Okay, at this point I’m pretty sure which series I’m going to blog this season. But first a few short comments about the ones I’m not going to blog:
– Free is well made for a bishie series but I don’t trust the creators to actually use the characters well enough.
– Gifuu Doudou hilariously camp, but ultimately a one-trick pony
– Inu to Hasami is badly produced
– Servant X Service is great, but I already know that I don’t have inspiration to write full entries about it.
– Dagan Ronpa… I’m going to decide whether to blog that one after episode 3 where I can see how the creators handle the detective part, because I don’t trust that yet (this also depends on how fast I can catch up to Uchuu Kyoudai…).
– Fantasista Doll is oddly interesting, but I don’t have enough inspiration to write about its bland parts.
– Stella is just entertainment, not really the right show to blog every week.
– Blood Lad is fun, but I miss substance which will make it a bit hard to write about.
– Gen’Ei is too bland and tries too hard.
– Watamote seems like too much of a one-trick pony, which is not good to write about every week.
– Kimi no Iru Machi is together with Dagan Ronpa the one that I’m the most doubtful about. Both have the potential to become really good, or really, really bad. Do I want to watch enough to find out about that?
In the meantime, this is the third Kamisama-series that I’ve blogged, and the fifth Kamisama-series that I’m going to watch, after Kamisama Dolls, Hajimemashita, Kazoku and no Memo-Chou. And that’s a good way to describe this series: a mix between stuff that has been done before, together with new and fresh stuff.
Let me get back on Gen’Ei wo Kakeru Taiyou in particular, because it does bear some similarities with Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, in the way that it puts a little girl and forces these very dramatic things upon her. In this show it works, in Gen’Ei, it doesn’t. Why is that, even though both are pretty dramatic and use their protagonist being young as shock factor.
When I looked beyond, I realized the difference is that in comparison, Gen’Ei is bland. On one hand you have a young girl who grew up in the middle of zombies and has taken the task upon herself to become a respectable undertaker. On the other you have a high school girl who finds a bunch of girls who fight for her and that pretty much all look the same. Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi spices up its story: it comes up with creative twists and sides to both the setting and the characters, and that actually makes it very interesting, whereas Gen’Ei to mee seems to rely just too much on its shock factor without making the rest likable. Shock factor is supposed to be used as a condiment, not the main course.
I often go on about series repeating themselves too much, but there is also such a thing as “stealing well”. And to me, that goes to this series. The idea of there not being children? Been done before. Old guy (32!?!) travelling together with young girl? Been done before. Zombies? Been there, done that. However the way in which this show uses these themes is new, and it doesn’t feel like it copied these things out of laziness, but rather because it was a good way to get to the ideas it wanted to explore. I mean the concept of God just saying “screw it” and refusing to kill people. That’s pretty damn interesting!
This show does have flaws so far. The biggest so far is that a lot of the characters seem just devices to tell the story; their acting still feels wooden and they are used A LOT for exposition. That needs to improve, this series needs a bit more of “show, don’t tell”. The big challenge for this series will be to correctly explore its themes throughout its limited airtime. Create interesting stories around this setting, instead of just randomly filling up time.
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)