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Spring 2012: First Impressions (Hyouka & AKB0048)

May 1, 2012

Finally, the final First Impression post of this season – this season has been so spread out!  Anyway, to wrap things up we have bored high-schoolers  and wannabe idols……….Hyouka and AKB0048.

Hyouka

Okay so I’m less than amazed by Hyouka – it just doesn’t have a lot of depth and the mysteries are rather pathetic at present.  I just don’t really like the characters right now, and it doesn’t help that they are basically expys of other KyoAni characters.  Houtaro and Satoshi are basically carbon copies of Ozaki & Sunohara from Clannad (they’ve even got the same fecking seiyuu!), and Eru looks exactly like Mio from K-ON! while acting like a much nicer, more moe version of Haruhi.  I guess I’m just a bit disappointed at how shallow Hyouka feels right now – this concept has plenty of potential to be interesting, but it feels like they aren’t even trying.

On the positive side, the animation is fecking glorious.  In all seriousness this is one of the best looking shows airing right now – the quality and attention to detail is just spectacular.  Sure the character designs are just generic moeblobs, but they are lovingly animated and there is so much movement going on – just have a look at the opening scene with Houtaro walking past all those students petitioning for their clubs; every single one of those characters are doing something different.  The OP animation is also gorgeous with a wonderful ripple-effect being used.  Voice acting & music are also pretty high quality.

So yeah, Hyouka is a stunning looking show, but there is just nothing going on under the surface yet.  There needs to be serious work done on the characters & mystery element to have this show even approach being interesting.

AKB0048

Oh dear.  I knew I wouldn’t enjoy this, but I didn’t expect to be bored while watching the first episode!  There is something wrong when a show has idols as revolutionary figures fighting police forces with stun gun hair-accessories and light sabers and I am actually nodding off mid-way through!  The thing about AKB0048 is was that I was expecting something demented, brightly coloured and full of lulz, but have instead got something which appears to be taking itself fairly seriously while also having a ridiculous premise – it just doesn’t really work for me.

I can’t say I’m impressed by the animation – the CGI dancing was beyond creepy, and what the hell is up with all the heart light reflections on the girl’s hair & eyes……..scary stuff.  I did like the world design a lot though, and those ‘No Idols’ posters were brilliant.  Voice acting was a bit on the weak side, but at least the girls are trying to inject some personality into their characters I suppose.  Music was brilliantly cheese-tastic as expected.

So I’m bailing on AKB0048 – I don’t think it even has any potential as Terribad.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2012 8:37 pm

    There is something wrong when a show has idols as revolutionary figures fighting police forces with stun gun hair-accessories and light sabers and I am actually nodding off mid-way through!

    My thoughts exactly and I didn’t enjoyed it either… It was just bad in a ridiculous way that I can’t comprehend it what so ever. Idols and Warfare just don’t mix, which is why Xenoglossia is a big failure.

    Also, the CG almost made me vomit… it looks bad and weird.

    • May 1, 2012 9:35 pm

      I would have enjoyed it more if it went balls to the wall mad with the ridiculous battle idols setting, but it’s kinda meh and uninspired as it stands.

  2. May 1, 2012 8:49 pm

    AKB0048 doesnt have potential of Terribad? Impoxible!

    • May 1, 2012 9:36 pm

      It’s amazing I know – I was fully expecting fantastic terribad, but didn’t get it.

  3. May 1, 2012 9:56 pm

    These “Hyouka is every KyoAni show ever” post everywhere are starting to get tiresome.

    It feels like KyoAni is so famous, that everyone feels obliged to force out some “clever” discovery about how the “KyoAni’s style” influenced it.

    Okazaki was a snarky prankster with daddy issues, who had a habit of getting involved in the personal drama of various girls out of curiousity. Houtaro is a bored energy-saving Sherlock-wannabe.

    Sunohara’s two memorable traits were that he is a huge idiot, and that he is unsuccessfully trying to get hooked up with every girl. Satoshi already has a girl crushing on him that he apparently rejected or at least willingly ignores, and he did nothing idiotic until now. (other than rejecting that cute girl :P)

    And describing ANYONE as “a nicer version of Haruhi”, makes as much sense as “a whimpier version of Kamina”, or “a subtle version of Houjiin Kyoma”. I mean, yeah, she follows the basic Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, like dozens of female leads, but that’s it.

    Besides, it’s a faithful adaptation of a 2001 light novel to begin with.😛.

    • May 1, 2012 10:11 pm

      I guess I’m just trying to project some sort of personality onto the empty husks that are the cast of Hyouka at the moment – KyoAni’s back catalogue just so happens to have a plethora of pre-packaged archetypes waiting to be picked…..the fact there are characters which also share a seiyuu helps the association greatly.

      These are just my knee-jerk reactions, Hyouka may well get better if it makes its characters a bit more distinctive; but at the moment it just feels completely superficial.

      • May 2, 2012 1:19 pm

        Yeah, it really wasn’t particularly unique, but I think it wasn’t excessively generic, either. just as much as about half of the season’s shows.

        Sory for lashing out at this exact post, I just have the feeling that all these posts in the ‘sphere, like this, are more about KyoAni being infamous, than anything really notable about the show itself. Like, if KyoAni would have happened to make Kimi to Boku, everyone would be ranting about how it is EXACTLY LIKE K-on with boys (while now it’s just “a moe show with boys”) if they would have made Apollon, they would be all about how it’s another KyoAni music show, but with Sentarou as a male Haruhi, or if they would have made Sankarea then Rea would be the “Mio clone”, or if they made Acchi Kocchi, then Tsukimi would be constantly called out for looking like a Konata clone.

        • May 2, 2012 4:02 pm

          I think it’s just easier to draw comparisons to other shows a studio has produced. This is especially true of smaller studios like KyoAni, where a lot of the same people are working on each series they produce – it’s hard not to see recurring themes.

          However I do agree that KyoAni, like SHAFT, are pretty infamous with a distinctive style, which makes the comparisons very easy to make and therefore loads of people jump to the same conclusions.

  4. May 2, 2012 3:21 am

    There is a lot of excellent animation this season, and yet Hyouka still managed to stand above the rest. I think it still has the potential to be a decent story as well — at least it wasn’t quite as bad as I had feared.

    As to AKB0048: I actually thought the battle concert was pretty entertaining. There were a lot of crazy ideas in this (like that goose-shaped space ship) so I’m not willing to give it up quite yet.

    • May 2, 2012 4:05 pm

      I had high hopes for Hyouka – I actually really like KyoAni as a studio and not only for their fantastic animation team. So I’m slightly disappointed Hyouka feels a bit lacking at the moment – I am sticking it out though.

      I think the scary CGI dancing in AKB0048’s concert scene distracted me too much to really appreciated the craziness.

  5. May 2, 2012 4:39 am

    @Hyouka – For someone who haven’t liked moe I find Hyouka the right moe anime to like moe (get it?)… Or…. I fixated too much to the art and animation that I relate the other aspects of the anime similar to it’s outstanding animation …. whewwww! I hate repetition of terms

    • May 2, 2012 4:07 pm

      I was really amazed by the animation quality in Hyouka, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that if this wasn’t so pretty and technically stunning I’d have already dropped it.

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