Quick Summary of Spring Season

April 24, 2007 at 1:33 am (Anime)

The number in parentheses is the number of episodes I’ve watched so far.

Bokurano (1)
CG mecha leave me totally flaccid, though I like the art outside of that. It’s hard to do a good drama with this many characters in the cast, though I understand they sort of start dying so that would help. With one ep down I can’t pass much judgment, but it seems like the type of show that would be more interesting to watch in a batch than weekly. I though this was going to be a story like Battle Royale which I dislike, but it seems to be different. Kids get thrown into situation suddenly where they have giant mecha they must use to save the world. Old story, new take. Actually, the first episode of this and the first ep of the Raideen remake shared an eerie number of similarities. I just…really don’t like big glossy cg mecha. They ruin it for me.

Claymore (1)
That’s a very big…sword she has. Seems incredibly generic in a way I don’t particularly care about. If you like dark dramatic fantasy about quiet bad-asses with huge…swords who fight dark evil demons while dealing with their own dark evil pasts, go for it I guess. Not my thing. Or rather, I’ve read this story too many times already for a generic approach to be worth my attention.

Hayate no Gotoku! (4)
“Combat Butler” indeed. This is the sort of anime I normally dislike: steeped in 4th-wallisms and references, but it manages to temper these into something that’s actually coherent, unlike, say, Pani Poni Dash. Also it has the same voice-actor and basic character archetype from two shows I found incredibly underwhelming (Zero no Tsukaima and Shakugan no Shana), but I like this iteration a little better. The gags are silly, but comedy is all about the execution, which Hayate seems to have a good handle on. So far this is easily the funniest show of the season. It almost makes up for…

Lucky Star (2)
Dammit. I was really expecting more from this. Given the huge expectations, I have to adjust my reaction a little toward the positive to account for the disappointment, but this is just not doing it for me. In addition to the weak weak comedy (except for Lucky Channel, which I do enjoy) the animation seems really lackluster compared to previous KyoAni work. Even Kanon had a more dynamic feeling. I suppose they were trying to imitate the feel of a 4koma, but that doesn’t usually work in animation! Everyone knows from watching Azumanga Daioh that it’s possible to successfully adapt a 4koma to anime, so that’s not a good excuse. I’m also not as enthused over the OP as some people seem to be. Even so, I’m giving it a few more episodes to grow on me because it’s a studio I respect somewhat, and also some comedies (School Rumble) take a little time (for me) to develop their running gags into something that is actually funny. In any case, it’s still better than Hidamari Sketch.

iDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA (3)
I hope you liked the character designs, personalities, and basic set-up (girls with robots) from Mai HiME because they’re back…again, here. I did, so it’s cool. Xenoglossia doesn’t suck, but so far it is not hugely original. Given the history this creation team has though, it might be worth keeping an eye on for potential enhanced craziness later. So far I like it anyway, but it’s in a genre I enjoy, much like…

Lovely Complex (1)
One episode again not enough to pass judgment, but my standard of excellence for non-harem romantic comedy like this is fairly low. Though I hope it doesn’t get dull in the later episodes like a lot of these shows do. That’s the trouble with a romance plot in a full-length anime: figuring out how to pace it so that all the dramatic tension isn’t in the first six or last six episodes. Looks good so far. Regarding the Osaka accents…I don’t speak Japanese, but I watch all my anime subbed, and I’m really unused to the accents. It’s not a detractor, it just sounds really weird, because it’s different from what I’m used to hearing.

Romeo x Juliet (2)
Any debate about Shakespeare adaptations aside, this is a fun romance-adventure with so-far-good animation. Very dynamic action and nice cinematics typical of Gonzo. Definite watch.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (3)
I can’t tell where this is going, but at the least it’s a fun reiteration of Gainax-style over-the-top mecha action. Lots of indulgence to genre conventions here, which isn’t really a negative. It’s fun so far, but if it degenerates into monster-of-the-week I’ll drop it. I never know what to expect from GAINAX except for physically improbable boobies.

Nagasarete Airantou (3)
I’m not entirely sure why I’ve watched three episodes of this. Basically if you took pure essence of harem anime and penned a show with it, this is what you would get. If that sounds good to you, enjoy. I don’t think I need any more.

Nanoha StrikerS (3)
Mostly this just makes me want to watch A’s again. If you pretend the first chapter doesn’t exist (I know I do), then A’s is like the successful original, and StrikerS feels like the half-assed sequel that just plays to the fans desires for all the “cool” stuff from the successful original. It’s another sort of fan-service in my eyes. You can be like: shot of character from previous show -> fans of that character cheer wildly, even though nothing is really happening. This doesn’t make something bad, it’s just a pattern I see a lot. I remember liking the chara designs more in A’s. Perhaps I am subconsciously a lolicon. The first episode, at least, delivered on what I wanted most of all though: shoujo doing ridiculous beam-attack hissatsu. SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT. I think spending too much time talking to JP has caused something to rub off on me that makes this sort of thing INCREDIBLY EXCITING.

Moonlight Mile (2)
Looks like a good serious-toned sf show in the vein of PlaneteS (though probably nowhere near as good). This is another kind of thing I’d rather watch all at once than weekly, so I’m waiting on it for now. Definitely worth checking out if you like that kind of show though.

Darker than Black (2)
Having trouble finding good encodes here. So far looks like by-the-numbers urban action sf. Very well-executed (with Yoko Kanno score!), but un-original. Reminds me of Big O crossed with Black Cat.

So far I’d say the highlights everyone should check out are Hayate and Romeo x Juliet. My predictions (which I’m not necessarily very happy with) are that Lovely Complex will go downhill into repetitive, Xenoglossia will go uphill into awesome, Lucky Star will get marginally better every episode but still only end up at kinda-okay, StrikerS will get stupid but not necessarily bad, and I have no goddam idea what will happen with TTGL.

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8 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    Ep2 of Bokurano is really good.

  2. tj han said,

    Wow for the first time I found most of your impressions quite different (READ: WRONG) from mine. I think you’ll like Bokurano, as the second ep blew me away. The first was slow though.

    GO watch Seirei no Mamoribito.. at the 3rd ep it gets better than Jackie Chan.

  3. Hinano said,

    Lol SUCKY star lol. Lucky channel made me and JP’s eyes (and ears) bleed. We also dropped it after episode 2. Its not gonna get better. Maybe a reference that you are more familiar with will make you laugh along the way….but other than that, it’s gonna be the same shit, lotsa talking, lotsa unfunny comedy

  4. Belle said,

    Definitely go watch Seirei no Moribito. I don’t like to hype up anything as it usually leads to deflated expectations when you normally will very much enjoy it. It will definitely be worth your time, though.

  5. Seth said,

    Re: Bokurano: I didn’t think it was bad, though the first episode was slow, I just hate big cg mecha. They remind me of Tron, and not in a hilarious ironic way. I will watch the second episode, but like I said I think I will wait until the whole show is released to watch it.

    Re: Seire no Mamoribito: I’m terrified of trying to watch new Production IG anime anymore, but I’ll check it out.

    Re: Lucky Star: No I actually do think it will get better; I just don’t think it will get good. But who can say, really.

  6. thebign said,

    My only questions are, what were your expectations of Lucky Star before you watched it, and why did you have those expectations? And Hidamari Sketch is better than this, but that just shows how our opinions differ.

    Hinano: What works for some doesn’t work for all. I like the comedy myself, for example. :D

  7. Seth said,

    @thebign: First of all I expected something more dynamic and detailed; something with the same strong animation style I saw in Fumoffu, Second Raid, Haruhi, Kanon, and even AIR (a show I didn’t really get into). I knew the humor had a lot of otakuisms in it, but that was okay (so does Hayate, for that matter). I expected it to be funnier. Essentially, I expected a cross between Azumanga Daioh and Haruhi, but instead I got a cross between, like, PPD and watching paint dry.

  8. Divina Canta said,

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. So, what do you do when you want to get your hands on an out of print book?

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