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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012

Aikireikinu

Tsundere Cat
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Validated User
#11
Basically Saki is a moe show. Now, I like not-so-subtle-yuri stuff more than the next person, but I hit my moe limit around episode 17~20 or so. If they just, like, had less fetishy character designs, I probably would have made it to the end, but it just got to be too much. And I'm a person who will admit to liking Strike Witches.
 

Silver2195

Registered User
Validated User
#12
Of possible interest, here's what Japan is most looking forward to this season.

(Really? Is Saki that good?)
For that matter, is Rock Lee that bad? OK, it has a little too much toilet humor, but why is it below Queen's Blade and Sengoku Collection? And why is Uchuu Kyodai/Space Bros tied with Queen's Blade? The high ranking of Fate/Zero suggest that the people polled for this aren't completely without taste, though.
 

Dawgstar

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#13
For that matter, is Rock Lee that bad? OK, it has a little too much toilet humor, but why is it below Queen's Blade and Sengoku Collection? And why is Uchuu Kyodai/Space Bros tied with Queen's Blade? The high ranking of Fate/Zero suggest that the people polled for this aren't completely without taste, though.
From what I understand, the Rock Lee show is Bleach's replacement, so maybe the lack of enthusiasm for Bleach is carrying on to the new show? Plus, I'm told Naruto's not doing that great anymore, so it might not be the best time for a spin-off.

I'm pleased Is This a Zombie? Of the Dead is high, as is Medaka Box, though if the poll's not that encompassing, it may not mean all that much.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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#14
For that matter, is Rock Lee that bad? OK, it has a little too much toilet humor, but why is it below Queen's Blade and Sengoku Collection? And why is Uchuu Kyodai/Space Bros tied with Queen's Blade?
As I said before, this is a highly biased poll that is next to worthless in judging potential success. It's obviously aimed at the hardcore otaku fanbase, which means that kids' shows (such as Rock Lee) and "adult" projects (such as Uchuu Kyoudai or the noitaminA shows) get terrible placements. It's also heavily weighted towards shows with an existing fanbase, such as sequels (Fate/Zero, Zombie...), spin-offs (Saki, Eureka Seven...) and adaptations of popular manga (Medaka Box, Accel World...).

Don't worry, Rock Lee is probably going to get more actual viewers than the top 20 combined, just because it airs at an hour when kids can actually watch it.
 

HDimagination

Building something out of Scrap
Validated User
#15
Subbbed.

On a related note, they've made a sequel to Eureka Seven? Are they serious? I mean... I honestly don't know whether to be exited or dissapointed.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
#16
On a related note, they've made a sequel to Eureka Seven? Are they serious? I mean... I honestly don't know whether to be exited or dissapointed.
Not sure what the source of your ambivalence is, but if you're worried because you feel like the characters' stories were done, it's apparently the same world with a whole new cast and story.
 

HDimagination

Building something out of Scrap
Validated User
#17
Not sure what the source of your ambivalence is, but if you're worried because you feel like the characters' stories were done, it's apparently the same world with a whole new cast and story.
I really love Eureka Seven, I would say, definately in my top 5 anime. Hence exitement. Dissapointment... is perhaps the wrong word. Reticence? yeah that is more like it. I think that in general returning to a franchise to expand it in this way very seldom turns out well. At least in films and books, it's the first time this has happened to an anime i've been into though, so maybe i'm being sensitive.

I will await reviews with great interest though.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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#18
A Town Where You Live (Kimi no Iru Machi)
(OVA, 2 episodes)

What's it about ?

Adaptation of a 18-volume (and counting) romance manga. Obviously, some degree of compression and creativity was needed to fit some of it into such a short format.

Characters

Haruto Kirishima, our generic male lead. Lives in a small country town.

Yuzuki Eba, a Tokyo girl who randomly decided to live at Haruto's (the flashback is too vague to determine the exact circumstances), to his irritation. Presumably one thing eventually led to another, because the actual story here is that she's now gone back to live in Tokyo, and they have kept a long-distance relationship over the last few months. Today he comes to Tokyo on a class trip, and they're planning on finally meeting again.

Nanami Kanzaki, a classmate of Haruto's whom he used to have a crush on. After presumably months of awkward love triangle, she eventually settled for them being just friends. Anyway, she's also part of the class trip, and asks him to play the role of her boyfriend while she meets with one of her friends (to whom she bragged a bit too much). There's absolutely no way for this to backfire !

Akari Kaga, said friend. It's obvious she's not entirely fooled by Nanami's stunt.

Production Values

Perfectly serviceable. Some nice bits of scenery porn, even.

Overall Impression

Let's be frank : the first half of this episode is fairly dull, as the two leads struggle to set up their meeting in a very boring way. Neither of them come off as particularly interesting here.

But this completely change once Nanami enters the picture. It's charming how she scrambles to reinvent a happy relationship with Haruto despite things not having turned some well (as some judiciously chosen flashbacks show while illustrating her unreliable narration). There's some genuine chemistry and drama in this very well-designed scene, even when you can plainly see the inevitable cliffhanger coming from the moment it starts.

It's always a risky choice to adapt a long-running manga by choosing a storyarc set quite late in the overall story ; you can alienate a lot of potential viewers with convoluted relationships between characters they've not gradually grown familiar with (hello, Wandering Son !). This OVA avoids nicely the trap by focusing on the essentials of the relationship between the three leads, and making its particular story stand on its own. While it does matter that those three have a lot of history together (presumably detailed in numerous manga volumes I haven't read), all you need to know is summed up perfectly in a way that seamlessly builds into the plot. The more I think about it, the more I can't help by admire it.

Hopefully the concluding episode will live up to such a promising start.
 

ru

temporary avatar
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#19
From what I've heard the manga can be rage-inducing (only read a few issues myself). may well check the OVA out, apparently this recounts a really pivotal episode in the series.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Validated User
#20
Okay, that's more like it : four series aired their first episode today, plus a web-preview for another one. (Dear gods, this season is going to kill me.)

We're still waiting on Saint Seiya Omega (despite the simulcast announcement, it isn't yet on Crunchyroll), but that's still four reviews in a row...



Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyoudai)
(?? episodes - some sources say 48+)

What's it about ?

In 2006, two young brothers vowed to become astronauts after seeing an UFO. Flash-forward to 2025...

(Adapted from an award-winning manga.)

Characters

Hibito, the younger brother (29). He did become an astronaut, and is part of an international effort to set up a viable colony on the Moon (as a tryout before they go to Mars). He's the successful one, then, and thus a bit boring. Fortunately, the series isn't really about him so far.

Mutta, the older brother (32), is our actual protagonist. He didn't become an astronaut, instead making a career in designing cars. Which has just collapsed after he headbutted his supervisor for badmouthing Hibito. He's having a bit of a midlife crisis, to put it mildly, especially as he's now basically blacklisted from the automobile industry. It's time for a drastic career change...

We also see their parents, who do let Mutta stay in, but will only let him wallow in self-pity for so long.

Production Values

Perfectly alright. This seems well-documented (NASA is mentioned in the credits) and the near-future feels real enough.

Overall Impression

Hard SF ? The token series with actual adult protagonists ? There's no way I'll skip this.

It helps that it's actually quite good. Sure, the characters aren't quite well rounded yet, but I'm willing to give it time ; and Hiroaki Hirata nails once again the dude going through mid-life crisis. And it looks like we're going to see the realistic process of being selected as an astronaut, which was fascinating when Planetes did it.

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A Summer-colored Miracle (Natsuiro Kiseki)
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Er, I'm not quite sure yet, even after having seen the first episode. The big selling point is that the voice-actresses of the four main characters make up the Sphere idol group, but that doesn't make a story. There are some hints that those four middle-schoolers may be on the way to become idol singers, but it's way too early to be sure that's the direction the series is going for.

Characters

Saki [Ayahi Takagaki], the well-bred one. She's scheduled to be moving away to Tokyo in a matter of days, but didn't feel like warning her three best friends beforehand. She's quite a handful.

Natsumi [Minako Kotobuki], the hot-blooded one. She's rightfully annoyed that Saki, her partner in the tennis club, has just dropped all their plans, and spends the whole episode nursing a grudge.

Yuka [Haruka Tomatsu], the airhead. She's obsessed about some washed-out idol group, a running gag that fails to be funny however many time the episode comes back to it. Obviously she's worried about her friend-group collapsing, so she seeks the help of...

Rinko [Aki Toyosaki], the quiet one. Who's a priestess in training at the local temple. She contrives to gather the four at a wishing stone hidden behind said temple. The thing seems to have worked in the past (they won a singing contest a few years ago), although that's hardly tangible evidence given the low level of competition.

What is actual tangible evidence is that they somehow manage to fly up the sky after inadvertently all wishing for it. Wait, what ?

Production Values

I saw this through the eyebleed-o-vision webcasted preview, so it's hard to tell the level of scenery porn yet. It's alright, I guess.

Overall Impression

I'm not quite sure what to think of this yet, especially as I have no clue where it's going. Obviously it's a Sphere vehicle, but those are a decent bunch of voice-actresses, and they seem to have gone out of their way to avoid their usual pigeonholes.

Okay, I'll admit I'm curious.

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Folktales from Japan (Furusato Saisei Nippon no Mukashi Banashi)
(?? episodes)

What's it about ?

Exactly what it says on the tin. Each episode is comprised of three different (and unrelated) folktales.

Production Values

Very low ; the artsyle is deliberately naive, and the animation takes every possible shortcut.

Overall Impression

Well, this is definitely a collection of Japanese folktales. Perfectly alright for what it is, but I'm clearly 20 years to old to have any interest in this beyond the novelty of the first episode. I'll pass.

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Shibainuko-san
(?? 2-minute episodes)

What's it about ?

A middle-schooler who looks like a dog. Adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga (if you couldn't tell by the one-joke premise).

Characters

Shibainuko-san, the middle-schooler who looks like a dog. She's a bit clumsy.

Chako, our straight-(wo)man narrator girl. She's there to explain the jokes and be befuddled by the whole situation.

Napolin, their dumb classmate. She's dumb.

Production Values

This also comes courtesy of eyebleed-o-vision, but it's obvious there's no real budget here. Heck, I said it was 2-minute-long, but if you remove the opening song, the advertisement for the Recorder & Randsell DVD, and the announcement about the producers filling time with random internet fanart, there's less than a minute of actual content here.

Overall Impression

Oh, look, it's another of those unfunny one-joke no-budget shorts. Disregard with prejudice.
 
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