And the new season is well underway! Two solid standout shows, one meh, one drop…
Which shows are which? Hit the jump and see!
The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics. Question marks denote shows not watched yet (during the premiere weeks), and
strike through marks dropped shows.
A place further than the Universe
This is going to be one of those shows… I absolutely love it to pieces, but once again have a hard time articulating why.
The basic story is simple enough… Tamaki wants to expand her horizons, to do something, but can’t find the energy to actually go through with her plans because she’s afraid of change. Her total lack of energy and motivation can be seen in her room – which is a chaotic mess. Through a series of odd coincidences (really the only weak part of the episode) she meets Shirase – a girl with a driving burning passion. This is best describe as an unmoving object meets an irresistible force, Tamaki cleans and straightens her room, casts caution to the wind, and joins in the adventure.
But what really sells me is the execution… Other than the aforementioned odd coincidences the story flows easily and naturally. We’re not just told of Tamaki’s personality, it’s carefully drawn as well. But the change isn’t immediate and complete (nor should it be), she still retains her old fears even as she’s trying to conquer them.
Shirase on the other hand, remains something of an enigma… Her reasons for travelling to Antarctica are simple enough, but lack articulation. Which kinda makes sense, what person her age can articulate such things clearly? She’s off on a journey of self discovery, and we’re invited along for the ride.
Status: Can’t wait for next week – what discoveries await?
A new idol group is formed, with an equally new and inexperienced manager… Haven’t we heard this before?
Though there was some originality in color choice, iDOLISH7 is largely a harmless paint-by-numbers iDOLM@STER clone. This isn’t really surprising, as it’s also based on a raising game – only with boys instead of girls. The idols are bland stereotypes, and the manager a colorless trope. And the end of the double length premiere, I pretty much felt nothing about the show one way or the other.
There’s nothing really offensive about it, but nothing particularly attractive either. With this looking to potentially be another crowded season, there’s no particular reason to keep it on the list.
Status: Dropped. No regrets.
Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
But I’m not entirely certain I love Ms. Koizumi… Seriously, what kind of show puts the titular character practically in the background? And then makes her the unlikeable object of the main character’s unrequited affection?
So far, other than being standoffish, her only defining characterization is her love of ramen, and her (geek level) deep knowledge of the same. The show pauses at several points to show off her knowledge and to impart her wisdom to the audience. The pauses are actually annoying as they break what little narrative pace the show has.
The first ep consisted of three segments, and gives rise to the suspicion that it might work better as a short.
I can’t say that I’m really fond of the show, but I can’t say I actually hate it either. It might work if the two main characters ever start actually interacting.
Status: Awaiting developments.
This was… much, much better than expected. I expected a slow paced show and a slow paced first episode, I didn’t expect such incredible detail and acting. Mostly it’s a slow, quiet show, but it’s filled with standout little moments… We learn about that characters through their actions and interactions, not exposition.
I love the contrast between the calm, self-assured, and capable Rin against the genki good-hearted ditz Nadeshiko.
Like farther than the Universe this is a hard show to articulate what makes it stand out. But trust me, it’s simply, quietly, good. Imagine Tsuki ga Kirei, only as an iyashikei/CGDCT/slice-of-life show. Yeah, that sounds odd to me too, but that the closest I can come to describing how it makes me feel.
My favorite sequence from the show:
The look on Nadeshiko’s face when Rin points out that she can see…
Mt Fuji in the moonlight.
The look on Rin’s face, basking in Nadeshiko’s joy and maybe realizing that the little weirdo that crashed her quiet camp just might be a kindred spirit.
Also, the scene of Nadeshiko enjoying the heck out of some cup noodles… There’s a ton of food shows that need to go over this scene frame by frame.
Anyhow, as you can see the animation is outstanding, and the character designs are cute as hell. What you can’t hear is how good the music direction is.
If Yuru Camp wasn’t on your watch list… it should be. Just check out the first ep, and you’ll be hooked.
Four shows down, more to come! Drop me a line and let me know how your season is going so far!