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