22 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

First Impressions: Durarara, Ookami Kakushi, Hanamaru Kindergarden, Seikon no Quasar

So I’ve decided to change my first impressions posting slightly. Instead of waiting for 4 shows before making a post, I’m going to do a constant update with each show I watch, similar to Star Crossed. These first impression posts were a blatant ripoff err, inspired by his format anyway so it makes more sense this way.

Durarara

Well I’ve covered the first episode in detail already but let me take a step back a second and say that this episode was no A-grade material. It wasn’t so much exposition saturation as introducing explosion. With so much information being hurled at you in the first episode, it was impossible to take it all in.

Still the best first episode of the season though. I said it before, but it’s when an episode oozes quality even when not that much is happeningon screen that you know you’ve got something great on your hands. Baccano started the exact same way and that worked fantastically and Durararahas a whole 24 episodes to start making sense in.

So yeah, Durarararagi (sorry, I stuttered) had obvious quality stamped on it before it aired and the first episode has obvious quality stamped all over it too. I just hope none of these characters are as painfully annoying as Enjin from Yozakura Quartet. This show gives off similar vibes to Yozakura and I’d hate to see it ruined.

Rating: B

Ookami Kakushi

I appear to be the last man in the universe not to have seen Higurashi but from what I heard, the first episode of that was very similar to how Ookamistarted. So I’m all for givingthis the benefit of the doubt and continuing on but that doesn’t change that this was a very poor episode.

The writing was poor and it didn’t have the failsafe of being completely OTT like Umineko to fall back on to provide entertainment so the episode remained pretty dull throughout. The ‘character designs by Peach Pit’ that everyone was touting turns out to be a negative strike for this, I don’t like them one bit.

It was an all round very poor episode. But hey, mystery and intrigue and whatnot are beingtouted along with the possibility that they will all get brutally murdered. But things really need to pick up or I might bail on this show. For everything Deen did with Umineko, at least it was entertaining. This isn’t…yet.

Rating: D+

Hanamaru Kindergarden

I had a half-written post in my drafts where I lamented the fact that an awful lot of anime made recently have ‘cuteness’ as the main appeal, such as Kobato, K-ON and Kimi ni Todoke. Hanamaru fits straight into that category except…I actually enjoyed this.

My prediction of something similar to a Yotsuba anime turned out to be right on the ball. This is the cuteness and innocence of kids in a world where real adult problems and lives exist, with their problems and lifestyle being seen through the world of these kids. Granted, Yotsuba does this a lot better but that’s a high standard to be compared to.

The genuine adult problems was actually a bit of a shock. I certainly didn’t expect anything like that at all, which goes to show there is a bit of brains behind this anime. It lacks the cutting ‘that’s so true’ edge at the moment but it’s a surprisingly enjoyable way to spend 20 odd minutes.

Rating: C+

Seikon no Quasar

You know the way everyone was hung up over the ‘breast-milk’ aspect of this show? Well, that’s actually the best part of this show. There’s a creepy nature to the sexual content in this show when combined with the Christianity and I can actually see potential here and I’m willing to give it another episode or two. But there’s so much it does wrong.

If you’re trying to subvert the sexual nature, you don’t then and go toss in blatant fanserviceas well. The entire suckling scene would’ve worked far better if prior to that scene I wasn’t treated to continuous Gainaxing, panty-flashes and prominent curves beforehand. If the sexual content was played for plot rather than fanservice this would’ve worked a whole lot better.

What’s going to eventually be the killing blow is the animation. Oh dear lord was it terrible. Random panning shots, a scene of a character standing perfectly still for 5 seconds, a still frame of something that doesn’t need to be still-framed and the occasional shotwhere the artwork suddenly collapsed. Censorship galore and it’s pretty darn jarring.

::Edit:: Hmm…actually the only reason I’m giving this a shot is because I found myself thinking “it has fanservice so I’ll instantly dismiss it” and then hated myself for doing that. I’m going to cast aside my elitism for a change and when I do drop this show, it will be for poor story-telling and plot. Not for boobs.

Rating: C-

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21 Comments

  1. Posted January 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… I’ve already voiced my opinion on Durarara, but If Ookami’s anything like Higurashi I’ll watch it. But I might wait for another episode to come out to see if it’s worth sticking with.

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Ookami Kakushi was so blantently like Higurashi that it actually pissed me off… To me it honestly felt like Higurashi with different, shittier characters that arent even that good looking. I mean, before the chart, I had never even known that Ryukishi07 had done anything other than Higrashi and Umineko, so maybe The studio(AIC, right?) is attempting to pounce on the “EVERYTHING RYUKISHI07 DOES IS GODLY” nonsense being spewed out…

  3. Béla
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I haven’t seen Higurashi, so that makes us two. But considering Ookami Kakushi wasn’t that really bad (expect the main characters voice acting, the tons of dull loli/shota-kids and the boring first episode) and as I’ve heard in Higurashi the story retakes in a new view, or something like that in every 4 episode, or so I think they can actually manage to pull this out in a good way. And we should watch Higurashi meanwhile.

  4. Scamp
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    @Siri

    Ah the glory of not being as obsessed with anime as I am. You get to read reviews and then NOT watch the crap

    @luffyluffy

    The reason I think AIC were chosen was because Deen apparently did a crappy job of adapting Umineko. Maybe RYUKISHI07 and his people decided they didn’t want Deen adapting his other works.

    @Béla

    I’m actually going to wait for Ookami Kakushi to finish (or alternatively, when I get bored of it) before I even consider watching Higurashi. Don’t want to watch two shows so similar at once

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Hmm.. I guess that can be seen.. Though I honestly enjoyed Umineko.. Though it still stands that I’ve never even heard of this VN before, and it honestly feels like a damned Higurashi rewrite:

    Ookami Kakushi:
    The story follows Hiroshi Kuzumi, a 16-year-old boy who has just moved to the seemingly serene village of Jogamachi. Nestled in the mountains far away from the city, the village is divided by a river that separates old Jogamachi from new Jogamachi. Young Hiroshi soon discovers that the village’s ancient as well as mysterious traditions and customs have been kept alive over the ages. Although a bit bewildered by the new environment, Hiroshi begins to settle into his new life. While he has never been the type to win any popularity contests, he quickly earns the affection of his classmates. That is with the exception of aloof class president, Nemuru Kushinada, whose only words to Hiroshi are a warning to stay away from old part of town. It is there that terror and mystery await him.

    Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni:
    After moving into the quiet town of Hinamizawa, Maebara Keiichi spends his days blissfully in school often playing games with his local friends. However, appearances can be deceiving. One fateful day, Keiichi stumbles upon news of a murder that had occurred in Hinamizawa. From this point on, horrific events unfold in front of Keiichi, as he soon learns his close friends may not be all that they seem. Based on the amateur mystery game by 7th Expansion, the story is told in a series of different scenarios.

    Plus… Just in series simularities are jarring. Though, I guess I’m being overly hard on the series..

  6. luffyluffy
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    HNNNGGG, DOUBLE POST *shot*

    Hanamaru Kindergarten for me is pretty much best of the season, the entire episode had me laughing, and well…. THEY’RE ALL SO KYOOOTTTT~! Cant. wait. for. episode. two.

    Scuse me while I go hump studio Gainax’s leg

  7. Poro
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    YES! someone agrees with me! watchable but not as epic as expected

  8. Scamp
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    @luffyluffy

    Yeah, as I’ve learned in the past, cuteness loses its appeal very quickly for me. I’m a bit wary with Hanamaru

    @Poro

    Baccano started the same way so I’m not too worried

  9. Faye_Zhoa
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Durarara 1st episode still not clearly (well, maybe it’s still the beginning), but i’m still lookin’ forward to it, two thumbs up for the motorcycle part, that was cool~!

    And for Ookami kakushi, well, the main character like a girl for me, too ‘moe’ for a guy, and a lil’ bit like lelouch?

  10. Scamp
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    @Faye_Zhoa

    You mean the lead guy of Ookami is the cart driver!!!!!!

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    [...] I didn’t know what to write. And continuing in the same line of honesty, I even checked out what Scamp (and a few others) thought before sitting down and thinking again what I should write. In the end, [...]

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