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Autumn 2009 – First Impressions (Asura Cryin’ 2, Kampfer & Book of Bantorra)

October 2, 2009

Yay copy-pasta from TSR again……may as well since I’ve bothered to write them 😛

Asura Cryin’ 2:

Not a bad start to this sequel, seems they are actually going to address the plot at long last (most of last season was harem comedy moments with random mecha/magic battles in between ). It did start out as just another typical day (complete with standard harmen fanservice moments ) but got a lot better in the 2nd half. I can’t actually write much about the plot and new developments as it would quite spoilertastic – but I can say that this sequel does seem to be much more interesting. The characters are now established and they can get to the plot (took their time getting here!) – Asura Cryin’ does have an interesting premise (which is why I kept the 1st season on) so I can only hope the 2nd season delivers something worth watching.

The new OP & ED look to promise good things – an increased focus on Misao is welcome as last season there wasnt really any explaination given for this random ghost haunting Tomoharu (a ghost that seems to age and with an unlimited wardrobe!); hopefully her backstory will be explored and properly developed………Tomoharu needs development past typical harem male lead too

Angela is once again providing both the OP & ED and I quite like both songs (prefer the OP)……..although still prefering Spiral and Link from the 1st season ATM. The animation hasnt really improved and the character designs still have that ridiculous hair (plus we now have some sort of talking stuffed koala now ), but the action was nicely done and the set design was impressive too.

So probably going to end up watching this to the end – helps that Crunchyroll are simulcasting it (some localisation on the names going on though, tis only minor, but manages to irritate me – eg: when a Kaede calls Tomoharu ‘Natsume-kun’ its constantly translated as ‘Tomoharu’……subs are grand otherwise), means I won’t have to wait on subs

Kampfer:

Kampfer is so bad its gone all the round to good again – kind of like Akikan in that respect! It doesnt really take itself seriously and the fanservice is quite restrained in the grand scheme of things (they really could have gone to town with this gender-bender concept) – at least the boobs are much more normal looking than the balloons in Princess Lover! Kampfer basically has everything I was expecting; the comedy, mahou-shoujo transformation sequence and the action scenes although bland, were decent enough.

This 1st episode really fires a lot of information at out quite quickly, no messing about when setting up the premise here. We are told all about the Kampfer and their abilities immediately (by oddly hilarious Seppuku Plushies ) – of course its completely generic, but I wasnt expecting anything else. The comedy was surprisingly tongue in cheek – quite alot of seiyuu injokes which I didnt expect. Its nice that there isnt a total reliance on ecchi (although admittedly its the majority).

The cast is excellent. Maria Inoue is pretty convincing as both Natsuru’s male and female personas and Yui Horie is brilliant as Akane – her two personalities are highly amusing. This series has quite a lot of talented seiyuu working on it, so I’m expecting good things from the rest of the cast when they are properly introduced.

The music is fairly bland and forgetful…….although the ED has some pretty demented dancing animation – tis like a really violent carmelldansen sans hand movements!

Nomad have done quite well with the animation – although they clearly hate drawing men…….Natsuru’s male character design is pretty awful in comparison to his bishoujo counterpart! The transformation sequence just made me laugh with the way his clothes burn themselves off and on

So yeah, Kampfer is terrible and generic, but somehow I found it really entertaining definitely a contender to replace Princess Lover on the list – I’ll be sticking it out for another few episodes

Tatakau Shisho – The Book of Bantorra

Slightly underwhelmed by this 1st episode but there is some interesting ideas being fired about so think this could be a grower. At first glance everything seems kind of ridiculous (the costumes of the Tatakau Shisho don’t help matters – they’re so OTT compared to the background characters), but this show does have a nice dark edge. The standard ‘evil organisation’ are shown to be using human bombs (they call these people Meats ), which is quite a daring move; also the reactions of the mooks when they get dismembered is quite graphic with lots of screaming rather than just immediately keeling over dead. Having the dead turn into books raises some ethical questions about reading peoples memories etc – not sure how much they’re going to go into that though, the series seems more concerned with witches and magic

The animation is a bit on the dodgy side – the CGI is horrendous and the characters dont seem to quite work with the backgrounds The character designs themselves are good, although certain costumes just seem really out of place and fanservicey when seen alongside the ‘normal people’ of the world!

The OP is yet another ALI Project tune – although its not just as dischordant as the ones they did for Phantom~Requeim for Phantom~, tis more in line with their Code Geass EDs which I found bad, but not headache inducing. Shall probably skip over it in future as the accompanying animation is dull as it comes. The ED is fairly generic and the animation for it is also pretty boring. Voice acting is good – full of familiar names too.

So fairly meh beginning – there is promise, but quite worried about the animation quality if this was what we’re being offered as a 1st episode. Shall be keeping it on for a while anyway to see how things go.

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