Another week, another posting of my impressions. So lets begin.
The IdolM@ster franchise has been a popular idol sim in Japan for a long time. It was one of the main sources of revenue for the 360 in Japan and is now gaining a true anime adoption (Lets ignore Xenoglossia). The first episode is pretty much a documentary type film of the girls in their daily lives, interacting with each other, practicing their dancing and singing, and getting set ups for performances. In the end, however, all was being filmed by their new producer, who has no name at the moment (Kinda like the game). It’s a interesting set up for a first episode at least but I wouldn’t expect the rest of the series to be like this. We have pretty much the entire cast from the game, Amami Haruka ( Nakamura Eriko), Hoshii Miki ( Hasegawa Akiko), Kisaragi Chihaya ( Imai Asami), Takatsuki Yayoi ( Nigo Mayako), Hagiwara Yukiho ( Asakura Azumi), Kikuchi Makoto ( Hirata Hiromi), Futami Ami/Mami ( Shimoda Asami), Minase Iori ( Kugimiya Rie), Miura Azusa ( Takahashi Chiaki), Shijou Takane (Hara Yumi), Ganaha Hibiki (Numakura Manami), and Akizuki Ritsuko ( Wakabayashi Naomi). All of which having their own personalities and characteristics. We also have the 765 Pro’s secretary, Otonashi Kotori (Takita Juri), 765 Production’s faceless president, Takagi Junjirou (Ootsuka Houchuu), and the new Producer ( Akabane Kenji). The shows visuals give off a very k-on feel from its designs of characters, movements, and color palette which works out in the end. As it stands, THE IDOLM@STER is very much for fans of the franchise and doesn’t introduce itself for newcomers who weren’t keeping up with it.
If a family member just dead and
has left their child, who is completely ignored by everyone else, would you
take care of them? That is what 30-year-old salaryman Kawachi Daikichi
( Tsuchida Hiroshi) was questioned when the family was deciding what to do with
Grandpa’s illegitimate daughter, Kaga Rin (voiced by 9-year-old Matsuura Ayu).
It is the journey of these two making the best of life and creating a strong bond
between each other. You can’t help but care about Rin being a pretty innocent
child and Daikichi has something to work hard for. Visuals are pretty simple
designs but have a very sketch like. Plus the lighting helps set the scene
really well. I can’t see anyone not liking this touching show when it deals
with first time parenting.
Usagi Drop is streaming on CrunchyRoll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/usagi-drop
NoitaminA and BONES powers combine
has created show about to strange boys sleeping together. Ok no, it isn’t that
weird, sort of. The story surrounds a genius boy Shion ( Kaji Yuuki) and a
escaped criminal Nezumi ( Hosoya Yoshimasa), which all sounds like some strange
TV drama. However, given that their world is controlled by determining who the
right people to live in NO.6 and the true nature of it, which is similar to
other conspiracy stories like 1984. It is pretty obvious that this is a
introduction episode before the storm hits so not much has happen (besides the
Yaoi undertones). Visuals are the usual BONES quality, mainly from the Darker
than black designs and color palette. This show, as of now, is a setting up for
what to come.
NO.6 is streaming on CrunchyRoll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/no-6
Another original with a family of
three siblings, survival, and blue penguins. The story begins with the three
siblings of the Takakura family, oldest son Kanba ( Kimura Subaru), the younger
brother Shouma (Kimura Ryouhei), and their younger sister Himari (Arakawa
Miho), who they love to death, as they have a happy day at the aquarium since
Himari won’t live long due to a incurable health problem. However, things go
awry as Himari collapses and is at the end of her line. When the boys were just
about to lose hope, the black penguin cap that Shouma bought Himari, has
revived her fully. While all is now well, the cap demands them they must offer
a price to pay in-order to keep Himari alive. It is a crazy but touching tale
of a family bonding that will potentially go in to themes of sacrificing for
those you love. Visuals are outstanding with so many designs, colors, and
movements that fill the screen at any given moment. It is a wild ride of beauty
that everyone should give a chance to see.
A young Japanese girl, Yune (Touyama Nao), travels to Paris to see the world. This could had ran as some silly way for loli fanservice but Ikoku Meiro no Croisée doesn’t go for cheap tricks but heartwarming, innocent, and the idea of cultural differences. The story goes with Yune starting her stay in Paris by living a kind old man, Oscar Claudel (Tanaka Hideyuki), and Claude Claudel (Kondou Takashi) owner of the Enseignes du Roy ironworks shop and one who wasn’t sure about Yune’s traditions. From there, Yune and Claude begin to understand one another in their cultural differences. This series takes place in the 19 century where cultures from around the world were beginning to meet and greet and this first episode really showcase that with many people in the streets of Paris being shock to see a little girl walking around in a beautiful kimono, which was new to most people. Yune, unlike most little anime girls, is portrayed as a innocent, curious, and respectable person as well as being incredibly adorable. Claude is the usual hardworking young man who is willing to come to terms with Yune helping him out despite their misunderstanding with their first meeting and Oscar is the wise old man that helps both Yune and Claude understand each other and the world. While everyone in the show is speaking in Japanese, their mind sets and wordings are in French which may confuse people when listening to what they say. Visually, the show is beautiful with crisp lighting, colors, and designs. Only a few moments had characters turned simplified when in a scene of comedy. While many may not like the slow pacing of the show, there is a lot to appreciate like its style, characters, and setting.
Despite the “Yuri” in the title, there isn’t any of that the
show, kinda. What you will get is pretty nicely paced comedy and showcasing new
seiyuus. The show stars our cast of four middle school girls, Akaza Akari
(Mikami Shiori), Toshinou Kyouko (Ootsubo Yuka), Funami Yui (Tsuda Minami), and Yoshikawa
Chinatsu (Ookubo Rumi) hanging out in the abandon tea ceremony clubroom to
establish their fun club. Its pretty much the typical slice of life comedy with comedy being the
main course. See, the pacing from joke to joke is really well done and
allows the viewer interested in what is and will happen. And all of the
jokes are related or connect to one another. Like I said before, this is
one of those series where it'll look good on the seiyuu's resume as
they all do a really good job with their character's personalities and
able to sound cute while being unique and not some generic voice. If I
have a small problem with the show it would be the look of it as the
studio want with some type of light brown tone to it which dulls the
colors little, leaving no real bright coloring. Character designs are
blob like with round faces making for some cute looks. For those looking
for a solid comedy try out YuruYuri and maybe you can find "Yuri" in
You can find this show streaming on CrunchyRoll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/yuruyuri
Its time to evaluate shows I watched, giving them a short impression and a grade, while going a little in-dept with ones I just watched. So let get started.
So finally, Madhouse gets something right with X-Men. While the plot isn’t anything special, it’s the characters I kinda remember from either the comics or the cartoon. Adding good visuals and fitting Japanese voices and you got yourself a good adoption of a western series.
4 out of 5
While the premise is straight out of Zero no Tsukaima, characters are simple at best, and lack of tension due to the war being an event, this show is pretty harmless to watch and how can you not like energetic guy who is also the Galactic Pretty boy. Supported with solid animation and a colorful pallet, you'll be able to have an enjoyable time with Dog Days. Just hope you don't mind Cats and Dogs ears and tails.
3 out of 5
Tiger & Bunny
Obviously a show that isn't about cute girls, Tiger & Bunny set the stage with a unique twist on superheros, along with a cast of interesting characters with possible back-stories, Wonderful art style, animation, and good use of CG.
5 out of 5
An incredibly funny show with lots of strange gags, puns,
and humor. Top it off with great art style and animation from Kyoto Animation
and you go yourself a solid comedy.
5 out of 5
P.A.Works 10th anniversary project that showcase their talent of a strong story, interesting characters, and overall beautiful art style and animation.
5 out of 5
Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
What a mess. It is never a good idea to compile multiple stories with poor pacing, unlikeable characters from idiots to sluts, and flat jokes.
1 out of 5
Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~
Who comes up with these ideas? Dumb characters, bland visuals, fan-service in the most immature ways.
1 out of 5
A strange mystery tale involving the theories of time-travel, murder, and odd ball characters. Able to set an atmosphere that makes you question what’s going on. However, the lengthy dialog may be a negative to some, many will enjoy the goofy conversations and the intellectual ones.
4 out of 5
While I agree that this is very much a K-on! clone, it is really doesn’t make it bad. A-Channel makes solid use of the usual slice of life formula with a steady pacing, basic but likeable characters, simple character design, and gorgeous backgrounds and environments.
4 out of 5
Maria Holic Alive
Very much like the first season with strange designs, wacky comedy, and odd premise of a lesbian living with a cross-dressing boy, in a all girl school dorm.
4 out of 5
C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
So what is money? Does it have any other use then just a way to purchase items? What if you have to fight for it? These are the question that C makes its audience ask and a lot is riding on that premise. Our main character, Yogi Kimimaro (Uchiyama Kouki), is a university student who is barely getting by with a scholarship and a few part-time jobs. One day, a mysterious man offers him a chance to get limitless amounts of money if he is will to venture in to a parallel world call the Financial District. This series has the possibilities to be a interesting tale. However, what doesn’t have the potential is the visuals. They are flat out ugly. Very lack luster colors, bland backgrounds, and odd character designs makes for a rough experience to watch the show at times. Visuals, good or bad, won’t degrade the quality of the story and its direction.
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai
Man, this title is long but that is the least of this shows problems. However, the problems this show has doesn’t effect the plot of this new noitaminA show too much. The story goes that a group of friends, Jintan ( Irino Miyu), Anaru ( Tomatsu Haruka), Yukiatsu ( Sakurai Takahiro), Tsuruiko ( Hayami Saori), and Poppo ( Kondou Takayuki), all want their spread ways after six years. However, Menma ( Kayano Ai) asked Jintan to grant her a wish which involves getting the group back together. While this set up is kind a weird and it would led to a typical journey of convincing old friends to get back together, what makes it interesting is the possible reason these characters changed and it all centered around Menma in some ways. However, it’ll be tough at times to watch these characters exaggerate themselves a bit too much. The visuals are pretty similar to Sora no Woto of blobby character designs, heavy detailed backgrounds, and lots of animations. Some stuff I have to scratch my head at with the some hair designs and comedic scenes but it doesn't hurt the show too much for now.
Hidan no Aria
I feel like J.C.Staff are starting to run out of ideas. Let see, a male lead who’s in danger by some force and has abilities to fight back, a short female lead who is protecting him, always angry at him, and is voiced by Kugimiya, Rie. I feel like I’m watching Shana but without the magic and replaced it with real life weapons. Characters are pretty one dimensional with lots of cliché moments like the girl offering food to the main character who has the hots for him and the usual tsundere character that Kugimiya plays a lot. Visually, the shows looks nice but it isn’t anything to write home about but fight scenes are mostly made up of lots of still images and speed lines. Overall it wasn’t an interesting show and I can’t see if its going anywhere with its simple story.
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
If the visuals aren’t the strange part of the show, it is usually what’s happening in the show. It’s pretty much our main character Niwa Makoto ( Irino Miyu) living with his aunt Touwa Meme ( Nonaka Ai) and cousin Touwa Erio ( Oogame Asuka), a delusional girl who believes she is part alien. And so he goes out of his way to help her while finding out if she really is an alien after hearing reports that she want missing a long time ago. While the story is pretty simple, it is the dialogue that makes thing interesting with humorous moment of Makoto’s aunt asking him how she should respond to him in a cute way or the serious but strange way Erio explains things about her alien mission. The visuals are pretty strange with odd lighting designs, art style, and the cleanliness of it which all comes together in the end. It’s a strange show that any fan of Shaft may enjoy.
Talk about a mess up show. It didn’t took long for Deadman Wonderland to set its tone by murdering a class of 20 plus middle school students, with only Igarashi Ganta ( Paku Romi) surviving and being accuse of for that event. From there, he is sent in to an odd world of violence and conspiracy. I won’t give too much away as many small events reflect on what’s to come later on in the series. It would make sense for the visuals to reflect with the shows tone from the detailed character designs to the dirty colored environment and palette. This could be an interesting show but I do question will they be able to hold out for 12 episodes? We will have to see.
Ao no Exorcist
It’s a usual Shounen
but with a nice twist with demons from, an international group of exorcist,
and the fact that our main character, Okumura Rin ( Okamoto
Nobuhiko), is the son of Satan. To make things even more interesting,
Rin is will to become a exorcist, despite being part demon, to fight against
Satan and avenge the death of his past guardian, Fujimoto Shirou ( Fujiwara
Keiji). It’s a nice set up despite being a typical Shounen in some
places. However, the development of Rin character and the fact that he is
pretty likable from the beginning help move things along a lot easier. Visuals
have a nice style to them with lots of animation from fights to the just normal
conversations between characters. Both colors and lighting work well together
to help flesh out scenes. So far things are looking good with this series and
can only get better down the road.