Posted by SuperMario on 4 July 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions


Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e

Short Synopsis: In the wake of a civil war, a squad of shape-shifting soldiers become murderous beasts, who are hunted by their former leader.

Amun’s review:
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts starts off their first episode with typical war anime exposition and setting – supernatural squad turns around impossible situation with immense personal cost.  However, a twist! We now have our former war heroes become villains (with a side of an odd love triangle, which inevitably spawns the main big baddie). The daughter of a squad member also is innocuously introduced, implying immense imminent importance.

Overall, not a bad first episode – however, I’m wary since the quality (almost) always deteriorates after number 1. Personally, I think the fighting animation is fine (typical MAPPA), but the character designs are surprisingly from the wrong decade…I haven’t seen hair like that since the 80s X-men.  If you watched Fairy Gone last season, this will probably be very similar (thankfully without the random CGI). I’m also getting some real Darker than Black 2 vibes from the main character pairing and some whiffs of Golden Kamuy for the plot progression (probably without the humor, sadly). Overall, I would say this is shaping up to be your forgettable, albeit enjoyable B-tier action/revenge show for the season.
Potential: 50%

Lenlo’s review:
Holy exposition Batman! I joke, but this first episode was actually alright. It did a good job of getting me interested in the company and their plight. Introducing us to most of them first as people/characters before they become monsters of the week. Assuming Sacred Beasts uses them right, doesn’t make them all bloodthirsty monsters and properly explores aspects of the horrors of war and what is does to a person by metaphorically turning soldiers into monsters, I think there could be a lot of value in it. That said, its MAPPA, so I don’t expect any sort of consistency in production, and the Manga is still ongoing so we won’t be receiving a concrete ending anytime soon. Both of those make me hesitant to recommend it because I believe there will be better action fare this season. However, if your up for a war story and willing to take a chance, Sacred Beasts may fill that niche. At the least, I will be giving it a shot.
Potential: 55%

 

Kanata no Astra

Short Synopsis: A group of nine students get stranded in space on their school trip.

Armitage’s review:
Alrighty, then! We have our first one of the most anticipated shows this season, in Kanata no Astra. And even though I am not familiar with the source, I know that it is regarded very highly in manga circles. The premise is about a group of teenagers who get transported to… nope, not another world. Space! Because if it ain’t isekai, it ain’t gonna sell! Nobody wants to watch a classic, by the books space opera. LoTGH, you say? Pfft! Boring. Though, in all seriousness, Kanata no Astra takes its premise and runs it home. I loved how some of the conversations were just called out for being cliche and also appreciated the comc timing of some of the jokes. Though, the manga is by the author of SKET Dance, so it’s no surprise really. The characters by themselves aren’t that memorable. Out of all, Kanata and Aries stood out the most. Though, over more episodes, everyone should get their time to shine. 

But for me, the highlight of the premiere was definitely the OST. Issogood! It’s upbeat and sort of Jazz influenced but it’s been a long time since I listened to an OST so memorable. I can remember four standout tracks from just one episode! That’s no small feat. My only issue with this premier was how the animation was lacking in parts. Lot of still frames and lack of character expressions at points. Now, Lerche isn’t exactly known for their fluid animation work, but if it gets too bad, it sort of distracts from the story.  Hope it doesn’t come to that. But all in all, I really liked this premiere! Can’t wait to see where Astra takes these kids! If nothing else, I hope we get a few more gems like “UNTIMUT DAIBAMOMO!!” XD
Potential: 85%

Mario’s review:
Despite the occasional hiccup, Kanata no Astra’s strong premise makes the double-length premiere well worth it. On the plus side, this show has a strong sense of direction (it knows where it’s going), and the thrilling part works decently most of the time. The main lead has a fair share of backstory in this episode, which I expect will be the case for the rest of the cast as we spend more time with them. They have already planted some dynamics between this diverse cast, which is nice, but it also leaves me many concerns in that regard. First, the comedic bits aren’t the show’s strong suits, as every time the characters make some silly remarks or reactions, it falls flat. Second, the dialogues aren’t that memorable either. Some are intentional (especially when it comes to Kanata the male lead), but overall these exchanges are rather typical. Consider how Kanata no Astra will rely on these chemistries between their characters as one of its themes, they will have to work more in that department. The action part is mostly well done, although at the expense of some logical leap. For example, they totally forget about “the rope” when the cast attempts to save the leads (Note: I just found out in the manga version the leads did use the rope. Aghhh. Stupid lousy alteration). Overall, Kanata no Astra is worth checking out and there’s still space (pun intended) for developments as we know the cast better in later episodes.
Potential: 75%

 

Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?

Short Synopsis: Two high school girls join their local gym for different reasons, and develop an unlikely friendship.

Wooper’s review:
A show about cute girls lifting cute weights? My gym experience is limited, but I guess I’ll give it a shot. What’s that? The show is full of advice regarding exercise form, eating habits, and even workout supplements? The characters are super entertaining thanks to their fitness-related quirks and overreactions? The OP and ED feature a peppy personal trainer chanting English phrases such as “Yes muscle!” and “Nice form!” along with the music? Alright, you sold me. In all seriousness, this premiere was quite good, and a lot of it has to do with the characters. Things aren’t made easy for female lead Hibiki, who joins a gym in order to lose weight and snag a boyfriend, but discovers that muscle training is much more difficult than it looks. She reacts to fitness culture with a mix of confusion, intimidation, and horror, but by the end of the first episode, she’s already formed a bond with Akemi, a health nut with an amusingly intense muscle fetish. With a girl like Akemi around, the show’s exercise goals for Hibiki will probably deepen over time, which provides a clear road for its story to travel. The one criticism I have is that Hibiki looks like a typical slim anime girl for the majority of her screen time, despite the declaration that she’s on the heavy side. Maybe she’s just extremely body conscious? Even if the show doesn’t address this issue, the comedy is still strong and the visuals are above par, so I’m down to follow this for a full season.
Potential: 75%

Armitage’s review:
Right. So all you body-conscious girls and boys, raise your hands, if getting off your ass and going to the gym sounds like a pain!… No? No one? Oh, right. Raising your hands is kind of a workout too. Ah, my kind of people. So, here we have our run of the mill cute-girls-doing-testosterone-fueled-masculine-exercises anime of the season. You know, the usual. We have our MC, Hibiki who just wants to enjoy her 6-7 meals a day, stay slim and have a nice ass. Is that too much to ask for? Nay, I say! But still, as our goddess Britney Spears has aptly mentioned in her popular hymn: “You want a hot body? You gotta work, B**ch!” 

So, Hibiki decides to join a gym. You know, the girly kind with slender, pretty trainers and couples clicking selfies. But the gym she ends up enrolling herself in, turns out to be quite the opposite. And what we get in the rest of the episode is some pretty neat information about gym exercises and correct posture. That too is presented in a very non-male-gazey way. Except for when it’s played for laughs (which works hilariously). So, yeah. All in all, I had a real good time with this premiere. This very well has the potential to be the sleeper of the season! And hey, if nothing, we’ve got two really upbeat songs as the OP and ED to listen to. while working out at the gym. Whenever that happens. (In the near future, promise!)
Potential: 80%

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Jimtim says:

    Only with anime can the best thing airing be a show about female bodybuilders. In conclusion Wednesdays are great again.

    • Avatar Armitage says:

      Yassssss. See, Miyazaki? Anime is saved! :D

    • Avatar evafan says:

      Hahaha so true.
      It’s really disturbing. Also the fact that I came here to pick something to watch and left with ‘Hell yes, I dont care about any of this, but hey, the girls in a gym might be good’.

  2. Avatar evafan says:

    Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?
    was pretty good. Exactly what one would expect here. That moment when they walked into the gym full of intense muscle-beasts.. Hahahaha. I’ll definitely watch this.

    Kanata no Astra
    was, well, not good. Besides the fact that half of the ep bored me to death, there were also several infuriating moments, mostly people doing something stupid* or at least arguing or screaming pathetically instead of you know, trying to survive. It’s 30% idiotic, 40% ‘you need to be calm to survive’ and 30% actual events. Meh. On the plus side, the OST is way too good – I’m very impressed. Better than, say, Interstellar. And the intro was totally John Murphy (Sunshine, 22 Days Later, …) and it was totally intended. Need more!

    * There are so many things you can do to preserve thrusters or avoid using them at all… Throwing objects in opposite direction, using multiple people (in a tanker-planes helping tanker-planes manner), not pulling on the rope! You may also want to not scream and cry until after you are saved, not thank or even talk to the guy saving you, not with broken comms and in a situation where every second may decide your fate (what if the ship is drifting away due to gravity/atmospheric resistance).

    Lastly, how can something in space be ‘too far away’? You have no air, thus only need thrusters to speed up very little. It may take longer but eventually you will reach your destination. Did the ship and the girl drift away and did the genius guy calculate the fuel/speeds/times in head (pretty difficult math to be done on the spot)? Wtf?

    • Avatar Manabu says:

      Yeah, I wasn’t impressed with Kanata no Astra either. And one of my favorite anime of all time is Mugen no Ryvius, that has a pretty similar premise, although this one doesn’t seems like it will turn into a Lord of the Flies further down the road. Even Uchuu no Stellvia has more well rounded and realistic characters in the first episode IMHO. Is it just me or the psgels crew is giving very optimistic potentials numbers in this season?

      The orbital mechanics display wasn’t great, but to their defense, in my experience from KSP it’s pretty difficult to get those EVA maneuvers right, and the farther the object is the harder to reach it in practice. On top of that, it seems their suit didn’t even had readings like the relative speed to the ship or to the target. So some wastage of fuel is understandable… especially if the character himself didn’t understand orbital mechanics very well and had little to no EVA experience.

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