Autumn 2013: First Impressions – Arpeggio of Blue Steel & Non Non Biyori
Arpeggio of Blue Steel ~Ars Nova~
Okay lets get the obvious out of the way first – yes this is entirely CG, yes the characters do look like they wandered out of the Uncanny Valley, and yes it is sort of off-putting, but it isn’t a deal breaker for me. One day I hope we can get a show that is entirely CGI and not have it look like pants – unfortunately Arpeggio of Blue Steel is not that show. The CG could have worked well since the battleship girls are meant to be somewhat ‘otherly’, but the normal humans are just as blank looking with stilted movements, so the show just looks badly animated and unappealing on a purely aesthetic level. But I could have gotten past that if the show was engaging enough….
Unfortunately Arpeggio of Blue Steel also suffers from uninspired writing – which is extremely frustrating because there is good stuff to be had here! I like the idea of the Fleet of Fog fencing humanity off into their island states and severing international communications, and I like the idea of giant battleships & submarines being personified as women with distinct personalities. However this first episode really didn’t capitalise on how interesting this world could be, and just plodded along following the main characters as they meet for the first time without actually allowing the viewer to properly engage with the cast. I don’t really understand the main fellas motivations – why did he happily chuck his former life away to run off and go rogue with a cute submarine? We aren’t given a chance to learn anything about his personality or background, and that is really a terrible shame.
There is potential here and I am willing to give it another chance, but this first episode was just really poor and uninspired in addition to having rather janky animation. Giving it the 3 episode trial.
Non Non Biyori
Our latest instalment of cute girls do sweet fuck all anime – I nearly fell asleep midway through the episode. I’m sure that if you like panning shots of the idyllic Japanese countryside accompanied by terrible recorder playing that you’ll love Non Non Biyori, but for those of you that may want some interesting character interaction or comedy – look elsewhere because it is thin on the ground here.
Now I’m probably not the best person to ask about these types of show – I really do not like iyashikei shows, after all I’m a girl who found ARIA dull as dishwater – but even I can see that this isn’t a particularly engaging example. Beyond the pretty scenery there is nothing to really grab onto – all the characters are shallow and dull, and the show fails to capitalise on the fish-out-of-water scenario dumping a girl from Tokyo into this rural school should have created. I honestly don’t see the point to Non Non Biyori, all I know that is if I ever need help falling asleep, I’ll stick this on.