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First Impressions: Spring 2014 – Knights of Sidonia, Mekakucity Actors and Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

April 17, 2014

springsmlLast of the first impressions and unsurprisingly I still don’t know what I want to blog……damn.  Anyway lets wrap things up with Knights of Sidonia, Mekakucity Actors and Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

Knights of Sidonia

Now this has potential.  There is some nice world-building in this first episode and they gradually reveal more snippets of information as the episode goes on rather than info-dumping at the start.  I vastly prefer this approach since it means you’re not overwhelmed with random information all at once, gradually pulling back to show more of the setting is a more organic approach and lets you build up your own idea of the world.  At the moment the characters aren’t all that interesting, the appeal is in the setting – I like the idea of a futuristic world that feels worn.  Sidonia isn’t a gleaming, metallic future metropolis at the common level – there is dirty concrete complete with peeling paint and a definite feeling of wear & tear on the space suits etc.  It feels lived in without being run-down.  Of course the pristine gleaming white surroundings reappear once you move into the upper echelons of the society handily showing the class differences without being overly explicit about it.

Now the elephant in the room is the full CGI animation, and while it is excellent on the backgrounds, mecha and aliens, the uncanny valley reigns supreme on the character animation.  CG animation just hasn’t quite reached the level were character animation works yet – not without bottomless buckets of cash and time.  The lack of expression and sameness of the design is a bit unnerving and coupled with the rather bland voice acting it makes the characters populating this world rather meh.  Hopefully things will improve once the fights kick into gear.

As it stands I’m quite interested in Sidonia – keeping on for now.

Mekakucity Actors

Sure is SHAFT.  That is the only real impression Mekakucity Actors left me with.  It is a mish-mash of SHAFTs previous styles bundled up with their favourite subject of HikiNEETs.  I wasn’t exactly bowled over.  It isn’t bad, there are some interesting elements (I have a weakness for SHAFT in general and magical eye powers) but it just doesn’t really seem to have much identity of its own.  I’d imagine if you are new to SHAFT’s style Mekakucity would be eye-catching, but when you’ve sat through most of SHAFT’s back catalogue and are pretty well acquainted with their work the impression you get is that this is SHAFT on autopilot.

I want to give the show another chance because we haven’t really been introduced to the magical eye-power group yet, so I want to see if it develops its own identity.  Otherwise not much to really get overly excited about here – it is basic SHAFT.

Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

Dear god this was BORING!  It has been a while since I was so completely bored by a show – NOTHING happened in this episode!  It is glaringly obvious that this is a game adaptation because we just followed our characters around as they spoke to NPCs, gathered ingredients and cooked up an alchemic apple tart and windmill gear in a cauldron.  Why on earth would anyone want to sit and watch such dullness?  I can’t imagine it being the most exciting thing when you’re playing the game, but it is ten times worse as an anime.

Characters are bland as hell too, and midway through the episode the girl’s voice really started to grate on my nerves – that kind of squeaky genkiness is one of my pet peeves.  The aesthetics are nice though, I do like the costume and world design, but there is just no real visual flair utilised and the show just seems to be bland incarnate.



Okay think that is the first impressions posts done…..nothing is jumping out at me to blog it so I guess I’ll decide when something does!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2014 12:58 pm

    I’m a huge fan of the Knights of Sidonia manga, and am happy with the first episode of the anime. I agree with you on the 3D animation, I’d say it’s better than that of other recent 3D series, but the movement and expressions really don’t seem natural.

    I’m giving Mekakucity Actors a chance, since it stands out from the season’s other shows visually (even if it’s very typical SHAFT), and it seems as though there’s a lot of (hopefully) interesting characters yet to be introduced.

    Atelier Escha & Logy… well, it seemed as though it’d be better than Shining Bread, but that’s not much of a compliment. 😛

  2. April 18, 2014 12:32 am

    She made an Apple Tart .. In a giant cauldron! How can you not be entertained by that? Okay, maybe this one isn’t going to translate that well to anime. 🙂

  3. April 23, 2014 12:16 am

    Atelier Escha & Logy was dreadful, and I too can’t stand voices like hers. Even if the animation was pretty and the world interesting, it’s just not attractive enough with characters like that and a non-existent plot.

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