24 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Karneval episode 1 – Of course they’re called Circus

[Anime-Koi] Karneval - 01 [h264-720p][E619A01C].mkv_snapshot_16.19_[2013.04.05_21.45.42]

This man is part of an organisation whose dress code requires him to dress in a tuxedo and top hat and and use a conductors baton as a magic wand. Also he has a cute girl sidekick in a colourful skimpy dress with a leotard underneath that so you don’t see her underwear. Then at the end they reveal a man dressed in a colourful catsuit like a trapeze artist. I’m not saying that ‘Circus’ was the only name they could have gone for. I’m just saying that BRIGADE OF DEATH might not have suited their image.

[Anime-Koi] Karneval - 01 [h264-720p][E619A01C].mkv_snapshot_00.31_[2013.04.05_21.42.24]Inushinde took the good anime this season, Shinmaru took my opportunity to go full snark away from me, and Aku no Ha-ROTOSCOPE ROTOSCOPE ROTOSCOPE ROTOSCOPE ROTOSCOPE sorry I don’t know what happened there. So I I get to write about the show that leads with an effeminate shota with white hair and no testicles being handcuffed and dominated. Yay for me. I don’t have a problem with fujoshi stuff normally. I’m even down with a lot of the stuff Karneval does. The opening episode, for all its lack of explanation of events, didn’t hurl a bunch of proper nouns at us in the hopes that we’ll stick around just to figure out what the fuck those things are. The only proper noun was Circus, and their name is fairly self-explanatory. There’s something going on with this company owner that implies he’s not just some harmless small business owner and I’m sort of interested in what it is he’s done that’s got these workers annoyed.

On the other hand, the writing is bad. Perhaps I hold Narita’s work on too high a pedestal, but every line the characters in Durarara and Baccano speak add to these larger than life persona’s they all have. In Karneval, every line the characters speak is a bog-standard boiler plate lorem ipsum cliche. Why is the trope of having the effeminate white haired guy with only a single brain cell and a limited vocabulary popular anyway? It’s a boring character archetype with no room for depth or interesting dialogue. He can’t have a meaningful relationship because he’s too thick to hold any complex feelings with other guys. The black haired too-cool-for-you isn’t as bad, but his responses too are completely standard and dull. I understand I’m not Japanese and therefore the fault could be just the subtitles, but the responses are so standard even I know what they mean with my weeaboo-level control of the language.

Let me try get into the head of fujoshi for a second. Why is this popular? Fanboys seem to be fairly happy so long as you toss some underwear and tits in their face. The only challenge is picking a fetish and having a good character designer. Meanwhile what makes a BL pairing interesting is the depth of their relationship and how many levels their personalities clash. How complex their feelings are for each other, the whirring chemistry and emotions boiling up inside them every time they meet each other as several conflicting feelings bubble up. What makes Light and L so fascinating is their interest in each other has so many layers, from rivalry to contrasting ideologies to figuring out each other’s mind games to fascination with the other’s comparatively equal levels of intellect to genuine confusion as to whether the other actually saw them as a friend. That’s why fujoshi ship them, not because they were handcuffed together for a few episodes.

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  1. Posted April 6, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Well, but if you’re got fairly blank-slate guys, it just means you have that much more room to maneuver when writing fanfiction and making fanart. You can spread your winggggggggssss~*~*~*~

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      They’ll be spreading more than just their wings do ho ho

      • Posted April 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Heyyy, why don’t you try writing some BL fanfiction so you can give some more depth to the relationship betwixt the male leads, ehhh?

      • Kiraly
        Posted April 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        Do iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!

      • Billish
        Posted April 7, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        GOT EM!

  2. Fumoffu!!
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    I was looking forward to your reaction on Aku no Hana, I wanted more than a glimpse!

    Yeh, Karneval is distinctly average, but it’s been popular on MAL, so that’s good for FAL.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Been keeping an eye on my FAL ranks. Doing well so far, particularly because I kept Aku no Hana off my team and cleverly went for Demon King instead. However I feel a bit alarmed at how well Devil Survivor seems to be doing

      • Kiraly
        Posted April 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        …too bad I have DeSu2 benched *head, meet desk*

        AND I have both Aku no Hana and Date A Live to get rid of. I was kinda expecting late popularity for Aku no Hana (due to the ‘controversial’ comments), but now I have to get it off my line-up ASAP.

    • Fumoffu!!
      Posted April 6, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Actually, Aku no Hana was a fantastic choice, it’s racked up 700 comments on it’s first episode discussion, equal to 17,500 points. in other words it’s probably going to be the top scoring show, something only possible to know in hindsight. So long as it’s immediately subbed out after the second episode, people who picked Aku no Hana got incredibly lucky.

      • Scamp
        Posted April 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Short-termism thinking. Just like the folks who picked Date A Live. I’m playing the long game here

      • Fumoffu!!
        Posted April 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        That’s the thing, Aku no Hana is brilliant in the short term, for the first two weeks. Then after that when Railgun S or that J.C. Staff one start, you sub them in to replace Aku no Hana. When I said Aku No Hana would be a top scorer I meant only for the first two weeks, but that’s what matters! Who cares if everyone drops past week 2? If you sub it out your team for week 3 you’ll get that high short term score followed by the high “long game” score you mention.

        That’s not so much short term thinking but a smart game. It’ll be a problem if they have other stuff they wanted to sub out (like Date a Live) but otherwise they are in a really good position.

  3. zleihsh
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but Nai IS a lost “puppy”, and because what he is, his human vocabulary is quite limited, for now.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Yeah I kinda got that, but it’s still boring to watch him

  4. Posted April 6, 2013 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    Am I a bad person if I say I wanted to punch the white haired kid in the face? He was putting me to sleep, but this will probably end up on my dropped list if nothing cool happens in three episodes.

    Magical top hat guy was great though.

  5. Shengar
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Not everybody can write sutff up that can match Shizuo and Izaya or Light and L chemistry of their intereraction between each other. Many lesser writer have tried to create copy of them only failed miserably as they are not know what make those pairing so good. But even so, the fujoshis that pair Sizhuo and Izaya still craving on these mindless pairing that defined by handcuff and hugging. Well, its escapism, the same reason why Henneko popular in first place.

    • Kiraly
      Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I never got Shizuo/Izaya either. Their ‘relationship’ only has one layer, mutual hate.

      • Scamp
        Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        But the depth of their hate is fascinating! It’s not as though they simply don’t like each other. They despise each other in a way that means they can’t stop thinking about it. Izaya finds he has to go out of his way to piss off Shizuo because he craves that hate, and Shizuo’s hate is so intense he literally rips up the street on sight.

      • Shengar
        Posted April 6, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        From these two example, it seem that the most fascinating BL pairing mostly come from mutual enemy relationship. But damn right! Its either their exchange from meeting each other because the hate that make them to be paired interesting. Most shallow BL stuffs just paired their character with intimate bullshit stuff like hugging or have too-close-face-to-face on the floor instead of creating chemistry with interaction.

        What the heck I’m talking about BL?! Why I’m talk like an enraged elitist fujoshi here?!

  6. gw_kimmy
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    it’s actually not that complex all the time. karneval manga is popular simply because of the art and the fanservice in it. at least that’s what i got out of the reviews on MU when deciding if i should pick it up or not. pretty much female equivalent of baseless tits and ass.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t have thought that would be popular, but I guess I underestimated fujoshi

      • Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        I think you mean overestimated hurr hurr.

      • Kiraly
        Posted April 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Pretty art + plus that certain style. I read a couple of chapters of Karneval a few years back, and it was right up my alley. I can’t explain it but it’s not just the art.

        Plus back when its fandom formed the cliches weren’t so prevalent. All this stuff was ‘new’.

  7. Lirael
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    As someone who actualy read the manga for the plot and art and not so she can ship boys, I really hated it when they turned it into an anime, I’m not sure they can pull this off.

    Most -if not all- people that like the manga are there for the characters. The plot isn’t too bad, and we do get some mildly interesting revelations but the problem is that it’s too ‘watered down’ like, we get some arcs that fill like filler but then reveal on like crumb of info, so the plot progression is very slow. It’s only now, in the 10th volume, that we are moving at a faster pace and things are getting interesting again. In my opinion, obviously.

    Still, I’m hoping that, judging by the number of characters in the ED, the anime will try to cram as much stuff as possible so we’ll get a faster pace.

    In defense of Nai, he does have a reason beyond “hurrdurr memory loss” for his limited vocabulary and the way he acts.

    And as for the fujoshi…if it makes you feel better i think most aren’t shipping GarekixNai but Garekixannoyingdudeyoullmeetnextepisode

  8. khawlin
    Posted April 7, 2013 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Hmm Screenwriter MACHIDA Touko

    Credits Okamikakushi, Idolm@ster, Seikon no Qwaser wha …Amnesia!?!


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