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