Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Season Impressions - Week 2



Somehow it seems like every season, it's easy to find time to watch everything, but virtually impossible to find time to blog about it.  Maybe this is why Twitter and the like are popular with the young'uns, because how much effort is it to come up with, what, 140 characters?  I'm at double that right now and haven't even finished this paragraph, though, so clearly my brain is NOT wired to be that brief.

So without further ado, here are some spring impressions, compacted into one post for laziness brevity's sake.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: Just...awesome.  HP Lovecraft references, parody, Miya-chan's seiyuu - this is pretty much everything I was hoping for.  They'll have to seriously screw up for this not to be my favorite of the season when it's all over.

Sengoku Collection: The Nobunaga episode was good.  But Ieyasu feels like an Idolmaster ripoff, only not as good without Harurun and the twins.  If they get back to the Nobunaga plot I'll be happy, but I have a bad feeling until then we're in for Sentimental Journey-type individual stories of Sengoku warlords making it as bishoujo in the real world.  Jury's out on this one.

Medaka Box: Read somewhere this would be exactly the same if you replace Medaka with Jesus.  Probably true, but still not terrible so I'll keep watching.  It'd be interesting to see who's more unrealistically perfect at everything they do, Medaka, or Marika from Mouretsu Pirates?

Upotte: I can't believe I actually watched the first episode of this.  The girls are guns?  Main heroine has to wear a t-back because her rifle has a skeleton stock?  Seriously, Japan?  If I was a gun nut maybe this would do it for me, but...no, even then I think I'd be scratching my head.

Natsuiro Kiseki: First episode kind of bland, but glad Saki and Natsumi made up in ep 2 and they didn't draw that out to the whole series.  It's getting to be more fun to watch as I get to know the cast, and that's a good sign.  I still have no idea where they'll go with the wishing...er...rock.  In real life they'd probably all wish for a billion dollars and the rest of the episodes would just be their slide into depravity and crack habits, but since this is anime I'm guessing they'll wish for a fun summer together or something.  What would Medaka do?  Probably solve world hunger.

Acchi Kocchi: Konata?  Did you hit your head on something, you're acting kind of funny.

Shining Hearts: I want a baguette right now.  A plot aside from baking bread would be good too, and I think that's coming up, so this could have potential.  The lead is...pretty bland though, he bakes bread and sleeps on a pirate ship like Jack Sparrow.  Keeping an eye on this, but expectations aren't too high.  Definitely looks pretty though, great character designs.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka of the Dead and Stuff: I want to like this, but honestly the first episode reminded me of why it ended up being kind of a chore to watch the first season towards the end.  Ayumu's harem is insanely big now, not quite Takaaki-level.  He's not a vampire, he's a zombie, so the Arararagi Theorem doesn't explain his popularity either.  And Ayumu panchira...DO NOT WANT.

Mouretsu Pirates: This series keeps me watching somehow in the hope it will rise above being...well, just above average, and it never manages to pull that off.  At this point I want to see Marika make a mistake, any mistake, and have to deal with the consequences, but it's not likely to happen.  Interstellar piracy and danger you'd think would go together well, but in this series they might as well be selling lemonade on the street corner.  Don't even get me started on how the Serenity arc ended.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Spring Impressions: Sengoku Collection

 

So this starts out about as generic as an anime series could be - well-endowed girl falls from the sky from another world, literally running right into the protagonist (with a head-butt to the stomach, I'm surprised he didn't get the wind knocked out of him), then she marvels at everything in the modern world, ends up staying at his house - this is probably enough to make your average fan of "serious" anime roll their eyes and/or projectile vomit, and move on.  But if that doesn't turn you off, I think this  series actually has some potential.


Yes, Nobunaga is a bishoujo, and yes, she falls out of the sky and lands on the main character (actually head-butting him in the stomach).  But there's no panty shot involved, and in the end she doesn't stay with Ota, she decides to head out and find items that will help her return back to her world.  She seems a little conflicted about leaving at one point, and I think that sets up the potential for some drama later - will her ambition drive her to return to her world and finish the job of conquest she started?  Or as they say in Disney movies, will true love conquer all?  


Nobunaga is also a great character - she combines abmition, a little tsundere-ness, and an almost childlike wonder at the things in the modern world we take for granted.  That's actually one of the many cool things about having a three-year old in the house - my daughter gets that same expression of wonder at things as simple as playing with wet sand at the beach, or a airplane's contrail arching across the sky, or the sunset - all the things that as an adult you generally think nothing of since you've seen them a million times before.


For me at least, Nobunaga alone is a reason to keep watching - and by virtue of having an ex-girlfriend alone Ota isn't your typical loser male lead either.  He may be working at a convenience store, but he does have a job.  Although he does kind of have Justin Bieber hair like Kaitou in Ano Natsu.  I think there's a lot of potential between Ota's feelings for her and possibly (over time) vice versa, and whether or not she'll go home, but we'll see where the writers go with this one.

If I had a complaint, it'd be even in the first episode, while generally the animation and character designs are good, there are a couple scenes that show they're on a budget - much like "Ef: A Tale of Watching People Talk from a Kilometer Away" there's a sequence at the beach where you watch from a vantage point so far away you can't even see the characters' mouths move.  But if the story develops into anything beyond mediocre, this will have surpassed my expectations.