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Autumn 2009 – First impressions (Fairy Tail, Trapeze and Aoi Bungaku)

October 17, 2009

Arm sore.  Fairy Tail & Kuuchuu Buranko (Trapeze) next.

EDIT: Aoi Bungaku added…

Fairy Tail:

Ah I enjoyed this! Sure its not the most original thing in the world and is extremely shallow, but its damned entertaining and that makes me happy Its been forever since I’ve read these chapters so was nice to remember how the series got started. This episode sets up the world nicely; laying the groundwork regarding Guilds and different types of mages (or wizards according to the subs ). There was a fair bit of action too, although Natsu’s fighting style is more beat the crap out of the opponent until they no longer get up, so nothing too fancy Still I liked the way they portrayed magic use, especially Natsu’s fire magic…..although Lucy using her Gate magic came across as a bit Mahou-shoujo As this just an introductory episode nothing much of note actually happens – I’m expecting more from episode two when Lucy, Natsu and Happy get to the Fairy Tail Guild HQ and meet more of the other mages

The animation was fairly decent – still adjusting to the changes in character design……the characters all look a fair bit younger than they do in the manga, but I expect I’ll get over that quite quickly. The animation is fairly simple, but works well and the action scenes were pretty cool (which is good since 80% of this series consists of action scenes! ). The OP animation is fairly typical of the genre as is the accompanying J-Rock music – decent enough though. ED was a bit on the childish side with the chibis and sugary J-Pop song, shall probably skip over that in future. Really liked the BGM though – its got a kind of celtic theme going on with fiddles and stuff, really fun to listen to.

The voice acting is pretty good! Tetsuya Kakihara is excellent as Natsu – more or less stuck on GAR!Simon mode and Rie Kugimiya is great as Happy (Aye!)……..still adjusting to Ayo Hirano’s squeakiness as Lucy, hope she tones it back a bit soon – she’s a bit too ‘genki-girl’ Haruhi and then sped up some more at the moment

So yeah, a solid first episode and good as far as intro eps go – looking forward to more

Kuuchuu Buranko (Trapeze):
Ah watching this made for a refreshing change – highly original and really interesting to watch; Trapeze really is something different in a season of fairly generic shows. Its not going to be to everyone’s taste I know that for certain – some may find its subject matter and visual style very pretentious and off putting, however I found it very much to my taste The plot is very straightforward; each episode will deal with a different patient with a different mental health problem and Dr Irabu will ‘cure’ them. Doesn’t sound exciting, but in this show its the style and not the content that is most important. Dr Irabu is very eccentric and has three different appearences (each voiced by a different seiyuu) which are all interchanged without any warning, making a pretty standard script more interesting.

The visuals are main draw of the show though, there is a fantastic range of odd animation techniques and surreal artstyles on display – the live action is blended well with the animation, its obvious but not off-putting in the slightest. So many brightly coloured patterns make even mundane objects like microwaves and portaloos look funky and interesting – plenty of eyecandy here. Character designs are more on the realistic side of the spectrum (with the exception of Dr Irabu himself) which allows the live action actors to be worked in well.

Music is also worth mentioning – really good OP & ED and the BGM is pretty good too. Voice acting is also of a high standard. I shall definitely be keeping this series on – its delivered exactly what I hoped it would

Aoi Bungaku (Blue Literature):

And I think I have found my new favourite show for the season – and also the show I fear will suffer from inconsistent subbing just like Mouryou no Hako and Souten Kouro before it Aoi Bungaku falls into the same category as those two shows; being Madhouse, mature in tone (no teenage stupidity here!) and filled with interesting dialogue and direction choices – I really, really liked this 1st episode. Without doubt it has the best character design and direction of any of the 1st episodes I’ve seen this season and it also has the most interesting plot IMO…….its kind of vaugely like Kurozuka, but without the mad action scenes I’m intrigued by how this series will pan out – being a set of short stories with different character designers and directors for each segment is unusual for a TV series – Madhouse always do something a bit different

The animation is in the same vein as Death Note, Kurozuka and Mouryou no Hako – lots of dark colours with strong splashes of red and yellow; very stiking art. Character designer for this segment is Takeshi Obata (of Death Note fame) and definitely has that signature style – really works well with the subject matter. No cheap fanservice either, everything is handled with maturity and nothing feels superfluvious in the direction at all – its a very attractive episode.

There was no OP and the ED is a very nice ballad – the BGM was excellent, really enhancing melancholic atmostphere. Voice acting was excellent – really nice to hear Romi Paku voicing a mature (non psychotic) woman for a change

So yeah, Aoi Bungaku is probably my favourite 1st episode this season – it just about edges out Trapeze!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2009 1:00 pm

    Schizophrenic doctor with split personalities? Smells like another “Fall Of” post to me!

    • October 23, 2009 1:07 pm

      Tis more the three aspects of freudian personality; id, ego and super ego than schizophrenia – but comes across the same way due to the different appearances and seiyuu 😛

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