Summer 2015 – First Impressions (Part 2)

charlotte-01-yuu-superpowers-mind_control-glowing_eyes-not_lelouch-this_is_not_code_geassThis post reviews: Charlotte, Rokka no Yuusha, Ushio to Tora, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, and Jitsu wa Watashi wa.

Judging from how well I am receiving the anime this season, this could either be a busy or open season. As of right now, there aren’t many I’ve deciding on keeping or dropping at this point with many of the shows needing second or third episodes. It might be a while before I know what I’m planning on watching, but I should have time to watch everything I want. All I need to do is decide what I want to watch first.

 

Watching:

Rokka no Yuusha

rokka_no_yuusha-01-adelt-saint-blades-swords-magic-awe-ragsAmong the mass of fantasy anime this season, Rokka no Yuusha stands above the rest in terms of the quality and detail of its setting. Not only does Rokka no Yuusha deviate from the tried-and-true medieval Europe-style fantasy for an innovative Aztec/Mayan/Incan one, but it has a thorough history that matches this world, too. The writing is particularly pleasant too, especially with how the characters conduct themselves and how they talk to each other. There’s personality and meaning in their language, and the story flows smoothly through their words. The art and animation are robust, and do well for the action and non-action scenes. Particularly of note is the directing and cinematography, with a wide variety of shots in each locale to give you the idea of space, architecture, and environment. And while all that is good, I do have some issues with how the series will move forward. Although there will be the mystery of who isn’t a saint among the six, I do wonder what else the story will have besides the heroes fighting monsters. And that’s another thing, I do want to see the heroes work together, especially since there are six of them, and I want to see them struggle. There’s no point in having six heroes if one is strong enough to defeat an army of demons and they only need 6 for the big, bad boss. Also, I can’t tell if I’ll like the other characters yet since we have yet to meet them, but Adelt and Nashetania are okay right now. However, Rokka no Yuusha has done enough to hook me in through it setting, writing, and directing.

rokka_no_yuusha-01-adelt-saint-worlds_strongest_man-rags-light rokka_no_yuusha-01-nashetania_loei_piena_augustra-saint_of_blades-princess-bunny_ears

 

Undecided:

Charlotte

charlotte-01-nao-student_council_president-disgusted-paperI’m partial to anime where characters have superpowers, especially if they’re not almighty superpowers either. And considering the incompleteness of the superpowers in Charlotte, not to mention the stupidity and narcissism of the cast, I find Charlotte to be particularly charming. It has a specific appeal that I enjoy about anime which can lend itself well to imagination, characterization, and above all, comedy. But I am a bit tepid with Charlotte, principally on how it feels like they stole Lelouch from Code Geass and plopped him down in a stereotypical school setting with other special kids with not-so-special superpowers. The other characters seemed to lack depth or personality, but it could also be that it’s been one episode thus far and there hasn’t been much material on them either. The writing was practical and the first episode was engaging, but I wonder where it’ll go from here, especially since everything that happened was setting the foundation for the rest of the show. To summarize, I’ve really no idea what’ll happen with the rest of Charlotte, but there’s enough for me to like and hope that’ll turn out well. I’ll give it a few more episodes to see if it’s going down the path I want with these superpowers and characters.

charlotte-01-yuu-shock-surprised-looking_back charlotte-01-joujirou-speed-glasses-dust-wind

 

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

akagami_no_shirayuki_hime-01-shirayuki-red_hair-happy-leaping-sunny-brightI tend to enjoy shoujo romances, so it shouldn’t be surprising for me to say that I enjoyed the first episode of Akagami no Shirayuki-hime. However, I’ve noticed that the manga from which this anime is adapted from, has been going on for 10 years now meaning… another romance anime without a conclusive ending. And that means, probably not much progress than what we’ve seen in the first episode. Still, I enjoy Shirayuki as a heroine and am interested in her story, so maybe there’ll be more to this anime than a static and placid romance. There wasn’t much comedy in this first episode, nor was there much drama or excitement, but I find most of the anime agreeable right now, especially in terms of the characters, art, and setting. I’ll give it a few more episodes to see how it picks up, not only because I enjoyed the first episode and I adore shoujo romances, but because I believe the anime might develop into something good for the next two seasons.

akagami_no_shirayuki_hime-01-shirayuki-red_hair-pharmacist-medicine-botany-herbs akagami_no_shirayuki_hime-01-zen-obi-kiki-prince-friends

 

Dropped:

Ushio to Tora

ushio_to_tora-01-ushio-light-awe-stareWhile I do appreciate this throwback to the 90s, Ushio to Tora doesn’t really match my style at all. I can’t ever recall liking an anime that’s as dependent on physical humor as Ushio to Tora, nor can I remember ever enjoying an anime with such a brash and rude and shounen protagonist as Ushio. Furthermore, Ushio to Tora is quite a lengthy manga, totaling 313 chapters over a six-year span, so even if I could overlook those elements for a few episodes, I know I couldn’t for however long this anime will be. And to continue off that point, these types of shounen anime often have long, slow story arcs littered with episodic content, and fights with “youkai of the week”. It’s not what I want from an anime, and if I really wanted to watch something with that 90s feel, I have quite a few neglected 90s anime in my backlog that would be better fits than this.

ushio_to_tora-01-inoue-nakamura-girls-monsters-invisible-bugs ushio_to_tora-01-tora-youkai-monster-beast-yellow

 

Jitsu wa Watashi wa

jitsu_wa_watashi_wa-01-youko-vampire-fangsAnother day, another generic harem romantic comedy about a normal Japanese high school boy and the most beautiful/athletic/smartest/blah blah blah girl in the school who *gasp* is also a vampire. Unsurprisingly derivative and cliché, I couldn’t get through the first episode. Dropped.

jitsu_wa_watashi_wa-01-asahi-boring jitsu_wa_watashi_wa-01-mikan-glasses-camera

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  1. #1 by JekoJeko on July 11, 2015 - 2:31 AM

    I felt like the setting of Charlotte was stereotypical too, but for a good reason; Yuu has been kicked out of that setting, and the fact that we haven’t yet had a glimpse of his new school implies that things are going to be very different there. I’m hoping the main setting of the will be a subversion or rejection of a lot of the high school tropes that people are fearing will arise from this show.

    But even if it does end up being unambitious with its use of the new school, the characters are still engaging and fascinating enough to make this a must-watch on my list.

    • #2 by avvesione on July 11, 2015 - 8:32 PM

      Still, we know it’ll be a school setting, which implies specific aspects of the setting. I mean, there’s only so much you can do with a school and still call it a school. That being said, you do raise a good point about it being a different type of school, so hopefully it’s definition is pretty loose and it’s able to do more with these superpowers than just classrooms and school clubs.

  2. #3 by foshizzel on July 12, 2015 - 9:39 PM

    Charlotte was a pleasant surprise! PA Works doing a series about powers? I just hope it does a million times better than Glasslip…anyway I love how the powers are not powerful and it seems like all of them have a downside.

    Jitsu wa Watashi wa: Wow so cuteeeeeeeeeeeeee <3

    • #4 by avvesione on August 14, 2015 - 12:14 PM

      What I enjoy the most about Charlotte is the incompleteness and disadvantages of their powers, such that each has a weakness with it that results in some comedy. I’m happy PA Works is producing it since they’re one of my favorite studios.

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