First Impressions: Summer 2014 – Rail Wars!, Sailor Moon Crystal and Shounen Hollywood
Loads of stuff out today, already falling behind! Up next are boobs on a train, maxed out nostalgia and more male idols – Rail Wars!, Sailor Moon Crystal and Shounen Hollywood.
Well this was much worse than I was expecting. I have absolutely no idea what kind of tone the show is going for – is it educational? Is it tits & ass fanservice? Is it action? God knows because it has all those things rammed in there and the end result is a rather underwhelming mess of weirdness. Why do these high-schoolers need to learn how to shoot in order to work in railway security? Why the hell did we need that extended scene of them shovelling coal into a steam locomotive!? Couldn’t they have called ahead to the next station to have the purse-snatchers arrested rather than racing to next stations themselves? And just what the feck is going on with the scary pendulous, jelly-like boobs on that pink-haired girl???
Budget is pretty rubbish on the show with the hilarious CG trains, truly mystifying boob physics, and bland character designs. Script is also exceptionally dry with stereotypical characters and inter-spaced with random info dumps about trains that had me completely zoned out (even if they were given by Fukuyama Jun).
Awful show – dropped.
Sailor Moon Crystal
NOSTALGIA!! This was pretty much a straight remake of the original first episode and the revamped animation is clearly designed to appeal to the current little girl fans of Precure. If you’re new to Sailor Moon this episode probably won’t completely hook you into the series, because Usagi is at her most irritating right at the start – whiny, loud and dim, she thankfully does improve a lot as time goes on.
I will say that the new animation style is going to take a bit of getting used to, it is quite plastic, expressions aren’t quite as easy to exaggerate for comedy, and the full CG transformation sequence was a bit strange looking – but in general the show looks shiny and pretty – the title-cards and eye-catches in particular are beautiful. Can’t say I’m a massive fan of the new music though – very generic J-pop and utterly forgettable.
All these cosmetic niggles aren’t really that important, because all that really matters is that we’re seeing Sailor Moon on the TV again, repackaged for an entirely new generation to enjoy – I’m delighted!
I’m surprised by how watchable this was. I went in fully expecting something completely underwhelming like Wake Up Girls with bland male idols, but instead got something a bit more interesting. I quite like these characters and it feels like there is actual effort being put into the shows writing and animation……kind of shocked to be honest. I’m not entirely sold on the character designs, but there is some nice attention to detail to make them different from each other. There is also an owl. Show gets a few more points automatically just for that.
It is still yet another idol show and the music is suitably crap, but it was kinda hilarious to see the boys cringing while practising those horribly embarrassing self intro lines and poses idols in other shows seem to pull off without batting an eyelid.
Basically Shounen Hollywood is pretty grounded, well written and has some nice animation and background detailing. Definitely not what I was expecting, but a pleasant surprise. Will be checking out more.