Autumn 2014: First Impressions – Psycho-Pass 2, Shirobako and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
Fecking hell this is the 10th post in two weeks – that’s 30 shows I’ve had word vomit about, no wonder I’m getting lazy! Anyway some decent shows today – badass female cops taking down a mad bomber, how to make anime The Animation and quirky love interests solve emotional trauma……….Psycho-Pass 2, Shirobako and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.
Good lord, Akane got badass in the break between seasons! This was a brilliant reintroduction to the series – it skips most of the lengthily explanations and dives right into a stand-alone story to remind us of the world Psycho-Pass is set in. More shows should do this rather than regurgitate exposition with extensive flashbacks. Since S1 culled quite a lot of Akane’s team we have three new characters to get to know, but this episode only really focuses on setting up Akane’s new partner, Mika, as a foil. Mika is fiery where Akane is cool, she wants to jump headlong into situations and is clearly frustrated by Akane’s more standoffish, analytical methods.
I suppose it must be hard to establish yourself as competent when your constantly under the shadow of Akane’s superior intellect and experience. Mika doesn’t really approve of Akane’s treatment of the enforcers either, adhering to the accepted mindset that they are expendable tools – Akane prefers to treat them as valuable partners, which seems to have won her Gino’s absolute loyalty. Gah, Akane was just too cool in this episode! Ahem. Anyway even though this was a stand alone episode there were enough nuggets of information sewn about to hint about what we can expect from this season. Clearly the drugs being advertised are going to be important, as is the fact mr bomber could mask his hue while building bombs & plotting attacks. And then there is that mysterious figure at the end who doesn’t seem to be recognised by Sybil at all – or at least I think that’s what was going on, seemed like the Dominator was only picking up the female inspector and not her attacker. If that’s the case being invisible to the scanners is a real threat to the system. Excited for future episodes!
Production has moved from Production IG to Tatsunoko Production but quality doesn’t seem to have suffered any. I am a bit disappointed by the OP though, that looping effect is a bit irritating and the whole thing lacks the style the S1 OPs had. However over all this was a very good opening episode – it’s great to have more Psycho-Pass to look forward to.
Well this was much more informative and dry than I was expecting. I totally expected the first few minutes with the high school girls animation club to be the tone for the entire series, so I was surprised when we switched to actual adults taking their jobs seriously. This is a pretty in-depth look behind the scenes of the animation industry. For those of us with an interest in the industry it doesn’t really contain much new information, but it was interesting to have it laid out like this. I did think it was all a bit dry though and the parade of names, job titles & faces was impossible to properly absorb in one go. There are attempts at making things a touch more exciting (like Initial D style drag-racing for some reason and sudden fainting spells) but otherwise this is just loads of information about a newbie studio producing their first moe anime.
Shirobako is something a little different for PA Works – it takes place in the city rather than a quirky small town, has an adult cast rather than a bunch of teenagers and the characters are slightly less shiny looking (only slightly though). However all their flawless attention to detail in the backgrounds are there – production is as solid as you’d expect…..even if there is serious same-face going on for the females.
I’m going to be giving this another few episodes, hopefully it becomes more entertaining than educational when we get a feel for the characters.
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)
I wanted to like this. It is amazingly beautiful to look at with the most gorgeous animation, but that can’t really hide the fact the story isn’t all that great. This is another one of those ‘power of love heals deep-seated emotional issues’ kind of series that have really started to rub me the wrong way. Maybe if our main character’s past didn’t contain physical and emotional abuse from his now deceased mother I’d be a bit more okay with things. But since the show has gone out of it’s way to tell us about Kousei’s terrible childhood I just can’t accept that Miss quirky blonde will be able to magically fix his problems. Once again we have a child in desperate need of a therapist, not a whimsical girlfriend.
My issues with the basic concept of the show aside, this episode did have some other issues. The comedy didn’t really work for me, being of the slapstick violence variety coupled with “I am shouting so it must be hilarious” kind of humour that rarely works. Also the Miss quirky blonde’s intro scene with her dancing barefoot in a playground, while somehow forming a pitch perfect impromptu quartet with some kids to summon pigeons, was just overdone and actually made me laugh at how ridiculous it was.
Now on the positive side, this is easily one of the best animated shows this season – it is pure eyecandy. The direction is solid, the character animation expressive and fluid and the backgrounds are drool worthy – there can be no complaints about the production values. However for all the prettiness I still can’t buy into the story and know it will piss me off sooner rather than later. And even despite my knowing this, I’m going to watch more of Shingatsu wa Kimi no Uso, because damn is it beautiful looking. However if your looking for a music based romance show, my advice is to go pick up Nodame Cantabile instead – its a vastly superior series.