Winter 2019 First Impressions Pt 1

First few anime of the year!

  • Same deal as last season in regards to format. This post has Shield Hero, Egao no Daika, Boogiepop (thought it was “Boogiebop” for years…) and Morose Mononokean. Next up is the 4th (somehow) episode of Saintia Sho, Mob Psycho, Rinshi! Ekoda-chan, My Roommate is a Cat and Meiji Tokyo Renka. The 3rd post is Promised Neverland, Grimms Notes, Spec Ops Asuka and Kaguya-sama. Once done, I can then figure out if the slime anime goes back into the running. 
  • I’ve set up “other notes” within each impressions section for small observations. I could have made my own Shield Hero post with the content below, but I think I’ll skip it since the anime’s controversial enough.
  • I’m sorest about losing Dimension High School (I didn’t expect it to be a standard-length nazotoki show, but it’s still 100% My Thing…and stuck behind the HiDive paywall in my territory) and Dororo (which has been getting nothing short of stellar reviews).

Page jumps


Rising of the Shield Hero

*checks clock*

Is that where the time went? Because that sure didn’t feel like 47 minutes.

Anyways, reading chapter 1 of the manga on Crunchyroll spoilt a big fraction of this episode – the reveal is better paced due to the breathing space, though, which made me much angrier at the accusations thrown Naofumi’s way (which I’d say would be a success) – and from there, you could easily guess the slave part would lead to Raphtalia (learnt her name through ANN articles). I’ll quote from my notes, just to make my stance on the polarising matters clear: “I do not condone rape, but from a storytelling perspective it’s the perfect trope to make a character look like a monster and it makes a clearly false accusation have more oomph behind it, so…let’s just say Shield Hero’s doing its job here, making me despise Myne and the system in this world. Besides, I only stand on the side that does the better story.” (Similar case with the slavery.)

However, they didn’t reveal the heroes came from different versions of Japan in that manga chapter. Also, the moment where Naofumi tossed his remaining silvers is where I became engrossed, because that reminded me of me when I’m angry.

Sidebar: I tend to demand unreasonable things from myself once angered, just to prove people wrong – just to prove what I mean, say someone wanted me to chuck out a single piece of paper while I was angry. If I’m not over my anger by the time I’ve done what the person said, I’d probably toss more paper.

Other notes:

  • I thought balloon monsters being used as weapons was hilarious, although nothing on the levels of how I laughed at the Dimension High School trailer or Honda-san
  • I don’t remember Shield Hero being a matriarchy and, coming from a background in not drinking, I didn’t find it weird when Naofumi refused Myne’s invitation to drink. (Kudos to Arthifis for bringing up the catalysts for this note, although I think the purpose of the drinking bit is story-based, just as much as it is culture-based, due to the manga making me pay attention to foreshadowing in the anime.)
  • I find it interesting there are poppies in what appears to be the OP, because the red flower represents bloodshed and remembering those who have fought in war. For a show depicting Naofumi’s blood, sweat and anger, it’s pretty powerful. White poppies are also shown, and if this link is to be believed, all meanings of the poppy are either correct/ironic for Naofumi (metaphorically speaking). 

..

.

Egao no Daika

I think the most impressive part of the episode was the next episode preview, which says something about me. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty respectable opening episode, although with a slated 12 episodes, I wonder how this is going to go down, now that Planet With is my best comparison (a pretty tough bar to clear).

The CGI wasn’t horrendous but faces can go off model when you’re not paying attention to what should be looked at. I also sense this may be making some veiled commentary on the abdication of emperor Akihito with the deceased parents, since that’s slated to happen around the end of the anime season.

Other notes:

  • The tablets having fancy English font on them…I thought that was a bit stupid at first, but considering this is set in 2028, it makes sense…kind of. Due to sheer population, Indian and Chinese languages (specifically simplified Chinese in the case of the latter) should be popular languages in the future, but English is the world’s and internet’s lingua franca, so it makes sense people would take it to new planets.

..

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Boogiepop and Others

“A double/long premiere must exist for a reason” has become a rule of thumb over my bit-over-4 years of simulcasts. The first episode threw up more questions than answers to prove my idea right again (didn’t mention it, but the first time was Shield Hero). However, it threw up enough questions to zone me out for a few seconds, so that’s…not good.

The second episode worked a lot better due to all the setup done in episode 1, though. The fact there are so many parties in play, each with their own stakes (and exposition dumps), makes this another Concrete Revolutio in that you have to pay attention or get confused trying. I’m starting to get confused already, even though there only seems to be a battle between Echoes/Manticore/Boogiepop being set up at this point, so I’m not entirely convinced this is for me…

I’ll need another episode to figure out whether I’m keeping it since it’s 18 episodes…also, does this show’s character designs remind anyone of Banana Fish or Parasyte?

Other notes:

  • The Japanese title is Boogiepop Doesn’t Laugh…so what happened to the English name? Why doesn’t Boogiepop laugh??? (Answer: That was the name of the LN in English.)
  • I saw one episode of the original Boogiepop last year but that was even more confusing than this, to the point I can’t remember what happened anymore (it seems memories of Paranoia Agent overwrote it).

..

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Morose Mononokean Tsuzuki

Welp, it’s Morose Mononokean again. As much as I was hyped for it, nothing has changed about it over 2 or 3 years, so it makes me wonder whether my hype (including dressing up various accounts with icons from the series) was worth it.

As for the episode itself, it seems to lean more heavily on overreaction comedy (which is fairly hit-or-miss), which I found to be kind of odd. That’s not Mononokean‘s forte, so it makes me wonder whose idea it was to have so much of it. (By the way, I would say the series’ fortes would be the worldbuilding, overall aesthetic and meandering pace.)

Other notes:

  • Like the last series, Mononokean‘s underworld exhibits a separation of powers; namely, it has a judiciary, legislature and executive. (That’s just one of many useful things you learn when studying global politics.)

Rankings

Watching:

  • Shield Hero (finished 1 ep)
  • Morose Mononokean II (finished 1 ep)
  • Saintia Sho (finished 3 eps)
  • Egao no Daika (finished 1 ep)
  • Boogiepop (finished 2 eps)
  • – the threshold of pausing/dropping –

Feel free to answer as many or as little of these questions as you’d like:

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