First Impressions: Winter 2014 – Tonari no Seki-kun and Nobunaga The Fool
Tonari no Seki-kun – The Master of Killing Time
First of the seasons shorts then, and it is pretty fun way to spend 5 minutes. Simple, straight-forward concept of a boy who creates fantastic games at his desk & never gets caught, while the girl sitting next to him gets increasingly neurotic, and it is done well.
The animation is simplistic but makes good use of angles and swooping cuts to make things seem more exciting than just watching a fella play dominoes. The soundtrack also helps, as does listening to HanaKana get more and more excited as Seki-kun’s neighbour. The OP & ED are pretty clever, with Seki-kun framed as providing the animation in the OP and the music in the ED.
Basically Tonari no Seki-kun is entertaining – its short run time means it doesn’t outstay its welcome or milk the extremely basic concept too much. Looking forward to seeing more.
Nobunaga The Fool
Surprisingly this wasn’t as balls to wall mental as I was hoping – it is actually a rather more standard opening episode than I was expecting. I enjoyed it, but feel that there are a lot of missed opportunities for trademark Kawamori randomness – it is certainly present, but just much more restrained than I was hoping for. Outside of the setting itself, the plot is nothing we haven’t seen before – it actually reminded me a bit of The Vision of Escaflowne with the mecha in a feudal setting & girl from another world having visions before appearing in front of the protagonist. Kind of hope the story starts to distinguish itself a bit more – would be a shocking shame if it didn’t with such a random assortment of historical figures populating the cast!
I was a touch disappointed with the production too actually, the character designs are a bit overly shiny – those pretty Yone Kazuki designs didn’t really translate to animation very well for this show, which is a shame because they can look awesome – just look at Hakuouki (terribly dull show, but looked glorious). However the voice acting did not disappoint – Mamoru Miyano is wonderful as ever as Nobunaga, as is Tomokazu Sugita as Leonardo di Vinci – I’d probably watch this show purely to listen to them.
There is lots to enjoy in Nobunga The Fool, but this wasn’t the most stunning of opening episodes – hopefully they step their game up next week.