Posted on 29 April 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



What a wonderful episode. The danger with these slice of life series is to have them too much about nothing, or to not put any creativity in the scenarios that the characters find themselves in. This however was an episode that confronted Masa deeply, and it as well mirrored Yaichi’s past (at least, I assume that he’s the kid in the flashbacks, right?). The creators have chosen two wildly different ways to flesh out the two of them: Masa gets explored because we get to see exactly who he is: what motivates him, in what way he’s such a loser, et cetera. Yaichi on the other hand is being portrayed as dark and mysterious: the guy with a dark past who turned into a confident criminal, who mainly gets fleshed out by his words, instead of his actions. And who knows what can lie behind those words? Unlike Masa, this guy hides plenty of things.

I’m wondering about Matsu’s role in all of this. The side-characters all have their own great and subtle characterization. The thing is however that they’re probably going to have to make way in terms of development, in order to let Masa and Yaichi fully shine. The length is probably going to be the biggest issue for this series: did the creators put enough thought into making the best out of the length of this series? I’m having faith in Tomomi Mochizuki, however. He has experience with changing stories from their source-material, in order to make them fit the anime format perfectly (just look at Touka Gettan and Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, and I also refuse to believe that Porfy no Nagai Tabi was 100% faithful to its novels), and I’m really counting on him to put the same skills to work here.

In any case though, this episode was really well animated. It’s really series like this that use their animation to get the best out of the characters, bringing them to life. I’m in love with the saturated colours here, and especially that flashback looked beautiful.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 23 April 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



To those who were turned off by the character-designs, or found them ugly: what do you consider to be great character-designs? Personally I love the character-designs of this series; I’m a big fan of series that have their own visual identity, rather than staying with the same tried and true moe-based art style. The character-designs here are all unique despite the fact that it isn’t the first series set in its time-period.

In any case, this was a wonderful episode that did an excellent job in fleshing out the characters. This is one of those series that really makes the cast come alive. While it was a typical episode that showed the lead character as he tried to decide whether or not he should join group X (in this case, five leaves), but the key with those kinds of episodes is to really show the thought-process that these characters go through, rather than stretch for time. While we see Masa pondering about what to do, you see people trying to influence him from all sides, and check him out. Especially Ume is interesting with his doubts. And even outside of this, Masa’s reactions to everything around him are really well characterized.

The use of music also was pretty interesting, especially that tune that was played as Ume walked around with that body. The pacing was slow but yet the soundtrack was fast-paced. It overall has a great use of sound effects and music, with a lot of variety in them. It’s great to see such a slice-of-life so well executed, and there’s quite a bit of subtle wit in the dialogue.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 16 April 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou




Well, so I could write another first impression post for Sarai-Ya Goyou and Yojou-Han, but since Noitamina airs so late this season and it was obvious that I was going to blog the two of them anyway, I fail to see the point. Sarai-ya Goyou really was the series I’ve been looking forward to the most, finally showing Tomomi Mochizuki in action again. And so far, its first episode does not disappoint.

This episode was an excellent introduction: it introduced the main characters, it showed who they were, it talked a bit about their past, so that we already have a pretty good idea of who they are. It was produced excellently: the animation is down to earth, but refined in the details and facial expressions. You can really see that it shares its original source-material with Ristorante Paradiso: composed, heart-warming and yet down to earth and composed. This really is going to be an excellent slice of life series, and who knows what it might turn into?

Also, Noitamina will be an hour long from now on, right? The upcoming summer-season however only has one Noitamina-series slated: Shiki. Since we already know that Yojou-han will take only 11 episodes, I have high hopes for this series to be the first Noitamina-series to go beyond 12 episodes since Nodame Cantbile’s first season. It’s really interesting to see this time-slot evolve over the years: it started out as a time-slot for those unique Josei and Horror-series. Starting with 2009 however, it started to experiment much more with different formats, and at this point it has pretty much become synonymous with a high-quality and well produced series.

The art style really is beautiful, and I also love the background music: it’s varied and subtle, and complemented the atmosphere greatly, but what I like most about this first episode was how natural the dialogue felt. The chemistry here was really good, while still remaining subtle. I’m really glad to see that this series lived up to its expectations.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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