14 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Mashiro-Iro Symphony episode 1

Mashiro-Iro Symphony is embarrassing. Sometimes when these sorts of VN adaptations slather on clichés, they do it in a self-referential fashion, wallowing in the tedium of their own genre. Not Mashiro-Iro Symphony though. Yes, it is covered in cliché from start to finish, but it’s so earnest about it that it’s fascinating, as if it doesn’t realise how generic it is.

The episode starts off asking what are girls made of, similar to how Wandering Son started. However, where Wandering Son was asking this because the main character was wondering why he was born a boy rather than a girl and signified the direction and tone of the story from then on, in Mashiro-Iro Symphony in means absolutely fucking nothing. Something got to do with love and girls being absolutely full of it. Because that’s all girls are. So full of love that they’ve removed their brains in order to fill it with even more love, all of it just waiting to be unlocked in one of the games various character routes you can take.

The next 10 minutes consist of the main character’s kawaii imouto being lost in a town (her sense of direction being one of the many casualties when her brain was excavated to make room for more love) and her talking to her brother on the phone so they can meet up. 10 full minutes of them going “no no, wait there, I’ll come get you, wait crap there goes my battery”. It’s quite shocking how much nothing happens in this scene. The kawaii imouto picks up another girl in this time, who also had her sense of direction obliterated to make room for even more love. She doesn’t add anything to the conversation either, bar “here’s your sister, we met up”. Half the episode over and all we’ve established is that the girls in this series have no sense of direction. So far, so tedious.

The second half of the episode is a perfect storm of cliché and dribble. First we have some token incest. Then we meet the pervy wingman, followed swiftly by the maid, the sexy teacher and the bossy student council president, who just so happens to have been the girl from earlier on in the episode. Woah, shocking revelation! Oh boy, how embarrassing for her to meet the boy she met earlier that day. Well, she thinks it’s embarrassing, for some reason or another. I’m not sure why, when the extent of their conversation was “here’s your sister, sorry we both got lost, kay bye now”. It’s hardly embarrassing that she has no sense of direction, since none of the other girls in the series have one either.

After giving this some thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that Mashiro-Iro Symphony must be one of two things. Firstly, it could be a love letter to eroge adaptations. I find this hard to believe, because that’s like writing a love letter to brain tumours. The alternative is that the creators simply don’t know how generic they’re being. This is slightly more believable, considering Manglobe *used* to just do ambitious and creative anime originals, like Samurai Champloo or Ergo Proxy. Hence I can’t blame them for, when one of their staff burst in and proclaims “I have a great idea! The school he attends should be a girl’s school that just turned co-ed so the main character will be surrounded by almost all girls”, not knowing that they should instantly punch him in the face.

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  1. mcm38
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Scamp! You’ve done it again. This is one of those great posts I’m fan of. Pure amusing and ironic criticism of the idiocy.

    Loved the ‘they got their brains removed to fill in with love because thats probably the answer to the question of what girls are’.
    And I sure hope they realized by now and finaly punched that guy.

  2. Posted October 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Whoa that is frightening. I had the exact same thought about Wandering Son. I was even half tempted to put the two intros side by side to compare the different strategies that the two shows were trying to employ by using the same language and verbal imagery.

    But you were way funnier than me. Kudos.

  3. Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Wait, you changed the titles of everything else to English, but not this one? How’re you gonna make the Pure Shite Symphony jokes now?

    We should watch this together, obviously. People possessing good taste have sworn to me that it gets better!

  4. Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    On the plus side, it made more sense than Horizon. On the negative side Kimi to Boku had a more exciting plot.

    Also, I think you should seriously consider a third possible explanation for this abomination: Management at Manglobe have come to realize that moe truly is the zombie virus that is killing anime. In a last desperate gambit to inoculate themselves, they have willingly submitted themselves to being bitten by someone carrying the disease, in the hope that they can grow immune, like Will Smith in that movie, and become the last non-zombie anime country left.

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    The only good thing coming out of this show is that cute cat mascot thing.

  6. romulus
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Scamp you don’t even need to tell us, we know that the male lead is Mr. Generic Male Lead (again) and he’s been (or will be) called a pervert 999 times.

    I am only wondering that why the fuck do they still keep making this shit. Don’t they see how bad it is?? And the viewers, oh god those viewers. Is the world we live in reaaly this stupid?? Don’t they see how constant these stupid clichés are? Don’t they desire a change from this? What kind of enjoyment comes from shite like this??

    Seriously, someone answer that last one.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      The sad thing is, the dvd sales will probably be pretty good…

  7. Marow
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Scamp never fails to deliver.

  8. crazyapple
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I Honestly spent the first 15 minutes of this episode being somewhat pleased by it. Yes, they did just spend 10 minutes being lost and doing absolutely nothing, but come on;

    A series about living with a retarded imouto??? It’s certainly original. At the very least it’s something different to watch, I’ll probably enjoy it.

    I’m not even joking, I really thought her basket of eggs was mostly empty, and then a random stranger leads her by the hand and is completely nice to her. You know, like a bleeding soul leading down syndrome person across the street. And then there’s the scene where she’s like “I saw a weird creature. I followed it. Sorry.” And of course the brother has the patience of a saint and is super nice…like you’d treat a special person…

    I had every reason to think she was retarded and then I slowly started realizing that wasn’t the case. She could cook, she could string some very basic sentences together. I was thoroughly creeped out by the Brothers friend hitting on her. I still thought she was special at that point.

    But once I realized they just tried to make her so cute that she seemed like a retarded character I just lost all interest. The show became…well, exactly what it is.

  9. Posted October 8, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The positive thing about terrible anime is that I can look forward to your posts about them. I swear, the world would be better off if you were only allowed to watch shows like this and blog about it.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 8, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Hence the terribad reviews :D

  10. seansky
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    the whole anime is on that “cat”.

  11. Posted October 14, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    For an h-game to anime conversion, Manglobe’s adaptation is a masterpiece compared to the previous three this year; Fortune Arterial, Hoshizora, and Yosuga no Sora.

    I like this one. It’s calming, gives off a Sola vibe, and the main character isn’t an idiot. Also, the gay buddy actually has a girl! Amazing!

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