Spring 2012: First Impressions (Space Brothers, Kimi to Boku S2 & Ozuma)
Okay, now that I have everything else sorted and out-of-the-way I can start to concentrate on these first impressions posts and the new season in general! It’s always interesting to see if my knee-jerk reactions at the Preview stage are right or not – I generally attempt everything each season in my never-ending quest for hidden gems (and just to Watch All The Things!), if there is even a smidgen of potential in a show I’ll usually give it another episode or two.
We’re kicking things off with unemployed wannabe astronauts, cute boys doing cute things and that Leji Matsumoto show……..or Space Brothers, Kimi to Boku S2 and Ozuma.
Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyoudai)
This was an outstanding opening episode. SpaceBros did everything you could possibly want an opening episode to do – established the main character, gave him a believable and relatable personality and a goal to strive for. It’s wonderful to have another series with adults as its focus, you can really tell that these characters have a wealth of experience behind them, and having our main character decide to embrace his childhood dreams once again was wonderful. SpaceBros has got 50+ episodes to develop its story with, if all the episodes are as tightly paced and well written as this one, we are in for an absolute treat with this show.
In terms of production everything is positive too – the animation is nice and crisp with plenty of attention payed to the detailing in the backgrounds. Music is superb, already I think we have a contender for the best OP & OST of the season! I loved the use of imagery in the OP too, the ED wasn’t just as impressive, but by no means bad. Voice acting is brilliant, Hiroaki Hirata really shines in this kind of role.
SpaceBros is an immediate keeper from the first episode, I am so glad this turned out as well as it did!
Kimi to Boku S2
It’s more of the same with this first episode of the second season of Kimi to Boku – absolutely nothing happens, the boys just sit around chatting and the camera is constantly drawn to some random cats that have nothing to do with the actual show. Despite that I’m still going to watch this show – made it all the way through the first season on the merits of my needing a ‘moe boys’ show to watch every season – Kimi to Boku fills that gap nicely. For some reason I can tolerate this s’life series where similar shows with girls as the main characters have me clawing my eyes out in boredom. No idea why that is, I’m just biased I guess. Also this episode was actually pretty well written – the conversation flowed naturally (even though Chizuru is still irritating) and there was even some genuinely funny moments with Kaname’s mother.
Minimal effort is put into the production since it’s just the five boys sitting about chatting about nothing in particular, inter-cut with some shots of random cats. Music is pretty bland and the new OP & ED aren’t anything special. Voice acting saves the show as the characters sound natural & I was amused by their impersonations of Shun.
I’m watching this, but it is something you could easily skip.
Cheating slightly as we are already three episodes into Ozuma – midway through it’s run really since it’s only 6 episodes. I’m a bit disappointed by the show if I’m honest, it’s been much more about ‘real time sand submarine operation’ than anything else so far, and the characters have received minimal development so I don’t actually care about any of them (barely remember anyones name!). The world hasn’t really been explored much either and I’m generally just left a bit cold by the entire show – really by this stage I should care a bit more.
Production isn’t wonderful either – the Matsumoto character designs don’t really work with the clean modern animation resulting in them looking stiff and unnatural when compared to the backgrounds. There is a good cast here, but the script is quite dry and boring which bleeds into their performances. Overall Ozuma just hasn’t impressed me much.
I’m watching it to the end because it’s short, but I did expect more from Ozuma so I am disappointed it’s been so average. Maybe it will redeem itself in the 2nd half, but I’m not optimistic.