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Spring 2012: First Impressions (Eureka Seven Ao, Ginga e Kickoff and Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan)

April 15, 2012

Okay! Only a few more shows to review – this is shaping up to be a pretty good season!  Lets talk mecha, football and BREAD……….Eureka Seven Ao, Ginga e Kickoff! and Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan.

Eureka Seven Ao

This was pretty much a textbook start to a mecha series – it ticked every box and the execution was nearly flawless; it is a joy to have Bones & Eureka 7 back!  Bones are old hand at this by now, and with E7 Ao they’ve gone back to what they know best – and it really shows.  The pacing was great, they’ve managed to make the male lead nowhere near as irritating as Renton first was, the setting is glorious and the explosions just as dazzling rainbow-hued as I wanted.  I had a lot of fun watching this episode even though the Nirvash hasn’t made an appearance yet – it’s still the same world of E7 that I fell in love with.  Those neon-green sky surfing trails, the abundance of bright colours and the character designs – the aesthetic is there and looks even more polished now!

Yes the production on this series is excellent, from the smooth, technicoloured animation and snappy direction to the awesome soundtrack and competent voice acting, it’s all looking very good for E7 Ao from this opening episode.  Of course it’s difficult to judge just from the 1st episode (Xam’d had an even better first episode and look how that show panned out) but I remain optimistic about the show.

There was never any doubt that I’d be watching Eureka Seven Ao, so I’m very glad that this episode was legitimately entertaining!

Ginga e Kickoff! (Kickoff to the Galaxy!)

You know as first episodes of kiddie sports shows go, this wasn’t all that bad – I didn’t feel any of the usual eye-rolling boredom that usually accompanies trying these kinds of shows.  Granted that’s not to say it’s a good show, but it is nowhere near as bad as I was expecting.  The main wee boy is pretty annoying in that is seems that the child is constantly on a sugar rush, but he’s well-tempered by the rest of the cast.  The football element seems to be well handled from what I can tell (I know next to nothing about football) and the show does seem to have plenty of sincere energy.

The character designs childish and brightly coloured, but the animation is nicely handled with good attention paid to movement – there is certainly more so than there was in Knight in the Area!  Kobayashi Yu is playing the male lead, and she’s gone a wee bit too far in conveying his excitable personality, so it’s bordering on irritating.  Otherwise the voice acting is pretty good.

I’m obviously not keeping this on, but it seems like a pretty decent kiddie show.

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan (The Bread of Happiness)

Oh holy god, this was such a chore to sit though!  What the hell was the point to this??  I know it was based on an RPG, but the way the characters just wander about from place to place, flogging bread and engaging people in banal conversation, was just beyond tedious!!  The only way to tolerate this show is to play the “replace BREAD with PENIS” game proposed by Scamp – I know that was the only way I made it out of this episode without causing myself permanent injury.  The characters are just so bland it’s actually offensive; what the hell is Rick putting in his bread that turns the population of the island into brainless fangirls??  Also for a show about bread there wasn’t a whole lot of time spent on how bread is made, or just what special way of baking Rick employs to make his bread taste so damn addictive.  A lot more time was spent on the three vapid females cackling with glee over the amount of cash they were raking in thanks to Rick’s delicious bread.  Rawrgh! Why does this show exist?

The animation isn’t even all that good.  The characters are really plastic and don’t really move in a convincing manner (this is amplified a hundred times over in that freakish ED – sweet Christ that was nightmare fuel).  I was also fascinated by how the girls skirts appeared to be either starched beyond all reason, or just moulded from cardboard, because those things do not so much as flutter when they move.  On the voice acting front, all the girls in this sound brain damaged to some degree, and for some incomprehensible reason Hiroshi Kamiya is voicing two characters – he actually has a conversation with himself at one point!

So no, not watching more of this – I think some of my brain cells committed suicide in protest  when watching this drivel.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2012 3:29 pm

    I never watched E7 so I’ll have to pass on E7AO. Maybe someday.

    Ginga: It *was* decent. I think you frame it properly by pointing to it as a kids show. Thinking that way, it had some nice action and seemed to be going in an interesting direction. It is a bit of a shame that this is the only show that will deal with the issue of women’s soccer after Japan’s recent victory, though. They do deal with it plainly, but in a kids show they can’t do so with any subtlety.

    BREAD: Heh, heh. I haven’t seen this, but with all of the intense negative reactions, I’m quite tempted to. I have too many brain cells anyway.

    • April 15, 2012 10:44 pm

      You sould give E7 a go when you can – wonderful series, at its heart it’s just a very sincere love story, but all the gorgeous world setting is also well worth checking out, even if you’re not a mecha fan.

      I’d say just watch the 1st episode of BREAD and be amazed by how banal it is, but I’m not that mean.

  2. April 15, 2012 10:02 pm

    I can’t really make any predictions about E7 Ao and feel comfortable about it, but it did everything right that you’d expect…the lead kid is likeable enough, it was very pretty-shiny with an excellent soundtrack (Koji Nakamura FTW!) and some nice little details to get fans of the original interested. It really is good to have it back on our screens. Can’t wait to see what they do with it.

    • April 15, 2012 10:46 pm

      It is very difficult to gauge what E7Ao is going to do, and I as a big fan of the original I am still quite apprehensive about the show. However this opening episode was about as textbook as you could imagine – really well presented with a great soundtrack, so I’m definitely not as worried as I had been before hand!

  3. April 16, 2012 6:12 am

    Bread the animation failed so hardcore, but it was fun replacing the word bread with something else! I used cocaine and it made everything so hilarious because the people were all addicted to Ricks drugs…or you can use anything else you wanted ahaha and the ED? CREEPY! THEIR EYES NEVER BLINKED….WHAT THE…So ya…fail anime about bread making.

    Eureka Seven Ao on the other hand was awesome! Just what I wanted in a first episode! Oh ok maybe not everything I wanted…it was missing a very important mecha battle, but this works just as well and the new characters Ao and Naru are a lot of fun to watch! Hopefully Ao is somewhat better than Renton? Then again I expect Ao to freak out and panic here and there.

    • April 16, 2012 6:39 pm

      Ah yes drugs would also work well for the replacement game – anything but fecking bread! The ED was just plain terrifying – who on earth thought that was good idea!?

      Yes we were missing the requistite mecha battle, but I’m sure many of those are in store! I also like the characters so far – hopefully Ao remains likeable.

  4. April 17, 2012 2:32 pm

    hahaha, Bones put my fear of having another season of renton to rest *i learnt to like him, but only at the end parts, so I fear my first episodes and most episodes of E7 s2 wud be rather the same as s1*
    I seriously quite like ao. And to think that Eureka is his mother?? i am waiting to be entertained with a nice story plot! Oh, but I missed the alice in wonderland gang! 😀

    • April 17, 2012 6:25 pm

      That little flashback to Eureka was a nice touch to tie the two shows together – can’t wait to find out more about Ao’s parentage.

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