Summer 2018 First Episode Impressions (Pt 2)

Reminder this is a continuation of part 1. All notes that apply to it apply here too.

Update: Due to a scheduling oversight, this post initially went out about 12 hours ago without a Muhyo and Roji’s first impression, even though that’s what I held it back for…sorry if you got affected by that.

I was thinking it would be a terrible season due to Muhyo and Roji’s being the last debut, but the top choices from the previous post (and some of the middle rankers) were pretty solid picks…

Meh (cont. from Pt. 1)

  • Lord of Vermilion: Due to Moe Sucks, I now call this “Dude of Red: The Red Dude”. That aside, it almost made me want to drop it after the in medias res opening felt too long (even though it had only been one minute). They could’ve just started from the noise instead of in the middle of a bunch of battles that don’t make sense. However, for some reason even though they kept piling on the shock factor from the first appearance of the red fog onwards, I wanted to keep watching…! It’s strangely endearing in odd ways I suspect people feel about most hatewatch material.
  • Hanebado: Shows a surprising amount of promise, but has the caveat of fanservice shots, plus the common “mistaken for pervert” trope. I don’t know much about badminton, but I can give this a shot if it can keep that quality of animation coming and teach me (spiritually) how to overcome the thing that was getting me down during Island, since that problem won’t go away for at least another year. Also, why are the girls boy-crazy or sport-crazy? I get the latter as the point of this genre, but the former’s a bit much.
  • Music Girls: Made it this far by having less of the annoying variety of fanservice, although there is a Token Loli and there is a somewhat fanservicey pan of Hanako – just because I said “less” doesn’t mean none. It hits a lot of usual idol beats (and I haven’t even watched many idol shows!), plus it’s clearly advertising for a game or something, but unlike Island, it does actually keep my interest.

Black Magic (all dropped)

  • Asobi Asobase: I only laughed twice at this show, which is terrible. The pervert teacher (principal?) is weird, the ED is weirder and the next-ep segment (or what passes as one) is the weirdest in a way I don’t know how to feel about. It was creative, sure, but not funny. Especially that boob stuff. Like Chio’s School Road, reading first episode impressions beforehand may have had a hand in its demise.
  • Chio’s School Road: After dropping it just seeing the OP, Plyasm talked me into properly watching. I didn’t like it but didn’t hate it either…and didn’t actually laugh at it either – the closest the show got was the teacher’s search on Yoogle and that laughter didn’t really get out of my brain. Even still, I’d read first episode impressions beforehand, which may have contributed to the Drop For Real. I might’ve laughed at the Glasses Guard joke otherwise… Also has boob jiggle, panty shots and subpar reaction faces (specifically compared to Mahou Shoujo Ore).
  • Harukana Receive: *shakes head* The things I go through to fill seasonal slots…This show was fine on a volleyball level, but boob jiggle sunk it. Slow-mo frustrated me, too, although less than boob jiggle. (I don’t know much about volleyball, but I have looked at a Mikasa volleyball before. They do roughly look like that CGI ball.) The sand was odd but realistic. Not to mention I learnt my lesson from trying to watch a show Rasmus Faber’s on staff for (part 1 of that saga is here) so I’m dropping this and never coming back. Ever.
  • Island: Why is it that the earliest debut tends to be the worst ones? I was feeling down in the dumps the day I watched Island debut and it made me feel even worse, because every time it caught my attention, it lost it straight afterwards. Although I got through one episode no problem, it was still enough for me to question a lot of things, including how the girls are all tsundere and Karen’s intro involved falling on to Setsuna’s junk. The “comedy” near the end (nosebleed) was the worst part. Rinne’s song was the only good thing.

It goes without saying Nobunaga no Shinobi is on the watch list as well, but there’s only so much I can say about it.

Later in the season:

  • Hanebado (at ep 2) and Music Girls (at ep 1) both went on hold due to the large talent gap.
  • Dude of Red went on hold (at ep 1) because that needs to play out before anyone can recommend it in any capacity.
  • Grand Blue showed up at the anime club, so here’s a first impression (unranked): Due to its high focus on male nudity and drinking, I thought it wouldn’t be up my alley, but Takamatsu did it again – I was crying with laughter just watching (most of the time)! Not to mention the OP and ED are solid songs (if I had to pick, I’d go with the ED) and I think I like Imamura already, even though he’s not really someone who’s meant to be sympathised with as one of the more negative portrayals of an anime otaku. I’d say about 70 – 75% of all jokes worked, with the last 5% caused by other people…However, there is one caveat and that’s the non-consensual element (e.g. when Iori gets dragged away by musclebros). I think only Anime Feminist picked up on it in first impressions I read, but for a few jokes, I had my eyebrow raised: “Because he didn’t want to drink, isn’t that being a bit too mean…?”
  • Muhyo and Roji’s isn’t ranked because it’s so dang late in the season (we’re almost halfway through!), but here’s the first impression: It’s exactly like the manga, except for one line about how much Muhyo’s glasses cost (about 300 yen) plus colour, sound and the opening/ending segments about Yoichi (headband guy) and Enchu (white-haired boy). That’s good in that you’re seeing exactly what you’re getting, but bad in that the manga was a bit cold on the comedy side and a manga to kill time at the very most. Thus, even though I know I’ll want to watch all 12 episodes eventually and I was one of the people who was the most excited for this anime to happen, this will be going on hold until further notice.
  • It may be 62 minutes, but Yakusoku no Nanayamatsuri‘s on Crunchyroll so why not: It’s generally a pleasant movie, although it’s a bit hard to feel for Shouma and Shiori simply because of the work’s length. The visuals are beautiful, but the CGI choice for some things (notably, water) is a bit weird. I called the plot twist regarding Shouma’s memories early on because Shiori’s was the same. I thought the two were going to fall in love – this is Tanabata with an “Orihime” and a “Hikoboshi”, so…y’know? – but surprisingly, they didn’t. Aside from that, I’m just a bit miffed at how nobody explained the AI’s power source or let Shouma have his phone back since the place was run by AI anyway. Also, all the dudes wore blue and all the girls wore pink/red – it vaguely pissed me off.

Also, because there’s weird stuff going on with titles:

  • Asobi Asobase = “Let’s Play Games”.
  • Hanebado! isn’t actually bad. Or about (Ayano) Hane(saki) all that much…in the first episode, at least.
  • I thought the first word in Harukana Receive was meant to make “Haruka” an adjective, but I then read somewhere that Haruka + Kanata = Harukana. *revelation dawns*
  • Cells at Work!, Chio’s School Road and Angels of Death are great translations (in regards to how literal they are), though.

So, aside from shows that have already made it, the season’s shows appear to be Angolmois, Phantom in the Twilight, Planet With and Cells at Work!. That’s a fine mix of genres, although I am slightly disappointed Muhyo and Roji’s didn’t make it…

Now that the dust has well and truly settled for these shows, what do you think about them? (No spoilers for the dropped and on hold shows, please!)

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3 thoughts on “Summer 2018 First Episode Impressions (Pt 2)

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  1. Well….I have to say that I think Hanebado! Is actually not that heavily foccussed on fan service at all. It really could have been quite easy to go down that road, but I think now having seen 6 episodes, that it’s actually a perfectly good balance between drama and sports (and that’s coming from someone that really hates sports lol 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These were just my thoughts from the first episode, so for the second episode, the focus on fanservice pretty much disappeared. I feel like the second episode was better because of that, but it did become a bit heavy-handed with the drama in exchange.

      Still haven’t seen beyond the second episode right now (because I put it on hold), so jury’s still out on the rest of it though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, no worries/ Will be looking forward to seeing your thoughts on this one later on. While there is still some fanservice in a later episode, I like the fact that this is pretty toned down for the overall series, which is a great thing 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

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