Autumn 2013: First Impressions – White Album 2 & Magi S2: The Kingdom of Magic
White Album 2
I am quite surprised by how solid this first episode was. It was well paced and spent its time making the characters feel like actual people – sure the main fella is a bit on the overly perfect side, but he has enough neurosis that he avoids being irritating – White Album 2 already scoring multiple ticks over that other White Album shows with its horrible characters. If I was in anyway in the mood for a VN romance show White Album 2 could be worth hanging onto as it avoids all the usual fanservice crap that immediately turns me off – it actually came across as well written!
That being said, the narration at the start of the show clearly indicated that this is going to go fullblown drama at some stage and I’m really not in the mood for that right now. It is a good sign that the show seems like it is going to take a bit of time to develop the characters and slowly bring them together before chucking them through the drama meat-grinder, but given I’m not really a fan of this genre at the best of times, I’m not willing to sit through it. However if this is your kind of series, White Album 2 looks to be a very good example with excellent attention to detail in the sound design and backgrounds – not for me, but definitely not a bad show.
Magi S2: The Kingdom of Magic
I had issues with the anime adaptation of Magi – I love the manga, but the anime doesn’t have the same feel to it. I was hoping that the second season would avoid the same fate, but nope, the first episode immediately opens with a flashforward sequence that spoils the entire upcoming arc….WTF? I have no clue who thought that was a good idea, but they need a good smack over the head! Aside from that hiccup this was your standard connecting episode between major arcs and does the job of reintroducing the cast and world well. The upcoming Magnostadt arc balloons to epic proportions and very Aladdin centric so spending time with the other characters first is nice.
Production values look about the same as the first season, and I’m not really enthralled by the new OP or ED (although the Aladdin x Ali Baba shipping in the ED is hilarious). Overall not really the start I was hoping for, but will continue to hope for better things to come…..probably against my better sense. At least I have the manga!