Summer 2013 First Impressions

I cannot overstate how excited I am for this season. So many adaptions I was looking forward to as well as some original stuff that I was pretty hyped about. I was disappointed I couldn’t watch some of this stuff immediately because now I’m quite behind but I was in LA for AX and that was definitely more fun than watching the first episodes of a couple of shows.

But hey now I can watch them and I’m still super excited about that!

Blood Lad

Let’s start with Blood Lad because I love me some Blood Lad. I was really happy that the first episode turned out well and my expectations are super high. I really hope it ends up being longer than one cour. I stopped reading once Yen Press licensed it and haven’t caught up so there are some characters and stuff in the OP that I don’t recognize so I feel like it could be? Here’s hoping.

The visuals were really nice and colourful and it added nicely to the art style which was thankfully kept in tact. Jojo-style text animation was also a nice touch.

I can’t really say much else because I’m just such a big fan of the original that I feel like I would only be rehashing things I’ve said before. I’m just glad it didn’t suck. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Rozen Maiden

(since it got a bit confusing as I wrote it, I’m refering to the original eight volume series as Rozen Maiden 1, the second series as 2 and the first season as S1 obviously)

Now here is one I can say quite a bit about because I’m such a big fan of the source material. But like, Rozen Maiden. That’s not a big deal. It used to be popular, kind of. It was my first big fandom. I loved it to pieces and discussed it constantly and scoured the internet for images of it before things like pixiv or danbooru were readily available. I didn’t get to read the last volume of the manga until last year because it was so damned hard to find (averaging $80 for a tiny volume for a long time) and only found it by accident. I didn’t read the second series and I’m kind of glad I didn’t since this will all be new to me much like eight years ago when I was just a wee baby child.

But…

Uh.

What the hell was that?

So we went with the second series being the focus. Cool. They recapped the first manga which S1 and Traumend did not follow exactly and is eight volumes. In one episode. Uh….

Now sure you could argue that the IMMENSE character developments, relationships and backstory that happened in those eight volumes will be explained and revisited in the new material from Rozen Maiden 2. I don’t know so maybe it could happen?

Still, it’s kind of a problem. If you haven’t read the manga and only watched the series it feels like you’re screwed. Suigintou seems oddly out of character, Suiseiseki makes up with Souseiseki’s master and then there’s the Hina-Ichigo part. Now my memory is fuzzy (I had to reread the later volumes to write this) but Hina-Ichigo doesn’t freak out with Tomoe and then get sent to Kirakishou. They meet with Odile (who, like Megu, is not even shown) and she later wakes up alone and is then eaten (disappointed the scene of the vines tearing her apart was so half-assed). It would have been a lot to explain if they introduced Odile so fair enough. But to not even show Hina-Ichigo at Jun’s home once? That they were acquainted? That the whole reason he enters the N-Field and meets Laplace is because he saw Hina-Ichigo getting eaten?

So yeah, rushed and poorly done goes without saying? Maybe this will all be covered later and Megu and Odile will be introduced and the characters interacting in scenes from Rozen Maiden 1 will be referenced or maybe not (it is only 13 episodes, after all). I don’t even know what happens in 2 but I do know what happens in the first series and that episode simply did not cut it. Unless of course Rozen Maiden 2 just retcons the entire first series. Even then I don’t think I’d be satisfied.

While I am incredibly disappointed with how they chose to go about it, I’m still really excited. I’m excited because I don’t know what’ll happen and I don’t expect to capture my attention and awe like the first series did when I was a kid, I still hope I find it entertaining and reminded of why I loved the series so much in the first place. The artstyle is nice (the dolls being actually scaled properly is both weird and welcomed) though it lacks the charm of the first series.

Similarly, I kind of miss the soundtrack that was so distinct in the first two. Later on I listened to the first Zero no Tsukaima soundtrack and it made this soundtrack seem a lot less special. I guess that was just Shinkichi Mitsumune’s style. Which has changed, evidently. So it’s good he’s able to do something different that is better for the atmosphere and better sounding, though is less aristocratic and grand (much like this new season?). The Annabel ED is nice because I love me some Annabel though no Haruka Shimotsuki is a bit sad. And another AliPro Rozen Maiden song for me to repeat for days on end? Sure. I’m cool with that.

So I’ll stick with it. Even if it ends up being terrible. In a way it’s doomed from the start for me. Nothing could compare to the show I loved as a kid. I just really hope desu being a joke doesn’t become a thing again.

Dangan Ronpa

I’m not a big Dangly Ropes fan. Tumblr oversaturated the world with it and I could do without seeing it for a good long time. Despite that, a lingering curiosity remains. What is Doodly Romps? Well now it’s a shitty looking 13 episode show so that saves me a lot of time.

It really doesn’t look very good. The character portraits were a neat effect but otherwise it looks really cheap. I already know what characters I have a liking for and have been spoiled a bit so I especially know who I like and don’t like but otherwise they weren’t very engaging or exciting. Especially Naegi. He’s so boring and bland and just painful to watch. I was super happy whenever Celestia or Kirigiri started talking instead of him.

I’ll probably give it another episode or two to try and woo me. It’s only 13 episode so I doubt I’m getting the full experience. It’s probably a terrible idea to judge Dampart Rollpi on this anyways. Still, I have to wonder how much they’ll cut or change to fit this restricted amount of time. Well, it’s not like I was expecting AOTY or anything.

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Like RDG, a show I watched despite not knowing what it was about. Unlike RDG, I had plenty of other shows to watch instead. This one, despite not having a clue about it, I was actually kind of looking forward to despite having so many other stellar choices.

Hampnie and Ai actually had some nice chemistry up until they lead up to the opening scene between the two of them and he destroys her life completely. I’d be more interested if it was just them but all the other girls in the OP look pretty dull. Maybe that’s just the animation. It shouldn’t be that easy to write off a character though. Still, Ai is pretty interesting for a kid and I did feel sorry for her at the end after everyone she cared about died and she was told her entire life was a lie.

I’m a bit confused about the not being able to die part. I think because I was still thinking of it in Kieli Undying terms. So even though he had shot them in the head, they would never get better. They would be brain dead? The rest of their body still functioning but they themselves not? And so, assuming Ai is not a gravekeeper, God left 12 years ago? It seemed society had progressed backwards like in Jinrui but maybe not and I just misunderstood the scene where god spoke to the people?

On that note, gotta say I expected more of a Kino no Tabi style look at religion and philospohy rather than straight up GIANT BALL OF LIGHT GOD speaking to the people below.

Well I’m a little intrigued. Not sure if it’s enough to keep me hooked when there are so many other shows on my plate though.

Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyo

Another I was looking forward to. The original PV just got me so excited every time I watched it. I heard some negative things when people started watching it but I enjoyed it enough, I guess.

The actual characters look really weird. Disproportionate, kinda. The designs for the magical girls and other characters like that are all really cool though. I’m actually reminded of Sengoku Collection of all things.

I was just expecting a magical girl slightly darker than usual to reel in those Madoka fans but the episode got progressively darker and had a bleak tone to it. The static that accompanied shots of Fuyuna were a nice touch too. Then it just drops the whole atmosphere and goes full force into Dark and Serious. I can’t say I was surprised since I didn’t recall her being the OP but I was a bit shocked they did it so soon and so bluntly.

Not as trashy as I expected but I do now expect a “you like dark and edgy? how’s THIS for dark and edgy” kind of show now. Which should prove entertaining at least.

Gatchaman Crowds

I’m not familliar with Gatchaman originally and I at first only gave this show a passing glance because it had a cool art style and nice character designs. That was before I saw Taku Iwasaki was doing the music and then I knew I had to give it a shot.

I was actually pleasantly surpised. Hajime is a peculiar character and while I’m not usually fond of such high-spirited, clueless characters I did like how she just accepted everything right off the bat and didn’t do any yelling “eeeeeeeeeeeh?!” in surprise or anything of that sort. She just sorta went with everything and that’s pretty cool.

Once again, disappointed this is such a short show. I’m looking forward to seeing the megane dude from the OP and ED and a serious arc seems like it would be really interesting. I’d like Hajime to be forced to be serious and stoic about something but I doubt that’ll happen and no matter the bad stuff that heads her way, I’m sure she’ll be genki as hell no matter what.

I gotta say though I really was hyped up by the end of the episode. The Iwasaki soundtrack wasn’t as thrilling as I was hoping but the content itself was exciting and I was genuinely disappointed when the episode ended.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya

Let’s be real here for a second. Most of the time, whenever Illya opens her stupid mouth I groan a little. So this is like the worst possible show for me.

I really do want to watch this despite it housing and focusing on my least favourite characters attached to Type-Moon because the premise is too good to pass up. Can I put up with this much Illya for Luvia? For loli yuri shenanigans? Alter Saber? I can try. Goddamn it, I can try.

(Actually it ended up being Ruby who was incredibly annoying more than Illya who actually gave me at least one chuckle)

Futari wa Milky Holmes

The opening gives the impression that this is a spinoff in the Milky Holmes universe focusing on new characters and villains with recurring characters from Milky Holmes such as the girls themselves or Kokoro making cameos. I didn’t watch the OVAs that features the girls being competent and solving crimes but apparently they’re awful and this isn’t much better.

Then again, the girls having their powers and not being completely useless was kind of what I wanted. Just… not this. For one thing, the two new girls are boring as heck. Not that anybody else was much better. The episode is only 12 minutes long and Milky Holmes didn’t show up until like ten or so minutes in. Apparently Arsene and her guys are gone and out of the picture so that’s disappointing as well. I’d almost rather Henriette didn’t make any apperance and then in a fight against Colors Phantom at the end, they show up and kick ass after being absent the entire series.

Season two was awful but at least it felt like Milky Holmes. This just feels like a cheap spin off with the goofy humour and personality removed. Maybe it’ll redeem itself and focus on the girls of Milky Holmes but considering the appear barely in the OP and not at all in the ED, I assume that won’t happen and Dull and Duller really will be our main characters.


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