Autumn 2011: First Impressions (Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi S2, Shakugan no Shana III Final & Ben-to! )
Sequels galore today~! Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi S2, Shakugan no Shana III Final & Ben-to!
Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi S2 (Worlds Greatest First Love 2)
This first episode was actually decent…..up till the middle, then I paused it for an hour to put off the incoming stupidity that always happens when our A-couple is alone together. While this series deals with manga & the role the editorial department play, it’s actually pretty interesting – unfortunately that’s not the point of the series so we’re plunged right back into the irritating ‘rape is love’ crap that constitutes the A-couple’s relationship. The most annoying thing about the episode is that, just when the A-couple seem to have made some progress, the reset button is punched repeatedly and we’re back to square one – so fecking frustrating!
Production is the same as the previous season – pretty good apart from the generic character designs. New OP is somewhat frightening, but I find all the OPs for Junjou & Sekai-ichi a bit scary. ED is unremarkable. Voice actors are all back in their roles, so its more deep-voiced suave semes & squeaky hyperactive ukes.
So more of the same, if you sat through the first season you already know what you’re in for – lots of frustrating A-Couple episodes, a smattering of irritating B-Couple episodes and a handful of actually good C-Couple episodes.
Shakugan no Shana III Final
I sat through this episode in a daze of confusion. While I have seen every Shana TV series and all the specials, I still don’t actually remember much of what’s meant to be happening in the ‘plot’. When a long-haired Yuji commanding hordes of demons appeared on my screen, I thought I’d missed a season somewhere – think I would have remembered something like that! However that scene appears to have been a flash-forward, and the episode resets to after that Christmas episode in S2. From there on it’s pretty dull, not a lot really happens apart from Shana & co looking sad/determined and Yuji floating naked through space…….what’s meant to be going on? Your guess is as good as mine.
JC Staff always make Shana look pretty – it’s their cash cow after-all, and this season is no exception. Everything is pretty to look at, even really stupid things like when giant hands of flame are arm wrestling, and Yuji’s hilarious new character design. Voice actors are back, but since Yuji is out of the picture for now there is a distinct lack of the tsun-tsun ‘Urasai urasai urasai!’ Shana, and KugiRei is on dere-dere duties……..which makes things a bit boring actually. New OP & ED are of the same variety as all the other OPs & EDs in the franchise – instantly forgettable with pretty animation.
So I’m going to be watching this for completions sake, but I think it’s probably best for my sanity if I don’t attempt to think too hard about this show and just let the pictures wash over me.
This show is strange. For the first half I was every bit as confused as our amnesia afflicted protagonist, and through the 2nd half I was just bemused as everything went a bit mental & odd. It was fun to watch, the concept of evening battle royales over half price food is completely pointless and somewhat bonkers, but its difficult to imagine how it’s going to keep itself going for an entire season. The characters are walking stereotypes, and the show has a morbid fascination with the female’s thighs – seriously half the show was spent glued to zettai ryouiki or black stockinged thighs, but thankfully it never descends into Maken-Ki levels of never-ending panty-shots.
The production is fairly run of the mill, aside from the aforementioned fascination with female thighs, the direction is fairly decent and even though the character designs are pretty horrible, they’re consistent. Fight choreography needs work, it was really quite underwhelming (only so many times you can watch the protagonist get smacked about before you get bored). Best thing was probably the voice acting – I’m not a fan of Hiro Shimono, but I was impressed that he actually did impressions in this episode (including one of Norio Wakamoto!).
I’m probably interested enough to watch another episode or two, but can’t see me keeping this on longterm.