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[In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka ?
("Is this a Zombie ?")

What's it about ?

Our ordinary high school student protagonist stopped being ordinary a month ago, when he was murdered by a serial killer. Fortunately, he's been resurrected as some sort of zombie and can continue investigating. Not that his search goes anywhere, considering all the weirdness he encounters.

Characters

Aikawa, our protagonist. Surprisingly laid back about the whole zombie thing, although since it gives him super-strength and the ability to recover from any injury, it's somewhat understandable (he does have problems with sunlight, though). Mistakes any girl he meets for a tsundere, which means that he misinterprets abuse (tsun) for affection (dere).

Eucliwood Hellscythe, the Necromancer who revived him. Has been staying at his home doing nothing ever since. Communicates only through her notebook.

Haruna-chan, a chainsaw-wielding magical girl he crashes into midway through the episode. Comes from a magical world to exterminate various creatures (that gives her "points"), and thus a bit confused by modern technology (i.e., cell phones). Dear gods she's annoying, especially since she spends half the episode either flashing her panties or downright naked. (Seriously, she first appears crotch-first.)

Production Values

Very average, as you'd expect from Studio DEEN. The OP's a thing of beauty, but marred by a terrible song. The ED's a nice joke.

Overall Impression

More than a bit mixed. Aikawa's an awesome protagonist whose condition is fodder for tons of fun jokes, the comedic timing is pretty good, I like the very weird setting... But Haruna-chan is a black hole of terribleness that saps my enjoyment of the show whenever she's onscreen. (On the other hand, it's true the final scene wouldn't work as well without the constant fanservice around her.)

I'll probably continue watching though, hoping Haruna-chan becomes less obnoxious after awhile.
 
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MadMac

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Zombie's biggest problem is going to be living up to the promise of it's first episode. Aikawa is completely awesome as a protagonist. :)

Haruna was a bit annoying, but she didn't bother me that much, if only because of how patently ridiculous she was as a character. I'll forgive a lot for chainsaw wielding magical girls, apparently. (I don't like the loose button design on her blouse though, it just looks ugly and out of place.) I suspect her spending 90% of the episode is various states of undress was meant to be at least as much parody as pure fanservice, given how absurd the show is in general.

She'll probably mellow out a tiny bit and fade into the background next episode at least, as I do believe we were promised a Vampire Ninja Girl in the preview.

Oh, and I really love how the Great and Mighty Necromancer just sits around wearing the most over the top costume so far in the show doing absolutely nothing all day.
 
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Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Dragon Crisis!

What's it about ?

Our protagonist is talked by his crazy cousin into stealing a powerful artefact from the mob. Except it turns out to be a pyrokinetic young girl ; in other words, a dragon. And she's taken a liking into him.

Characters

Ryuuji, our spineless protagonist. Ordinary high school student. No personality whatsoever.

Eriko, his cousin. Fancies herself as an artefact hunter, although she's not got the official license to do it (apparently there's a governmental organisation in charge of such things). So enthusiastic about it that she comes off as more than a bit crazy (and quite greedy).

Rose, the dragon-girl. Starts with a one-word vocabulary ("Ryuuji !"), although she learns a few more words by the episode's end. Very possessive of him. She reminded me of Index, to tell the truth.

Misaki, his painfully shy classmate who is completely unable to find the nerve to make a move. Mostly there for a bit of exposition.

Production Values

This is actually in the upper range of Studio DEEN productions, with enough budget to make the action sequences work and a good handle of atmosphere. I'm also inordinately fond of the background music, despite its complete lack of subtlety.

The OP feels appropriately epic, while the ED is a fun little joke.

Overall Impression

I was pleasantly surprised by this. The first half is a lot of fun thanks to Eriko driving the action, as she's gloriously insane. Unfortunately, it slows down a bit in the second half, as she progressively loses control of the plot. I'm really hoping for more insanity and not too much rom-com in the next few episodes, but I fear I'm going to be disappointed...
 

MadMac

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Dragon Crisis definitely has the elements to be a good show, (Eriko is insane and Rose is adorable) but the predictably useless male lead really drags it down to average. If there's one anime cliche I could eradicate for all time, it would be these no personality male leads that just take up space and never do anything to drive the plot for themselves. Why do these characters still exist?
 

ru

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Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka ?

More than a bit mixed.
yeah, i'll go with you on this. The MC's a step above average and I like the crazy mash-up of genre elements (vampire ninja next week). It's very uneven in tone though - the hijinks and the revenge plotline don't sit well together, it's best when it's being funny and it should leave the serious stuff alone. A tentative thumbs up, contingent on the next few eps.


I spent most of the episode flashing back to the execrable Dragonaut: The Resonance.. *shudder*. while it's much better then that POS, i'm still waiting for it to deliver something that justifies its existence. Rose is a little too artificially cute for my taste: it's a bit too obvious how the writers have designed her to appeal to the audience; you can see the joins.


If there's one anime cliche I could eradicate for all time, it would be these no personality male leads that just take up space and never do anything to drive the plot for themselves. Why do these characters still exist?
my theory is 'cos most writers can't come up with personalities, they come up with schticks. but the "ordinary high school boy" has no schtick, by definition, so you're left with a big sack of nothing :/
 

Dawgstar

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Thus far, Zombie is the only one I want to give a second look at. While I agree the revenge doesn't quite mix with the hilarity, I've decided that it's all meant to be tongue in cheek and thus the whole thing is satire. I will probably be proven wrong, but it helps me, darn it.
 

JELEINEN

Sizzler Black Squadron
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I'll watch more of Zombie just to see if Mitsuishi Kotono shows up again as the voice of Yuu in the main character's imagination again. The show was fun, but definitely enough serious elements that it'll probably get darker as it goes.

Edit: Did anyone catch the bit in Level E where the professor of Conan Institute is named Edogawa?
 
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