Autumn 2014: First Impressions – Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis, Gugure! Kokkuri-san and Orenchi no Furo Jijou
Oh my god – look! Stuff I actually enjoyed! And I only had to slog though 12 other shows to get to this point! Yeah truly this has been an abysmal start to the Autumn season, but things are finally looking up. Lets look at swash-buckling frolics across rooftops, neurotic gods and bathtub dwelling mermen……..Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis, Gugure! Kokkuri-san and Orenchi no Furo Jijou.
Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis
I can’t tell you how pleased I am that this turned out to be good! MAPPA are getting to be a pretty solid go-to studio for great animation and fluid action scenes – Bahamut looks amazing! Great diverse character designs that move naturally and have wonderful, varied expressions – there is no same-face here, which is getting to be a rarity these days. The action set pieces are tons of fun – horses racing over roof-tops, sword fights atop a rolling water-wheel, battles with summoned demons, and that whole intro sequence with giant dragon and massive mounted knights – all of it is gorgeous, imaginative and just a joy to watch. Shows like this renew my faith in anime as a format.
Story wise I’m not expecting Bahamut to be some deep, complex tale- it is based on a digital card game after all. Instead it seems to be a pretty straightforward quest type of thing, which I am more than okay with, if the show maintains the same kind of energy we got in this episode over its run. At the moment the feeling I’m getting from the show is sort of Samurai Champloo with splashes of Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Dandy, all passed through a medieval, high-fantasy filter – not really a bad mix.
Acting is top-notch with the characters bouncing off each other well, music is a bit on the over-excited & bombastic side, but that kind of adds to the fun and the CG animation is worked in well with the traditional animation. On the whole Bahamut is the best thing to have aired this season to date – definitely keeping on!
I actually liked Kokkuri-san – it has a really endearing kind of self-deprecating wit and the dead-pan delivery of some of the retorts works really well. Our two main characters are completely different yet share a similar kind of loneliness. Kokkuri is a god with no purpose that’s fallen out of favour and Kohina is a strange little girl with no friends/family who has shut her emotions off and pretends to be a doll. The two spark off each other quite well and the show doesn’t really overplay any of the sketches – it’s pretty fun.
The acting is superb, Daisuke Ono and Ryou Hirohashi both have great comedic timing. The animation and direction are pretty decent too. All in all a decent comedy series – keeping on for now.
Orenchi no Furo Jijou (The Special Circumstances of My Bathtub)
So this is actually a 5 minute short, which is probably a good thing since the premise is so thin. Still this was actually pretty fun and well put together. It has a weirdly serious OP though that is at odds with the whimsical tone of the actual episode, but that sort of adds to the charm.
There isn’t really much to say about the show – kindhearted but gloomy highschool boy finds a good-looking chirpy merman washed up by the riverside, takes him home and merman takes over his bathtub with emotional blackmail – hi-jinks ensue! Show is harmless and well animated – will be keeping it on.