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Summer 2011 – First Impressions (Ro-Kyu-Bu!, Blood-C & Kami-sama no Memo-chou)

July 3, 2011

Okay so here we go – Summer First Impressions time!  I figured that since these are only short impression posts I won’t kill myself writing them……..we’ll see how I feel about that by the end of the week XD

Today we have loli basketball, statue battles and NEET detectives…….otherwise known as Ro-Kyu-Bu!, Blood-C and Kami-sama no Memo-chou.


Dear god what a chore this was!  I think I got to the middle of the OP and then started curling up into the fetal position wanting this traumatic experience to end.  Now I am hyper aware that I am well outside of the target demographic for this show, being female, allergic to moe and not a paedophile; but even for those that are into that kind of thing, Ro-Kyu-Bo! is a bad example.  The writing is absolutely woeful, and for a series that’s basically a vehicle for a bunch of idol seiyuu, the acting is absolutely terrible.  All the girls are basic stereotypes, there is not a single iota of originality in the set-up and did we really need that shower scene??  It actually made my skin crawl!

On the production front things aren’t much better – everything seems to be some ghastly shade of pink or purple (including the ridiculous hair) and skin has that odd polished shininess to it.  The OP is exactly the same as every idol seiyuu group number ever, and the ED is just as bad except with a veritable truckload of sugary sweetness added to it.

Why on earth do shows like this get made?  I feel unclean just recalling the horror of this show and wish I could wipe it from my memory permanently!!


I’m kind of disappointed by this opening episode.  I had high hopes for a Blood series from CLAMP, but this first episode was rather alarmingly boring.  Of course it looks the part, there is no denying the show is pretty (especially if you’re a big fan of CLAMP’s art like I am), however the episode just dragged along and felt a bit disjointed.  I mean one moment Saya is skipping along like some sort of Kobato clone singing to herself, and then a few scene’s later she seems to get possessed by Saika from Drrr!! and starts fighting a statue in the middle of a lake!  I mean, what is going on here, there is no explanation given!

There’s also an amusing amount of typical CLAMP tropes on display – if you’re in any way familiar with their typical writing style you can kind of predict just what kind of role characters are going to play just based on their character design and demeanor.  But yeah, I’m still a touch disappointed as this episode really didn’t tell us anything about what kind of Blood series this is going to be – it was just a lot of Saya running about the place and showing off the pretty scenery, rather than giving us some useful information on the setting.

Production wise, Production I.G. seem to have toned back the noodle-people aspect of the CLAMP character designs from their work on xxxHOLiC – they’re still elongated and very thin, but not to the laughable extent that xxxHOLiC displayed.  The voice cast is good, but they seem to have decided that since they have Nana Mizuki on board as Saya, they’re going to get their money’s worth and make her sing as much as possible!  As well as doing the ED (pretty decent song) she sings in episode as Saya skips along to school.  I also really liked the OP and the animation in it was extremely stylish……the BGM sometimes feels a bit overdone though.

So I’m giving Blood-C another few episode to see if it can redeem itself – I really want to like this series, I’ll probably rewatch the episode when the HQ version comes out next week.

Kami-sama no Memo-chou

This series decided to pre-air its first two episodes as a 1hr special, which was an interesting move.  However it worked quite well as it was able to really pace the story well, and introduce the characters in a much better way than if it only had 30mins to play with.  I mean the premise is basically Gosick in the present day – its got the bland male lead, the quirky loli detective and the mysteries; but unlike early episodes of Gosick, this first installment of KamiMemo is extremely well written.  The major strength is in the dialogue and how well done and interesting the side characters are.  The male lead is the only blip as he’s basically the same as every bland male lead ever, but even then he’s a well written bland male lead.

While the animation is expectionally smooth and very pretty, I kind of wish the direction was a bit more interesting.  A lot of this episode was taken up by talking, which while interesting to listen to, isn’t very visually dynamic – SHAFT get over that obstacle by being SHAFT, but JC Staff don’t seem to have that visual flair at the moment.  Also the fanservice right at the end of the episode was stupid and jarringly out-of-place – there was absolutely no need for that.  The OP song was pretty solid, but the animation was what really shone there – very atmospheric.  The ED is the reverse – very strange choice of a catchy english rock song with some jumbled shots of random objects.  Voice acting was excellent (always helps that they have a good script to work with) as was the BGM.

So quite pleased with this series, definitely keeping it on – hope JC Staff don’t insist on adding crap fanservice to everything and manage to keep the writing at this high standard!

18 Comments leave one →
  1. GibbyGibson permalink
    July 3, 2011 3:56 pm

    Just to let you know, I think you mean 2011, not 2001. :3

    • July 3, 2011 3:57 pm

      Ahhh!! Thanks for letting me know – how did I not notice that!? 😆

  2. July 3, 2011 4:03 pm

    Kami-sama no Memo-chou– So cool! Really high production from JC Staff! Guess they got some money from something? Anyway hard to say how deep the mysteries will actually go, fingers crossed for something harder than Gosick mystery because those were fail. I haven’t watched the other shows yet! But I will later.

    • July 3, 2011 10:48 pm

      JC Staff are always pretty solid in terms of production – its just their rather tepid direction and inappropriate use of fanservice that I’ve had issues with lately (and the really lazy writing). I am impressed by KamiMemo though, really hope this is the show that will prove JC Staff still have life in them!

  3. July 3, 2011 4:34 pm

    The kami sama thing looks interesting. MUST WATCH

    • July 3, 2011 10:48 pm

      Out of the three new shows I’ve seen so far, its definitely the best.

  4. July 3, 2011 6:16 pm

    I thought Blood-C went well for the most part. I’m assuming that Saya’s monster-slaying is part of her miko duties, and that it will be explained later why she specifically is the one to do this. She didn’t have to put her blood across her blade like in Blood+, though I think she does have some kind of power within her…

    • July 3, 2011 10:51 pm

      It does seem that this version of Saya won’t be drawing her power from her unique blood, rather the sword itself seems to be some sort of holy demon slaying sword – although those slit pupil red eyes do imply that Saya herself also has some sort of unique power.

      I’m still optimistic about Blood-C, just rather disappointed that the 1st episode didn’t immediately demand my full attention.

  5. July 3, 2011 7:19 pm

    And of course, shows like Ro-Kyu-Bu probably get the highest budget…

    • July 3, 2011 10:51 pm

      Such is life unfortunately.

    • July 4, 2011 2:48 am

      And international distribution. They always seem to announce licensing deals for the crappiest crap that crapped the most, while good shows remain unavailable.

      • July 4, 2011 1:17 pm

        International licenses are something I don’t think I’ll ever understand. Where is my UK release of Shiki!!???

  6. Renna permalink
    July 4, 2011 9:53 am

    Why on earth do shows like this get made?

    Because you aren’t japanese? Because japan has a different taste? Because you watch and download illegally it? Are you sure to have the right to judge what people in another country like or not to draw and make? You are shelfish, a internet pirate and a racist.

    • July 4, 2011 1:20 pm

      I apologise profusely for being a racist shellfish with objectionable personal opinions and I shall endeavour to correct my pirating ways posthaste……..yarrr.

  7. July 6, 2011 12:31 am

    Kamisama no Memochou was actually the biggest surprise here. I don’t think it’ll end up being my favorite, but it has the best start thus far. Even if most of that is taken up by pseudo-philosophical discussions and very little elaboration on that strange deal in the hotel room beyond information gathering.
    Blade-C was disappointing, but not a deal breaker, and Ro-Kyu-Bu was Ro-Kyu-Bu. Exactly what I expected, and nothing more.

  8. July 6, 2011 2:14 am

    Finally go to watch Blood-C. I see exactly what you mean. The first half was all light and joking and skipping and then the second half shifted right into an action sequence where she gets covered in blood, but no explanations are offered as to why this is happening.

    My guess is that this was intentional. They wanted a strongly contrasting first and second half. I suppose her mother was killed by a monster. Her fighting seems to be associated with her responsibilities as a Miko. She probably knew she was going to fight against that thing all day long.


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