Katanagatari – 01
Finally got to watch Katanagatari, it was one of the only series I had been really looking forward to this season; and thankfully it didnt disappoint! Such a good 1st episode – the longer running time meant adequate time could be spent on introduction and build up without having to completely dispense with the action element. Now this based on an NisiOisin series of novels so, as expected, there is a lot of dialogue with plenty of interesting word play going on. As with Bakemonogatari this will be a difficult series to sub, but Mazui did a very good job on this inital episode.
The story itself of a search for 12 legendary swords, is extremely simplistic and there are plenty of familiar feeling shounen tropes flying about the place – but the writing and presentation is done in such a way that its fresh feeling. The characters are very likeable, and already have a lot of personality – I’m looking forward to more banter between the two leads and some major character development to raise them up above their archetypes. There is plenty of scope here, but with such a generic plot all will be dependent on the scripting and character interaction to make this series original and memorable – however saying that inital impressions are very positive in my opinion!
The animation is the thing that really catches my attention though – White Fox are a fairly new company with only one full series (Tears to Tiara) under their belts, but they have turned out an impressive looking show in Katanagatari. From the promo art and PV we already knew this had eyecatching designs, but seeing the finished product was wonderful. The clean, sharp lines, bright primary colours and stylistic character designs really help make this series something a bit different. I’m actually quite glad that SHAFT didnt get this show as they may have overloaded it with quirkiness – the plot doesnt need that really, the choices White Fox have made mean the animation in Katanagatari can be simple when it needs to be, and eyecatching during the action scenes with very little visable effort – very nicely directed.
The music is also superb – great OP and ED, but also a fantastic soundtrack! The voice acting is top notch – Yukari Tamura as Togame is particularly good as was Chihiro Suzuki as the motormouthed ninja Koumori. Yoshimasa Hosoya who plays Shichika is a touch lacklustre – but he’s a fairly new seiyuu and didnt have all that much dialogue in this 1st installment (since Togame and Koumori did most of the talking) so I’m sure he’ll improve.
So pretty impressed by the 1st episode of Katanagatari – goes without saying that I’ll be keeping the show on; pity it only comes out once a month though