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Spring 2012: First Impressions (Polar Bear Cafe, Sankarea & Yurumates 3D)

April 7, 2012

Not getting these done as quickly as I’d like – been busy baking for Easter!  Next up are moe Pandas, zombies and lolis……..Polar Bear Café, Sankarea and Yurumates 3D.

Polar Bear Café (Shirokuma Café)

I was originally looking forward to this simply due to the cast and the novelty factor of having a café run by a polar bear, but I am actually surprised by how good Polar Bear Café turned out to be!  As a slice of life show it managed to entertain for the entire episode even though not a whole lot actually happened – for a s’life show to hold my attention for that long is quite an achievement, I have a very limited amount of patience for them.  The whole setting was hilarious – random exotic animals living & working side by side with humans, yet there is still a busy zoo!  The Polar Bear enjoys his lame puns, the Penguin likes coffee & playing the straight man and the Panda is obsessed with bamboo and every bit as lazy as you would expect a panda to be.

The OP was pure brilliance – I seriously did not expect this show to have much effort put into it, but I was quickly proven wrong when that OP started playing.  Similarly the ED is creatively animated with stop-motion Go pieces with FukuJun providing the vocals in character as Panda – adorable.  The voice acting in general is fantastic, allowing me to indulge my inner seiyuu fan.

So a very positive start to NichiBears – definitely looking forward to watching more of this ridiculously cute show.

Sankarea

This first episode was much better than I was expecting, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d seen this before because there were just too many clichés on display.  You have your male lead with his one quirk and his inexplicable instant harem (moe imouto, genki cousin, bishoujo ojou), the annoying best friend and the fateful meeting with the bishoujo ojou when she’s having an emotion moment – you’ve seen it all before and Sankarea does the set-up remarkably well.  Yes, even though this is retreading well worn ground there is no denying that Sankarea takes a lot of care in presenting it’s material in a very solid way – this is a good first episode for this kind of show.  That being said I couldn’t shake the feeling that the team on Sankarea desperately wanted this show to be Bakemonogatari – there were certain shorts that just screamed SHAFT wannabe to me, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except the characters just don’t have the same presence & there isn’t the same quality of writing in Sankarea.

On the production front – wow, DEEN certainly pulled out the A-team for this.  Sankarea is very pretty to look at (although the male leads random cat-ear hair-style makes him look like he should be in Shiki), with lots of attention lavished on the backgrounds & directing.  The OP was really nicely presented and I liked the ED song a lot – voice acting is also excellent.

So not the borefest I was anticipating but nothing amazingly original either.  Rather Sankarea is a well presented example of its genre – worth checking out if you’re bored.

Yurumates 3D

Well it was only three minutes long (half of which was the OP) so I don’t have an awful lot to say about this.  In fact the OP was probably the best thing since it had inexplicable mecha action!  Basically this is one of those ‘main character moves to Tokyo & comedy ensues when she meets her new housemates’ kinda shows – you’ve seen it all before.

Voice acting is obnoxious – the main girl sound like she’s been huffing helium and everyone else just yells their handful of lines.  Character designs are those disturbing loli things (and then they tell us these characters are all over 18!! LMFAO) that I really don’t like.

So I am definitely not sticking around for any more of Yurumates – really is not my kind of show.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Salient Mind permalink
    April 7, 2012 8:03 pm

    I wasn’t originally planning on watching Polar Bear cafe, but now I see I have to. How can i miss a penguin who likes coffee? It is still Space Brothers that I’m really excited for.

    • April 9, 2012 2:23 pm

      Polar Bear Cafe is fun – the OP alone is genius, but the actual content is pretty chilled & puntastic – I like it.

  2. April 7, 2012 11:42 pm

    Polar Bear Café was interesting because it didn’t turn out to be anything like I expected. Sankarea was more or less what I expected. Of the two, there is no question I would be keeping the Bear show.

    I guess I was expecting Polar Bear Café to be more straight up comedy, and it turned out to be a pleasant mix of absurd slice-of-life with comedy.

    Sankarea disturbed me. To some extent every show of this type disturbs me, but some examples have had a really bad effect on me. A previous example is Chobits. While the setup may seem very different, the whole idea of re-animated corpse moe is disturbing to me. I truly hope they do not go down the road of suggesting that committing suicide is a valid option for people who are being sexually abused.

    • April 9, 2012 2:25 pm

      Yeah I was pleasantly surprised that Polar Bear Cafe wasn’t straight up comedy as well – it’s really cute & fun.

      Sankarea’s concept is really quite off-putting, but the execution of the episode was pretty faultless.

  3. April 8, 2012 5:18 am

    I really enjoyed Sankarea! Good stuff all around minus Rea’s disturbing father…animation wise I think they did a excellent job❤

    NICHIBEARS! That voice cast…omg…best ever and flying cars? YESSSSS

    • April 9, 2012 2:26 pm

      I’m watching more of Sankarea, but I’m not entirely convinced by it. The gloss of the production & direction doesn’t completely make up for the fact the concept is rather squicky.

      NichiBears cast = ALL MY LOVE!

  4. Salient Mind permalink
    April 9, 2012 4:22 am

    Reanimated corpse moe… I never thought about it that way. That is really creepy.

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