Winter 2012: First Impressions (Inu x Boku SS and Thermae Romae)
So here we are at last, the final two shows I’m sampling from this season – bishie sparkles & loli legs and old men talking about baths……..Inu x Boku SS and Thermae Romae.
Inu x Boku SS
So in the spirit of equal opportunity fanservice, this show not only has bishies who constantly sparkle, it also pays inordinate attention the loli’s legs & non-existent boobs – everyone’s a winner! InuBoku has an odd feeling to it – the set up is bog standard shoujo; girl who’s only fault is being snarky to everyone she meets, moves into posh apartment building full of quirky attractive characters and gets bishounen servant who pledges undying loyalty to her. The twist to it comes when it’s revealed that all the characters are at least part youkai & suddenly the show feels like NuraMago complete with random (extremely one-sided) fight against some idiot intruders. It’s all a bit disjointed, shallow and feels like I’ve seen it a million times before, but for some odd reason I kinda enjoyed this episode!
I think the main reason I liked it is the acting. There is a great cast involved in this, and the episode is kind of worth watching just for hearing Yuujichi Nakamura’s flowery non-stop glitter mode chatter and to hear HanaKana voice a giant ghostly skeleton. The animation is also better than I was expecting – David Production generally turn out rather messy looking shows, but InuBoku is actually pretty smooth looking. Music is pretty decent too, and I quite liked the ED.
Overall I was surprised by how enjoyable I found this episode – there’s nothing really original here, but it’s presented in a fun way. Will be keeping on for a while.
And now for something completely different. Thermae Romae is certainly one of the more unique shows this season – it’s just old men talking about how amazing baths are, and yet it somehow manages to be complete genius! The concept of a Roman architect time traveling to modern-day Japan and then applying the things he’s learned to his designs back in Ancient Rome, is simple but remarkable effective thanks for the brilliant writing. Each episode is split into two shorts (so we got the 1st two this week) which stops things from getting too drawn out – glad this will only run for three weeks, anymore and the show could get stale.
It’s a good thing the writing is so good, because the animation (or lack of animation) is pretty rubbish. The show is done in flash, so it’s mostly static or clumsily animated, but that crudeness sort of adds to the charm, although it certainly isn’t the prettiest show in the world. Voice acting is excellent, the soundtrack samples lots of instantly recognisable classical music and the ED is probably among the best of the season.
So Thermae Romae is lots of fun – looking forward to the rest!
Okay! That’s me done with first impressions for this season (thank god!). This has been a unusally mixed season – definitely some surprise hits in the mix, I didn’t expect to pick up as many shows as I have. The next few weeks will be interesting – I don’t make any firm decisions until about ep3 of most shows. Anyway that’s all for today – better get back to my backlog!