Posted on 12 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

The Rolling Girls

Short Synopsis: What did I just watch?

I am just going to break it to you. I have no idea what to think of this show. This is a work by the same studio who animated Attack on titan. It is an anime original show (meaning it is not based on anything) and is about as far away from Attack on Titan as you can get. My understanding of the story is a little vague but from what I understand the world leaders have disappeared and this has resulted in Japan breaking into independent provinces which are at war. So sort of a present day sengoku jidai. But then there’s also these gangs with superpowered individuals called the best. And one of them fights in a tonkatsu outfit for some reason and there’s some girl from another province who fights with a giant hairpin. Ok, that’s enough about the story, I am not going to get it at this point. The characters are interesting and the animation is rather colourful with lots of movement. The story is told in a humorous way so it’s clear it’s not taking itself very seriously. That may be the thing that’s putting me off so much. It reminds me of a studio trigger work in it’s style and execution. Once you can get past it’s rather odd setting I think this could be a good show.

Potential: 60%

 

Yoru no Yatterman

Short Synopsis: The descendants of a group of exiled villains take up the mantle of their ancestors.

Now this is interesting. This is a sort of reboot to an age old show called Yatterman that aired way back in the 70s. However rather than take the perspective of the heroes descendants, they decide to follow the exploits of the villains ancestors. The story is simplistic but I just love the idea. This first episode is mainly to do with why the girl decides to bring back the Yatterman’s enemy, the Dorombo thieves. It is unfortunate that they took the route of making the heroes more villainous in order to get you to root for the villains but I am interested to see how this rag tag group intends to strike back at the so far dystopian looking Yatterman kingdom. The question is what can we do with this. If it’s a tale of this group growing from nothing to a great powerful threat to the kingdom then I am sold. The animation was also quite impressive.

OP: I like it.

Potential: 80%

 

Sengoku Musou

Short Synopsis: Too many cooks.

This seems to be a video game adaption of a game called Samurai warriors which is a spinoff to the dynasty warriors series. It is also a game based loosely around the sengoku jidai. Now I have a little knowledge on the sengoku jidai. And I cannot stress the little enough. But one of the problems of basing a story around it is the number of characters in the story. That is essentially the problem here. There are far too many characters. So many that the only introduction they get is to show a subtitle pointing out each of their names when they show up. Out of everyone there I just saw a group of bland one dimensional characters. There is some good action but still frames and speed lines as well. The soundtrack has nice use of japanese instruments. I am going to be fair and say that I have difficulty with stories based in this setting. So I could just have a problem of not knowing enough about the era to get invested. But from what I saw here I can’t say it has inspired me to educate myself. As I feel that even if I did know about this period of history that I would still find this uninteresting and likely insulting.

OP: Again nice use of traditional japanese instruments. Other than that nothing noteworthy.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 11 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Durarara!!X2

Short Synopsis: People are strange, when you’re a stranger.

It felt like a lot happened, but nothing really changed. That is the first season of Durarara summarized perfectly. The show itself even seems to revel in this. That said the main enjoyment of Durarara is seeing the cast of wacky characters interact with each other. Seeing Celty, Izaya and the gang again gave me a great hit of nostalgia and reminded me that the last time I saw these guys was back in 2010. Just seeing things like Celty’s hilarious fear of the police brings a old smile to my face. But Erika and Walker, you disappoint me. Last time I saw you two you were dragging around a Spice and Wolf cutout. Now I hear you name dropping the likes of Black Bullet, Mahouka and Oreimo? What happened to you two? For shame, guys. For shame….oh yes the impressions! One of the new characters introduced are a bit too much of a mothermouth. Well for my opinion, if you liked the first season then you will like this. However do not go in expecting character development or a move into a dramatic huge ongoing story arc. You will be disappointed.

OP: The op much like Narita’s other works seems focused on naming out the huge cast of characters. But the song is really good as well as the animation.

Potential: 80%

 

Soukyuu no Fafner Dead Aggressor – Exodus

Short Synopsis: Humanity is fighting a war against golden CG monsters.

Xebec is a animation studio with not the best of reputations. Many of their works are fanservice related. But in 2004 they brought out an anime known as Fafner. The inspirations for the show were pretty apparent and the CG was terrible but it was a good show with a slow start. In particular I am rather fond of it’s prequel OVA called Right of left which had a great premise that could have made a full fledged series on it’s own(And was even better than the series itself.). This will be the second tv series of Fafner though it has had a sequel movie to the previous series. So the main problem so far is that you need a lot of knowledge about the previous series to watch this. It makes no effort to clue in the audience about anything here. And as someone who has seen the previous series even I can say I was even a bit lost. This was also a build up episode so it’s difficult to make a judgement on what the series will be like with this. But if the last series are anything to judge it by I would say we got giant robots and despair incoming. Much like the previous series this does have great potential. Though the main problem with this franchise is that the works didn’t use that potential to it’s fullest.

Potential: 60%

 

Aldnoah Zero Season 2

Short Synopsis: I SAY CRYYY! I SAY CRYYY!

The first season of Aldnoah Zero had one of the strongest first episodes of it’s season. It retained that quality for two or three more episodes. And boasted a great soundtrack. But then something went awry. Mainly because the story was too concerned with putting the characters in extreme situations rather than develop the characters to give the viewer a reason to care for them. In a last ditch effort to make things interesting the last episode took the kill everyone route. Not realizing that it made the entirely of the season, well…pointless. Now we know that the Gen Urobuchi has jumped ship I really don’t hold much hope for this. You may be calling me a fool for that but remember, Psycho Pass S2. Same scenario, it did not end well. And this starts off with a rocky start as a robot pilot remarks that the bullets are missing because the wind is too strong…in space. My opinion drops further as they resurrect everyone who supposedly died. As I continue watching I can’t help but get the feeling I am watching Code Geass season 2 all over again. What Aldnoah Zero needs to do is develop it’s characters. Not spring plot twist after plot twist to the point where each grows more nonsensical than the last.

Potential: 20%

 

Some really quick first impressions

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir - And here I thought Absolute Duo would take the cake for most uninspired of the season. Monsters attacking humanity, school setting, Only girls have magic powers and our protagonist is the first boy admitted because he’s the first boy with powers which are not special but will turn out to be super special awesome, all girls want him because there’s no other competition…you have seen it already. Don’t bother. I say the only thing this anime tried on was adding dubstep to the soundtrack. Terrible, unfitting dubstep.

Dog Days season 3 - There are many great mysteries in the world. Is there a god? The nature of existence? Why are we here? But surely a new mystery has been added and it is the greatest of all. That being, why is there a third season of Dog Days? I truly do not understand it. Just as I don’t understand how they have not been sued for various copyright violations. Just try and tell me those are not Chocobos. And that pink girl equipping armour that was clearly ripped off of Saber from Fate/stay nights signature look? Never forgive, never forget. And various more. My point is that this really does not need to exist. The second season didn’t need to exist, let alone a third. And here it is again, the consequence free adventures of easy going mcgee and his furry harem. You are getting nothing new here. Like Dog Days? Watch it. Have sanity? Don’t.

Posted on 10 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Kantai Collection

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist sucks at playing battleship

This is an anime based on the popular browser game of the same name. I haven’t played it but from what I hear it has ship daughters and some form of strategy. So I went into this blind, not knowing what I would get. That said, I certainly did not expect cosplaying waterskiing girls with gun skirts fighting bikini clad waterskiing alien women. It was so absurd to look at that I was laughing during the action scenes. But well turns out that is only half the show. For the other half it’s cute girls doing cute things time! A type of anime which has always baffled me. I mean, Harems I get. Generic superpower anime I get. This? The fascination of seeing girls being overacting toddlers is something that never resonated with me. So the unfortunate thing is that both halves don’t work for me. The first because it cracks me up whenever I see those girls waterskiing(In off-putting CG to boot) with those stupid battleship armaments. The second because I have no interest in cute antics. This looks to be an anime for the fans of the game and nothing more.

Potential: 0%

 

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to become an idol

The first season of Idolmaster wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great by any means  but it wasn’t really deserving of scorn. It was a watchable show and compared to the exceedingly large amount of idol themed anime you could do a lot worse. The second season looks to more of just that and I can honestly say I didn’t hate it. I am even a little ashamed to say it was rather enjoyable. Obnoxious Engrish J-POP aside(Ugh it’s so peppy…) the episode was fun to watch. Seeing the producers awkward efforts to recruit the girls was quite amusing. And at least attempts to have a story unlike the many “cute girls doing cute things” shows. If you are looking for something light to watch inbetween the stuff this season I can say this will fill the need.

Potential: 30%

 

Tokyo Ghoul √A

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist eats Soylent Green.

The first season of tokyo ghoul was a mess. Mainly because of someones great idea of adapting a full 66 chapters of manga in a single cour run. This story does have a pace too slow in the manga but with breakneck pacing the story was murdered. So the question is whether they will slow down for this season or keep the fast pace to cover the rest of the manga. Neither it seems. This is going anime original. Oh yes Studio Pierrot, that’s likely to not anger the fandom further. Pure genius, good job! Alright lets put sarcasm to one side. While the end revelation makes no sense when regarding Kaneki’s character, it’s does open potential for some good idea’s. The second half of the manga is where the more shounen tropes come out proving this is a shounen disguised as a seinien and when you have already buggered up the story, going your own way with it may not be a bad idea. However, in many cases when an anime decides to do it’s own thing and be it’s own story it normally ends up with a much more subpar result. There are exceptions, Fullmetal Alchemist and Welcome to the NHK to name a few. But for every success there is a hundred failures. We may get badass Kaneki and some good action but I am guessing the plot of this show is going to go down the drain. A 10% for wishful thinking that this could provide a better ending than the manga did.

OP: I could give props for being different but one minute and thirty seconds of Kaneki awkwardly staring at me is one minute too many.

Potential: 10%

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is going to Egypt to kill a vampire

Jojo’s first season was a breath of fresh air with it’s ridiculous entertainment value. However with the second season I found that a lot of it’s magic had been lost as the series took a more episodic monster of the week format. Stands eliminated much of the unpredictability of fights, most of the season felt like unnecessary padding and Jotaro remains to me the weakest protagonist so far out of the three arcs. But maybe because of the long break coming back in to this episode reminded me of why I loved the first season. A new unconventional stand member has joined the gang and the new threat is an interesting one. However just when we thought the monster of the week format may go away seeing as nearly all the tarots have been fought, it’s brought up that Dio has nine new goons to get in Jojo’s way. I hoping that some of the fun of the first season could be brought back but if this is going to be another conga line of one note villains this will get old fast.

OP: Excellent visuals but not very fond of the singing in the song.

ED: In true Jojo fashion the ED is an unconventional one. This one being “Last train home” by Pat Methany group. However unlike the last two endings this one is too mellow and doesn’t fit the show.

Potential: 60%

 

Death Parade

Short Synopsis: A newly-wedded couple have to play a game of darts with their lives on the line.

You may have heard of a animated short for the 2013 Young Animator Training Project called “Death Billiards.” If you haven’t then check it out. It’s excellent. Well that short has evolved into a series and this is it. It is the series I am most looking forward because it hits all the right notes for me. I have a soft spot for stories about people pushed into extreme situations that test the limits of their morality. This episode delivered on that in spades. Seeing the characters breakdown as the dart game continued just delights my sadistic heart. However while the animation was great I found the characters emotions, in particular the male character, to be far too heavily exaggerated. The guy was slobbering like a dog for crying out loud. Another issue deals with the after credits scene which shows the other characters of the bar. I fear that too much attention would be given to the workers of the bar instead of focusing on the death games. Do not make that mistake Death Parade. Know what the audience came for. That said, this is looking to be my pick of the season.

OP: Considering the dark nature of the show this opening is far too upbeat and grandiose. I hope it’s not a bad sign of things to come. Other than that, I like it.

Potential: 90%

 

Assassination Classroom

Short Synopsis: A yellow squid is going to destroy the world

I have read the manga of Assassination classroom up to date so I know what’s coming here. This manga is by the same author who wrote Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro and my overall impression of the story is that it’s readable but does not have anything that particularly stands out. The villains in particular have weak characterisation though are still infuriating in their ignorance. In particular the main villain, who is the principal, has teaching methods that look rooted in “master race” philosophy.  Though the story has extreme elements it is more or less a shounen venture. However reading the story and watching the story are different. In some ways I think this works better as an anime. The comedy works much better and seeing the assassin attempts is much more exciting. Also the soundtrack is more excellent than it deserves to be. This is a very strong start to the series but it does give a mistaken impression on what the story will be about. This is less a story about assassinating an evil monster and more the battle of the underdog class against the over privileged bigots of the other classes. With the right execution this could turn it to be very entertaining.

OP: Annoyingly catchy but a nice tune.

ED: Excellent. A nice tune and the chalkboard visuals are a good idea.

Potential: 50%

Posted on 8 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Shinmai Maou no Testament

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist has just got two little sisters who are demons.

Here’s a fun fact. Due to myself being in a position at one point where I couldn’t do much of anything besides read novels and happening to see this title pop up in front of me a few times I gave this work more attention than it deserved. I cast it aside twice before and in one last attempt I encountered something that just made me ashamed at trying to give this a chance. Let me tell you where I stopped reading. You see later on in this story the sister attempts to make a master servant contract with her as the master and him the servant. But things go wrong and wouldn’t you know it, he is the master and she is the servant. To top it all off because the ritual was done by a succubus, whenever the girl disobeys the boy she is punished by becoming excessively sexually aroused. I think that’s enough to tell you exactly what kind of story you are getting. And here I am again, seeing this story for the last time.(Unless there’s a sequel….please god don’t let there be a sequel.) But yes it’s just as painfully bad the fourth time through. The setting is one you seen before, the wish fulfilment is a blatant as you can get and the fanservice as shameless as always. Maybe if you want a guilty pleasure this season this might do the trick. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

OP: There was actually some interesting visuals at the beginning of the op. But then came the obligatory action that will nowhere near be as well animated in the actual show as it is here. Song is nothing really special.

Potential: 0%

 

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes

Short Synopsis: Our heroines are detectives in a show that has even less detective work than the last season.

I watched the first season of Milky Holmes and found some funny jokes to be had. I personally don’t go for comedy anime but I can’t say I regret watching the first season. However based on the first episode here it seems this season is going to get bogged down by elements other than comedy. It looks like now that Milky holmes have their toy powers back this show will attempt to tell a story instead of being just plain insanity. Which is a shame because the insanity was what made it so entertaining. There were some potential jokes here but in truth I think Milky holmes only really needed one season and this one is going to be redundant. This first episode wasn’t bad so it is possible things could still pick up and prove me wrong.

OP: Well if I knew nothing about the show and watched this opening then I would be even more confused about what the show is about. It’s peppy and strange.

Potential: 40%

 

Junketsu no Maria

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is a witch who is a virgin.

Maria the virgin witch. I haven’t seen a japanese work with english title that could turn away people in a millisecond like that since Onani Master Kurosawa. And yet it is the anime with a title that sounds better suited for a hentai that holds the most potential so far out of the current anime season. The setting is great with it being set in France during the Hundred Years’ War. The characters are fairly likeable and the animation looks good. This is looking to be an entertaining ride as long as it doesn’t dwell too deeply on the sex jokes. Though “Why does her jaw hurt” got a laugh out of me. That dragon at the end was great looking and reinforces my belief that anime needs more dragons. This show was a nice surprise.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 7 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Absolute Duo

Short Synopsis: Our main character is called Thor and goes to magic high school.

There are some shows in anime which make you wonder if there’s a random story generator in Japan in which you pull the handle and it just pulls a series of random tropes together. Then an author shoves them into the age old light novel formula and hey presto! Best selling light novel. I tried to keep an open mind and hold some hope that maybe this would prove to have the slightest bit of creativity even when my opinion dropped at the sight of a school setting. But all was lost when the main character introduced himself as Thor and not one person laughed. To make matters worse the main didn’t know about the mythological hero at all. I was bored through the first half of the episode and the second half was downright painful to watch with some terrible comedy. Followed by fanservice and the main all flustered because he is living with a girl. Never seen that before….Even if you like these kinds of stories done at least once every season, I would not recommend this.

OP: The song started with potential but fizzled out.

ED: Bland.

Potential: 0%

 

Yuri Kuma Arashi

Short Synopsis: Chibi Bears are eating schoolgirls.

Only one minute in and we got lesbians coupled with lily symbolism. Kunihiko Ikuhara isn’t wasting any time. For those that don’t know, he is the director of Penguindrum, revolutionary girl Utena and some seasons of sailor moon. I can see he has not changed much. A good sense of aesthetics and narrative focus on symbolism over sense. But damn me for this if you will, but the animation of this episode was abysmal. This would be the level of animation I would expect from a 70’s anime. The number of still frames was ridiculous. After penguindrum I have come to hate Ikuahara’s style as I see it as pointless intellectual fluff covering for a weak poorly plotted story. I understand that others may look at it differently and find value in untangling the bundle of threads into a cohesive plot. If you liked penguindrum then this looks like it will be more of the same. However I can’t enjoy it. I find it irritatingly pretentious with every line. Though the premise is mildly interesting with it’s light hearted nature even when the subtext is quite dark, I just can’t get into it after seeing how much potential was squandered in Penguindrum. I will give it a 50% for intrigue and being different but I am sorry, this just isn’t the anime for me.

OP: Very suggestive. Fanservice off the charts. I’m honestly not sure what to think of it.

ED: A still image and a dancing bear. Come on guys, even Absolute Duo tried with it’s ED.

Potential: 50%

 

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist makes a contract with a fluffy animal and becomes a magical…boy.

The first four minutes were nothing but food jokes. Unless you are well versed in japanese food these will fly over your head. As for the rest, well…basically the problem is this. I am sure there are those of you who are familiar with those anime episodes or specials where they take the characters from a series and parody a magical girl show. However rather than point out the genre conventions of magical girl shows and poking fun at it, the joke is usually just placing the characters in the setting and saying how much they don’t fit in it. It is essentially one joke that gets tiresome before the episode’s end. This looks to be an entire series that is that in a nutshell. If they want to keep this going they need to bring something else to the table because the joke has been made. You have said the punchline. Saying the punchline another twelve times will not make the joke any funnier.

OP: Silly and cheesy.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 13 October 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Amagi Brilliant Park

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is kidnapped by an emotionless girl with a musket.

Ninjarealist’s Impression: A bitter and narcissistic ex-child star, a creepy and falling-apart theme park whose few visitors are outnumbered by vermin, a cast of characters named after American hip-hop stars: these are just a few of the bizarre elements that make up the first episode of Amagi Brilliant Park. And if you’re unable to imagine how all of that could fit neatly into one show, let me reassure you: this debut episode is laugh out loud funny. Comedy is probably the most subjective of genres, but what sets Amagi Brilliant Park apart from the crowd is that it’s quite clever. For example, the choice to name the main characters after hip-hop stars. It’s an inherently funny choice, but a lesser series might be content to simply play this for cheap jokes. But in Amagi Brilliant Park these names are actually used as ironic commentaries on the lead characters’ attributes. The emotionless girl, who is constantly shooting at people with a musket, is named after famed stoic and shooting victim, 50 Cent. The self-absorbed child-star protagonist takes his name from renowned narcissist Kanye West. That’s the type of subtle humor that this series uses. It doesn’t just stop at the usual manzai jokes (although it does those very well), it utilizes the bizarre setting and strange characters to play with the viewer’s expectations and force us to laugh at the morose absurdity of it all. In this way, Amagi Brilliant Park reminds me more of a show like Humanity Has Declined than the typical KyoAni fare that many expected this series to be.

A lot of what makes this show work so well is the excellent direction, which fleshes out the setting with lifelike visuals. Much of the humor in the first episode is driven by the surroundings, a theme park so poorly-maintained that it feels more like a haunted house than a place to unwind. And what really drives this home is the director’s use of short but intricate scenery shots that direct the viewer’s eyes to important details, which might be missed if they were placed in the background. Crows eating from a spilled trashcan, aging animatronics struggling to speak outdated lines, a bored child sitting with his parent in an empty auditorium, playing video games, as the uninspired show girls struggle to feel relevant: brief shots like this make the setting feel almost like another character in the show. This is gracefully mixed in with the comedy and never bores the viewer or verges into scenery porn. Much of these exposition shots are jokes unto themselves.

Amagi Brilliant Park is by no means a perfect show. There’s plenty of dumb fanservice and, while the dialogue is usually quite funny, it can sometimes feel extremely corny and derivative. That’s what worries me the most about this show. While I loved the first episode, it showed unmistakable signs that it might devolve into something less unique than what we see in the first episode. The use of dramatic flashbacks late in this episode suggests that this show intends to get serious at some point. And I have some doubts about whether this series can pull off drama as well as comedy. Still, this is was an impressive first episode and I’m excited to see where they go with it.

Potential: 70%

Psycho Pass Season 2

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is a cop hunting criminals in a “Minority Report”-style dystopia.

Ninjarealist’s Impressions: Full disclosure, I really liked the first season of Psycho-Pass. The show had a lurid, hollywood, feel to it that made it seem almost as much like an American action movie as an episodic sci-fi anime. And as much as it pains me to say it, I’m just not really feeling as much of either influence from Psycho Pass 2, which seems much more rooted in modern anime. The main characters have gotten cuter, the soundtrack has cut down on the orchestral instruments and upped the amount of electronic ones, and the script, no longer written by Gen Urobuchi, doesn’t quite have the same edge to it. That’s not automatically a bad thing, but something seems like it’s missing from this sequel. Akane is still a badass, the premise is still great, and the setting is still super cool, but the show sort of feels like some of the life has been sucked out of it. There’s just not a whole lot in this first episode that compares favorably to the original series. With all of that being said, I still liked this first episode. While I’m disappointed that the staff seemed to be making a concerted effort to up the number of cute girls, I do like Shimotsuki’s character and I like how they’ve set her up to be so antagonistic towards Akane. It’s essentially the same relationship she had with Ginoza in the first season, but in reverse. And maybe that sounds boring to some of you but I for one am excited to see how Akane deals with an upstart who questions her authority. The new villain is also an obvious retread of the villain from the first season, but again, they’ve made some interesting choices with him that should provide some serious challenges for the main characters. If viewers can get past the fact that this show seems to be a downgrade in quality from the original Psycho Pass, I think they might find something to like here.

Potential: 65%

Posted on 12 October 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso 

Short Synopsis: Our lead character plays/played the piano very well.
Impressions: We get shows like this every few seasons. You know, the ones that are generic to the core, yet they do the generic shit pretty well? See, this episode was very formulaic: we have our genius with a troubled past, our main character’s best friend, childhood friend, and the mysterious new girl who our protagonist will most likely end up banging. I could compare this to Bokura wa Minna Kawaiisou from Spring’s lineup, but that wouldn’t do this show very much justice-because unlike Kawaii Complex’s premier, this first episode wasn’t a total piece of shit. In fact, it was consistently solid, and A-1 Pictures seems to have done their best with the crappy premise handed to them. If the story and characters weren’t so much of a damn cop-out though, I could see myself enjoying this anime for what it is: a teenage angst drama. This is the first time Kyohei Ishiguro is directing a show by himself (Unlike Psycho Pass, My Little Monster, Amagami SS+, Hourou Musuko, Kyokai Senjo no Horizon, & Fairy Tail, where he was an episode director), so I guess I have to congratulate him for making this episode decent at the very least. However, if I learned anything from the past few years, it’s that generic shows like this quickly fall apart.

OP: Generic, nothing to see here.

ED: Generic, nothing to see here.

Potential: 40%

Posted on 9 October 2014 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Akatsuki no Yona

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a young princess of an important country.
Impressions: I started out as a fan of the shoujo genre. That unfortunately changed after the entire genre suddenly deteriorated after a point. I’m not sure what happened, but at a certain point, all shoujo series just became dry, one-dimensional and bland; full of fanservice and pandering. Only once in a while you had something like Kamisama Hajimemashita, but even that in the end boiled down to a romantic comedy, instead of series that packed real punches like Ashita no Nadja, Glass Mask or Kaleido Star. With Akatsuki no Yona though, we finally have another seemingly good shoujo adventure. At the very least, it manages to push a lot of the right buttons in its opening episode: it starts off with a younger version of the lead character and shows a bit of character-development right from the start. The acting for once isn’t bone-dry but instead the characters are fun to watch. I especially want to give the creators props to the way they portrayed the female lead character: the way in which they delivered the energy that goes on inside the mind of a teenaged girl, including how she feels about love, was quite addictive. The show does look sloppy right from the start, which is why I fear that a lot of people won’t give it a chance, but that changes pretty quickly once you see it in action. Now: keep this up! Have a story to tell that fits the pacing of an anime, instead of goofing off for too long. This episode didn’t introduce all of the side-characters yet, but make them count.
Potential: 80%

Donten ni Warau

Short Synopsis: Our lead character ferries criminals during the Meiji-restoration.
Considering that this is only a shounen-series, I can see that there’s something good buried underneath. This episode itself was sloppy, but for a series of its genre I’ve seen much worse. The thing is dhat Donten ni Warau opened with an episode that had absolutely nothing to do with its plot. Or at the very least, the beginning of the episode and ending of the episode threw around hints of this epic storyline, and yet most of the episode here focused around the usual shounen brat acting on his own, and this really weird piece of comic relief in which a character who seemily had nothing to do just started cross-dressing for no reason. This was meant to be a character-building episode for the three main characters, but their problems are all pretty basic: you have an older brother who is really strong, a middle brother who wants to be acknowledged but who is weak (and who probably is the main character here), and the youngest brother who is just still a kid. You can make quite a few predictions based on this set-up. Where this show scores points is its setting: for the villains to be the samurai who are discontent with pretty much losing their identity after Japan’s westernization: that’s actually a very good base for a villain. It’s something different from those “I want to save the world so I need to destroy it first”-villains.
ED: SO many characters appear here who made no appearance whatsoever in this episode. The ED itself is also not bad either.
Potential: 35%

Posted on with categories: Gugure! Kokkuri-San, Parasyte, Shingeki no Bahamut, Some Quick First Impressions

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a bounty hunter.
Impressions: This show gets how to make a first episode, Keiichi Satou does a superb job in introducing us to the world of Mistarcia. The various character introductions are just as well done, and the 17th Century Spain-like setting really sets the tone for the anime. The anime borrows the styles of some of my favorite Westerns and swashbuckler films, like Ivanhoe, True Grit, Three Musketeers, and The Master of Ballantrae, which I cannot praise enough for having the balls to do. This episode showed me that the series knows how to borrow those styles correctly, and as a fan of 20th Century Westerns & swashbucklers myself, I appreciated the homage. On top of that, this series really knows that it’s an anime, and you can see a lot of personality in the characters which I thought that even some Westerns lacked. This episode had a lot of things happen in 20 minutes or so, but it knows how to pace itself relatively well, using that time in the most optimal manner to show as much personality in the characters as it possibly could.  Lastly, I feel like I have to mention the soundtrack, which is yet another great homage to my favorite Spanish films from the 50’s and 70’s.

ED: A nice listen.

Potential: 90%

Parasyte

Short Synopsis: Our lead character’s right hand becomes sentient
Impressions: Okay, the marketing department really did this anime injustice; the trailer for this show sucked and pretty much failed to garner much interest (aside from fans of the manga/people who pay attention to these things). However, who cares? The first episode was great, and despite the complaints pouring in from the raging idiots about the “modernized” character designs, the animation and art were very solid. Other than that, I just need to see that the creators know what they’re doing going forward. The episode had it’s problems, but at the same time, I saw clear efforts on the part of Kenichi Shimuzu  in making this story resonate with today’s audiences to the best of his budget. Both the pacing & character introductions were very well done, succeeding without having to put in much dialogue between the characters themselves-which ultimately allowed tons of things to happen in just one episode. It’s quite a shame, really, that this sub-genre of horror (with the exception being the works of Junji Ito) hasn’t been done very well since 95′, because it’s still pretty much uncharted territory at this point. Hell, there is real potential here.

OP: Not really my kind of song.

ED: Safe

Potential: 85%

 

Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Short Synopsis: Our lead character summons Kokkuri-san.
Impressions: Okay, so this show knows how to use the comedic formula, a pleasant surprise after being months without a decent comedy since Spring. Regardless, I  have to point out the fact that this appears to be one of those comedies that are VERY hit-or-miss. I’ve read about people on forums being put off by it’s deadpan humor and the shortage of background music-which I found rather appealing, because the anime quickly sets the tone for itself within the first half of the episode. Unlike the manga, which is rather episodic in nature as all 4koma tend to be, the anime manages to keep itself from appearing too episodic, smoothly transitioning between one deadpan comedy sequence to the next. So in that sense, I was relatively pleased; the episode is largely consistent in it’s humor. Really, the only faults I can find is that it is rather boring at times, and the jokes are occasionally under delivered, leaving these uncomfortable moments when I’m trying to figure out if I was supposed to have laughed or not . For what it is worth though, the episode is fairly solid, and it might turn out to be a relatively strong comedy…But I do worry about the jokes drying up, although that’s likely an unnecessary concern, seeing how there are much more characters yet to be introduced.

ED: Bit annoying, actually.

Potential: 70%

 

Cross Ange

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is yet another Princess.
Impressions: Of course, what a great impression to make, starting off your main character’s introduction with fan service. The episode starts off with a terrible cg battle, then takes a few steps back in the timeline to fully introduce our heroine, who is yet another princess. Frankly, after the Martian princess from Aldnoah Zero, I don’t think I can stomach yet another heroine who’s a princess. Basically, the main character is painfully uninteresting, and the “twist” is so damn stereotypical that I cannot take it seriously. Who are these people? How does Ange not figure out she cannot use magic until she’s f*king 16 years old?! The entire episode’s climax revolves around the fact that Ange realizes that she cannot use magic and is therefore a Norma (a person who cannot use magic), which is why a coupe even occurs. So for the last 16 years, she herself does not figure out that she cannot use magic, while a goddamn baby gets discovered to be a Norma in the middle of the street? The only positive aspect I can squeeze out this episode is that it had dragons in it for a few seconds. Nothing else.

OP: Embarrassingly bad

ED: Generic, nothing worth noting.

Potential: 20%

Shoutbox

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  • Vincent
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 01:36 AM)
    Himouto is getting an anime my god. The hype is up
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:49 AM)
    Yeah the ear-monster from Garden of Eartly Delights is in the eclipse.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:48 AM)
    @Emma: lol no not you, that Anime Campus ad and the way every word is capitalized.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:47 AM)
    @Bam: I bring him up because apparently somewhere in the berserk manga Miura took inspiration for one of the panels and it was to do with one of the godhand characters.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:45 AM)
    @Bam: O- shi- =P I rushed that comment cause I had to rush out to do something which is why it sounds so phoned in lol
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:45 AM)
    If you’re talking about Hieronymus Bosch then yes. I have seen two or three triptychs from him which are vividly detailed and thematic. I enjoy this medieval type of art.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:42 AM)
    That’s a weird way to type.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:38 AM)
    @Bam: Currently looking a the awesome art of Bosch at the moment you a fan?
  • Anime Campus
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:28 AM)
    Watch Anime Online for Free in English Subbed. Daily Anime Episode Updates.No Lags No Ads, We Have Updated Animes Sources For Online Streaming, Fastest Streaming Anime Sources, Enjoy Watching Anime.
    http://animecampus.com/
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jan 29. 2015 06:19 AM)
    The German/Russian cartoons had no dialogue or description, but they were instead symbolic philosophical musings; like a painting of a man sitting on a tree and sawing off the very branch he is siting on.

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