My penultimate first impressions post and with this group of anime the year takes a much brighter look as I realise exactly how many high quality anime are out at the moment. Toss in the fact that legal streaming seems to be taking hold, it’s a good time to be an anime fan.
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
Being a soccer fan I’m going to use the age old cliche term to describe this episode. It was a story of two halves. The first half was some rich family with not-so-funny characters making humorous faces with a bit of mystery about some Abyss thing that involved chains. All very boring stuff to be honest.
But whatever the manager said to them at half time worked a treat. Suddenly Pandora Hearts got mysterious and creepy. The creepy sequence where our hero was transported to another world was fantastically done and kept you on your toes as you just weren’t sure what was going on or what was real.
After that it went back to rich old family house stuff but the injection of mystery had taken it’s toll. Now the characters seemed much more interesting, the tale about the Abyss much more relevant and the characters conversations now actually meant a lot more. I am not a big fan of XEBEC (which is a nice way of saying ‘they are rubbish’) but if they play their cards right with this they could be onto something. Although don’t go buying any stock in Pandora Hearts just yet.
Tears to Tiara
Well, there were a lot of bad signs here. First, the attempt to animate events in the dark wsa poorly done. I couldn’t see a blasted thing. Then the villain was just so generically evil (I like inflicting pain upon little children rawr rawr etc.). Toss in some a hopelessly corny scene where one character gets trapped behind a rockfall and yells ‘go on without me’. Now you have a recipe for don’t watch this.
However Tears to Tiara has ambition. For all the poor animation earlier, the scene with that devil billowing out of the chest was really well done and, despite all the dullness beforehand, left me wanting to see what happens next. Because ToT has ambition. It is convinced it’s an epic fantasy tale, like it’s sister series, Utawarerumonononono..mono.
But I amn’t really a fan of fantasy. Twelve Kingdoms bored me silly and I never what was the big whoop about Moribito. I think I can only handle one fantasy series a season, so it was between this and Guin Saga. One has amazing animation and based upon a set of best-selling novels and the other has dull animation and based off a porn game. Guess which one I’m watching?
There’s one of these every season and the Geass vibes should’ve given it away. Back in Autumn it was Kannagi. This time round, the shock hit of the season appears to be 07 Ghost. Going into it with very little expectations, I was treated to probably the best first episode all season. I felt like I had just watched something hour long. They had packed so much into this first episode without once feeling rushed.
First off, this is very Geass-esque. The uniforms certainly seemed to be taken straight from Area 11, as do the character designs. It also seems to have taken Geass’s love for the slightly over-the-top dramatics, complete with suitable background music and camera angles. Deen have actually pulled some damn good animation out for this series, the fight scenes are as slick as anything this season.
This anime seems to have been dismissed in some quarters as fangirl fodder and the sheer amount of bishies do certainly bring about that conclusion. There lies my only real problem with the episode, I think I saw one pair of breasts in the entire episode, and the porn mag doesn’t count. However 07 Ghost is far more than that. For pure, edge of your seat excitement and drama, this seems to be the place to go.
Hello Tears to Tiara. This is Guin Saga speaking. I have a message for you: This is how you make a fantasy anime! You first create your wildly complicated world complete with evil nations, mystical prophecies, dangerous creatures and even it’s own God, Yarn. This is quite clearly an anime of epic proportions. One has to wonder how Satelight are going to pull this off, especially if they try to do this in too few episodes.
Guin Saga is wonderfully animated, probably the best of the season. The backgrounds are suitably luscious and it also has a fine eye for cinematography (the gradual revealing of Guin through the shadows was excellent). Actually, Guin is the real star of this anime. Talk about an entrance scene, he karate chops a man into the ground for Yarns sake!
There are a few problems, such as how Guins voice doesn’t match his mouth at all. Also I kinda hope Guin gets some clothes fairly soon, it’s rather offputting having his ass-cheeks take up the screen. Otherwise, this looks like it’s set to become an epic fantasy. I’m not a fan of the genre but based off this first episode, I’m willing to give fantasy another shot.