No CommentsFirst Impressions, Ye Olde Days / By Scamp /

Summer anime 2008 first impressions

So you find yourself sitting in front of the computer wondering what anime you should start watching when you suddenly remember that a new season has begun, but you don’t have time to go check out the first episode of all the anime shows that are out. Well I, 5camp, have watched some of the new series for you (I know but someone has to do it). Natsume Yuujinchou, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, Sekirei, Chocolate Underground, Birdy the Mighty Decode and Blade of the Immortal have all been dutifully inspected. So here is my short but highly useful Summer anime first impressions!

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu

Yes, she is very cute

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu was a show I was actually looking forward to. It’s based off a short novel and they have been proven to get good results, like Baccano, Full Metal Panic and Haruhi. I was expectinghoping that this would be something like Haruhi, a show with some absolute gems of humour and some excellent characters. Did we get that?

Well… no

Hello Figurene. I shall aspire to have a diverse a personality as you

The story is about our completely boring male lead with no personality except for the fact he is kind of nice, the kind of lead you almost always get in these type of shows. There is also a girl in the school who is perfect at everything, especially at being moe. But she has a terrible secret. Are you ready for it? She is an otaku!!!OMG the shame of it all! So when our wooded lead discovers this her life is obviously over as perfect princess because being an otaku is so terrible. But our lead, being the gentleman that he is, accepts the girl even though she has this disease on her and they become friends.

Since there is no canned laughter in anime, we shall laugh instead

If you like cute moe fanservice then this show is absolutely perfect for you. Nogizaka is so moe it hurts and you can expect beach scenes in the future and possibly a hot springs scene. If you are looking for a comedy or anything else from this show then don’t bother. Everyone spends far too much time being nice to each other for any humour to form and whenever they do say something that might possibly crack a Mona Lisa like smile from your face, the characters laugh themselves. It’s like laughing at your own jokes: the worst way possible to deliver a punchline.

The inevitable beach scene

No, this show has only one purpose. They have created a loser otakus dream, a perfect, beautiful girl who also happens to like anime. Its killing two birds with the one stone. The show is very well animated and the songs are fairly good. But no, this show is not to my liking. I may check out the next episode but unless it does something really good, I’m dropping it.

Verdict: 5/10

Natsume Yuujinchou

This is Natsumes Bankai

This was the other show I had gotten slightly hyped up about as I was hoping that this would be the anime that payed attention to detail and had a proper, well thought-out storyline. And, on the whole, it delivered this. The story is about this guy called Natsume who’s a bit of a loner because he can see spirits. And these aren’t pretty spirits, they are giant cyclops/wraith like spirits. But then he accidentally releases a spirit in the shape of a funny looking cat.

Its Shonen Bat!

So anyway the funny looking cat tells our hero about his granny and this bookof friends that she had. This was a bookthat she had gotten all these spirits that she had beaten up to write their name in. The thing is, if someone has this booktheycan control all the spirits in it, which is quite a lot. So obviously all the scary spirits want this book, including the funny looking cat. But Natsume instead decides to give all the spirits back their names, a dangerous task.

I like that cat. I've always liked cats

If you found that hard to understand its ok, the show explains it better. You can already see how this show could shape up. It will follow the format of Natsume giving names back to different spirits every episode. Its a well written show however. It tells the story well and swaps between the short action scenes to funny moments to deep moments without it feeling strained or weird. The show has a good balance to it.

I suddenly got very hungry

The animation is top notch. I’m watching Mushishi at the moment and that’s what it reminds me of (although currently hills, clouds and pillows remind me of Mushishi). If I am to pick out a problem with it so far its that it hasn’t really excelled in anything so far, but it is only the first episode and since it seems this show will rely on its story it will probably get better as it goes on. Either way, it is a ‘Good Show’ and I am ‘Interested to See What Happens’

Verdict: 7/10

Sekirei

Who needs a plot when you have giant bouncy breasts

Well I already wrote my views on this show here so I’ll keep this short. If you like giant bouncy breasts then this show has everything you could ever want and more. Everyone else, stay far away.

Verdict: 3/10

Chocolate Underground

Right lets make a show that only has 5 mins per episode. Are you with me guys...guys?

So Chocolate Underground is a show that is only being streamed off the internet onto people’s phones and iPods and not on TV (yes people, anime is not something that exists only on the Internet, people also watch it legally as well). In this sense I guess it’s understandable that the episodes are short. It doesn’t make it any better though, as soon as you get into the story the episode suddenly ends and BAM! Enthusiasm disappears. I am not kidding.

The most ridicolous use of a mecha since they used one to make pizza

The show starts off with a giant mecha going through this giant operation with helicopters and ‘code red’ type sayings. It destroys a house all to find a bar of chocolate. Now I thought this was funny and sat up and started paying attention at this point. The stories premise is that the government has gone crazy and banned all sweet foods. The two main lads in this show have a friend who’s family owns a sweet shop and they are going out of business because they have to sell healthy snacks.

And now we shall reveal...what, the episodes over already?

And then the episode ends and in that lies the problem. You will then have to wait a week to watch another 5 minutes of this show. Now this is my advice to you. Don’t watch it yet. Wait until it has all come out, because of what little I saw was fairly good.

Verdict: 6/10 if you watch it in one go — 4/10 if you watch weekly

Birdy the Mighty Decode

She has orange hair, has super sparky heels, wears very revealing clothes, cosplays for magazines in her spare time and shes hot. Whats not to like?

Birdy was originally a 4 episode OVA made in 1996. However, someone decided it would be a great idea to nick the writers behind Noein and remake this story. The story is about some super hot alien policewoman who has to come down to earth in an attempt to catch some aliens that are down here. To be perfectly honest the story sounds like a recipe for disaster but with the Noein writers anything is possible. And yes, somehow, Birdy is easily the best show of this season that I’ve seen.

I have to stop fighting crime on occasion to pose dramatically

So it starts off with these very ugly evil aliens (you know they are evil because they threaten to eat each other) trying to escape from the police. The police turns out to be Birdy Charges onto the ship only to find they had escaped. Fastforward 6 months and Birdy is down on earth with a job as a magazine cosplayer while she is trying to find these aliens who are on earth somewhere. So Birdy finds them, gets into a well- choreographed fight and then kills the main character.

So perverts are out this anime season. Better pretend I have no interest in girls

The main character is your usual male boring lead, which is a bit of a disappointment but hopefully things will pick up now that he is dead and stuff. Seriously, the chap accidentally walked in on Birdys fight so she killed him, only slightly by accident. So then Birdy kept him alive by inhabiting his body so now he turns into a super hot alien chick to fight aliens at night. Sounds a bit dumb and I thought so too originally, but this show pulls it off expertly.

Yes we have fanservice. So what?

So why do I like this show? I can’t really say why. The fights are fantastic and Birdys fighting style is so much fun to watch, with her super sparky high heels. The whole show is very fun and highly enjoyable which is what makes it stand out. The conversations aren’t mindless dribble, the are funny and well written. Oh, and the show has fanservice. Lots of fanservice. But somehow it never gets in the way of the plot. It ends up only adding to the enjoyment of the show. Birdy is like Yoko in Gurren Lagann in that sense: she is sexy by default

Birdy and... I've forgotten his name

Birdy could drop in form as the show goes on. The plot could wear thin and it could turn into a monster of the week type of show. But judging by the first episode alone, if you can handle fanservice, then this really is the show to check out. Birdy FTW!

Verdict: 8/10

Blade of the Immortal

I am GAR - GAR I am - am I GAR - yes I am

The main character has a swastika on his back. The episode title comes up on a swastika. At one point he cuts a swastika into someones face. I know the swastika has other meanings in religions but it’s still a bit off-putting. There is also a lot of blood in this show. A LOT of blood. I mean it. It’s even more off-putting then the swastika. At least I think it’s blood. It’s very dark a lot of the time. It could be just someone shooting paint everywhere, it’s hard to tell.

I am completly mad

Ok, with that out of the way let me tell you about the show itself. It’s about some guy who is immortal and has killed a lot of people. People keep coming up to him saying ‘you are the killer of 100, I shall now kill you’ upon which the main guy then kills them. However one day night the main characters sister gets killed by some guys trying to get to him. Except shes not his sister, she is some girl who went mad when she saw him kill her husband. Or something. I’m a bit hazy on that part, it was too dark to tell.

Can you tell whats going on? Neither can I

In case you hadn’t guessed I don’t like the animation. Some shows do this dark animation brilliantly, like Death Note. This doesn’t. It’s very hard to tell whats going on. I was also convinced that this was based of a game because of the all the fighting level:1 grunts and stuff. It turns out it was made from a popular manga. Either way the way its turned out is that he is now going to kill 1000 villains, levelling up along the way, to redeem his sins and stop being immortal.

Ewwww

There are things to praise this show about. The music is excellent throughout and when you are able to see whats going on the fight scenes are great. I’m also interested to see how this GAR guy is going to kill 1000 villains. He’s a fairly interesting character. It’s gotten kind of boring to see angsty teens, we now have an angsty immortal adult. It could end up the same way as angsty teens but as of now, I will give it a go

Verdict: 6/10

Final Words

Nothing this season to get a 9/10 yet, compared to last season which had both Code Geass and Kaiba. However if Natsume picks up and gets better then this season certainly won’t be a waste. There are still some other shows out there I might watch, like Slayers and World Destruction, so it isn’t all doom and gloom this season. It looks like I might pick Birdy to be my show I blog this season. That’s all for now

Note: The spell checker doesn’t seem to recognise ‘book’ yet it recognises ‘swastika’…I am being completly serious.

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3 Comments

  1. Loba
    Posted July 16, 2008 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Birdy the Mighty Decode is my pick as well. Gah, I thought Chocolate Underground would be a full fledge anime instead of just a short 5 mins clip…

    Sekirei = alternative universe of dragonboobs..–

  2. Posted July 18, 2008 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Natsume is my pick for the season. And Sekirei is more like Boob-o-nauts + Fate/Stay Night.

  3. 5camp
    Posted July 18, 2008 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I think I might blog Natsume instead of Birdy. Birdy is more of a sit down and watch the sparks fly type of anime. Natsume looks deeper so it would be easier to write about.

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