Autumn 2011: First Impressions (Phi Brain: God’s Puzzle, Kimi to Boku & Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon)
Another three shows taking their turn on the chopping block – today’s its Phi Brain, Kimi to Boku & Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.
Phi Φ Brain: God’s Puzzle
I wasn’t really expecting this to be quite so generically shounen. Throughout the entire episode I was waiting for it to display something extra that would make me sit up and take notice, but it just didn’t happen. Phi Brain is fairly well done, but it’s really got nothing new to offer. Even as a puzzle series, it forgets something crucial – the viewer likes to be involved. I’d have liked half a chance to have a look at some of the puzzles Kaito was glancing at and solving with zero effort – even if I’m not a puzzle master I still like to have a stab at things! Phi Brain doesn’t let the viewer participate at all, we’re meant to be completely passive and just accept that our main character is fecking awesome…….which isn’t really all that fun. Still, I’m willing to give the show another 2eps to see if manages to give the characters any personality (also nutjob FukuJun character is introduced in next episode – I have to at least see that).
The production is decent – I’m still not keen on the character designs though, they’re just lifted directly from the shounen book of protagonist stereotypes! There are nice details in the backgrounds & set design though. The OP is decent enough, if quite forgettable and the ED is equally forgettable with a dull slide show of pictures. There’s a pretty good voice cast on board, but there wasn’t much for them to do in this episode – hoping things pick up.
So not the best first episode ever, even with my love of shounen shows I was pretty underwhelmed – I’ll give it another few episodes though.
Kimi to Boku (You & Me)
This was beyond tedious. It’s like there was zero effort put into the writing of this series – the four boys spend most of the episode in near complete silence or being various levels of bitchy with each other……and that’s it. Are we meant to find such anti-social characters cute, because watching them interact was akin to watching paint dry! Now the fifth character was completely absent from this first episode, but unless he’s got Lelouch level charisma there’s no way I can see him improving the show – the other four characters are just that dull.
Not much effort was put into the production either – the camera even seemed to find the boys (who all have identical looks of utter indifference) dull as it kept jumping to shots of random cats/girls staring at cherry blossoms/the ground, like it was trying to find something with a bit more vitality to put on-screen! There is also hardly any background music, so when the boys are stoically staring at each other in silence, we’re also sat there with nothing to distract us from the long pregnant pauses – its soooo tedious! The OP is a bland ballad with a photo slide show & while the ED has some pretty nice watercolour art, the song is nothing special.
I will give the show one more episode to see if the new fella can inject some life into the show, but really can’t see any point to watching more of this.
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere)
This. What was this!? Seriously, I am completely bemused by what I witnessed on my screen – it’s rare to see a show that is this spectacularly awful that I don’t even know where to be begin! I mean I was expecting this show to be terrible anyway given the director & staff, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad straight away. The whole episode is one long mad chase scene that appears to have been lifted straight from some sort of random video game. The characters all have ridiculously complicated attacks that take forever to charge up but have little to no effect once invoked, but that doesn’t stop them from chattering on like hyperactive chimps about stuff that made no sense……all while running pell-mell through a town chasing after their teacher. Now the characters themselves seem to have come from some sort of private hell were rejected characters are sent by other shows, because there doesn’t seem to be any common theme among them beyond idiotic & annoying; although I was impressed by the sheer variety of characters on display. The main character only actually shows up for the final five minutes, and all he does is be an annoying pick, grope some boobs (which mysteriously turn into a white oval) and get knocked through some walls – not instilling me with confidence.
Aside from the horrendous character designs (are those really meant to be boobs!? & WTF are those quadruple drills!?) and the smarmy shit-eating grin that is permanently on the protagonists face (what I wouldn’t give to punch him) the world design is actually pretty nice & imaginative! The music is also pretty decent even if the OP is quite generic. Voice cast is star-studded, but the script is pants so clearly most of the budget went on getting the seiyuu.
I’m watching another episode or two (or maybe the whole thing just for the lulz) but I’m really not expecting this to get any better.