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First Impressions: Autumn 2015 – Part 2

October 4, 2015

autumnanimeOkay moving onto another mixed bag of shows – I am keeping quite a lot of these on though.

  • The Asterisk War
  • Chivalry of a Failed Knight
  • Owarimonogatari
  • Haikyuu!! Second Season
  • Attack on Titan: Junior High
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
  • Utawarerumono – The False Mask

The Asterisk War - 01The Asterisk War (Gakusen Toshi Asterisk)

Well this was an exceptionally by the numbers magical high school LN adaptation.  It comes complete with a walk-in on a girl changing scene, an accidental boob grope, a missing sister sub-plot and a tsundere pink-haired princess with flame powers. Oh and a sword duel – gotta have a sword duel. The only thing of any real note was the amount of effort put into making this as glittery looking as possible.  So many effects!  Even the exposition scene with the student council president was a weird holographic presentation for no real reason.  I think the aim here is to distract your attention with flashing lights so you won’t notice that there is very little story to grab on to.

The Asterisk War tries very hard to make you believe it is worth watching, but focus on it to even a tiny degree and you’ll soon see it has nothing new to offer under that gleaming surface.  Dropped.

Chivalry of a Failed Knight 01Chivalry of a Failed Knight (Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry)

And here we have exactly the same thing all over again in Chivalry of a Failed Knight.  It was an exceptionally bad choice to air these identical shows on the same day – I had the oddest sense of deja-vu throughout!  Weirdly I think I prefer Failed Knight over Asterisk War, mainly because the main dude is a bit more chilled out – his reaction to walking in on the tsundere pink-haired princess with flame powers (yes another one) is to try to strip off himself to make her feel better!  Failed Knight isn’t as flashy as Asterisk War either, which oddly makes me like it a bit better – normally I’m all for the glittery animation, but here the more restrained budget works better with the rather standard story.  Of course as predicted pre-season Mr MC-kun is of course exceptionally skilled in a manner that isn’t easily ranked within the setting – he’s the Irregular at Magical High School……aren’t you shocked? I know I wasn’t.

Anyway, if I had to watch one of these identikit shows this season I’d probably pick this one.  But since I don’t have to make that choice……..dropped!

Owarimonogatari - 01Owarimonogatari

This installment of the Monogatari Series was somewhat overshadowed by the announcement that the mythical Kizumonogatari movie has finally got a release date – January 2016 – and it’s now a trilogy for some reason!  I’m that bit closer to finally being done with the Monogatari Series!

Anyway, Owarimonogatari then.  This is a mathematical based arc centred on the unnerving Ougi Oshino.  As such this entire 50min opening episode was just Ougi and Araragi in an empty classroom talking about an event in Araragi’s first year of high school that turned him into such a loner.  It was interesting as ever visually with the usual does of verbose dialogue – pretty engaging over all.  I wasn’t really expecting to get sucked into this, mainly because I am so very done with Araragi and Ougi creeps me out, but ended up enjoying this a lot.

Haikyuu!! S2 - 01Haikyuu!! Second Season

Well this was just perfection.  I was really hyped for the return of Haikyuu!! anyway, but this opening episode just further reminded me why I loved these adorable volleyball boys so much in the first place!  There is just so much energy in Haikyuu!! and the animation is just wonderful.  Seriously, this has to be the best animated shounen sports show out there – the sheer level of detail put into the leg animation is amazing – just look at the ED with all the different running styles!

Of course it is the characters that really make the show for me.  Hinata and Kageyama are just the cutest dorks with utter tunnel-vision when  it comes to volleyball and personal competition – I ship them so hard!  The extended cast is just packed with wonderful characters, it is truly a selection box of cute boys.  But while Haikyuu!! is prime fujoshi-bait, it also has a lot to offer non-shippers.  It is a simple shounen sports show told exceptionally well with wonderful characters and great animation – definitely worth a look!  So, so happy to have Haikyuu!! back in my weekly viewing schedule.

Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou - 01Attack on Titan : Junior High (Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou)

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would, but can definitely see it getting old quick.  Its in the same vein as the DVD specials that came out with the original show, except with a bit more detail added in. AoT:Jr takes great delight in lampooning the original show, going so far as to parody the first OP (right down to the music) and use a lot of material from the opening episode – except with a purely comedic edge.  It’s fun and does a good job of sending up the more ridiculous aspects of the characters.  I’m not sure how much mileage they can get out of the concept before it gets boring though.

At only 17mins including the OP & ED, this is a bit shorter than a normal episode, but not short enough to really be classed as a short form show.  The animation is pretty solid, which is to be expected given the money-making might of the Attack on Titan name, and the original voice cast seem to be having fun exaggerating their characters as much as humanly possible.  I’m keeping on for now, we’ll have to see how it manages to keep things interesting as time goes on.

Mobile Suit Gundam - Iron-Blooded Orphans - 01 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans)

I was interested in this anyway, but this ended up being a much better opening episode than I expected.  What a pleasant surprise!  There was the expected level of teenage angst and corrupt adults, but it was all a bit more restrained than I had anticipated and the exposition wasn’t too heavy-handed.  As an opening episode G-Tekketsu was actually well paced and had plenty of interesting elements. The Martian setting is as desolate and grimy as you’d expect from a colony running out of resources, although the corrupt / cowardly commanders were a bit laughable in how stereotypical they are.  However I do like the main cast so far – they all seem pretty likeable. Although saying that, the Princess character seems a bit useless at the moment – she’s idealistic but very naive, so hopefully she gets a awake-up call and a backbone soon.

The animation is as good as I’ve come to expect from Sunrise.  There is a noticeably darker, more realistic colour palate being used, which puts me in mind of the 08th MS Team OVA, even if the character designs are all quite stylised and the cast younger as whole.  I had been amused by all the shirtless pilots pre-season, but they’ve actually given a proper reason for the toplessness and so it doesn’t really feel like gratuitous fanservice……although those are a lot of abs on display.  I do quite like the mecha designs – they’re pretty simplistic and bulky, but that seems to be in keeping with this being leftover technology from an old war.

So there is plenty to be positive about in this opening episode of G-Tekketsu – definitely looking forward to watching more!

Utawarerumono - Itsuwari no Kamen - 01Utawarerumono – Itsuwari no Kamen (Utawarerumono – The False Mask)

I hadn’t intended to watch this because I haven’t seen the original series, but I was bored and it was there so here we are.  This was an okay episode, it doesn’t do anything wrong, but there isn’t anything that had me interested in watching more either.  The main pair don’t really have much chemistry together, but I do like them on their own.  Kuon is very self assured, capable and quite cute and Haku is super laid-back and pretty relaxed for being an amnesiac suddenly surrounded by people with nekomimi.  Nothing much actually happens in the episode, but it is a pretty decent introduction to the world setting and characters.  I don’t really have any complaints, and this passed the time rightly, but I just have no inclination to watch any more than this.  Dropped.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2015 5:00 pm

    I checked out the first episode of Attack on Titan Junior High out of curiosity. Can’t say I’m a fan of how it relies entirely on in-jokes.

    • October 4, 2015 6:15 pm

      It really does completely rely on a familiarity with the original series, but this was always going to be one for existing fans.

  2. LoliHat permalink
    October 5, 2015 2:43 am

    I was familiar with the previous Utawarerumono anime and to some degree the game. I’m not sure how this fits in with those, but the universe is interesting and of the new shows I’ve watched, it has been the best so far.

    Also, yet again we have TAILGASM.

    • October 5, 2015 9:40 pm

      The setting to Utawarerumono is interesting – I do like the clothing details and the background art, pity I’m not into the characters at all.

  3. October 7, 2015 7:37 am

    Lol Cara idk why you tried Chivalry of a Failed Knight and The Asterisk War or were you hoping for something fun? I guess you never know I suppose😀

    Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: God I hope this can wipe my mind clear of Reconguista and agreed it has a very 8th MS team feel to it and the whole mars princess thing so far has me feeling ZzzZzzzZzz but yeah i’m super excited to see what Blooded Orpahs will do for gundam and not to mention Okada Mari is involved and she LOVES tragic stories so hopefully we get some of that…

    • October 7, 2015 9:00 pm

      Fosh I try everything, this shouldn’t be a surprise! You never know when a seemingly shite show will turn out to be entertaining – have to see these things for myself.😄

      We all need to forget G-Reco happened……..god that was awful. The setting has me thinking that this is what Aldnoah.Zero would have been if it were actually good. I really hope G-Tekketsu manages to live up to its great opening episode though!

  4. October 8, 2015 5:06 am

    My serious comment: The first episode of Gundam might be my favorite first episode this season for its seamless presentation. The animation is really good too. This might be my most favorite first episode this Fall aside from Lupin III and One Punch Man.

    My not-so-serious comment: You were right with the fujoshi-tastic comment in this show. Wow.

    • October 8, 2015 6:28 pm

      I’m super pleased with how good G-Tekketsu’s opening episode was – I had been a bit iffy about the series at preview. But that was mainly because I’ve been burned repeatedly by Gundam shows in recent years!

      Also shirtless pilots.

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