Posted by SuperWooper on 15 July 2019 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions


Given

Short Synopsis: Chancing upon an encounter with a doe-eyed boy his age, a teenage guitarist find his love for music once again.

Armitage’s review:

I can see why this is undeservedly flying under the radar for most people. The core demographic for this show (those unfamiliar with the manga, which is outstanding) comprised of two kinds of viewers. The ones who were wishing for a Free: Rock Band Edition, with pretty boys having glistening abs locked up in a music room. And the ones who expected this to be an all-out music themed story. First of all, to clear the air, Yes. It’s a Shounen-Ai anime so there are bound to be pretty boys being awkward around each other and stealing the occasional side glance. But, if done right, it can turn into a highly compelling story like the Classmates movie which came out a couple of years back. And the kind of story Given tries to tell is a very compelling character-driven drama with music serving as a subplot.

It’s about Uenoyama and his attempts at finding his passion in life once again. It’s about Mafuyu, who from the moment he heard a guitar strum just felt completely enamored by its sound. And It’s about the journey that these two will take, breaking down each other’s defenses and growing as people, together. And as someone who is familiar with the source material, I can say that Lerche has done a solid job adapting the manga. The backgrounds aren’t lush or highly detailed but the character art stands out, giving the pivotal scenes the vibrancy they needed. Hearing these precious boys talk was a joy in itself. No complaints on the voice acting front. And, boy! That instrumental band performance was the highlight of the episode. The sound design was absolutely stellar; each instrument sounded very real and the entire showcase and made me reminiscent of Kids on the Slope. Whether Given is able to stand toe-to-toe with that series is something which will only be revealed over time. But the premiere has given (ha!) me high hopes.

Potential: 80%

Mario’s review:

Given is a show of two halves for me. When it focuses on the lead guy Uenoyama, it delivers with solid characterization and the guy has enough complexity for us to care: he finds himself losing the sparks of playing guitar, and finds that sparks in the new guy. It helps that every subplot around him is pretty good as well: he has a natural chemistry with his older sister, he has a band in which the bandmates serve as a nice supporting roles. But when it comes to the other “lost-puppy” character I am almost put off by it. I don’t know how anyone can find him remotely interesting since his head is over cloud 9 all the time. The production, aside from weird smoke effect at the end, is much better than I expected. The use of color and how they put characters into frame strengthen the mood of those scenes, and there’s an attention to guitar sound, which is gonna be key elements for the show going forward. So basically how Given handles that Satou character will be a make-or-break factor for me.

Potential: 50%



Okaasan Online

Short Synopsis: An ungrateful teenage boy and his doting mother are summoned into an MMORPG.

Wooper’s review:

Okaasan Online gives you exactly what it says on the tin: an RPG-themed story about moms. The white-pupiled character designs remind me of the protagonist from Net-juu no Susume, though that series aimed a bit deeper than this one. I feel confident in making that judgment after just one episode, because this show is pretty fetishistic at its core. The mom character is youthful, buxom, and freakishly supportive of her child. She says stuff like, “Look at how cool you’re acting!” and “I’ve discovered a new side of my son!” without the slightest hint of irony. As he’s being sucked into the game world, the main character even hopes that when he returns, he can be “more honest” with his mother. Gee, I wonder what that’s supposed to mean? The twist, which is also the show’s one redeeming feature, is that she’s far more powerful than her son in-game, which will probably lead to his humiliation in future episodes. Their immediate goal is to recruit a bunch of hot female party members for him to flirt with, but with his mom around to accidentally blue-ball him at every turn, this fanservice series might end up a half-decent comedy.

Potential: 25%

Lenlo’s review:

What is with anime, or Japan in general I guess, and fetishizing the family? I like a hot girl just as much as the next guy. But there are certain territories that are off limits, such as “sister” and “mother” and “family members”. Basically, as Wooper was saying, there is a whole lot of mother/son subtext going on and I don’t care for it. It’s an ecchi rpg isekai like series. That’s like… all of my negative tick boxes excluding loli. The only thing it has going for it is the comedy aspect that comes with ecchi series. Which this one has a bit of a twist on with, as Wooper said, the mother blue-balling her son. That at least is novel! However, comedy isn’t exactly my genre. So if it’s yours, this might end up being worth your time. For me though I have so many other things to watch this season, that Okaasan just isn’t even on my radar.

Potential: 5%



Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka II

Short Synopsis: A white haired boy finds love and adventure in a mysterious world called “Dungeon.”

Amun’s review:

1,476 days ago, I last saw the adventures of white haired Bell Cranel and Hestia the short, stacked goddess. DanMachi S2 Episode 1 had the accumulated expectations from the past 5 years to assuage us fans that our patience would be rewarded (I do not accept the existence of the spinoff show as canon, by the way). From episode 1, I can safely say…it’s been worth it.

One of my major concerns was where the series will go – will they continue the MMORPG progression raiding or will they introduce new characters and complications? From the looks of it, the latter. However, instead of the normal character creep that sets into these shows (think Fairy Tail), DanMachi – at least in their first episode back – has done a great job of clearly defining the conflicts, the goods and the bads, and bringing in a balanced mix of familiar side characters and fresh blood. With a surprising amount of relationship progression, nice fighting scenes to remind you this is an adventure show, and a quick tour of all our old friends, DanMachi is back with a bang. Wave your ribbons, fire your firebolts, splatter your minotaurs – the Dungeon is back!

Potential: 10000000%

Helghast’s review:

I watched DanMachi when it first came out and I wasn’t impressed by it at all as it was an amalgamation of every single stereotypical trope of the anime industry. It looked nice but it might as well be an isekai given the video game-like fantasy world with its RPG mechanics, shallow and pedantic characters and a massive amount of fanservice. There are the goddesses that fight over each other like teenage girls in high school and another one that just screams out just how all the little adventurers would enjoy being stepped on by her.

I suppose the best moment in the whole episode was how Bell and the Sword Princess ended up dancing courtesy of Hermes being a completely boss of a wingman. Ais still has the personality of a cardboard cereal box but that was probably the nicest moment between the two characters. It all comes down in the end as the next main conflict gets set up between the Apollo familia and Hesita in an overly dramatic reveal filled with rapey vibes that only emphasizes just how comically bad our new villains are. I’m not a betting man but I’m pretty sure who is going to be the winner in the war games and how Apollo will deservedly get the beatdown that is coming to him.

It’s animated decently enough and you can really see where J.C. Staff focused their efforts on instead of bothering with One Punch Man Season 2. If you into shows like DanMachi then you don’t need me to tell you to go watch it, but for the rest of us, season two isn’t going to change your mind in the slightest.

Potential: 34.5%

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Vonter says:

    I was expecting the Mother Isekai to be funnier, the mother seems too nice which makes her feel like another girl in the harem. I suppose the creators didn’t wanted to make her too nagging to the protagonist, but I think there’s a balance to take into account.

    I just remember how Welcome to the NHK! did it’s mother episode and it was funny, awkward and sweet in all the right ways. One scene warranted the mother to scold her son, but I suppose the story is insinuating this whole thing is a way to teach his son some sort of life lesson or something.

    Perhaps Shield Hero raised my expectations, because while run-of-the-mill it kept me invested in comparison to other Isekai. But oh well to be fair, that one had a very uninteresting first episode too.

  2. Avatar Pink Pearl says:

    I’d like to find out more? I’d care to find out some additional
    information.

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