agree that once this story gets into its first real arc then it improves dramatically. Of course the question is, how long is that going to take and will it reach that point in a 21 episode run? I don’t think what I seen this episode is bad, as a matter of fact I would say that out of most recent efforts this show captured the spirit of golden age shounen quite well. The big problem is that everything you see here is very much an echo of shounen you have seen before. Thus your opinion on this show very much depends on your exposure to shounen anime. As someone who has seen a large share of Shounen anime I would say this show is fine and I have seen shounens that didn’t work as well as it did. The animation is certainly better than something like Black Clover as well. There is potential for this one to surprise but that’s if it can keep viewers interested long enough to pull out it’s big guns and if those guns can truly blow people away so that they forgive a slow start.
Potential: 60%

Wooper’s review:
I’ll be blunt – I didn’t enjoy a single thing about this premiere. Some people are excited for the cultural broadening of anime that Radiant represents (the source material is French), but if tired shounen copycats are the type of non-Japanese works that get selected, the net change is hardly significant. This show features a loud, spiky-haired magic user who can punch things really hard, and who must deal with discrimination based on his sorcerer status. He has a teacher who’s strict but secretly kind-hearted, and he even saves a young boy from a frightening monster in the very first episode. Is any of this sounding familiar? The series boasts strange character designs, verdant backgrounds, and European music, but these elements aren’t enough to distract from how safe and shallow the final product feels. There was only one image that interested me in these 23 minutes: a wide shot of the teacher’s airship against a moonlit sky. Apart from that, my eyes were starving for visual stimulation. My funny bone fared even worse, nearly disintegrating at the attempted physical comedy on display. For the sake of French comic authors everywhere, I hope that Seiji Kishi butchered this adaptation, so they can put all the blame on him and try again some day with a different director at the helm. If you’ve never met a shounen you didn’t love, this will be right up your alley. Otherwise, steer clear (no pun intended).
Potential: 20%

 

Goblin Slayer

Short Synopsis: A party of adventurers take on a quest to rescue some girls from goblins.

Aidan’s review:
Well that was dark, both figuratively and literally considering the full episode took place in a cave. The first ten minutes or so played a long con of showing a bunch of characters who looked to be main cast worthy and their first job of taking on goblins. What follows is the perfect example of what not to do for anyone who’s played an MMO or RPG. Like not damaging the quest giver who recommended that you wait for a higher ranked adventurer before going on the quest. Or remembering to take potions. Or not leaving behind your mage and healer while running on ahead. Or bringing a longsword to fight in a cramped cave. Or the tank swinging his sword wildly making it that the main dps couldn’t help out. So this episode mainly serves to do two things, one is showing how goblins are irredeemable assholes and two is showing how badass goblin slaying batman is. Believe or not considering how graphic this was it was toned down from the manga which was rather gratuitous with showing the rape and violence. White Fox took the more tasteful route of not directly showing rape but still making sure we knew what was happening offscreen. For a first episode it does the job of setting up the premise and the only real hiccup was White Fox replacing Goblin Slayer with a CGI model at times and thinking viewers wouldn’t notice. I hope that doesn’t become a common occurrence.
Potential: 75%

Lenlo’s Review:
Ah White Fox, we meet once again. Your 2 for 4 with me right now, so time to break the tie. So far, Goblin Slayer is preeetty good. I saw the bait and switch of the adventuring team coming a mile away, but it still worked. I found the light foreshadowing of the longsword and the cave walls/ceiling to work well. And most of all, I enjoyed how the Goblins were suitably threatening. So often anime, and fresh DnD DM’s, forget that just Goblins being weak stat wise means they have to make up for it in other areas, such as cleverness and numbers. Being underestimated. It makes me think that our lead will face some real challenges going through the series, even if I have no idea what the central plot may end up being. The fact that Goblin Slayer didn’t just cut his way through the horde either was appreciated. He used a very pragmatic approach of traps, using his resources, knowledge and the geography of the cave. As Aidan said, he is closer to a sort of Batman than a general overpowered MC. The two aspects that bugged me, that will most likely become a reoccurring thing if its being used this much in the first episode, is the CGI model of the Goblin Slayer and the rape. One of these things is less concerning than the other. I don’t think we are escaping that. But you know what, I don’t care. I am in for the season Goblin Slayer. Don’t disappoint me.
Potential: 70%

 

SSSS.GRIDMAN

Short Synopsis: A boy with amnesia has to turn into a giant robot to fight Kaiju.

Aidan’s review:
Allow me to be blunt. I have absolutely, positively no idea how to react to this one. The inspiration certainly seems to be along the lines of Tokusatsu shows like Kamen rider, in fact this does seem to be a sequel to a lesser known one. However the episode itself seems to be half school life and half giant monster fighting. What throws me off so much however is the nature of the dialogue which some have deemed realistic but I myself find rather quirky. I wish I could react to a giant monster ripping apart the town with as much nonchalance as these characters do. In fact these characters seem to react to any supernatural incident with mild disinterest. The main character has amnesia(Tired trope indeed) and both he along with everyone else treats it like he stubbed a toe. “You got amnesia? Well that’s odd but eh, you will get over it” That’s what is throwing me off throughout this episode because the characters seem to care very little about the events of the plot, causing a strange disconnect between myself and the story unfolding. Thus I cannot get invested in any of it but even then I just think this isn’t the kind of show for me. I feel this is more for fans of the original Gridman or other Tokusatsu media.
Potential: 0%

Lenlo’s Review:
If nothing else, I have to give Gridman props for trying something interesting. Not with the story, that’s some standard Super Sentai Kamen Rider fare, though I do like the monsters being carved and created. Not the characters, because amnesia is a played out trope that every anime fan is probably tired of. No, I have to give it props for its direction. In just this first episode Gridman tried a number of interesting shots, even if they failed. The single frame cuts during a conversation, as if time is passing for awhile and its just cutting to the start of each sentence. Or the long pause after the ball knocks the sandwich to the ground. I’m not sure either of them worked as intended, but I give props to Trigger for trying something new like always. As far as the actual show goes though, I am personally not interested. I grew out of Power Rangers a long time ago, and I am not familiar with the source material of Gridman enough to truly care. As Aidan points out, the characters react to everything like they have seen it a thousand times, even the giant Kaiju showing up out of nowhere. It’s the same offbeat style Trigger is known for, but here it bugs me. Still, if you like Sentai Shows and if Gridman keeps up some of these interesting directional choices, you might enjoy it.
Potential: 15%

9 Responses

  1. Avatar Vonter says:

    I don’t get the appeal of Goblin Slayer aside from the shock value.

    I think the colors could have been bleaker, kinda like Gonzo did with their high contrast animes.

    Having read several chapters I don’t know what you want to be attached. The main characters aren’t interesting, and the goblins I didn’t feel we get interesting escalation like other seinen anime. Attack of Titan at least had character quirks even on the titans.

    I just get the feeling this author saw the Mad Dog knights and Troll arc in Berserk and thought on centering a manga around the shocking moments of those parts.

    Still, I’m curious how they’ll jump around the women-on-shields part.

    • Avatar Evaluator says:

      Checked out the 1st ep and I share the sentiment. Shock value. Potential 10%.

      Another try to take RPGs seriously and I dont buy it at all, yet again. I even have experience with MMORPGs now and it didn’t help me to enjoy this at all.

      The laid-back attitude of the adventurers and their lack of skill was being thrown in our face, their reactions to things ridiculous (enumeration omitted), the fanservice mind-boggling (gives rape, but cant give panties*), censorship not so clever and the structure of the narrative… – they had no strategy, no nothing – they merely existed to show us oh how serious this all is and that could be accomplished by Goblin Slayer coming 10 min earlier and spelling it out loud for them (but then it would actually have to come up with a story and conversations and personalities). The 1st half was a waste of time, and the other fared no better.

      Random thought: Why would Goblin want to have sex with a human and even show lecherous grin?

      TLDR: How exactly is this dark? I laughed at several occasions. Like those shadows of goblings ganging up and cutting down some of these guys were hilarious…

      I don’t believe I’m biased against isekai, but I dislike anime in the genre almost like a rule. That would include things like SAO, Log Horizon, Grimgar among other things. The (surprising) exceptions for me would be Konosuba and perhaps Overlord, although the latter is still often too escapist for my taste.

      * Why does this series keep embarrassing itself by giving us a ‘peek’ and then not drawing the thing? It literally skips the ‘view’ frames. I guess they’ll add them in the BRs? Don’t take me wrong, I’m not saying give me more fanservice, I’m just pointing out how this episode is all about bait and give-nothing in pretty much everything it does.

      • Avatar Masky says:

        Umm, did you just call rape scenes fanservice?

        Thaaaaaaats really disturbing.

        Anyway, Goblin Slayer is based on D&D of all things though. That is pretty much main draw of the Goblin Slayer, problem is that shocking parts kinda ruin it for lot of people. Also confused why are you suddenly referring to Isekai.

        (BTW, writer did actually bother coming up with excuse that answers your random thought)

        • Avatar Evaluator says:

          @Masky, thx for the comments and some answers.

          I’m referring to isekai, because I consider it and the ‘game genres’ one and the same. The isekai merely introduces certain narrative preface, which is, in grand scheme of things, unimportant. The point is the escaping, the clean slate, the fantasy, the empowering and the new/other (world, rules, etc).

          I did not mean to call rape here a fanservice (just random pantyshots, angles and stuff), but believe me, the rape was pure fanservice.

          I hope no one is going to tell me that this was simply badly communicated themes of Goblin morality and stuff. The anthropomorphisation of the Goblins in this scene (particularly their very human-like facial expressions) make sense only in one way – to make the rape not an inter-racial ‘accident’, but boarish empowering violation, which has nothing to do with Goblins, the characters, themes/motives or anything whatsoever and exists only to please the viewer through shock and titillating means. The effect of rape, which marries violence and sex into one, is not lost on viewers, let alone creators, who abuse it as much as they possibly can.

          The scene was a silly porn-wannabe masquerading as something else. And it was neither good or interesting.

          It’s about the point. Griffith can get away with it, Goblin Slayer can’t.

      • Avatar Lenlo says:

        The base of the goblins is their species only has males, so they have to be with other species to breed. Its not great.

        If I knew what I know now back when I was writing this, that what we saw is basically all it has and there is no greater plot. That the rape was gonna be a main thing, I would score it waaay lower.

        • Avatar Masky says:

          Exactly, its just excuse to justify it existing. Also, your second paragraph is the thing why I think rape thing really ruins Goblin Slayer <_<

          Its overall plot is pretty much about Goblin Slayer learning to connect with other people and other people wanting to connect with him more despite of his messed up broken nature.

          Basically, the story isn't THAT grimdark, its rather bittersweet actually. Rape thing really clashes with the actual tone of the series. Like, surely gore would have been enough to establish point "Goblins are fricking horrible"

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I havnt read it at all. I have been told it doesnt change and stays like the first episode on repeat basically. Knowing this now, after writing it, I would bump it down a looot.

      • Avatar Evaluator says:

        I think it is only fair to write your 1st ep review on 1st ep knowledge. The review reflects author’s knowledge at the time of writing, why is that a bad thing? The series made you think of it in some way (good or bad) and your rating/opinions (however limited by familiarity) are genuine.

        If you think your opinion of the show will go down, the piece you have written is, at the very least, a proof that it did manage to grab you at the beginning and that itself invites curiosity and merit to your original post.

  2. Avatar Masky says:

    Anyhoo, I would like to point out that in novels at least, goblins do actually escalate similar to D&D rules(like eventually from stronger variants of goblins to goblins with class levels) <_< But that would be getting into actual spoilers

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