Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall 2013 Anime Episode 1 Reviews

So, aside 3 anime which I already put out here on the blog, I'm doing 7 mini reviews of other currently airing anime on the ! Every weekend, I'll be posting the roundup of those reviews here. Hope I can keep this up until the end of the season though (>>)



COPPELION 1:




Looks promising, but I fear that there will be several things about this show that will annoy the hell out of me. For one thing, there's the fact that the three main characters are adventuring around a post-apocalyptic Tokyo in school uniforms. I know that (spoilers from this episode) so they don't have to wear the same suits everyone else wears, but a little protection from physical harm goes a long way. Put on some knee pads or something. Next, there's that one girl who is waaay more bratty than the other two who actually act like they're fit for the special missions the government gets them to do. Finally, there's the utter lack of music. There was only music in the last third of the show when it finally decided to finish up all the exposition and actually show some action. So far, the animation looks great. This is GoHands after all. They're the guys who made [K] which was a really sexy anime in terms of visual style. Also, they are reeeaaalllly good at narrowly avoiding panty shots. With all the running around these miniskirted ladies do, it's quite impressive that there was not even a single flash of panties considering all the low angle shots as well. I will continue to watch this show. Hopefully someone slaps some sense to Aoi soon while the show is still just starting. I don't wanna put up with her whining for the whole series. Please no >>



NAGI NO ASUKARA 1:



I think this show is doing everything in its power to make me hate the main protagonist Hikari from the very start. They decide to take a page from Free's playbook and show him and his unimpressive body cook in nothing but short shorts and an apron. Then, literally the first lines he has involves him shouting at someone for casually asking if the food's done. Then he spends the rest of the episode treating the female protagonist Manaka like she's completely helpless at everything. Well, Manaka does seem to be a weak-willed character who is either a) getting pushed around by just about everyone or b) getting babied by everyone else. Oh crap, a jerk kid and a vulnerable little girl, it's Red Data Girl all over again! Well, at least Nagi no Asukara dares to show more emotion than RDG in its first episode. There are times where the show can be legitimately funny and times where it will rustle your jimmies as it intended. Two big themes of this anime: discrimination and adolescence. The land humans and the sea humans are absolutely alien to each other. Then there's our teenage cast of characters dealing with teenage issues. There was even a scene that had Hikari thought-commenting about how Manaka's body has matured. It was almost perverted the way it played out. I'd love to see more of that than the typical "I like X but X likes Y" stuff which most other teenage dramas do. So, Nagi no Asukara, from what it's shown from its first episode may annoy you with its pair of main characters that's been done before. If you never liked the jerk-crybaby dynamic, then you won't like it here. It does seem to talk about more daring issues though and that may be the reason why I'd continue watching it. That, and all the possible Spongebob jokes I can probably make.



STRIKE THE BLOOD 1:



I'm not very into all these "Shounen hero with magical girlfriend" type shows but hey, I'm already planning to watch Tokyo Ravens and Kyoukai no Canada so let's throw in Strike the Blood in as well. The thing with shows like these is that they're always way too technical for my taste and that rings true for StB. You've got an island full of demons, vampiric legends, Sword Shamans, Progenitors, blah blah blah blah blah I'm willing to look past that though since the protagonists are much more sane than most protagonists of anime of its genre. An example, Kyoukai no Kanata has a girl who trips on her own feet and a guy who's already tired of her shit at episode one. Strike the Blood has a girl who gets embarrassed when people see her panties (Which should happen a lot when you're a schoolgirl in an action anime. Take note, Coppelion) and a guy who is enough of a bro to return her lost wallet but not so much of a pushover that he doesn't ask anything in return for his good deed, especially since the girl he just helped threatened him with death just the other day. What I'm trying to say is that the main characters are quite believable and dare I say, likeable, though quite plain. The action seems okay. The animation quality isn't on Kyoukai no Kanata's level but it looks good from what I've seen. Here's hoping that it just stays consistent. Silver Link has so far handled their anime pretty well so I'm hoping that Strike the Blood receives the same level of effort put into it as their other anime has had. Okay so episode 1, shows that Strike the Blood can be a decent anime, but it still looks awfully generic and I'm thinking that it still needs something more to set it apart from all the other action anime. No, the wonky opening cinematics that make you feel like you're watching an anime drunk isn't it.



WALKURE ROMANZE 1:



Let me just start by saying that pantsless jousting is probably a bad idea. A lot of jokes about this show were made among my friends and I when we first saw the trailer. We dubbed it Infinite Stratos: Jousting Edition but now that I've actually watched it, there's quite a number of significant differences between this show and IS. First, the protagonist is not the typical "harem protagonist" sissy. He's actually a calm, collected gentleman who is actually skilled at his sport (jousting, obviously). He IS quite oblivious to the people around him though and the other characters actually acknowledge that. As I watched this show, it became increasingly obvious that this isn't one to take too seriously. The confirmation comes when the ditz female protagonist was getting chased around by a rapist horse while wearing her senpai's helmet which she was sniffing just a few minutes prior, and then the second most British girl in the show loses her shit after teaching her fangirl-underclassmen that real knights never lose their shit and ends up getting her skirt pulled off by previously mentioned rapist horse. Luckily, her underclassmen arrive to save her decency by covering 2nd Most Brit Girl's lace panties with the piece of her skirt rapist horse just ripped out. Boy, was that a mouthful. It was actually an enjoyable segment among many others. Don't let the cool character designs and the awesome New World era Europe setting fool you. This anime seems to like to play for laughs. Quite a decent amount of fanservice too with all the voluptuous women and the panty shots. Think of it as a more subtle Hyakka Ryouran only set in Europe and with a competent male protaginst. So I'm probably going to watch this for the comedy and the fanservice and maybe even a few lessons on jousting.



Arpeggio 1:



Now this was on my top 5 most anticipated anime of Fall 2013, specifically because I was curious to see how the animation would be handled. Studio Sanzigen, who animated the fight scenes in Black Rock Shooter TV, said they would be doing this show in 3DCG. Now this got me interested in the show. I haven't watched a good 3DCG anime since SD Gundam Force and that show took some getting used to. It was also made in 2004. Well, it's 2013 now and we have Arpeggio, how has 3DCG technology advanced since then? Well, it's my personal opinion that Arpeggio delivers with its animation for the most part. The action was amazing and was pretty much Black Rock Shooter with ships. The main characters looked sharp with realistic shading and motion. At times, the CG blends in so well with the anime style, you'd think this was just a really good looking 2D anime. Not everything with the CG is guaranteed to be great though. Characters have really well detailed heads, hair, faces and clothes but the same can't be said about the rest of their body. A close up of the male protagonist's hand showed a bit of a lack of outline. One thing that disappointed me is that the background characters still look derp. This was one of the things that I hoped 3DCG would fix. In regular 2D anime, background characters, especially when the hypothetical camera is at a wide angle, would usually be faceless blobs slightly resembling humans. Here, the background characters do look like humans, but their faces are so undetailed, they might as well be better off being faceless. Seriously, was it so hard to come up with generic templates even for just the eyes? So yeah, the CG is great where the focus is, with the action and the main characters. Not so much on the little things. For some, it might take some getting used to, but Arpeggio is still one good looking anime, especially compared to other 3DCG anime. I do believe that Studio Sanzigen know what they're doing here.



YOZAKURA QUARTET - HANA NO UTA 1:



This is another one of my most anticipated anime of the season. See, I'm interested in Yozakura Quartet. Problem is, I haven't had the time to go check out the previous anime series and all that. So I thought that Yozakura Quartet would have eventually become one of those big anime that I would never get to watch, like Code Geass or Haruhi Suzumiya. Luckily, someone had the bright idea of making a reboot of the story, and from what people are telling me, this should be closer to the manga than the original anime. Now, the anime started off painfully slow with a loli walking around town almost aimlessly. It was quite boring. So boring I thought I would drop the show then and there. Then the main characters came along. We have a Asuka from Senran Kagura, Kanna from Ano Natsu de Matteru, and Miyuki Sawashiro as another brown haired glasses girl. Not to mention a cat girl who would have been every catgirl in anime ever had it not been for her blue hair and Yuki Kaiji as another teenager protagonist. Great. To be fair, the character of Kotoha was probably concieved waaay before Fukawa from Danganronpa. Plus she has boobs. And probably bathes. Anyway, yeah, the characters look like characters from other anime but their persinalities are waaay different from their look-alikes. Hime is bossy, Touka is panicky (hopefully not whiny), Kotoha has boobs, Ao is your typical catgirl and Yuki Kaiji is still every character he's ever voiced only without the angst for now. Despite the characters not seeming much, they are at least a cast of varied personalities. The show did pick up in the second half with a really satisfying fight scene which added a lot to my enjoyment of the show. Some sidenotes before I end my review. The anime seems really generous with flash panty shots but it feels like they're not really playing it for fanservice rather, it's a "it happens" sort of thing. They're casual about it, which is cool by me. It's just panties. They exist and it's not too hard to believe that these things get exposed when you've got miniskirted girls fighting goldfish. Another thing, the anime seems to mix traditional 2D animation with some 3DCG. I know some of you cry when you here "CG" but it wasn't so bad. It actually blended in really really well because they only used it in angles where it would work and where it would actually enhance the scene. So far, so good with Yozakura Quartet. Just hope they divide the action better to avoid long periods of boring like the first half of this episode.



GALILEI DONNA 1:



Another one of my most anticipated anime of the season. No, not every anime is in my most anticipated list. This belonged in that list for several reasons: cute girls, interesting premise, and a big budget studio (A-1 Pictures) producing this. Not in that particular order. Finally, I got around to watching it and it's as great as I'd hoped it would be. The show starts out with some wonky CG, but it definitely picks up after that with a cinematically impressive opening sequence that would make you think you were watching a video game cutscene if you were watching out of context. After the big fireworks, we get the opening theme which is pretty slow but it does show off the characters and it's not obnoxious like most J-pop. At this point, I started having my suspicions about what I might gripe about this anime and I'll get to that later on. We're introduced to the three sisters and their quirks and personalities are easily identifiable. You might even say cliche. But the show was entertaining all through out. Dialogue between characters felt natural and it really showed off their personalities and their relationships with each other. The music was, I wouldn't say unique, but it was a throwback to old school cartoon movies, with a lot of jazz and orchestral tracks. Overall, Galilei Donna's first episode shows that it seems to be a great looking and good sounding anime with a colorful cast of characters put in an equally interesting world that mixes a generous amount of sci-fi to an otherwise realistic European setting. So what did I find suspicious about Galilei Donna? Well, one sister seems to get more attention than the other two. You probably guessed it, it's the loli. She gets the honor of having the last part of the opening sequence all to herself, she's in most of all the good action scenes what with her being a genius inventor with a giant flying mecha goldfish and all, and she wears nothing under her overalls when she's inventing stuff. Fanservice. This wouldn't be so bad if the show wasn't advertised to be about 3 sisters instead of 1 loli that happened to have 2 sisters around. I'm just hoping this fixation with Hozuki doesn't get to me too much. Hell, I hope this loli fixation isn't the matter at all and the show just did this in the first episode to lure in the pedophiles. Basically, I don't want the loli spamming to ruin the storytelling by brushing off the other characters to the side. I also hope this show didn't just blow off all its budget on the first episode because with how great it looked, I wouldn't be surprised if it just did.



That's it for the episode 1 s of this season's anime which I'm watching. If you feel like being updated quicker, go Like the where I post these reviews just a bit after I watch these anime. Ciao!
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