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Spring 2010 – First Impressions (Sarai-ya Goyou – House of Five Leaves)

April 18, 2010

Completely forgot to publish this 😆

Sarai-ya Goyou ( House of Five Leaves)

That was much more sedate than I thought it would be, but every bit was well put together as I expected. Looks like House of Five Leaves is going to be very much a character driven series – there was a lot of talking and not much else in this episode. As an introductory episode it established the setting and characters very well – we get a good grasp of their personalities and the whole atmosphere of the show (which is very relaxed and melancholic). The dialogue is well written and the pacing ran smoothly – it’s a solid start. House of Five Leaves is not going to knock you flat in amazement though, but the feeling I got is more of an understated assurance that this kind of quality can be easily maintained and built on – which is a good sign for the rest of series.

The animation is going to be something you either like or hate – the character designs are pretty damn ugly; no other way to put it. I’m quite sure that there are many people who were put off by that alone, which is a pity because even if they’re ugly the designs have plenty of character and expression. The backgrounds are really nicely done, and I like the subtle colour scheme and empathsis on the autumn colouring. It’s a pretty distinctive style and works well with the old Edo setting. Unfortunately the sole action scene was rather uninspired – guessing the action is really not going to be this shows selling point.

The voice acting is very solid – you can tell its a very experienced cast. I also really liked the music – its subtle and really provides great support for the melancholic atmosphere that permeates the show. The OP is excellent – tis a pity the visuals are a bit dull, but the music itself is great – definitely the best of the season. I liked the ED too, although was distracted by the way they animated the characters heads on a cube thing – it’s really cool!

So the first Noitamina show is off to a positive start for me – it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea though

Only TV series left to try now is Yojou-Han Shinwa Taikei which airs next week.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2010 5:42 am

    I think you’re right about the love or hate. Personally, I loved the animation. I suppose it helped that I saw Ristorante Paradiso, where character designs were actually less intense, but had the strange setting of the mouth. After coming to peace with it there, they seem a little more natural.

    I guess one of the major attractions at this point is the way you can really slip into the feel of Edo-era Japan. Even for a capitol city, the pace is just so much more relaxed than modern America.

  2. April 19, 2010 11:59 pm

    Haha, so damn agreed, they’re ugly as hell itself, the only thing I can’t stand in that anime is how the characters look like. Seriously, fish-mouth, black eyes, someone did a terrible job.

    And I’ll follow it too, looks interesting, not that much but still, not much to choose from.

  3. April 20, 2010 1:01 pm

    @ Joojoobees: Ah I dropped Ristorante Paradiso after 2 episodes….seeing that young girl pounce on the old man kind of ruined it for me! 😆

    I’m really liking the relaxed feel of this series though……just hope it doesnt get too relaxed!

    @ Velore: Yeap character designs are ugly as sin, but hey at least its a bit different, and they are quite expressive. Its noitamina, it was a given I’d be watching it!

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