Spring 2014 Early Thoughts

Instead of making a different post for every show, I figured I’d just mush them all into one! I could drag it out to make more new posts, but this is fine and more organized. I don’t have enough to say that justifies a full post per show anyway.

-Baby Steps-

gfxdry

Baby Steps is easily my favorite show of the season so far, which is kind of funny given it was one I had crossed out on my picks.

It’s just really enjoyable for some reason. It doesn’t go into the sport enough to teach the viewer anything about it really aside what you’d absolutely need to know and even that is glossed over, so it’s not one of those ‘technical’ shows that teaches more than entertains. It’s also got no magical power bullshit and the actual tennis (so far) is played in real time rather than someone serving the ball and then having 10 minutes of monologue before the ball actually gets across the court, which would be pretty typical of an average sports shounen. It’s also not remotely drama or serious at all, and instead is just a totally light hearted fun show. It’s nothing outstanding or unique, yet is also very enjoyable in its simplicity. Hearing Mugi’s seiyuu from K-ON play a tomboy is pretty adorable too, I never noticed what a distinct and unique voice she has, and I love voices like that.

mad kagami wannabe

Totally not Kagami from KuroBasu!

I was hoping the extremely hinted as coupling of Takuma (above) and Natsu (moe blonde tomboy) was an actual thing (to make the romance more complex at least a bit) it turns out (very very very quickly) to be brushed aside and shown to just be nothing but him liking her and – as usual – saying nothing, but also him getting super jealous all the time (but not in an obnoxious way, but an endearing moe way), and the girl being completely clueless to his feelings. It puts the MC in a lot of silly situations though because he gets mad so fucking fast any time Natsu is around him. This isn’t a deep show or a mature show or some action packed hardcore sports series with 30 episodes of training and 8 episodes per match, it’s just a fun series with an enjoyable cast and something to it that makes every episode feel refreshing to watch.

Oh right, it's also got super adorable super deformed mode art randomly throughout.

Oh right, it’s also got super adorable super deformed mode art randomly throughout.

I really recommend trying it out if you aren’t completely against a show that has some sports in it and enjoy fun lighthearted stuff.

-Kawai Complex-

kawaic3

This show hits right about where I expected, I really enjoy it so far and everything in it for the most part. In one way it exceeded my expectations entirely – the voice acting. I knew Hanakana was in this as the incredibly cute lead, but I had no idea Rina Satou was here too – my two top favorite seiyuu together! They have been sometimes in the past (like in Railgun), but I don’t feel like they’ve worked on anything where they are both main characters throughout. Other than that, it’s really wonderful watching Ritsu’s personality develop. Anime usually has characters that fit into this or that archetype or, even if they break that, are still usually kind of a certain type of person overall. Ritsu, however, feels more like a real person. She’s so incredibly multi-faceted and not at all the kuudere she seems at first. Watching her unfold over the past episodes and hopefully continuing has been the most enjoyable thing this season.

frogkana

GE-GEKO-GEKOTA?!

The rest of the cast is okay, but she really shines thanks to that multi-faceted personality of hers and also in how drastically the books she reads effects her mood and personality for a bit. She’s just so natural feeling compared to most anime characters – she’s a normal person who enjoys herself, gets mad, has fun, likes doing dumb shit and playing around, likes to chat, and so on like anybody else. You (and the MC) just don’t see that immediately because her very top layer is that of a quiet loner. Only thing I’m not a big fan of so far is the annoying bitch girl who is always trying to cause problems. Everyone else is likable, the art is really nice and unique, the music is good, and the voice acting is obviously top notch.

I’m always looking forward to the next episode to see what new sides of her I’ll get to see this time.

-One Week Friends-

And so begins the worst episode of any show this season.

And so begins the worst episode of any show this season.

This is the only show so far that I really got stuck on and had to consider just not bothering continuing – the problem being the episode “Fighting with Friends” in which the dumbest shit imaginable happens one thing after another. It was beyond stupid and hopefully remains the worst episode in the series, as everything else about this show is pretty good. It’s not as good as I was hoping it’d be, but it’s a nice relaxing show to watch with – usually – the right amount of drama, comedy, and slice of life bits mixed into each episode. They just introduced a new friend whose name I forget, a cute short green haired girl who is a massive airhead, she is easily my favorite.

isshuukan-friends-anime-character-key-visuals-seventhstyle-004-614x307

I also really like the MC’s best friend whose name I also forgot. My biggest gripe with this show aside the earlier mentioned episode is the MC himself – he’s a completely boring, uninteresting, unlikable, little shit who just whines and acts annoying at every possible moment. He even goes as far as blaming his friend – who he forcibly introduced to the girl – for being friends with the girl like he wanted. He’s obnoxious and a massive pussy and I hate seeing him. Luckily the rest of the cast makes up for it. If this was 26 episodes I might think about PTW’ing or dropping it, but at only 12 episodes I’m pretty confident I can enjoy it to the end. Easily the worst thing I’m currently watching though and kinda disappointing, as much as I hate having to say that. Still good…just nothing even a tiny bit more than that.

-Nanana’s Buried Treasure-

Another show that is pretty close to what I was hoping for, really enjoying it. I’m a bit worried by the length though, unless it gets more seasons, because it feels way too short for how many treasures are out there, how many puzzles they could make out of that, and how many secrets and groups are coming up 4 episodes in (to a series that is only 11 episodes long). It feels like it has a LOT to offer and, it it ends at 11, we’ll miss out on almost all of that.

>that noise

>that noise

So far my favorite bits are the puzzles they have to overcome to get one of Nanana’s treasures, which there have sadly only been two so far. It feels like they could go a Kaiji-esque route and really focus on the treasure hunts and make intricate and exciting/creative traps and challenges especially given their lives are genuinely at risk each time, but again, the short length fights against that. I’d like to say more about the show, but so much of what I want to say is big spoilers of what’s happened so far, which a surprisingly large amount has – especially in the most recent episode wherein we learn a lot of secrets about the MC and his true origins and reasons for being in the city and helping Nanana.

Oh, and Hubert from Tales of Graces F is a character.

Oh, and Hubert from Tales of Graces F is a character.

Actually, I lied, my favorite thing in this entire show is the pudding eating noise Nanana makes and I wish it happened way more often. I hope this gets an extension or another season, but for now I can say as it is it’s very enjoyable.  Cute little master detective, Hanakana as a delicious brown maid of questionable gender (I won’t accept it’s a man just because it had shorts on under that dress – so does biribiri!), and just an overall satisfying feeling by the end of every episode.

-Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san-

vbMI8vI

Cute canonically lesbian girls that represent different animals all in a show that is very much full of fanservice, innuendo, and straight up blatant sex jokes. It’s fun though, mainly because it’s another short ~3 minute episode series. The jokes are fresh and actually worth laughing at (both the lewd ones and the ones based on their names/characteristics from those names), the character interactions are fun, and I can’t say much else about this. It’s really enjoyable even though it’s such a simple little bit of lewdness.

-Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro-

rowdy-sumo-wrestler-matsutaro-abarenbou-rikishi-matsutarou-matsutarou-sakaguchi-interview-suit-park-bench-sad

For some reason I see a lot of people whine about this show – well, I say “for some reason” but I know why. Matsutaro Sakaguchi himself. He’s a total piece of shit, but in the best way possible. It’s so clear that anyone with a problem with the guy was bullied as a kid and can’t enjoy watching this, and I love seeing those people react and try pretending he’s an objectively bad character just because he’s not a moralistic saint who runs around doing the ‘right thing’. Instead Sakaguchi is a complete asshole who will harass everyone he comes across, fight anyone he can, and generally be a terrible person – and I love that about this show. The MC isn’t some good kid, he’s not even a delinquent, he’s the worst person possible and goes way out of his way to make sure of that. He’s unique as a lead in an anime in all the right ways, which makes both him and the show interesting. I’m not watching this to see him change or redeem himself, I don’t think he ever will – he shouldn’t, I wouldn’t believe it if he did. He’s a bad guy who almost kills his baby brother and little sister by running them over with a truck in the first episode, tries to rape his teacher in the second, literally steals candy from a baby, and shows absolutely zero respect to anyone even if they kick his ass 10 times in a row. He’s lovable because he’s a shithead, and anyone who can’t handle that needs to grow the fuck up and get past their childhoods full of their head in a toilet and lost lunch money. I loved the way they wrote this guy from the very first scenes in the very first episode, and I hope he never changes too much.

I wasn't joking, and no, he doesn't stop or even try to dodge.

I wasn’t joking, and no, he doesn’t stop or even try to dodge.

He’s not only the exact opposite of what you expect from a protagonist – he’s also as incredibly over the top about it as your typical one would be. They all yell their convictions to the skies while stopping all the wrongdoers and big bads with the power of friendship and always giving their long ass speeches about their morals, while Sakaguchi makes sure never to forget splashing water on old ladies and beating the shit out of people before stealing their cars and treating everyone like less than him.

The show is extremely entertaining and fun for something focused on a shithead and naked men rubbing each other and groaning (read as: sumo). Looking forward to more matches (not that there’s been real ones, as Sakaguchi just treats them like street fights so far) and learning a bit more about sumo. I also really like the time period this is set in, it’s always been fascinating to see that blend of traditional old school Japan with completely modern shit like electricity, modern trains, cars, and so on. The only other show I can think of that really portrayed that was Taisho Baseball Girls, which was also great in general.

-Mekaku City Actors-

"This is based on some songs someone made with Vocaloid...better make a main character a Miku-clone like BRS instead of making original character designs!" said whoever decided on these characters, even if it was ages before an anime was ever planned.

“This is based on some songs someone made with Vocaloid…better make a main character a Miku-clone instead of making original character designs!” said anyone who has ever designed a character for anything that originally started as a vocaloid song or fanart of a vocaloid.

I didn’t DROP this, but I did PTW it. I lost interest entirely after the first episode, which is a bit weird given I actually enjoyed it well enough. Can’t say much given that situation. I don’t really appreciate shinbo ruining every show he works on though, that’s for sure. It seems he’s let all the meme bullshit about his head tilts go to his own head, given this show has more of them than anything else he’s worked on. They are almost constant, and this genuinely makes the show less watchable and less enjoyable. It’s like he’s just pandering instead of doing it for any creative reason like he used to – the same goes for Shaft’s art direction in general. I really am not a fan of this studio and never was, but this is almost as bad as the Monogatari franchise. It’s not JUST the tilts or the ‘artistic’ decisions, he’s just a terrible fucking director in general who is way too far up his own ass who pumps out nothing but fucking college art projects at best. Hopefully the story ends up good, unlike Monogatari, so I can finish it some day.

-Other-

sa64t

While it’s not a Spring title but is still airing, just worth mentioning that Tonari no Seki-kun is going as strong and creatively as ever, still highly recommend it if you haven’t been watching it no matter your tastes.

So, overall, this season is pretty good for me – someone who usually keeps up with 2 or 3 shows a season max lately, if that many. I used to watch a shit ton of airing shows, but even these 6(+1) are feeling like a lot to me now. It’s fun though, and it’s a good reminder that anime hasn’t changed for the worse as so many ignorant kids like to yell about whenever a season isn’t full of whatever garbage they obsessively pretend is the only good type of show. That’s another thing I’m really enjoying about what I’m watching – these shows are all so different from one another, it’s giving me a nice mix every week.

I kind of got distracted marathoning through the entirety of House M.D. now that it’s on Netflix, Yuyushiki, and playing Dark Souls 2 – so sorry for not posting in so long!

LEFTU LEFTU!

Advertisements

3 responses to “Spring 2014 Early Thoughts

  1. Shinbo has basically become a parody of himself. I wasn’t even aware he directed some of the things he has, good things, until recently. It’s gotten that bad.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s