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