Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Impressions (Week 2)


Here we go! We’re into Week 2 and I’ve already dropped nine series. So right now I am down to 11 series that need to be covered. This time I’m going to be covering those 11, but it will be with episodes 1 and 2 to get a better idea of the show. Let’s get this party started!

D-Fragments
Episodes 1 & 2

I think it’s time to mention this. For the past couple of seasons, I have been a little hard on FUNimation because the series they tend to pick up either don’t interest me or are really really bad and make me bash my head against a wall. This season, FUNi managed to pick up SEVEN shows! The most I’ve seen them snag in a while and, at this point, three are going strong for me with Buddy Complex and No-Rin getting the axe. So here comes the resident comedy FUNi has taken on this season, D-Fragments. This show has certainly been a lot of fun to watch! For a trio of delinquents they don’t seem to be all that tough compared to the Game Creation Club and they’re types. That’s right! We see a fun callback to Pokemon and other games that use element types and it made for a wonderful episode! As for episode two, we get into a little competition between Game Creation Clubs for the upcoming culture festival. Overall, as of right now, D-Fragments is my favorite comedy of the season. It’s fun, full of laughs, and even some game references that even I can pick up on! Looks like D-Fragments heads into Week Three! Let’s go Game Creation Club!!


Hamatora
Episodes 1 & 2

This one is certainly interesting in more ways than one. The animation is really colorful, the characters are interesting, and the powers the Holders have are not your typical set of powers and they actually have their limitations. Compared to other shows that have no limits on powers, you can understand why this makes me interested. This seemed like it would be a little episodic until we came across our lovely serial killer a bit more in the second episode. We also got a little look at the academy that Nice and the other Minimum Holders went to, and it seems like this will come back into play later on. This show is becoming more and more interesting the more I watch it, so it’s going to come as no surprise that Hamatora moves into Week 3. Will this series keep going strong for me to pass it? We’ll have to see.




Hoozuki no Reitetsu
Episodes 1 & 2

Civil servant duty in Hell? I’m ok with this! This comedy series has some fun stuff going on with it, and the animation reminds me a little bit of Mononoke but a bit more refined. Also, having a main character who’s very serious a good amount of the time makes for some pretty good humor laced in. Both episode 1 and 2 have some fun moments and even some references to real world culture and religion such as an appearance by Satan. However for all the fun moments it has, it does have it’s dull ones which makes me wonder if I really want to keep up with this series. As of right now, it’s one of the weaker shows I’ve seen in Week 2 but I’m not sure if it’ll get better or worse. I want it to get better, and the whole Satan visit did bring me back in a bit. For now, I’m moving this series into Week 3, but if it doesn’t pick up more then it may end up failing in the end. But, we’ll see.



Nisekoi
Episodes 1 & 2

So here we are, another Shinbou/Studio Shaft combination. Now, please keep in mind the only other Shinbou work I’ve seen is Madoka Magica, and I’ve been staying far away from the Monogatari fanbase as much as I can cause I really don’t want to get involved. Now that I have that out of the way, let’s talk Nisekoi. I actually kinda like this one. It has some interesting comedy like D-Frag does, but isn’t too out there. It’s rather in your face such as typical Shinbou style is. And the story has been fun so far. The first episode wasn’t really all that good until we got to the end and the sudden relationship forced upon our two main characters. But the second episode made up for it nicely! Those yakuza and gangsters are going to be fun to watch throughout this ordeal! Because of this Nisekoi moves into Week 3. There are plenty of mysteries that still need to be solved and I am hoping we get a little closer next episode.



Nobunagun
Episodes 1 & 2

This season is a little bit interesting because we have two series with Oba Nobunaga as the main focal point in some way or another, and one of them already got dropped after episode one. So what about Nobunagun? From the get go, it manages to hold my attention by being one of the more faithful to Nobunaga’s story (granted the only other series I’ve seen before this is The Ambition of Oda Nobuna). Not only that but the animation has some little subtle touches that stand out in a a big way. The major one being flowers and camo. While most of the school girls have some sort of flower animation on top of their character designs, our lead heroine has camouflage giving her something that stands out. It’s these kinds of things that get me interested in the show more. In comes episode two and, now that I have the initial eye candy ingrained into me.... I kinda think this one isn’t all that great. The story is kinda meh to me, and compared to the rest of the shows this season this is probably the weakest Week 2 has to offer for me. It has good ideas, and uses historical figures rather well in a modern setting, but this one isn’t headed for Week 3.


Noragami
Episodes 1 & 2

So, Bones not only has Space Dandy this season (I’ll get to that in a minute), but Noragami as well. And FUNimation nabbed this one. I saw the preview for this one on YouTube and I thought this was an interesting and fun one to watch. But does it live up to it in the first episodes? I’d say so! Noragami and Space Dandy gives me hope for Bones. It’s been a while since Bones has given really good anime to viewers. Noragami reminds me of those early Bones days and it’s a great feeling! The story is simple, the characters are fun, and you just can’t help but enjoy it! Hell, I may be loving Noragami more than Space Dandy this season and it’s currently on its way to becoming my overall favorite of the winter season! At this point, we’ve established our three major characters, Yato, Hiyori, and Yukine. Thus far, we don’t have a whole lot in the development department, however the second episode (with Yukine’s introduction) gives us some exposition for a character which is a nice touch. Noragami is certainly headed for Week 3! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Sakura Trick
Episodes 1 & 2

I initially passed this one by because Yoai and Yuri aren’t really something I’m interested in. However, I couldn’t help but want to try something new. Since Sports anime was something new last year for me, then why not some Yuri? And I gotta admit, this is actually really cute and I’m not that uncomfortable with it. But I do have a slight problem with how much this whole kissing thing is being brought up. Mostly because Haruka is now crazy about Yuu and comes up with weird scenarios and stuff like that. And then there’s Yuu who’s keeping the entire thing more of a secret, but then you have moments like the exam period after her and Haruka had make out sessions while studying the week prior. I know I shouldn’t be too hard on a genre of anime I don’t really understand, but if I have a problem with something then I’ll at least say that I do. That being said, Sakura Trick is slowly moving into the same weak area as Hoozuki is, but I will send this one into Week 3. I’m not quite ready to give it up and I hope it becomes, at least, a little smarter in it’s story telling. I’m not asking for a really really serious story, but I don’t want something potentially stupid either.


Space Dandy
Episodes 1 & 2

This is the big one. The one that EVERYONE has their eyes on this season. And not just because of Watanabe’s name attached to it. For the first time ever in anime history, Space Dandy is getting an english dub airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami! Now I did get to watch this on Toonami (the first time I’ve seen Toonami since the reboot. Lack of cable sucks) during the world premiere and I gotta say I LOVED it!! It was great during the first half, giving us a little bit of world building (and boobs), but that second half. That second half was insane!! Colors, music, animation, EVERYTHING!!! As for the dub itself, Ian Sinclair as Dandy is all I was hoping for and more! Joel McDonald, J. Michael Tatum, and the rest of the cast have also been solid so far. I know there has been some concerns about how FUNi will handle the dub since this is a simultaneous release with the Japanese. Right now, I have no problems with the show. And it seems that we’re going to be seeing more episodic story lines rather than constant plot, similar to Watanabe’s other famous works Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. It’s not surprising that Space Dandy will head into Week 3, and I look forward to seeing what our dandy crew have in store for us!


The Pilot’s Love Song
Episodes 1 & 2

This one I’ve had my eye on for a while. I wasn’t going to look at it when it was supposed to air in the fall, but when I found out it was switched to this season I decided I’d try it. Kinda curious as to why they changed it from a big anime season to a smaller one anyways. I think I may know why. This series is a little rough to start, to be honest. The look of the series, and even some of the plot, remind me of Last Exile. This isn’t a bad thing as copying is the best form a flattery in some cases, but there’s something that’s bothering me a little and that’s the sudden romance. It’s just kinda thrown in, and it’s really bugging me. I was fine with it during the first episode, but now I’m not. Then there’s pieces of the plot that have yet to be explained such as Kal’s problem with Nina. As much as I moderately enjoy this one, Pilot’s Love Song isn’t moving into next week. I just wish the forced romance wouldn't have happened...


Wake Up, Girls!
Movie & Episode 1

This one is in a little different situation. As you noticed, I’m covering the movie and episode one of Wake Up, Girls! That’s because the movie is pretty much the first episode (Just double the run time) of the series itself and establishes the group. So, fair warning, if you plan on watching this series watch the movie first before episode one. If you just watch episode 1 first, then you will miss out on quite a bit of character development. It’s on Crunchyroll anyways, so you may as well! As for what we’ve gotten so far, it’s actually rather good. You have a struggling talent agency wanting to find something big to help save the company so they create an idol group, and then more problems ensue. But as of now, Wake Up, Girls have begun to grow in popularity and have another industry man coming in to help them out... Though I’m not so sure it’ll be for the best since the first thing he pulls out is a bikini for the girls to try on... As for where this series stands with me, it’s headed for Week 3! This has been a fun ride so far and I am cheering on the girls to make it to superstardom! Let’s see what the next episode will have to offer!


Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil
Episodes 1 & 2

I am actually surprised with this one. And it’s from Studio Arms of all places! The concept of the show is really interesting as it does have a kind of Psycho-Pass idea to it, except with magical lawyers. The character design reminds me of Kite (though I have not seen the film, just reviews for it), so it’s interesting to see something that’s fairly familiar to me. And the first episode establishes everything quite nicely too! As for the second episode, it kind of dragged on a bit for me so I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I think I’ve actually lost interest in this series simply because there are better ones that I like this season and I just don’t have the time to watch them all. That and it doesn’t help that I don’t really have anything to say about this show. And when I don’t have anything to say, then something must have gone wrong for me and this series. So, sadly, Wizard Barristers has fallen short and will not move to Week 3. This is one I’ll more than likely try again later, but right now I’m sitting this one out.


Alright, after two weeks of winter shows, here’s where I stand:

Currently Watching:
D-Fragments
Hamatora
Hoozuki no Reitetsu
Nisekoi
Noragami
Sakura Trick
Space Dandy
Wake Up, Girls!


Dropped (ep.):
Buddy Complex (1)
Magical Warfare (1)
Mikakunin: Engaged to the Unidentified (1)
Nobunaga the Fool (1)
Nobunagun (2)
Nourin (1)
Strange+ (1)
The Pilot’s Love Song (2)
Witch Craft Works (1)
Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil (2)
World Conquest: Zvezda of Intrigue (1)
Z/X: Ignition (1)


Other Shows Not Covered in Impressions (ep.):
Sliver Spoon s2 (2)
Pupa (2)
Ace of the Diamond (9)
Golden Time (12)
YowaPedal (9)
Kill La Kill (12)
Nagi no Asu (10)
Samurai Flamenco (9)


That’s it for Week 2! I’ll try and get Week 3 up either by Friday or Saturday! Then we’ll see where my remaining eight series will end up! Until then, otaku on my friends!

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