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First Impressions: Summer 2015 – Part 2

July 7, 2015

summerbanMoving swiftly on to part 2 – a bit more hyped for this selection of shows.

  • Durarara!! x2 Ten
  • Working!!! S3
  • Gatchaman Crowds Insight
  • Ushio to Tora
  • Rokka no Yuusha
  • Shimoseka
  • Dragon Ball Super
  • Wakako-zake
  • Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Durarara!! X2 Ten - 01Durarara!! x2 Ten

As predicted the presence of Izaya in Durarara!! ups my enjoyment ten-fold.  I love how even from a hospital outside of the city Izaya makes life difficult for his only friend – had to feel sorry for Shinra.  Izaya’s always fun to watch, he doesn’t like to be centre-stage, preferring to be the shadowy manipulator, but he feels rather put-out when he’s ignored.  Izaya fully expects the various people he’s screwed over to swarm into his hospital room once they hear he’s in a weakened state, and is distinctly thrown off when the only person to arrive is someone he barely remembers (one of the suicidal girls he enjoyed tormenting back at the start of season 1).  Izaya seems to have gotten back some of his gleeful childishness in this episode too, going back to his roots with his fascination with humans, after his dalliance with the supernatural – this can only be a good thing.

In general I really liked this opening episode – hopefully the rest of the season maintains this kind of feeling.

 

Working!!! S3 - 01 Working!!! S3

So while I really enjoyed this reintroduction to Wagnaria and all its weird staff members (always great to see Yamada again), I still can’t shake the feeling that there is very little point to Working! getting a third season.  Nothing has really changed, the character dynamics and jokes are all the same from the previous seasons – even the OP has a very nostalgic vibe with a similar song & nearly identical animation!  It’s a cute series and all, but there is just no real point to it.  Saying that I’m still going to watch this series since I enjoy the characters (hopefully the amount of Inami remains minimal), but I may leave it to block watch at the end of the season.  There is no real incentive to watch it weekly.

 

Gatchaman Crowds Insight - 01 Gatchaman Crowds Insight

I am so hyped to have Gatchaman back!  The Inbound special served to recap the previous season and get you pumped up for the sequel season with an action packed attack on the Prime Minister by the new red CROWDS group called VAPE.  The first episode proper served to reintroduce the characters and bring us up to speed about the current social climate regarding CROWDS & the Gatchaman group.  We’re also treated to the birth of a new Gatchaman with the fiery Tsubasa, and the introduction of another alien in the cute Gel.  It was a pretty packed episode, but I really enjoyed it.

The show still looks every bit as colourful and fun as the previous season, and I really like Rui & Tsubasa’s Gatchaman suit designs.  I also really like the way Gel’s power to visualise people’s emotions is portrayed – it’s very simple but effective, like a mood-ring emoticon.

Definitely excited for watching this season, I recently rewatched the first season & fell in love with this series all over again!

 

Ushio to Tora - 01Ushio to Tora

I am really digging the 90s aesthetic that Ushio to Tora wholeheartedly embraces – right down to the weird comedy moments and old style character designs.  It’s kind of a breath of fresh air to watch a show that is just unabashedly traditional shounen – there is no attempt to reach outside the genre and it stays very true to its roots.  I really, really liked this first episode – as a fan of old school shounen it ticked all the right boxes for me.  I’m not entirely sure that anyone who doesn’t have an existing liking for this style of show will enjoy Ushio to Tora – it is hardly the prettiest of shows when compared to shows with more recent roots, but I found a lot to like here.

I love the older style designs animated with modern flare – this opening episode had a lot of dramatic framing and interesting action scenes.  It is certainly one of the most visually arresting shows this season given its unique artstyle.  Mappa really seem to be enjoying themselves bringing this old shounen manga to a modern audience.

I’m definitely watching this series – but I don’t think that really surprises anyone given my existing weakness for shounen shows!

 

Rokka no Yuusha - 01Rokka no Yuusha (Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers)

Well this was a pretty great opening episode.  I loved the Mesoamerican feel of the setting it provides a really attractive and unusual backdrop for a fantasy anime series – which helps Rokka no Yuusha to stand out from similar shows.  My initial fears that this newbie studio wouldn’t be able to deliver on the visuals, have been pretty much laid to rest.  The story itself is pretty bog standard with its chosen heroes assembling to defeat the big bad set-up, but the detailing in the setting make it much more interesting to watch.  Our main character is your usual hot-blooded, super self-assured shounen, but he just manages to stay this side of obnoxious and annoying – hopefully he doesn’t tip over the line over the course of series.

So yeah, a very solid opening episode – definitely keen to watch more.

 

Shimoneta - 01Shimoseka: Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai (A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist)

Now this was actually a pretty fun first episode which I wasn’t really expecting, but I don’t have any interest in watching any more of Shimoseka.  It is certainly determined to get as many dirty jokes & puns into the show as physically possible, and I do applaud the creativity, but I can see the show getting old incredibly fast – I just don’t have the patience to stick it out to see when that happens.

Show looks pretty decent, but the voice acting is a touch too shouty and started to give me a headache towards the end.  Still this isn’t a trainwreck and does have some fun factor, I just can’t be bothered with it personally.

 

Dragon Ball Super 01Dragon Ball Super

The opening episode of the new Dragon Ball series felt like it was going right back to its roots – definitely had that early happy-go-lucky DB feel to it rather than the more serious action orientated DBZ feel.  Plenty of fun to be had with things picking up directly after the end of the Buu-saga – Goku being bored stupid trying to hold down a real job as a farmer, Mr Satan still fooling the world into thinking he’s the planet’s saviour, Gohan’s relentless slide into super geekiness (that outfit!), the next episode preview which promises Vegeta on a family holiday – yeah this is all fluffy nonsense and I kinda liked it.

I don’t think we’re going to really ever going to recapture the feel of DBZ at its peak, but it is fun to have the characters back for a bit.  I’m going to be watching this.

 

Wakako-zake - 01Wakako-zake

These are super short episodes that basically follow this OL as she eats tasty pub food and has a drink after work.  Completely pointless but listening to Miyuki Sawashiro is always fun, so I’ll end up watching this.

 

Akagami no Shirayukihime - 01 Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)

So our latest shoujo series then, and it’s perfectly pleasant.  I can’t really get excited about this series as it is fairly bland, but it doesn’t really do anything wrong and looks pretty.  Our main characters are nice people, there isn’t anything I found off-putting and the production & voice acting are all solid.  I just wish there was something extra to get me excited – the setting is pretty looking, but there isn’t really anything new or attention grabbing about it.  Shirayuki is a refreshing lead as she doesn’t appear to be a wilting wallflower who can’t do anything without a man holding her hand, but in this episode she doesn’t display enough force of personality to really carry the show.  I just want the show to show a little passion, it’s a little too dull.

So yeah, this is perfectly fine.  There’s nothing to complain about, but there is also nothing to really get excited about.  I’m not sure if I’ll watch more – if I do it’s because I’m filling out a gap in my schedule.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2015 4:28 am

    Working!!! S3: YAMAADAAAA is back❤ I love the cast of characters and I'm quite happy about the cast returning.

    Dragon Ball Super: Yaaay! It feels good to have new DBZ content, but I still can't get used to Goku's Japanese voice wow it hurts my ears and the actor plays Gohan and Goten so its x3 and it's quite annoying because I prefer the dub over the sub.

    Shimoseka: LOL JOKES AND JOKES AND JOKES I liked that one it reminded me of SYD

    • July 7, 2015 2:38 pm

      I think the amount of time between Working! seasons has made it easier to get back into the show despite how repetitive it is. I do like these characters after all – Yamada is the best.

      I’m really used to Goku’s Japanese voice because I’ve been watching DB Kai weekly – it no longer grates on me…….still really confusing to have Goku, Gohan and Goten all have the same voice though.

  2. July 7, 2015 7:36 pm

    Whilst I don’t expect it to go outside the trappings, I’m really curious to see why Ushio and Tora is loved so much by certain people. They say it’s a slow burner, but I’m hoping the condensed episode count means we’ll get to these supposed legendary arcs a lot quicker than usual.

    • July 7, 2015 9:03 pm

      Same. Definitely hope they tighten the story up to get to the good stuff quicker.

      • July 7, 2015 9:59 pm

        It’s a 39-episode adaptation of a 300-something chapter manga. How much tighter can you get without turning into a crappy summary film?

  3. klark permalink
    July 11, 2015 5:48 am

    I am pretty much entranced by Akagami no Shirayuki-hime’s art and characters so I will continue watching it. But.. that’s just me having a weakness with shoujo shows and strong female leads.

    • July 11, 2015 11:12 pm

      The art and Bones’ usual high quality production make Shirayuki one of the more attractive looking shoujo shows – I just want the characters to have a bit more personality and chemistry with each other. Guess I’ll see how it develops.

      • klark permalink
        July 12, 2015 5:04 pm

        I see where you’re going at. Aside from Shirayuki, I felt the other characters are no more than well worn tropes. I hope they do develop at time. I am on board with this one.

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