Autumn 2014 – First Impressions (Part 4)

shirobako-01-ema-key_animator-artist-drawing-anime_studio-concentratingThis post reviews: Parasyte (Kiseijuu), Garo: Honoo no Kokuin, Shirobako, Ore Twintail ni Narimasu and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

One anime that won’t be appearing in these First Impressions posts is Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru. The first episode will air on October 17 making it the one of the last anime to premiere this season (the other being Mushishi Zoku Shou 2). I don’t want to wait another week just to fit that anime into this First Impressions post, so I will forego it for now and see whether I want to keep it or not this season. I doubt I will write about it weekly, unless it provides interesting or valuable content each week, so you probably won’t hear much about Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru here… especially if I end up dropping it.

 

Watching:

Parasyte (Kiseijuu)

parasyte-01-migi-alien-hand-eyes-mouth-deformed-monster-horrorI am conflicted with Parasyte. The downside of the anime thus far is that it strongly resembles Tokyo Ghoul, an anime from last season that failed to impress me outside some sequences of exquisite visuals. The two share similarities in its main character developing some strange mutant powers and fighting others for survival. In that regard, I am not enthusiastic with Parasyte. However, there are a handful of substantial variances between the two that easily puts Parasyte above Tokyo Ghoul. The most noteworthy is that it is already delivering in its coherent focus on the paranormal and psychological horror of Shinichi’s life… as aspect that I yearned for in Tokyo Ghoul that never materialized. Parasyte’s story revolves around Shinichi’s character and how he’s dealing with Migi living in his hand instead of focusing on the fight with the other alien inside the dog. It exemplifies that the battle was not the story, but that it part of the story expressing the ruthlessness of these aliens. And it did a pretty damn good job of expressing that in that scene, too. There is also a sense of horror and psychological distress present in Parasyte that makes the anime attractive, too. Again, I don’t want to continue comparing this to Tokyo Ghoul, but that aspect quickly disappeared and devolved into senseless, mindless action and violence and nothing more in Ghoul. The same might happen here in Parasyte, but at least there was an effort to the horror that makes me feel more confident in Parasyte. And the disconnect between Shinichi and Migi will help emphasize the horror more, since his little hand alien is largely out of his control. Really, there remains a lot to be seen in this anime, but for now, I am positive with this anime based on what was shown in this first episode. I can’t say I am fond of Shinichi’s character thus far, but I am fond of the situation he’s in, how it will test his character and how he will impact the story moving forward. I have no qualms with the art or animation, especially since this is one of the better ones this season, but I do have uncertainties elsewhere. However, my reservations with the rest of the cast, the other aliens and future fights are questions for the future and not of my initial impressions with this anime. For now, I have a positive outlook for Parasyte and am picking it up as an anime to keep this autumn.

parasyte-01-shinichi-panic-distress-horror-looking_away-glasses parasyte-01-satomi-childhood_friend-scarf-casual-cute

 

Shirobako

shirobako-01-shizuka-aoi-misa-midori-animation_club-computer-tired-cuteShirobako had a solid first episode thanks essentially due to the contrast in Aoi’s character then and now. When she was a member in the animation club in high school, we saw an idealistic and enthusiastic young girl who loved anime and wanted to fulfill her passion by creating anime. She and her four other friends in the animation club felt the same way, speaking about their dreams of working in the anime industry and even producing their own short anime for their cultural fair. We were able to witness the untainted love and energy of anime fans who want to work in the anime industry. Fast-forward to the present, and Aoi is an animation runner (much like Animation Runner Kuromi) for Musashino Animation, a small studio that earned its first anime as a prime contractor in seven years. Yeah… the real world can be quite a bit different than our fantasies. However, the subdued reality of her situation hasn’t dented Aoi’s enthusiasm or passion for anime, so it’s enjoyable to see how her character manages in such an unappealing situation. And the realistic problems that occurred in the first episode fascinated to me as a viewer, especially since the first episode was highly educational without succumbing to teaching us lessons or giving us lectures; it thought through example and practice. And, as always with the anime I keep, the art and animation are pluses. I am curious to see where the anime goes, especially with how the other three girls connect to the anime, so I am excited to keep this anime for the season.

shirobako-01-nao-final_check-color_coordination-anime_studio-production-artist-computer shirobako-01-aoi-animation_runner-phone-dreams-passion-enthusiasm-reality-anime_industry

 

Undecided:

Garo: Honoo no Kokuin

garo_honoo_no_kokuin-01-herman-leon-zoro-garo-demon_hunters-heroes-view-manlyGaro has a fascinating setting, a fantasy realm where the kingdom pursuits and tortures witches, where witches hunt demons to save humanity, and where demons prey on the kingdom to fulfill their beastly desires. Add in a pleasant and unique art style with a liberal use of color and mature character design and you have an ideal anime for me, right? …Right? Well, right now, I like Garo more than I dislike it, but I never feel in love with the series despite being one of the most imaginative settings of the season. For one, the characterization was surprisingly lacking with virtually nothing on Leon or Alfonso, supposedly the hero and primary antagonist of the story. It’s hard to say how much I like an anime when two of the most essential characters are absent, though we did see Leon for a fight that was mesmerizing to watch but pedestrian in its tension (a fight against the hero in the last two minutes of an episode isn’t really a fight to begin with). As for the story, there really isn’t even one right now as most of the content in this episode was Herman’s exposition in the anime’s backstory and history while he was drunk and naked in bed. It’s really hard to make a proper judgment on the anime when most of the episode was focused on establishing the foundation of the setting and laying out the blueprints for the story. I will admit that there was one thing that bothered me which was the 3D CGI armor and the fights with the 3D CGI armor. It clashes with that gorgeous art style of the background and characters way too much. While I don’t mind seeing CGI characters for anime set in the present, the future or in space… it just doesn’t work out well for a medieval-fantasy setting. I think I’ll be able to make up my mind on this anime after one more episode, so long as it provides enough time with Leon and Alfonso to better understand if I enjoy their characters or not. The story also leaves me wondering too, thought it won’t make or break the series like its characters will.

garo_honoo_no_kokuin-01-herman-leon-makai_knight_zoro-cgi-armor-knight-witch-demon-baby-fire garo_honoo_no_kokuin-01-leon-golden_knight_garo-cgi-armor-lion_mask-fire-transformation

 

Dropped:

Ore Twintail ni Narimasu

ore_twintail_ni_narimasu-01-souji-tail_red-fighting-fire-cuteThis is what happens when you write an anime about your favorite fetish. There was nothing more to this anime than the distinctiveness in its unhealthy mania with twintails. Virtually every aspect of the anime was about twintails, whether it was the fact that almost every girl has twintails or that every guy obsesses about twintails. And while I do like twintails on certain characters, I don’t like them this much, and I need something more to an anime than just a specific hairstyle for girls on every girl. Ore Twintail ni Narimasu couldn’t provide me any valuable content, so it is dropped.

ore_twintail_ni_narimasu-01-aika-childhood_friend-twintails ore_twintail_ni_narimasu-01-thouars-white_hair-big_boobs-happy-cute

 

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

shigatsu_wa_kimi_no_uso-01-kaori-looking_back-smile-romance-love_interest-blondeShigatsu wa Kimi no Uso isn’t a bad anime… it’s just not an anime for me. For me to watch or enjoy a romance, almost everything needs to be perfect: from the characters to the setting to the story to the emotion and so on. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso fulfills only a few of those criteria for me, so it shouldn’t be surprising to learn I feel virtually nothing toward this anime. The only character I genuinely enjoyed was Tsubaki and her character is destined to be forever in second-place thanks to Kaori’s sudden apperance. Kaori was okay, but her comedy failed to tickle me even the slightest. Kousei was doleful and lackluster as a lead character, probably because his chronic dysthymia brought the whole episode down whenever he was on screen. I realize the anime is about him improving his mood and becoming a better person as he falls in love, so the story appeals to me. But like with every school-setting, romantic comedy anime before it, there’s a guarantee in unnecessary drama, a love-triangle, and rival love interests that frustrates me to no end.  Lastly, the musical themes don’t strike a cord with me as I have virtually zero experience playing music or knowing people who do.  I will say that Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso had one of the most remarkable visuals of this young season, so there’s no doubt that this anime will be great to look at for those who watch it. But for me, it won’t matter since I know I won’t be watching it.

shigatsu_wa_kimi_no_uso-01-kousei-angry-glasses-yelling shigatsu_wa_kimi_no_uso-01-tsubaki-childhood_friend-chibi-blush-angry-cute

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  1. #1 by Detetiv on October 14, 2014 - 3:53 AM

    From what little I know of Garo series when they summon that armor they have a timed amount of time to fight with it on. Something like 2 minutes or 5 maybe? Garo is known for their b00bage. CGI I believe is to show that it’s unreal/metal armor they summon. Think in the live action they use muted colors & make the garo armors glow/shine

    Was in other review but Kaito, make sure to watch ep 2 you should catch something they did that made me laugh & go back to catch it. I really hope they go through with it. Kaito’s young voice is weird for me. I’m not sure how I feel about Kaito’s voice but his friend va makes a good tomboy.

    Twintail – I have no idea about that one. It’s meeh? I think I just started laughing at the end of the episode. I kinda liked that other anime w the bracelets that changed you.

    The violinist anime- it’s cool.

    I tried to watch a little Kaito Joker…. The only thing I liked was the opening song. They used the ray of light look many times.

    The manga store anime – nope I got a few minutes in after the silly advertisement for the store before I stopped.

    Can’t wait for: Mushi-Shi

    • #2 by avvesione on October 18, 2014 - 12:18 PM

      The more I hear of Garo, the more it sounds like a fantasy Tiger & Bunny (except with more fanservice).

      I did watch the second episode of Kaito and decided to drop it. Just too busy this season for all the anime I want to watch and decided to let it go. As for Kaito’s voice, I recognize the voice actor did Kuma from Persona 4… so whenever I hear him talk (especially as a kid), I think of Kuma.

      Twintail had some camp value, but it’s not a show that I would enjoy all season, especially when I’m dropping shows that I ranked above it. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso isn’t an anime for me. I hope you enjoy it, though. And Joker and Denki-gai no Honya-san were bad…

      I’m thinking Mushishi and FSN: UBW might be the two best anime of the season for me. Can’t wait until the second half of Zoku Shou starts up this week.

      • #3 by Detetiv on October 18, 2014 - 4:52 PM

        Can’t wait for mushi-shi also. Watched this weeks ep of Garo, left some pretty big holes that I hope they solve. For Kaito Kid did you catch Dr. Agasa’s car?

        • #4 by avvesione on October 19, 2014 - 11:34 PM

          I don’t remember Dr. Agasa’s car, so I probably missed it.

        • #5 by Detetiv on October 20, 2014 - 3:23 PM

          It was ep 1 or 2 when the old guy shows KID new gadgets & the guy says a friend makes them. They cut to a window & you see a very familiar yellow beetle drive away. Photo: https://twitter.com/Detetiv/status/524339434406555648

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