Isshukan Friends is a beautiful anime, both in terms of its visual style and how it utilizes perception and emotion. Together, the enchanting art and charismatic writing combine to make one of the better anime of this young Spring season. Perhaps the most distinctive and recognizable attribute of its art are the incredibly simple and somewhat incomplete backgrounds. That ambient light and white nothingness work perfectly to isolate the two main characters, Kaori and Yuuki, and feature the two of them with no outside noise or distractions to interrupt their intimate dialogues. Link that with the simple, pastel colors and attractive character designs and there’s no wonder why Isshuukan Friends is one of the most visually powerful anime of the season, even beyond how it establishes the mood and atmosphere. And having a visual style like this is significant in how it influences the writing. Already, we’re left wondering how the relationship with Kaori and Yuuki will evolve over time based on the zenith of the first episode. The writing was successfully able to toy with Yuuki’s emotions and with our own perception of Kaori from start to finish. Although the episode could be categorized as slow or relaxed, the content was fascinating and captivating. It is the subtleties and developments which turn this episode from potentially boring into something watchable and something worth continuing. It’ll be intriguing to see in which direction this charming anime will go.
Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to
Comedy is my favorite genre of anime, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see someone like me pick up something dumb like Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to. Yes, I know, I realize Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to is nothing more than unimaginative and simple otaku humor revolving around a perverted manga artist and the unfortunate girls who wish they could be anywhere else than working with him. But the whole point of comedy anime is to keep me entertained, to make me laugh and smile, and that’s exactly what happened with the first episode of Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to (I should really shorten this title to just ManAss but that would be a misnomer). Sure, every scene is full of derivative comedy and cheap ecchi fanservice (like the montage of pantyshots during Yuuki’s speech), but some of the jokes were able to make me smile and keep me amused throughout. Furthermore, this is a pure comedy, so there’s no need to worry about a story or something that’ll be boring or shitty. But actually, a story or something might not be bad in this since the writing and delivery were above-average for this level and style of humor. This is a good indicator of success with comedy anime since I don’t imagine the content of the jokes will ever become anything more than anime-related fanservice or anything intelligent or witty (and no, the Panty Wars monologue was nowhere near intelligent or witty). The techniques and styles of delivering comedy are just as important as the content itself, so I do feel strongly that this anime will be able to keep me amused throughout. As for the other aspects of the series, the characters are all likable and the art style is dazzling, especially during the punchlines. ManAss isn’t terribly impressive nor do I expect it to be near the top of the season, but I do expect this to be a serviceable comedy anime and keep me delighted throughout. If it can do exactly that, then this anime will be worth watching this Spring.
Gokukoku no Brynhildr
Gokukoku no Brynhildr is the first anime of the season where I feel largely conflicted. On one hand, the anime did cater to my interests with its pleasant sci-fi setting, the serene yet airheaded magician Neko, and the heavy emphasis on aliens, remorse, and destiny. Furthermore, many of these positives indicate long-term success too, as these are variables that are unlikely to change unless something drastic happens. So in that regard, I want to continue watching Brynhildr to see where this story is going and what will happen to these characters. On the other hand, I found the first episode to be tedious and boring. The writing, especially the lengthy exposition in the latter half of the episode, was a major turn-off, and the pacing slowed to tedium after the midway point. Additionally, there wasn’t really anything exciting in this episode, though I will admit the almost-drowning did catch me off-guard. However, the ending of the episode with the landslide and the boulder came across as ‘meh’, and I don’t have high hopes for future fights between characters with this as a reference to how Brynhildr will handle its action. So in that regard, considering my bored and disinterest with the second half of the episode, I won’t mind dropping it. With the two sides pulling each other, the best course of action is to give it another episode and evaluate which direction it’s heading in or how it addresses its weaknesses. The nice thing about Brynhildr is that there was plenty of material and aspects to evaluate from the first episode alone, which is always preferred over an anime that doesn’t show you enough in its first episode. Hopefully the second episode will show me more of the good than the bad, since that’s what will be needed for me to keep this anime around.
I always figured that if I had enough time, I would watch just about every anime in every season. The reason for these posts are for me to identify which anime are likely to be fit my interests and which ones will be the most worthwhile based on my limited time. With this idea in my head, I always try to think about anime that I would like to watch but aren’t able to based on my circumstances. And that brings me to Haikyuu!! which is an anime that falls into this unfortunate category. The main issue with Haikyuu!! is that I know that I will lose interest in this anime at some point. My draw to Haikyuu!! will be the volleyball matches which, if they’re like the one shown here in the first episode, was brilliantly animated, had exceptional pacing and featured astute writing and directing. But alas, sports anime are more than just competitive games and the anime is sure to devolve into training, practices, conflict, drama and potentially romance or bromance between the players. It’s that where I know I’ll lose my interest in Haikyuu!! and that’s why I still have a positive impression of the anime despite dropping it after one episode. And going back to my original point of willing to watch every anime if I had the time, I’d be willing to suffer through all the training and teenage drama just to watch all the matches in this anime. But no, unfortunately, I’m not that fortunate, and I have to make sacrifices. For the sake of knowing how these sports anime flow and what the content will be, I’m going to drop Haikyuu!! for now. It’ll be best to wait and see how the anime is received by others in order to know whether it’s worth picking up again, but for the time being, I’m done with Haikyuu!!