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Winter 2011 – First Impressions (Dragon Crisis!, Level E & Kimi ni Todoke S2)

January 12, 2011

Nearly done~!  Just have the Noitamina shows to do and that will be this season’s First Impressions posts completed!  Today I have three shows, the uber-generic Dragon Crisis!, the excellent sci-fi of Level E and the shoujo-tastic Kimi ni Todoke S2.

Dragon Crisis!

Folks Yumekui Merry just lost its crown for ‘most generic anime’ this season – Dragon Crisis! is even more tropetastic!  You want a bland male lead who’s wonderfully domesticated, a doormat & voiced by Hiro Shimono? – Check.  How about a big breasted onee-san that hangs all over the bland male lead and drags him into her zany schemes? – Check.  Shy classmate pining after bland male lead? – present and accounted for.  Now, what about a loli in a box with a severely limited vocabulary?? – Well what do you know, also check……plus that loli in a box is voiced by Rei Kugimiya just for bonus points on the generic scale!

It’s a pity it’s all so generic (and Rei Kugimiya was reduced to squeaking ‘Ryuuji, Ryuuji, Ryuuji’ all the bloody time), because I quite liked the art style & music used in the episode.  However no amount of interesting art & good music could make this worth watching for me, mainly due to premise & script being so lacking (in addition to the ‘Ryuuji’ spam, there was a massive amount of ‘Ooh Lost Precious!’ going on).

So not keeping Dragon Crisis on (in case you hadn’t already guessed), this episode made Yumekui Merry look like the height of original thought!


Level E

Oh yes, this was a really great start to this show.  It’s pretty standard odd couple kind of stuff, with Yukitaka being all loud & shouty in contrast with blondie’s calm sarcasm – but the writing is such that rather than feeling over done its really very funny and fresh.  I did like the mix of comedy & drama, but feel that the transitions could have been a touch smoother – it was slightly jarring to go from hilarious CGI puppets to angsty bishie under the cherry blossoms in such a short space of time.  Still that’s a very minor issue, as overall I really enjoyed this first episode – the characters are fun to watch interact and I am liking the ‘Men in Black’ feel of the premise; plenty of potential in this show!

In terms of animation, it’s a slightly dated style but that just adds to the charm of the series in my opinion, Perriot & David Production seem to be doing a very solid job.  I loved the OP to bits – fantastic song, and really interesting technicolor animation; best OP of the season so far easily!  The ED wasn’t bad either, but the OP was much better.  Voice acting is very solid, Daisuke Namikawa is great at blondie’s playful banter & Masaya Takasuka manages to keep Yukitaka’s shouting at a level that’s not annoying……plus the narration is by Gendo Ikari himself (Fumihiko Tachiki) – how could that not be awesome!?

Definitely keeping Level E on and I’m quite interested in blogging the show too – shall have to see episode 2 before deciding though.


Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season

Well after last week’s Kurumi recap episode I was more than ready for another trip into Sawako’s shoujo psyche, and this episode is definitely more of a direct continuation from the end of S1 than any sort of sequel.  It’s more of the same basically – if you liked Kimi ni Todoke’s 1st season, you’ll like this one as well.  Sawako is still painfully shy, Kurumi is still a delightful bitch, Ryuu, Ayane & Chizuru are still awesome, Pin is still a prick & Kazehaya is still Mr Nice guy with very little other personality traits.  This whole episode was about Sawako deliberating about giving Kazehaya chocolates on Valentine’s Day – agonising over what this simple act would mean…….classic Kimi ni Todoke, Sawako & Kazehaya can’t do anything without making a song & dance about it!  Still it was pretty cute (if completely frustrating) to watch Sawako agonise over things.

Production values are every bit as good as S1 – all the pretty soft art & explosion of bubbles/sparkles/flowers are back, as are the cast (with the addition of Mamoru Miyano as a new character).  New OP & ED are excellent, but not as immediately awesome as S1’s songs.

Shall be watching all of this sequel for sure, let’s just hope it doesn’t take all season for Sawako & Kazehaya to do more than blush at each other and brush hands!!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 10:41 pm

    “plus the narration is by Gendo Ikari himself (Fumihiko Tachiki) – how could that not be awesome!?” I knew it sounded familiar!

  2. January 12, 2011 11:37 pm

    really didn’t expect Level E to be this good.

    • January 12, 2011 11:40 pm

      I was looking forward to it quite a lot given the author & the interesting PV – but it’s turned out even better than I thought!

  3. adaywithoutme permalink
    January 13, 2011 2:41 am

    Already slashed to two guys in Level E. Already feel guilty for doing so.

    • January 14, 2011 12:49 pm

      Ah don’t feel guilty about that – I’ve done exactly the same thing. It was all that grab by the shirt & lean right up into the face that went on!

      • adaywithoutme permalink
        January 14, 2011 12:54 pm

        I try so hard not to slash everything… its so hard… -_-

        • January 14, 2011 12:57 pm

          Its everything’s fault for being so easy to slash! Nothing wrong with our mentality at all! Nope, not a thing.

  4. LuvnAnime permalink
    January 13, 2011 4:18 am

    Dragon Crisis – Pass.
    Level E – I’ll have another, thank you. Mixing comedy & drama is no easy task but I felt they did a great job for the first episode. If Blondie’s witty banter is any indication of whats to come this season, I’ll be a happy camper.
    Kimi ni Todoke. I can’t get enough. I want to shoot at my TV every time i see Kurumi come onscreen.

    • January 14, 2011 12:51 pm

      I was fond of the banter in Level E too – looking forward to more from that show.

      KnT is just d’awww. I quite like Kurumi’s bitchiness, especially since she’s being so much more open about it now! 😆

  5. ariannasterling permalink
    January 13, 2011 9:50 pm

    Dragon Crisis…I can live with it. I hate not finishing things I start (unless they’re Gantz) so I’m going to keep watching it and hope there’s less squealing of ‘Ryuji’ in future episodes. A lot less.
    Level E made me laugh my butt off. I’m looking forward to more plot and I love Namikawa’s voice work here. It wasn’t something I’d been looking forward to much, but I’m definitely looking forward to the second one.

    • January 14, 2011 12:54 pm

      I don’t really count ditching things at the 1st episode as properly dropping them – if you don ‘t sample you won’t know if you like it afterall. In Dragon Crisis’ case, I didn’t think I’d like it and was proven correct! 😆 I hope for your sake that there is less squealing of Ryuuji in the rest of the series……although ep2’s preview doesn’t promise good things.

      Namikawa’s acting was a large part of what made the episode so fun for me – high in my favourites of the season already!

  6. January 17, 2011 6:35 pm

    Although it is indeed generic, I like it. I feel like if generic is done the right way, I can hang with it, and this show does it the right way. It’s got a good combo of fresh music/clean animation, and seems to have a good pacing in it that keeps me interested.

    And Rie Kugimiya is in it. She could honestly keep yelling Ryuji Ryuji all series and I wouldn’t care. But she will learn language! Probably by episode 4 if I were to make a base-less guess.

    • January 17, 2011 9:41 pm

      Kugimiya is hit or miss for me – when she’s being monosyllabic & shrill to the point of supersonic, its a definite miss! I was impressed by the music & really did like the artstyle, but the actual content had me bored stupid. If it suddenly displays some interesting features (and Rose gets a personality) I may marathon it at the end of season.

  7. January 21, 2011 8:04 pm

    let’s just hope it doesn’t take all season for Sawako & Kazehaya to do more than blush at each other and brush hands!!

    Agreed. Though, I’ll certainly enjoy the (gentle) ride towards this hopefully Good End. Loving Miyano and Kento so far too and his smoothly gleeful characterisation of the role. Also looking forward to more Ryu x Chii! They are just too frikkin awesome 🙂

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