I made the vow a couple of seasons back not to write a first impressions post if I couldn’t say enough interesting about it to warrant a full post. Which is all well and good, but most of the first episodes this season left me with rather little to say. I still want to say my piece though. So instead of giving them a post each, I’m returning back to Ye Olde Days style of first impressions with several anime reviewed at once.
The way some people were going on about this you’d swear this was the most boring anime ever created. Sure, it’s got nowhere near as much effort put into it as previous Bones productions. The animation is annoyingly average with dull character designs. The pacing is off and they rush into introducing Victorique when it could have been done with much more finesse. The mystery is rather lame and answered before we even have a chance to consider the possibilities ourselves. The main character’s only trait is that he spends the entire episode whining. A lot of the supposed humour is based around this and simply isn’t funny. But guys, this isn’t that bad! It has a gothic loli rolling about on the ground with a pipe in her mouth to amuse herself. Yeah, I’m not exactly selling this very well, am I?
DEAR PRODUCERS OF BEELZEBUB. DO YOU KNOW THAT SHOUTING EVERY SINGLE LINE DETRACTS FROM THE TIMES YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO MAKE A JOKE? YOU SHOUT THINGS THAT AREN’T FUNNY AND OVER-EXAGURATE ACTIONS THAT WOULD BE MUCH FUNNIER PUT IN A DEADPAN VOICE. OR EVEN A REGULAR VOICE COULD DELIVER SOME OF THESE ACTIONS WELL. OK, enough caps lock. There’s a great idea here, but it’s killed by the execution. The over-reacting delinquents at the start reminded me of Cromartie High School, but when everyone over-reacts like that it takes the humour out of their over-reactions. Over-react to everything means nothing gets over-reacted to because it’s all delivered in the same tone. This goes beyond ‘not funny’. This saps the humour out of situations that should be funny. You’re killing yourself Beelzebub.
Best first episode of the season, at least until Noitamina rolls in fashionably late as usual. Sure, it has that annoying shouty straight man complex that anime typically have, but the important point here is that it’s actually performing funny jokes. The ET parody was funny anyway, with or without a straight man pointing out the joke afterwards. It balanced the episode perfectly as well. We all knew he was an alien anyway, but they still introduced each piece of proof gradually with ever expanding powers. First the controller thing that could be connected to the spacecraft. Then he jumps out the window and only after all that do we see his hippy powers. The animation budget isn’t exactly high, but for a change it seems to know how to tell a damn story.
Kore Wa Zombie Desuka?
Do you know what’s killing the anime industry? Not necessarily moe, it’s self-referential otaku crap. Stuff that makes no sense and fails to appeal to those outside or less connected with fandom, but winks endlessly to those inside fandom. It panders to the smallest and ever-dwindling crowd because it knows memes. This is the same as Baka to Test exactly a year ago. I was sucked in by the self-referential nature of Baka to Test originally before realising later on how it had nothing beyond that and simply repeated those jokes. This will turn into the same thing. It already is the same thing. Wait for it anime fandom. I will be proven right on this one.
For what is ultimately the single most generic anime this season has farted out, this was surprisingly well made. Like, really really well produced and structured. The animation style is neat, expanding on that blobby style in a rather strange way. The music is utterly godly, I have genuinely never heard classroom music as good as this. The episode was perfectly structured from first to last, never keeping on one point for too long. It’s a shame all this effort was put into Dragon Crisis. I’m not sure they could have come up with an episode more generic or a male lead with less personality. I do want to keep watching this in the desperate hope that this show will do something original to justify the great production values, but I’m obviously not holding out much hope.