Summer 2015 – First Impressions (Part 4)

gakkou_gurashi-01-yuki-taroumaru-dog-happy-moe-cute-pink_hair-cat_ear_hatThis post reviews: Himouto! Umaru-chan, Gakkou Gurashi!, and God Eater.

Alright, this post is light, and Himouto and Gakkou Gurashi are already on their second episodes, but you can blame that on God Eater waiting until the third week to debut (and me not watching it until several days after its premire). Anyway, my final first impressions for Summer 2015 are below.

 

Watching:

Gakkou Gurashi!

gakkou_gurashi-01-yuki-smile-blood-broken_glass-dusk-horrorWhat a delightful and memorable introductory episode, one that beautifully mixed subtle elements of distress in a sugary-sweet package of cutesy, moe girls living at their school. I especially enjoyed how the clever hints of horror were implanted in amusing scenes with easygoing jokes and chibi caricatures, but these hints are evidence that this anime will steadily become darker, especially as they escalated from a Stephen King novel to the hidden words on the blackboard to the broken glass and finally to the cross on the rooftop farm. Although the episode was shown entirely from Yuki’s delusions, I expect the anime to move forward through a realistic interpretation of the world as we saw from the ending to this episode: a ghastly, horrific setting with death lurking behind every dark corner. I am thrilled with the execution and directing in this first episode and this promises for a pleasant series, one that is able to successfully blend the contrasting elements of lighthearted, 4-girl, slice-of-life with a zombie apocalypse. Yuki will be an fascinating character to watch as the protagonists, due to her rejection of reality, and I’m sensing some annoyance from Miki who wants her to see the world for what it is. I don’t really have much to say about the other characters at this point, though, but the chemistry and writing work well. Really, this was probably the most impressive first episode of the season, and I’m hoping Gakkou Gurashi continues to be this strong from start to finish.

gakkou_gurashi-01-miki-yuki-panic-shocked-stoic-cute-serious gakkou_gurashi-01-kurumi-shovel-twintails-cool-tomboy-patrol

 

Undecided:

Nothing undecided in this post, meaning…

 

Dropped:

Himouto! Umaru-chan

himouto_umaru_chan-01-umaru-taihei-brother_and_sister-fume-comedySo this is an anime about the most beautiful/athletic/smartest/blah blah blah girl in the school who *gasp* has an otaku personality! Wow, so original! And then there’s her onii-chan who possesses no personality whatsoever and tries to establish some discipline but gives in, almost immediately, to her wacky and silly demands. What a disaster.

himouto_umaru_chan-01-umaru-swimsuit-goggles-sparkles himouto_umaru_chan-01-umaru-chibi-otaku-comedy

 

God Eater

god_eater-01-renka-protagonist-plain-boringI’d be inclined to call God Eater the most visually impressive anime of the season based solely on its cinematography, directing style, and stellar art and animation. I can’t, though, because of on consistent and unnerving error throughout various scenes of the episode. I’m not sure whether the 3D camera, the encoding or what is to blame but there were many shots where the camera was shaking or jittery. These uncanny movements were especially notable when looking at the edge of the screen, at the floor, which would move up and down. This ataxia didn’t ruin the episode for me, but it caught my attention multiple times, distracting me from what were the wearisome and uneventful monologs of this introductory episode. Oh that’s right, beyond the visuals, God Eater is another generic “boy-must-save-humanity” anime that we’ve seen a dozen times before. But the main issue with God Eater isn’t with this overused story, but that its protagonist is flat with about as much personality as a ham sandwich without the ham. The writing and dialogues were less than motivating too. Though I was engaged and pulled in by the visuals, God Eater is honestly nothing special.

god_eater-01-tsubaki-instructor-hair_covering_one_eye god_eater-01-soma-hood-weapon

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  1. #1 by Detetiv on July 17, 2015 - 4:24 PM

    Well technically the protag in god eater is supposed to be. In most god eater games you create your character/protagonist. Jury is still out on if they will keep to Burst storyline since they already diverged. And it’s sort of boy save humanity? Err. What I can remember from watching burst walkthrough videos/cutscenes it’s a story dealing with the smoker guy (who I can’t remember anyone’s name besides Soma) pretty much getting stuck in a hard place under strange circumstances and trying to find him while you get snippets of darkness going on behind the scenes. Think wolf in sheeps clothing. Tried to keep most of the story out but I hope that gives you the gist of what I can recall.

    • #2 by avvesione on August 14, 2015 - 12:16 PM

      Thanks for the help, but I think if I were to get into God Eater, I’d try to get into the games which seem to be more fun and entertaining.

  2. #3 by MIB on July 19, 2015 - 11:41 PM

    Glad it wasn’t just me who wasn’t blown away by GOD EATER after all the hype. I hope this was just a teething issue with the first episode setting the scene and it will improve over time.

    Have to respectfully disagree a little on Umaru-chan. I can see how it can be grating for some – after all it is a one note joke – but chibi Umaru-chan is just too cute to dislike! :-P

    • #4 by avvesione on August 14, 2015 - 12:17 PM

      Yeah, I agree with your thoughts on chibi Umaru, but that alone isn’t enough for me to watch an anime, especially when so many people post screenshots of the anime online these days. Now, I can enjoy the chibi whenever I want without having to put in the effort to watch the anime.

      • #5 by MIB on August 14, 2015 - 12:23 PM

        Ha! Fair enough! :-)

        I have to confess that having seen further episodes of GOD EATER it is much better than the weak first episode suggested. I don’t know if it will be the instant classic everyone hoped it would but it has improved thus far.

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