Dave’s spring season 2011 Impressions Part 1
April 19, 2011 10 Comments
Wow, this spring season is already off to a great start, just like I expected. Some good shows, a few fantastic ones, and some… not so great. Regardless, this is already a much better round up than the winter season. So far we’ve got a few potentially great drama shows, a couple comedy shows, some action, some slice of life. The whole kabala all wrapped up into one nice basket. So what just did I think of the shows so far? Read on after the jump
I’ll be perfectly honest here. When I first saw the OVA to Nichijou, I felt rather bored. Granted, the animation is superb, and drawn exquisitely well. Perhaps having more production value than any of studio Pierrot’s works put together, but that’s beside the point. Nichijou felt like it had rather bland comedy. For a gag-filled show, I was uninterested in the randomness being thrown around, despite how insane the situation was. Then the anime series came around, and my stance on Nichijou has changed for better. For the first few episodes that I have seen, I’m still unbelievably impressed by the animation quality. There was one hallway scene in the second episode that just blew me away by how beautifully it was crafted. This is 2011 and this is how anime should look like now. The comedy has its moments every now and then, but overall it’s more entertainment driven rather than comedy. The one issue I have with this show is that there are just some scenes that are thrown in here for no apparent reason other than to fill some time. By this I mean scenes where there’s barely any action or dialogue occurring. There’s simply no point to it.
Tiger & Bunny
Ah yes, the new show from studio, Sunrise, popping out nowhere, and exceeding my expectations. I honestly had no idea what I was in store for when I first began watching Tiger and Bunny. The idea of Superheroes fighting crime for a television show and being sponsored by big name companies, is such an appealing idea to me. The main character of Tiger and Bunny, Kotetsu, a washed up superhero past his prime, is nearly reminiscent of Mr. Incredible of the well known Pixar movie, which I think is absolutely great, and certainly makes room for character development to come. The CGI is pretty subpar, but it’s hardly a distraction to my enjoyment of this show. The idea of Tiger now working with a new partner to fight crime, may seem pretty cliche. A buddy cop situation if you will. They’ll both resent each other at first, and soon they’ll learn of each other’s past, and eventually kiss and make up, and become best buddies by the end of the series. At least, that’s what I predict how it will end up like. Not to say that it’s bad, just a mere observation on how it might plan out. Some of the other complaints I have about this show is there there’s barely enough screentime for the rest of the heroes. They’re in the OP, and you’ll see them occasionally throughout an episode, but there’s such little interaction with the rest of the heroes. I certainly hope that they will band together, as some sort of superhero team, rather than competing for the top spot on Hero TV.
Honestly, I’m not even sure why I picked this up. The first episode on, we’re introduced to a pretty bland main character, who’s seemingly incredibly athletic. All of a sudden, he’s thrown into an alternate world where he’s supposedly the hero to save… er… help these dog…people to win a war against the…cat people. And this war isn’t even very violent. Hell, this is a sport for both people. Why they desperately need a hero to help them or even the purpose of the whole shenanigan is beyond me. It’s so silly and ridiculous, it’s pretty difficult to try and enjoy. Even while taking none of it seriously, the characters and humor comes off as rather corny, almost making me wince at how this show makes me want to scratch my throat out. Sure, this show’s probably for kids. But would even kids like this? I find it pretty hard to believe.
I’ll say this right off the bat: Hen Zemi is fucking disgusting. I *tried* to watch the OVA that came out before it, but by god, is it too much to bare through. Feces, copious amounts of graphic sex scenes, some of the repulsive acts committed, all compiled up into a short series. I’m actually rather relieved that this is only half a timeslot, because I just don’t think I could bare through the obscene content thrown around joyfully like monkeys spreading their feces to the rest of the jungle. I cannot eat, nor watch an episode without wincing at the revolting scenes. It’s almost as if it’s attempting to be the most disgusting series in existence. Well, it’s certainly a contender from what I’ve seen. Some people might not mind it, but it’s just flat out disgusting. And yet, I cannot look away.
Ano hi Mita Hana no Namae wo-FUCK IT.
And here comes another show which has surprised me out of the blue. This being made from A-1 pictures, the animation is done quite well as many of their other works. There’s not too much to say on this show, other than the fact that it’s down-right depressing. It’s interesting to see a character being haunted by the ghost of a girl who was very dear to him, but managing to cope with it in a weird way. She seems very real to him, but it’s to him only, and no one else in reality can’t see nor physically touch her. Depression steeped even further when it’s revealed how the ghost girl’s own family copes with her death. It’s tragic, and just exactly what this season needs. It’s nearly a breath of fresh air to see a range of a cast of characters dealing with the death of someone they all knew, in very different ways. I’m still rather curious what the creators plan to do with his plot. Perhaps the characters will all someday come to accept her death and her ghost will move on into the afterlife or whatnot. It’s all just speculation at this point, but it’s all so intriguing to me.
Health and Physical Education for 30 year olds
I’ll probably get some slack for this, but I actually don’t hate this show. In fact, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I was surprised about how much negative reception this has received so far. I didn’t expect this series to be something to take seriously, not even an actual guide to getting laid at age 30. The way I see it, it’s a romantic comedy. An odd romcom, but still a romcom essentially. It’s similar to the mindset of the movie, 40 year old virgin. Both loser main characters need to get laid pretty desperately, but while trying to do so, through a variety of lame and embarrassing attempts, they will eventually find the soul mate to do the deed with. I wouldn’t call it incredibly hilarious, but there are points in the series which make it rather enjoyable. The Sex God character is a great addition to the series, acting in almost every troll manner, to get the main character laid while placing him in odd situations. There are complaints about the censoring of this show, and no doubt, there is a ton of censoring. Almost to the point where they just about block out an entire scene. I’m not too bothered by it, after all, I’m watching this show for the humor and enjoyment, not the sex and breasts.
I wasn’t too invested with this show, and I didn’t care much for it when I got around to seeing the first episode. The whole set of 4 school girls, going about their school life, is very similar to the way shows like Lucky Star are set up. The humor isn’t particularly up to my tastes, and neither are the characters. To make it short and simple: It ain’t mah thang. From the first couple of episodes that I saw, I’ll admit to my mind dwindling every now and then while watching, hoping something interesting might occur or suddenly catch my eyes. Now, I don’t hate slice of life shows. In fact, I welcome them as much as any other genre. But the dialogue and script in A Channel, isn’t to my interests. It can get a little stale, to be honest, and maybe even passes as a time-waster. The best way I probably feel about this show is that I simply don’t mind it and this goes both ways. I don’t hate it, but it’s certainly not at the top of priorities to watch.
The World God Only Knows S2
It’s pretty nice to see a good ol’ entertaining show back in action, after making its first debut in the Fall season of ’10. I wasn’t too enthralled to see a second season of World God Only Knows so soon, but I do welcome it whole-heartedly. My concerns for this season are the same as I had with the last. The same issue for every arc I have, where it tends to repeat the same formula as before. It works for the first few girls in Keima’s harem, but it can start to get a little old, and might end up getting pretty repetitive. The only difference in the new season is that there are fewer girls, and the archtypes are different. Either way, the show’s still remotely entertaining, and can manage to keep my interest for at least one more season. Will it surpass the first season? Most likely not. For comedy shows like these, it’s usually more of the same stuff they’ve been pumping out as the previous season. It’s fine, but I won’t expect too much out of it.
Another drama show that has peeked my interests since the start of the series. It’s not everyday you get a show about a female protagonist, journeying to become that stronger character, striving through difficult times, yet still managing to get by. The animation is done quite well for a drama show and the character design is rather appealing. It’s an interesting premise: Take one teenage girl and place her into a whole other life unfamiliar to her. What grabs my attention is that she’s detested by nearly everyone at her new home, leaving it open for character development to come. The relationships the female protagonist holds with the rest of the workers of the inn is demonstrated quite beautifully, as the series shows the hardships she’ll endure while trying to win their favor. I hadn’t expected a drama show to capture my interests this well, and I shall be well looking forward for the episodes to come.
Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera
I was actually rather excited to see this show when it came out. From a studio I truly love, Brains Base, their new show sparked my interests just as they always have before. To top it off, it’s a remake the old 70s show, so I sure was in for a treat. From the first episode, I could best describe Enma-kun as those cartoon shows that aired late at night on networks like Adult Swim. It has very adult humor, despite its childish appearance, very similar to the way shows like Rocco’s Modern Life or Ren and Simpy are structured. It’s pretty entertaining by how obscene it can be. Old women swinging their aged breasts around, and demons with spear-like penises. For such an odd show, it certainly grabs your attention. However, by viewing the 2nd episode, my excitement for watching this series began to dwindle a bit. The first episode held fantastic action sequences, but the 2nd, not so much. There are just some parts of this show that I expect to be phenomenal, and yet it can fall short in some areas. That’s as far as I’ll go towards my concerns for the show, as it’s only based on what I’ve seen from the first two episodes. To be short: It’s good, it’s interesting and enjoyable, but my expectations aren’t too high for this series.
I heard there was quite a lot of buzz for this show, way back from the start of the winter season, so I thought I’d give it a try. Now I like Rie Kugumiya as much as the next guy, but it seems she’s restricted herself to a single archtype: the same flat-chested loli-body tsundere character she’s been playing for the past few years (with the exceptions of her other few roles in Gintama and Fairy Tail). As for the premise of the show, it does seem all too familiar for the average anime viewer. It’s easy to see that that the tsundere who hates men, will eventually begin to develop feelings for that one male character on the poster. And of course, he’ll win her heart by being the nicest guy he can be. It’s not the most exciting thing you ever heard, but it’s worth a look into. Right now, I’m sitting flat on the fence about this show. I don’t necessarily hate it, but I find myself not too terribly engaged into the show.
I remember when sports series were about sports, sadly, Softenni isn’t among them. From the studio, Xebec, which brought us some of its notable works like…. Ladies vs butlers and…. MM!, we have Sotenni, a show about girls playing tennis, but… not really playing tennis. I don’t mind fanservice in a series, but that seems to be the main focus of this show. There’s a load of panty shots revealed in the first episode, and a bunch of random gags thrown into the mix. Not exactly the best combination for a series. There are the same cliche cast of characters like any fanservice show might offfer: An eccentric yet ditzy character, a foreign girl who’s gone wacko, the down-to-earth girl, perverted girl, and so on. It’s a formula which has been used countless times, and will no doubt get old this time around.
C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
I haven’t a clue what this show is about but it’s awesome! From what I’ve seen from the first episode, it’s so unusual and unique, it’s hard to look away from the screen. It’s almost as if I was a little kid again, walking through Disneyland for the first time. Simply amazed by the world and the way it looks, yet all the while not understanding a bit of how it all works. This is also a straight up original series so anything is really possible at this point. The animation in this show is also pretty remarkable. Who’d a thunk this would have such a high production value? I wish I could write more about it, but unfortunately I can’t. There’s not much that has been revealed plot-wise, but it certainly does have high potential to be a great show.
Aria the Scarlet Ammo
Oh look, another show with a tsundere loli character voiced none other than by…..bing bing, you guessed it, Rie. I have to say, this show comes off as rather cliche all over the place. From the very start of the first episode, a girl falls ontop of a guy, thrown into the midst of some battle sequence. Later, it’s revealed the main male character possesses a secret ability to change his personality, and become a whole different person where he’s extremely suave and athletic. It felt pretty similar to the way DNAngel was. It’s not a terribly interesting premise, but I won’t write it off just yet. This does have something I didn’t expect: Guns. Guns are everywhere and could be one of things in this show that maintains my interest into this series. Could it survive solely on that feature? Probably not, but who’s to say that the other aspects of this show won’t improve? Coming the director, Takashi Watanabe, who’s last work was an absolute travesty. You might have heard of it: Freezing. Freezing was complete garbage, but Watanabe might have a chance to redeem himself with this new series. We shall wait and see.
Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san
From the studio, Production I.G., comes an unusual yet unexpectedly humorous show about a detective who summons demons to assist him in solving the problems of his clients. I didn’t expect myself to be laughing a lot from what I’ve seen from this series. Azazel, one of the demons/devils that the detective conjures is, is the wonderful main star of the show that just keeps me coming back from more. The humor is mainly comprised of dirty and dark comedy, but it works pretty well in this sort of situation. Azazel is a dirty-minded demon, yet is also the punching bag of the scene, ready to take abuse from his master and his assistant who works besides him. It’s a shame this is only half a timeslot long, because I’ve been enjoying this show quite a lot. I have to remind myself to check out the OVA as well sometime, as I hear it can be even more obscene in its comedy.
Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox
If there’s ever a show this season that could make me feel any more awkward about watching it, it’s definitely this one. The Kid-in-Camelot series, holds the similar premise but with a school girl being thrown into a different time period of the Sengoku era, when Oda Nobunaga made his.. er.. her in this case, rise to power to rule all of Japan. As odd as the first episode was, I went along with it, but the 2nd episode on, it began to drive into a steep hill of awkwardness. Because the main character, Hideoyoshi, is such an optimistic Sunshine Daisy, she can take a scene out of place and crumple it away with her happy-go-lucky attitude. There’s one particular scene in episode 2 that made me cringe. Hideyoshi is watching the inhabitants of a destroyed village, scourging for any food or items left unscathed by the fires. And you know what Hideyoshi does? She tells them to cheer up. She pulls out a cell phone and puts on a happy tune, where everyone go work with such a cheerful attitude, despite all the horrible things that just happened. To make it even worse, Nobunaga encourages it. Is this even remotely the same Nobunaga? The same vicious general that drank out of his victim’s skulls? I don’t mind when there are some historical inaccuracies, especially in an anime, but this is taking it a bit far.
It’s nice to see this little short back, three years since the first season began. It’s a nice quirky little show about two robots doing little gags in their lonesome mansion in the far off future. I did enjoy it’s precursor, Fireball, while short, I did get a few laughs at it. And here it is again, back in the flesh, with top notch 3D designs and animation. My only complaint about it is that I don’t like the new Andross design. Her thighs are huuuuge, and her ears look like they could poke an eye out if she were to swing the wrong way. Regardless, it’s only 2 minutes long per episode, so it’s worth spending less than half an hour to get through the main series and starting the new season.
Alright, this post is dragging on way too long. I’m cutting it short, and will post other impressions on the other spring shows another day.