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MAJIN BONE #1 + MEKAKUCITY ACTORS #1 -- Special Review

Both of these shows get off to a clumsy start. What's up with this season?

Join us as we view new pilots this season. See where they fit on the highly-scientific Rock-or-Suck Scale… FAIRY TAIL SEASON 2 -- BLACK BULLET -- THE COMIC ARTIST & HIS ASSISTANTS -- ONE WEEK FRIENDS -- MUSHI-SHI: THE NEXT CHAPTER -- BRYNHILDR IN THE DARKNESS -- CHAIKA THE COFFIN PRINCESS -- CAPTAIN EARTH -- NO GAME, NO LIFE -- THE IRREGULAR AT MAGIC HIGH SCHOOL

Still catching up after the cross-country con tour. Bear with me here…

Actually, it makes as much sense to bus these two shows as it did to cover CAPTAIN EARTH and NO GAME, NO LIFE together. Neither pilot is flashy enough to be categorized as “style over substance,” but they’re still really clumsy openers. I wasn’t asking “WTF did I just watch?” because there was anything shocking going on. I was asking that because it felt like somebody mixed up their cue cards.

At a glance, MAJIN BONE seems almost like Toei trying to update SAINT SEIYA for the 2010’s - - and stumbling into the same pitfalls as GATCHAMAN CROWDS. There isn’t enough pathos in this high schooler’s life to really justify the slow pacing. We’re not taking our time to establish a character here. It just seems like a bio card that’s been hastily thrown in between two bookends advertising figurines.

MEKAKU CITY ACTORS is a little more interesting for how it at least teases a bit of anime metafictional self-awareness during the opening dialog. The sprite girl seems to be making fun of her own tropey-ness for a minute there, but they never end up going any further with it. It’s yet another set-up about another grotesque media-addicted shut-in who goes into histrionic fits about the most basic human interactions. I’ve already seen enough of this season (even if this one does run into a bunch of crooks. What a twist!).

There was something… unusual about how the angles were framed, too. This might be the first anime I’ve seen that makes me aware of the proscenium arch at all times. It’s almost like it’s a three-camera sitcom. I don’t know if that’s a result of budget or style, but it was memorable. And I guess that’s really faint praise. I’m just fed-up meeting this particular character, over and over again in these shows.

Watch "Visitors from the Darkness" and “Artificial Enemy” and decide for yourself.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Bigheart711on April 30, 2014 at 4:42 a.m.

The next two episodes of Mekaku City Actors actually placed some things together with some of the other characters about. So far, I think it's a good watch. Haven't looked into Majin Bone yet though.

takashichea moderator is online on April 30, 2014 at 2:43 p.m.

For Mekaku City, it's done by Shaft. That's why the camera angles are so awkward (well maybe not camera angles). I think I know 2 users who known Shaft for a while and

Did Tom did cover Nisemonogatari or any of those "gatari shows?" Those shows were done by Shaft, so they do the same thing with awkward head angle.

If you get into episode 2, you see more of this element and a bit of surrealism. I enjoy the 2nd episode way better because of those elements with the girl's story being creatively shown.

sickVisionz moderator on April 30, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

Majin is my queue to watch once it gets a bunch of episodes. Hearing that it's like Gatchaman Crowds is music to my ears. I thought that show was a lot of fun and didn't really get the hate this site gave it.

@takashichea: I'm iffy on Shaft. Really, I'm iffy on most studios. Their stuff will always look pretty cool but they are hit or miss for me. I like -Monogatari a ton as well as Pani Poni Dash. I think Madoka and Zetusbo sensei are ok. Everything else I've seen from them isn't up my alley at all. I'll always give them a shot because of -Monogatari and Pani Poni but I go in kinda expecting anything not that to probably be something I won't feel all that much or will actively dislike.

Did Tom did cover Nisemonogatari or any of those "gatari shows?"

They've got fan service in them. I think he watched like one episode and then dropped it immediately.

Marshal Victoryon April 30, 2014 at 5:38 p.m.

Fairly close on MAJIN BONE its almost like old school shonen at times an then when its not its at least funny when they say bone a a lot . Think Beavis an Butthead an the odd parts are at least funny. Fairly slick use of cgi in the animation style over all to. Tho do not see the GATCHAMAN CROWDS connection or even SAINT SEIYA. power rangers maybe tho.

Well power armor thing thats not iron man like.Other than that just dont see much connection even with SAINT SEIYA. Less were talking broad brush strokes. It feels more like marvels http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkhawk at times than any thing anime to me.

MEKAKU CITY ACTORS is a odd duck. The pilot does not reflect the next two episodes at all but they by the 3rd episode tie into the pilot. It probably will never be on adult swim because of a circle with a x in it on multiple computer screens. Think X men ish things.

Its visually interesting an its triple layered plot cake may have enuff icing to hold my interest for the whole season.Overall the season is not a bad one so far but has less shows for my tastes than the last .

Dig Deeper into Majin Bone

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