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Autumn 2011: First Impressions (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Maken-Ki! & Persona 4)

October 8, 2011

The end is in sight! Only another week of scattered new releases to go.  Today we have Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (I don’t have many friends), Maken-Ki! and Persona 4.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (I don’t have many friends)

The first episode of the TV series ended up being nowhere near as god awful as the OVA…..but that doesn’t mean it was actually good.  The concept itself had a lot of potential in it, however it’s clear from the outset that Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is only interested in creating a harem of pretty girls for the gormless male lead.  Now, so long as that’s all you’re expecting, this first episode was decent enough for a show of its type.  It’s all very run-of-the-mill, nothing too exciting happens and I had a sense of deja vu the entire time – this was kind of like the first episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, where the anti-social female lead drags the sarcastic male lead into a club of her own creation……just without the great script & interesting characters.

The production was reasonable (although the fella’s weird two-tone hair was fecking distracting), in general the character designs are quite nice and the animation is decent.  The OP makes is crystal-clear that this show is going to be straight-up harem fanservice (as if there was any real doubt), the ED is…….weird.  Why the nun theme?  Nuns are fecking creepy and in no way sexy (I feel ill just typing that).  Voice acting is okay, although the two female leads turned into generic bitchy tsundere’s at the end which was disappointing.

So generic but nice to look at I suppose – it can only get worse as more and more of the harem get introduced until we get the full complement of harmettes the shitty OVA had.  Can’t be bothered watching more when I already know what’s going to happen.


Going to keep this short because even expending energy thinking about the time I wasted watching this tripe pisses me off.  There is not an iota of originality here – the only point I could see to putting yourself through this, is if you decide play a drinking game where you drink to the panty shots & harem clichés (I do not advice this – you will die before you’re midway through).  Otherwise Maken-Ki! is a complete waste of time; name the generic plot point/character archetype and this show probably has it – it’s actually fairly amazing to watch something so utterly devoid of merit.

The animation is pretty damn derpy too – the character designs aren’t even attractive (some very off model faces going on here) and the panty-shots are so obnoxious and randomly censored that its difficult to understand why they even bothered giving the girls skirts in the first place.  No OP, ED was pants, voice acting rubbish………overall it’s just a very poorly put together show.  Definitely not watching another second of it!

Persona 4

My only experience with Persona is the Persona: Trinity Soul anime which did not set me on fire with enthusiasm due to it’s rather wishy-washy narrative, however Persona 4 has absolutely no connection to Trinity Soul, so I was basically going in blind to this series.  I have to say that while I am interested in the show, I wasn’t really blown away by this first episode.  I felt like everything was pretty disjointed and hard to really get into – there is an absence of flow, everything feels like a series of random events rather than a continuous story line.  The main character is primarily to blame – he’s the player character in the game so the player can inject their own personality into him, however in the anime he comes across as completely passive & pretty cold feeling – I don’t really feel any great attachment to him (although it is early days yet and he seemed to get better once he got his megane).  On one hand I would have liked it if the show had of spent a wee bit more time developing some tension & atmosphere before plunging us into the Persona world through the TV, but I’m also pretty happy they got right into the action quickly as the Persona stuff is much more interesting than the s’life stuff.  So there is interesting stuff here, but the storytelling needs work.

Production is a mixed bag.  The show has style. Lots of style, but the direction is a bit uninspired at times and the budget seems to be lacking in some shots.  Character designs are okay – fecking hate the uniforms though, so ugly.  Like the Persona designs and the voice acting is reasonable.  The music is really funky, sounds like this will be a pretty good soundtrack and I liked the OP & ED.

Keeping Persona 4 on – it’s not demanding all my attention from the get-go, but it is a very stylish looking show with plenty of potential – looking forward to watching more.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2011 11:25 pm

    Generic Harem Comedy 1: “the fella’s weird two-tone hair was fecking distracting”. I agree. It kept reminding me that I was watching some drawn thing, which was at least a reasonable distraction from the fact that I was watching a sequence of Harem clichés.

    Generic Harem Comedy 2: Ugh.

    • October 9, 2011 9:24 pm

      I thought he was meant to have blond hair, but it’s like they decided that since he’s half british, he should have half blond hair too!

  2. October 9, 2011 10:15 am

    So many harem shows this season I feel bad for the female fans this season, seems they are failing so far! Maken-ki yeah I have officially placed that in my mindless entertainment folder forever the only think I liked was that one fight, yeah I know that fight was more like how can we flash everyone? Oh right low angle camera shots ahaha.

    Boku- Not sure on this series and yes! I was thinking ohhh this is Denpa Onna with Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya mixed in, I do enjoy the designs of the characters and yes HIS HAIR WUT Is that a dead animal? LOL oh and fun fact the Loli nun = voiced by Index I guess she is stuck doing those roles forever.

    Persona 4- Yeah I have little to no experience with that universe, all I know from previews and pictures = Everyone wears glasses at some point. Out of the three shows I think Persona has some great animation! Well the characters eyes are still weird to me…

    • October 9, 2011 9:26 pm

      I feel sorry for me too – all we poor fujoshi have is Sekai-shitty!


      The eyes in Persona are odd – in general the animation quality really isn’t as good as I’d have expected.

      • October 10, 2011 2:54 am

        Ahahahah yeaaaaahh I know poor Index forever a nun!

        Yeah I guess that’s why everyone wears glasses in Persona? Their eyes are just so terrible xD

  3. October 9, 2011 3:15 pm

    I love how I go into some of these harem shows with zero expectations and still somehow manage to be blown away by how shite they are.

    Persona 4 didn’t do much for me either. Having some knowledge on the gaming franchise, the first ep felt like a bunch of animated cut-scenes rather than a proper adaption. Also, I know the main character in every game is supposed to be a silent protagonist (bar some vn-esque text choices which don’t affect the story anyway!), but can the script-writers at least try and give him some personality? Maybe my standards on anime leads are a little too high. Blame Steins Gate!

    • October 9, 2011 9:30 pm

      It really is some kind of special achievement that these shows manage to be sooooo awful straight away.

      Persona needs to work on its storytelling – this is one of the things I was most worried about when I heard the game was getting an anime – its very hard to make the transition. Steins;Gate has definitely spoiled us for game characters with actual character – pity thats the exception rather than the rule.

  4. October 13, 2011 12:37 pm

    Maken-Ki made me homicidal, the other two were decent enough to stem the tide of bodies. Seriously, I have never wanted something to die as much as I did while watching that piece of shit. Well, Kimi to Boku was up there as well, so at least it’s not alone.


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