No CommentsFirst Impressions, Ye Olde Days / By Scamp /

First Impressions: K-ON!, Requiem for the Phantom, Asura Cryin', Natsu no Arashii

This will be my fourth season doing first impression posts and for some strange reason they are my favorite type of post. I can’t quite place my finger as to why either. It’s not easier, it doesn’t get far more comments or hits and it takes quite a while to formulate my thoughts on 20 minutes into 20 sentences. Though I do have to say I’ve found a preview hero in Tenka Seiha who manages to get his thoughts across about the anime without spoilers and remaining perfectly funny, although I do completely disagree with his taste most of the time.

vlcsnap-9912

My Rating System Explained!

A = If you watch anything this season, watch this

B = Very good, sometimes surprisingly so.

C = If you have the time, you should check this out

D = Not my kind of thing, I won’t be watching this

E = Bad. Very bad, ignore this show

F = Frustratingly awful

K-ON!

vlcsnap-4884When I started reading that K-ON! was reincarnation of Lucky Star, I started to panic a bit. For the record, Lucky Star is the only anime I deemed worthy of the ‘sadistic torture’ rating. However, it turns out K-ON is not all the most boring moments in your life condensed into 20 minutes. In fact, K-ON is actually pretty funny.

vlcsnap-8167OK, there are some problems with it. It relies slightly too much on funny facial expressions to make you laugh. There was also about a minute where it descended into every character being insufferably nice to each other, saying ‘oh no I’m sorry’ that caused me to hate Lucky Star. And if you can’t stand moeblob, then plain and simple you will not like this.

vlcsnap-8345But Kyo Ani have always had a knack for good humour and I laughed out loud several times, particularlyat her reason for joining the music club (it’s light music, like whistling). Toss in the fact that this show may have the Azumanga affect (an anime who’s characters have the ability to grow on you gradually throughout the course of a series, most notable in Minami-ke, Beck and obviously Azumanga) then it looks like we have a winner here. Fandom already seems to be going crazy over the blasted thing but ignore that and enjoy K-ON for what it is.

Rating: B-

Requiem for the Phantom:

vlcsnap-10600I’ve actually only seen one Bee Train production: Noir. Guess what? This is exactly the same! From reading about you can sort of tell that this is what Bee Train stick to doing. Slow, thoughtful series with oodles of action, quiet characters and operatic music. Phantom delivers all of that, the only difference is the animation is better and one of the characters is a bloke this time round.

vlcsnap-12150Still, why complain? As I’ve said, the only one of these I’ve seen is Noir and I thoroghly enjoyed that and since I’ve only seen one I’m obviously not sick of seeing the ‘girls with guns’ anime. However it’s tough to review this episode. Phantom keeps all it’s cards close to it’s chest. Generally I’ve learned this is a good thing. It normally means the anime has enough faith in it’s story to keep the viewers coming in for more.

vlcsnap-10529Finally it seems the male lead, while losing his memory, also looses his taste in cars. A pink convertible? Seriously man…

Rating: B-

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Asura Cryin’

vlcsnap-225882Ok, first I’m going to list the things wrong with this anime. There’s the horrible, generic character designs. But I suppose it suits their horribly generic character archetypes. I’ve seen all these bloody characters before, it bugged me to no end. Seven Arcs are just not a good studio to be animating anything. Heck, they could’ve been a bit imaginative with the ghost girl but all they did was have a green glow around her and make her see-through.

vlcsnap-22801However, there seems to be a story here…somewhere. Asura simply decided that, if their genericness turned most people away, then they better try keeping them by tossing absolutely everything they had into the first episode. I mean everything, theres even a very cool looking mecha at the end. At I suppose it sort of worked. I do actually want to see what they’re going to come up with next and learn about this mysterious brother of his.

vlcsnap-23007But I really doubt this will be any good. I’ll give the second episode another shot but I’ll probably be dropping this. It seems to much to be another one of those anime that tries to put in everything and comes out with nothing.

Rating: D+

Natsu no Arashii

natsu-no-arashi-1As usual, you can spot SHAFT a mile away. While Gainax and Madhouse may occasionally delve into the depths of what animation can do, SHAFT really is the greatest studio for using animation to it’s full potential. Natsu no Arashii’s madness is slightly toned down from Mr.Despair but that’s actually an improvement. I do love SHAFTs style and I could watch it all day (it was the only reason I kept watching Maria Holic).

sunglassesWhat SHAFT usually lack is lasting content which is where Jin Kobayashi steps in. The man created the greatest cast of characters ever in School Rumble so I have a lot of faith that he’s turned these bunch into another winning cast, although it’s hard to tell from the first episode alone. Unfortunately, the Yakumo look-a-like isn’t like Yakumo at all but I can let that slide for now.

untitledThis first episode wasn’t the same as the manga, apparently it was just a random gag piece from the manga so they could introduce all the characters. Which is all good because I really liked the first episode. Once the plot kicks in and the characters show their extra layers, I think we could have a real keeper here. SHAFT and Kobayashi really is a match made in heaven

Rating: B

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4 Comments

  1. Posted April 7, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Time to KIV Requiem for the Phantom.

  2. Posted April 8, 2009 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    K-ON! looks pretty cute… I’ve been thinking about trying it out~

  3. Posted April 8, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    @Loba

    I take it Bee Train isn’t your sort of thing then :)

    @kuniko

    If you start K-ON, I would strongly reccomend NOT to start reading all the hype around the thing because all these moe-eccentric blogs are going completely nuts over the thing

  4. Posted April 8, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I bought Noir VCDs and still havnt watch it…time factor man.

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