Posted on 30 April 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei




Oh, I love this. This season, I’ve paid a lot of attention to good acting. That’s also why I ended up blogging the most solid series. However, then this series comes along to prove that originality isn’t dead. I love it when a series comes along that is in no way afraid of trying out new things, and avoiding the safe, tried and true.

As it turns out: this series pulls an even more extreme version of Higurashi: every episode rests and tarts right from the start of Watashi’s entry at university, where he just joins different clubs. This time: the movie club. The similarities and differences are fascinating. While in the Tennis club, he was a complete loser who just liked to destroy others’ relationships. Here however, he actually does something: aside from playing as a punching-bag, he also made his own array of weird and stupid films along with Ozu, who is still with him. Akashi is also present.

Central in this episode are again that promise that Watashi made to Akashi, but instead he isn’t jealous of other couples, but rather the weird and fetishist captain of the movie club. In this episode, rather than causing trouble for everyone, he brings this guy’s weird habits to light. Again he blames Ozu, but even more than last episode it’s something he did on his own. The cake also returns, but plays a completely different role. Oh, and what’s up with those straps? Am I the only one who is reminded of Maromi from Paranoia Agent?

Also, the animation is truly excellent again. I could hardly spot any still frames. A ton of stuff was moving, and while it may not have been as smooth and detailed as with Sarai-ya Goyou, the other visual effects definitely made up for that. Masaaki Yuasa’s typical simple characters may seem a bit strange at first, but he really uses them in order to be able to animate them better. I also don’t think that there was any CG here, and if it was there it was really well used. It really has some excellent visuals.

And on a side-note: I loved that poster that showed Ozu as some sort of weird monster.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 22 April 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei




Finally, after a LONG wait Yojou-han has appeared. And it really is something else. There isn’t just a lot of dialogue, there is a lot of dialogue that goes really, really fast; the amount of dialogue in 20 minutes even leaves Katanagatari far, far behind it. You can again see that Masaaki Yuasa is trying out something completely different: a ton of dialogue and a ton of visual experimentation. I like it!

I love how at one time, this episode threw a lot of weird stuff at us, but on the other hand it did succeed in telling the lead character’s story, and his relationship with the people around him. His characterization feels rich and despite the cliches that surround him I’m very much interested in the lead cast. I feel that this is going to be much more than Kuchuu Buranko our your average shinbo-series, especially considering we’re dealing with an actual novel adaptation, rather than a manga or light-novel. Just compare this to Aoi Bungaku to see how different these kinds of adaptations can be.

I also love the visuals here: they’re all really experimental and yet nothing like what Masaaki Yuasa has done before. This show doesn’t just have a lot of strange graphics, but it also puts a ton of ideas in them. Ranging from symbolism to camera-angles to photoshop effects to strange filters, it tries out a ton of them with a huge amount of variety.

The balance is really what sold me on this series: the voice actors all act very well, and know exactly what isn’t over the top. The comedy is also used wisely, and the characters all feel alive, rather than those stereotypes and the narration has a very good balance between narration and regular scenes. This especially shines in that best friend of the lead character: he really is the typical best friend in high school series, but his characterization really shines through here and feels much more like a real character rather than that annoying stereotype you see everywhere.

I’m also very much into the ED of this series, which is definitely the best of the season. The OP also is very good, as expected of Noitamina. Overall this episode wasn’t as good as Kaiba’s first episode, but I also doubt that this was the point: this was much more an episode to introduce everything.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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