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Autumn 2011: First Impressions (Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi S2, Shakugan no Shana III Final & Ben-to! )

October 9, 2011

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.

Ben-to!

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.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2011 12:02 am

    Ben-to: I liked the chopstick snapping transition. The concept is amusing, so I’ll give it a couple more episodes to make its case, but I have a feeling it is going to devolve into harem clichés.

    Shana: I just don’t care enough about this franchise to watch the 3rd season. Like you said, the flames and all are pretty, but I don’t care about the characters or the world they live in.

    • October 11, 2011 11:04 pm

      The transition was good – also liked the enthusiastic declaration of the series name “BEN-TOOO!”

      Does anyone actually care about Shana now? Its been so long since S2 I think most people couldn’t care less & are just watching out of obligation.

  2. October 10, 2011 3:00 am

    I actually watched that first episode of Sekai-ichi and I have no idea why! All I was thinking the whole time watching was glasses guy = Aizen ahahaha so you will see me in one of Metanorn’s tags for the first episode lolol

    Shana- Yeah you are right JC Staff does pull out all the stops to give Shana the awesome treatment for animation and style! But story is were things always fall apart in most of their series T___T but hey this is the FINAL SEASON! Right? I guess it depends how things end lololol another Shana movie probably.

    Bento- Wow this series is going to be another Kore wa zombie because of the random comedy and almost showing us some fan service, then again most seasons of anime have these off the wall ideas for shows that sound retarded but actually become fun. I did enjoy the fight scenes! They were awesome to watch, I think this series and a few others have decent fights so far.

    • October 11, 2011 11:07 pm

      LOL! Have you seen any of S1 (not that you need to, it’s not like there is any progress on the relationships ever).

      Urgh another Shana movie – can so see that happening unfortunately.

      I wasn’t as immediately taken with Ben-to the way I was with KoreZom – the comedy isn’t as sharp. Still the concept is sufficiently random to spark a bit of interest, so I’m definitely watching another ep or 2 at least.

  3. October 23, 2011 7:29 pm

    “…the concept of evening battle royales over half price food is completely pointless and somewhat bonkers…”

    Except this is exactly what happens in developing countries.

    Ben-To is alerting us as to just how stupid risking our lives over food is. Nobody should have to risk their lives over food. And Ben-To tells us just that. Right into our faces with how fucking ridiculous it is.

    (don’t steal this, I’ll write about it in my next Ben-To post ):

Trackbacks

  1. Notes For The Fall 2011 Anime Season Final « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses
  2. Anime Review: Shakugan no Shana Final (Season 3) Episode 1 | This Euphoria!

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