Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More First Impressions: Kimikiss, Night Wizard, YUA, and Shana II

Kimikiss

Wow...I thought Clannad had a big cast, but I can't remember two-thirds of the characters in Kimikiss's names. If I had to guess from the first episode, I'm guessing by the end we'll have at least two couples: Mao x Quiet, Delinquent-Looking Dude Sitting Next to Her, and Guy Who Showed Up First And Is Presumably the Male Lead x Shy Girl in His Class that He Blushes Looking At. But there are so many characters we could have five or six couples by the time it's over. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not--a big cast in a one cours series has to make focus difficult, but on the other hand it's kind of refreshing to see a bishoujo series with more guys than the standard two: the Male Lead and the Best Friend Who Never Gets a Girl to Even Look at Him. I haven't counted, but in Kimikiss the guy:girl ratio may be close to even. In any case, the character designs are good, the animation's decent if not stellar, and the characters themselves are interesting enough to keep me watching. After a spring season without a whole lot of bishoujo series, this fall has really turned into a bishoujo explosion.

Night Wizard

I know, it's based on a video game and probably aimed at people born when I was in college, but hell, I'm a sucker for moe character designs, and Hiiragi's "I just want to go to school!" and Anzelotto's "answer 'hai' or 'yes'" are entertaining enough to keep me watching. Plus the high school the cast goes to is in Akihabara, how cool is that. You could buy anime goods on your lunch break...talk about an express shinkansen to bankruptcy. The plot's based on a battle between skeletal 'Emulators' and the Forces of Good, Hiiragi misses class to swing a sword around, Anzelotto lives in the big castle at Disneyworld, and Elis and Kareha look like they'll be doing some fighting with Hiiragi (male lead) as well. I'm not expecting anything Earth-shattering here given the source material, but the first episode was fun to watch anyway. I'm somewhat easily entertained though, so your mileage may vary.

You're Under Arrest: Full Throttle

The You're Under Arrest OVA series is one of the first anime tapes I ever bought...I bought it from Animeigo on VHS a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and bought it again on DVD. I'm sure I've watched the four OVA episodes at least a dozen times, and I've seen the first and second TV series, the movie, and the mini-specials--none were as good as the OVAs in my book, but they were at least entertaining. When I heard there was a third You're Under Arrest series airing, I thought it was a hoax--the last series was, what, five years ago? The manga stopped running in the late Paleozoic era, so where were they getting the material? I went into the first episode of YUA: Full Throttle with high expectations--which were promptly crushed. Honestly, the first episode almost put me to sleep. I kept looking at the timer at the bottom of the screen, wondering if that guy in Catch-22 would approve of this as a way to live longer. And Miyuki and Natsumi...they look like they're obaasans now. I think it's the extra lines around the eyes, but I hate the new character designs with a passion. The boy we're supposed to care about in this arc, who Miyuki saves from a kidnapping, just didn't pull me in either. I was honestly more entertained by Night Wizard, which makes me question my own sanity. As a fan of the OVAs, I expected this to be a sure hit, but it really let me down--maybe in the end, the OVAs just set too high a bar to clear.

Shana II

Having just re-watched the first season, I didn't really need the recap of sorts that took up much of the episode, but it was a clever way to provide a refresher for people and to help get new viewers up to speed. The sakura in fall made me think I was watching Da Capo for a minute there. I'm glad to see it looks like Ball Masque will play a role again, so they won't just be forgotten after getting away at the end of the first season. And the Horned Girl...I don't think anyone on Earth would take a bet that this episode is the last we'll see of her. There wasn't much new in the episode, but it was good to see the cast again, even if I did watch the first season two weeks ago. Shana looks moe as ever, especially now that she's not as tsun-tsun as she was in the beginning of the first season, and I'm hoping Ike and Yuuji will both have some balls so we won't just see The Triangle from last season drawn out until the end of time. Although I have to wonder, what happened to Operation Get Yuuji out of Misaki City to Avoid Endangering Everyone from last season though? Guess they just decided, ah, to heck with it, half the people in the city are torches by now anyway?

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