This post has my thoughts and impressions on Blood C, Ikoku Meiro no Croisée, and Sacred Seven.
The summer season is well underway and a half dozen shows have already aired. Ah, a new anime season means a lot of swift and decisive action on a wide variety of shows based on our initial thoughts and tastes. And this season is no different.
The season is still quite young, so I expect to do a few of these posts focusing on the first episode of each show. Since many shows are airing later in the week and these are already a few days old, the opportunity for these opinions to be fresh and relevant are slowly fading and once Thursday rolls around, there’ll be six new anime to watch and discuss. Well, enough about this boring stuff, I’m sure most have already scrolled down to the heart of the article where I actually get onto the anime and my thoughts on each show. It’s time for you to do the same.
Blood C (Brain On) – I’d swallow my pride and admit I’m a bit disappointed with this first episode. Ignoring the battle sequence at the end, which I’ll get to later, the whole first episode was dull and uneventful, featuring what seemed to be a normal day in the life of Saya. The artwork is the pinnacle for this anime season, as expected from Productiong I.G and CLAMP work together again, and the music was outstanding. The characters, however, seem to be a little off. Those twins came across as annoying, unlike Maru and Moro from xxxHOLiC who were comical and cute, and all three male characters seem incredibly bland and emotionless. Especially the father after seeing Saya walk back covered in blood. Oh right, the action sequence. The battle near the end of the first episode was the only stimulating part of the episode but it featured magnificent animation and choreography without a noticeable drop in art quality. The action was worthwhile but it failed to make up for the shortcomings of earlier in the episode. I’ll still continue to watch this anime but I’ll have to readjust my expectations for this series.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée (Brain Off) – Summarized in one word: charming. This anime has a much-appreciated delightful and tranquil feel, quite the opposite of the other two anime in this short review. The story features a young Japanese girl, Yune, moving to live with Oscar and Claude in the City of Lights in the late 19th century. I’m sure there’ll be some exploration of Paris and the surrounding French countryside but I fail to see what the anime will do to keep the show interesting for 12 episodes. The setting is unbeatable for this season of anime, breaking free from the standard of modern Japanese metropolis, modern Japanese countryside, samurai-era Japan. And it’s not just deviating from the norm, either, I’ve always loved stories set in this time period in Europe, so the setting is a huge plus for the series in my mind. After immediately falling in love with the backdrop for the story, I return to Earth and give the art and anime a satisfactory grade. Nothing blew me away but nothing caused my eyes to avert the screen for seconds either. The music was fine, too, helping establish the appropriate mood and era but nothing else beyond that. Yune is adorable with her polite mannerisms and innocent smile but the two other characters, Oscar and Claude seem rather unimaginative right now. I guess I should say the same for Yune since we really haven’t gotten to know her at all, but I’d feel awful saying anything bad about her and causing her to cry. If you’re hesitating, just give this relaxing anime a try and see if it interests you like it interests me.
Sacred Seven (Brain Off) – One episode was enough for me to know this isn’t a series I’d enjoy. I’ll start with the positives: the animation was definitely the best of these three anime. The action/battle sequences were satisfying, both from a visual and storytelling perspective. Additionally, the artwork in Sacred Seven is stunning and I find no faults with the whole superhero/mecha aspect of the anime. While all those aspects are positives, the characters and story couldn’t be worse. Everyone is another tired, clichéd persona brought back to another lifeless life in another generic anime story. Here, we have our misunderstood teenage loner with mysterious superpowers who is greeted by a beautiful girl with similar mysterious powers who needs his help to prevent destruction from gigantic monsters. Don’t forget the cute, ditzy high school classmate that is the only person in the world who will talk to our hero and has unjustifiable faith in him. Add in the 10,000 diligent and obedient maids, the handsome butler with attitude, a bank account that has an infinity sign in place of amount, and a comedic mascot that does something, I forgot, I kinda blocked him out of my memory. Well, that cast is a disaster. Is the story any better? Not much but it is. The writing wasn’t terrible for the first episode but it was so simple and predictable that I lost interest until the battle sequence started. The rest of the series seems to be set up to follow a stereotypical school-setting, love-triangle, hero-fights-monsters-to-save-town-and-battles-main-villian-with-similar-powers story which is a tired and overused genre in anime. Certainly that genre has produced some memorable and lovable anime, but I don’t think this one will do the same. The series seems rather lackluster at this point and I don’t really want to stick around to see if it improves, which I’m sure it will. This probably will end up being a pretty decent show and I’m sure many out there will watch and love this anime. But I already know this is an anime I won’t enjoy watching which is why have no problem dropping it after one episode.