Chrono’s Spring Impressions

Spring is here, and with it a new season of anime. I very likely will not blog any of these series, but I thought I could share some of my thoughts. Insert standard “These are my opinions” disclaimer here. Ignore as necessary. This covers only what I have watched so far (duh). There may or may not be a follow up post. This post is spoiler free.

My favorite scene lasts for five seconds.

Nichijou

To be blunt: this was painfully boring. I could not stand half the cast, the half I could stand were barely featured, and the jokes mostly fell flat. While I am not alone in that opinion, this seems to be one of the more divisive shows so far, so I’m interested to see where popular opinion will wind up. It does have some pluses vs Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star in that there are actual male characters, but it remains to be seen what they’ll amount to.

The humor here tends toward the absurd, but in my opinion is still much too mundane. Something is off when the funniest segment lasts for maybe five seconds. But maybe that’s just because the show’s secondary appeal (cute girls being cute) does not appeal to me in the least. So if that’s your sort of thing then by all means you’ll likely enjoy this.

As usual, PA Works deliver on the visuals.

Hanasaku Iroha

A pretty good episode, all around, except for one thing. The first scene was amazing because of the rapport Ohana had with her mother; she was wonderfully sarcastic and it felt so fun. But as the episode wears on that wit disappears and is replaced by very forced metaphors. All is not lost, though, if the ED is any indication of where it’s going. I imagine a slice of running-an-inn life could be pretty fun to watch.

Unfortunately this show also is drowning in some of my least favorite tropes, and when it comes down to it what we’ve got here is your basic Fish out of Water type story. Compare with Spirited Away. And, as Fractale showed us last season, we all know how well competing with Ghibli turns out. But I’m still cautiously optimistic about this one, despite PA Works track record, as long as they focus on the parts that are actually interesting, and tone down on the lame metaphors.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Tolerance.

Tiger and Bunny

Tiger and Bunny was surprisingly better than anticipated—also, slightly more enraging. Remember when I praised Wandering Son last season for its sensitive and wonderful portrayal of a gay character? Well, this show undoes all of that. The world is a worse place because of fucking Fire Emblem. I mean, I get that they wanted to show he was gay without devoting very much screen time to him—because you can’t let the gays have that—but did they have to go and make him Mab, Queen of the Faeries, while they were at it? When you can tell he’s gay from his wrist movement, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

To be fair, it could well be that this is a setup for a later reveal, where we learn that his Homosexuality (with a capital H) is just an act to get attention for his sponsor. Or something. That wouldn’t be too much of a stretch based on what we’ve seen, but that sort of speculation is a bit beside the point when my main problem is the offensive portrayal to begin with.

Steins;Gate

I do not have any complaints about this show. Though unfortunately associated with another work with a similarly ridiculous title, this one is definitely in the running for best first episode of the season. Granted, my most anticipated shows of the season have yet to air, so that might be a bit premature to say. But that’s never stopped me before!

I agree with Scamp, that it’s the little things that give it that mysterious feel that leaves you wanting more here. But other than that, by the end of the episode you’re left questioning what may or may not have happened in the episode. Which has some possibly unwelcome parallels to Chaos;Head, but I’ll give this show the benefit of the doubt.

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11 Comments

  1. Posted April 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Steins;Gate definitely did a good job at setting up a mysterious setting. The whole notion of false memories and the possibility of time travel is interesting, and was very well handled. I also liked the mad scientist character.

  2. Posted April 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Nicihjou failed to tickle my funny bone except for one scene too. The sausage gag really did it for me while everything else was a bit mediocre.

    Oh my God, Fire Emblem…he even has his pinky up in that screencap, I didn’t notice that before *facepalm*

  3. Posted April 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Nichijou- So awesome for me I died laughing with that whole sauage scene, colorful animation and fun characters so far I like Nano and Hakase those two are really fun to watch.

    Stiens;Gate- Not bad great setup for the characters so far things are really going good gotta watch more!

  4. Micchon
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    I actually found the character Matsumae character rather sweet. Sickly sweet. Like she crawls out of nowhere into some cutesy Tomatsu Haruka clone (oh wait, Tomatsu can actually play mean people).

  5. Posted April 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m agree it’s nice Nichijou actually has male characters, but I actually like it so far… kind of. It’s not hilarious, but it might get better.

    I thought of Fire Emblem as an anime-ized Ru Paul (he looks just Ru in drag in the opening credits). We’ll see whether he’s a tribute or a parody (I’ll be pretty upset if he’s the latter). But I never expect anime to portray gays seriously at this point. :(

    • Chronolynx
      Posted April 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I probably wouldn’t be half as upset as I am if he didn’t come hot on the heels (see what I did thar) after last season’s Makoto. But eh, who am I kidding. I’d still have ranted about it. Just another reason to miss Wandering Son.

  6. Posted April 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Hands down to Hanasuka Iroha for having the best first episode. Well, the only ones I’ve seen were this and Steins;Gate.

  7. Posted April 11, 2011 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Steins;Gate shares a naming convention with Chaos;Head because both are adaptations of visual novels by roughly the same staff–5pb. and Nitro+.

    And in both games, the writer drives really hard into the whole idea of seemingly weird/spectacular/horrifying things happening to the main character, yet leaving the actual sanity of the main character very up in the air.

    After all, in both stories, it’s never very clear what is some supernatural, crazy thing happening to the MC, and what is some ridiculous delusion they’ve come up with, in their loneliness/complete lack of life meaning, etc.

  8. Inushinde
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    So far, I’m finding Nichijou surprisingly enjoyable. While that jump rope bit was my favorite part as well, I found quite a few other scenes that tickled my funny bone, especially with the professor involved. Nothing past a giggle or two, mind you, but it’s a start. Definitely a step up from the OAV, which almost had me bored to tears.

    Steins;Gate is nothing spectacular so far, but it’s done well in piquing my interest, and I’ll be following to see if it turns out any better than Chaos;Head. It’s made me think a bit though, which gives it a few more brownie points than it probably deserves from me. But hey, a quality mystery is always fun.

    Hanasuka Iroha started off on a very good note, and aside from more than a few resemblances to Spirited Away, nothing’s really bothered me so far. But man have those resemblances nagged at me.

    All in all, a very strong bunch of shows to start off the spring season with, and I can only hope that they continue as such.

  9. Posted April 17, 2011 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure what it was with Hanasaku Iroha that bothered you. I never even once thought about any metaphors in the series, the second episode showed promise in character development so I think we have a good show to look forward to.

    There are obviously a ton of interesting series airing this spring… felt like last winter was sort of a dead run in comparison despite Level E, Kimi ni Todoke S2 and… and… god damn it, I feel like I forgot one of my favorites last season… either way, excellent article. Have fun!

    • Darkfireblade25
      Posted April 17, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      madoka? korezom? horou musuko?

      on a side note, we need more of these seasonal impressions. always good to have a legitimate analysis of the appeal of the series before others check it out

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