Winter 2019 First Impressions Pt 3: Letdowns All Around

Aside from the letdowns in the title of this post, some shows moved positions, so make sure to at least pay attention to the rankings!


Page jumps


Promised Neverland

This would’ve been perfect…had I not known the central twist beforehand and already not quite “gotten” the first volume (it was available on the Viz website for free for a limited time in the past). It hit the beats so well and was hyped up for months beforehand it almost felt manufactured, in fact. Not to mention, when did Amazon break from Noitamina? When the Funiroll split happened?

I feel like maybe I need some distance because it’s probably just my “hyped shows are inherently bad” bias going off (which is triggered by Free!, Shingeki no Kyojin and the like). Tell me if this goes south though, okay?

Other notes:

  • The aesthetic of this thing is like a fairytale and not like a typical anime. That’s probably one thing that convinced people to give it a shot.
  • The word for “Tag” in Japanese is onigokko and “It” is an oni. That gives a whole new meaning to “playing tag with monsters”, doesn’t it?

..

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Grimms Notes

This could’ve gone a bunch of interesting places and admittedly it does do some vaguely intruiguing things with its story/book themes (not to mention Robin Hood’s not too bad on the eyes…you know where my priorities lie, shut up), but I feel like the execution is slightly subpar. It’s probably a “help character for the sake of fighting monsters and getting the gacha you want” thing, something I’ve become aware of through playing Merc Storia as of late. That’s not to say it couldn’t do great things in the future, I just think it would be best to call it a drop for now and then come back to it once I have time and examine whether it really does get better (i.e. it’s a very low priority at the moment).

Other notes:

  • I think all Tao said was that it was dangerous (in the audio) when the Crunchyroll subs said “it’s dangerous to go alone!”. I think the subber was trying to insert a Zelda meme…
  • …isn’t Goliath defeated by David???
  • I feel vaguely disappointed Cinderella is a healer and Alice has a sword (honestly, she could be a good fistfighter if you give her the Antman shtick!). There are better choices of healers out there – Merlin could be decent, or even the Little Mermaid (which is conflating sirens with mermaids, but let me dream for once, okay???).

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Magical Girl Spec Ops Asuka

You can probably predict how the story’s going to go from the episode title and the visual quality is subpar, with blood in spades but it’s really dark. However, the quote from the end – “Live your life for the sake of those who died.” – really resonated with me, not to mention they’re clearly trying to throw in social commentary about the world at large with the terrorists and drones…even if they’re not saying it very well…and you already know that’s my department.

Other notes:

  • Other themes may involve those of bystander syndrome vs being part of the action, plus society’s awarding of proactivity rather than being passive.
  • I think using prostitution as a non-sequitur joke is really bad taste. Also, I get the “feeling boobs” thing is always written by a dude to satisfy male fantasies about breasts…which could extend to the series at large, only men hiding behind what was originally a symbol of girl power…sends mixed signals as much as it says “this genre’s for everyone”. *sigh*
  • There’s a nice play on Kafka on the Shore, plus…does no one ever notice Asuka Ootori = Rapture Asuka??? I know that’s not a problem in most magical girl series, but this seems like a show where it matters.

..

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Kaguya-sama: Love is War

The plot is a perfect adaption of chapters from volume 1 (bar the weed, which I don’t remember, and Hayasaka…so that knowledge probably comes from a future volume)…the problem is the comedy is terrible (according to my taste)! I barely laughed!…Not to mention it felt like it was biding its time a bit with the first segment.

The foreshadowing of the manju was more obvious than the manga (probably because it wasn’t obvious enough the first time ’round), but I think a lot of the humour was simply lessened through the narrator – that probably works best in manga and should be more “show, don’t tell” in anime.

You’ll notice I’ve listed my reason for pausing (below) as “find[ing] one character” – that would be the boy. Not Miyuki, the boy with the black hair. He wasn’t in volume 1, so I want to see what he brings to the series…(Yes, my shallow husbando-seeking/relatability instincts are kicking in again, if you haven’t noticed. A husbando, or even a relatable character, can make an entire series tolerable, y’know!)

Other notes:

  • The lunch segment was definitely in the manga, but now that the episode points it out, I think Kaguya should just have enough pride to ask her chefs to make octopus weiners for her.
  • If you’re wondering how I read the manga (even though multiple volumes are in stores now)…like Promised Neverland, the first volume was free on Viz’s website for a limited time.


Rankings

Okay, so it’s settled: the 6 shows listed in “watching” below are the ones I’m sticking with unless anything drastic occurs (i.e. the shininess of a first episode wears off and what’s left isn’t as up to par as I thought it was). I have enough backups to not warrant watching Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken weekly…that’s a pro of having so many shows to see.

Watching:

  • Mob Psycho 100 II (finished 1 ep)
  • Shield Hero (finished 1 ep)
  • My Roommate is a Cat (finished 1 ep)
  • Egao no Daika (finished 2 eps, up 2 positions – yikes, introducing Stella in this episode really makes sense…it only heightens the tension while Yuki gets over her loss between episodes…I did accidentally see a spoiler that Yuki was going to let out a “heart-rending scream”, but I didn’t know what for until I watched ep 2…)
  • Morose Mononokean II (finished 1 ep)
  • Magical Girl Spec Ops Asuka (finished 1 ep)

Paused:

  • Saintia Sho (finished 4 eps, down 1 category and therefore 2 spots – I figure with the few events I don’t quite know the explanation behind, I should probably wait until I’ve seen more of the franchise before I continue this show, not to mention we don’t know the episode count of said show yet…)
  • Boogiepop (finished 3 eps, down 1 category, a slow burner that only shows its hand at the 3rd episode must have something better in store later…I just need to find out what that is…later)
  • Promised Neverland (finished 1 ep)
  • Meiji Tokyo Renka (finished 1 ep, find Ume once show finishes)
  • Kaguya-sama (finished 1 ep, watch for one character then drop)

Dropped:

  • Grimms Notes (watched 1 ep, may revisit in future)
  • Rinshi! Ekoda-chan (watched 4 mins animation + 3 mins documentary out of 26 in first ep)


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

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3 thoughts on “Winter 2019 First Impressions Pt 3: Letdowns All Around

Add yours

  1. Grimms Notes is perhaps the least impressive title I’ve kept on my watch list. While I’d like to like it, so far the execution has not been great and with a plot so ill-defined I’m not entirely sure what they are going for. Hopefully it comes together but if not at least it was something a bit different.

    Liked by 1 person

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