Spring 2012 – First Week Impressions (Part 4)

This post reviews Tsuritama, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, and Shining Hearts: Shiwase no Pan.  Also included are thoughts on Medaka Box and Sengoku Collection.

Watching:

Tsuritama – Despite being a season with numerous anime displaying masterful works of art in design, technical detail, composition, lighting, and others, Tsuritama stands its own as having one of the best style of art this season which is an outstanding accomplishment given its competition.  What makes Tsuritama beautiful and distinctive compared to the rest is the use of vibrant and vivid colors to capture the dynamic and enthusiastic world these characters reside in.  The environment comes to life through the animation too, and the use of water, often problematic for animators to portray effectively, is certainly a strength in this anime.  The metaphors with water showing pressure or anxiety have already created several specular scenes through art and animation.  And for someone who loves settings as much as I do, the sleepy seaside city that Tsuritama is set in is a marvel both in terms of what it can do for the characters and what it will do for the story.  Oh, right, the characters and story.  Well, that’s about where my enthusiasm for this anime begins to shift into more complacent rather than thrilled.  I hated Haru from the PV and him ‘suddenly girlfriend’ing Yuki doesn’t help but he’s not a terrible person and I can’t hold a grudge against that type of character for very long.  Yuki is a bit upsetting as a lead and we really haven’t had a chance to meet Natsuki or Akira yet, so the main cast is mediocre at best.  The grandmother, Kate, is easily the best character through her endearing and welcoming actions, she might be the best person in any anime this season and the two girls we saw for one shot, Misaki and Sakura, are both cute and hopefully involved in the anime throughout (figures I’d like all the girls in an anime about four boys – this always seems to happen).  The story about saving the world is a real guesser right now, either could turn out to be good or bad, but it’s a type of story I’m a little weary of seeing given this setting and cast.  I’m indifferent with fishing but this might spark an interest in it given the level of technical detail and how it bridges elements in the story or characters together.  Overall, one of the better anime this season but the cast and story will decide whether it soars into outer space or sinks to the bottom of the harbor.

Undecided:

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san – Because I have such a limited background to Lovecraft and everything he’s created or at least everything that is attributed to him, I feel I can’t fully appreciate everything about this anime as much as I want to.  Yeah, not should or anything, I want to get the humor I’m missing.  If there’s a little Lovecraft guide or something out there that’d significantly improve the humor in this anime to me, I need to find it because I felt like only half the episode appealed to me.  The back and forth between Nyarlotephian (or Nyarlko) and Mahiro generated the most humor of this episode for me and there were times I wasn’t sure why I was laughing (a positive for me).  The otaku or anime humor was a bit standard and uneventful but it became a trait about Nyarlko that makes her more appealing than a ‘suddenly girlfriend’ which she also is.  Mahiro bored me but I’m interested in the rest of the cast, especially all the other moe-moe versions of terrifying mythical creatures.  The art and animation are enough to carry what the anime wants to be, a simple comedy that blends Lovecraft with anime subculture.  And there were some nice tunes that were played in this episode, especially the ominous and terrifying opening scene.  And that’s really all there is to Nyaruko-san.  It’s looking like it’ll be kept since it’s a comedy but it isn’t my favorite.  Reading a bit more into Lovecraft might be the next step for this anime before getting any further into the anime though I’m unsure what level of knowledge is sufficient to enjoy this anime more.

Dropped:

Shining Hearts: Shiwase no Pan – Before every season begins and I look over all the anime that will premiere, I wonder to myself (either aloud or in my head) “Which one of these anime will be the worst that I watch?” Well, the borefest that was Shining Hearts: Bread of Happiness certainly takes the cake.  What happened to you Production I.G?  You were one of the studios I respected the most and appreciated your works but seriously, what happened to you to make this?  Ugh, what a catastrophe this anime turned out to be.  Everyone’s obsession with Rick’s bread shows every character has an unhealthy perception of reality or Rick laced his bread with the only heroine available in the world.  Would also explain why all these soulless wenches haunt him and run his bakery.  I’d love for them to turn out to be illusions created by Rick and this entire anime is his drug-induced hallucinations as he wanders around the forgotten back-alleys of present-day Nagoya or something.  Actually, that might turn out to be pretty amazing but unfortunately, there’s zero little chance of that happening.  Okay, time to be serious and say what the anime did right, so this post will be ending shortly.  There was a catgirl and some elves.  Oh, and Tony Taka did the art which is cool since I’ve always admired his work.  Yeah, that’s about it.  Fantasy settings are always a plus but the whole bread theme throughout really killed any enjoyment I had (plus it didn’t seem really that fantasy).  I guess it gets more actiony or fantasy or something later but I’m not sticking around to find out.  Hell, I didn’t even stick around to see how the first episode ended.

Though not included in my first impressions posts, I also watched the first two episodes of Medaka Box and Sengoku Collection.  However, since it was well after both second episodes had aired and not in time for their proper introductions, I am including them here since I do want to mention them briefly before concluding my first impressions of the Spring.  Here are my thoughts on both shows.

Medaka Box wasn’t nearly as terrible as I assumed it was after reading the reviews and opinions on it but it isn’t spectacular or special either.  Medaka really is the anime and her personality and performances are more than enough to carry each episode but it’s a novelty anticipate will wear off soon.  Shiranui, however, probably won’t since she makes me laugh every scene she’s in but I doubt she is reason alone to continue this anime.  And shows that take place in schools like this or deal with student government never have fared well with me, but this does better than most and the two episodes have been fun for the most part. Consider it kept for now.

Sengoku Collection performed better than expected and is still on the fence.  The story hasn’t proven to be anything special but the topics of each episode, not necessarily focusing on the story at hand, have created some fun.  The characters aren’t necessarily special either but the three mikos have a nice, connecting role with everyone and are rather cute themselves.  But that’s about it with this anime, it seems rather plain and ordinary.  It provides entertainment, which is what makes it watchable and keeps it on the fence, but it has no qualities which make me feel like I should be watching it.  Don’t be surprised, though, if episode 3 finds its way to me and the series receives a second evaluation.

And that’s it for the new shows this Spring season.  A post containing all the shows I’m watching in weekly review format will be posted later with thoughts on most of the current episodes of the anime I’m following.  Hope you are already enjoying the Spring season with this surplus of outstanding anime!

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