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First Impressions: Spring 2014 – Ping Pong The Animation, Nanana’s Buried Treasure and Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun

April 13, 2014

springsmlMoving swiftly on to some more interesting stuff now – Ping Pong: The Animation, Nanana’s Buried Treasure and Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun.

Ping Pong: The Animation

Yuasa sure does know how to use animation to its fullest.  There is fantastic use of colour, angles, framing and sound in this episode – it may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it packs much more depth into this first episode than you’d first think.  There are layers here – the characters are complex, the world they inhabit is narrow, but focused as the lens we are looking though is completely fixed on the characters we are following.

You need to pay attention to what the director is doing with the animation as well as the subtitles of the script and acting.  Watching this first episode of Ping Pong was rewarding and interesting – I massively enjoyed it!  The show doesn’t seem to have much of a budget, but the rough choppy animation suits the action scenes pretty well – pity they didn’t have enough budget to make the OP more interesting, they settled for cutting up some of the better action scenes and picking a great song.

Definitely keeping on.

Nanana’s Buried Treasure

Right on the other side of the spectrum is out other noitaminA show and it is all glossy, smooth animation and boobs.  For the genre Nanana isn’t all that bad, it was certainly watchable if rather unremarkable.  MC-kun seems to get over the fact the ghost of a hot girl is squatting in his room pretty damn quickly.  I don’t think I’d be as calm to be honest, but I don’t live in an anime so what do I know?

Nanana seems like it will be harmless fluff, there isn’t really much here to get overly excited about or annoyed over – it is very safe, middle of the road, LN crap produced well.  Will probably keep it on till the end unless it gets obnoxious with the fanservice.

Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun

Wow.  I am in awe of how abysmal this first episode was.  It takes a special amount of talent to make a show this bad, and I’m not really sure where to start!  First off the most obvious problem is the animation….or lack thereof in a lot of scenes.  There is so much cost-cutting and static images going on it is kind of amazing.  It doesn’t actually look terrible in that there aren’t many off-model shots, but the lack of actual animation is jarring in places since it starts to resemble someone flipping the pages of a picture book!

So yeah the animation is terrible, but that is only the start.  Then we have the characters and the plot….again, wow.  If the world sounded stupid in the synopsis, fully realised it is even worse.  This is a world were the Meji restoration never happened, so we have lots of traditional Japanese element…..but with bonus steam-powered mecha.  Yeap.  Steam-powered mecha that can only be piloted by our virginal main character……who is a gang leader, and who yells all his lines.  And there are loads of scantily clad women, and the granny gets her own cleavage-tastic ninja outfit…..and oh my god this show is DUMB!!

I’m watching another episode.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2014 6:10 pm

    Your correct, and i’m definitely watching another episode as well.
    I wasn’t watching ping pong the animation for the animation but more for the actual humour. Maybe I’m weird but I loved those ‘complex characters’ to the point I was laughing my head off. However the animation was transfixing.🙂

    • April 14, 2014 10:04 pm

      I usually end up watching Yuasa series for the animation and thought provoking writing – the man creates very interesting shows. Ping Pong isn’t as immediately gripping as his other stuff being a rather standard sports series underneath it all, but it is still interesting.

      • April 15, 2014 9:45 am

        Yh, it is interesting. I don’t watch a lot of Yuasa series, I’ve only watched one or two, so I’m not sure if I can compare ping pong the animation to other works by Yuasa. But it seems really good, well despite the kind of borish opening and some scenes that they completely whitewash and forget about animation. I don’t know why but it reminds me of the original Evangelion neon genesis. Animation wise- not story…🙂

  2. April 13, 2014 6:11 pm

    Reblogged this on MEXU2D and commented:
    READ AND BE EDUCATED🙂

  3. April 13, 2014 7:11 pm

    Ping Pong is off to a great start.

    I’m hoping they are planning to go back and come up with better OP animation. Sometimes the OP sequence isn’t quite ready in time for the first episode, so they fall back to something else. Aside from that I loved it.

    • April 14, 2014 10:06 pm

      That would be nice, it is a great song so I’d like to see some more creative animation used. But I fear the budget isn’t really fantastic for Ping Pong, so I’d imagine they’ll prioritise content.

  4. April 14, 2014 7:25 pm

    I ended up going with Haikyuu!! over Ping Pong for unashamedly shallow, character-design-based reasons.😛

    Quite liked Nanananana, though I’m hoping it’ll focus on treasure hunting and mystery solving over ecchi harem antics, and it’ll suffer in my rankings if it doesn’t live up to those hopes.

    In a weaker season I’d have kept Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun on for a while longer, just out of morbid curiosity… that first episode was something special.

    • April 14, 2014 10:09 pm

      I’m watching both – Haikyuu satisfies my love of fujoshi-bait sports shows, and keeping Ping Pong because it’s very interesting and I can’t not watch a Yuasa show!

      Somehow doubt Nananananana is going to break away from its LN roots and focus on the more interesting elements of the plot – braced for boobs and shiny bums.

      I’m only going to watch another episode of Dai Shogun, unless it proves to be even worse than the first episode – then I think I’ll have to stay on board, love me some terribad.

  5. April 16, 2014 3:49 am

    Yeah, I couldn’t finish the first episode of Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun. Stephen King gives the only good reason to watch or read stories that bad: “If this thing can get published, I must have a shot too!”

    Ping Pong is receiving some great reviews, so I might pick it up. I rather like the characters in Nanana’s Buried Treasure. I figure that, as long as they come up with a good plot, I’m all in!

    • April 16, 2014 10:45 pm

      I’m looking at this 2nd episode of Dai Shogun and wondering if I’m brave enough to open the file……may wait till I’m drunk.

      Ping Pong is either your kind of thing or it will completely underwhelm you – I liked it a lot though. If Nanananana can avoid the usual LN adaptation pitfalls it will be solid, not really holding my breath though.

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