Winter 2017 – First Impressions (Part 2)

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.

Verdict: Keeper.

Fuuka

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.

Gabriel Dropout

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.

VerdictSkating on thin ice, and the ice is cracking…

Hand Shakers

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.

Idol Jihen

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.

Seiren

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.

Verdict: Keeper.

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!)

8 thoughts on “Winter 2017 – First Impressions (Part 2)”

  1. What is this? No Demi chan wa Kataritai? It’s the best premier of a new show this season. You can’t muddle through all the rubbish and pass this by. Actually, you can, but I seriously suggest giving it a try. The characters are cute, and the writing is surprisingly sensitive to the girls’ issues. The art is good, too. It’s a real winner, as far as I’m concerned.

    Out of the shows you mentioned Acca and Seiren are definitely worth watching, and Fuuka may be okay (the second episode was better than the first, and I almost missed that it existed).

    Handshakers and Idol Jihen lost me before the episode was over, and Gabriel Dropout was funny at times, but mostly dull. Not ready to drop it just yet, but who knows?

    Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid was decently entertaining, and if the mangaka’s other works are any indication, it’s going to grow on me, as I get to know the characters better. KonoSuba had a nice premier, although the characters looked even more off model than they used to. And Onihei looks better than expected, too.

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    1. I’ll see what time allows for Demi chan wa Kataritai… Best I can promise. :)

      I’ll have a post up later today on the last of the premieres, we watched the second ep of Masamune-kun last night which marks the start of the weekly rotation for this season. I need to sit down and figure out which day I’ll post the weekly post on.

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  2. First things first. Where is Interviews With Monster Girls missing??? It was previously off the radar for me, but after seeing some interesting reviews and overwhelming praise on animenewsnetwork, I decided to try it. It was really good to the point that it’s extremely likely to be the AOTS for me and a serious AOTY candidate. If I had to describe it, it would be the Flying Witch of this season, but with interesting ideas about disability and/or discrimination. (With zero fanservice.)

    I didn’t watch ACCA, but I might watch it if people keep saying it’s good in future episodes.

    Fuuka was OK for me: nothing in particular that stands out in either a good or bad way. However, I’ve read a spoiler about a plot point that is likely to anger many people, but I find it interesting. I’m hoping this show is going to be an entertaining emotional trainwreck.

    I’m going to drop Gabriel DropOut next episode if it doesn’t improve (pun not intended). I don’t find swapping the roles of angels and demons to be very amusing, perhaps because I don’t have a strong preconception of how they should be. Additionally, I find Satanichia pretty annoying (I tend to dislike jokes based on a character being an idiot), while Vignette’s straight man role (a role that is very important for me) isn’t strong enough.

    I also tried Little Witch Academia. Nothing to see here other than great animation, which is at the bottom of my list of what makes an anime good.

    I didn’t watch Hand Shakers, Idol Jihen, or Seiren. (I usually either watch at least 2 episodes of an anime or don’t watch it at all.)

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    1. Kuzu no Honkai is on our radar, but whether I watch it or not depends on the outcome of the debate between my wife and I over whether or not we pick up Amazon Spark. With very rare exceptions, if it can’t be watched via our Roku box we don’t watch it. I’m seeing mixed reviews about LWA, but it hasn’t been picked up anywhere that I’m aware of.

      It sounds like we’re in the same boat with regards to Dropout.

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