ARPEGGIO OF BLUE STEEL
Seiji Kishi pulls the classic "show random action scene in the beginning to hook the viewer's attention because the exposition right after is going to be really, really mind-numbingly bland"
The whole thing is ridiculously stale, which is expected from Kishi when he tries to direct something that isn't funny. I dropped like a fly halfway through the first episode and didn't wake up till half an hour later. Its straight of the book, play by play execution does little to put any interesting spin on its generic war story.
But the biggest problem I've got with this series is the main character. The side cast kinda interesting, I suppose. But God, inadequately characterized, dully acted, and completely lifeless, the series really screwed itself over with how it handled its male lead.
I love the core idea that the dude stumbles on an incredibly powerful ship and uses it to escape the bad guys and start an uprising. The whole thing sounds kind of familiar, right?
Light Yagami from Death Note, Lelouch from Code Geass, Saiga from Speed Grapher, etc. Just like the kid, all these people stumble on some powerful supernatural shit that gives them kick-ass leeway into achieving whatever their goals may be. But the male lead of this series is pretty much a cardboard carbon copy of all those characters.He's a plot device who comes nowhere close of being charismatic.
Plus, the CG gives me the creeps
POTENTIAL: VERY LOW
I like the chemistry between the female lead and the Fox God. It's the wise old tsundere fart and the innocent young girl who's still growing up. I like that kind of stuff and this episode handled their chemistry fairly well. It was charming and well-rounded overall. I also dig some of the ideals and philosophy thrown around in the episode, like when the Fox states that too many religious people will only come turn to God when it benefits them.
The problem I have with this first episode was the poor pacing. Much like last season's Sunday Without God, the episode was rushed and tried fitting in too much at once, lacking the emotional punch it strives for. Not to mention, the episode had the same problem Nagi no Asukara had, which was that the episode played out like we had already grown a strong attachment to the characters.
Still, it's decent enough for me to try out another episode. The opening song also showcased a lot more characters to come, so I'm curious to see how they'll all intermingle with one another.
YOZAKURA QUARTET: HANA NO UTA
This series is pretty much akin to the stupid monster-of-the-week cartoons I use to watch on Cartoon Network or whatever. However, contrary to those cartoons, Yozakura is actually pretty great.
It's a bit rushed, but the overall execution was really clean cut. Its cast is huge and yet it did an impressive job of introducing each one of them, giving them vigor and energy, and a small bit of unique characterization. The chemistry is also lively and there's a strong grasp of teamwork unlike that other series last season... *cough* Gatchaman Crowds*cough*
And out of all the supernatural settings that we're thrown into with little exposition. This topped both Kyoukai no Kanata and Strike the Blood, by far! It has this really cool old-school shounen vibe that I dig and it definitely breathes the most life. One scene, in particular, tickled my fancy and that's the scene where the first huge goldfish attacks the city and the civilians just shrug it off as if it's just something they see every day.
Oh yeah, you heard me. Huge goldfish attacking the city. That's so much cooler than those demon monster things we saw in Kyoukai no Kanata.
Oh, one more thing. I thought Ibara from Coppelion would be the "waifu of the season" for me, but Hime kinda beat her out. She was better acted and uhshe's exactly the kind of girl I fantasized about and wished I had when I was younger. She's moe and really hot. Cute and bubbly while snarky and level-headed. Kicks ass and lives life casually. Yeah, you could say I find her kinda cool.
POTENTIAL: VERY HIGH