No CommentsFirst Impressions, Ye Olde Days / By Scamp /

First Impressions: Needless, Canaan, Princess Lover, Bakemonogatari, Spice and Wolf Season 2, Tokyo Magnitude

I should have had this post out earlier but I was busy getting thoroughly wet at a giant music festival. I am never camping at a music festival again. I’ve done it twice now and I feel I’ve now gotten a proper feel for festival camping aka: it’s very fucking wet.

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The goddess has returned. You know, the one who’s name begins with a H. Yup, of course I’m talking about Horo!

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

Needless

vlcsnap-22078If I had a choice between watching something hopelessly dumb or something hopelessly boring, I would pick the dumb one every time because at least their is a slight sense of enjoyment at watching how incredibly bad the team fuck things up and it’s therefore much easier to make fun of. So therefore I would prefer to watch Needless over the baseball girls one. That’s about as far as my praise will go.

Originally I thought all the Gurren Lagann similarities people were making was just the standard reaction to any anime that’s manly but god Needless really does want to be Gurren Lagann. The guy has Kamina sunglasses for gods sake. It’s full of yelling in Engrish and words shooting across the screen and absolutely no sign of anybody really caring about the plot that much.

It seems to me the creators thought the plot was an small annoying matter that they didn’t really want to put in but the men at the top demanded it so we got these hopelessly badly explained plot points all over the place. And then there’s the ending. You’ve probably seen or heard the rumours of the ending. It does have to be seen to be believed.

Rating: E

Canaan

vlcsnap-19640Wow, that was pretty damn intense. The gunfight in the episode was fucking fantastic. With the backdrop to people cheering and all the confusion and people’s heads disintegrating and falling into the river, that was great fun to watch. It was obviously helped by the damn nice animation. A bit generic but very well executed.

vlcsnap-19995But I’m going to have to keep the score down a bit for now. Canaan hasn’t revealed of it’s cards yet and some of the characters were a bit nonsensical, like the girl getting a foot massage. Of course this could be because she’s one of those Synthesizers or whatever they were called, but it just could be we have another one of those sadist freaky people that I hate in my anime.

vlcsnap-20903It certainly looks promising but as I said, I’ll have to wait a while before we know exactly how good. Although I do have to say that it has the most generic possible opening I’ve ever seen. I mean, I was laughing pretty much the whole way through it as it tossed out the same routine as any other opening song. Luckilly, an anime isn’t made by an opening or else Canaan would be a straight F.

Rating: B-

Princess Lover

vlcsnap-3617I’m not sure quite how to rate Princess Lover. On one hand, it’s full of bouncing breasts. I mean, they are fucking everywhere and I hate bouncy boobs. I mean, for gods sake wear something sensible if you are sword fighting, like armour or at least a goddam bra. Then there’s those rather annoying black patches/fog where censoring has taken place, which if anything is more off-putting than panties.

vlcsnap-4234On the other hand, this anime is far more intelligent than it’s porn game roots would have you believe. One moment that got me was when the pink-haired girl acted like she had amnesia and I was thinking ‘oh how bloody typical’ until she revealed she was just taking the piss at this common trope. There were several incidents like this in the episode where it showed that it actually does have a brain.

vlcsnap-4711I’m not sure if I want to watch this anime. The animation is terrible and the boobs are as off-putting as anything but it has a brain! Even the chase scene was surprisingly exciting and combat butlers are always awesome. It’s not amazing or anything but it’s far, far better than I expected it to be. But when all’s said and done, it’s still based off a porn game.

Rating: C

Bakemonogatari

vlcsnap-5094You know, not everybody who reads these previews knows what ‘typical Shaft’ means. It’s like when people toss names of Seiyu around and I haven’t a clue what they are on about (I’ve never cared in the slightest who voices whom in my anime) so therefore describing Bakemonogatari as pure Shaftyness would mean absolutely n0thing to them.

vlcsnap-5323If you are one of those people then I strongly recommend you watch the first episode because I still have yet to see anything that compares to that style of directing and animating. After watching crap animation in Needless and Princess Lover, the relief in watching something as well animated as this is a huge relief, although certainly mind-boggling.

vlcsnap-6450For the rest of you, this is probably a bit too Shafty for me. I much preferred his more laid-back style in Natsu no Arashi or, if he is going to go wild with his directing, then to play it for laughs like SZS (before the jokes got old that is). I’ll still watch it, because Shaft is such a weird viewing experience, but really I’m just waiting for the Natsu no Arashi sequel next season.

Rating: C

Spice and Wolf Season 2

vlcsnap-7626She has returned! While everyone else was clamoring to see their other goddess in action (and got to see her again and again and again) I couldn’t wait to see the return of the first anime I started following the fansubs to. And even with the change in studio the style and feel have remained the exact same.

vlcsnap-8047Brains Base have done a fine job here. The animation is as solid as it was in the first season and only someone with the most developed of animation-spotting eyesight would notice a difference in the two seasons. The only noticeable change simply comes around from normal plot-progression as Horo and Lawrence seem much closer in this season.

vlcsnap-8885It’s not a masterpiece. I may go on about how much I love this anime but it still was never a masterpiece. Just very solid, very enjoyable and very well-executed. It says a lot about an anime when you can watch two characters just chatting and find it easily the most enjoyable anime all season.

Rating: B+

Tokyo Magnitude

vlcsnap-10909Tokyo Magnitude is a lot like the quiet twin sister of Umineko. Both anime spent their first episodes introducing the characters and the setting without really being that spectacular but both anime also had the clear signs that they could become very interesting indeed when some fan is introduced to a certain amount of shit.

vlcsnap-11536The similarities end there. While Umineko goes completely OTT with character designs, expressions and grand scenes of people yelling ‘mwahaha’, Tokyo Magnitude prefers to take a quieter road, revealing characters feelings through more subtle methods and generally being far better directed than Umineko.

vlcsnap-12581It wasn’t exactly hugely enjoyable though. Not much happened and the female leads frustration is mirrored by your own at having to watch her but it’s a very smoothly executed anime. But it’s obviously going to get better and as for the earthquake at the end…that was eerie. The giant CGI bridge looking like some drug-induced dream, shaking about like that…

Rating: C+

If you’re wondering where Sora no Manimani is, I’ve decided that I’m going to start blogging that anime (unless the second episode turns out to be a complete disaster that is).

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2 Comments

  1. Wererat42
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    All I’ve seen among these is Canaan, which looks nice but needs to tell us what’s going on; Princess Lover, which I’m tentatively hopeful for; and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, where I’d like to know how they can make a disaster scenario into a anime.

  2. Posted September 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    ooh. Cool.Thanks for sharing this with us!

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