Friday, May 06, 2011

Spring Midterms: Hanasaku, Kami Nomi, Softenni

I'll admit, it's been a long-ass time since I had a midterm. Let's just say, when I was in school, we used NCSA Mosaic to browse the inter-net. Instead of Web 2.0, we were talking Web 0.5. But since we're a third of the way through the spring season, might as well take some time and judge the anime that's aired so far, and that's midterm-like, right? Grades are too 20th century, though, so I'm only giving seishun points, taking my cue from Denpa Onna. So without further ado:

Hanasaku Iroha

Good Points
- Ohana: she's the cute, energetic, heroine of the series, and since this is in spite of being raised by a thoroughly negligent mother who dumps her off on her grandmother, it's hard not to root for Ohana to succeed. Plus her grandmother follows the Tiger Mom school, so you know Ohana won't grow up to be worthless. +3
- Animation quality and setting - I'm a sucker for interesting settings and atmosphere, and the countryside inn setting is pretty cool. Not quite Sora no Woto cool in my book, but visually, everything looks good and makes it feel like you're really in the Japanese countryside. +1
- Rina using random-ass dialects for the hell of it. Quirky characters are more fun to watch. +1

Bad Points
- It feels a little like a soap opera. It's a tough line to walk, but the whole thing with Grandma slapping Ohana, Minchi hating on Ohana, Minchi liking Tohru, and so's hard to know when you cross the line from drama to soap opera, but I have some worries. I still think odds are good Tohru falls for Ohana, and Minchi goes yandere, but I don't know if I want to see that. -1
- I'm just not waiting on the edge of my seat for new episodes. Let's face it, Nako is kind of a boring character, Minchi isn't good at much aside from being hostile towards Ohana so far, Grandma doesn't show up much, Ko-chan seems like he's nice but not exactly a thrill a minute, and he's been out of the picture for a while now anyway. Most interesting character is probably Tohru - need more interesting bishoujos too. -1

Total Seishun Points: +3 - enough to keep me watching, and I expect it'll only get better since it has two cours to work with and develop the characters

Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai - 2nd Season

Good Points
- Haqua. Although honestly, she's not as badass as the hype made me think she would be. She reminds me of Hinagiku a little, but in ep 3 she just came across as really annoying the way she refused help and refused to admit despite being a star in school, she actually sucked dong at catching loose souls. But in ep 4 she redeemed herself a little. +1
- Elcie. Pure moe in demon form. +3
- Keita seeing straight through Haqua's pretenses. They don't call him Kami-onii-san for nothing. +2

Bad Points
- Kendo heroine didn't do anything for me at all. I wasn't a fan of Shiori either, it's like Nagakawa Kanon aside, I wouldn't want to play any of their routes, if you know what I mean. -2
- Character design for the really dangerous level 3 loose soul looked like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Is that the scariest you could come up with? Really? -1

Total Seishun Points: +3 - again enough to keep watching, but I'm hoping the next bishoujo will be better than kendo girl, whose name I can't even remember. Kanon-chan needs more screentime too.


Good Points
- Good cast. Not the best cast ever, but they're quirky enough and interact together well enough that it makes this fun to watch. Not sure if they'll make it to Softenni Koshien, but if the cast is likeable it covers up a lot of other ills in my book. +2
- The guy with 'God's fingers' - I don't know why, but that whole scene cracked me up. +1
- Taught me that soft tennis is an actual sport - had no idea this existed before, so I can claim this is expanding my intellectual horizons. +1
- Fanservice. Because let's face it, no one watches Xebec series for plot and dorama. +1

Bad Points
- Censor cows. -1
- The weird thing with Chitose riding on salamanders and being obsessed with food. -1
- Their coach needs more backstory, why the hell did he quit at the top? Because being badass at the sport you love is boring? Really? -1

Total Seishun Points: +2 - as long as it's funny, I'll forgive a lot.

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