This post reviews: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Senran Kagura, Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman and Amnesia.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
The giant, bouncy boobs might be the most unforgettable or discussed subject about Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, but there’s quite a bit going for it that seems to indicate that it will be a rather intriguing and remarkable anime. For starters, the JRPG-esque fantasy setting is already captivating, showing a rather standard set-up with heroes against demons in a world abundant with swords and overflowing with magic. However, while it may seem like the anime is set with a strong video game-ish theme, all the characters seem to act and think like genuine adults. Furthermore, the perspective on this setting is rather thoughtful with the two sides weighing the risks and benefits of waging total war with the other side. With this as the set-up for the plot, one examining the economic, social and political impact of war, I am already thoroughly interested and already engaged. The only one who seems video game-ish or anime-ish is the main character, Yuusha (or Hero) who is constantly flustered over the thought over girls and breasts. Really now? You’ve been slaying demons, families have been slaughtered, the countryside is ravaged and pillaged and boobs are what’s giving you fits? If only he, like everyone else, acted like a mature adult, then I really wouldn’t have any complaints over this anime but he is, without a doubt, the biggest boob in this anime. The rest of the cast, so far really just Maou (or Demon Queen), has been great, especially considering how she discusses her thoughts and ideas through discourse and open-dialogue rather than barking commands or arguing like a preschooler. The character designs are pleasant and mesmerizing and the backgrounds are stylized to resemble heavy, thick oil paintings, so I am really enjoying the artistic and visuals of this anime. The only part I don’t care for is in regards to the boobs bouncing and flopping every which way. Here it just seems out of place with it wanting to be serious and academic. Yeah, I guess it wants to play around, too, and have some fun and lightheartedness to it, but it could do better than giant breasts and jokes about giant breasts. I don’t really mind that it’s there but I just wish the anime would tone down on that a bit. That and Yuusha acting like a standard anime protagonist, fighting for his ideals but scared of boobies, are really my only two complaints for this anime. Everything else has been both fantastic and fascinating, and I’m pleased to follow this anime for this Winter anime season.
The giant, bouncy boobs might be the most unforgettable or discussed subject about Senran Kagura, but there’s quite a bit going for it that seems to indicate that it will be a rather amusing and likable anime. Considering how much of an emphasis and dependence this anime has on fanservice, it’s apparent that this anime doesn’t take itself seriously nor does it want to. Instead, it wants to have fun and wants the audience to have fun with it. That’s the reason why the characters are so shallow and stereotypical. That’s why the plot is so basic with ‘ninjas fighting ninjas’ with transformation sequences and superpowers. No one’s watching this for the story or the characters (well, maybe for their looks and fanservice); the only reason to watch this anime is to be entertained. However, in terms of entertainment, this first episode was merely adequate although entirely acceptable. Two areas where it needs to improve are in its comedy and in its action. Senran Kagura isn’t nearly as humorous or mindless as the promotional videos presented, and the comedy was rather dry and limited to fanservice, such as Katsuragi fondling Asuka’s boobs over and over again. It still managed to be amusing at times but was a bit disappointing in how it relied too heavily on boobs and Asuka being stupid and oblivious to everything. The battles weren’t that great either, with the first one being way too dark to properly appreciate and the second one too short to enjoy. Both did show some promise, so maybe we just have to wait until the ninjas begin battling each other. That being said, the character designs are rather cute and silly with, again, an emphatic emphasis on fanservice and the battle animations were amazing in terms of quality and kinetics. There were some scenes where the quality regressed to something substandard, something you almost never see in the first episode of an anime, but for an overall grade, the art and animation pass. The music is a particular surprise being both delightful and appropriate, especially with how it set the mood for certain scenes. The first episode of Senran Kagura proved that it still has some areas to improve upon, such as the comedy and fighting, but for the most part was fun and entertaining and is a worthwhile anime to watch for the next few months.
Nothing here, at least for now. That means the other two anime are…
Bakumatsu Gijiden Roman
The more I think about it, the more it seems appropriate to place this anime here, at least for now. Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman is an anime with several positive aspects and some potential, but the first episode lacked that necessary charm to hook me and failed to generate enough interest in the characters or story for me to want to continue. What appears to be a poor man’s Lupin III, Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman is an anime about a luckless, gambling loser who doubles as an unrecognized heroic Robin Hood character. Set in the transformative Meiji period, Roman’s life is divided around helping others who need help by day and raiding the coffers of the magistrate or governors by night and redistributing the wealth back to the citizens of his impoverished town. The potential exists for quite a riveting or remarkable story to be told but all was lost when Roman transformed into a superhero of sorts and destroyed the golden palace at the end. Like, mixing in that strange fantasy bit really damaged the premise for me since I figured Roman was just a pretty normal guy who wanted to help the helpless with his creativity and ninja-like abilities. Nope. Not only that, but it also seemed to damn his character, too, removing that likable charm that was being carefully constructed throughout by showing him as a gentle soul who served as an unappreciated inspiration to the townsfolk. Yeah, really, that scene at the end where he transforms and blows up the building really did not fit in with the rest of the anime and seemingly reserved my impression of it. It really doesn’t seems special anymore with Roman able to do that… like he’s cheating almost or that the writers were lazy and decided the final fight needed to last only 20 seconds. Dang. Well, to be fair, the rest of the episode was pretty underwhelming and the remainder of the cast was rather boring. The art and animation are solid and the retro-style of the character design is nice but it resembles Lupin way too much to feel original or anything. So while I consider it to be dropped for now, I might take a peak and see what the second episode is like, just to see how it improves and if it goes back to that Sentai Warrior transformation again. However, even if it does fix those blemishes, I’m not entirely certain that it will be enough for me to pick it up again, so it’s here for now and probably for good.
Oh, where to start with this one? Amnesia is an anime that suffers from numerous basic and fundamental issues that I want to believe this anime is not only named after the character’s sudden case of amnesia but that the entire staff behind this anime has amnesia, too, and is trying to figure out how to make a somewhat decent anime. It seems the animators were unfazed by this bout of forgetfulness since the visuals and animation in this anime are crisp and superb, easily making the aesthetics the best aspect of this anime. The rest is not pretty. First, every character that was introduced in this episode is remarkably bland and emotionless, almost like reactions and feelings are foreign, incomprehensible ideas to them. Every character had a blank face which apparently fit well with how everyone spoke with a monotone voice. The reactions were bizarrely terrible, such as during that scene when Shin and Towa tried to take Heroine to the hospital (and what’s the deal with Shin wearing two collars on his neck??). You’re figure there’d be some urgency and emotion in a character who just lost her memories or some confusion from the characters who are talking to her, but everything is set to be as banal and boring as possible. The story isn’t much better seeing as it is a candidate for the most boring mystery ever. Not even the characters are enthusiastic about figuring out the Heroine’s life, so why should I be? What might be the worst aspect about it is that everything that could be used to help the Heroine is conveniently erased, like her cell phone data, so that way she has to learn it through interacting with these mysterious guys. Gee, that sounds fun and safe. There’s just no way of making this story fun or interesting or engaging or even somewhat enjoyable. And saying that this anime is boring would be a massive understatement. There really isn’t anything going for Amnesia besides all these crucial problems. The one good thing I have to say about Amnesia? In my humble opinion, I believe that Amnesia could be marketed as an effective sleep aid for people suffering from insomnia. I really do. That and I actually like their Hypno-Toad eye effects going on, too.
So yeah, I’ll be watching both of the shows with giant, bouncing boobs in them and the shows that aren’t are being immediately dropped. Kinda funny to think about it that way, but honestly, they’re both significantly better than the two lesser anime evaluated in this post. However, this pattern is certain to change as new shows are continuing to air this week and I am looking forward to plenty of the other, non-fanservice anime debuting soon. It appears that there will be only one more First Week Impressions post following this one since this is a lighter season and that I’m only interested in a few more of the new anime. Until then!
#1 by Zammael on January 9, 2013 - 1:30 PM
I went ahead and watched 5 new shows of this season: Kagura, Amnesia, Maoyuu, Osananajimi, and Long Live!
I agree with your take on Kagura, and I hope it improves on the action going forward but it may not even reach the level of last year’s High School DxD. The fan service was consistent and the action was executed properly and the humor in turn worked.
As for Maoyuu the main character is a deal breaker. A bonafide hero that turns into a quivering 10 year old at the slightest sign of Dolly Parton boobs? Pandering. Pass.
Osananajimi wants to pass itself off as a parody of the harem genre with two anti-romance leads, but since it doesn’t seem to take the genre seriously with such a half assed premise it won’t succeed. 1 more episode.
Surprisingly I have a different fake on Amnesia: while your critique is valid (stiff characters and convenient events) they actually contribute to the suspense and make the story rather intriguing. As a non-fan of bishie shojo I think Amnesia had the best opening episode of all 5.
Long Live put me to sleep despite its superior production values and solid premise. Pass.
#2 by avvesione on January 11, 2013 - 11:32 AM
Senran Kagura had a decent but fun opening episode, but I hope it improve soon. It shows some promise with its characters and their premise but the comedy and action were a bit below what I was hoping for from this anime. I’m sure they’ll pick up when the ninjas fight the other ninjas, so maybe in the next episode or two, things will pick up. Not sure about the comedy, though…
Yeah, the worst part about Maoyuu was the male lead. I’m hoping that the fanservice and his asinine reactions to Maou’s boobs are quickly cut from the series because then I’d have no problems with it. But yeah, Yuusha is a regrettable as a lead character right now.
You’re much nicer to Osananajimi than I am. I couldn’t even finish the PV that I posted for it in the Winter Preview. Just not my type of anime.
Amnesia put me to sleep and I didn’t even bother to finish the final 14 minutes. It was banal and lifeless. Wouldn’t recommend to anyone unless they’re having trouble getting to sleep since I found it to be pretty effective. I guess for you, though, that’d be Love Live. =P
#3 by Xiammes on January 9, 2013 - 3:41 PM
It seems like every show I want to watch this season are 5 minutes long. Going to be a rough winter for me.
#4 by avvesione on January 11, 2013 - 11:33 AM
The good thing about that, though, is that many of these shorts are pretty amusing and fun to watch. But yeah, only having a handful of 2-5 minute anime this season is lame. Hopefully a number of your favorites are carrying over from the previous season into this one, like JoJo’s or Psycho-Pass or something.
#5 by Sammie on January 11, 2013 - 10:35 PM
Yeah Jojo, Shinsekai Yori and Magi are carrying on. Found a few other shows, THE UNLIMITED Hyobu Kyosuke looks alright, other then some serious CLAMP issues. The second episode of Maoyuu confirmed I will be keeping up with it.
Not as bleak as I originally thought, has potential to be pretty good.
Also are you going to give us your thoughts on Nekomonogatari? I assume as a single blog post?
#6 by avvesione on January 12, 2013 - 2:19 AM
How is THE UNLIMITED? I have no previous experience with Zettai Karen Children, so I passed on the anime. Do you need to have some prior knowledge of the series before starting it or is it just a complete side-story to the original?
As for Nekomonogatari, I wasn’t planning on a post, but I might fit it in somewhere. I’ve got my Autumn 2012 Season Review being worked on this weekend, so it might end up there. I don’t really have a whole lot to say on it, though, so doing a quick review might be it.
#7 by Xiammes on January 12, 2013 - 5:22 AM
I have no previous knowledge either for The Unlimited, but I am enjoying it. It seems to be a spin off from what I hear, I say try the first episode out to see if you like it or not.
I was just wondering, I didn’t know if you were going to stick it in a seasonal blog or just make a whole post about it.
#8 by avvesione on January 13, 2013 - 5:31 PM
Ah, okay, thanks for clarifying that for me.
As for Nekomonogatari… not sure what I have to say, but I might add it in somewhere, sometime. I have a few other scheduled posts that I want to finish before doing one for Nekomonogatari (Needless 107, 108 for example), but there will probably be something somewhere on it.
#9 by Tzaphqiel on January 9, 2013 - 8:21 PM
I’m glad to hear that you will be following Maoyuu, as that one looks like it’ll be one of the best in this season. I agree that Maou’s bounciness was a bit much, but they did make up for it with both the nicely developed world, realistic considerations, and the bits of comic relief (such as when we get treated to Maou’s memory of her “practicing” with the Hero body pillow).
I’m hoping that, maybe someday later, you’ll check out Roman, because I actually liked it. Admittedly, that last part of the episode didn’t make any sense and felt tacked-on at best, but up until that it was a great episode that gave a good feel for the setting.
Then again, it might just be my rather unusual, if not somewhat underdeveloped, tastes that lets me tolerate that last bit, as I’ve come to tolerate, and even enjoy, series like that that add a few things out of the blue.
In either case, I look forward to see what you think of this upcoming season!
#10 by avvesione on January 11, 2013 - 11:38 AM
Yeah, Maoyuu was fascinating, especially with the setting and what Maou and Yuusha hope to accomplish. The only complaints I have with it are about the boobs and Yuusha’s reaction to them, and I figure that they’ll tone them down as the series continues. Once those are taken care of, then this will be one of the better anime this season.
I originally had Roman in the ‘Undecided’ section when I started writing about it, but the more I thought about it and wrote out my impression, the more I realized it should be in the ‘Dropped’ section. I’ll probably end up scanning through the second episode to see what it’s like, but I don’t expect much. I figure the next one will be episodic like this one except with more development on the world and the villains and hopefully on that superhero transformation that occurred that really felt off in this anime.
#11 by John Sato on January 9, 2013 - 9:16 PM
“Hypno-Toad eyes. . .” DUDE I totally didn’t see that before but that’s perfect!
I think the biggest indication of Amnesia’s lack of. . .interesting things can be summed up by the sound. As you said, everybody is very flat and monotone, but I realized about halfway in that there’s either extremely little music in the series, or there’s none at all. Seriously, aside from their voices and the sound effects, it’s pretty much just silence. The sound has no personality (except for maybe claustrophobic – I felt like I was trapped in a small room everywhere the show went), which is really indicative of the episode as a whole. (I mean WHOOPS did I just say that out loud)
Anyway, nice right up as usual.
#12 by avvesione on January 11, 2013 - 11:42 AM
You know, I actually wrote the same stuff you did in regards to Amnesia but removed it before publishing. I originally didn’t think there was any music, either, but after going back and watching a few scenes, I did notice a few, quiet background tracks that were actually pretty good for ambient noise. Because of that, I decided to take out my bit about how the anime was like a silent film from the 20s. But yeah, you’re right about the sound lacking personality and excitement or, as I put it, urgency or emotion. It’s just bad. Amnesia has a ton of problems, so thanks for bringing this one up that I missed!
Thanks and I hope you’re enjoying this season as much (or more) than I am!
#13 by illogicalzen on January 10, 2013 - 3:03 AM
There seems to be a few good series this season, at least so far. I rather enjoyed Maoyuu, and there is a lot of room for it to really flesh things out, something that happened in the manga adaptation as well. I do like how it approaches the standard ‘hero slays evil demon king’ story from a different angle, with the demon king, or perhaps queen in this case as the forward looking and thoughtful individual, and the hero as naive and curiously innocent of the world. There are still many characters yet to be introduced and at least in the manga that was when the story really came alive.
I also rather enjoyed Senran Kagura, yes its silly, yes its full of bouncing breasts, but it has really quite entertaining and with the introduction of the ‘evil ninjas’ who appear to be after Asuka for some reason it should be an interesting watch. I do think its a case of waiting for the story to build up when it comes to fights, we have only briefly been introduced to the antagonists o they havent really had the opportunity to properly attack, but we shall see.
I also rather enjoyed Amnesia, although it certainly had its issues, and I can see why the almost emotionlessness of the series could put people off, but at least for me that made it a little intriguing. I do like the idea of the series starting as Heroine’s amnesia starts like we the audience are following her as she discovers who she is and who the other characters are. Then again, its had a slow start, but I am willing to give it a few more episodes before making a full decision.
#14 by avvesione on January 11, 2013 - 11:48 AM
Glad to hear that about Maoyuu. After just one episode, it seems like the anime is all about Maou and Yuusha but it did give us glimpses of the rest of the cast like the other two companions of the Hero and the three mages/witches. I’ll be interested to see how they fit in with the plot and how they influence the anime since they can really spice things up in regards to the economics and discourse of the anime. Glad to hear that from someone who’s read the manga, too!
Senran Kagura should pick up once the rival ninjas are integrated into the anime since having some actual characters to fight against will really improve the action and fighting. My main concern moving forward is with the comedy which was rather dry and stereotypical… maybe it’s just me but I wanted something more or at least enough to make me laugh. Guess we’ll see what happens as the anime continues…
As for Amnesia, I can understand why it appeals to certain fans, but it really doesn’t mesh well with me and what I want from an anime. I hope things drastically improve for everyone watching it.
#15 by Joojoobees on January 10, 2013 - 6:20 PM
On the hero and demon show: I was disappointed with this initial episode. I get the “different from typical fantasy series” angle, but it seemed like way too much talking to me. I didn’t believe the “romance”, and it just left me cold. I’ll probably try another episode or two, in hopes that it gets rolling, now that the basic premise has been established, but in a strong season this first episode would have caused me to drop the series.
#16 by avvesione on January 11, 2013 - 11:51 AM
I agree with you that the romance felt forced and unnecessary, but I found some brilliance in the first episode wanting to have an open-dialogue about how to solve the world’s dilemmas with rather intelligent banter than ideals about ‘love and peace’ or how ‘friendship is justice’ or that kinda bullshit you see in anime. But, maybe because of that approach, the romance is artificial (well, it is), so hopefully that gets toned down along with Maou’s boobs and Yuusha’s reaction to her boobs.
Hopefully you stick with the series since I figure it will begin to improve rather quickly.
#17 by mwnanamai on January 12, 2013 - 2:15 AM
I guess Hero in Maoyuu Maou Yuusha behaving like stock Anime Shounen lead is expected, because we can’t destroy the Trope without having a trope on stage. Maybe as the season progress we could see some character grow as Hero become more aware of the situation or even has doubt about what the Demon King is telling him. If we are going to make fun of the shounen stereotype, we need a stereotype on stage.
As for the stereotype of him being afraid of Boobs, it is kind of dumb now but it might actually be important in a few episodes, because it is bound that someone will question whether Hero Judgement is being manipulated by Maoyuu sexual advances, because she has been a bit transparent about a romantic relations.
“Dude you sure she is not just shoving her boobs in your face to manipulate you ?”
If this anime is really serious about the story this should come up, which I am confident it will because one of the Hero party members (female spell caster) called him a “Idiot Virgin” which indicates some kind of romantic relation. She might get jealous when Maoyuu shows up and will because women are just so revengeful she won’t let it go any easy.
On Senran Kagura.
Gotta agree that for what we were expecting it was kind of restrained, since most of the fanservice Katsugaru being a pervert and manstare shots. At times it seemed to me that the anime was teasing me (even trolling) with fanservice shots that were so fast I had to Jiusitsu the remote t to still the frames, but this tension between the two kind of fanservice was enjoyable.
I found the transformation sequence to be more of a spoof than anything really serious, just like Ayumu transformation in Korewa Zombie was more of Mind Bleach inducing spoof of Sailor Moon than anything serious, also a good chance to get some fanservice. Ikaruga gives the “catch it if you can” kind of service, Hibari a more normal Fanservice, and Katsugari was just completely hilarious in that she didn’t even change her outfit, she just discarded her bra.
What you didn’t like about the Comedy ? Was it not the right kind or was it not enough of it ?
Things like the Sushi spoof almost killed me, because the joke was on me.
As for Characters I find that Hibari is interesting in that she is as worthless as a Ninja as Asuka, but she is aware of that to the point of undermining her self-confidence, which makes the friendship and support from Ayugu even more meaningful. In fact you probably either met a person like Hibari or you have been like Hibari once in your life.
#18 by avvesione on January 28, 2013 - 4:41 AM
It’s not a matter of being serious or trying to differentiate from the standard shounen hero, it’s a matter of doing things well, which the anime is not. Hero is very bland and forgettable as a character but the anime is not making any effort to show him improve or to deconstruct his character or the trope, as you mentioned. It’s just, he’s there and that’s about it. As for the boobs, I would be fine if the anime played it off as something serious as you’re hoping but it’s being played for jokes and sexiness. It’s being used as cheap entertainment and it’s distracting to the story and the characters. Both Hero and the boobs have been extreme disappointments in Maoyuu thus far.
As for Senran Kagura, the comedy is pretty boring. It’s mainly sight-gags on boobs or girls falling over or other sorts of physical humor which don’t really play into the story and only exist because there’s nothing else to feel the gaps between story and fights. It doesn’t really have anything innovative, intelligent or distinctive of itself besides the sushi rolls (with the teacher, it was funny), so it’s not doing well there. Besides that moment, I didn’t smile or laugh at any other time in the episode. As for the characters and the transformations, I have nothing wrong with them though I kinda hope the characters and fights improve quickly.
#19 by medievalotaku on January 26, 2013 - 8:46 PM
Well, none of those three shows seem appealing. Maoyuu was the one which interested me most, but, from what I’ve heard, it seems to be a less intelligent version of Spice and Wolf. Then, I feel as if the boob factor might truly be the greatest draw in my case; and so, why should I lead myself into temptation? So, I’ll just stick to watching old shows and perhaps Kotoura-san this season.
#20 by avvesione on January 28, 2013 - 4:43 AM
Three shows? I thought I reviewed four…
As for Maoyuu, it really isn’t even a less intelligent version of Spice and Wolf as it is a version with a more centralized, macro approach to the story but with fanservice, less art/animation and a shitty romance. It’s not a terrible anime but it’s nothing like Spice and Wolf. I am enjoying it but it’s somewhere in the middle of this season for me when comparing everything together.
#21 by 13thmaiden on March 23, 2014 - 6:58 PM
Okay, I know I’m reading a year old post, but I’d like to point out something about two of these.
Maoyu started out as a light novel series before being adapted into an anime, and the whole boob thing was non-existent in the light novels. I think the animation team was basically trying to use boobs as something to shove comedy in to up the darker tone. Not the greatest idea, but this is Japan, who has numerous times shown it likes over-exaggerated breasts. Why? I don’t know, maybe years of the women tying them down to get the perfect straight line visual in kimonos got old and when they started wearing western clothes, the guys found they preferred them flouncing about and ran with it. There’s a good bit of America that likes that idea too.
As for Amnesia.
Unfortunately for Amnesia, it’s adapted from an Otome game. Now, is that any excuse? No, there’s a lot of good otome game adaption animes. But really, the anime is actually following the premise of the game, run around with these random mystery dudes to find your memory so you can fall in love with one of them and live happily ever after. That’s the only part that is redeemable from your review. The rest, yeah, you’re right, they’re about as emotional as a 2 week old corpse. I don’t know much why, the game had at least some emotions in them, but it’s for sure this anime only really appeals to those who loved the game, hopefully…..HOPEFULLY.
Anyhoo, that’s enough from me, now back to the present XD
#22 by avvesione on March 31, 2014 - 10:53 AM
Yeah, I heard from numerous friends that the LNs did not have the whole boobs things, which tells me I probably would’ve liked the LN more than the anime in terms of that. In fact, quite a few people were surprised about that and didn’t even watch the anime because of it. It should be noted that studio ARMS, who created the anime, has animated a number of ecchi and hentai anime before this, so it’s not surprising to see a lot of sex added to this anime unnecessarily.
As for Amnesia, the first episode was beyond boring and I found no reason to keep watching. I think the anime was aimed more at fans of the game or otome games in general, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it was dropped rather quickly by me.