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Autumn 2013: First Impressions – Yowamushi Pedal and Tokyo Ravens

October 9, 2013

autumnanimeRight two different types of shounen series now – sport with Yowamushi Pedal and supernatural fighting with Tokyo Ravens.

Yowamushi Pedal

Yay shounen sports anime!  And this one is off to a much better start than Ace of Diamond thankfully.  Yowamushi Pedal has the basic sports anime formula down – atypical character with unpolished potential in whatever sport joins established team/club and training/competition entertainment ensues.  In this case our lead character is a massive otaku who bikes 45km to and from Akihabara to save precious money for more otaku goods, and like most geeks has absolutely no desire to deal with any sports clubs.  I can’t say I much like the lead character, he’s a bit weak and not all that memorable, but the side characters definitely seem interesting.  This first episode ticked all the right boxes and progressed in a solid, well balanced manner – definitely off to an excellent start.

In terms of production there is some CG on the cycling scenes, but it’s not glaringly obvious and actually works pretty well.  The character designs may not be Kuroko no Basuke levels of bishie-ness, but they are at least visually interesting with lots of variety.  The voice acting is also great, and the OP & ED work well.  Definitely keeping this on for the time being, it has lots of potential to be great.

Tokyo Ravens

While hardly bad, this first episode wasn’t exactly thrilling.  I did like how they set the world up, giving us glimpses of the way things are without info-dumping excessively.  But there is no getting away from the fact that this is well worn ground and nothing about Tokyo Ravens really felt new or fresh to me.  In the shows defence it does put some effort into giving the characters a bit of depth before launching them into the action, but it is standard stuff accompanied by a metric ton of blushing.  The only thing that was really memorable is that this is the first show this season with an actual kiss in it – we’ve had loads of ecchi fanservice, but this is the first kiss!

The production is decent, (but the blushing was really odd looking most of the time) and the voice acting is actually really good.  I also quite liked the OP & ED, but ultimately Tokyo Ravens is rather forgettable.  A better first episode than Strike the Blood, but I’m still not motivated to keep this on – dropped.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2013 8:05 pm

    I was very impressed with Yowamushi Pedal, and I didn’t mind the main character either – I like his dedication to anime. 😀 It definitely has a similar setup/feel to most other sports series I’ve watched, but the sport itself (cycling) is new to me anime-wise, so hopefully I’ll pick up some useless information along the way. 😛

    Literally just this minute watched the first ep of Tokyo Ravens, and I can’t decide what to do with it. I’m supposed to be a fan of supernatural/fantasy series, but so far I’ve been dropping more than I’ve picked up for being too generic! Think it’ll be a toss up between this and Unbreakable Machine Doll.

    • October 9, 2013 9:02 pm

      Yeah cycling is a new one to me as well – makes a nice change from the usual slew of baseball shows.

      I was a bit conflicted by Tokyo Ravens – it is harmless enough and seems fairly standard and watchable….but I’m just a bit burned out this season. I may go back to it if I hear its worth it.

  2. October 10, 2013 1:04 am

    I thought about giving Pedal a try, but honestly, I don’t know if it’s something I’ll stick with. Tokyo Ravens was interesting, but I don’t know if it’s going to be interesting enough. The whole cousins-childhood friend love triangle could get awkward. I’m also wondering if the animation will start to falter in the next few episodes.

    • October 10, 2013 7:02 pm

      YowaPedal probably had one of the better opening episodes of the season – didn’t do anything wrong in my eyes.

      Tokyo Ravens was okay, it’s fairly standard, but again didn’t do much wrong for its genre. My watching list is way too crowded for it though.

  3. October 10, 2013 1:47 am

    It will be interesting to see how next week goes for Ace of Diamond and Yowamushi Pedal; based on the ending of this week’s episodes, both shows will have their first true “competition” episodes. I agree that Pedal episode 1 was more interesting than Ace of Diamond, but I am planning to watch both second episodes to see how they handle the most important part of a shounen sports anime.

    Although Tokyo Ravens wasn’t spectacular, it was a decent start, at least until the blonde girl started performing fellatio on a chocolate covered banana.

    • October 10, 2013 7:04 pm

      Yeah the next episodes will be crunch time for the new sports shows – hopefully one of them pull it off.

      That banana fellatio had be rolling my eyes, pretty much decided to drop the show at that point.

  4. neetchama permalink
    October 10, 2013 6:58 am

    I completely fell in love with Sakamichi. I can totally relate to his ‘no one else around me loves anime’ problems. And that Hime Hime song was probably one of the funniest things this season. All the other characters have been pretty interesting too, and Imaizumi is EXTREMELY moe.

    Seeing how I usually prefer sports anime with slightly quirkier premises (Chihayafuru, Hikaru No Go), this is my cup of tea. Ace of Diamond was good too though. Eijun wasn’t the best lead ever, but the first episode on the whole was still pretty good for me at least.

    • October 10, 2013 7:07 pm

      I can also completely relate to having no one to share your interests with around you – thank god for the internet! But I still found Sakamichi a bit weak as a character – I’m sure he’ll improve though.

      I found Ace of Diamond a bit too obnoxious for my tastes – hoping the next episode is better.

  5. October 26, 2013 11:06 pm

    Anyone know where i can download HIME HIME song ? i really want to hear this song so much T.T


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