Summer 2012: First Impressons (Kingdom, Tari Tari & Humanity Has Declined)
Okay so let’s get started on the first impressions shall we? As ever I try to sample almost everything each season in my never-ending quest for that next hidden gem – if something has even a smidgeon of potential, I’ll give it another episode or two.
We’re starting things off with dodgy CGI, boring high-schoolers and bleeding bread………..Kingdom, Tari Tari & Humanity Has Declined.
Now Kingdom started quite a few weeks back, but I’ve held back on writing about it until the summer season started properly. I only managed to watch two episodes of Kingdom – it was pretty damn bad. The whole concept and setting wasn’t all that terrible, it’s just the execution that is awful – eye-cancerous CGI and bad acting are its major crimes though.
Kingdom is animated entirely in CGI – which wouldn’t be so awful if it wasn’t so obvious that there isn’t a very big budget for this show, making everything look like a particularly ropey game cutscene. I could have put up with that though, but the acting just really grated on my nerves – and that is something I never expected to say given the cast on board. The major culprit is Morita Masukazu who just yells all his lines in the one loud, obnoxious tone; I really have no notion what he thought he was doing in this series, he’s normally a pretty competent actor!
So yeah, Kingdom is laughably terrible and I had more than my fill of the show after two episodes – dropped.
I found this boring to watch. There isn’t really much wrong with the show, I just found it couldn’t hold my attention for very long as nothing of any great consequence was happening on-screen, and I thought all the characters were pretty damn bland. It is a well presented show though – if you like this kind of high school s’life thing that is. Personally I found it dull – as a teenager I had a hell of a lot more fun at school than these too pure girls & boys, and I still managed to be a good student involved with clubs!
PA Works always do nice work, this show has the exact same aesthetic as Hanasaku Iroha, right down to the shiny character designs. It’s a pretty show to look at, even if everything looks so flawless that it appears false and plastic. I guess I just felt that Tari Tari was a bit soulless – nothing really rubbed me up the wrong way, as the characters are fairly likeable and well acted – but I still couldn’t like this show. I am willing to give it another chance to impress me, but I’m not overly interested at the moment.
Humanity Has Declined (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita)
Now this I am interested in. Jintai was utterly bonkers, and I really liked it even if I was simultaneously terrified! There is a very cynical, dark edge to the comedy in this show, and that really appealed to me, especially given the very jarring contrast with the whimsical, pastel artstyle. Typical post-apocalyptic series this is not. There are some utterly demented things in this show – the creeptastic fairies with the perma face are just the start – the free-ranging plucked chicken and bleeding robot bread are a whole other layer of surreal. There is definitely a boat load of potential in this show, although the weirdness may put some viewers off.
Personally I was most disturbed by the fairies, those tiny little creatures with their unmoving faces stuck in this demented grin, while cheerfully discussing people starving to death in helium fuelled voices – that’s the stuff of Cara’s nightmares right there. I did like the unnamed protagonist, as her dry running narration revealed her to have a lot more depth than her moe-moe character design would lead you to believe. Yes I really did enjoy this show.
The music also has to be mentioned – the OP is the most cracktastic looking thing complete with deranged dancing, with a really catchy tune, and the ED is also excellent if a bit more subdued. Will be keeping this series on just to see what new nightmare fuel it manages to produce each week!