Spring 2019 First Ep. Impressions: Finally Reaching the Finish Line

[…I think I’ve run out of witty opening lines. This post is way too late, anyway.]


Page jumps


Rendai Utena

I know…this wasn’t even on the pre-season list. Truth be told, I fell hook, line and sinker for a bishie when I was looking at this page on Crunchyroll (the dark-haired ponytail boy with the pig (?) on his face) after I made my “what to watch this season” list. Turns out he’s Taishakuten and he’s a protag here.

I have a lot of misgivings about watching an anime about Buddhas, since I don’t believe in that religion and I don’t want to offend anyone who does. That said, even outside that, Rendai Utena can’t decide whether it wants to be a CBDCT (in the vein of Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru), a “slay all the vices!” anime (now that I think about it, I would take a zombie anime with bishie slayers!) or deities having what I termed “time shock” off the top of my head (i.e. culture shock, but being exposed to a different time period). That last one would’ve been an interesting idea on its own, but that combined with the first one runs counter to what Buddhism stands for. I also like the idea of how these bishies can transform into anything, including a bird (it caught me by surprise when Karuraten became a bishie). However, using “what dude is vs. what he looks like” is quite hit-or-miss as a joke.

Other notes:

  • There were wayyyyyy too many names at once during the introduction spree. Hanamaru worked because I played the game before the anime announcement, but for this my brain went “Error 404 – File not found” until I figured out who Taishakuten (the one who got me into this mess), Bonten (Lotus (?) Head), Ashura (A Bad Dude) and Shaka Nyorai (the one Taishakuten and Bonten report to + Bonten swears devotion to) were…that’s all you need to know for this episode. Besides, I recognised some names from other anime – Miroku, for instance, is the name of a guy in Inuyasha.
  • The scene where Ashura disrupts the Buddhas’ eating out was meant to be tense, but the shaking was animated so fast that it didn’t even seem like an earthquake. 
  • The guy who voices Taishakuten, Masaaki Mizunaka, happens to be the voice actor for Choreo (Brave Beats). 
  • What the heck is Paomi, anyway? An elephant? A pig???
  • Even after all that rage, I still like how Taishakuten looks…LOL. I especially liked how his hair was in the bath scene *insert chef’s kiss here*.
  • Comparisons to Hanamaru are apt, I think, because I saw DMM Games in the credits. 

 

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One Punch Man

It’s as you remember it plotwise, but visually it just…ain’t the same anymore.

Sure, JC Staff gave it their best shot and you can tell someone threw them good money to do so, but without that style to make it compete with Mob Psycho (and Yuzuru Tachikawa, who’s already my favourite director), it’s just “good”. Not “great”. I’m going to stay on because I love OPM nonetheless, but I’m honestly kinda gutted that everyone’s fears came true. On a brighter note, I’ve rediscovered a mild version of my previous love for Genos and particularly Sonic – that off-the-shoulder shirt is just *insert another chef’s kiss here*. Plus I’ve heard good things about Garou’s arc (but don’t know the specifics), so I expect good things.

Other notes:

  • Why does “One Punch Man 2” sound so…counterintuitive???
  • I’m not sure if anything was CGI at any stage, but please, please don’t let Genos or any other thing be CGI…it all being in 2D is part of what made season 1 so great.
  • Did you notice the box of hijiki and Saitama’s shirt saying “hair” all over it? (LOL)

 

 

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Bungou Stray Dogs

It’s back to adapting sidestory LNs with the introduction of Fifteen to the anime. Now, I haven’t read the novel myself, but I’ve read Chuuya’s wiki page enough to tell you some of what will happen. The LNs are arguably the most solid material of the series, as Dark Era material can attest when you mention thoe words to the fandom, so I think y’all that haven’t caught up will have a fun time with it. 

Other notes:

  • Bones uses CGI now…and I don’t mind it, surprisingly.
  • I suspect Randou will do something important…but I don’t know what, exactly. (Aria from after having watched s3 ep 2: Randou does do something important…but I’m not going to spoil it here.)

 

 

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Shoumetsu Toshi

Aka “Afterlost”…(really?)

Okay, someone’s trying to really get my goat. Back when I was still more of a newbie to simulcasts, there were these terrible shows, like Chaos Dragon and Seisen Cerberus. I thought I’d escaped them, especially because I experimented with my tolerance levels for things “outside my tastes” in 2018 and came out better for it, but…even if this isn’t quite the same level, it smacks of those shows in the overuse of CGI, the bad animation and the fact you go “Whaaaaaaaaaat?” (in a bad sense) or “Not dis shitto agen” (y’know, the Code Geass meme) at almost everything that happens on screen, even if you didn’t think “…nothing more than just a package” was a terrible way to talk about a psychic girl who is meant to kick major butt…and one of your characters is literally called “Geek”, just to add a cherry on the s*** sundae.

Other notes:

  • I get why it’s called Afterlost in English, but…I don’t like that name much, in comparison to the Japanese words that translate to Annihilated City. Sure, either way it sounds like a discarded name for a heavy metal band, but “Annihilated City” sounds like the more plausible artist name (to be honest).

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RobiHachi

Someone really trusts Takamatsu to make some good content, because I can’t help realising it looks like the stuff that came before it (both in a Boueibu sense and a space opera/buddy comedy sense, although most of my comparisons come from the OG of the former). For one, the name of the place they’re aiming for is Isecandar (sp?), which is the place from Yamato. That’s not a coincidence (at least, I don’t think so), since Takamatsu has used Matsumoto metres (which were used in Yamato) before.

That said, the transforming mech was unexpected and the CGI is actually something I can praise for once (although the spaceships still remind me of Dani’s House nonetheless). 

Other observations:

  • Taiga Umatani (credited creator for RobiHachi) seems related to Kurari Umatani (credited creator for Boueibu). That is, I believe it’s a name for a specific group of people including Shinji Takamatsu, much like “Izumi Todo” for Toei. (It’s not attached to Studio Comet though, as “Kurari” existed during Boueibu‘s Diomedea days.)
  • Hatchi’s face lighting up is kinda cute. However, he looks so much like Kinshiro and the Beppus that he’s basically a bargain bin aged-up version of both.
  • Normally I’m a lot nuttier on how people deal with women in anime, but I learnt once Takamatsu went to a boys-only school so you can basically identify his original works by the fact they focus on dudes so much…so that’s why I’m more lenient on Takamatsu works.  

 

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Shield Hero (ep 14)

When some new anime show more promise than Shield Hero has shown in one cour, it means I need to take a better look at where everything currently stands. However, I was behind on Shield Hero when I left, so I had to let it enter the rankings at ep 14 (rather than 15, which would’ve made the playing field between episodes equal). 

…although we haven’t gotten to Siltvelt or Shieldfreeden yet, we haven’t learnt anything about Glass since we last saw her and Myne’s still up to no good/Naofumi’s still lecturing people on how to live, I didn’t really think about addressing Raphtalia’s past and that cliffhanger…! It managed to catch me, hook, line and sinker. Come to think of it, we haven’t really covered Naofumi’s past, either, even though he wants to go home…

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King of Prism

I’m not too familiar with this series, but hey, anything for bishies…right? Also, apparently it’s quite popular with the Japanese crowd, which makes me somewhat curious about it.

[5 minutes and 12 seconds later]

…Scratch that! It’s like Makura no Danshi or Room Mate, in that there are these faceless girls who you have to imagine yourself as…and I want none of that! 

Also, before it, it gives you a big ol’ exposition dump which I assume is from the previous content that never made it to English-speaking audiences. (I’m not sure if I’ve got the chronology of the series straight myself, but it seems you need to have watched a previous anime and at least 2 movies to get this.)


Rankings

This should be the final lineup. The top lot are very strong, so I had a tough time whittling it down to 6 (since I’m missing Jimoto ga Japan, the number is 6 again). 

Watching:

  • Bungou Stray Dogs (watched 2 eps)
  • Fruits Basket (watched 1 ep)
  • Kimetsu no Yaiba (watched 3 eps, sticking around with because it’s for the collab as well as being a top performer)
  • Sarazanmai (watched ep 1)
  • One Punch Man 2 (watched 1 ep)
  • Shield Hero (watched 14 eps)

Paused:

  • Carole and Tuesday (watched 1 ep, relegated to this category because it’s on Netflix)
  • Fairy Gone (watched 1 ep, down 2 positions)
  • Kono Oto Tomare! (watched 1 ep, down 3 positions)
  • RobiHachi (watched 1 ep)
  • Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin (watched 2 eps, caught ep 2 in Japan)
  • We Never Learn (watched 1 ep…that collab never happened)

Dropped:

  • Rendai Utena (watched 2 eps, caught ep 3 of this in Japan which means I don’t want to touch it again)
  • Hitoribocchi (watched 1 ep)
  • Yu-No (watched 1 ep)
  • Shoumetsu Toshi (watched 1 ep)
  • King of Prism (watched 5 minutes of 1st ep)
  • Gunjou no Magmell (watched about 3 minutes of the 3rd ep in Japan and didn’t quite get what was going on, so…because it probably wasn’t going to be available to me to continue legally, I dropped it)

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

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