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Winter 2015: First Impressions – Soukyuu no Fafner: Exodus, The Rolling Girls and Durarara!! x2 Shou

January 11, 2015

winter anime smallMoving swiftly on to another solid batch of shows; super serious mecha & Hirai-faces, girls fighting in an explosion of colour and the return of the quirky residents of Ikebukuro – Soukyuu no Fafner -Exodus-, The Rolling Girls and Durarara!! x2 Shou.

Soukyuu no Fafner -Exodus-

It has been 10 years since the first series of Fafner aired, so this new series has me somewhat bewildered – I didn’t think the franchise was popular enough to warrant another instalment, but here we are!  While I have seen the previous series of Fafner it has been quite a long time so I can’t really remember much of the details.  In this opening episode of Exodus the setting and premise came back to me easily, but I’m majorly struggling with the characters – I have a feeling I’m supposed to know quite a lot of the older cast, but just can’t really put my finger on who is who outside of Kazuki & Soushi.  Ah well, seems like we’ve got a new cast of teenagers to pilot the titular fafners so I don’t think I’ll be too troubled by my inability to remember the previous cast.

The show looks and sounds pretty good – although it does still look like a show from 2004 with the pretty dated Hisashi Hirai character designs.  Musical score is beautiful though, and I do like the unusual golden alien designs and the way they turn everything into crystal.  I’ll be watching the rest of the season and do think that this will be accessible for newcomers to the Fafner franchise.

The Rolling Girls

I don’t really know what I was expecting, but this riot of colour and energy wasn’t really it!  I really enjoyed this opening episode of The Rolling Girls, it was a whole lot of fun with plenty of eyecandy.  It’s like the vibrant artstyle of Kyousogiga mixed with the ridiculous battles of Kill la Kill with a bit of Magica Wars fired in for good measure.  The show is a touch all over the place and a bit shallow, but it maintains a feeling of light-hearted fun throughout and is plenty entertaining.  It remains to be seen if it can keep this kind of feeling going, but I’ll be happy to stick around for as long as it puts out episodes like this one.

The animation is beautiful – lots of bright colours and quirky background details.  This is certainly an unusual looking post-war anime!  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Wit Studios have once again produced an eye-catching show – they really are proving to be a very versatile and talented studio.

Definitely looking forward to more of Rolling Girls, I’m pleasantly surprised by this one.

Durarara!! x2 Shou

It’s back and we’re right back into Ikeburkuro like we’ve never been away!  This episode mainly served to reintroduce the characters and setting while still dropping in a smattering of new plot details and priming the stage for some new characters.  But it was done in that classically entertaining Drrr!! way where you get bits of the story told from multiple view-points.  Not the most exciting of episodes since it mostly centres on Celty and her fear of the police, but still very fun – I’m still very hyped for this series.  Although as an indication of how times have changed since S1, I am very disappointed in Walker & Erika’s current obsessions of Mahouka, SAO & OreImo – how times have changed from their infatuation with Spice & Wolf!

Production looks good.  They’re sticking with the traditional OP style focused on flashing up lots of character name cards and have a new version of the iconic S1 ED image – sure there will be quite a few parodies of that cropping up shortly.  All the voice cast is back – I have a squeal to hear Hiroshi Kamiya back on sterling Izaya mode – he does condescending arseholes so well~!

Fantastic to have Drrr!! back – there was never a doubt that I’d be watching this.

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