Autumn 2009 – First Impressions (11eyes and Darker than BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini)
More impressions – 11eyes and Darker than BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini.
I don’t know what to think of this show, its a bit bi-polar and doesn’t seem to know what genre it is – one minute its quite tense horror/mystery feeling, the next is boring slice of life High School and then its generic ecchi harem feeling! I found my attention only really being drawn in my the horror/mystery bits and felt like head-desking everything another pantyshot appeared or when the generic ‘moe childhood friend’ woke the ‘angsty male lead’ up! I do want to like this series, because the whole alternate world bit was really interesting as was the section before the OP with a young version of the lead and his sister; however the randomly placed pantyshots (why did the bother censoring just the one!??), stripperific school nurse and irritatingly generic harem character archetypes are putting me off I know this is based on an eroge, but are these things really necessary!? So yeah 1st episode was weird – I do not know if I like it, but at the same time I’m kind of interested in the plot.
The animation is pretty good, well in close ups at least. Wide shots and distance shots are a bit off looking. I like the idea of the alternate world and its blood red sky, although the design of the monsters in it kind of remind me of the Dolem’s in RahXephon Generic character designs are generic and complete with ridiculous school uniforms
The music and sound design were impressive though. Reflecting the bi-polar nature of the series the BGM kind of swings between dull and pretty exciting. The segments where the fella and girl are transported to the alternate world were accompanied by truly wonderful sound design – it really made those scenes tense. My first thoughts upon watching the OP were “Oh Night Wizard vibes!” due to the red sky alternate world bits and the character design, then it was “ooh this OP kind of sounds like a more J-Rocky version of the Umineko OP!” I quite liked the song though. The ED was also quite decent and I’d happily listen to both songs again. Good cast behind the series too.
So yeah, I’m not sure about 11eyes yet and I’m not even sure if I can be bothered watching another episode I’ll see how many shows I end up with next week before deciding.
Darker than BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini
Best first episode of the season hands down! The sequel to Darker than BLACK looks like it is set to deliver something special. Surprisingly Hei only made a brief appearence at the very end of this episode and was pratically portrayed as the bad guy – he’s also looking really rough; dying to find out what he’s been up too in the four years that have lapsed between the end of the 1st series and the start of this one! This episode was more concerned with introducing a new cast (namely the twins Shion and Suou), and had a very slice of life feel to it in the 1st half – however it really got exciting in the 2nd half when all hell seemed to break loose and Suou’s normal life falls apart. The script here is brilliant as is the pacing. I’m delighted that BONES are going to build on the established plot and it seems that this series will not have this same mini-arc structure that the original had – which can only be good. Surprisingly Suou is very likeable – just a normal little girl with her own family issues; she looks to be a pretty good addition to the cast (which is just as well since she seems to be the plots focus).
Unsurprisingly the production quality is wonderful – animation is smooth, the action interesting and the character designs attractive (Suou kind of reminds me of Hikaru from Rayearth though, I think its the braid )…..BONES really have been on brilliant form this year! There was no OP this week, but I did like the ED by abingdon boys school (although the animation of a scrolling picture of Hells Gate in Tokyo was a bit boring). Music is no longer provided by Yoko Kanno, rather this series is scored by Yasunori Ishii – its still a good soundtrack. Cast is also great – Suou and Shion are actually not squeaky and irritating!
definitely looking forward to the rest of this series, I did like the 1st series – I even liked the end (although do acknowledge it was weird), so more Darker than BLACK is definitely welcome! Hope the action moved back to Tokyo and Hells Gate eventually though – would be nice to see some more of the original cast as well