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Winter 2012: First Impressions (Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, Kill Me Baby & Recorder and Randsell)

January 7, 2012

So here we are, the start of another season.  Time to see if all that judgmental nonsense I spouted in my preview is actually true!  As usual I generally check out the first episode of practically everything, and if I can see any kind of potential in a show I’ll give it another 2-3 episodes to persuade me one way or another.

I’m kicking things off with an old favourite, a strange short, and something I hated every second of…..Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, Kill Me Baby and Recorder and Randsell.

Natsume Yuujinchou Shi

Season four of Natsume wastes no time getting right into a new arc.  The previous three seasons of this show have firmly established the characters, and we’ve seen Natsume come to terms with his relationships with both youkai and humans……so now it’s time for a bit more conflict.  We’ve met exorcists before in this show, and know that Natsume is highly uncomfortable with their treatment and actions towards youkai in general – this arc throws Natsume right into a confrontation with a high ranking exorcist called Matoba, who comes across as very unnerving and ruthless.  As I’ve read the manga I know what this season has in store, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the anime brings the manga to life.

The production values are great as always – each new season of Natsume sees the series get progressively prettier, with smoother animation and more detailing in the background; it’s all looking very promising.  I like the new OP, and the adorable shota!Natsume in it – the ED is also quite nice, done in the same style as usual, but with a fitting snow theme.

So all looking great for another season of Natsume!  I’m a hopeless fangirl of this show so it was highly unlikely that I’d be unhappy with this episode, but I am especially pleased that we’ve just gotten right into things rather than fluffing about with another intro episode.

Kill Me Baby

This was awful.  I don’t know what other way to put it.  I probably would have been a bit easier on it if it was a short, but when I reached the middle and realised there was another 14mins to suffer through I gave up even attempting to like this show.  It’s just awful.  The entire point of gag shows is the comedy, but you wouldn’t think that when watching Kill Me Baby – rather the show seems to think that violence & annoying stupidity should have us rolling in the aisles, which is reasonable enough – if any of the gags were delivered with any flair at all.  As it is Kill Me Baby is amazing in its unfunniness & spectacularly irritating characters (honestly within 30seconds I took a dislike to the genki main character – possibly a new record).

There is a small speck of positivity though – the ED (other than blessedly signalling the end of my suffering) is pretty damn catchy with a fun dance number.  However that’s the best you’re getting out of me as I basically hated everything else.  The animation is flat and unexciting, the voice acting is annoying (what was with that ninja girls voice!?) and the music (other and the ED & manic OP) is unremarkable.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m dropping this like it’s on fire.

Recorder & Randsell

So this turns out to be a series of short 3 minute episodes, which surprised me a bit.  However this is actually a good thing as it makes it clear that this series will in no way be serious – I even cracked a smile at the end!  The show will probably rely a bit too much on the dissonance between the characters appearance & actions, but the short running time should stop it from getting too old, too quickly.  I’ll probably keep this on, it’s hardly a massive time investment weekly.

The production is simple with no frills – serves its purpose well as the main point is the character designs.  The voice acting is pretty good.  We’ve got Rie Kugimiya voicing the loli, but using an oujo voice, which makes a pleasant change and hearing Ryotaro Okiayu voice the shota in a grown man’s body was amusing.

Not going to set the world alight with creativity, but it’s an odd, inoffensive little show so I’ll keep it on for a bit.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2012 9:38 pm

    I’m really excited for this new season of Natsume Yuujinchou. The first episode was great, and a surprising way to start things off. Matoba is a very interesting side character, and I’m curious to see where things will go from here with him and Natsume.

    Funny how much you hated Kill Me Baby! I thought it was fun and silly. I can see the potential for the gags to get old after a few episodes, but for now at least I was amused. I liked the voices and semi-chibi art style, and their childish antics is more amusing when considering one of them is (supposedly) an assassin.
    Comedy is probably the most subjective genre in fiction there is, though.

    • January 8, 2012 5:43 pm

      I don’t get on with gag shows at the best of times – they need to be exceptionally creative to hold my attention for more than a handful of episodes. Kill Me Baby just felt lazy to me in every sense of the word.

      Comedy really is very subjective indeed.

  2. January 7, 2012 9:55 pm

    I tried the first episode of each of Natsume seasons 1 & 2, but I never got into it. Maybe I should go back and check out episode 2 to see how I react. I know many people put this franchise at the top of their lists, I just haven’t been able to get into it.

    • January 8, 2012 5:45 pm

      Natsume seems to be one of those shows that grows on you. I was impressed by S1 after a few episodes, but wasn’t chomping at the bit for another season. After S2 I decided I enjoyed the show enough to pick up the manga – by S3 it was pure love. The series isn’t for everyone though.

  3. January 8, 2012 3:33 am

    Kill me baby I agreed on so much I think it honestly should have been 15 minutes…I want to see how things happen with the next two episodes, it was slow at the start but things got fun near the end. I like the twintail and ninja girl! The other girl was…constantly talking xD

    • January 8, 2012 5:46 pm

      I definitely wouldn’t have been quite so harsh on Kill Me Baby if it was a short, but by the midway section it felt like flogging a dead horse…….really not the best premiere episode ever.

  4. January 8, 2012 4:39 pm

    Kill Me Baby was bad, I agree 100% with you on that… I wasn’t expecting another Nichijou, but that wasn’t even up to Yuru Yuri’s level! I guess I’ll have to rely on Amagami for my comedy fix this season, whether said comedy is intentional or not.😛

    • January 8, 2012 5:48 pm

      Yeah I was fully expecting to be amused for a few episodes like I usually am and then ditch the show (like I seem to do with most 4-Koma gag shows)…..Kill Me Baby actually impressed me with how unfunny it was.

      Have fun with Amagami – I am so not going there again!

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