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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2013

Inqy

World Breaker's Sigh
Validated User
#41
the hair thing
"unintentionally hilarious" sums it up. the two kids are cute together though, although I quite liked the girl with her long hair in a kind of art nouveau way. I'm not expectin much, but I'll stay for a couple of episodes.
That one keeps reminding me of that episode of "Courage the Cowardly Dog" with the nephew who was a Freaky Barber.
 

s/LaSH

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#42
Just watched Majestic Prince's first episode, and while it's definitely painting by the numbers plot-wise for the moment, I really liked it. The 'leader' guy catches a lot of love from me for being heroic but not totally confident, which I like.

The designs aren't my favorite, but I don't hate them either. The battle fight was good, though I'd like to have more emphasis on the other people instead of just Red.

Here's hoping the plot moves forward in an interesting manner without going all grimdark.
I wasn't expecting too much, but I think Majestic Prince is quite solid. I like the classical character designs, they have a sense of style to 'em. And there is proper snappy banter. There is a character with huge boobs which are never crammed awkwardly into the camera and who in fact seems to dress sensibly. The mechs are distinctive and avoid the normal CG trap of "I am a wall of unmoving metal". Their explosives budget is through the roof. And the way the hardware is set up strongly suggests that they'll be paying attention to tactics down the line - which is rare enough in Real Robot, and downright peculiar in Super Robot, which are usually just about Finding The Courage Within Your Heart. Which they still did, but it felt like a realistic battlefield decision rather than a mystical powerup.

So far the setup is nothing novel, with maybe-aliens and asteroid bases, but sometimes the old stories are the good stories.

If they can keep up the breakneck pace, I'll stick with it.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#43
My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected. (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru.)
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Haganai clone. Which seems to be becoming its own subgenre of harem comedy now.

Characters

Hikigaya is your standard misanthropic protagonist, horribly bitter about being lonely and spinning it out as a way of life. Not that he's fooling anyone.

Hiratsuka, his teacher, who won't put up with his bullshit and forces him into the "Service Club".

Yukino, sole member of the Service Club until now, also a loner, and now tasked with solving his "personality problem", whether he wants it or not. (And whether she wants to do it or not.)

Yui, another girl, sent to the club to solve her "terrible cook" problem. She's way more naive and upbeat, and the perfect foil for the two of them.

Production Values

Okay, I guess. There are flashes of nice direction ideas at various points to spice up the talking heads a bit (including some fun flashbacks), but they're few and far between.

Overall Impression

Very average. This kind of show needs lots of zingers in its dialogue and good comedic timing to rise above the parade of rom-com clichés, and this doesn't quite pull it off. The chemistry between the characters isn't quite there yet, and it's not like it's got a particularly interesting premise.

I'm not even sure I'll be bothering with a second episode of this.

-----------------------

The Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana)
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

I'm not quite sure yet, but it's certainly very creepy.

Characters

Kasuga, our protagonist. He's an average high school student who's completely unremarkable in every way aside from his hobby of writing bad poetry and totally digging Baudelaire.

Saeki, the beautiful top student of the class whom Kasuga (and most of the other boys) has a crush on. She gets maybe two lines in the whole episode ; her chief role is clearly to be an object of desire.

Nakamura, the weird creepy girl who makes a point of handing out blank papers and insulting the teacher to his face. She only has about two minutes of screentime, but she's clearly the most memorable part of the episode.

Production Values

This has got a very distinctive artstyle, nearly photorealistic ; it looks quite weird animated, deep into the uncanny valley. Which may well be the point. The soundtrack goes out of its way to build an atmosphere of creeping unease. Too bad about the peppy OP song, which doesn't fit at all the mood that'd been set up pre-credits ; the weird robotic-sounding ED song is much more fitting.

Overall Impression

Well, this certainly commits to its aesthetic, devoting the whole episode to creating this sense of mundane creepiness. The problem is that most of it is very boring indeed, as litterally nothing happens aside from the Nakamura incident. It doesn't help that I'm not really into Beaudelaire's poetry, and thus don't have a clue whether to take Kasuga's interest in it seriously.

Still, the progressively rising tension is intriguing, especially after the Nakamura incident exacerbates it ; I'm also quite curious whether the awesomely creepy visual of a flower's shadow with an eye bulging out of it has any relevance beyond symbolism.

Also, the mangaka insultingly told me to watch the next episode. I guess I'll do it, then.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#44
The Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana)
(13 episodes)
Overall Impression

Well, this certainly commits to its aesthetic, devoting the whole episode to creating this sense of mundane creepiness. The problem is that most of it is very boring indeed, as litterally nothing happens aside from the Nakamura incident. It doesn't help that I'm not really into Beaudelaire's poetry, and thus don't have a clue whether to take Kasuga's interest in it seriously.

Still, the progressively rising tension is intriguing, especially after the Nakamura incident exacerbates it ; I'm also quite curious whether the awesomely creepy visual of a flower's shadow with an eye bulging out of it has any relevance beyond symbolism.

Also, the mangaka insultingly told me to watch the next episode. I guess I'll do it, then.
Really was not expecting rotoscoping.

It does add to the oppressive and yet mundane setting though. I'm of mind of a rotting away industrial town.

Though as I said elsewhere it makes me wonder why animate it at all.
 
#45
I have a feeling the world is really ending.

"Crunchyroll to Stream "Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet" Anime"

Wonder what flavour of Tang I'll be?
I posted these over in the general thread a while back:
If there was a city that connected ships floating on the sea, what kind of life would people live there?
Ever since I was a kid I admired the world of oceans and ships. It's been more than a decade since I first began wanting to depict a tale of the people and their active lives in that world.
I started working on the concept for this all by myself, but thanks to Gen Urobuchi, Hanaharu Naruko, and all the other various staff listed below, I really feel like it's finally taking shape.
As director, my goal is to depict a world that makes people want to go there, want to live there, and to show the growth of Ledo a young foreigner who wanders into this world.
He's a child soldier who's only way of life has been fighting at the ends of the galaxy, but I wonder what choice he'll make when he meets people who can enjoy life away from land?
I hope to let everyone experience a world that makes them wish they could live together with these charming characters, and that's what I'm looking forward to most right now.

December 10th, 2012
Kazuya Murata, Director
From the moment this anime was in its planning stages, one of the themes I set for it was to incorporate a message for our young people in their late teens and early twenties—in other words, those are just about to enter society, or those who have just entered society and feel lost at sea. I made a point to keep this theme in mind as I composed the story, so it has a different flavor from the many other works I've created in the past. I hope that this work will act as encouragement for all of those who are being forced to struggle hard in the harsh climate of our frozen job market.

February 1st, 2013
Gen Urobuchi (Nitroplus), Series Composition & Script
 

Calliope

Super Moderator
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#46
Really was not expecting rotoscoping.

It does add to the oppressive and yet mundane setting though. I'm of mind of a rotting away industrial town.

Though as I said elsewhere it makes me wonder why animate it at all.
Yeah, I was surprised by the rotoscoping. I went and looked it up, though, and apparently that's been public knowledge for at least a few months, or something? Oh, well.

As for why animate it: I can think of several reasons.

-Rotoscoping makes the characters more general and less "specific", so you don't have to rely as much on actor performances and can instead let actors fill in the blanks
-Rotoscoping lets you use the actors for most of the movement while controlling the little details and nuances through the animation
-Rotoscoping helps create a sense of the uncanny, as the motion is both real and not-real, helping to establish a sense of unease and things being just slightly askew

Anyway, we'll see! It's definitely an interesting artistic choice, and that alone makes me interested in at least seeing what they do with it.
 

Icarium

Registered User
Validated User
#47
And the way the hardware is set up strongly suggests that they'll be paying attention to tactics down the line - which is rare enough in Real Robot, and downright peculiar in Super Robot, which are usually just about Finding The Courage Within Your Heart. Which they still did, but it felt like a realistic battlefield decision rather than a mystical powerup.
That'd be nice. I mean, I like the whole 'Heart is Important!' thing - TTGL would be my favorite mecha anime if not for the ending bit, but having at least recognizable tactics is great too!

So far the setup is nothing novel, with maybe-aliens and asteroid bases, but sometimes the old stories are the good stories. If they can keep up the breakneck pace, I'll stick with it.
Definitely. I've never been that fond of 'unique' stories because they pretty much never are entirely unique. Even weird stuff like Girls und Panzer is basically 'School Sports...WITH TANKS!' Even if a rather catchy take on it. :)
 

KainG

Retired User
#48
Watched 2 of the new season shows so far:

Red Data Girl: I couldn't finish this, only made it half way through the first episode. I've had my fill of these soft, spineless type characters, and the plot's premise didn't make itself apparent quick enough. I may come back to it if people are right about the plot getting interesting later on, when there's more episodes I can go through quickly.

Majestic Prince: This one's on my watch list! It's basically Gundam, but without the broody and angsty teenagers. Instead, we get goofball teens! I'm a big sucker for stories with oddball/misfit characters that pull it it together to win the day. I like that while they take the piss out of each other, they do consider themselves a team. It also helps that a lot of my annoyances with the Gundam franchise have seemingly been addressed! We got female pilots who are part of the main cast, teenagers acting mostly like teenagers, a focus on the team already together, and the bridge crew is mostly male for a change. I think the fight could have been better developed, we saw some good action at first, but the second half of it lacked any demonstration of the team's skill working together, and instead got some random shots of the heroes' attacks. Still, the show managed to display the main traits of each character relatively quickly, which I then assume will develop further along the show progresses.

I'm planning on watching Hataraku Maou-sama. I like the premise (de-powered megalomaniac trying to fit in normal society, while also facing similarly de-powered main opponent). I too hope the heroine won't keep her antagonistic tendencies. I looked at the first couple of chapters of the manga version, so I'm at least sated knowing that there's a bigger plot in the story besides fish out of water shenanigans (although that would be ok too).
 

Scholar and a Brutalman

Registered User
Validated User
#49
From the moment this anime was in its planning stages, one of the themes I set for it was to incorporate a message for our young people in their late teens and early twenties—in other words, those are just about to enter society, or those who have just entered society and feel lost at sea. I made a point to keep this theme in mind as I composed the story, so it has a different flavor from the many other works I've created in the past. I hope that this work will act as encouragement for all of those who are being forced to struggle hard in the harsh climate of our frozen job market.

February 1st, 2013
Gen Urobuchi (Nitroplus), Series Composition & Script
You're not fooling anyone, Mr "Healing Writer".
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
#50
The characters of Devil Survivor didn't impress me much, but I'm actually interested by the apocalyptic vibe. This isn't Persona, where the supernatural events are going on discretely behind mundane life. In Devil Survivor, the world has started to blow up good and looks to continue blowing up. It's a Devil Apocalypse. There are serious stakes every second. However, I am going to be calling Nitta "big boob girl" in my head until she shows signs of a personality. I also wish that they had carried through on the threat and actually killed off 'best friend dude' during his stunt with the truck. That would have shown no one was safe.

Also, I like the OP.

Majestic Prince is charming. Maybe I'll get bored with it after a few episodes, but it's fun to watch.
 
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