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First Impressions: Summer 2014 – Argevollen, Tokyo Ghoul and Glasslip

July 4, 2014

summerban

Continuing on with mecha, violence and chickens – Argevollen, Tokyo Ghoul and Glasslip.

Argevollen

While not the worst opening episode for a mecha show, this was hardly the most exciting one either.  Argevollen sticks to the standard mecha tropes and it does them fairly competently – extra credit for having the protagonist falling into the cockpit of the super-advanced mecha be a trained pilot and soldier already (even if he is a newbie).  That still doesn’t really distract from the fact there isn’t really much to get hyped or excited about here – there’s nothing wrong with the show, but at the moment there isn’t that extra something to mark it out as different.

I did enjoy watching the robot drop kick the enemy mech in the chest though, and the red new-model quadrupedal jumping mechs were pretty cool – however I am mystified by why a rather standard looking wall is considered a difficult line of defence to penetrate, doesn’t this world have aircraft?

All in all a rather run of the mill start to a mecha series, will be watching a few more episodes to see if it develops a bit more of a unique personality.

Tokyo Ghoul

Now this was an attention grabbing first episode – Tokyo Ghoul has buckets of potential in both its story and visuals.  I really enjoyed how the show follows our naive main character as he falls down the rabbit-hole into a much darker and more dangerous world through pure misfortune.  It is bad enough that he had an absolutely terrifying near-death experience with a cannibalistic she-demon, but it is aftermath that is truly harrowing to consider.  Imagine your horror to realise that all your normal foods have become completely unpalatable and you’re now craving human flesh – that you are no longer human, but a creature of nightmares – a Ghoul.

I’m very interested in the Ghouls – they’re not mindless killing machines, but rather appear to be completely normal humans for most of the time, but they have their own social hierarchy with territories, like most predatory animals.  It is a completely separate world lurking beneath the surface of the mundane life of the city and it is hard to pick the Ghouls out when they’re not displaying the give-away red eyes.  Having the monsters be so close to humans makes them more frightening.  However I don’t think Tokyo Ghoul will be diving far into the psychological aspect of the horror element since it seems to be more of an action orientated series.

Overall a very promising show – great animation, interesting direction and a promising plot.  Definitely watching more.

Glasslip

Oh wow, was this ever dull as fuck!  I’m actually shocked by how utterly devoid of anything approaching interesting this first episode was – it completely forgot about its only unique point too as glass blowing was barely mentioned in passing!  This is like some unholy blend of previous PA Works shows with all of the soul sucked out of it – it probably has most in common with Tari Tari and True Tears – Tari Tari for the dull as bricks characters and True Tears for the random chickens.  It is unforgivable to spend the majority of your first episode doing bugger all, while randomly freeze-framing and flashing up character names!  Give me something to latch onto – make the village interesting like in Nagi no Asukara, have the characters be vibrant and memorable like in Hanasaku Iroha or at least present your gimmick front and centre like Tari Tari.  This completely soulless presentation of the daily lives of a bunch of ordinary teenagers is BORING!!

On the animation front, well it sure is the most PA Works thing to have ever PA Works-ed.  They really have their depiction of small sea-side Japanese towns down to a pat at this stage, but they’ve gotten pretty lazy with the character designs and there was a noticeable abundance of static images in this episode, so I can’t even honestly say that at least the animation is top-notch.

Dull, lifeless and utter devoid of potential – dropped.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2014 4:33 am

    I don’t think I’ll bother to try out either Argevollen or Glasslip, as neither were on my original to-watch list this summer anyway – I’m not particularly fond of mecha anime, and I’ve already got other titles I want to watch far more for the drama/slice-of-life stuff. Tokyo Ghoul really did have a very promising first episode though. I haven’t yet found a horror anime that I’ve loved from beginning to end, so who knows – maybe Tokyo Ghoul will finally be The One.

    • July 5, 2014 11:13 pm

      Wouldn’t recommend Glasslip unless you are craving some undiluted PA Works. Argevollen has some potential, but only if you’re a mecha fan already.

      Tokyo Ghoul is off to a great start, but has a way to go before it comes near my go-to horror anime – Shiki.

      • July 5, 2014 11:51 pm

        I tried to watch Shiki a while back, but the combination of really annoying characters and artwork that definitely didn’t appeal to my personal sense of taste made that quite difficult. I watched about half the series before finally admitting defeat and dropping the thing.

        • July 6, 2014 11:16 pm

          Well at least you gave it a fair go – 2nd half is superb though, story completely freewheels into a glorious orgy of destruction and violence where you no longer know who the monsters are. I adore the show, it’s my #2 of all time and definitely the show I enjoyed blogging most.

  2. July 11, 2014 5:12 am

    After watching Germany demolish Brazil 7-1 in Belo Horizonte, I’m not in much of a ghoulish mood so I’m taking a pass on Tokyo Ghoul at the moment. And I haven’t selected which mecha show I’m going to watch yet.

    But as for Glasslip, it’s obvious that you and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum regarding this show and where it is going and how it is deciding to get there. I’ve watched the first two episodes, and the 2nd one reinforced my impressions that I formed in the first. There is something intriguing here beneath the surface and I like how understatedly restrained the presentation is. Very little is being explained…and I’m quite OK with that. I’m getting a feel from this….a feeling for phenomenon if you will. The sum of the parts just might not add up to the sum of the whole….something like that. I’m all in on this for more. If I wind up disappointed, well…..it will be more like USA losing to Belgium 2-1 in the Sweet 16 instead of beating Belgium 1-0 on Wondo’s sitter and THEN losing to Argentina 2-1 in the Elite 8. Something like that, in the blink of an eye, or in the unrequited reflection/refraction in the bottom of, the side of, the lip of a glass bottle….beer, wine, water….no matter.

    Thank you for today.

    • July 11, 2014 11:53 pm

      From the mech shows I’d say Aldnoah Zero has the most potential, but Argevollen isn’t bad either.

      I have serious problems with s’life and iyashikei shows – I just can’t handle them. Glasslip didn’t catch my attention because it lacked any kind of hook. I believe this is the first PA Works show I have actively dropped at the first episode due to that – all their previous shows had something more to spark my interest in watching at least another few episodes. Such was certainly not the case with Glasslip unfortunately.

  3. July 12, 2014 7:20 pm

    I actually decided not to follow Tokyo Ghoul in less than a minute. A woman drinking copious amounts of blood with relish was more than enough gore and horror for me! Shiki, Vampire Hunter D, Blood+, and Ghost Hunt stand as my favorite horror anime, especially Ghost Hunt. Shiki’s main problem is that it has a sagging middle with the good guys being too impotent to do anything as their town gets sucked dry. Almost dropped it, but am I glad that I stuck with it until the end!

    And I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who was bored out of his mind by Glasslip. I can’t figure out what the point of that show is.

    • July 13, 2014 3:34 pm

      Second episode of Tokyo Ghoul was sadly rather censored and a bit more action orientated than I’d like. The psychological side of the premise fascinates me a bit more than gory action scenes after-all.

      Shiki definitely had a few episodes at its mid-point where everything seemed to stagnate – but the pay-off after that made it all worthwhile.

      I would really love to know what people like about these s’lfe shows were nothing happens. However pretty they are, I just don’t see the point of watching if there is nothing interesting happening.

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