First Impression: Summer 2014 – Ao Haru Ride, Hanayamata and Jinsei
Ao Haru Ride
So much indifference. I really don’t like the set up for this shoujo – the characters aren’t all that likeable. The way our female lead has consciously changed her appearance and outward personality to fit in with other girls better, just doesn’t sit well with me. Teenage girls are guilty of wilfully changing how they present themselves, but having it be to avoid other girls picking on her for attracting too much male attention just seems a bit strange to me. Our lead female says she doesn’t like guys, but knows she’s cute and attracts them…..it just makes her feel a bit self-absorbed and not really all that likeable. The fella isn’t much better with his stoic attitude and blunt manner, but I do appreciate his willingness to call our lead female on her false front. For a series setting up a romance I sure don’t really care about our protagonists.
Production is excellent – it’s the Kimi ni Todoke team and they know what they’re doing with this kind of show. Beautiful pastel backgrounds & wonderful facial expressions – it is a very well produced show. However good production does not make a good show, and without interesting or likeable characters I can’t be bothered watching more of Ao Haru Ride – dropped.
Good god was this was a chore to watch. Again the main reason is the characters – I hate our spineless lead already – she’s just so mopey and wangsty that I want to hit her round the head. Who on earth would wilfully spend time with such a person, even if they think she’s cute!? The American transfer student is a bit better, if impossibly genki and possessing ridiculous athletic abilities (she jumps about like a fecking ninja), but in general the characters are not appealing. The dancing aspect could be fun (looking at yosakoi on Youtube it does look interesting), but I already know this is mostly going to be cute girls, do cute things and they might dance on occasion, so why bother watching?
On the production front, the backgrounds are absolutely stunning – really nice use of colour there. However the character designs make the girls look like aliens – it’s something about the eyes and it creeps me out.
Pretty but dull – dropped.
Quite possibly the most boring opening episode I’ve seen so far, 80% of this show is stereotypical characters sitting around talking about nothing important, the rest is spent on a water fight that only exists to turn the episode into a wet t-shirt competition complete with boob groping.
This show already exists in a myriad of different forms and Jinsei has absolutely nothing new to bring to the table. It is utterly forgettable & I can’t see any reason for anyone to keep it on – other similar shows are out there that are a bit more interesting and have better animation. Dropped.