Spring 2018 – First Impressions (Part I)

Aaaand, the Spring 2018 season is underway and we’re off to the races!

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OK, I couldn’t resist the pun…  I promise I’ll behave myself (mostly).  At least until the end of the post.

Anyhow, hit the jump and let’s chat about the first batch of new shows!

The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics, and strikethrough marks dropped shows.

Comic Girls

That was…  Kinda predictable actually.  More CGDCT than any kind of drama, and that really limits where the show can go.  I’d hoped for something more realistic despite the moe character designs.  And the smol loli main character with a high pitched voice will likely get old after a while.  Still, the senpais aren’t bad characters…

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So, I dunno.  While there is some potential, probably not a keeper unless it ups it’s game in the next episode or two.

Status: On notice under the Three-Episode Rule.

Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits / Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi

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I’m on the fence here.  Supernatural romance isn’t normally my gig, but I’m usually willing to give almost anything a shot.  And there’s the food angle, which anyone who knows me will know I almost always check out.

But everything is so flat.  The animation is nothing to write home about, and the voice acting and direction are workmanlike at best.  Hopefully it will perk up some as the seiyuu settle into their roles and the director warms up…  So even though the scenario seems to be a bit predictable at this point there’s a chance for my opinion to improve.

Status: Provisional keeper.

Magical Girl Ore

The basic problem is that Ore is too genre aware and too trope aware – and knows it.  And it couldn’t go so much as a full minute without hammering the audience over the head and crowing about it’s self awareness.  As far as the comedy angle goes…  It pretty quickly became stale, repetitive, predictable – and it just wouldn’t stop.

There’s shows that pack a lot to think about in one episode.  And there’s shows that just pack too much into one episode.  Ore is firmly in the latter category.

Status: Dropped – 2 eps.

Real Girl / 3D Kanojo

I kept getting this odd feeling watching this episode.  It felt strangely unpolished, almost like I was watching a first draft or a storyboard or something.

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But I have to admit, I found Iroha’s character interesting.  She takes no crap, and she knows what she wants… She’s certainly not an otaku fantasy character.  Hikari and his buddy on the other hand, they’re about as stock as insecure otaku characters get.  But the biggest thing the show has going for it is that they’ve already gotten then confession and the kinda first kiss out of the way.  That gives the show a chance to be about the relationship rather than coy “will they or won’t they”, and we’ve all seen too much of that haven’t we?

I just hope the six months thing, and the hint of Iroha having a tragic backstory don’t weigh the show down too much.

Status: Keeper.

Space Battleship Tiramisu

I can see where the high energy constant comedy might attract some.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with it that I can put my finger on…  I just didn’t find it funny.

On second thought, maybe it’s the narrator.  For some reason, I’m starting to really dislike narrators.  And this one was annoying because they kept violating the “show, don’t tell” rule.

Status: Dropped – 1 ep.

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby

If you’ve been anywhere around anime media in the past week…  You’ve probably seen this screenshot:

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Now, I have to admit, it’s pretty creative – if ordinary schoolgirls running late for school run with toast, why wouldn’t a horsegirl run with a carrot in her mouth?  But Uma Musume‘s creativity pretty much begins and ends right there.  Special Week (yes, that’s actually her name) is pretty much just another country bumpkin come to the Big City to follow her dream.  A dream promised by her adoptive mother to her deceased birth mother – an interesting angle to be sure…  But not really her dream then, is it?

And speaking of names, yes, all the girls (of which there are way too many in the cast) have horse names because they’re the reborn souls of famous Japanese racehorses.  Kind of an intersection of the “girls reborn as” and “monster girls” trends…

I think my main interest here will be in how well it carries itself as a sports anime…  Something they hint at being a bigger part of the show, but never quite get around to in the episode.

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And there’s the shows I’ve seen so far.  I wanted to get this finished and posted because I have my 2199 post tomorrow and then the BIG premiers on Saturday.  My season review post is in work, and hopefully will be out next week….  3-gatsu, Yorimoi, and Yuru Camp have brought work on it to a screeching halt. I suppose, under the “it’s my blog I’ll do what I want theory”, I can just type “EFFING AWESOME” for ten lines…

Anyhow, let me know what you think of your premiers so far!

8 thoughts on “Spring 2018 – First Impressions (Part I)”

  1. I’m likeing Comic Girls. It’s an absolutely standard CGDCT show and has some unappealing boob-jokes, but I really like the art direction (cute animals, too) and the characters feel right. To me, there’s a world of a difference between this and something like Slow Start, but I couldn’t quite tell you why, and I have a feeling it’s unjustified.

    I quite liked Kakuriyo. It’s nothing special, but I actually think the show looks good. I like the lead, whose got the basics of dealing with spirits down, but is still a tad unexperienced (accepting fairy food and presents far too quickly). I’m not expecting much from the story, but it’s going to be solid middle-tier entertainment, I hope.

    Mahou Shoujo Ore: Well, I’m not dropping it yet, but yeah. It feels like a show that’s trying to be wacky by copying what other wacky shows have done before. I’m sort of fine with the character dynamics so far, but just about everything feels so avarage.

    3-D Kanojo: I like the girl, I don’t like the boy, I’m neutral on the best friend, and glasses girl looks cute but hasn’t made her appearance yet. I mostly liked the episode, but I’m not fond of the otaku behaviour here. There’s a lot of potential for development, though, and at worst the narrative competent. Cautiously optimistic. (Going to watch it anyway, because I feel a strange sort of kinship with Iroha, and I love her voice acting (kudos to Serizawa Yu).

    Space Battleship Tiramisu: Not sure what to think yet. Definitely not the world’s best use of a narrator (that’s probably Bananya). It’s short, so a single episode won’t grow on me. Wait and see.

    Uma Musume: It’s pretty much exactly what I expected PA Works to make from this concept. The names are silly (researching the line “Eclipse first, the rest nowhere,” I came across many other silly names – I think my favourite is “Let’s Go Donki” [Donkey? – It’s a Japanese horse]). I could do without the idol part, but well.

    Are you going to try Tada-kun? One of my favourite premiers so far.

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    1. Don’t get me wrong, Comic Girl has potential, or I’d have dropped it right off. But so far it’s pretty generic and the MC just rubs me the wrong way.

      3-D Kanojo, right there with you on the main couple!

      I meant to mention that in my postscript…. Tada-kun is definitely on my list, but my wife and I are planning to watch it together. We won’t get to see it until Friday evening because she has a meeting tonight.

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      1. I definitely get that the MC of Comic Girls rubs you the wrong way. It’s such an overworked type that watching her is like tearing open badly healed wounds, but I was quite surprised by the end-scene, where she’s made more progress in one episode than many make in an entire season. Of course, that scene’s still well within the typical gambarimasu parameters, so…

        Look forward to Tada-kun. Story-wise it’s nothing special, but it’s the Nozaki-kun team and it shows.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I screened the first episode of GeGeGe no Kitaro for the anime club this week. While it was obviously a series aimed at younger audiences, it seems to be pretty well made. The story was fun and I liked the characters, especially Eyeball Dad. If it was 12 episodes at a time I might be tempted to stick with it, but having to commit to 50 episodes (minimum) is probably too much.

    Out of this batch, I’d be most curious about Uma Musume and Comic Girls, but so far I haven’t seen anyone with much good to say about the former. Might get around to checking out Comic Girls sooner or later, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Long time no see! How have things been going out your way? (You’re under all the icky northeast weather if I remember correctly.)

      Hadn’t really paid any attention to GeGeGe no Kitaro, but I just now looked it up… and wow, that’s a heck of a long running franchise. Was it the current/new season you watched?

      Uma Musume is… problematic and has some very weird cosmology and world building, and I didn’t really touch on any of that in my brief review. (The preview reviews at ANN hit the highs spots though.) I can overlook it if the main plot of the show firms up. If.

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      1. I’ve been buried in work and errands, more than I’ve been buried in snow (which was mostly hitting the states north of us – down here we’ve been getting all of the wind and cold but not much of the precipitation). That said, I did have to go to Philly for a conference a couple of weeks ago, at the same as another nor’easter was blowing through the region, and that one did reach down into Maryland. It was a bit of an adventure trying to get there safely and on time, but I managed it. My absence from the comments was also in part because I was never able to watch anything last season, though, so I didn’t have much to add to the conversation even when I did have some free time.

        Yeah, this was the latest Kitaro. I didn’t know anything about the franchise either before I started reading some of the preview stuff about it on ANN, but out of the premieres that were available on Crunchyroll at the time, it looked like by far the best choice for my group.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I like Uma Musume. It’s a solid mid-tier PA Works show. Is it problematic? Yeah, but not more problematic than your avarage idol show (it may just be more visible because the horse-concept makes the lifestock analogy more explicit). It’s technically a sports show with a tacked on idol element, but it reads much more like an idol show, if you ask me.

      Gegege no Kitaro was pretty good, actually. I got a kick of listening to all the different versions of the opening (from 1968 onwards), plus some video game renditions. They really do stick to their guns. (I don’t know which version I like the best, but I liked the 80ies version the least.)

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