Summer 2015 – First Impressions (Part 3)

joukamachi_no_dandelion-01-teru-aoi-misaki-hikari-akane-shuu-haruka-kanade-shiori-chibi_faces-expressionsThis post reviews:Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Senyaku, Joukamachi no Dandelion, Overlord, Bikini Warriors, and Sore ga Seiyuu!.

Since all of the anime included in Part 3 debuted this week, as well as the anime that will be covered in Part 4, there is no urgent need to do a Weekly Anime post for this week. Expect the first Weekly Anime post for Summer 2015 to be next weekend once I am able to come to a conclusion on a few of these undecided shows.

 

Watching:

Joukamachi no Dandelion

joukamachi_no_dandelion-01-akane-blush-embarrassed-shy-cameras-spyingI’m naturally drawn to anime where characters have superpowers, so it isn’t too unexpected that I’m content with the first episode of Dandelion. What keeps me interested in Dandelion is that, instead of focusing on their superpowers and about them trying to take down some big, bad villain or win some martial arts tournament, Joukamachi no Dandelion focuses on its characters first and their dilemmas of trying to become the next king. In fact, their superpowers as almost an afterthought right now. Certainly, the superpowers will be relevant to each character’s story and development, but it’s refreshing to see these elements used as a way to support the characters rather than defining the characters by them. It’ll be fascinating to see how these characters grow and mature with these abilities as extra material. Furthermore, I enjoyed the chemistry the family has with each other, especially since you can see both sides of them helping each other while also competing to win the election. The writing does well to present both sides in reasonable doses. The aesthetics aren’t particularly remarkable, but I am persuaded to these cute character designs and their personalities. The setting doesn’t inspire me too much, outside the election, but it might grow into something nice once a conflict between the kingdom and someone else appears. The first episode of Dandelion was encouraging and has me hooked. I’ll be keeping this anime around this season.

joukamachi_no_dandelion-01-aoi-misaki-haruka-hikari-siblings-family joukamachi_no_dandelion-01-kanade-shiori-teru-akane-shuu-siblings-family

 

Bikini Warriors

bikini_warriors-01-dark_elf-mage-paladin-fighter-bikinis-boobs-fanserviceAs expected, Bikini Warriors is 4 minutes of boobs, bikinis, and fantasy-themed fanserivce… but I really can’t fault an anime for that when that’s exactly how Bikini Warriors advertised itself. It isn’t trying to be anything more than an ecchi anime, and Bikini Warriors delivered what it promised. What came as a surprise, however, is that Bikini Warriors actually had some suitable comedy for its first episode. The first episode poked fun at itself and its premise of sexy girls in magical bikini armor. Of course, the comedy was low-hanging fruit, but the anime is self-aware and is able to use itself as humor, so that’s a positive for future episodes. I think I might actually enjoy this if this style of fantasy- or JRPG-humor continues to be a focus for the non-boobs material. The animation is minimalistic, almost criminal to call this an anime and not a slideshow, but I’m not expecting artistic quality with this masterpiece. Sure, Bikini Warriors is bad, but it’s not terrible… and if it can get me to laugh at a few of its jokes for 4 minutes each week, then why not?

bikini_warriors-01-mage-dark_elf-paladin-fighter-bikinis-magic_armor-comedy bikini_warriors-01-mage-dark_elf-paladin-fighter-shopkeeper-bikinis-swimsuits-comedy-embarrassed-blush

 

Sore ga Seiyuu!

sore_ga_seiyuu-01-rin-ichigo-futaba-voice_actress-microphone-amazed-happySore ga Seiyuu! is an anime about cute girls who like anime and voice cute girls who like anime and voice cute girls (and things) in an anime. That said, it’s a cute, humorous slice-of-life anime focusing primarily on the voice acting industry, with three cute girls are our primary subjects. Unlike Shirobako which had a strong narrative, multifaceted characterization and insightful views on the entire anime industry, Sore ga Seiyuu! seems to be episodic in nature, heavy on the comedy, and focused entirely on voice acting. The anime is exceptionally cute, probably the cutest this season, with most of the gags aided visually by delightful reactions and adorable faces by the characters. There’s not much depth or intelligence or substance to Sore ga Seiyuu!, but this first episode was endearing and entertaining and seemed to match well with what I wanted from it. I don’t expect much from Sore ga Seiyuu!, but as long as it can stay fresh and original, it should keep me entertained throughout.

sore_ga_seiyuu-01-futaba-voice_actress-confused-heartbreak-question_marks sore_ga_seiyuu-01-ichigo-futaba-fume-angry-steam-umbrella-rain

 

Undecided:

Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Senyaku

chaos_dragon-01-ibuki-protagonist-hier-angry-red_eyes-white_hairThe first episode of Chaos Dragon was pretty chaotic, a haphazard and disorganized story that tried to fit too much progression and too many characters in such a short window. The whole sequence leading up to the fight felt rushed, and it was failing to develop on its setting and characters, which lead to the fight and subsequent partnership with the Red Dragon to feel hollow and meaningless. The first episode bit off more than it could chew and the execution suffered. And while I still have issues with the directing moving forward, there were still enough elements in the anime to keep me interested in what will happen next, especially if the story slows down. From what I saw of the setting, I like, though it does pale in comparison to some of the other fantasy anime this season. Ibuki seems a bit generic as a protagonist, but the other cast members seem to be a bit more creative, though we haven’t seen much of them at this point. The story might actually be the strongest attribute of this anime, especially if the five characters all have different motives between each other. The one other notable with Chaos Dragon was that the art and animation were below average, a concern moving forward if it intends to be heavy on the fighting. I’ll give it another episode to see how it improves and see how the other characters function in the story, but this first episode really felt confused and messy.

chaos_dragon-01-chenfa_lou-assassin-hood-mysterious chaos_dragon-01-eiha-catgirl-bound_one-slave-guardian

 

Dropped:

Overlord

overlord-01-momonga-ainz_ooal_gown-skeleton-sorcerer-glowing_eyesOverlord is much like the other anime in the astonishing well-represented “character-is-stuck-in-an-MMO” genre, except that the character is a villain instead of a hero. …and, that’s pretty much it. There’s not a lot to Overlord that isn’t seen elsewhere in these types of anime: it’s a teenage power fantasy where the protagonist the strongest character in a video game without putting in any work whatsoever. And even though, the main character is a villain in Overlord, he really isn’t all that evil or consumed with hatred like you’d want from a villain. Instead, he fairly normal and nerdy and likes groping the breasts of his NPC girlfriend. We don’t know anything of Yggdrasil’s world or why the protagonist is stuck in this game, and the lack of development to this point leads me to believe it’s going to be some generic MMO setting and some stupid problem with the game. The characters don’t seem to be too appealing either, as they’re all obedient servants of the overlord. At this point, I’m fairly confident the anime won’t change too much or improve too much, which means it’s probably best if we go our separate ways at this point.

overlord-01-albedo-demon-overseer-horns-boobs overlord-01-aura_bella-mare_bello-dark_elves-twins-fighters

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  1. #1 by Detetiv on July 11, 2015 - 9:26 PM

    My problem w Chaos is they build up a character and then he/she dies. You already know who’s the next martr just buy the fact that person is having angst or bigger interaction w little king.

    • #2 by avvesione on July 11, 2015 - 9:31 PM

      Yeah, I actually believe the second episode was worse than the first, especially in terms of the writing. I don’t know if I’m going to even give it a third episode at this point, though the introduction is over and the party is going on their way now. Still, Chaos Draogn is a mess and the quality is lacking.

      • #3 by Detetiv on July 11, 2015 - 9:36 PM

        I really wanted it to be good. But meeh.

  2. #4 by gedata on July 11, 2015 - 11:50 PM

    I wasn’t terribly impressed by Overlord either, but I don’t think it warrants comparisons to it’s other subgenre contemporaries yet. Asides from the main character being Skeletor I don’t think this will be much concerned with social aspect of these types of games given how underpopulated the in-game world seems. It might have it’s own agenda since it doesn’t seem to be about building an in-game society like in Log Horizon nor do we know if the objective will be to escape the game like in SAO. Need to see what stance it’ll take first before I come down with any sort of judgement, and hopefully it’ll make that stance clear and not bore me again.

    • #5 by avvesione on August 14, 2015 - 12:08 PM

      You bring up a good point in Overlord, that I oversimplified it and lumped it together with the others in its genre based off its premise. I’m curious to see how it is now, since it’s been 6 weeks, if it has done anything noteworthy or different than the others yet.

  3. #6 by NoDo on July 12, 2015 - 3:30 AM

    Overlord is not a stuck in a game story. The main character – and his whole guild building – was transported to a real fantasy world. Everything is real now, including the NPCs. This new world with its residents and different countries is completely unknown to Momonga.
    And yes, he’s very strong but he also has weaknesses and there other dangerous characters.
    In the beginning the lack of information is also a big problem for him.

    • #7 by avvesione on August 14, 2015 - 12:10 PM

      There really isn’t much of a difference if the world is a real fantasy world or an MMO – it’s still a player being taken to another world. And it really wasn’t the scenario that turned me off as much as it was everything else about Overlord.

  4. #8 by Joojoobees on July 12, 2015 - 6:18 AM

    I think it is too soon to say much about Overlord. It had a decidedly non-episodic first episode, meaning that we didn’t see the team go out and do something that could be replicated in episodes to come (e.g. Monster of the Week). This makes me think the pacing is aimed at some much larger story that hasn’t been introduced yet.

    I’m still in on Overlord.

    • #9 by avvesione on August 14, 2015 - 12:11 PM

      I realize I’m over a month late, but I’m curious if you’re still as interested in Overlord as you were back at he beginning.

      • #10 by Joojoobees on August 15, 2015 - 6:31 PM

        It has turned out to be pretty interesting. It seems to have a deep plot. There are multi-episode arcs and it has been very difficult to figure out how things would turn out from the beginning of them. The main character has multiple layers — somewhere at the bottom is the human, then there is a smart gamer, and at the surface is a role that he plays.

        • #11 by avvesione on August 17, 2015 - 7:50 PM

          That’s fascinating, especially since I gave up after the second episode. I honestly didn’t think it’d turn out like this. I’m glad to hear it turned out to be worthwhile and that you’re interested by it. Thanks for the response.

  5. #12 by foshizzel on July 12, 2015 - 9:41 PM

    Joukamachi no Dandelion: Another series about powers!? I had no idea and loved that, but damn that redhead needs to quit wearing skirts if you have anti-gravity/flying powers! Wear some shorts or spats.

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

      I’d be happy if Akane wore spats while she was using her superpower, though I think I’d prefer if she just accepted the accidental pantyshots, too. But yeah, Dandelion is fun and I’m enjoying it quite a bit this season.

  6. #14 by Mangataku-kun on July 17, 2015 - 2:42 AM

    Follow my Blog! :3

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