Winter 2013 First Impressions

How many times can I refer to a show as having “plot” before I actually mean plot? Plenty.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha: yes (I wish I were watching S&W3)
Senran Kagura: maybe (I bought an Ikaruga figure and now I suffer the price)
Amnesia:  maybe (I could watch something enjoyable for 30 mins too)
Kotoura-san: yes (favourite of the season)

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

I already decided I’d watch this awhile ago but I’m doing so grumpily. The premise is Spice and Wolf-y and the cast and crew is filled with people returning from Spice and Wolf. And yet, we never got Spice and Wolf S3. So I’m a little bitter. Not that it’s this show’s fault.

I’ll admit I was surprised with how interesting this could turn out to be. I expected Unlikely Pair Travels the Road and Does Money Stuff but it doesn’t seem that cut and dry. Plus, cutting to different characters talking about the war instead of a long exposition scene between Maou and Yuusha. The war not being a cut and dry case of Good vs. Evil but instead filled with ulterior motives and reasoning was also another interesting piece here.

Maou and Holo are completely different so I won’t compare them. Holo’s humble headlights aside, they just have two completely different airs about them. Both are commanding, clever and wise but both are chamring in their own ways. From the moment Maou showed up, I was fascinated by her.

Unfortunately the same can not be said for Yuusha. Lawrence is a crafty protag who can barely keep up with the wiles of his fine female companion but is a worthy advesary nonetheless. They compliment each other nicely. Maou is an interesting character but Yuusha seems immature and kind of bland.

The problems I did have were minimal, I guess. For a long time I complained about Arms being the studio to do it. Arms, the studio behind such Hyakka Ryouran, Ikkitousen and Queen’s Blade. When one of the first PVs showed Maou’s boobs just gainaxing it up, I feared the worst. Fortunately, they manage to keep focused and the jiggly jiggly is only minimal (sorry?). I’m looking forward to the introduction to some characters but that one Ultra Happy character… man she just pissed me off for no reason. Not looking forward to her.

All in all, if I don’t treat this as the spiritual successor to Spice and Wolf, I think I’ll enjoy it a lot. I think. I have a feeling this can turn out terrible so very quickly. Hopefully it doesn’t. I did enjoy this episode. Mostly because Maou is adorable and just a really great character so far. Even if I wasn’t intrigued by the plot, I could probably watch just for her (and Sawashiro).

Senran Kagura

Sometimes you do things and you subject yourself to things out of morbid curiosity. Don’t get me wrong. If this game really does come over here I’d buy it in a second. But subjecting myself to a mindless T&A fest like I expected Senran Kagura to be?

And it’s not like I expected A+ classic lit plot or anything. I wanted to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. (to be honest one of the reasons I’m watching is to justify preordering a Ikaruga figure on impulse a few months ago) And verily, it was ridic. Still, I have to admit there were a lot of things I laughed at and kind of liked.

Like Kiriya (who kind of looks like a silver haired Kirei?) and his sushi scene or the sound the sliding doors made. Plus, no male main character. If there was I wouldn’t have even finished this episode. Instead, I’ll probably give this another shot because I’ll get yuribait instead. Not to mention Asami Imai’s delicious Chihaya/Kurisu voice for Ikaruga and Yuu Kobayashi with The Voice for Katsuragi (whose shtick of grabbing the worst boobs got old quickly).

But then this is a pretty bland ninja show with boobs just flopping around (although to give it credit, they didn’t put as many get panty shots in as I expected and they had PLENTY of opportunities) so there are a lot of problems.

For the first episode, the animation was pretty lousy. I recall a joke from 2×2=Shinobuden saying the first and last episode should have the best animation. There were some parts where I thought it looked nice and not that many times where the animation detracted from my “enjoyment” at the time.

THEN there’s this guy:

While I threw something at my screen in frustration when Hibari appeared like a twintailed-up stupidass Sonico, this character takes the cake for being the worst. She’s going to be The Strongest and Best ninja but she’s a moron and uninteresting and just terrible to behold. It was the first episode and she couldn’t even be useful to the team. Well we got establish that eventually she’ll win Homura over with the power of friendship right away, right?

It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Not good but not terrible? I’ll give it a second episode and see if it does anything to insult my sensibilities and good taste (ha) further.

Amnesia

I hate otome game adaptions. (shout out to the Heart no Kuni movie for being so goddamn terrible) So why do I continue to subject myself to them? For the hope that maybe one day there will be one that isn’t that bad.

At least this one has a decent(ish) plot. One I’m not that big on but one’s that is okay for what it’s coming from. My hopes were raised a little when I knew Brain’s Base was doing this. At least it would look nice enough. It did. I liked the few

Now, I will defend any otome game heroine to the death. This one is kind of a tough case though. She ~literally~ has no personality. I’m not saying that she’s bland, just fact. In the story she has no personality because as the title implies, she lost her memory. Not to mention she’s just so soft spoken.

At first I thought she was going to get the text or whatever from her boyfriend at the end of the episode so the whole time I was like “wow, what an unlucky girl if she’s actually dating one of these guys” because I assumed it was leading up to one of them being her boyfriend and WOW that would suck, right? I mean none of them treated her affectionately or even acknowledged they were going out. But then I reread the description and I assume that it must be the green haired guy? I think it would be interesting to see that. If he’s just using her and tricking her into thinking they’re going out and is really super evil and tricking her. I love that kind of plot, I really do.

Also having a memory return and it being one of her being threatened and harassed? Kind of a cool move. If stuff like that just kept happening and she was like “woah, my life sucked” and it turned into a break the cutie kind of thing now THAT would be really neat but I know that would never ever happen and it will be dumb and everything that happens will be mind-numbingly stupid.

Despite the heroine being as interesting as plank of wood, none of the guys being all that interesting and everybody wearing the most gaudy clothing I could imagine, I’m still kind of curious about the boyfriend thing. I might give it another shot since it’s on Crunchyroll. At the very least it’s got an awesome Nagi Yanagi OP.

Kotoura-san

I kind of had some free time this morning so I thought I’d check this out since at the time, it seemed like a lot of people were talking about it. I sure wish I hadn’t known about the dramatic first half before hand. Still, I knew what to expect and it still caught me off guard.

Kotoura was my wild card. A show I knew I probably wouldn’t like but would give it a shot anyways. (Well actually, it was between this and Problem Children and since I like this I won’t try that since it looks mediocre as heck) Before this my wildcard show was Chuu2Koi and I ended up not liking that very much. I don’t want to go overboard on comparisons so I’ll only make one. The only one that needs to be said, I guess. Kotoura-san does drama better in the first half of the first episode than Chuu2Koi did in it’s entire series.

It just seems like such a compelling first episode. We could have learned all this later but seeing it right off the bat gave us a reason to root and hope for Kotoura. Seeing someone befriend her seemed like such a great moment compared to everything we’d seen before. It doesn’t hurt that Manabe seems to be a good character too. Not that bland, and kind of dense but not stupid enough that he can’t recognize Kotoura’s emotions and feelings (though he does miss the other girl, I guess). Not over the top perverted or anything, just an interesting guy. I do hope that the comedy of the show doesn’t resort to him thinking dirty thoughts and her getting mad though.

That was another thing I enjoyed, The first part of the show was heavy but the transition to comedy and lightheartedness (I guess) was done really nicely. The addition of colour, for one. Just the whole direction of it. There was still some drama but it didn’t feel forced and the comedy didn’t feel unnatural.

I’m hoping that if there is some continued drama it isn’t a result of a love triangle between Kotoura, that girl that invited Manabe over and Manabe himself. Since Kotoura’s mom is in the OP I kind of think she’ll show up again? And another thing I have to give the show props for is the mom. They showed that she loved her daughter very much and then the descent into hating her was visualized so well. I kind of want her to come back and maybe she and Kotoura can make up but if not, Kotoura can get some peace out of the matter.

Best first episode of the season. Didn’t expect to fall in love with the series but I did completely. Hopefully the additional characters can be just as interesting and the comedy  manages to stay interesting.


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