Spring 2010 Week 1: First Impressions
Posted April 6, 2010on:
The first week of April is a hectic time for anime fans, as new shows flood out and people fall over themselves making snap judgments based on the first 22 minutes. I tend to wait four weeks before making final decisions about which shows are keepers, which are casual watches, and which are busts, but that doesn’t stop me from forming opinions from the get-go. I’ve almost a dozen new shows over the last week, and here are my quick thoughts about each of them. Feel free to disagree with my opinions after the jump!
Ikki Tousen Xtreme Xecutor – This wasn’t my thing before, and isn’t my thing now. It’s amusing for stretches, but I’m getting tired of the formula. There are so many places to find shameless amounts of fan service these days that this doesn’t seem that special anymore.
Heroman – Seems promising, like the marriage of Giant Robo and Spider-Man. The main character’s voice grates on my ears, though, and I’d love to hear this one if/when it gets an English voiceover. Joey’s voice is so obviously female that it’s distracting. This show has a lot to live up to, and while it has potential, it hasn’t done much to fulfill it yet.
B-gata H-kei – Mildly amusing in a turn-your-brain-off kind of way, but it doesn’t seem sustainable yet. The main character really, really wants to be sexually active, but every time she tries it, her imagination acts up and she runs off screaming and crying. This pattern repeats at least three times in the first episode, and unless there’s some real character development soon, the joke will get old fast.
Kaichou ha Maid-sama! – Boring. The whole thing is based on a one-note relationship that really should have resolved itself within a few hours, but you can see the creators behind the scenes desperately trying to stretch the material far beyond where it should go.
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao – Strangely, one of the more appealing shows of the season. It goes heavy on the panty shots (well, loincloth shots), but it’s genuinely funny in its own right, and could be a whole lot of fun. I just have to block out the in-your-face upskirt angles and enjoy this for the gags, which seem good so far.
Angel Beats! – A mess so far. The comedy is misplaced, the characters don’t mesh well yet, there are several noticeable art goofs, and even the soundtrack seems to be confused about when it should play. A lot of people are saying that we need to have faith in the power of Key and Maeda Jun, but I don’t see the magic in this first episode. This has a strong pedigree, but it needs to shape up fast if it wants to live up to its own hype.
Giant Killing – I’m looking forward to this one. The first episode was slowly paced, but I’m giving this one some leeway because it’s a show about a soccer coach. It’d be out of character for a soccer show to be fast-paced (har har), and I actually like some of the personalities in this show already. Bonus points for finding someone who can actually speak English to talk for a bit, though as usual, the actual acting portion was a bit suspect (any of you remember the New York contingent from The Legend of Black Heaven?).
Arakawa Under the Bridge – Good writing and good acting so far. The comedy is there, the characters are crazy but not stupid, and everyone tells me that the source material gets even better. Between this show’s great cast and its ability to elicit some real belly laughs, I’m impatient about next week.
kiss x sis – This is so not for me.
Mayoi-neko Overrun! – I haven’t been able to get behind any of the characters yet. The ostensible female lead Fumino is especially a problem, because she’s a stereotypical anime tsundere turned up to about 20 on a scale of 1 to 10. She’s so over-the-top, predictable, and shallow that she detracts from the rest of the show, which could be okay if it weren’t for the constant angry shouting.
K-On!! – Cute, and with better music than the first season, but still not really my bag. I look at this show and I see all of the fluff pieces that came before it: Kokoro Toshokan, Aria, … not much in the way of plot or even just forward progress.
I haven’t seen Working! yet, but overall this season didn’t really have me jumping for joy. Some of the more promising shows haven’t delivered, while there are some surprise sleepers. Fans who just want to see cute girls doing cute things (or sexy girls doing sexy things) have plenty of that this season, but the preliminary outlook says that I’ll be watching Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao and Sarai-ya Goyou this season, with occasional looks at Giant Killing and Heroman.