Looks like there will only be one more of these previews with the last few remaining anime covered there and then moving onto my Weekly Anime after this. All that’ll be left after this is to decide which anime to write about each week.
The first episode of Gingitsune was a mix of positives and negatives, but the negatives were more along the lines of worrisome problems than the anime being bad. It’s more that I have a sinking feeling that this anime will deteriorate as it continues than anything else. The main reason why I feel this way is that there was very little excitement or energy from the cast and no real foresight on problems or conflicts to build on. Sure, the setting is cheery with a school-age shrine maiden who can see and communicate with a messenger of the gods named Gintarou. I like that. And I enjoyed the honest, genuine feel of the characters and their interactions with each other. It isn’t over-the-top or unbelievable but realistic problems where a girl gets mad at Makoto because she was hurt by her advice. That’s great, too, brilliant even. But it didn’t really set up anything for the long term, such a goal for Makoto or a struggle that both are needed to solve. Instead, I wonder how long the anime will be an episodic slice of life anime like this one. Sure, the anime might be fine, but episodic anime are largely hit-or-miss and I can see a number of misses if it’s tame or dry. That being said, I am sufficiently intrigued by Gintarou’s character and his relationship with Makoto. The fact that none of the previous shrine maidens had personal relationships with Gintarou is sure to set up for some wonderful development with his character and his blunt yet honest personality makes for a fantastic pairing with a stereotypical moe girl lead (thank heavens it’s not another angsty teenager or perverted idiot). I’m looking forward to that and I’m also looking forward to how Gintarou will influence Makoto’s character, too. The art style is lovely though the execution is somewhat sloppy at times, especially with some of the insignificant animation. I know that’s being nitpicky but there were times when it looked off. And that’s really the final negative I had with this anime. Everything else was pleasant and I’m looking forward to more episodes soon.
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta
First and foremost, did anyone else notice the seamless and fluid transitions between 2D and 3D animation in Yozakura Quartet? The animation director (Satonobu Kikuchi) and anime studio (Nomad) turned out a marvelous performance with this episode, making the switches between 3D models and 2D drawings almost unnoticeable. The two styles complement each other, with simple 2D character designs that parallel the 3D models and 3D characters with cel-shaded expressions that reflect appropriate anime facial expressions and movement. I mean, if it weren’t this great, I don’t know if I’d want to keep the anime or not given how I dislike 3D modeling but this first episode really left a positive impression on me. As for the actual content of the anime: it’s good but not great. The setting is pretty much wonderful, an enjoyable mix of magic and monsters, chaos and action and features a mysterious cast of villains who are quite a bit more vibrant and interesting than the trio of school kids and an adorable blue-haired catgirl. I appreciated the use of superpowers as a means of combat and the action sequences were fun, but I can’t say the same about the rest of the first episode which was best summarized as ‘meh’. It was pretty slow at times but you figure that’d happen with the content was focused on introductions rather than fighting giant runaway goldfish. There were frequent pantyshots spread throughout the first episode, but none where shoved in your face leading me to believe they wanted to include some panties but not to go too overboard and devolve it into a shitty ecchi anime. It would do fine without it but I imagine there will be fanservice throughout this series because why not? I’m excited to see where this story will go and what the characters will do but I’m not expecting anything profound to be explored here nor do I expect the characters to mature or develop into fascinating characters with sophisticated personalities or elaborate details. In fact, I’m just hoping this anime is fun and not much else. If it’s able to deliver that, then I know picking up Yozakura Quartet for this season will be worth my time.
Non Non Biyori
Non Non Biyori isn’t the comedy I expected it to be, so I need to adjust my expectations for this series to see whether I want to keep it or not. And while Non Non Biyori had plenty of comedy moments, the jokes were just spread way too thinly throughout to keep me sufficiently entertained and the focus was entirely more slice of life than comedy, so that set me up for a bit of disappointment with this episode. That being said, knowing this is a slice of life anime, if I adjust my expectations and what I want from this series, then I’ll have a better idea if I want to keep it or not. That being said, I did enjoy the comedy and the slife aspects but I also found myself bored through parts the middle parts of the episode. I just wish more happened in each episode since certain jokes had lots of dead space and dragged on longer than they should have. At least the comedy was all based on the oddities of rural versus urban life rather than a single straight man YELLING AT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS. It was a rather pleasant, relaxing episode to watch and it might fill the void left by Tamayura ~more aggressive~. I’ve always loved the rural Japanese setting and this anime is no exception. The art style is basic but fits the bill for what the anime wants to be which is simple and fun. And I like simple and fun, just that I was expecting a little less simple and a little more fun. All in all, Non Non Biyori is a decent anime, just not what I expected and not what I wanted it to be. If it continues to be enjoyable or amusing in the next couple of episodes, I’ll continue through to the end. Otherwise, I wouldn’t lose sleep over dropping it and focusing on some other anime instead.
Nothing dropped from these three but I’ve scanned through pretty much everything that hasn’t been reviewed yet and given them a simple ‘no’. It’s been pretty easy this season.