Category Archives: First Impression

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Episode 1 – First Impressions


Sasami computers

Before I begin talking about this show, I’d like to say that if you have access to any kind of illegal drugs, you should probably get on that, because this is one of the weirdest beginning episodes of a show I’ve seen in a long time.  Of course it stands to reason that Shaft would chose to do something weird like this, but even without taking the visuals into consideration, this whole episode is really insane.

To begin with, even the main idea of the show is odd, but seemingly rather simple.  It’s about some loner shut-in girl named Sasami and her creepy-ass ridiculously incestuous brother.  Not only does her adult brother obviously want to bone the everliving hell out of her, but for whatever reason he decides to never show his face, instead opting to hold his satchel (or whatever else he has in his hands at the moment) in front of his face.  Instead of going to school, Sasami spends most of her time watching her brother through an improbable system of cameras wired throughout her house, her street, her school, and pretty much every other place that her brother could possibly be at any given point in time.  Now sure this is all odd and quirky, and you know Shaft can’t get enough of that stuff, but just going by that simply plot description, you wouldn’t think it’d be that batshit insane.  However, you’d be really wrong assuming that – Just wait until the end of the episode when three other characters have to defeat a giant chocolate miasma/monster that engulfs the world.

gurls

Yes, the climax of this episode involves three girls – one who acts like a frog, one who is some kind of cyborg thing that shoots missiles from her boobs, and one with some black magic sword – fight a giant chocolate entity that takes over the world, and they bring the world back to normal by magically resting the world to it’s pre-chocolate form.  Apparently all this happened because Sasami’s brother was too obsessed with the idea of buying Sasami chocolate for Valentines Day or something.  I mean, I’m not even leaving out any of the major details about what happens to bring all this about; that’s honestly all they give you to go by.  But, Christ alive, could you even make something that weird if you tried?  I suppose the idea may be that Sasami’s mind is completely destroyed by her constant anti-social behavior and her complete withdrawal from real life, but that seems like a pretty weak excuse to have a bunch of weird stuff happening, and that still doesn’t give the series a concrete story.  That’s another noteworthy thing about this episode – even though it had plenty of stuff happen in it, there still is not actual plot, and quite honestly, this felt like could have easily been just some weird one-shot OVA thing.

The head tilt isn't even a joke at this point.

The head tilt isn’t even a joke at this point.

Despite all it not really having an actual direction, or much of anything in terms of explanation about what the hell is going on, it was still pretty enjoyable.  As you’d expect from Shaft, the show is really stylized, but to a much different degree in this case, seeing as how odd most of it is.   The action scene and it’s accompanying music was really cool, and the scene during the credits was pretty funny, but more than anything, I think the visuals just made it interesting to watch.  There really isn’t much else worthy caring about this season, so I’m holding out on this being good, or at the very least, able to hold my interest for a few months.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Episode 1 – First Impressions


Maoyuu Boat

You know, it’s been a while since I last saw a medieval fantasy style anime, and even longer since I’ve seen one that was actually good, so I guess I was kind of looking forward to this show.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty generic as far as the fantasy aspects go, but I’ll take what I can get.  Although it was kind of a shaky start and confused the hell out of me at the very end, I think it has potential to be okay. Maybe.

Well, this show is about about an unnamed Hero of a war between demons and humans.  After fighting his way through assloads of demons, the Hero makes it to the lair of the Demon King, who, as it turns out, is a king only in title.  Instead, it turns out shes some love-struck girl with tits that would probably suffocate her in her sleep is she turned the wrong way.  Even though Mr. Generic Hero is set on ending the war, she informs him that in actuality the war is helping both humans and demons alike, and that ending it would do more harm than good.  She goes into a long explanation about the economical and social advantages the war brings to both there people; poorer areas are receiving war funds that they can use to keep their people from starving, large exports of goods are bought and sold to supply the soldiers and both humans and demons are completely united in fighting the war.  So yeah, you can probably expect a lot of people comparing this show to Spice and Wolf, which is kind of justified I guess.  Both have very similar themes and settings, though this world has a little more fantasy in it than that of Spice and Wolf.  

bewbz

Although the Hero still wants to end the war, he now knows that it wouldn’t really help anything, and even if he did, both sides would find an excuse to keep the war going because of the advantages it brings to them.  Instead, the Demon King offers him a alternative; the only problem is, I don’t really understand exactly what the hell it is.

She wants to marry him… or something, and have him take her… somewhere…  I don’t know, surly I wasn’t the only one who was confused by exactly why she wants to do, or just exactly how she plans to help stop the war without disturbing the prosperity of both parties.  Maybe it was just the sub I watched, but I had a really hard time following her plan, that is if she actually gave it.  And then they start saying how they’re going to have to do stuff that will be horrible and, wait, what?  I don’t get it, what the hell are they going to do?

Well, beyond not really understanding exactly what the hell is supposed to be going on, it was fairly decent.  The concept that a war is actually necessary to a people is fairly interesting and unique, though it does seem kind of rediculous to ignore the fact that you can’t just keep throwing soldiers at the other side as fodder to help the normal citizens of your Kingdom/Country to live easier.  For one thing, it’s pretty shitty, and second, it’s not as if you have an infinte supply of able bodied  people to go off and die, so you’re going to run out eventually.  Some of the comedy is kind of weird too, because a lot of it seems like it wants to be somewhat serious.  After all you’re handling the financial and social effects a war has on people. But there’s a scene where the Demon Queen is essentially humping an improvised body pillow of the Hero, and… yeah, that was kind of out of place.The animation and artwork were fine, though the main character is so bland looking and has such a boring personality that I’ll be lucky to remember he exists by this time next week.  I’ll probably watch the next few episodes so I can see exactly what this whole journey of theirs is supposed to be about, and to see if they can make economics even as remotely entertaining as Spice and Wolf did.

Kyousogiga (series) – First Impressions


Well, I decided that I had to come out and talk about this, since I was so excited for (and a little let down by) the original ONA, and I still think it has one of the coolest PV’s ever.  My problems with the original were mainly those related to it’s running time: a mere twenty-something  minuets.  Now that isn’t really a whole lot of time for a standalone story, especially not one that takes place in a world as crazy as this one.  Thankfully, it looks like they kind of worked out that issue this time around, because this series is now getting a five episode series type-thing.  However, these episodes are apparently all going to be only ten minuets long for whatever reason, so I really hope they buckle down with the writing this time around and provide some kind of idea about what exactly the hell is supposed to be going on here.

One of my other biggest problems with the ONA was it’s story.  I said before that the original felt like it was a random episode out of a much loner series, and I still think that’s a pretty good description of it.  The ONA had little to no explanation about what was going on in the world, though that was somewhat understandable given the time restraints they were under.  However, now that they have more time, I wonder if anything that happened in the ONA will actually be cannon for this series, because if it is, I guess I know the ending… kind of.  Even this first episode didn’t do a whole lot to help me understand what’s going on in this world.  The scenes with the scientists (that were also present in the original) kind of give the idea that the “Mirror World” or whatever it’s called, is some kind of computer simulation type thing that the characters are in.  But the whole world gives off much more of a fantasy feeling than a sci-fi one, so maybe I’m not clear on that.  I still don’t know what Koto is at all, I don’t know what she’s training for, I don’t know who that fox guy is; I just don’t know jack shit about anything that’s going on here.  But I guess that’s okay for right now.

The original left me with the impression that it was an incomplete work.  Thankfully, something was good or popular enough to allow the creators to continue it, and I’m glad they did. Although this episode gave me almost nothing in terms of plot, I’m hoping that will change after the next few episodes.  But it would be so much easier to follow if they would just slow the hell down and stick to a single timeline without jumping the fuck all over the place, in the normal world one second and the mirror the next, with absolutely no sense of continuity between the segments.  I mean come on guys, just a hint of an idea of what exactly is going on would be nice.

Like the original ONA, the artwork is also really unique and creative and kind of reminds me of a more tripped-out version of Spirited Away.  It’s certainly one of the more  visually interesting anime I’ve seen in a long time.  But for some reason I can’t find a high quality version of this episode anyone (the same thing happened with the ONA), so I guess this is also being distributed over the internet.  For a series as colorful and elaborate as this I don’t know why they would choose to stream it over the internet instead of just opting for a DVD/Blu-ray release like a normal OVA, but I’m sure that’ll come eventually.

 

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Episodes 1 & 2 – First Impressions


Well, I’m late on this for two reasons; one, I completely missed the first episode of this somehow, and two, this show is just… odd.  I mean, there’s a big food shortage, and apparently (or at least according to the MAL synopsis) the human race is in a state of decline due to low birthrates, which would normally translate to some Mad Max wasteland apocalypse type stuff, but I guess not here.  Everything seems abnormally bright, happy and cheerful, kind of like playing Fallout in Pyro-vision or something like that.  People may starve to death, but just look at the cute little Fairies!  A bread robot rips itself apart and dies, but sentient chickens are running the factory.  I really don’t know what’s going on here.  And the fact that the ending sounds a lot like the Azumanga Daioh OP doesn’t help matters much.  The main thing I’m trying to figure out is whether or not this is going to be a straight up comedy or if it’s actually going to be somewhat serious, although after the second episode, I’m leaning much more towards the comedy side of the spectrum.  But even then there were just some parts that seemed really serious for no real reason, such as the town meeting in the first episode, or The Assistants story in the second.  The whole plot of the show just seems a little to macabre to be the setup for a straight-up comedy, but it somehow actually does work.  The first episode felt really random and kind of incoherent, but the second episode was actually pretty funny in my opinion.

Now, on the off chance that this series is actually going to be a serious series, then it’s off to a pretty odd start.  There hasn’t really been too much explanation of what’s going on or what the whole deal with the fairies is.  That’s probably the one thing that’s keeping me from admitting to myself that this is just some big screwball, random comedy; there’s just too much stuff going on.  There’s a food shortage for humans, who themselves are in decline, there’s now a race of sentient doll-things that inhabit the earth, the main character girl is a member of some type of organization for human-fairy relationships and acts as a mediator between them.  It just seems like a lot of back-story and lore to throw into something that’s just meant for a few laughs.  Also, none of the main characters actually have names, which is, at least in movies, a sure sign of some avant-garde, artsy stuff going on here.  The Girl hasn’t been given a name, The Assistant doesn’t have a name, The Grandfather doesn’t have a name, the only thing that was given so far was that ginger fairy with the Hitler ‘stache, and the bread robot, Loaf.  So we have a vibrant an colorful world of dying people with a food shortage where the main characters have no names… is this a Japanese stoner’s version of The Road, or something?

As stated before, I find this show to actually be pretty funny, which is obviously what they intended for a lot of it.  For me, the main source of most of the humor was from The Girl and some of her one-liner responses to the ridiculousness going on around her.  If indeed this is more than just a comedy, then I don’t have any problem with her a main character.  In most anime if you have a female lead you have about a 50 percent chance that they’re going to be a complete bimbo, but if you have a female lead with pink hair, that percentage goes up to about 99.  Thankfully, Pink Haired Main Character Girl actually seems to have a head on her shoulders, and also isn’t a bitch.  That also seems to be a theme in anime; if the girl isn’t a complete and total dumb-blonde dipshit, then she’s usually a haughty prick, and there usually isn’t a lot of middle ground.  Pink Floyd over here has thankfully been able to find it and actually provide some humor for us that isn’t dependent on how stupid she is.

Ano Natsu de Matteru Episode 1 – First Impressions


Watch or Download

Above is an example of a general reaction to the first episode of Ano Natsu de Matteru, or more specifically Onegai Teacher 2.0; actually, no, I think I’ll call this show Onegai Senpai from now on.  The first time I saw this show on the anime winter 2012 season visual guide, I took one glance and quickly dismissed it as being some generic harem rom-com.  However, a few weeks later I saw a PV for it and thought at the very least the animation looked decent.  Doing some research, I also discovered it was directed by the same person who headed Ano Hana and Toradora.  Then I actually began to think that this would be a very good show, as it seemed to elements of both those shows (and a little of Super 8) combined.  But I and several other people seemed to overlook the fact that this director also directed both Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins, and that’s where opinions on this show will begin to differ.  

Although the basic premise and plot of Onegai Teacher are generic as all hell, and the show has tropes out the ass, I still think it’s better than a lot of people give it credit for. It’s characters are actually pretty good, considering that it’s an anime rom-com, and the fact that I saw it about 5 years ago may also play into my approval of it.  But no matter what anyone says, this is a remake of Onegai Teacher, so if you absolutely hated that show, then your feelings will probably be mutual to this one.  The plot and characters seem, for the most part, beat for beat with Teacher, except that the “teacher” is more age appropriate for the male lead this time around (probably because of how touchy a subject that would be in these times).  And I know it’s common for a director to have common tropes and themes in his works, but come on, surely you can think of something better than remaking a show that you’ve already made.  I guess that’s one way to avoid copyright claims though.

The story this time around follows Kaito Kirishima, the child of Jinta and Menma, and I’m not just making that joke because the shows have the same director.  Look at the guy; he looks exactly like a younger Jinta and has the appropriate hair color to be their child.  I’m not really sure if black or white hair is the dominant trait, but it looks like his just got caught in the middle at a nice dark grey.  He also inherited some of Jinta’s shut in traits (though I didn’t know that was genetic) and seems to enjoy movies, or at least I assume he does.  Speaking of that, when the hell is this supposed to take place?  I mean, he’s walking around with a damn Super 8 camera, and those things first came out in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but it doesn’t look anything like that time period.  And assuming this does take place in modern times, this is Japan, surely they have a better camera than this to make their movie with, and what the fuck kind of high school kid in these times knows how to splice and edit film and re-sync the audio?

Well, leaving behind this show’s fantasy timeline, the plot, like Onegai Teacher, involves Kaito accidentaly encountering an alien girl  and then some standard rom-com stuff happens (including a rather cringe-worthy scene at the end).  I, like a lot of other people, didn’t expect the sci-fi element of this show in the slightest, because the trailers made it seem more like the directors latest works.  However, I wasn’t as turned off as some other people, due to the fact that I’ve seen the show’s original version.  But, even though I didn’t really mind it that much, it seemed kind of unnecessary given the fact that the synopsis makes it seem like it’s going to be a lot more similar to Ano Hana.  A bunch of friends hanging out, being kids, and making a movie; doesn’t exactly seem like it needs any sci-fi.

I’m really not too sure how I feel about this show, and the fact that it’s produced by J.C. Staff doesn’t help much either.  But, for J.C. Staff, the animation looks pretty good, especially consider the fact that they literally have four shows airing this season – no joke. As far as rom-coms go, I’ve seen far, far worse, but I’ve also seen better.  However, considering that one of those “better” ones was directed by the same man who’s doing this, I still have some hope for this show.  I’ll just go ahead and assume that that last scene was put in there by J.C. Staff against the directors will, because that seems like something they’d do.  Anything to keep the ecchi alive boys.

Rinne no Lagrange Episode 1 – First Impressions


 It’s the start of a new year, so it seems perfectly reasonable to start the winter season off with something that I really wasn’t sure about; you know, try something new and all.  But then again, maybe I just watched this because I honestly can’t think of anything else that I want to watch this season besides Nisemonogatari and Another, and the fact that it’s done by IG.  Well, technically it’s Xebec, but it’s a subsidiary of IG and beggars can’t be choosers (even though Xebec itself has had a pretty unimpressive track record).  And of course being from IG it looks pretty good animation wise, so I guess I’d advise to try to find a higher quality version of it somewhere than a standard web video, or wait until Viz begins their simulcast of it.

The plot right now is pretty much non-existent, which I guess is okay because it’s the first episode.  And not only that, it’s the first episode of a mecha anime, so there isn’t a whole lot of time to sit around and talk about what’s going on, they need the get that first episode fight in there.  Basically, all that happens is an overly happy girl named Madoka Kyouno is asked to pilot a robot by some girl with a really long name, and of course she accepts.  And they call the mechs “robots” not just once, but multiple times; now that’s pretty damn lazy.  Come on Nissan, you can’t even come up with a name for your mechs?  And yes, that’s right, Nissan designed the mechs, so it may just be one big marketing scheme to get people to buy their cars.

The characters seem kind of meh right now too.  And I know it’s the first episode, so there isn’t really too much reason to get into that but to me, it seems odd that every one of the main characters is a girl.  I’m not trying to be sexist or anything, but I just kind of assumed that the mecha genre was generally reserved for males.  But then again, having a female protagonist could be a good break from the standard routine of having a male as the lead.  I guess only time will tell though.

And didn’t it seem strange that Madoka won her first fight so easily?  I mean, that was supposedly one of the main villains that she was battling and she beat him with a suplex after about 30 seconds of fighting?  Considering that she had never been in it before, that seems kind of hard to believe.  But they did pull that classic “past connection” bullshit where she somehow is connected to the mech through some past something or other (it has something to do with her ass, no joke).

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing (Ginyoku no Fam) Episode 1 – First Impressions


By “here” I mean it’s a link to it

So, I believe this is the last new show for the Fall season, and they sure waited long enough to show one of the shows I’ve actually wanted to see.  This Last Exile series is not a continuation of the original, and isn’t supposed to be related to the first either.  Instead it’s simply a spin-off, with new characters and a new story.  This series centers around the titular character Fam, a  Sky Pirate and vanship pilot, and  her navigator, Giselle.

Now, I can’t be completely unbiased here, because I really like Last Exile, and I really like anything steampunk.  That being said, I’m ready for some Bioshock Infinite.  I do understand that Last Exile isn’t really for everyone, and that a lot of people have issues with the story and pacing of it.  The story of the show was never really a problem to me, but I can definitely understand peoples issues with it’s pacing.  Like most people, I watched about the first half of the show and still had little to no idea about what was really going on, while it continued to add more and more to the plot.  But, the show finally picks up at the second part and began to tell you what everything was about.  Not to mention the characters were great in the show and (most of) the animation was to.

Thumbs up for being pirates

Now to Fam; it seems odd to start a show with relatively no information given about the characters other that their names.  You barley even get a chance to know what these people do before they’re off blowing up giant battle frigates helping more people who you don’t know.  This episode also suffers from the normal first episode pacing issues.  One minute Fam’s taking of her clothes and falling out of an airship (Why they would leave the door unlocked after she’s obviously done that before is beyond me), the next second they’re back home, and the next two countries are at war.  They go to war that fast; literally, the Turan people are like “This place is sacred to the Federation, and we’re only here to hold a meeting, they wouldn’t go to war with us.”  and they VERY next scene, some generic evil guy from the Federation says “We’re going to war, right now.  What? A reason? LOLOLOLOL! Good one”.  But hey, anything to complete a story arc in the first episode right?  Well, they do manage to make a story arc, and a fairly entertaining one too.  Also from what you see in the first part of the episode, you’d be surprised to know that Fam isn’t a completely idiotic and naive girl.  She actually manages to pull some pretty cool stuff in the obligatory first episode battle, even if the show feels the need to remind you that she’s still a little ditzy at the end… by making here cling to the side of a moving airship just to see the princess.  None of the other characters were really given to much to do except the he/she that everybody loves, Dio.  The episode was enjoyable, but it didn’t really offer enough about the plot for a first episode, instead focusing more on it’s battle scene.  But if this is anything like it father series, I don’t have much concern that the story will be bad.

I guess having an eye-patch doesn’t leave you with many career choices

Once again, Gonzo’s weird CG/2D hybrid style of animation makes it’s appearance.  I really like the 2D animation and character models, but I’m always iffy when it comes to CG.  CG isn’t one of the things that I particularly care to much for in anime; after all, it’s just a cop out to not have to draw stuff, and Japan is already getting lazy enough with it’s animation as it is.  However, I didn’t mind it too much in Last Exile or either I just got used to seeing it; that and it was done halfway decent.  The music is also as good as I remember it being in the first series, which was something that I always like to see in a series.

I feel like this is another good series in a season of plenty of good shows, but feel it may be overlooked in favor of shows like Fate/zero or Mirai Nikki.  Both of the shows seem great so far, so don’t get me wrong, but I haven’t heard many people talking about this show, and I don’t think airing at the very end of the season helps it too much.  I mean, even MAL says it started airing on July 2nd, which it definitely did not.  Well, here’s hoping this show continues the meet the mark that it’s predecessor set.

Guilty Crown Episode 1 – First Impressions


First Episode Here

God, this show has been hyped up beyond belief, but for (somewhat) good reasons. First, it’s directed by Tetsuro Araki, the director of Death Note, so that instantly puts big expectations on this show from the masses.  Second, it’s co-written by one of the writers of Code Geass, which isn’t really that much of draw for me, considering the enormous amounts of melodrama in that show.  Finally, it’s produced by Production I.G., so no one should be too worried about the visuals.

Guilty Crown is about, as all anime are, a normal high-school boy named Shu Ouma, who leads a very normal quite life.  However, unlike most anime, it takes place in a future that is not completely totalitarian (like Ergo Proxy and what-have-you) but rather, the government has taken heavy involvement in the lives of it’s citizens.  It’s set in 2039, after a violent virus outbreak ten years before.  After this, the country fell into a distraught state, and Japan relied heavily on foreign help as well as intervention by their national government to help the populous.  Anyway, Shu has gone through his life feeling somewhat alone, which he attributes to his bad social skills.  One day as he returns to his… house, I guess (pretty shitty house though) he finds Inori Yuzuriha, who is apparently the lead singer of the show’s allegory for Supercell.  After she says some cliched pseudo-philosophical stuff to him, and talks about the thing she stole in the opening of the show, the fuzz bust in and take her away.  While Shu sits there feeling sorry for himself for losing such a hot piece of ass, her mini Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell shows him a map displaying where he needs to go to take the thing she had.  When he gets there, he meets Gai, obviously the leader of their Guerrilla resistance thing.  But things can’t stay too good for long, and a bunch of mechs attack.  In the midst of all this Inori somehow escapes where she was being held (it didn’t really make it clear why she was so close to them) and makes her way to the warzone.  Because it’s dramatic, she stands on a pile of ruble in plain view of two of the mechs, and Shu rushes to save her, because it’s dramatic.  Then the show becomes Code Geass and he gets the power to pull swords out of peoples boobs…. okay.

May even have more rape than Mawaru Penguindrum

I’m not so sure will live up to it’s absurd expectations, but I still expect it to be pretty good.  It’s Production I.G., so badass animation, and badass music by Supercell, which I forgot to mention.  I think it was stupid how Gai (and Shu himself) were making such a big deal about him not saving Inori; Christ, if police kicked the door in on my house and told me if I moved they’d shoot me, I think I’d stay still.  The fight thing at the end was kind of weird too; it just seemed like the obligatory first episode battle.  How did it start so suddenly? where did they want Shu to go? how did Inori get there? The main thing I’m worried about is how shonen-centric it will be.  I mean, a nobody boys meets a fine-ass girl, gets super power, saves world, I’ve seen it before.  However, IF this show can stay away from all the ho-hum shonen things I know it will probably try to do, I think it has a very good shot at being really great.

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