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Summer 2011 – First Impressions (Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Usagi Drop & Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%)

July 7, 2011

Another mixed bag of shows today – a mute girl, an adorable loli and a bunch of camp singing bishies!  Yes today we have, Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Usagi Drop and Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%.

Morita-san wa Mukuchi

Another show with a very short running time – I barely had any time to put on my “I hate this but will suffer through it anyway” face!  Basically this show does exactly what the synopsis said it would; it follows a very shy girl about as she agonises over how to properly communicate with her peers.  This was probably somewhat interesting on paper, however in actuality its boring…….very, very boring.  The entire episode is just the title character sitting staring blankly at whoever is talking at her and not really adding anything at all to the series.  SHAFT probably could have made this work, hell even Manglobe managed it better in TWGOK with Shiori’s arc from S1 (with the same fecking actress!).  This however, is just crap.

The animation is particular is awful…….not that it’s exactly animated given it’s just people talking (or not talking in the case of the main character).  Why anyone would want to waste their time watching this show is beyond me – I feel like I’ve been robbed of 5 minutes of my life!

 

Usagi Drop

Faith in noitaminA completely restored!  Usagi Drop promises to be just the kind of series I’ve always associated with the timeslot – lovingly crafted jousei shows, with lots of heart; Usagi Drop will fit in nicely with the likes of Nodame Cantabile and Honey & Clover.  Everything about this initial episode felt natural without any forced drama – the characters felt realistic and interacted in a very believable manner.  We’re literally dropped right into the story, this is a family of adults brought together by a funeral, and they actually behave like adults.  There’s no over-reactions, everything is subtle and organic and straight away you get a feel for everyone’s personality simply by watching how they interact with other members of their family.  Rin is the sole oddity, no one knows how to behave around her and as a result she skirts around the edges of the group – present but separate.  All interactions with her are stilted and almost cold, with the sole exception being the main character who makes the effort to include the child in the funeral proceedings and acknowledges that she is related to this family.  This episode will probably be the exception in the series, as I don’t think many of the other family members will be making another appearance in the show, it will be very much focused on Rin & Daikichi’s strange relationship (Rin is technically his aunt, and she obviously sees a lot of her father in him).  Very much looking forward to the rest of this show.

The animation is done in Production IG’s “Kimi ni Todoke” style, where everything is very pastel and simply drawn.  It works extremely well as this main draw of this series is its wonderful atmosphere and subtle dialogue.  Character designs are a bit strange given the way the characters mouths are nearly falling off the bottom of their faces, but the art is still quite expressive.  In terms of music, the OP is a rather strange number with some childish bunny animation that seemed like an odd choice to open the show with; on the other hand the ED is a very good song with some lovely creative animation.

Really loved this first episode, definitely keeping Usagi Drop on!

 

Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%

And now for something completely different!  I haven’t laughed so much at something that isn’t a comedy since that hilarious Gundam 00 movie!  Everything about this show is camp as hell and then racked up a few more notches just for the craic…….and I loved every second of it.  Lately I’ve had a strange craving for awful reverse harem shows – I seem to enjoy laughing at how cheesy these shows inevitably are; Uta-Pri is exactly what I love about the genre.  Its stupid, absolutely nothing makes sense, the bishies and girls behave in manner so utterly divorced from reality that you can’t help but laugh and layered over everything is an extra thick layer of cheese in the form of random musical moments……..this is a work of genius.  I can only hope that the show continues to be as wonderfully clichéd and mindless.

I watched the rip from NicoNico, so its not a fantastic quality encode, but there’s no denying the show is colourful and well produced.  The character designs are a bit out there (especially the dead fish eyes that the main girl has – holy god they’re creepy) but at least everything is ‘colour-coded for your convenience‘ and its extremely easy to determine what kind of generic personality trait each of the bishies is going to have just based on design!  Where is show really shines is in the voice acting – so many “it’s that voice!” moments – just off the top of my head; Norio Wakamoto as the off the wall principal Shining (whose intro has to be seen to be believed), Yuuichi Nakamura voicing a flamboyant pink haired Trap, Mamoru Miyano doing a lot of singing and being the resident ‘misunderstood idol’, Miyuki Sawashiro providing the voice for the gormless female lead, Junichi Suwabe turning the sleazy charm up to 11, plus a ton more I haven’t picked out yet!

Since a rather large chunk of this series is going to be about music, early signs all point to this being a spectacularly cheesy OST.  The OP…….oh god the OP!  I started crying from laughter – fantastically cheesy lyrics coupled with a really well animated, high energy boy-band dance number; my body was not ready for the lulz!  The ED is another pretty generic number, again with pretty great animation………in case you haven’t gotten the message yet, this show is pure cheese.

I’m definitely watching more – but be warned, this is an acquired taste, do not watch if you don’t  have an appreciation for crappy reverse harem shows! 😆

 

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Hogart permalink
    July 8, 2011 1:09 am

    I’m surprised at the number of anime this season with little girls NOT being used for otaku fanservice.. that’s a welcome change.

    I actually like Usagi Drop’s art style.. the dour faces are a bit like the shark-faces of Ristorante Paradiso or House of Fives Leaves. They force you to get to know the character in a more real way, not just relying on superficial beauty.

    And yeah, the realistic acting is great. The usual hammy anime over-acting gets tiresome, even the excessive chibification used in Kimi ni Todoke (Usagi Drop seems to use it much more sparingly).

    • July 8, 2011 6:28 pm

      Its rather disturbing when you realise non-service anime being the exception rather than the norm.

      Usagi Drop’s art really is rather House of Five Leaves / Ristorante Paradiso now that you’ve said that – it’s in no way off putting, just rather angular.

  2. A Day Without Me permalink
    July 8, 2011 4:49 am

    We should watch Prince-sama together! I’m sure you’d be much funner to watch it with than with waifu.

    • July 8, 2011 6:25 pm

      THIS! It needs to be done. We can even drag your waifu along – I’m sure he’d just love that!

  3. July 10, 2011 4:27 am

    Usagi Drop– DAAWWWW I cried a bit so touching the whole flower scene very nice, the animation took a while to get used to and reminded me of Natsume maybe it was all the colors? Anyway very nice first episode that will easily be the drama of summer. Then again it is a bit early to say that xD

    • July 10, 2011 3:26 pm

      The colour-palate is very light and pastel like Natsume’s, and the delicate atmosphere is also reminiscent so I can see why you got those vibes.

Trackbacks

  1. Notes For the Summer 2011 Anime Final « Organization Anti Social Geniuses
  2. Uta no Prince-sama – maji love 1000% (quick impression) « Abandoned Factory Anime Review
  3. Anime Review: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Episode 1 | This Euphoria!
  4. Anime Review: Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000% Episode 1 | This Euphoria!

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