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Spring 2010 – First Impressions (Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou and Angel Beats!)

April 3, 2010

Another two premiere’s down – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou and Angel Beats!

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou:

Again not as terrible as I was fearing, but by no means ‘good’. Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou is exactly like every other fanservice heavy action orientated harem you’ve ever seen – but does what it does pretty decently. Lots and lots of clichés and some unnaturally forced fanservice, but the writing is reasonable and made me chuckle in places. Basically if this is your kind of series, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou is an OK example. This 1st episode managed to set up the world and premise quite quickly, as well as introduce the central characters – but this promises to be a show with loads of characters, so it will take a while to finish the set up.

Animation is average, but the character designs are rather woeful and generic……..actually the animation reminds me of Kampfer The fanservice is really badly done, really forced and unnatural. Plus this has really badly censored fanservice – half the screen blacked out, random label things stuck over pantyshots for no reason, and in one scene it looked like a characters nipples had been erased along with half her boob! Just what is the point to doing that……either be clever and censor the fanservice plausibly or just don’t include it! I suppose its meant to encourage DVD sales, but it’s fecking irritating to watch Saying that it’s no where near as terrible as the censoring in Seikon no Qwaser

No OP this week, ED is pretty bland. Voice acting is good though – Takashi Kondo is pretty expressive and made Sai interesting enough to listen too.

I’ll watch another episode, but can’t really see me keeping this on……not my type of series

Angel Beats!

Ah, now we’re cooking with gas! Great first episode – extremely snappy direction, witty dialogue, good dollop of comedy, a solid helping of action and a promising premise make Angel Beats the best 1st episode of the season so far. There are quite a few homages to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Otonashi is basically Kyon, Yurippe is a slightly less overbearing Haruhi, Tenshi is Yuuki and there was even a girl band concert scene; but Angel Beats has enough personality of its own that it avoids the pitfall of becoming a clone. I was surprised by how much comedy there was, and just how natural it felt! I was fully expecting a very serious take on the afterlife, with this resistance group going against the system – not the case here at all. Rather Otonashi (who is our window into this weird afterlife world) is fired into the would, utterly clueless and suffering from amnesia and has the rules drip-fed to him by the flighty Yurippe and her SSS organisation. Everything was dealt with humourously – the script really sparkles.

The animation is excellent. I was expecting something pretty and PA Works delivered – it’s just a pity the female character designs are lacking in originality. The action scenes and the amount of blood on display was surprising from a Maeda Jun/Key series, but didn’t feel forced. The BGM was a bit overdone at times though – nearly drowning out the dialogue in certain places, and not really gelling with some scenes – but that’s a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. Voice acting was great – I’m becoming a really big fan of Hiroshi Kamiya, he’s at his best with quick fire dialogue and rants, and Angel Beats has plenty for him to work with.

There’s a lot of potential in this series. Experience with previous series from Maeda mean that there will definitely be some fantastic emotional/tear-jerker scenes in the future. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this pans out, especially since Angel Beats has been written specifically for anime so won’t have the same adaptation problems Air, Kanon and Clannad had. definitely keeping this on

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. deaky permalink
    April 3, 2010 10:05 pm

    I thought both were half-assed, but I wasn’t as bored watching Daimaou for some reason. Maybe because they didn’t spend half the episode talking instead of showing, and then had a gunfight that was entirely nonthreatening? But it was pretty obvious that they’re aiming to be your typical tropefest, and I’m not watching them because they’re deep.. or pretty, for that matter. Angel Beats also felt surprisingly “cheap” to me, like they were cutting costs on the first episode already.

  2. April 4, 2010 3:23 am

    Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou: I almost didn’t watch this as I expected a fanservice-laden romcom; what I got was a fanservice-laden romcom. I must say, though, it was legitimately funny at times. What a shame that they didn’t focus on the fresh idea (the guy’s actions being misinterpreted as evil, since everyone thinks he will be a Demon Lord). Instead I can already see this going downhill in the latter part of the episode.

    Angel Beats: I don’t know if this is going to turn out to be good or bad. I didn’t see any reason to stop watching it based solely on the first episode. Some interesting ideas, some nonsensical stuff. Rather uneven in terms of artwork and humor. Unfortunately no character really grabbed me as interesting. I was leaning against this as I’m pretty bored with school-themed shows, but I think I’ll keep watching for now.

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