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