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First Impressions: Spring 2016 – Part 3

April 10, 2016

springsml

All I could manage this week is watching things – didn’t have time to write up anything, so brace for incoming spam of 1st impressions posts today!  First up we have:

  • Seisen Cerberus
  • Hundred
  • Joker Game
  • Twin Star Exorcists
  • Super Lovers
  • Bungou Stray Dogs
  • Onigiri

[HorribleSubs] Seisen Cerberus - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.20_[2016.04.04_21.03.15]

Seisen Cerberus

God this was bad, but I weirdly didn’t hate it.  It’s so ridiculously faithful to threading the beaten path of fantasy action, that it skirts the line of parody without actually committing to that idea – I mean our hero’s name is fecking Hiiro and he clearly thinks he’s cool as fuck!

Seisen Cerberus is kind of goofy really, it’s super chuunibyou and rather unashamed of it all.  I won’t be watching any more of it, but the first episode did make me giggle.

 

[HorribleSubs] Hundred - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.24_[2016.04.04_21.22.41]

Hundred

Urgh……how many of these identical Shitty LN Adaptations are there now?  Do we really need another Infinite Stratos/Asterisk War/Undefeated Bahamut in our lives?  Hundred does not bring a single original thought to the table – we’ve seen everything that it offers in this opening episode a hundred (hahaha~!) times over already!  I mean if this is your first experience with the battle harem genre you might find Hundred entertaining – just like I found Infinite Stratos’ first season entertaining – but otherwise there isn’t anything of value here.  Dropped………you’re shocked, I can tell.

 

[HorribleSubs] Joker Game - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.10_[2016.04.06_21.18.14]

Joker Game

Hmmmm.  I wanted to like Joker Game a lot more than I do – this opening episode was just a bit flat on the whole.  I mean with the 1930s setting and the spy genre there is a massive amount of potential for intrigue, but instead we get a bunch of men in suits sitting about in a smokey room looking smug.  Not exactly the most exciting of opening episodes.  There isn’t really much of an effort put into making each of the 8 spies distinctive – I don’t remember a single character’s name and no one really has any defining characteristics, apart from the Japanese solider who is ‘blinkered and high-strung’.

The show does at least & sound great, but a lot more effort will have to be put into the writing for me to keep this on – there are just so many other shows that had better opening episodes this season.

 

[HorribleSubs] Sousei no Onmyouji - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.32_[2016.04.06_22.36.49]

Twin Star Exorcists (Sousei no Onmyouji)

I wonder if I’m finally growing up and getting over my love of shounen shows?  I mean I did enjoy this rather decent opening episode of Twin Star Exorcists – it’s got loads of style and was pretty fun to watch – but I just don’t feel any real desire to watch more of it.  A few years ago this would have been all sorts of my kind of thing, but I just can’t be bothered right now – My Hero Academia has satisfied my desire for a fun shounen action series this season.

 

[HorribleSubs] Super Lovers - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.25_[2016.04.07_20.49.03]

Super Lovers

I’d have really loved this opening episode of Super Lovers if the BL tag wasn’t hanging over the show.  If this was a show about helping an abused child find happiness in a new family in a similar vein to Usagi Drop, this would be a pretty decent start (wolf packs in Canada aside).  However the awareness that the series is a romance with a significant age gap is pretty off-putting.  Age gaps and troubled pasts in themselves don’t really bother me (I love CLAMP after all), but I kind of hate incest, and while it is made very clear that there is no blood relationship here, the family bond is heavily played up – adopted siblings are still siblings!

I’m going to end up watching Super Lovers anyway, there really isn’t any point in my pretending I’m not going to, but I’d be so much happier with the show if it either left out the romance or left out the stress on family ties.

 

[HorribleSubs] Bungou Stray Dogs - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.11_[2016.04.06_21.08.23]

Bungou Stray Dogs

Yeah I’m getting the same feeling from this anime adaptation that I did from the manga – it all looks & sounds cool, but it’s very superficial and I’m ultimately left a bit cold.  I also found all the comedy faces a bit irritating after a while – Takuya Igarashi‘s directing style is immediately recognisable, and it works well for pure comedy shows like Ouran, action shows with fluid, cartoonish designs like Soul Eater or flamboyant shows like Star Driver.

However Bungou Stray Dogs can’t seem to pick a tone and run with it, swinging from slapstick comedy, to dark & angsty, to stylish action without much flair – it just feels clunky to me.  Are the characters meant to be loveable dorks or cooler than cool superheroes?  Is there any real point to having them named for Japanese literary greats?  The manga had the same sort of random feel to it – all style and no substance – and so far the anime isn’t really inspiring me with great confidence that it can iron out those problems.  I am going to give it another few episodes though – simply because it does look pretty damn cool, I love the voice cast & I’m fecking shallow.

 

[BudLightSubs] Onigiri - 01 [720p].mp4_snapshot_00.55_[2016.04.06_22.18.32]

Onigiri

Errrrr……I can’t actually remember much about this.  It was really short, had an annoying narrator and was super dumb.  Oh and the sole male character wasn’t voiced – all his dialogue is in text boxes, which was somewhat amusing.  Dropped~!

 

11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2016 2:43 pm

    “I mean with the 1930s setting and the spy genre there is a massive amount of potential for intrigue, but instead we get a bunch of men in suits sitting about in a smokey room looking smug. Not exactly the most exciting of opening episodes. ” Nailed it, although I think not making the spies distinctive from each other was the point here, given that they’re supposed to be good at blending in and all of that.

    • April 10, 2016 3:51 pm

      I think not making the spies distinctive from each other was the point here, given that they’re supposed to be good at blending in and all of that.

      The problem with that sort of thinking though is that it only works if the group as a whole has one distinctive thing about them, but they don’t really have that either. Their characterization is too subtle to the point that I don’t know why I’d want to watch a show about them.

    • April 10, 2016 3:55 pm

      There’s also the idea that there are different ways to ‘blend in’ with the general public. I’d have liked some indication of what kind of unique skill set each character can bring to the table – they can’t all be identi-kit clones even if they are receiving the same training, that would be unspeakably dull!

  2. April 10, 2016 5:08 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who found Joker Game’s first episode dull, it seems to be doing very well in the ratings on most sites. Still, the setting and production values mean that I’ll definitely be keeping it on, in hopes that we get to learn a bit more about the agents as individuals over time.

    I found Seisen Cerberus really dull, and that’s saying something given that I’ll usually pick up anything fantasy. Sousei no Onmyouji wasn’t much better.

    I agree with you 100% on Super Lovers, it probably had the best first episode of all the shows I didn’t pick up, but I’m not so interested in where it’s presumably going next.

    • April 12, 2016 8:36 pm

      Joker Game wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t terribly exciting. I do hope it picks up though, I want to know more about the spies themselves!

      I sort of hope Super Lovers surprises me in some way, but that may be asking too much. I will continue to watch it and probably bemoan the direction it’s going every week~!

  3. April 11, 2016 1:13 am

    I feel exactly the same way about Bungou Stray Dogs – as much as I liked one or two specific aspects, I got tonal whiplash. I also think the literary references are just plain dumb and unnecessary. It annoys me when anime does something it thinks is clever but actually isn’t, and it annoys me even more in this case because the show could use a completely unrelated set of character/ability names and still be able to tell exactly the same core story.

    • April 12, 2016 8:37 pm

      Bungou Stray Dogs seems to be pretty popular on the whole though, wonder if we’re on our own in thinking it a bit shallow and choppy!? I am going to give it another episode though, just to see if it settles any.

      • April 12, 2016 11:12 pm

        Yeah, I’ll give it another episode as well – I’m not saying it’s crap, I’m just saying I don’t think it’s especially good either. And of course, it’s possible it was just a rough first episode and things will get a bit more consistent later.

  4. April 11, 2016 5:16 am

    Basically my reason why I cannot put Joker Game any higher in my rankings this week. I get it. The ideas are cool, the game of poker is cool but aside from that? Dull expositions galore!

    Yet I think what made me like it is the bold idea it tries to present. I hope some life will be injected in the next episodes because that looks really promising.

    Bungou Stray Dogs is poor man’s Kekkai Sensen if I am asked based on first episode. Yet I am sooo much willing to give it a go because the artwork is really pretty (I like that the most among Bones shows this season.) If only the story could follow…..

    • April 12, 2016 8:42 pm

      I wouldn’t mind the sitting about playing poker if we actually had a window into the mind games going on – that would be interesting. Fingers crossed it improves!

      I don’t really get the Kekkai Sensen vibes from Bungou Stray Dogs – it doesn’t have a vibrant enough setting and the characters don’t really have the same initial impact….although they do both have the same general premise I suppose. Maybe Bungou Stray Dogs will surprise me next week?

      • April 13, 2016 12:43 am

        I really hope Bungou Stray Dogs will improve next week. Fingers crossed! Yeah, the premise screams some Kekkai Sensen sans the energetic presentation.

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