Sunday, 19 October 2014

Memoirs of a Cartoon Geek Entry 1

Memoirs of a Cartoon Geek Entry 1

So this is going to be the place where I review currently airing Japanese animated shows. No schedule really. It’s going to be limited to 5 or 6 shows at a time. No rankings (same for March of the Manga Man) So with that in mind let’s dive in!

Orenichi no Furo Jijo Episodes 1 & 2 Directed by Sayo Aoi, Produced by Asahi Productions Review

From the publisher: “A hot boy mermaid named Wakasa has taken over the bath of a teenage boy named Tatsumi! This cute but selfish freeloader is a perfect match for the cool but tender and caring Tatsumi. Let's see how they get by together!”

                As fan service shorts go this one is off to a decent start. The opening is jarring in contrast to the rest of the show which is light fun with some creepy overtones. It failed to produce any laughs though it did make me smile. It is worth noting that while Wakasa is a colourful character, Tatsumi is rather dull as a protagonist.  So in conclusion the first 2 episodes are decent. There are much better shows this season but one could certainly do a lot worse.

Sailor Moon Crystal Episodes 1-8 Directed by Munehisa Sakai, Produced by Toei Animation Review

From the publisher: “Based on Naoko Takeuchi’s legendary manga series, Sailor Moon Crystal retells the story of Sailor Moon as she searches for her fellow Sailor Guardians and the Legendary Silver Crystal to stop the dark forces of Queen Beryl.”

With this first set of episodes Sailor Moon Crystal is off to a great start! A gorgeous adaptation that somehow manages to establish itself separate from the first television adaptation and is all the better for it! More faithful to the original comic and more tightly written than the previous anime, Crystal is poised to be one of the best anime of 2014 if it continues this level of quality. The CG transformations are nicely rendered certainly better than much of the Japanese CG animation I have seen though still awkward. All-in-all Sailor Moon Crsytal is a great watch and comes highly recommended!

Hi-sCool! Seha Girls episodes 1 & 2 Directed by Sota Sugahara, Produced by TMS Entertainment and Jinni’s Animation Studios Review

From the publisher: “Dreamcast, Sega Saturn, and Mega Drive reimagined as girls who have just enrolled in SeHaGaga Academy at Tokyo’s Haneda Ōtorii station. They are given an assignment needed to graduate by a suspicious teacher. To clear this requirement, the girls must enter the world of Sega games to graduate without incident.”

Surprisingly, Hi-sCool is a good show… in a guilty pleasure sort of way. I went into this series with LOW expectations but found myself thoroughly entertained. The show is bright, colorful mindless fun. A particularly funny gag is in episode 2 where a character defeats even the most difficult foe with a head-butt. The CG looks awful though unfortunately. Characters move through things on occasion. This is N64 quality CG. In all, this is a series I would recommend to fans of “so bad it’s good” shows. Otherwise you probably will not gain much from this series.

Tribe Cool Crew Episodes 1-3 Directed by Masay Fujimori, Produced by Sunrise Review
From the publisher: “Haneru Tobitatsu is a middle school student who loves dancing! He can even dance to the rhythm of the chalkboard in class. One day, Haneru meets Kanon, a shy girl who is practicing at a secret dance place. The two learn the joy of dancing together and find happiness in their dance moves.”

Haneru makes for an excellent protagonist! It is impossible not to like this series with the infectious beats and offbeat character designs. The show has a nice, relaxed pace and is a touch shorter than the majority of standard length anime making it quick watch. Probably my favorite part of this set of episodes is Kanon’s arc as a character going from more nervous to outgoing. I cannot wait to see where the series goes from here I will follow it every step of the way!

Mushishi Next Chapter season 2 episode 1 Directed by Masaya Fujimori, Produced by Artland Review

From the publisher: “They are creatures only known as ‘Mushi,’ whose abilities range well into the supernatural. While their existence and appearances are unknown to the humans around them, there are a few like Ginko who is a ‘Mushi-shi’ that travels around to investigate and find out more about the ‘Mushi.’ During the course of his discovery and understanding, he helps those who are troubled by the Mushi themselves…”
                Reviews of the previous parts will follow at some point In the future. Continuing the trend for this column for offbeat shows: Mushishi is probably one of my favorite animated franchises. Period. This episodes does not disappoint. The series is almost therapeutic  a welcome change in an industry wrought with hyper-activeness. It is always nice peering into Ginko’s own past and it is some nice character development for him. If you have enjoyed the franchise thus far this episode does not disappoint!

When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace Episodes 1 & 2 Chief Director Masahiko Otsuka, Produced by Studio Trigger Review

From the publisher: “A group of five boys and girls suddenly acquire supernatural powers. Ready to fight in galactic battles to defend human cause… they are struck by the realization that there are no wars, no conspiracies, no evils empires, no nothing in their high school life. They instead decide to idly have fun by wasting their powers away.”

                Heretofore referred to as Battle because again I am lazy, this series is a lot of fun! This should come as no surprise for those familiar with the studio animating this. Trigger despite being rather new is rather well adept at making shows lively and enjoyable with this series being no exception. Despite it’s questionable origins. Battle is pitch perfect when it comes to comedy. The drama in the latter half of episode two does nothing but hold the show back. High school drama is NOT Trigger’s strong suit. Such fare has been done to death at this point. Otherwise this a fun series and I cannot wait until the next episode!

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