Some late winter anime 2012 impressions
This post was something I thought to myself I should do once I’d seen 2 episodes of each show I was interested in. That was what? 2 weeks ago? You’re probably already seen all of these now. Small wonder why my old animeblog didn’t go all that well…
Out of all shows that started this season, I only checked out three. I’ve also been following these three since. None is bad enough for me to stop watching but they aren’t exactly the most exciting things I’ve seen either. Though, some are still quite good. Enough of that, let’s give them a rough impression, one by one.
Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
(Daily Lives of Highschool Boys)
I thought this was going to become my sleeper hit of the season. It wasn’t something I picked from those anime charts but rather something I seeked out after reading some other blog’s impressions, including ANN’s own winter 2012 coverage. It sounded like every other manga-based slice of life comedy and while I usually don’t mind that kind of thing, I was initially going to pass this one up.
Turns out people was surprised by it though, so I had to check it out and sure enough, episode 1 had me laughing as well. Even though I can’t say it was very original, it was the way it delivered that made it interesting and made it feel fresh. The second episode was just as fun, if not more. But sadly, the latest two episodes haven’t been reaching the same level as those before them, with jokes feeling strangely drawn out, forced or needlessly repeated. I really hope it picks up again though.
Visually, it’s nothing special at all. A quick google search suggests it being true to the source material but it really is a bland looking show. It’s pretty much the opposite of where KyoAni takes some cookie-cutter 4koma and totally maxes that shit out.
One last thing though, it feels good to hear Kyon…sorry, Sugita Tomozaki again, doing what he does best.
(Bodacious Space Pirates)
Classical ingredients space, sci-fi & girls are the order of the day in this modern pirating tale. Except there really haven’t been a whole lot of pirating going on so far. And that’s actually a good thing. The main character, Marika, lives a quite ordinary life and it would really feel jarring if they forced her down into the pirate outfit right away. The show manages to be interesting while having quite the laid back pacing and this is probably necessary in order to properly build upon Marika’s character (and everyone else’s) so that the situation hinted in the opening actually makes sense and doesn’t feel forced.
That said, there have been enough happenings every episode to keep things interesting. All negative things I can come up with lies with somewhat lacking, and sometimes quite odd, visual design and presentation. But that’s just what I think. However, the weapons are downright weird. What looks like an oversized sub machine-gun, using a proper magazine for ammo and all, actually acts like a laser cannon – with a ridiculously long charge time before firing (possibly for effect).
Visually, there is too much bland 3D graphics used and while the style is kinda nice, the overall look is still very generic.
But the story is interesting and I want to find out what happens next.
Ano Natsu de Matteru
Waiting in the Summer
This one, I was actually really looking forward to. Not sure since when but probably when I saw the promo art the first time. Then I became even more excited when I read that both the screenplay writer and character designer were involved in 2002’s Onegai Teacher.
This connection is so strong that AnoNatsu proves a bit difficult to judge. On it’s own, it’s a well made albeit sort of slow paced romance comedy, plagued by some less good design decisions – like, for example, the look of the main character :p The graphical style they went for feels a bit more like Ano Hana than Onegai but that’s probably because JC Staff is responsible for the animation. It’s really a good looking show, stylistic preferences aside.
When viewed as a part of the Onegai-series, however, I feel that both the setting and the characters aren’t as interesting, even though they are very much the same, technically. I don’t have easy access to either Onegai Teacher or Twins right now, and this might just be my nostalgia acting up but that’s how I feel about AnoNatsu.
Actually, I think the most magical thing for me with Onegai wasn’t so much the characters (certainly wasn’t Kei) but the location and they way it was presented. Both Onegai & AnoNatsu takes place in rural areas, with both Teacher & Twins using Lake Kizaki in Nagano as their backdrop. I like to think the fact that we get to know this place and it’s surroundings through a total of 26 episodes really helps explain why I don’t harbour the same feelings for the setting in AnoNatsu, even though it seems similar. Still, only 4 episodes in, we haven’t seen that much of it yet. Also, it would certainly not be too surprising should it too be based on another real location somewhere…
But returning to topic, so far, Ano Natsu feels like someone played it safe. It does take certain liberties such as a new (but similar) setting, new (but similar) characters and features a new (but similar) spin on the story from Onegai Teacher. Ultimately, Remon might be the new Ichigo but Ichika is not the new Mizuho ; )
And there we have it. Vague and non-helpful ramblings as per usual : )