I had promised Pointman that I would review the anime as soon as I can, so instead of reviewing Mirai Nikki, I have chosen to review this episode instead. =)
So here episode 7′s review for you guys who are still waiting and willing to read it. =)
(Hopefully I would be able to get to Mirai Nikki’s review some time this week)
So this episode takes on a more light-hearted approach when dealing with the Persona of the week. Although the last couple of episode were pretty fluffy as well, this episode had made some progression with the gang growing bigger and a new Persona coming into the mix. I am still unsure about how the mystery is developing with this constant growth of the group and minimal development on the murders. It does make me question what the show’s main focus is meant to be.
This episode definitely had it “shits and giggles” moments with the perverted masochistic theme of Kanji’s persona. I know that he is meant to be a wuss on the inside but I am not sure how that translates into perversion for his persona. =P
There were a couple of things that I had liked about the episode and a few things that I disliked about the episode.
The things that I disliked about the episode were more towards the execution of the material than the actual content itself. Although I haven’t played the game and have no clue if the pacing was the same in the game as it was in the episode, the comedy timings were quite bad at the start of the episode. Things did start to pick up later on, but the characters were simply too comedic for no reason and it had felt somewhat random in nature. Jokes were throw left right and center without much development and the full “effect” of them had become diluted by the suddenness of the joke thrust upon us.
Well, by the end of the episode I was definitely laughing along with the show as I had gotten used to the oddity of the situation and have accepted the quick nature of the comedy.
Being 7 episodes in, it is quite odd that new characters are still joining the gang. I am hoping that this would mark the end of the introduction of new members. Although this episode’s character introduction was rather peculiar, the structure was pretty much the same after the characters had entered the TV World. When you know what to expect, things can get a bit boring to watch.
What I did like in the episode as well was the way the real world was integrated with the TV world. I liked the little detective club investigation done in the real world and how that led to the resolution in the TV world. Although the information gathered was pretty much close to none (apart from the boy randomly telling a stranger like Yu about the past between him, Kanji and the soft toy). At the very least, I am happy that we got to see some application of the knowledge/discoveries.
Personally, it is still a tad annoying the Yu is the most boring character in the group. Thankfully he is starting to gain a personality… but I can’t wait for the day where he becomes a proper human being with emotions. =P Kanji’s character on the other hand was quite expected (minus the perversion). I kinda felt that he was a big misunderstood teddy bear ever since the first time we were shown the soft toy in the last episode. His animal soft-toy loving character kinda reminds me of Gwendal from Kyou Kara Maou. =P (Love that show)
My biggest problem with the show is probably the linear manner of the story. Everything was pretty much expected except for the jokes (which aren’t actually brilliant) and there isn’t any real surprise/twist that would leave me anticipating for more at this stage. =(
Overall, it was a pretty disturbing but entertaining episode. =D As weird as this sounds, I find myself pretty open and able to appreciate perverts in shows. =P I did like the consistency with the jokes, and the group dynamics really shone through the responses each of the characters had to the perverted Persona. I honestly felt that this episode had done a good job in actually showing us what all the characters are like through the simple use of the character reactions
It’s weird, who’d buy this explanation when your hair had a normal colour until it changed suddenly into a freaky turquoise. “Yeah, your mother had the same… it’s fine.” No, it isn’t! He still has a strange hair-colour nobody else shares with him! Shouldn’t he ask himself instead who his mother really was? She obviously wasn’t a normal person…
Eureka Seven Ao 05 – Random Side-Characters Dying Isn’t A Cliffhanger
Eureka Seven Ao has been a solid series so far, I have to say. It’s nothing outstanding but the characters do what they’re supposed to do, the setting is good and the story develops nicely so far. It’s just that there’s nothing to it. You have all these things and they’re well-executed but they lack meaning. There’s no real impact behind the information this series is giving. The depth which would enable to get into the series’ mindset is missing. I think that’s the one big thing that keeps this series from being as awesome as it could be. Because as far as the surface is concerned it’s a great shounen-series. It just has nothing to offer beside the generic front so far.
Synopsis: Ao lands with the rest of his team at the Generation Bleu HQ and immediately gets a physical exam. Surprisingly his turquoise hair isn’t the only weird thing, he also can see shit that nobody else can see. But they assure him that he’s totally normal and he buys it because seeing weird colours and your hair turning turquoise aren’t very definite indicators of him being not normal, right? Ao wanders around for a bit not sure what to do since Elena and Fleur are giving him a hard time and all Ao can do is weep in silence. Meanwhile Gazelle and his friends are discovered as they flew onboard the Generation Bleu ship and as they talk with the President they pique his interest which secures their survival despite their unannounced arrival. Searching for Noah they bumb into another teenager-Generation-Bleu-team (since only teenager can pilot those mechas for whatever shitty reason) who are called away to handle an emergency-situation. And as they start confidently and laughing their mission they quickly realize that shit can happen sometimes. Facing an anomaly which only happened a few times in the history of the Scub-Corals they are confronted with an emergency-situation. And surprisingly the protagonists are called to the scene to help those pitiful side-characters out.
A Madoka-reference… Well, not a very witty reference, that’s for sure but at least they quickly went on and didn’t drag it out like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Although I still don’t like the way this show turns hobbies into jokes dressed up as fanatical obsessions. They did the same thing with the little girl liking sweet stuff which got twisted into her eating a whole mountain of ice-cream by herself.
Review: It’s strange how this series has apparently settled for a two-episodes-rhythm. One episode deals with the action and the other deals with the slice-of-life. It isn’t as clear-cut as I make it sound but you can clearly see that in one episode there’s a lot of building-up going on leading to the next episode. Now the question is whether this is good or bad. Pacing isn’t really something that’s either good or bad, it’s very genre/story-based since most of what you want to do with the series determines what you need in terms of pacing. Personally I think the most entertaining series are those who can afford to have a revelation or plottwist in each episode to keep the story going. Of course that’s the kind of challenge not many script-writers will want to face. But especially in series like Eureka Seven Ao it’s important to keep the audience’s attention with the story. The characters aren’t deep and the dialogues aren’t very Shakespearan either so you gotta go with the setting and plottwists. The setting is still the best part of the series so far, I think. Even if it involves a lot of technobabble it’s never going into the ‘As you may know’-territory. At least to me it’s still feeling like exposition instead of someone wasting my time like Ozma did. Those stupid sandworms hording all that water… Well, anyway unlike that disappointing series Eureka Seven Ao is still fairly interesting at this stage. Obviously they make a big deal out of Eureka which I didn’t really like. I mean there’s nothing bad with making references to her but her mysterious “death” sounds more like the build-up for a sudden appearance at a later point than anything else. And that’s just predictable. If she’s with the rainbow-aliens and may be alive then so be it but just acting like nobody knows shit about it without even guessing or assuming is just boring. That’s the chance for the setting to shine and offer its own logic. But instead most series just wait for the surprise as she shows up and would explain it then like “Oh, I didn’t know that was possible – but it actually is because of this and that.”. If it’s explainable nobody should be surprised! So although I suspect Eureka being some kind of Story-guru unloading a ton of exposition on the main-chara at a certain point I hope that everyone considering her dead means that she’s well, dead.
It was nice to see Gazelle actually making a backroom-deal that had something to do with his own sub-plot. Strangely animes rarely give the impression of having side-characters who have their own stuff to deal with. The way he didn’t just talk about his connection to the main-chara but made the most out of the trap he got himself into at the start of the series is the kind of thing you can do with adult-characters and it just shows again why there should be more series with adult-characters.
Another setting-thing was the examination of Ao and the mustache-dude saying “He doesn’t see the world like we do.”. Come on, that kid grows up seeing the world in ultraviolet, infrared and shit – but he himself never noticed it? When a normal human says something is green it’s not green when you see the ultraviolet spectrum as well. Ao won’t see the same green we normal people do but the series never brought any of this up. He didn’t have any problems having a different kind of perception until now so what kind of exposition is that? Hopefully it’s just a weak moment of being plain technobabble with no real significance because if it’s the explanation for a future plot-twist this thing is just plot-convenience. I mean him being somewhat alien is a part of the story at this point but all the story did was giving him a creepy hair-colour and strange eyes. He didn’t have a glowing fingertip and tried to phone home or something. He was a normal kid who looked weird – and some kids do that even without freaky mothers. They should give him some other freakish shticks to make it an issue the audience can understand. As the series portrayed it the distrustful islanders are xenophobic bullies who are like “Thanks for saving us! Now get the fuck out of here, you monster!”. I liked Gazelle’s confrontation with his dad, though, as he explained that he and his friends called Ao an alien only because his father and his friends called him that in front of them. That was a nice nod to how much influence parents have on their children. I mean they still bullied him which makes it kinda hard to understand why Ao so easily accepted their presence. “I just quoted my dad!” is a rather poor defense for bullying, I think. Anyway, Ao is supposed to be different but instead of making him seem different aside from the appearance it all just seems like a build-up for him kicking the Secret-Monsters’ asses. Now Fleur and Elena are just as boring as expected. The series has weak characters in general who leave not much of an impression. I had forgotten that president of Generation Bleu even existed until this episode. And with a character as shallow as Fleur it’s especially bad, Elena can save some face with dull anime-references but Fleur? Right now she’s just there for fanservice – and nothing else. I don’t care about her. She has nothing interesting to say, she doesn’t do anything interesting and her personality is a tsundere-kinda “I’m trying to do the right thing – all the time.”. She really needs some better dialogue to make her character even vaguely interesting. In this episode she approached Ao a few times saying “What did you come here to do, Ao?”. And she’s SO serious about it! My god, Ao already has a tendency for whining and she just encourages him to sulk in the corner pondering this stupid question. Again it’s quickly resolved but seriously this series really doesn’t stop from getting Ao into these scenarios of him sliding down the rabbithole of melodramatic suffering. He’s already there at Generation Bleu! Of course he’s gonna pilot the goddamn thing! What did Fleur think he was doing on the flight back to their headquarters? He wasn’t hired as a janitor obviously with his strange hair and all that! That wasn’t even an issue at this point, also. He already had decided to pilot it. The dialogue should’ve gone like this: Fleur: What did you come here to do, Ao? Ao: Well, talking to you wasn’t it obviously. Fleur is just coming across as insufferably arrogant asking these dramatic questions. Ao asking himself is bad enough but a self-pitying whiny hero is nothing unusual in a shounen-series. But having a female-side-character getting all high and mighty certainly isn’t the way to get me to root for her survival. Actually I might even start rooting for her demise if she doesn’t grow a character in the next episode. And I’m not talking about the Tsundere-characterization where she gets embarrassed and shit. Ao is already doing enough melodrama for the entire cast, I don’t want to see another dramaqueen entering the stage. In that regard I liked Naru more because she’s far more forceful and direct where Fleur is just distant and kinda arrogant. She wouldn’t have let Ao sit outside the flat like a lost kid waiting for his mom to come back. She would’ve simply yelled at him something “Make yourself useful, you lazy bastard!”. Well, perhaps not in those words but she’s the sidekick he needs since he literally needs a kick when he’s in these emo-phases of whining. Also, aside from the revelations about Ao’s physique the fifth episode was surprisingly light on the plot-development-part. Gazelle and the President of Generation Bleu had an interesting scene which could’ve included some hints for a future-development but it wasn’t very definitive. And that brings me back to the beginning where I said that this series needs a constant barrage of plot-twists and story-stuff. Because the characters aren’t interesting and aren’t that enjoyable to watch. They are well-handled in terms of writing but when it comes to depth and substance there’s simply none to work with in the character-department.
Another solid episode from Eureka Seven Ao but the lack of depth starts to get obvious. The characters can’t build upon the first impression they gave since there’s nothing more to them than that first impression. The story is still in the first-act-stage so there’s nothing big going on and with the tandem-rhythem of apparently using one episode for the quieter stuff and the other one being more action-oriented this was the quiet one. Of course the slice-of-life just highlighted the lacking qualities of the show so I hope that the next episode will be better again when it concentrates on the action-part of the series. Episode-Rating: 6,5/10
Eureka Seven Ao 02: The Anime Where Turquoise Hair Is Actually Weird
Eureka Seven Ao is a really visually stunning series. Along with Fate/Zero II and Aquarion Evol this series knows how to impress visually. That’s just another thing it shares with Eureka Seven. What Eureka Seven didn’t have was a tsundere with serious health-problems talking ominously about the future. Yeah, I’m talking about Naru who is kinda the moral support for Ao and weeps for him if he starts whining about his turquoise hair. Strangely he remembers his mother dying her hair so… isn’t that inspiration enough to do the same? He doesn’t need the turquoise hair to save the world, does he? But no, what does he do? He runs to a lonely place and gets all mushy staring at the sea. In the first episode I expected him to have turquoise hair only when piloting Nirvash but now it seems like he’s tuck with the terrible hair. He could shave off the hair, too, now that I think of it, becoming a Buddhist monk. Not that it will happen but I sure hope he won’t be whining about his turquoise hair again because there are options.
Synopsis: The Scab Coral throws the isle into chaos and Ao is faced with Gazelle and his buddies who demand back the bracelet. Ao remembering his mother angrily retorts that he will keep it no matter who has owned it before. Following a great insight Gazelle gives up but tells Ao that he should better deliver the isle from the threat of the Secret-monster. Ao accepts the challenge and after some colourful action manages to destroy the Secret-monster. Shortly after that Team Pied Piper arrives and Fleur Blanc finds Ao unconsciously floating in front of a big cave. After dragging him to the beach and waiting for his awakening she asks him where he put Nirvash. Ao’s doing the ignorant-innocence-routine and the girl’s doing a bad job of interrogating him. After Ao has simply walked away he hears soldiers at his grandpa’s house talking about his turquoise hair. Shocked about this he flees to a solitary spot on the island. As now Naru hears about the same thing in a different place she decides to leave the field-hospital to search for her boyfriend in all the sentimental places of the island. Finally finding him she realizes Ao’s practically swimming in an ocean of self-pity and it takes all of her dramatic ability to respond in an equally sentimental fashion that she doesn’t give a shit about his hair-colour.
I still love the series’ ability to put these little details into the dialogue to give the setting a bit more credibility. For an alternate-history-setting it’s important to at least mention the existence of a past. Most of the shounen-series in that vein don’t have an alternate-history-setting, they just have a setting which acknowledges the existence of all the typical shounen-gimmicks.
Review: One thing that impressed me about this episode was the soundtrack of Koji Nakamura. It wasn’t the very memorable kind like the Guilty Crown, Aquarion Evol soundtrack or Sakamichi no Apollon’s jazz but the music in this episode did a great deal in colouring the mood of it. Eureka Seven Ao focuses on Ao so far and everyone else stays in the background. His actions are what determine the plot so it’s interesting to see how the series wants us to judge his actions. And it’s this where the soundtrack played a great role because even in the most dire situation the music seemed quite optimistic. When Gazelle yells at Ao to take Nirvash it isn’t really a cry of despair like “Do something!”, with the optimistic soundtrack it sounds more like “You can do it!” and the mood of the scene tells you that he can. So in the end there’s nothing dangerous about the situation. Overall the episode was the heroic reversal probably everyone has expected after the drastic developments of the first episode so the only question was how well the episode would turn out to be. And I think they did a really good job of making it not too cheesy. Everyone knew that Ao would kick the Secret-Monster’s ass and it was quite spectacular but the series didn’t turn him immediately into the long-awaited messiah. Except the moments when Ao miraculously piloted Nirvash as if he was a true expert the episode showed really well that Ao wasn’t the biggest genius on earth. But it also made sure that none of his “Oh my god, what am I gonna do…?!”-tantrums turned into a melodramatic scene. Gazelle and his girlfriend Naru were there to end these moments very quickly decisively. I only hope that they keep it that way and not just did it since they wanted to conclude the introduction in two episodes.
The one thing that just doesn’t work is the series’ humour, I think. There are some charming moments that just correlate with an exciting moment but when it’s just about humour the series just isn’t funny. Ao acting ignorant while Fleur asks about Nirvash for example? Not funny in my opinion. It was just Ao acting strangely supported by the animation which just made it even worse because of how blatant the whole thing got. And Fleur was acting retarded in that scene and except if she’s generally a retarded character her behaviour was just plot-convenience for the sake of the joke.
The characters are still okay, I think and I’m curious to see what role Eureka will play. Some of those flashbacks definitely seemed like the story’s going for a tearjerker with Eureka fleeing from her responsibility. The female pilots of Team Pied Piper worry me a bit because Fleur Blanc seemed like the perfect candidate for a stupid love-triangle-sub-plot with Naru. And Elena, the pink-haired one could get quite obnoxious, too, if they overplay the Otaku-bit. I don’t know what it is with animes and otakus. All these shounen-series are about protagonists being a young idealistic courageous hero who are very bluntly telling the audience what’s good about being good. But in the same scene as this message gets thrown at you the series might say ‘Hey, but look at this side-character! He likes animes – just like you… and look! He’s a total weirdo!’. Just look at what ANN wrote here about Elena’s character: “She has such a passionate love for the two-dimensional world of television and games. She watches anime even during flight operations and quoting anime dialogue all the time, which makes her behavior not understandable.” I really can’t remember the last time when I got to see a fan of the ‘two-dimensional’ world who seemed like a normal person. Being an otaku isn’t an invitation to an asylum… The Naru-Ao-scene seemed eerily reminiscent of the Eureka-Renton-relationship, though. The one with the turquoise hair thinks he/she’s a monster and her/his partner has to assure her that he/she’s not. In contrast to Last Exile: Fam Eureka Seven Ao does much to remind the audience of the first series. I’m not really sure yet if that nostalgia improves the series or not but Eureka Seven Ao is definitely more of a sequel than Last Exile: Fam was. The setting is still very mysterious overall which I think is strange. I mean, the introduction is over but the series keeps its cards close to the chest apparently. A lot of hints got thrown around like the Eureka-flashbacks and the total mystery of the Scab Corals with the Secret-Monsters. And there seems to be a bit of a national quarreling going on as well although I don’t know whether that will play a role. It’d be great, though, especially if they really go all-out with the alternate-history-setting in this regard. It could give the story a chance to have some politically reasonable plottwists that go beyond ‘Big evil nation with big evil plan plans to do something big and evil’. Of course having Team Pied Piper with its ship as the centre of story might also mean that such details of the setting won’t matter since it focuses on the places where the ship’s at so that it becomes more a kind of journey-story instead of one with a fixed setting.
The second episode left a slightly better impression with its upbeat tone and the optimistic action. Ao’s naïve characters is handled quite well (except that he’s miraculously talented) and the rest of the cast is okay. Visually this episode is also as impressive as the first one and along the visuals some of the scenes also seem to be filled with a sense of nostalgia. All in all the episode’s a very good conclusion to the introduction-part of the series.
Daily Lives of High School Boys – First Impression
Don't worry, this is not some Boy Love, Yaoi series. It is just a group of high school adolescenct boys being stupid.
“Daily Lives of High School Boys” is this season’s “Group of High School Boys” Slice-of-Life series. Being an adaptation of a gag manga series, this show definitely wasn’t what I had expected it to be. Instead of the much expected sentimental flare, we were treated to a few good laughs instead.
After last season’s disappointing start to Kimi to Boku, I was definitely weary of this season’s “high school boys” series. Thankfully, things are looking promising for this series and definitely much more entertaining than the first episode of Kimi to Boku.
With a cast like this, it is no shock that the show heavily depended on the voice actor’s ability to deliver the lines in a comedic manner. If you had thought that some of the voice actors had sounded familiar, you would be right.
Suzumura Kenichi who voices Yoshitake is also voice actor of the character Okita-san from “Gintama”. Sugita Tomokazu who voices Hidenori in this series, is actually the voice of our beloved Sakata Gintoki from “Gintama”. As for Irino Miyu, who is the voice of Tadakuni, he was actually the voice of the hyper Chizuru from last season’s “Kimi to Boku” (the most entertaining character out of the lot, but that honestly doesn’t say too much of his abilities).
I am not sure if any of you are the type of people to concern yourself who the voice actors of a series are, but I personally find that certain voice actors have the ability to determine whether a show is worth watching or not (though the downfall is usually mostly due to a poor plot. I mean, if a story is good, its good.). In this case, the VA are definitely the ones who have captured my interest in this series.
Although I haven’t read the manga, this episode has made me certain that the manga is most likely a short-story manga. This really seems to be turning into a season of shorts with the appearance of short-story series like “Recorder to Randoseru”, “Kill me Baby” and now this series. But where the first two had failed, this series had manage to succeed. I am not saying that this show is some hidden gem, all I am saying is that the pacing is actually quite nice in this this show. Although the endings do tend to appear quite abruptly, each short story manages to develop a decent buildup before it’s climax.
Since it is a gag series, the question you are probably wondering about (or not) is whether this show is funny? After all, whats the point of having a star cast if the show is as boring as watching my dog’s attempts at chasing his tail? (Which can actually be quite amusing to watch at times.)
"You can do it!"
Well, to answer that question, there were a few moments that had cracked me up, but the episode was a bunch of hits and misses. The best short in the episode was definitely the last story about the river bank scene. I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of things, and honestly, the personalities of the characters definitely cracked me up. Then there were those moments where I was simply waiting for the punchline to be delivered only to be disappointed. In short (no pun intended), not every story is worth the watch, but with each segment being so short, it honestly isn’t that bad to sit through.
As for the structure of the jokes… for the most part of it, it is rather straightforward. The first part of the story tries to build up to a punchline/twist that is meant to be delivered towards the end of the short. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch a few laughs here and there before the big punchline, but don’t expect anything profound. Some of the jokes tend to be something that you would’ve spotted a mile away, but then there are those few fun moments that made it feel like it wouldn’t have mattered if the joke were expected simply due to the way the characters had delivered the lines.
Moving onto the characters of the series…, The show has it’s fair share of oddball personalities which ensures us that things will never really get too boring, and if they do, it’ll be over before you know it and they’d have moved onto a new story. The reactions of the characters are definitely the highlight of the series and this is where I refer back to the fact that the choice of voice actors makes a difference. The over the top exaggerated attitude of Sugita Tomokazu is always a delight to listen to, especially when the story is actually decent. However, I am still not sure if I am really loving any of the characters just yet, and this is a worry since the series really banks on the character’s ability to appeal and connect with the audience. After all, jokes are always more interesting when you love the person who’s telling them.
The character designs in this series isn’t the greatest and the animation has this dull tint to it. The background music honestly gets lost and I found myself wishing that there was some sort of “extra” element to help with boosting the mood of the series. Even when the BGM was playing, I felt like it was as good as silence. The biggest problem was probably the animation, just like the jokes, the animation was rather simple and we were constantly shrouded with zooming, panning, and still-frame shots. If you are looking for some creativity in a series, I urge you to look elsewhere. This is definitely not an inspiring series to be watching if you are a budding animator.
Overall, this is a pretty simple comedy series revolving around a bunch of high school boys simply acting like boys. With the way the series is structured, each short will be over before you know it and you’ll be hit with the next one without missing a beat. If you are looking for an on-going plot, I honestly don’t think that this series would be able to deliver one. Each short seems to be unrelated to the previous and it feels more like you are watching a bunch of kids fooling around after school each day (like the title suggests). I am honestly not a huge fan of shorts, but I’m willing to give this series a shot. Hopefully this show will turn out to be a worthy series to watch out for.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (was tempted to give it a 6.5, but the last short was good and the episode wasn’t all that bad as a whole)
So, did the first episode turn out to be better than what you had thought it’d be? Or was this just another one of the many “rubbish” series that’s out this season?
Like it or hate it? I’d love to hear what you think of the show. = )