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First Impressions: Spring 2015 – Part 2

April 8, 2015

springsmlOkay part two – a bit more positive about some of these.  Lets have a look at; Re-Kan! Seraph of the End, UtaPri Revolutions, Arslan Senki, Nagato Yuki-chan, Denpa Kyoushi and Show By Rock!

Re-Kan!

I thought I might like this since it is a similar set-up to Natsume Yuujinchou and early xxxHOLiC, but unfortunately Re-Kan! lacks the intriguing atmosphere and endearing characters that are the main reasons I adore Natsume & xxxHOLiC.  Re-Kan! is definitely more on the comedic side and our main character has no problems with her classmates thinking she’s a complete weirdo when she spazzes out thanks to the interference of the occult.

It isn’t a bad show, I just found it a bit boring and the characters annoyed me – main girl is pure airhead material and her friend is a typical shrieky tsundere……and then there was that cat with the creepy old dude voice.  The 4-koma roots really show in the jerky pacing – each scene feeling like a s’life snapshot rather than a part of a flowing story – things are certainly related, but also fairly stand alone.  Didn’t really do much to get me interested in watching more, so dropped.

Seraph of the End

Now this I liked…….predictably enough.  This first episode had all the pretty animation, vampires and dead kids I was hoping for.  Although I also would have liked a less stilted vocal performance from the main characters, but hey, Seraph of the End’s first episode got a lot right so I can’t complain too much.  I am a sucker for nicely detailed world settings (even if they are hysterically stupid world settings – virus wipes out adults, kids get enslaved by creepy paedophile VAMPIRES – so much logic) with gorgeous animation and the promise of lots of slick action.

I am slightly concerned that next episode appears to be moving from vampire kiddie prison to generic magic high school, but we’ll cross that bridge then……for now I am on board with the world of Seraph of the End.  Will be watching more.

Uta no Prince-sama! Revolutions

Well that was a pretty lack lustre start – and there is something I never thought I’d say about an UtaPri opening episode.  This was basically exactly the same as S2’s first episode, but somehow less glitter encrusted…..I’m a bit disappointed!  It did have some moments of pure UtaPri FABULOUS (Camus on a horse, dat sax solo, Shining Saotome in general), but it felt very by the numbers and didn’t have as much heart or something.

I’m hoping this was just a blip since it only served to reintroduce the vast cast of bishie idols, because I fecking love UtaPri’s ridiculous camp factor.  At least there was a new hilarious dance routine for the ED – a touch too much CGI on display for my liking, but it will probably grow on me.  Will be keeping on.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan (Arslan Senki)

I am so glad this turned out to be a very solid start, I was a bit dubious given the studio and the fact we opened with CGI hordes, maps and narration, but once we got into the meat of the episode things got a lot more positive.  Arslan Senki really feels like it has the potential to be a properly epic fantasy series – it has a great pseudo-Arabian medieval setting, some interesting themes and a rather adorable main character.  Arslan is seriously cute – completely naive about the world and a super sheltered, but he has this wide-eyed innocence that just makes him endearing.

So yes, great setting and characters – it is just a pity Arslan doesn’t have the polish that Seraph has – it really does deserve better animation.   Don’t get me wrong, Arslan Senki doesn’t look eye-cancerous, it is actually fairly decent looking and has good direction, but it does have some awful CGI going on in the wide shots and battle scenes.  It would be impossible to do a show with large scale battles without CG, but unfortunately the CG here just looks really janky and takes me out of the immersive feel of the show.  A setting this grand and interesting deserves a bit more polish – but hey what we’ve gotten so far is pretty good so I’m definitely excited to watch more.

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan

This thing does not deserve to be under the umbrella of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise.  This thing is the complete antithesis of everything that made The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya interesting!  This thing actually caused me physical pain to sit through – in no way do any of these characters bare any resemblance to their Haruhi counterparts!! I’m not even just talking about the hideous character designs (seriously who was that fella in this episode, because it sure as hell wasn’t Kyon!)  it was the whole feel of the show.  It was just like one of those terrifying moeblob shows where NOTHING FECKING HAPPENS EVER!  Just awful. Who thought this was a good idea?

I just want to forget this happened.

Denpa Kyoushi

You know what?  I was actually more than willing to give this show a chance – it did seem interesting enough at preview, and the manga seems popular…..but damn.  This first episode was so obnoxious!  Characters were utterly unlikeable and the colour palette used was so garish it gave me a headache.  The animation in general wasn’t really all that special which once again shocked me – guess A1-Pictures really did use up all their money on making KimiUso fecking gorgeous.

I’m actually quite disappointed, I was hoping this would be a good light comedy to have on for the season, but there is no way I’m watching more of this tripe – dropped.

Show By Rock!

I really enjoyed this.  Show By Rock is utterly bonkers but I was more than happy to roll with that because it was so much fun!  I guess this is what happens when you give a great studio like Bones free reign over a cell phone game adaptation!  The show is a strange hybrid of super sparkly moe animation and terrifying SD furry CGI, but there is so much randomness and energy that I kind of forgot about how I usually get freaked out by so much super cuteness.  I mean this episode has a goth-loli cat-girl take down a massive purple skeleton with a talking pink electric guitar to save a bishie boyband – how can you not love that?

There really isn’t much I can actually say about Show By Rock! other than I enjoyed the hell out of it and was equally utterly bemused by it – so I’d highly recommend checking it out just for the pure entertainment value.  I’m definitely watching more, I am so looking forward to the introduction of the rest of the bands from the promo art!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And that’s another 7 down……just in time for me to rack up another 7 to talk about tomorrow……hopefully.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2015 9:58 pm

    Given their recent stuff along with their latest acquisitions, I predict this to be the year that A-1 Pictures finally breaks my balls.

    • April 10, 2015 12:02 am

      Well they are pretty good at producing stuff that sells…..

  2. April 9, 2015 5:16 pm

    Unusually, I agree 100% with everything you’ve said about these seven shows. Including Show by Rock!!, which amazes me, I assumed it would be an instant write off for you!😛

    The only difference is that I’ll be dropping UtaPri, it did seem to be missing its soul this time around (saxophone scene excluded), so I’d rather take a gamble on a new show than risk seeing a franchise I like get repetitive and boring.

    • April 10, 2015 12:03 am

      Dear lord have the planets aligned!?

      Yeah I really enjoyed Show By Rock – the madcap energy and star-studded voice cast won me over.

      I’m hoping the subdued first episode of UtaPri was just an exception and we’ll be back to the usual Fabulousness next episode.

  3. April 10, 2015 1:16 am

    It was the same w me with yuki. I can’t sit thru it as well …. it’s so boring that I’m fidgeting on my chair waiting for it to be over. the only thing that got me excited was her passing haruhi.

    • April 10, 2015 12:36 pm

      Brief glimpse of Haruhi & Koizumi were the only things that interested me too – but I do not want to sit around to see how they have destroyed those characters.

      • April 10, 2015 12:38 pm

        Me too. I was like, OK no more. Lols. Though I admit I’m more of a soft hearted type and was considering putting it on trial.

  4. April 13, 2015 3:35 am

    Arslan was sort of okay; it didn’t thrill me, but I still plan to watch it. The pseudo-Arabian setting was one of my favorite things about it. I did enjoy the run through the city in the first episode, which looked great (giraffes FTW!). The CG artwork was less a problem for me than the actual character designs. I think Arslan himself and several other characters are missing too much detail. The designs look half-finished to me.

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