Posted by SuperMario on 6 January 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019)

Short Synopsis: A teenage boy meets his crush’s costumed alter ego, Boogiepop, as rumors about disappearing girls spread through their high school.

Lenlo’s Review:

Ah, a new year, new season, time for a new first impressions post. What’s this, a mystery thriller about an urban legend and an angel of death? Why I would love to! A full explanation on what the Boogiepop is from an unreliable narrator? A split personality that appears in women, and then proceeds to murder or kill the thing murdering other young women? Social gossip? Well sure, sounds good I- wait, what’s happening? This is a lot of talking and not much really happening. Why does this entire episode suddenly feel more like a standalone than a series introduction? What is even happening anymore? Suffice to say, Boogiepop intrigued me at the start and then, over the course of 25 minutes, proceeded to completely lose my interest. It raised a bunch of questions, answered them unsatisfactorily and then basically shoved off. Its like Boogiepop thinks throwing you straight in the deep end of psychological disorders, myths and legends, and murder is a good way to start a show. I like it enough to give it another chance with the next episode or two, but as is, my interest in the series is lower than it has been since it was announced. Here’s hoping that’s just first episode blues for a notoriously hard genre to pull off though.

Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:

I never got into the original Boogiepop adaptation, which first aired 19 years ago. Based on the first few episodes, my impressions were that it was gloomily lit, oppressively moody, and quite difficult to follow. For fans of the 2000s series who loved that challenging atmosphere, the fear surrounding this newer version must be that it will become too accessible. Those fears can be put to rest, however, since this first episode was an understated, non-linear collection of conversations that promised no easy answers. Though the premiere offers an explanation for who or what Boogiepop is, it’s not a complete one – in fact, it seems downright misleading. There are quick cuts to bits of murderous violence at several points throughout the episode, which echo the gossip swirling throughout the school where the episode plays out. The desired mood here is clearly unease, and the show does a few things to achieve it: hiring Kensuke Ushio to compose a droning electronic score, setting many of its scenes during the late afternoon to give its characters an odd glow, etc. Some of these efforts are hamstrung, though, by jerky animation, instances of muddy dialogue, and character designs (immediately recognizable as Parasyte knockoffs) that don’t seem to fit the series’ mystery-laden mood. Word on the street is that the second episode (which is already available online) is an improvement, so seek it out if you’re interested. As for me, after just one go, I’d say the series has my interest, but not my enthusiasm.

Potential: 50%

Aidan’s review:

Boogiepop started this season with a double episode premiere and as you likely seen from my preview, I walked into this one with great expectations. The first episode was slow, the animation of was surprisingly underwhelming(I don’t understand why it was decided to make extras faceless.) but at least it was fairly accurate to what I read from the novel and considered the double episode premiere to be a good move considering how the story works as a slow burn. Then I walked into episode two and just what in the holy hell happened here? What was supposed to happen was that we would see events from the new protagonist but instead it appears they opted for a different method for showing the rest of this story. Which is by chopping up the rest of the novel and rearranging in a manner to make it as confusing as possible. Truly I am flabbergasted. I don’t see the artistic expression of making your narrative harder to follow and in many ways it kills the story as characters are no on screen long enough to grow attached to, the story leaps back and forward in time with no abaddon and it’s hard to become invested when you are too busy figuring out just what the hell is going on. The focus should have been on showing the inner thoughts of the characters through animation, not on this ridiculous editing for the sake of…whatever they are trying to accomplish. I am hoping that this was a one episode thing or that once a new arc starts that they come to their senses and realise this is idiocy. And maybe I can see that beautiful animation that the first PV showcased appear.

Potential: 30%

 

Egao no Daika

Short Synopsis: A 12 year old princess ascends to the throne of a prosperous country, not knowing that it’s at war with the neighboring Empire.

Lenlo’s Review:

Ah, the lolibait of the season. This time with a princess idol who battles in robot mecha chess. I’ll be perfectly honest, I have no idea what I just watched. Egao no Daika is trying to do… everything really. Mystery plot over this “incident” and her parents, romance between her and her bodyguard, action with giant mecha battles. It’s all over the place. That said, the mecha battle itself actually… wasn’t terrible. If you can ignore all of the context around everything that happens in this show and just enjoy the mecha battles, you may have fun with it. If not though, just skip it. Egao no Daika’s author just shoved every trope they could find into one story, so I am sure you can find something you like better elsewhere in the season.

Potential: 5%

Wooper’s review:

Why is a 12 year old princess entrusted with the fate of an entire country just because her parents died?
Why does her first address to the nation look like an idol concert, complete with glow sticks and ridiculous crowd reactions?
Why are all the outfits and hairstyles so needlessly elaborate (and therefore difficult to animate)?
Why are there twin characters whose last name is literally “Vanquish”?
Why does one of them oppose the princess’ rule on the grounds of her naiveté, only to be charmed by that same trait fifteen seconds later?
Why do two high-ranking, ostensibly well-informed members of the government suddenly explain their country’s history to each other, complete with a holographic display that looks like a video game menu screen?
Why was there a need to refer to a futuristic-looking game with a green 6×5 board and pushpin-looking pieces as “chess”?
Why doesn’t the princess have anything better to do than to watch her bodyguard engage in a CG simulated mech battle with the Vanquish twins?
Why does she suddenly become a strategic genius midway through the battle, despite having lost horribly to her advisor at “chess” (and then questioning whether strategic thinking was “really something she needed”) just thirty minutes earlier?
Why are anime characters still vowing to “protect her smile” in 2019?
Why did I watch this show?

Potential: Why?

 

W’z

Short Synopsis:  A middle-school boy moonlighted as DJ in the virtual world and attracts fair share of enemies who are Hand Shakers

Lenlo’s Review:

I just got tricked into watching a sequel to Hand Shakers. What the hell.

I won’t even say watch this if you liked Hand Shakers, because no one liked Hand Shakers.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:

So this is indeed a sequel of HandShakers. It features the new cast so you don’t need any prior knowledge to watch it. Although the question remains: why bother watching it? As you might aware HandShakers is a rare anime that fails in arguably every single department (it fails so hard that it belongs to so-bad-it’s-good camp, but that’s another matter), and so far with W’z it doesn’t look like they’re gonna change. It has the exact same aesthetic as the screen in bathed in bluey filter. Characters look the same and they never talk like real human. We haven’t gotten into the fights yet so I’m not commenting on the CG battles yet, but the CG background characters stick out like a sore thumb. Even the main plot now is nonsensical. The only way you can enjoy this show is to set your expectation to be as low as HandShakers.

Potential: high chance of becoming the worst anime of 2019 by a landslide

Aidan’s review:

Honestly this is truly impressive. GoHands, never have I seen a studio so utterly full of confidence in their own style…and so utterly oblivious to their own failings. Try searching for my old impression of a series called K that they made before. Everything I said there applies here. They are repeating, every single failing. The pointless starting fight scene, the crap CGI, the BL baiting, the utter overuse of filters and lighting that washes out the screen along with characters so stock they still got the wrapping paper on. At this point a studio would learn, if they didn’t then they would at least learn after making one of the worst anime trainwrecks in Hand Shakers. But not only have they learned nothing…they made a sequel to Hand Shakers. What should be a complete black mark on their history and they made a bloody sequel to it. I don’t understand. Do they not want to be successful? Do they not want to make money? Are they under some mistaken impression of being animation visionaries? Because under all the scum of this series it does feel like there is genuine effort being put in but it’s all for naught when the package is an utter disaster such as this.

Potential: When are you declaring bankruptcy GoHands?

4 Responses

  1. Avatar Amagi says:

    “Egao no Daika” etc.
    I agree with Wooper. Why?

  2. I honestly believe the original boogiepop has something to do with disaffection, 90s fatalisim and a desire for its characters to return to the past (as evidence by the poompoom episode)
    Of course that could all very well either not be there or be simply fluff and I wouldn’t mind because the cerebral atmosphere would have been enough.

    Never finished anything by gohands at any point.
    Flicked through moments of Egad noway Daika and concluded “Okay cute looking twintails girl eh fine” not watching though then stopped.

    Best wait for Dororo to save the season.

  3. Avatar Animosh says:

    “The series has my interest but not my enthusiasm.” That’s exactly how I feel about Boogiepop too. Its moody atmosphere (though not nearly as memorable as that of the older series) is pretty well done (as Wooper put it, there’s this sense of unease pervading the series that fits its genre perfectly, supported by its eerie ambient soundtrack), the OP & ED are really catchy, and there are some nice shots here and there. I also like that it’ll have 18 episodes instead of the regular 12 or 13: now presumably the writers will have the right number of episodes for the story they want to tell. But it’s too flawed in most other respects to earn my enthusiasm (and in the long run atmosphere alone is rarely enough to sustain my interest). Its characters (and their designs) are really bland, the story is needlessly confusing and visually it’s utterly unremarkable. So it definitely hasn’t lived up to the hype (great trailer, OPM director, lauded source material) so far. I’ll give it a few more episodes to rouse my enthusiasm though.

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