First Impressions: Spring 2015 – Part 1
Okay so I’m way too far behind to even consider breaking things into my usual 3 shows per post (15 shows already out people!!), so you’re getting two posts of quick kneejerk reactions instead so I can get back on top of things again……well that is the plan anyway.
First up is: Oregairu 2, Danmachi, Shokugeki no Soma, Plastic Memories, Vampire Holmes, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2 and Gunslinger Stratos.
I didn’t much like many of these – fair warning~!
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU 2 (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku) Oregairu 2
Well this opening episode didn’t really do much to refresh my memory on why I kind of liked the first season of Oregairu, but I do like the fact it didn’t faff about with recaps and just got on with the story, so we’re straight into a school trip to Kyoto. I enjoy how dry and jaded the Oregairu characters are, so even though there are plenty of standard anime things going on, the cynical dialogue keeps my interest. I’m keeping this on for now – hopefully I’ll properly remember why the series originally caught my interest sooner rather than later.
Familia Myth – Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a Dungeon? (Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteriru Darou ka?) Danmachi
You know this could have been worse. I was expecting it to be worse. That isn’t to say that Danmachi is in any way good, but it definitely could have been much worse. The setting is the usual trapped in a video game thing (although I think this is skipping the trapped bit and skipping right to the world just happens to be exactly like a video game), and it is populated by the usual bunch of anime characters. The main dude is alright, he’s a weakling and completely oblivious to the affections of the girls around him, but at least he has a bit of backbone and a desire to better himself. I can forgive him his thinking he can only meet women in a Dungeon, because he seems to be just acting on some absolutely awful advice from his grandfather and the child does appear to be a bit dim.
It is a pity that his goddess sidekick is so annoying though, and I kept getting distracted by her outfit…….what is that underboob ribbon? What is its purpose? How does it stay in place? Just Why? Basically I’m not really a fan of the character designs in general, but hers in particular confuses me. Anyway, Danmachi is a show, it isn’t as bad as I expected but I’m still not watching any more of it. Dropped.
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma
This really is literal food Porn – I really could have done without the tentacle rape with the shite flying about in the background though. Saying that I did mostly enjoy the first episode of Shokugeki no Soma, overly long orgasmic food reactions aside – it is a pretty standard shounen set-up, and I like that kind of thing. Soma is a pretty typical hot-blooded shounen protagonist and I imagine there will be a whole herd of whacky side characters waiting in the wings to compete in random food themed tournaments. It isn’t exactly bursting with originality, the porn angle is probably Shokugeki no Soma’s unique selling point so I expect them to exploit that to hell and back.
Production is fine (wish they could stop with the perpetual motion boobs though – very irritating, especially when they constantly change size) and I like the voice acting. Will be keeping on for now, but think I prefer Yakitate! Japan for my dose of OTT food reaction battles.
It is such a pity this show is afflicted with the most bog standard of anime designs and characters because the premise is fascinating. A world where they have managed to create androids with souls, but they only have a shelf-life of 9 years – there is so much scope to ask really interesting questions about what makes us human, and yet Plastic Memories seems determined to steer well clear of anything too heavy. Sure there are heart-string tugging moments, but separating people from their loved ones is always going to be painful, yet any real emotion is immediately undermined by having the silver-haired loli android act like a spazz and nearly piss herself! Just why!? Pick a tone and run with it – be serious and melancholic or be a workplace comedy – you can’t have it both ways!
Problems with the characters aside, I also have issues with the entire look of the show – these character designs are just painfully generic, and even though this is meant to be about working adults we’re still saddled with a cast of teenagers. Meh. Such disappointment, I wasn’t really expecting much from Plastic Memories, but I’m still really rather annoyed that they’ve managed t0 get a really wonderful premise and couldn’t do anything meaningful with it. Dropped.
I honestly don’t even know what this was. Seriously, can anyone enlighten me to the purpose of this thing!? I know this is based on a cell phone game, but what are you meant to do in the game – I did not see anything in this episode that could give me an inkling to what could possibly be expected of the player! I’d actually encourage people to watch this episode just to see how utterly incomprehensibly bad it is – honestly, it’s 3 minutes, you really should! Off you go and come back and tell me what you think Vampire Holmes is about, I’m truly curious.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2
I swear F/SN UBW just doesn’t care about making compelling episodes. Ufotable seem to just be coasting along on the guarantee that the Fate fans will buy it anyway because it is a very literal retelling of the VN. But this does not make for fun episodic viewing! There was no real urgency or hook in this episode, everything was very placid and unexciting – even the brief fight scene, while pretty looking, felt dull and unimportant. Perhaps you’re meant to marathon the show, but the idea of sitting though multiple episodes of people standing around talking incessantly just seems utterly soul destroying to me. I really don’t think I’m cut out for Nasu’s Fate-verse……but I’m still going to watch this, because I still, randomly, like the characters. I think I need my head checked sometimes.
Fecking hell this was bad. And ugly. And BAD. Seriously, I thought that even if the story sucked (which it was bound to given it is based off an arcade shooter game) at least the animation would be slick because this is A1-Pictures. But I guess A1 used up their pretty quota on KimiUso, because Gunslinger Statos looks like arse! Weirdly the story ended up being the only interesting aspect of the show, what with the rigid society rankings, alternate universe with evil twins, lots of ominous crows and tons of guns – there is plenty of fodder for a decent action show here.
But nope. Animation sucks balls, so you end up absolutely distracted by the off model faces and weird composition. Plus the characters are kind of shite too – all completely standard stereotypes with not an iota of originality between them. Pinky was particularly annoying. I’m almost tempted to keep this on to laugh at, but I do that too often – need a break! Dropped.
Okay I’m getting somewhere! Next batch tomorrow – if my arm decides to co-operate, I can feel it plotting mutiny already.