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Winter 2015: First Impressions – Death Parade, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc & Koufuku Graffiti

January 10, 2015

winter anime smallMoving swiftly on to more positive things (mostly anyway).  Lets talk games of death, dogs with attitude problems and food porn – Death Parade, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc and Koufuku Graffiti.

Death Parade

Having already seen the short this is based on – Death Billiards – the whole concept of Death Parade was already familiar to me.  However I was still very impressed with this first episode, it takes the very simple idea of a place that decides where the deceased go and builds a really interesting concept around it.  The games played aren’t the important thing, it is what the pressure placed on the players does to their psyche that is the whole point of the series.  This is a series that is basically tailored to my weird obsession with watching characters break – it is absolutely fascinating to me, and Death Parade manages to build and break the married couple it features in this episode, remarkably well within just 20 minutes.  I hope every episode is as well written.

On the production front, this is a very polished looking show – I love the design of the bar.  Also we need to talk about that super fabulous OP – best of the season so far – even if it doesn’t really seem to fit with the over all tone of the actual show.  Still there is something wonderful about seeing the mysterious bartender dancing about in the OP with the his deadpan demeanour intact.  Character animation was also impressive overall with some great facial expressions to match the excellent voice acting.

Yes, very interested in seeing more of Death Parade, it is off to a very promising start.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc

Well it is business as usual in the world of Jojo’s, and it wastes no time introducing the latest weird and wonderful member of its cast – Iggy the stand-using dog with a personality problem (who of course immediately latches on to Polnareff as his chew toy).  After all the poor mutilated dogs we’ve seen so far on this adventure, it is nice to see one still alive (even it does act like a little shit).  It’s like Jojo & the crew have never been away – I particularly enjoyed how one of those poor Speedwagon Foundation fellas got his face ripped off, nice to see the violence hasn’t been toned back (even if it is still horribly censored).

Since this is Jojo’s we have to mention the new OP & ED.  I love the visuals of both, but not entirely sure about the song choices.  The OP sort of sounds like “Sono Chi no Sadame” from S1, but put through a filter with some ALI Project……I’m not really a fan.  The ED is “Last Train Home” by Pat Metheny Group which is a very mellow melody and seems completely unfitting for this show (but the visuals fit it well).  Do have to wonder why they didn’t keep “Walk Like An Egyptian” for the actual Egypt arc of the show.

So yes, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is back – lets hope the pace kicks into gear and we finally get to Dio this time!

Koufuku Graffiti

Well this is about what I expected – cute girls doing cute things + food porn.  It is pretty boring really.  SHAFT are doing their usual SHAFT thing by making the food eating scenes rather erotic looking, but other than that there isn’t any sign of their usual visual trickery – Koufuku Graffiti is rather plain looking as a result.

I think you’re going to have to buy into the characters to really get anything out of this series, and I personally don’t really care about them myself.  Koufuku Graffiti does have fantastic food porn though……I was really fecking hungry after watching it, so it at least gets that aspect of its gimmick right!

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