We’re sampling the summer season’s selection! Check out our other pilot write-up’s –
- ALDNOAH ZERO ** SWORD ART ONLINE II ** RAIL WARS ** YAMISHIBAI + AI-MAI-MI
- GLASSLIP ** AKAME GA KILL ** SAMURAI JAM ** PERSONA 4 ** DRAMAtical mURDER
- ARGEVOLLEN ** TOKYO GHOUL ** BLUE SPRING DRIVE ** RWBY Vol. 2
- TERROR IN RESONANCE
Sure, I’m far from the intended audience here, but I still have to question if it’s honestly that necessary for any show to be this cloying to its audience. To be fair, I’m only singling HaNaYaMaTa out because I'm finding it at the end of a streak. Still, I swear that a solid quarter of the pilots I’ve watched this season have involved the lonely, bored protagonist literally saying lines like “Oh, this town’s so boring” and/or “Oh, if only I weren’t so lonely and misunderstood” out loud.
You might argue that it’s the most succinct way to establish your lead’s plight so you can get to the cool shit (in this case, princess-theme fantasia) as quickly as possible. However, I’d counter that the clichéd image of the heroine sitting on her windowsill, staring wistfully out on her town while the Sun’s setting, is a much quicker way to get that across. I really hate to think that audiences, of any age, ever need to have characterizations spelled out for them like that.
Here's your all-too-reliable trope of the weird alien/fantasy girl literally dropping into a bored suburban kid’s humdrum existence here - - with two twists. First, the suburban kid is a girl, too, so it seems to be less of a romance than friendship (at least for now). And then there’s a cute scene where the dream girl ambushes our lead in class, and openly acknowledges that they met in a dream - - amusingly skipping over the usual “Is this happening?” scenes. But I guess that’s appreciation by degrees.
Look, it’s an awfully pretty show, and obviously I’m being a grump for picking it apart. Still, I have to say that a pilot like this makes me appreciate the opener of a show like EUREKA SEVEN a bit more. That one went through the paces of pretty much the same trope but, mercifully, it spared us any on-the-nose lines from Renton about his loneliness and boredom. Seeing it was enough.
Watch "Shall We Dance" and decide for yourself.