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Winter 2012: First Impressions (Moretsu Pirates, Nisemonogatari and Knight in the Area)

January 8, 2012

Moving swiftly on (trying to cram in as much as possible before I have to go back to work tomorrow), another three new shows!  Meido Pirates, SHAFT head-tilting and dramatic football………yeap, Moretsu Pirates, Nisemonogatari and Knight in the Area!

Moretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates)

So this was rather fun.  It’s got just enough silliness without feeling stupid, and the characters are thankfully not completely irritating.  The concept is still very out there, but at least they try to make it work in context – as far as introductory episodes go, this was pretty solid.  I’m not completely drawn in yet, but more than willing to give it another few episodes to see if it sinks or swims – any show that has a Space Yacht Club, legal pirates and women chugging mugs of wine, requires another look!

The animation is pretty good, I really like the sci-fi building designs and the characters aren’t bad-looking either.  Voice acting is solid – not fussed on the main girls tendency to shout all her lines, but she’s nicely counterbalanced by HanaKana in Kuroneko mode.  Music is reasonable, but the OP is utterly awful – who allowed those girls near a microphone!?

So a pretty decent start to this show, quite optimistic about this now.

Nisemonogatari

Ah it’s like Bakemonogatari never went away!  This first episode served as a pretty good reminder of Bakemono’s style and the way it goes about telling its story…..ie: it was very SHAFT.  Now I like SHAFT, and I’m a big fan of Bakemono, so Nisemonogatari is off to a pretty good start (although I could have done without Aragari’s molesting Mayoi), however if you’re not a fan this style of show would quickly get irritating.  There isn’t a linear storyline – we start with a scene with Aragari & Senjougohara and then doubles back to Araragi talking to one of his sisters, making plans to see Nadeko & then bumping into Mayoi – hardly the most exciting of first episodes.  However it’s always been the dialogue and SHAFT being SHAFT that draws me to this series, and that’s all present & accounted for.

The animation is more of the usual – sparse backgrounds, bold use of primary colours, lots of head-tilting and random camera angles.  Thankfully there wasn’t much flashing of random title cards that you don’t get time to read.  The OP harks back to the 1st Bakemono OP with the staple theme, which was quite nice, but there was no ED this week.  The cast is back so no complaints there.  However considering this sequel is meant to be about Araragi’s sisters they didn’t feature much – I’m sure that will be fixed soon though.

Was no doubts about me watching this – definitely a keeper.

Knight in the Area (Area no Kishi)

I have problems with Sports Anime.  Such is my dislike of actual sports, I tend to prematurely judge sports anime and sometimes end up missing a classic.  It’s a strange mindset – the sports anime that I have managed to watch I got really sucked into, so I was more than willing to give Knight in the Area a fair chance – after all, I have a weakness for shounen shows & I did really like Giant Killing……..unfortunately Knight in the Area is definitely no Giant Killing.

This show is just dull.  It does a good job of fleshing out the main character in this episode, but unfortunately he’s exactly the same as every shounen protagonist ever…..even if his goals are slightly less lofty than most protags, which makes him even less interesting.  I was more curious about the elder brother (I swear his being voiced by FukuJun had nothing to do with this……honestly!), but heavy-handed foreshadowing meant that I quickly lost hope of him being in the picture much.

Animation is another issue – the action is very poorly animated.  If you’re going to do a sports anime at least make the gameplay look exciting!  The OP pretty much had ‘generic shounen’ written all over it and the side characters all look various degrees of annoying.

So not impressed – I was willing to give the show a fair chance, but just can’t be bothered taking on yet another shounen by numbers – I have enough of those on my plate as it is.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2012 8:28 pm

    I watched Knight in the Area for the heck of it–I guess I thought I ought to give a sports anime a try every once in a while. But yeah, the plot seemed very by-the-numbers. I kind of liked the melodrama at the beginning though, in a camp sort of way. But it’s probably a lot more effective for football fans and young boys.

    (BTW, why not call it Knight in the ARENA? Doesn’t that make a ton more sense?)

    • January 8, 2012 8:32 pm

      It’s meant to be Knight in the ‘Penalty’ Area – referring to the part of the pitch……but Knight in the Area is catchier I suppose.

  2. January 9, 2012 2:45 am

    This episode of Nisemono was only good for me because of Arararararagi talking with Hachikuji for most of the episode, even if that was offset a little by the aforementioned molestation. I just have a love/hate thing with Shaft’s visual style that continues throughout this episode.

    As for Space Pirates, I would kill to be in a space yacht club. Seriously, any other activity pales in comparison.

    • January 12, 2012 1:06 pm

      Araragi’s convo with Mayoi was interesting – Araragi only really seems to talk so frankly with her…..probably because she’s a spirit unlike the other girls who have more links with his everyday life.

      Space yacht club sounds awesome – what a brilliant thing to be a member of!

  3. January 9, 2012 8:31 pm

    I gave Knights in the Area a miss, never been a big fan of shounen sports anime. In fact one of the few ‘sports’ series that I like if you can call it that is Chihayafuru, but for different reasons.

    I enjoyed Mouretsu Pirates, it is a bit weird, has women chugging pints of wine, and also has a ukulele, or lute if you will on the pirate flag, which automatically means its great. I’m a massive fan of Space Opera, and so far Mouretsu is shaping up to be a good one if things continue this way.

    Not entirely sure about Nisemonogatari, I really enjoyed Bakemonogatari, but need to be in the right mood to watch it. It certainly fills my quota for avant-garde artwork though with weird set pieces, and strange backgrounds that could have come from a Salvador Dali painting at times.

    • January 12, 2012 1:09 pm

      Chihayafuru is jousei/shoujo sports anime – pretty different to the usual shounen sports show. Knights in the Area isn’t really worth anyone’s time anyway.

      I like the 90s feel of Morestsu Pirates – the concept has plenty of room for fun ideas.

      I love SHAFT being SHAFT & the Bakemono series is SHAFT at their SHAFTiest~!

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