Summer 2011 – First Week Impressions (Part 3)

This post has my thoughts and impressions on Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu 2, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, R–15, and Manyuu Hiken-chou.

These aren’t the final five shows that I was willing to give a one episode try but this will be my final post on my first impressions for the summer season.  The two shows that aren’t going to be in these types of posts are Dantalian no Shoka, a show I plan to follow this season, and Nyanpire the Animation, an adorable little 3 minute animation that really doesn’t have all that much to write about except that it’s cute.  Anyway, onto these five new shows.

Watching:

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu 2 (Brain Off) – The second season of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (BakaTest) returns with a beach episode.  While that would be a negative for most series, starting off a new season with a fanservicy beach episode, it works well for BakaTest, retaining the charm and humor that many of us loved in the first season.  Every aspect of the anime, from the animation, to story, to characters, to comedy is virtually a carbon copy from the first season meaning there’s virtually nothing to be disappointed with if you were a fan of the first season (except there are no summoned battles this episode, so there’s your one chance at being disappointed).  Seeing as I enjoyed the first season greatly and there is a severe lack of comedies this season, I have no reservations on the second season of this anime.  I do hope the series stays focused on the school and battle aspects rather than lacking a central plot and being very episodic.  But as long as the humor remains, I doubt I’ll ever be dissatisfied with another season of BakaTest.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu (Brain Off) – I expected this anime to be a hyperactive non-sense comedy revolving around several deities mooching off some shrine.  Much to my surprise, the first episode had structure and ended up with a suitable story for the first episode and at no expense of the comedy, at all.  But that’s about all I have to say for it that’s positive.  The art, animation, and character designs are all simple, probably the most basic of any 24-minute anime this season, but it doesn’t come across as cheap and compliments the style of comedy this anime has.  The characters were developed a bit but they don’t appear to be anything more than standard comedy personalities in an anime, which seems appropriate given the show is a comedy.  The setting is pretty standard and I doubt there will be a fundamental story, so if you were hoping for these things in an anime, it probably isn’t for you.  But I need a simple comedy this season and Nekogami fits that description pretty well.

Dropped:

Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi (Brain Off) – Of these three dropped anime, I thought this was the best.  Most of the reviews I saw of this anime were extremely critical and negative, similar to how I thought the anime would be before the season started, but it really wasn’t a complete bomb in my mind.  I was actually pretty interested in the story, even if it did seem standard with mystical girl giving young boy magical, zombie-like powers.  But it did a respectable job of capturing my attention and the way the episode ended does keep me somewhat invested in what will happen in the second episode.  But that’s about all the positives I have for this anime.  The characters seemed pretty universal for an anime and never really did anything memorable, aside from the hero putting his body back together after being decimated by a speeding truck and that hyper girl’s striped panties.  The sound quality was terrible at times and the animation quality was substandard but it’s not like I was expecting anything revolutionary here.  It was another school/fantasy setting which, because it’s overused in light novel adaptations, is a negative.  It also ended up censoring a few panty shots but that’s not as big a negative as the characters, production values, and setting.  In the end, it turned out to be pretty terrible but not for the reasons I assumed it would be.

R–15 (Brain Off) – No surprise this one ended up being dropped.  Ecchi/harem/school anime have virtually zero distinguishing factors between each other and this one is no different.  All the students at this academy are super talented in one specific field meaning their personality will be entirely dictated by that one trait.  It might make good material for jokes down the road but it just leaves the cast feeling shallower than a dried-up rain puddle.  The interactions between the characters were better but the dialogue felt so artificial, I could’ve sworn they were just lines taken from other anime within the same genre and just linked together to make conversations.  The show seems to want to have the ecchi situations, panty shots, and such and such be its major selling point but the high levels of censorship completely spoil those points leaving the show as a school harem/comedy.  And you can discount the comedy in this show since most of the big jokes revolve around ecchi fantasies or ero-novels and all that’s left is non-specific physical humor that seems out of place compared to the ecchi comedy.  As for the positives, the art and animation are great and the character designs are attractive, which is probably expected for a harem anime.  The music gets a passing grade, too, and will probably be the aspect I miss the most about this anime, especially the beautiful clarinet solos.  Oh well, I can listen to full clarinet songs whenever, so there really is no point in me continuing this anime.

Manyuu Hiken-chou (Brain Off) – Way too censored to even consider the anime watchable.  Why do they even bother broadcasting it when the whole point of the show is censored beyond reason.  It’s not like anyone is watching this for the action (which was tame) or the characters (which were lame).  Anyway, this would’ve been dropped without the censorship seeing as the first episode, at least what I scanned through, was extremely boring and uneventful.

And with that, the summer season has been pretty much decided for me.  Aside from needing another episode to properly resolve my indecision on Kamisama Dolls and Idolmaster, and due to recommendations from friends, another go at Sacred Seven, this season appears to be right around where I expected it to be.  It’s solid on its own and adding in the Spring anime that are continuing, it looks to be one of the more enjoyable season in recent memory.  Also, kinda funny to see 3 anime with Rabbit/Bunny/Usagi in the title this season.  Guess it really is year of the Rabbit.

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  1. #1 by zammael on July 11, 2011 - 4:46 PM

    (For me, at least ) It seems like a weak summer — after a great spring with Steins; Gate leading the pack. Since it’s ending soon (20 episodes?) I don’t have anything to look forward to this summer.

    The only one I’d stick with are No. 6 (despite its apparent yaoi implications) and maybe idolm@ster for the kicks.

    • #2 by avvesione on July 11, 2011 - 6:06 PM

      Steins;Gate will last until the Autumn season starts, seeing as it’s 24 episodes plus an OVA or special, so hopefully that can satisfy you till the then. If not, No. 6 seems like an excellent anime, too, although it’s only 11 episodes. Surprised to see Idolmaster there in combination with Steins;Gate and No. 6 but I guess everyone has their own tastes and I’m sure you think the same when you see my list and my reactions to all these shows.

      • #3 by zammael on July 12, 2011 - 12:05 PM

        Thanks for the information.

        I have a soft spot for scifi but I’m always open for good anime — so I refuse to judge a series by its first episode alone. Moreover I also like a little balance in my weekly diet: serious drama and some light comedy.

        Idolm@ster may not be great anime but it can serve as amusement.

  2. #4 by Justin on July 11, 2011 - 6:09 PM

    Actually, I thought Manyuu Hikenchou was ok–unfortunately, it’s completely unwatchable, between the mentioning of the breasts and the LIGHT SHOW!

    • #5 by avvesione on July 11, 2011 - 6:43 PM

      They really should just have these types of series be direct-to-video since the only people who know whether or not are gonna buy it before the anime airs. Oh well, I guess there’s enough boobs to satisfy some people, so they’ll keep watching.

      I really didn’t give the anime a try since the censorship ruined everything and scanned through the episode till the end, where the action sequence was pretty meh. What did you think made this anime ok? Also, love your new avatar there with the penguin.

      • #6 by Justin on July 11, 2011 - 7:11 PM

        I’m sorry–the penguin mind controlled me. It’s too cute!!!

        Ignoring the actual concept, Manyuu had some good (which I wrote about) stuff about it as it tries to show it has an actual goal then most of these types of series (I.E, R-15)–but its concept, some of its characters, and the censoring–oh, and the script was kind of mess at times–the censoring is inane. Sure, if you have to censor something, that’s all well and good, but who had the idea of using the ray of the sun to block it? Three anime series (For some reason even a Dark Rabbit had it!) used the same light!

        Someone better say Ishihara had something to do with it…if not, the TV people should be ashamed–they must think kids are watching it since it’s summer and all. They really couldn’t use anything else?

        • #7 by avvesione on July 11, 2011 - 7:42 PM

          Not sure why those three shows were so censor happy (especially R-15 and Manyuu) but I think they would’ve ended up censored somewhat anyway, probably more to the level of Dark Rabbit than anything else. Not sure if it’s because of Ishihara alone or due to other reasons but since those are unnecessary levels of censorship, I feel.

  3. #8 by tomphile on July 12, 2011 - 10:10 AM

    What does brain-off mean? Anyways, Baka to Test for sure. I’m a bit on the fence about R-15 though. Don’t even ask me what the breast anime was about though.

    • #9 by avvesione on July 12, 2011 - 8:31 PM

      I kinda made up some categorizations on how I feel certain anime are.

      “Brain On” are kinda the artsy, story-intense, character-driven anime that are more about proper storytelling, beautiful art, and originality. These are shows like Steins;Gate, No. 6, Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, and others.

      “Brain Off” are the geared towards having fun, being entertaining, or generally relaxing, where you can just turn your mind off and enjoy an anime for being an anime. These can have great stories and fantastic characters, too, so it just depends on how I feel the show is. Shows I feel belong in that category are Madoka, Dog Days, Excel Saga, Aria, and so forth.

      Hopefully that answers your question. As for why I use it, it’s just something that sorta stuck.

      Do you think you’ll write posts about BakaTest and R-15 over the summer? I’m a little curious what others think about R-15 since I did hear some hype for it but haven’t read much in the way of opinions on it. Guess I need to look around more.

  1. Notes For the Summer 2011 Anime Final (Part IV) « Organization Anti Social Geniuses
  2. Anime Review: Manyuu Hikenchou Episode 1 | This Euphoria!

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