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Summer 2011 – First Impressions (The Idolm@ster, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! & Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi)

July 10, 2011

Yet more shows today (you can tell its the weekend), next up is an idol documentary, idiots at the beach and some fanservice…….yeap, bring on The Idolm@ster, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! and Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi.

The Idolm@ster

Now I’m not going to lie, I was very impressed by the interesting documentary approach this show implemented in its premiere episode.  It worked very well to get all the girls introduced and highlight their one character trait that will define them for the entire show.  It’s abundantly clear that a lot of love has been poured into the show, but that just can’t cover up the fact that the show is utterly devoid of personality.  It’s an endless parade of haremettes, with every imaginable character trait ticked off the sheet of moe stereotypes. I couldn’t help but lament the waste of talent, because there is just no denying that this episode was imaginatively put together and would have been very interesting if the subject was anything other than Idolm@ster!

The production is wonderful, the animation is beautifully smooth and the backgrounds really well drawn.  But there is just no escaping the fact that the girls are taken from the book of generic female character designs, no matter how well they are animated.  Watching this show actually made me kind of depressed because it’s glaringly obvious that this show has had torrents of cash spent on it because it is guaranteed that it will be massively popular, whereas something like Kamisama Dolls, which has lots of interesting ideas, can only dream of getting a fraction of Idolm@ster’s budget.

Yeah, so I was very impressed by the documentary styling and fantastic animation, but it’s just a pity the content was Idolm@ster – not watching anymore.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!

So BakaTest chose to open its second season with the obligatory beach episode.  Its a pity that it wasn’t a particularly good example of a beach episode.  I was really looking forward to this second season, but now I’m rather worried that they’re just going to trot out the same old tired fanservice jokes, rather than try to do anything interesting with the show’s more unique aspects – like the interclass summons battles.  It felt like they weren’t even trying in this episode – I don’t watch this show to ogle at the girls in bikinis, and that seemed to be the entire point of the episode.  BakaTest is at its best when its being inventive with its premise and firing in well put together parodies…….all of that was glaringly absent from this episode and the result was a show that looks the exact same as any other fanservice anime out there – with some SHAFT-esque quirkiness fired in.

The new OP isn’t as immediately catchy as S1’s, but at least there is some interesting visuals.  Really hoping next week’s episode is better, would be very disappointing if BakaTest continued in this vein.

Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi

This show is so bad its laughable.  It’s glaringly obvious that we have the same director as Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? because the show is obviously trying to recreate the charm that show had, and failing abysmally.  The best bit in the show was when the white-haired lead got hit by truck and started running about like a headless chicken……..literally.  That got a laugh out of me (although not entirely sure if it was meant to be comedic).  Everything else was just like pick & mix from every other magical girlfriend show ever created, complete with squeaky voiced loli’s that I’d love to strangle so that they will STOP SQUAWKING!  Can’t really see much potential in the show apart from the hilarious use of violence.

Production is okay, pity the character designs come from the more ridiculous end of the scheme – multicoloured hair works well in still art where it blends in a visually pleasing manner, it’s not just as attractive when animated in solid blocks of colour & highlights are picked out in static white circles!  The truck scene was lovingly crafted though – very nice blood splatters and broken joints!  The voice acting is pretty awful, I mean the script is a bit pants anyway, but the actors just sound bored.  Although I did like Yuuichi Nakamura as the obviously evil student president – he’s the only one that sounds like he’s enjoying his role!

So not really impressed by this – dropped.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2011 4:20 pm

    I am glad you gives credit where credit is due. The animation for the iDOLM@STER is really smooth and fluid. A-1 Pictures did a really good job. But like you said, it’s unfortunate that the content sucks.

    • July 10, 2011 8:37 pm

      Definitely high praise to A-1 Pictures on how good the show looks, pity there is no way round the fact its Idolm@ster.

  2. July 10, 2011 6:20 pm

    There shouldn’t be any reason to worry about Baka to Test – it’s humor is its selling point. Boy oh boy, does it have it in boatloads.

    • July 10, 2011 8:36 pm

      But that is exactly why I’m worried – I didn’t find this episode funny at all.

  3. July 10, 2011 11:31 pm

    The Idolm@ster– Not to bad nice to see a different take on interviews, then again it was like watching a game LOL soooo many characters! It’s like durarara or angel beats! I am sure everyone will find their favorites. The twins are my fav so far xD

    Baka test- I need to see the first season just got lazy…One day! Or can you jump right into S2 without really knowing much, I know the main plot with the summon things work but that’s about all.

    Itsuka Tena- Yeah I can see all the Kore wa zombie elements! I mean guy gets hit by truck and stands up LOL the minute that girl walked across the street I think everyone thought the sameeeee thing he is going to get owned! Yep good job. Character designs are not to bad and the multicolored hair does look nice, screaming Loli was annoying I think I had to mute the video during that.

    • July 12, 2011 8:29 pm

      Idolm@ster will be massive, but I am more than happy to let that particular fad pass me by.

      BakaTest is mainly episodic comedy, you can just go into S2 if you know the general premise and characters.

      The hit-by-truck scene was the only one in the whole episode I enjoyed – really couldn’t stop myself from chuckling.

  4. July 12, 2011 10:13 am

    I should remember to come here more often as you seldom post on TSR anymore. Hope the new medication is helping. (Oh, and apologies for the off-topic comment.)

    • July 12, 2011 8:35 pm

      I’ve definitely more available here and on twitter than I am on TSR these days – the site isn’t very mobile friendly, whereas I have apps for wordpress & twitter for when I can’t sit at my PC.

      New meds aren’t great – just make me sleepy & grumpy, going back to the GP to see if I can get referred for an MRI scan. I’ve just gotten tired of having to stop myself from writing, so decided that since I’ve put up with the pain for this long, I’ll just have to deal with it from now on.

      • July 12, 2011 9:10 pm

        Curse vBulletin for their sluggishness to adapt their software for smart phones (which is actually pretty surprising).

        That’s unfortunate about the medication. I was hoping your sudden surge of activity on here was attributed to them working, but seems not. Having experienced some pain myself lately due to back pain (different, I know), I can appreciate how difficult it must be to endure. I can only hope that the scan will highlight a solution and/or remedy to at least lessen/numb the pain. Anyway, if it’s any consolation, I’m glad that we haven’t completely lost you, and at least your activity is better appreciated here than on the comparatively baron wasteland that is the AniSoc on TSR. 😛

        • July 12, 2011 9:35 pm

          Yeah the lack of decent smart phone support for forums is rather irritating in general.

          Oooh back pain isn’t fun, hope you get sorted out quickly. I’m just hoping that a scan will finally solve just what is causing the pain in the first place – if they can determine where its coming from they can treat it. At the moment it’s just been wild stabs in the dark (current meds are for nerve damage & referred pain).

          TSR has been rather dead of late, and yeah at least here I have a reasonably large pool of people to interact with.

  5. July 13, 2011 11:18 pm

    I couldn’t watch ItsukaTenma at all without really concentrating. It was so horribly dull that I kept spacing out, and only came to when the protagonist got hit by that truck. Considering I can usually pay attention to a bad show long enough to find something to criticize, that’s really saying something about its quality.

    • July 14, 2011 11:26 pm

      I do believe that the truck part is the only scene in the entire episode than anyone remembers!

  6. July 16, 2011 6:55 pm

    I rather liked the use of color in Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi. The palette was interesting — blood red moon, and so forth. Very vivid and lots of primaries. The rest of it was crap, unfortunately. I might have thought the hit by a truck thing was more interesting if they didn’t do every G-damned one of those scenes in Kore wa Zombie. Even talking to the decapitated head was in the first episode of Zombie.

    • July 16, 2011 8:28 pm

      I liked the colours, but didn’t like the shading much at all – the colour was too blocky and didn’t really blend well so the effect seemed garish rather than subtle to me.

      But yeah, KoreZom did everything this episode did, and it did it better.


  1. Notes For the Summer 2011 Anime Final (Part IV) « Organization Anti Social Geniuses
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