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Autumn 2011: First Impressions (Phi Brain: God’s Puzzle, Kimi to Boku & Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon)

October 5, 2011

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.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2011 10:13 pm

    I would rank these shows exactly the same. Phi Brain is shounen, might turn out to be okay, but hard to believe it will be great. Kimi to Boku is boring that will be lucky if it can pull off okay. Horizon is worthless crap — the best hope here is that it manages to be entertainingly awful. I simply don’t have time to waste hoping KimiTo or Horizon become entertaining, so they have been Insta-Dropped.

    • October 6, 2011 9:48 pm

      Really think Horizon has Terribad potential – really may have to watch for Trainwreck lulz potential. Other two I couldn’t really care less about.

  2. A Day Without Me permalink
    October 5, 2011 11:36 pm

    Horizon is the worst thing I’ve seen so far. Still haven’t managed to force myself to watch Kimi to Boku, and the chance of it happening is dropping daily.

    • October 6, 2011 9:49 pm

      Horizon really was awful……..actually pretty amazed at just how awful it managed to be in only 23mins

  3. October 6, 2011 1:15 pm

    Jeebus, what’s wrong with Kimi to Boku? But then again, I can relate to that show and thus why I’m enjoying it the most of all the anime of the season so far. LOL am I the only one thinking it’s great?

    • October 6, 2011 9:49 pm

      Kimi to Boku just felt utterly devoid of soul to me – so boring and uninspired.

  4. October 23, 2011 7:58 am

    Yes, Phi Brain doesn’t give us the time to participate. That’s a god-awful flaw, perhaps the stupidest flaw I have ever seen in an anime that /focuses on puzzles/.

    Yes, Phi Brain DOES focus on puzzles. That’s why everything else sucks so badly, because all the effort is put into the puzzles. Which is entirely wasted because of how they totally skip over them.

    Yes, Phi Brain doesn’t give us the time to participate. But that doesn’t stop you from screencapping the shots of the sudoku and maze puzzles to see whether or not you can solve them yourself (unless you’re watching on an actual TV, which most people are – as I said, horrible production flaw)! Which was exactly what I did, and the sheer amazing feeling that I got after seeing the solution to the maze puzzle after ten minutes of ‘what the heck’ completely counterweighs everything bad about the show. A definite 8/10 first episode, most likely among the top 5 best first episodes of this season.

    I feel like the production team of Kimi to Boku. just went ‘meh, what the heck, we’re moping around, now let’s make them mope around too.’ Perhaps the first episode was meant to be mope-y, and show how the fifth character MAKES THEM ALL VIBRANT AND EXCITING. Whoops, you do that in the first episode, not in the second. Nobody sticks around for a boring show.

    tl;dr: NO FUCK YOU HORIZON WAS AWESOME AND AWESOME AND AWESOME AND AAAAAAWWWWWWEESSSSSOOOOOOMMMMMMMMEEEEEe. Apparently the source material was huge (like, bookshelves-full-huge, which explains the decent world-creation), but with only 13 episodes, all the production team can do is cram everything together, I guess.


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