Sorry for the lack of activity lately. Life happened and the winter season wasn’t exactly captivating anyway (gonna finish Level-E but that’s about it). While this doesn’t mean that the spring season of anime will blow me away, but hey, the slate will be wiped clean and we can have a fresh start. With so many anime on the schedule, there’s gotta be a few diamonds in the rough, right?
Since I’ve only got one episode of each show to watch, there’s really not much to go on for a substantial post. I’ll just give some quick impressions. Let’s run through a few of them right now in no real order.
Ritsu always wanted to work with literature or something, but finds himself a little out of place at a shoujo manga publishing company. Here, I presume he meets the man of his dreams. So a shounen-ai that doesn’t involve high schoolers, huh? That’s cool. I’d love for anime in general to actually write stories featuring adults (e.g., Hataraki Man). Although Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi does do this a little different, the rest of the show seems like your typical run-of-the-mill romantic fare.
The love interest is a moody, dark-haired jerk who no doubt harbors a sensitive side that the lead is just chomping at the bit (wrong choice of words?) to discover.
Unfortunately, the first stolen kiss could be seen from a mile away. The anime isn’t reinventing the wheel, but it’s watchable. I’ll probably check out the next couple of episodes.
30-sai no Hoken Taiiku
Something about a 30 year old virgin who needs help getting laid? Uh… pass.
In some alternate universe, the dog people of Biscotti are in trouble! They are being attacked by some other dog people. This can only mean one thing: a random Japanese shounen shows up outta nowhere to be the hero. Only Shinku can save the republic from losing a… gameshow? Yes, the whole thing seems to be one elaborate Japanese gameshow about dog people. No, I don’t understand why either.
What the fuck is this anime, really? Why does this even exist? This is awful. The hero looks like goofy Sunohara from Clannad so obviously, Dog Days isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but even as a joke, who’s laughing? I’m not watching another minute of this.
Tiger & Bunny
The first episode didn’t really have a cohesive narrative, but there are mutants with powers and companies sponsor them to be heroes. The whole thing is even accompanied by — again — another song and dance gameshow complete with annoying commentary. So far, the spotlight seems to be focusing on Kaburagi, a hero who’s a little over the hill, but how can ratings and money get in the way of heroism?
Is there a meta commentary going on right now about Japanese TV? This is the second anime this season so far with a game show theme and there might be more since I haven’t seen everything. More importantly, what’s with the crass commercialism? Is this a Japanese Robocop?
There’s a surreal moment when Wild Tiger is asked how those like him manage to be heroes and he replies earnestly (I think) with, “Our sponsors!” Where’s this anime going? Beats me, but I’m not getting good ideological vibes. I’ll keep watching, I guess.
A Kyoto Animation production about the totally random lives of schoolgirls (what else?). Pass. Oh wait, it’s got a robot girl and a talking cat. No, no, still pass. Is it lazy to write nothing further? I really don’t care.
A fish outta water story — thanks to her irresponsible mother, Ohana has to live with her grandmother at a hot springs inn. This is no gravy train, however; the grandmother tossed the mother out in the past and doesn’t find Ohana too endearing (yet). Like every Asian drama, everything about the story is written to either make you pity the main character or hate how everyone else treats her. Hanasaku Iroha is off to such a solid start, I really hope it doesn’t ruin everything by being too far over-the-top. What do I mean?
Case in point, Ohana makes one minor mistake and this pisses off the grandmother something bad. That’s understandable on some level: the grandmother has no feelings of attachment to Ohana, but she deeply cares about her business. She doesn’t start off by (directly) punishing Ohana, however. In a cruelly over-the-top way, she calls in another girl and punishes her instead (watch the episode to find out why).
Of course, Ohana feels guilty and begs to be punished too. The grandmother then beats Ohana hard enough to make her nose bleed. If that didn’t make you feel bad enough, Ohana bows and thanks her grandmother for the abuse. As the two punished girls retire to their privacy, the other girl (I’ll learn her name eventually; sorry, I’ve had a lot of anime to watch lately) tells Ohana to die. Que ridiculo.
Entertainment will always be manipulative to some degree, but you can go too far and ruin a good thing. Watchable, but I have my misgivings. Like I said above, Hanasaku Iroha has a good start: an interesting premise, well-animated and acted, etc. It’d be a pity for melodrama to ruin everything.
That’s all the anime I can take in one Friday night. I’ll watch the rest tomorrow.