First Impressions: Spring 2014 – Captain Earth, Daimidaler and Akuma no Riddle
Sure is a Bones Mecha Show. While not quite as immediately identifiable as a Sunrise Mecha Show, Bones Mecha Shows do have certain hallmarks that you pick up on when you’ve seen enough of them. I was sort of expecting more flamboyance from the Star Driver team, but this was fairly grounded (although it is early days and the antagonists are promising in that department). The launch sequence for the titular robot is one of the most convoluted I’ve seen in a while – cool with great attention to detail, but I really hope they don’t have to go through the entire thing every episode! Characters aren’t immediately likeable, but nor are they immediately irritating – which is always a bonus. Can’t say I’m hugely hooked by this first episode, but there is loads of potential here and they didn’t seem in any rush to reveal all their cards right off the bat.
Production is as crisp and smooth as you’d expect from Bones. Enemy mecha design is very Star Driver, whereas the Captain Earth one is quite bulky with lots of combining parts. Voice acting is decent and I really liked the insert song. Definitely keeping on, think I’m going to enjoy this.
OP song is the best bit – just watch that, no need to sit through the rest of the episode. Daimidaler could have been hilarious, but it just doesn’t push the envelope far enough and just ends up being a bit pervy and unremarkable. This is a huge pity because there is loads of bonkers ideas here, but not enough creativity in the writing or production to make the most of them. This is a robot with masses of hair powered by perversion. The antagonists are called the Penguin Empire and they have rather prominent ‘front tails’. There is an organisation called Prince Beauty Parlour. I should have giggled my way through the entire episode, but instead was left underwhelmed and mostly unamused as there is nothing clever about the fanservice or writing.
Disappointed – dropped.
Akuma no Riddle
For this being a show about a school full of crazy lesbian assassins this first episode was pretty damn tame. The cast seems to consist solely of a spectrum of yandere archetypes, except for the target who is cast from the generic reverse harem lead mould, yet somehow there was no actual violence in this episode. Lots of posturing and crazy faces, but no meaningful threat – it’s all a bit camp actually……especially when you have Sugita hamming it up over there as a dice obsessed handler. I would have preferred this being either super serious, or super gratuitous, but this middle of the road approach is somewhat dull. Dropped.