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First Impression: Summer 2014 – Ao Haru Ride, Hanayamata and Jinsei

July 10, 2014

summerbanOkay so today it is bog standard shoujo, creepy alien lolis and boring s’life antics – 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… 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.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2014 5:31 pm

    Yeah, Jinsei was a bore 10 minutes into the pilot. It felt like the show dropped you in the middle of some already ongoing story and told you nothing of whats has already transpired

  2. July 10, 2014 11:21 pm

    I’d probably like Ao Haru Ride a lot more if I didn’t think the male lead was an asshole. It doesn’t really matter about whether he can see through the female’s lead’s motivations or not, or whether or not he can tell she’s made some shallow choices and is living the life of a consummate liar. It really doesn’t give him the right to be a jerk – and I’m kind of annoyed that not only will he probably get away with that kind of cruel hot-then-cold behavior, but also that she (and audience members) will probably condone it because he’s an angsty bishie with a broken heart.

    • July 11, 2014 11:36 pm

      I don’t think the male lead in Ao Haru Ride is so much an asshole as blunt to a fault. He isn’t actively mean, but has absolutely no filter and says what he thinks with little regard for anyone’s feelings. But yeah I don’t think he’ll be chastised for that kind of gruff attitude in the slightest and it will be seen as a charm point……..blah.

  3. July 11, 2014 12:17 am

    Hanayamata: only of these three I watched. I was hoping to actually see some dancing animated. I’m still curious to see what it looks like, but doubt the show will deliver.

    • July 11, 2014 11:38 pm

      I’m fairly sure that the 10 minutes or so of dancing that the entire show will contain would be wonderfully animation, but the idea of sticking around through 250+ minutes of utter s’life drivel just for those 10 minutes does not appeal.

      • July 12, 2014 4:03 am

        Hah hah. You could save yourself some time by contracting even more: s’life drivel => s’livel

  4. July 11, 2014 12:37 pm

    My thoughts on this season are slightly more positive now – my current lineup isn’t so bad, though it’s got nothing on last season’s. However, I feel I’ve not had to think very hard about my choices, since for every good/passable show, there’s one that’s absolute garbage. 😛 I agree that Jinsei is the worst offender so far, though Momo Kyun Sword, Rail Wars! and Locodol aren’t far behind.

    • July 11, 2014 11:39 pm

      I was always pretty psyched for this season – really pleased it has delivered so many shows I’m fairly excited to watch. Massive improvement over Spring for me!

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