43 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Assorted spring anime first impressions

If I didn’t write a full first impressions post on an anime airing this season, that doesn’t mean I didn’t watch it. I am a machine who watches everything apart from sequels I didn’t like or hadn’t seen the first season of, or kiddy shows (and even then, that Suzy’s Zoo torrent is calling out to me). If I didn’t write a post, that’s generally because I found I didn’t have enough to say about it to warrant one. But I still want to get my thoughts out on some of those anime that aired this season, so that’s what we have here.

Note that most of these impressions will be negative. Poor anime are hard to write that much about compared to good anime or dreadful anime.

Dog Days

Tame, lame and offensively inoffensive, Dog Days goes so out of its way to produce nothing of worth that its own uninspired fluffyness becomes the main talking point. The dialogue lacks any purpose, which makes the characters also come off as almost too embarrassed by their own generic personality to put any of it into what they say. It has all the weight of a styrofoam dumbbell. Call me back if it turns out that, because Shinku (very English name that) was transported to their kingdom, people now die when they are killed.

Sengoku Otome

While not quite as offensively inoffensive as Dog Days, Sengoku Otome had this same aura of safe, uninspired and bland. It’s just…there. People do stuff and make no attempt at making it stand out. I could call it well-executed, and that’s not untrue. Nothing in this episode comes off as mistimed nor poorly directed. But it’s not exactly difficult to send a strawberry to execution. It’s not going to fight back. If you try execute a dragon, you may get burned, but the resulting viewing will still be massively entertaining and far more rewarding if it’s pulled off successfully. Executing a strawberry may still give you some red liquid splashes, but it’s a false entertainment that leaves you entirely unsatisfied. Also, this metaphor has gone on too long and has probably left my readers baffled.

Kaiji Season 2

~Zawa Zawa Time~

Look, it’s Kaiji. Their noses are still massive. It still moves at the pace of a stampeding tortoise. The narrator is still unusually excited about Kaiji eating a bag of peanuts. The mangaka still can’t draw women and I would have preferred it if he never drew women again argh argh the ending song argh argh my eyes argh. It’s a show that you’ve got to allow yourself to be drawn into to enjoy, something I never quite got the hang of during the first season. But as much as I like to mock it, Kaiji is still a fun show. It just infuriates me sometimes.

A Channel

If I hadn’t read the manga for this, I’d had come in here frothing at the mouth, raging  over the cancer that is killing the anime industry and so on and so forth. But because I knew what to expect, my temper was deflated somewhat by the time I actually watched the blasted thing. It’s still better than the manga. The little directorial touches make it stand above the pen and paper version, such as the swoosh sound of the baseball bat making it sound like a samurai sword, along with all the other reasons anime > better than manga (it moves, it’s in colour, it talks). But this is still a mixture of cuteness for the sake of cuteness passed off as humour alongside some other heartfelt scenes of girls being insufferably nice to each other. The entire shows purpose does feel like giving the viewing plenty of opportunities to don their yuri goggle and pretend these oversized heads attached to 6-year old bodies are fisting each other behind the scenes. To be fair, you hardly need the yuri goggles to see that.

Physical Education for 30 Year Olds

As a commentary on how rigorous Japanese censorship destroys what could have been useful sexual information for inexperienced individuals, that wasn’t half bad. Although I do have the feeling that wasn’t what this show was aiming to be…

Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi

If it was a story about a group of editors for a shojo manga publication, this might have made a pretty decent foil to Bakuman. But Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi is not about that. This is really about the romance as cynical bishie A tries to forget everything about love until mysterious bishie B starts to remind him of it again by forcefully kissing him to provide drawing material for a shojo manga artist who just happened to be nearby. By the way, shouldn’t he have been a little bit more annoyed that another character just shoved his tongue down his throat with no warning and little introduction? It was more like there was a check list the producers were working off that they had to crowbar in to keep the viewers attention. “We’ve had too little butsex, let’s throw in a flashback to one now!”. The trappings of its genre pulls down a potentially interesting story about a publishing company, but somehow I doubt the target audience for this show were particularly interested in how well their latest serial did in the sales.

Dororon Enma-kun

Why oh why Go Nagai? This is certainly the ‘best’ adaptation of his work I’ve seen, but that’s certainly not saying much. This was dumb, boorish, disconnected, unfunny and utterly pointless drivel. Scenes leap from one tone and direction to another without warning nor reasoning. The jokes were funny in how unfunny they were. I was certainly quite amused by the pauses they gave me to laugh during, because it made me realise what they had said before that was meant to be funny (hint: it wasn’t). I thought maybe it would have some nice fluid animation to make it worth watching, but beyond some nice fire animation, that wasn’t there either. Or maybe I’ve just been ruined by Panty and Stocking and was expecting similarly beautifully animated penis jokes. In fact, that’s the best way to describe this. Take Panty and Stocking, drop the animation quality substantially, get rid of the cutting wit, the awesome music and the parodies and your left with a dumb show about people defeating demons and toilet jokes. Ta-da~! You have Dororon Enma-kun.

Hen Zemi TV

That was pretty lame compared to the OVA. The OVA had a format that worked. Take two characters and have them talk with each other about some bizarre sexual perversion. It was simple but worked due to its honesty. This didn’t do that at all. The segments had no direction to them and was just random discussion of whatever the hell was on the characters mind. Plus what sort of sexual perversions were they on about anyway. Growing maggots in your ear is a sexual perversion now? Come on now Hen Zemi, get back to what made the OVA work.

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43 Comments

  1. luffyluffy
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    So, if you hated all of these, what are you going to blog? :D

    • Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      TIGER AND BUNNY, OF COURSE!

      At least I think he will. He mentioned it somewhere in the comments.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Massively depends on their respective second episodes, but at the moment it’s looking like [C], Steins;Gate and Fireball Charming

      • Posted April 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        *sigh*

      • alexvoda
        Posted April 10, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

        (here is me trying to convince you to blog T$B)
        I already voted for Tiger and Bunny.
        It has chances to be the Madoka of this season.
        I don’t mean to compare it in terms of quality but in terms of role in this season.
        Seriously misleadingly advertised.
        Original anime.
        Providing a different view on a theme.
        Possibly very awesome.

        PS:Please blog the last two eps of Madoka in order to provide a conclusion to your other post about it.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted April 10, 2011 at 3:15 am | Permalink

        Steins;Gate is a VN adaptation >:(

      • Raspy
        Posted April 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Does anyone else think that he is going to regret later on his choice for blogging like he did last season? ^^

      • Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Maybe Steins Gate will be awesome and we will all eat our words…
        I still want him to blog the slashy, not the harem series.

  2. Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    noitaminA is always fashionably late to the party.

    • Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      They are the stars of the show after all…

    • Scamp
      Posted April 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      I have a worrying suspicion Noitamina might tank this season, but I’ll stay quiet about that for now…

  3. Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi’s first episode proved itself to be quite good, so I’m going to watch it.
    Also, I don’t see a Maria Holic Alive post here. I though it was quite lame. But I have never really watched the first season, so maybe it’s something beyond “lesbian lead always gets nosebleeds watching beautiful bishi in drag and girls doing sexy things”- with SHAFT visuals?

    • Posted April 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Spoiler alert:

      It isn’t.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      That’s because I watched the entire first season and want absolutely nothing more with that accursed series

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Boo yuri and trap hater.

  4. karry
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    “Panty and Stock­ing…cut­ting wit”

    …people who find P&S funny and witty must be purged, to preserve the genetic purity of the mankind.

    • Posted April 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      And… why?
      Come on, what’s not to like in Panty and Stocking?
      And even if you hate it, bashing the FANS of a show is just stupid. If you don’t like it, write a negative blogging post about it, or stay away from it.

      Or are you just being a tad negative here, again. You …kinda do that a lot, don’t you?

      • Posted April 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        That’s Karry for you. He’s only leaves negative comments, and replying to him is pointless as he never replies back.

        Panty & Stocking is a particularly huge annoyance to him. He insulted people left, right, and sideways when that came out for liking that show.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted April 10, 2011 at 3:02 am | Permalink

        Panty & Stocking was a sign. A sign that Studio GAINAX still has a bite to match it’s bark.

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Karry is a boy?

    • Posted April 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry Karry, none of us are hurrying off to reproduce so our genes aren’t going anywhere!

      Unless you want to get married right now?

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 10, 2011 at 1:02 am | Permalink

        Unless you want to get mar­ried right now?

        Sure. When, where and why?

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 3:14 am | Permalink

        Let’s go to Vegas.

        Face it. The spring anime isn’t being that interesting yet. There’s nothing better to do.

      • Scamp
        Posted April 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Stop getting married on my blog

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        But Scaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamp. Your blog is so romantic.

        Let’s get married.

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        marriedmarriedmarried

        Hey, Janette, if you don’t anything against girls, we two could…

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        hey its karry.

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        I don’t have anything against girls at all. Yay Leah~

        Getting all our horrible genetic material out there.

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Let me tell you I look damn good in a tutu- I meant tuxedo.

        Hey Scamp, you don’t mind some girls love on your blogright?right.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        What have I wrought. That does it. No more booze and blogging on blogs for me, ever.

      • Posted April 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        He’s going to get it anyway.

        Don’t worry Anon. Me wracking havoc and marriage on Scamp’s blog just happens with or without an instigator.

  5. Ticket
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I was kind of hoping you’d blog Iroha. Ah well, Im going to watch Steins and C, so 2 out of 3 aint bad at all.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      And not watch Fireball Charming!?!

      Shun the non-believer

  6. Posted April 9, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    While Shinku is wonderfully english, Becky is wonderfully Japanese!

  7. Posted April 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t watched any of these … not even Kaiji, but that’s mainly because I’m waiting for The Triad. It just wouldn’t be right to watch any other group’s release.

  8. Posted April 10, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I see no redemptive factors in A-Channel, but I also didn’t read the manga. That’s probably a good thing.

    I liked the strawberry metaphor. :D

  9. fathomlessblue
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Arghhhh, I bloody knew it! Why the hell was the director of the Hen Zemi ovas shipped over to Sofuteni, whilst the director of f’ing Rio, of all things is given the tv series. Damn you Xebec, you trolling bastards. RAEG!!!!

  10. Anonymous
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Paragraph about Kaiji

    Ain’t it great? Truly the best show this season thus far next to Hanasaku Iroha. Let’s hope C’s going to be stupidly entertaining for third place, whether bad or good.

  11. Posted April 10, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    If you think girls punching each other in the tits is being insufferably nice, I probably couldn’t handle Irish women.

  12. Panma
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The problem here is that I’m not sure what everyone expects out of anime these days. They aren’t literary masterpieces or thought-provoking psychological dramas. Anime, to me at least, has one purpose and one purpose only – to entertain. For this reason, anime doesn’t have to be smart or even make sense. Don’t believe me? Look at the Spongebob Squarepants phenomenon.

    I find Dog Days mildly entertaining, considering it stars (so far) a fairly mature male lead instead of the whiny self-absorbed male stars I see so often now (this is what the current “tsundere” craze has gotten us).

    Basically, while I appreciate and respect all the opinions on here, they come across, to me, as pretty jaded.

    My 2 cents…

    • Posted April 12, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      “They aren’t lit­er­ary mas­ter­pieces or thought-provoking psy­cho­lo­gical dra­mas. Anime, to me at least, has one pur­pose and one pur­pose only — to enter­tain.”

      Who says they can’t be? Or that the above can’t also entertain?

      Anime doesn’t have to be smart or at all sane to be entertaining, but it most certainly can be entertaining without being braindead, unoriginal, or so focused on selling itself that it forgets to present anything more than a checklist of tropes known to be popular without any thought put into why.

      Some people like to watch the Eve no Jikan’s and Kino’s Journey’s, and don’t give a fig for series full of recycled ideas that have no higher aspirations than to flash popular tropes by without telling a story or making a point. It’s not a sin to be entertained by any series, no matter how shallow the premise, but to say that anime shouldn’t aspire to be more than that because it’s simply there to entertain is folly. One man’s twenty-odd minutes of entertainment can be another’s most dire torment.

      If standing behind originality, depth, and quality writing is being jaded, so be it – I’ll build myself a statue of the stuff.

      • Panma
        Posted April 12, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        I never said that anime could not be those things. I’ve seen wondrously unique works from every artistic field but that doesn’t mean that every piece has to be life-altering or new. If you choose not to watch the repeated formulas of anime series, that is your choice and there’s nothing wrong with that.

        But to choose not to watch a series, then condemn it because it chooses to take the easy route seems a bit overkill. When you attempt to hold all anime to a standard of perfection, that’s when you become jaded. Remember, there must be enough people out there that enjoy it for what it is, otherwise they wouldn’t be making any money.

        Lastly, if you’re going to construct a statue then you’ll soon find your view obstructed by the very idol you created.

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