Seven more shows, and we’re pretty much done with the premieres. There’s still a few to go, including some biggies like Konasuba 2, but we need to move on to weekly postings soon too… So this will be the last dedicated first impressions post this season.
That being said, let’s dive in and take a look at the good, the bad, and the “oh-my-diety who thought that was a good idea?”.
Just a note, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.
Acca-13 Territory Inspection Department
Honestly, I didn’t know much about this show going in, but it kept popping up on other people’s lists so I decided to check it out. It turned out to be not too bad… The first episode was a bit slow, what with all the infodumps and exposition, but the bones of an interesting show are there. Normally I’m not one that’s really interested in political intrigue, but something here catches my eye. We’ve been shown that the protagonist has hidden depths (and reasonable ones given his position) and those depths may explain why someone (much) higher in the food chain has taken an unpleasant amount of interest in him.
And oh, those mustaches. In the world of the show, huge mustaches seem to be a thing… The fashion cues for government employees seem to have been taken from the late 19th Century.
Honestly, I’m conflicted here. Fuuka starts out with the way overdone “accidental pervert” routine, and doesn’t really let up with the fanservice tropes. The male protagonist is the typical clueless harem hero. Over the course of the first two episodes, they indulge in a variety of shopworn anime tropes. But the overall writing and especially the acting are well above average. And it has a band. I have a weakness for anime with bands. And Hayami Saori has a large role, though as a childhood friend which does not bode well for the love triangle that’s central to the show. And it has that rara avis – an openly gay character. (Who unfortunately is the object of the overdone “MC wants to help the girl hookup with the guy he thinks she really wants” schtick”.) Overall, Fuuka is something we’ve all seen before, but there are enough things I like to stick with it.
And in a season like Winter 2017 is shaping up to be, even average sticks out like a sore thumb.
Verdict: Keeper for now.
I don’t have a good feeling about Dropout. The basic premise (angels and demons swap roles) isn’t bad, but the entire premiere episode centered around that one trick. One-trick-ponies generally spend the entire season skating on thin ice, and I only find them watchable when the trick is competently executed. This is not the case here so far… they just kept hitting the viewer over the head with more of the same. If it’s setting up for riffing on the theme, good. If not, Dropout will not be long for my watchlist.
Verdict: Skating on thin ice, and the ice is cracking…
Last week, I asked “how bad could a show be?” and offered up Forest Fairy Five as an example. I should have known better than to tempt fate… all I did was inspire the universe to roll up its sleeves and produce something even worse. I could go on at length providing examples of just how bad it was – but that would require me remembering the show. And I have no desire whatsoever to do that. Check out Anime News Network’s coverage of the premiere if you’re interested in the gory details.
Basically, Hand Shakers is my new synonym for irredeemable garbage.
Verdict: I’m going to start buying brain bleach by the case down at Costco.
It’s a rare idol show that can make AKB0048 look good, but somehow Idol Jihen manages. The character designs are below average (idols are supposed to be cute, not look constipated and pissed off!), the tropes phoned in, and the animation workmanlike at best. The song-and-dance routine, the centerpiece of any idol show, is just bad – a generic song (that’s not even bouncy), average (to be generous) music and sound work, and the girls dance like robots. (But at least without that awful 3d CGI that has plagued idol anime so often in the past.) It’s pretty obvious that they’re just trying to ride the wave of multimedia idol projects while spending as little money and exerting little effort as possible.
They’re not going to put anything into the show, I’m not going to watch.
Verdict: Dropped without looking back.
I have to admit that up until the cliffhanger, I was enjoying the heck out of Seiren. Unusually for anime, the teenaged characters were actually teenaged characters rather than bundles of tropes. (And I feel for the MC, bumbling and clueless as to whether the girl was abusing him to be mean or to show her attraction. I’ve been there bud.) Though it was a bit rambly in spots and a bit impulsive in spots, isn’t real life like that? Even his “sudden” decision to spend his summer vacation at a study camp was adequately foreshadowed. But the ending… they’re going to need to come up with a really good explanation for that.
Though I admit having a girl traveling through the rain to come crawling in my window while carrying a horned beetle would certainly get my attention.
In Other News
I need to take a look at my watching schedule and figure out when a good breakpoint for posting is… And looking back at what I’ve written so far, I need to get a lot better. (But posting weekly means lots and lots of practice!)