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First Impressions: Summer 2014 – Bakumatsu Rock, Free! Eternal Summer and Locodol

July 3, 2014

summerban

Okay season has started and it is off to a pretty positive start (although I would say that given I’m the target audience for the first few shows).  Lets get started with bishies and idols shall we – Bakumatsu Rock, Free! Eternal Summer and Locodol.

Bakumatsu Rock

Okay so here we have a world where the Shinsengumi are government approved cheesy idols who throw fancy concerts and our main characters are free-spirited bishies who just want to play their banned rock music.  I am completely on board with this ridiculous concept.  Bakumatsu Rock can hardly be called intellectually stimulating, but I was surprised that it does have something to say about how manipulative the idol industry can be of its fans.  The fact concert tickets are rarely awarded to the lower classes despite them being encouraged to spend all their money on fixed lotteries as a method of social control is hilarious, but still more than I was really expecting from such a shallow show.

Of course the best part of the show was when the power of rock (or J-pop with guitars if we’re being honest) caused our main characters to spontaneously lose their shirts and summon guitars & drums out of thin air as they turned into weird CG versions of themselves.  Yes, if the rest of the show continues to be that gloriously cheesy this will be the best show of the season!

On the negative side the budget clearly isn’t wonderful, the main character is of the generic stupid & loud, but well-meaning variety and there wasn’t enough time spent on hilarious concert scenes.  But these aren’t really horrible negatives and I will certainly be watching more of Bakumatsu Rock.

Free! Eternal Summer

Free! is back~!  First episode basically just served to reacquaint us with our cast and set up the challenges still facing Iwatobi’s swim-club, i.e.: the fact it can’t seem to attract any new members.  There’s lots of the usual stripping and swimming and boys being impossibly cute while Gou oggles all that fine musculature – business as usual for Free!  New fella introduced right at the end seems to be a friend of Rin’s (lord knows he needs more friends) – interested to see what kind of personality he has.

New OP & ED animation are fecking glorious, but can’t say I’m a massive fan of either of the song.  The ED is some sort of work of genius, but I still think the 1st OP edges it out…….all the cosplay and hip thrusting is brilliant though.

So yeap, I’m very happy to have Free! back, just hope they try to keep some focus on the sport side of things rather than go all out on the generic high-school hi-jinks KyoAni so love.

Locodol

This wasn’t so much bad as inordinately boring and somewhat disturbing.  I can’t say I find watching a rather dim high-school girl being blackmailed into performing as an idol too appealing, especially when it is her uncle doing the blackmailing.  Whole thing just felt a bit wrong and skeevy.

Other than that less than endearing element, the rest of the show just lacks any kind of personality.  I don’t enjoy idol shows and this doesn’t seem to a particularly good example anyway given its meh production values and generic voice acting.  Dropped.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2014 2:23 am

    Bakamatsu Rock is definitely one of the more ridiculous anime titles I’ve ever seen – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I -am- a fan of Sengoku Basara, after all.
    And I agree, the OP and ED themes for Free! aren’t as good as those from the first season, but otherwise, the second season is clearly going to deliver the same kinds of things its fans already know and love. … Needless to say, I doubt I’ll have too many complaints there.

    • July 4, 2014 10:04 pm

      Bring on the ridiculous, at least that stands out from the crowd!

      Free 2 isn’t looking for new fans, it is all about pandering to the existing fanbase – I’m happy to be pandered to, so also have zero complaints!

  2. miss1madness permalink
    July 6, 2014 5:18 pm

    As a fan of Rin, the ED gave me exactly what I wanted, Rin dancing. >w_>

    Anyway, B-Rock is exactly the kind of cheesiness I like to see, weird plot, weird characters, screw history we do what we want and fun to be had.

    • July 7, 2014 8:32 pm

      Rin dancing is genius – I wish the song was catchier though.

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