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

Houkago Saikoro Club

Short Synopsis: A shy high schooler stumbles upon an out of the way hobby shop and bonds with other girls over board games.

Wooper’s review:

This series has two things going for it: pretty backgrounds and the allure of a new board game or two to be unveiled each week. Seriously, the background art looks really nice, especially during the exterior scenes, with plants and streams that feel as though someone drew them, rather than using digital assets or slapping some filters on top of a referenced illustration. The layouts are imaginative, and the digital coloring is appealing. The same can’t be said for the characters, who are the same shy/genki/strict trio we’ve seen before in anime. Shy Girl operates on “wears headphones to school” levels of anxiety, while Genki Girl’s philosophy that you can never be lost if you don’t have a destination soured me on her character. Most people will need to head home in the evening, so of course you can get lost, regardless of your immediate goal. The board game they play during the second half of the episode (“Marrakech” – shoutout to Crosby, Stills & Nash) is charming in its simplicity, but that too is sullied by the other characters investing way too much of themselves into helping Shy Girl have fun. It doesn’t feel natural in the least, and I doubt the show will take its foot off the gas in that respect.

Potential: 25%

Mario’s review:

It’s a pretty standard start overall. Too standard that it fails to register to me in any way. I blame it on the plainness of the blue hair main girl, who was literally starting to cry while playing a freaking board game. She’s too uninteresting that I feel the way the other girls “assist” her to be forced. The plot also goes pretty much aimless in the first half and only starts to form once the girls get into the board game store. The other aspect of the show, the board games, does a decent job of introducing various board games and that might be the only selling point I find from this show. Houkago is your average “cute girls playing games” show and doesn’t offer much more than that.

Potential: 10%

 

Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo

Short Synopsis: A literal potato fails to earn the affections of two anime girls wearing tacky flower accessories.

Wooper’s review:

I watched the first three minutes of this and had to bail. The main character introduced himself by saying that, apart from his name, there was “nothing remarkable about me.” This was a clear sign that the show could be disregarded, as it’s the laziest possible means of creating a relatable protagonist, and also the least effective. I pressed on, undeterred by the show’s upfront admission that characterization was not a priority, and watched with horror as the series used GBA-era sound effects to accompany the appearance of two female characters’ tits and asses. At this point I was done with Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo, but I clicked through the rest of the episode at random and discovered two nearly identical, pitifully animated scenes where a male character cries and softly bonks his head against a wall. The only difference between the two was a different girl watching him each time, staring at him with tears in her eyes as though this fucknugget’s emotional display was the most pressing concern of her life. Also, the character animation is shit and the design work is even worse. Someone please kill me.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:

The fun of watching Ore wo Suki is to see how it establishes obvious tropes and then slowly derails from these. While normally I’m not fond of meta-jokes, it works in this case because the show uses our old knowledge of such cliche to twist around the head. It doesn’t make the show great or anything (still pretty trashy), but at least now it’s more engaging. The catch here is that our main guy is a scheming, mean bastard and girls he wants to hunt falling for his best friends instead. While I’m enjoying what this episode offered, I am wary about how it goes from now. The production looks average, and with a show like this the moment it goes for standard route it’ll lose its sparks. Let’s hope we have a no hold bar, wacky tale all the way.

Potential: 50%

 

Radiant 2nd Season

Short Synopsis: One sorcerer boy fights to end the discrimination he faces and fix the world’s conflicts by killing all of the monsters that made him this way.

Amun’s review:

Radiant is back!  Picking up where last season left off, Seth is off on a new adventure and Draganov, expecting to be executed, got a snowy walk and a promotion.  Alma got a prisoner work release program (that she decided herself) and we can start to see the political framework being set up for this season.  The biggest takeaways from this episode are a) we’re in for some new characters (and a flying raccoon bat?), b) we’re going to have some definite power creep and c) we’ll get closer (but never all the way) to revealing the mysteries of the world.  Speaking of the world, the setting looks great as always – props to the French artists involved.  The formula for success here is simple: straightforward plots, good characters (but not not too many all at once plus some screen time for the old ones), climactic fights, and some minor reveals to string the viewer along.  I like what I see so far.

Potential: 75%

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Mentar says:

    Wooper: Unfortunately, you’re the victim of the “two halves” approach in Ore Wo Suki. In the first half, the show is very consciously and gleefully playing out every tired cliche of a harem anime. And you clearly never made it beyond that.

    The catch is that it’s all fake, and in the second half, we learn the truth and the atmosphere changes completely: The MC is not a dense useless milquetoast, but rather a nasty schemer, and the first two girls are not starry-eyed angels, but are trying to exploit the MC for their own ends. Frame-skipping forward made you miss this. And the third girl is a demon spawned from Senjougahara and Natsukawa Misuzu.

    I can’t say whether or not the multiple twists in the second half will make you change your mind, or if this show is for you, but I at least wanted to point out to you that your “urghh”-reaction from the first half was actually intended.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      So I heeded your tips and gave this a try and ended up regretting it about 2 seconds in, when the girl made a distorted scheming smile and seductive evil laugh that displayed the complexity of the situation in which the guy found himself in.

      All these deep emotions nowadays are triggering me so hard. I stare at the girl’s carefully and sharply drawn mouth and feel like I’m watching a bona fide hologram. If I merely take a step ‘out’ I see all her emotions right there: on the 2-dimensional surface of her face.

      That’s not how you build intricate characters. If the emotion is clear from her face alone and does not require any context then what is the whole point then? The point is that you can NOT tell the character’s emotions from the drawing, why cant’t these genius creators understand? Or perhaps they do understand, that mainstream consumer is flatter than a loli kanmusu’s deck…

      Such a waste of time. And talent (of so many people).

      Anyway this show is copying KyoAni side face styles (among other things). Is it trying to look like modern Clannad? I’m getting such vibes.

      They also intentionally blur all the lines, probably for artistic merits, and it looks horrible, my eyes bleed. I have 4k monitor to watch 1080p anime that blurs the lines to look like 720p. Are you fkin kidding me?!?!

      “…demon spawned from Senjougahara…”
      Contrary to a popular belief, Senjougahara is not deep character.

      Also, even if 2nd half is somehow amazing then it’s no excuse for uninteresting content. I literally watched the episode in 5 minutes. Skip skip skip, loli, bitch, skip, save screenshot, skip skip skip, screenshot, skip skip, confession, girl says she likes MC’s friend, my interest drops from 1% to 0% (not because I cant self-insert, but because I will now have to endure 8 eps of predictable BS to get to the point I want to be right now), skip skip, ending.

      Also, demonic something? The intention should be to try to portray complex or interesting things (that were probably already portrayed million times before) in a new light, not create nonsensical stupid twists that make you interested for 5 seconds and leave you with nothing to think about the moment they pass. Its just fad-generator machine at this point.

      All these copy-pasta-driven characters are so sad. You can literally trace all the Asukas and Reis in them. Just add some makup, change hair color and add a little this and that and you’ve got character that can possible be inferior right, right?

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