And we’re off to the races (metaphorically speaking)! It’s a brand new season and we have a ton of new shows to talk about… Some good, some bad, some drops. So it goes. Hit the jump and lets run ’em down!
The shows that I’m watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics,
strikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed. BIRDIE WING -Golf Girls’ Story-
*Shudder* We didn’t even make it ten minutes… I was already reaching for the remote when my wife pronounced that “she was done”. Some folks might appreciate the over-the-top writing and acting, the camp style, and the elements of a shonen battler… But it’s not for me.
Status: Dropped without a shred of regret.
Aharen-san Is Indecipherable – Episode 1
It took a bit for me to warm up, but once I caught on I enjoyed the heck out of this low-key romcom. The two leads are just cute as a button together. (And Inori Minase is nailing it as Reina.)
But… how far can they ride that one-trick pony? At the end, there’s a teaser with someone watching them and angry as hell… So what waits on the horizon? I’m looking forward to finding out.
My wife ended up sitting down and watching with me, and Aharen-San got immediately promoted to an ‘us’ show.
Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness
Hmm… Parts of the episode felt painfully rushed and box-ticky. But, there was a certain heart to it. I loved how Nagomu stepped right up when he was really needed. And I feel badly for Itsuka.
If they back off the sticky-sweet and campy moments *just* a touch, we may have something good here.
With it’s predictable plot beats and stock characters right out of TV Tropes article, I was not very impressed right from the start… When they broke out into spontaneous and pointless song, I noped out of there.
Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task
Heroine Tarumono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto
We’ve all seen this one before – our bright young heroine, who is quickly disabused of her dreams. And in that respect, Heroine is pretty conventional. But other than that, I think I like it. The setup is, odd to put it mildly… But they went out of their way to introduce her future friends as well as her burdens and “enemies”.
Balancing that, there’s a lot of otome and fairy tale imagery in the OP, so it’s hard to predict where it’s going. But I’m curious enough to stick around at least a little while.
Status: Tentative keeper.
This scene made me chuckle though… My high school was a 2 year school, and it was traditional on the first day for the seniors to give the juniors bad directions. (The teachers were in on the gag and were amusedly tolerant of late juniors for the first couple of days.) References to the non-existent elevators (the school was almost all one story) were practically mandatory.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life
Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road
I was nodding along at the start… Seemed partly generic, partly a bit different. Then… WHAM. Menou puts that Bowie upside MC-kun’s head and, as they say, Everything Changes.
Now they’ve got my attention. WTF? And more importantly, what next?
There’s some interesting world building going on, and it’s dead certain that dream sequence refers to MC-chan. How is Menou going to react to having to kill her Fated One? Let’s grab a seat and find out…
My wife noped out, but for me…
Ya Boy Kongming!
Paripi Koumei – Episode 1
That’s the OP… If it doesn’t give the sense the show is absolutely bugf*ck insane, let me tell you – the show is absolutely bugf*ck insane.
There’s absolutely no way the premise should work. Yet… it does. There’s absolutely no way the main couple should have such immediate chemistry. Yet… they do. There’s… yet it does.
OK, there’s downsides. The episode was absolutely stuffed full, stuffed, not fast paced. There was a lot of very obvious ticky-box checking off. But somehow it all worked out in the end. I’m actually looking forward to getting this post finished and watching the second episode.
Two fast drops, but otherwise not a bad slate so far… And there’s more yet to come. (Including Spy X Family, which we are eagerly awaiting.) Despite what it looked like when writing my anticipation post – there’s been some good stuff pop up.
Anyhow, I’ve seen all the premieres I’m going to so far… So feel free to talk about anything that’s aired through Thursday (PST – USA). Anything good? Any commercials for brain bleach? Leave a comment and lets chat!
6 thoughts on “First Impressions Matter – Spring 2022 – Week 1 / First impressions Part 1”
@Birdie Wing: It was actually one of my fave premiers. When it comes to sports shows, I tend to like the over-the-top nonsense shows quite a lot. You know, Basquash, Keijo, or last seasons Tribe Nine. The Japanese golfer has a Pacman golfball (called “Pakku”). I’ve been told it’s a Bandai Namco show… Now, that’s fitting product placement if I’ve ever seen one. It’s unexpected, but obvious once you see it. Yeah, I’m definitelly in.
@Aharen-san: At the beginning of the show: Well that’s… mediocre. At the end of the show, well that was cute. Not an immediate hit, but it grew on me. Shows that grow on me during the span of the premiere tend to have good staying power. As always, with none-immediate-hit shows, the acid test is when the other characters come in.
@Daeimon: Oh, I loved the premiere from beginning to end. My favourite so far. I did do a double-take at the main character saying his tearful goodbye to the sweets, and not in a good way, but it was a minor blip. We’ll see if it’s going to be something I’ll get used to, or a constant irritant. The moment the show made me trust that they have narrative control over their story was when Nagomu and Itsuka were talking on the bench. It makes obvious character sense that Itsuka can relate to Nagomu overhearing that they might have to find a replacement. It both relativises her impression that the ran away from responsibility, and it also resonates a little with the feeling of being abandoned. Yet, the show doesn’t drive the point home. It’s just a short moment of surprise, and the story moves on. Also, I really, really like colours and art in this show. Hands down my favourite new show so far.
@Healer Girl: Yeah, it’s an excersise in box-ticking, but it didn’t tick the boxes I expected. I expected a typical seinen idol show, and what I got more was more a shoujo magical girl show. The singers have trained voices, which is unusual (I actually prefer the less trained-seeming voices; but it makes for a nice change, and it works with the excellent arrangment of the instruments). The sudden singing itself made sense to me, actually, since it’s their job and I can see them goofing off. The execution made less sense to me, with the record player going into sudden death mode, and all the singing being accompanied by instruments, but I didn’t mind. I expected nothing and got a good, fun show. I’m in.
@Heroines Run the Show: Not won over by the plot, but I really like the main character and the direction (as in what a director does, not narrative trajectory) of the show. It’ll have to really mess up to lose me at that point. I was a little worried those two girls only approached her, because she’s sitting near the idols. The worry isn’t off the table yet; it’s one of those plot beats I’ve almost never liked.
@Executioner: I expected the twist, because the show was marketing a two-girl lead, there’s executioner in the title, and I read the summary on AniChart. I can’t say there’s anything in here that attracts me, but neither is there anything in here that puts me off (well the executioner’s sidekick is annoying so far). Too early to tell, but for me one of the lesser premiers this season.
@Ya Boy Kongming: Love it. The plot’s nothing special, but it’s just got style. What I didn’t know when I replied last week: it’s this season’s PA Works show. I did think the heroine’s character design looked familiar (especially during happy face), but I didn’t make the connection. Now it makes sense. If PA Works can make Uma Musume work, they can do it here, too. I’ve already seen the second episode, which is why I’m not going into detail now. (The latter is more on my mind, now.)
I’d have a few things to say about Dawn of the Witch (the Grimoir of Zero off-spring), and the salarywoman/ghost-girl show – but I’m holding back until I know whether they’re on the plate or not.
Overall, it’s a pretty fun season for me.
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Isn’t that always the acid test? When characters that aren’t the main enter the storyline? (Especially when the main are a couple.)
@Heroines Yeah, there’s a LOT of ways for that type of show to go wrong… The two girls becoming her friends because of her association with the idols… yeah, that would suck. I would get that they need to show up her naivete (country-fish-out-of-city-water), but she needs friends to make the show work IMO.
Yeah, I’m going to have a lot to say about the 2nd episode of Ya Boy… Not all of it is going to be nice. But we’ll leave that for next week.
No, Dawn of the Witch and the ghost girl are not on the table. I’ve seen a couple trailers/clips from the latter and was no impressed.
@Heroines: Track club girl seems like a pretty sure bet for friend, and they’ve put a few other members of the team into the centre of a frame IIRC. That’s a huge contributing factor for why I’m still worried about the other two friends (especially since they showed glasses girl looking at her, before – though that can go two ways – “hmm, not impressed by celebrity status?” is an option, too). We’ll know more next week.
As for the other shows, I didn’t think they were on the table, but I wanted to make sure. None of them have shown me anything that would make me recommend them to you, either:
The ghost girl show falls squarely in the middle of a certain genre. Like if you cross Dragon Maid with How to Keep a Mummy (but doesn’t do anything as well as either show). It’s cute enough, and I like it, but I can see it getting annoying for others. The opening shows other chibi-youkai/yuurei, or whatever… I haven’t seen a trailer, but I’m betting that what see is what you get. What troubles me the most is that it might play into the a-family-makes-harsh-work-conditions bearable – not as bad as Helpful Fox Senko-san, but in the same direction.
As for Dawn of the Witch: I quite liked it as a standard fantasy. It seems competent and fun. But I felt it didn’t quite measure up to Grimoir of Zero. So I thought I’d re-watch an episode or two to see whether I’ve overrated that show in my memory. I ended up watching the entire thing in one go; I underrated the show in my memory. Dawn of the Witch doesn’t have the same chops, but that’s far less of an issue when bar is that high. I thought the bar was lower. That was an interesting experience. Shows do sometimes get better on a rewatch, but I’ve never experienced this in the context of a quasi-sequel (it’s more next-generation type of show than a clear sequel). I think I’ll have fun with Dawn of the Witch.
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@Heroines – Good point. I’d spaced on track team senpai.
I liked Birdie Wing too. it was over the top but certainly knowlingly so which redeems it for me. Eve might also be an interesting flip on the usual badass shonen style male MC too I suspect but I will wait until I see more episodes before I make that call.
Healer Girl was well weird, I thought. I disliked the archaic saccarine sweetness in much of the music and lyrics – I felt the cloying sweetness almost overcome me at one point haha. But then it went and got adventurous. The operatic interludes between the three students was an interesting but odd diversion I thought. The dramatic and musical climax I liked though. I don’t think Healer Girl is an idol show. I think its more a musical show, or a show about singing maybe. After one episode I can’t tell if I like it and I’m interested to see the next episode as a result.
I liked the Executioner’s Way of Life too. I thought it’s take on Isekai was interesting. Its J.C. Staff again so at worst it’s likely to be just competent. Its a definite watch for me.
As Yo Boy Kongming, I’ll just echo what everyone else said. I loved the first episode so its a definite watch for me.
Im waiting to see another couple of shows but haven’t had the chance yet too.
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Exactly! I already subscribe to Disney+, and if I wanted a Disney show I can watch one anytime I want. And that’s not what I want out of an anime.
Certainly one of the stronger premiers so far… (Though with Deaimon and Ya Boy in the lineup, it was facing stiff competition.) The real question is – what now? If it ends up being a political type show, it’s going to have to work pretty hard to pull it off.