The second wave of fall anime impressions is now on the way. Despite my huge dislike for harem shows (particularly stupid ones… wait ain’t all HAREM SHOWS STUPID?), I decided that I have not burned my fingers enough. Putting my hands into a hot stove of harem crap sounds like a good way to wake me up from my stupidity. Will Akane prove this skeptical blogger wrong with good impressions?
After watching Akane, I decided to deal with a series that I have been looking forward to. Yozakura Quartet seems like a quirky mix of action, monsters and comedy. Something with that premise will always attract me, but I have been woefully disappointed at many of such offerings that promised so much. How will Quartet fare against its contemporaries?
Lastly but definitely not least, Tales of the Abyss awaits me. With Tear Grants, the woman among women, it will really take a royal screw up for them to fail this series. Nonetheless, RPGs are traditionally crappy when they are adapted. Tell me one adaptation that actually reaches the echelon of Simoun, Gurren Lagaan and I will give you a virtual hazelnut infused chocolate cookie.
Akane Iro ni Somarusaka
Yuuhi was bullied by two guys only for Jun’ichi Nagase to rescue her. Jun’ichi seemed to have a fearsome reputation that was actually exaggerated by rumors, which was the reason why the bullies run away. Before Jun’ichi has the chance to get her name, she was hustled off by her servant. Jun’ichi has a younger sister Minato who generally takes care of him. Minato complains that Jun’ichi did not do his work during the holidays, despite his assurance that he will do it. The next day, Jun’ichi woke up late, and Minato forced him to cycle up a steep slope. It’s the opening ceremony and Siina (a very popular president) greeted the student population.
Back in class, the form teacher made fun of Jun’ichi. The teacher also introduced Yuuhi as a transfer student. Yuuhi spotted Jun’ichi in the class and the teacher questioned if Jun’ichi assaulted another person AGAIN. The teacher and Jun’ichi then squabbled a little about this rumor. Yuuhi, after the introductory comments, asked Jun’ichi to bring her around. Yuuhi also asked why Jun’ichi had so scary rumors, and it seemed that Jun’ichi used to be a delinquent.
After school, a servant picked up Yuuhi. Jun’ichi and Minato noted that Yuuhi is very rich (due to a servant bringing her back home). Minato noted that Yuuhi looked a little sad to leave the group so hastily, and Jun’ichi said that the rich has their own problems. The next day,Tsukasa Kiryu, a girl who offered Yuuhi a tour, questioned why Yuuhi is hanging out with Jun’ichi so much. She asked if Yuuhi is in love with her, or that Jun’ichi is chasing her. When Jun’ichi appeared, she told him to do the right thing. He started thinking about ridiculous stuff in his head. Without thinking clearly, he kissed her and he received a complete beating. When he got home, Minato ridiculed him. The doorbell then rang, and it was Yuuhi. She said she was going to move in since they will be engaged soon.
The graphics are all right? Nope, it is not that good anyway. If it proves me wrong, the main lead looks like someone with a bit of spine at the very least. It also does not take itself too seriously as yet, and should never take itself seriously. With an extremely strong cast of seiyuu, this will be a total bonanza as well for any big fans of Aya Hirano, Rie Tanaka, Rie Kugimiya, Emiri Katou and Marina Inoue. There’s a lot of great voices here.
Sometimes, a strong cast cannot save a medicore script. Because of the fact that the series does not really seem to take itself too seriously, I really cannot see this going beyond average. When you have a powerhouse like Kyoto Animation churning out harem shows such as Clannad and Kanon (with After this season), you really have to be unique to impress. This show does not, and will be in the shadow of the powerhouses.
Graphics is somewhat inconsistent at times, particularly on far shots where the animation company TNK clearly shows its lack of budget. In addition, the OP is very average harem stuff that is easily forgettable. The story tries hard but there is little direction. I also hate the “all the girls who are hot are interested in the main guy” type of plot. It bores me to no end. That is also why I like EF because it tries to keep it simple with 1-2 girls. That is more than enough rather than throwing half a dozen girls enamoring over one single guy. What for?
In addition, engaged during this modern time and age? WTF?
Verdict: If you are able to tolerate stuff like Gift: Eternal Rainbow, H20 and all the other random harem shows, this might be for you. All non-harem enthusiasts should keep well clear.
In the city of Sakurashin, where both humans and yokai exist, a girl named Hime meets her assistant Kyousuke. At night, a suspect threatens a young girl with a gun and left when she fainted from fear. In the Yokai defense headquarters, Ao and Kotoha met their president Akina. Akina then discussed work with Hime, and the work involves the suspect. The suspect escaped from jail by leaping across the 10 meter wall. After leaving the office, Kyousuke wondered about the competence of the group, but Hime said they need all the help they can get.
Hime coincidentally met Akina at a restaurant, but their short chat was cut short with the news of the suspect. Hime was able to contact the suspect, but he vanishes into thin air after a few rounds of fighting. Hime realizes that he is not a normal monster, and wondered if he’s related to a certain powerful enemy. Hime then reported to her superiors, and assured that she will protect the town.
The next night, the yokai taunted Hime by assaulting a report on air. Hime confronted him and he tried to escape only for Ao to find him with her psychic powers. He is then surrounded as Kotoha surrounded the area with ice and created machine gun to plummet him with gunfire. The young girl that was assaulted by the yokai then appeared, threatening to shoot them as the yokai promised to take revenge for her (she wants to revenge against the humans who caused a terrible wound on her). Akina’s power negates everything and destroyed the yokai. The girl questioned why Hime is helping the humans, and Hime mentioned that only Akina can help. Akina offered his help, but the girl rejected it as she really hated humans.
The characters are by far the strongest weapon that this show has. In terms of story, it is the typical monster and human world with a twist: monsters and humans are working together to protect the humans. In a way, that feels somewhat like Hellboy. I do not even know why I suddenly thought of this analogy. It also feels more like a spunky version of Rental Magica, with a much better main male leader that has a compelling if unspectacular character.
The music in this series is good but not outstanding. I also like how they introduce the story but I really hope it will not be a “weekly monster” series. Give me some plot please, and the ending part of this episode gives a premonition of something more sinister. Good, I am glad that it is not likely to be a monster an episode gives Impz the bored pills.
There’s nothing problematic with this as yet. It’s surprising how I have difficulties pointing out the flaws of this series.
Verdict: Decently quirky with interesting plot ahead. There’s really nothing sparkling here, but nothing that will deter anyone from watching. One to keep in view.
Tales of the Abyss
Tales of the Abyss takes place on Auldrant, a planet composed of elementary particles called Fonons For much of Auldrant’s history, only six fonons were known to exist, representing the elements of Shadow, Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and Light; but eventually a seventh fonon, controlling Sound, is discovered. Its discovery brings great chaos: using this newest Seventh Fonon allows one to read the future. One such Seventh Fonist, Yulia Jue, puts in place a future for the world for thousands of years to come, with the promise of unlimited prosperity at its end. This prophecy of the future’s set path becomes known as the “Score” and is documented on “Fonstones” scattered throughout the world.
Luke is a rich boy that is never allowed of his house due to a kidnapping seven years ago. He has a childhood friend/servant by the name of Guy who is clearly scared of women. One faithful day, he decided to hide in his favorite tree, only for Natalia (a princess he is engaged with) and Guy to find him. Natalia talked about their engagement and asked if he remembers their promise. Luke said that he cannot remember anything since he lost all his memories during the kidnapping.
Luke is told by his servant that his parents are looking for him. As he entered the meeting room, his sword teacher Van is also there. Luke complains about not being able to get out of the house, but Van pacifies him by telling him that he will train with him all day. A woman named Tear then started singing the first Fonon to make everyone unconscious. She then tried to assault Van, but Luke stopped her blow. They then had a hyper resonance when the two came into contact. They appeared in a forest, and had to fight off hordes of monsters. Tear realized that Luke has never fought a real battle, but complimented him on his abilities. When they wiggled out of the forest, they found a guy who is willing to transport them back to their city.
Animation is good here, with many of the battle scenes particularly fluid. If you watch the fight between Tears and Van, you will know what I am talking about. In terms of the seiyuu, there is really nothing to complain about with a pretty strong cast. You know that it will be just fine as it is. Yukana as Tear Grants (she also voiced her in the game) is just the absolute right cast for a character that is just so awesome.
Can you scream “I am woman with a vengeance” faster than Tear Grants? Tear is one of the most awesome female leads in any game I played, and she did not disappoint me in the anime adaptation too. She’s hot, she’s cute, she’s cool and most of all, she likes cute things. What’s there not to like about her at all? Guy is my second favorite character since he seems so carefree, but the story plot will thicken when they reveal more of him.
I still cannot stand Luke. He’s freaking immature, annoying and a total spoiled brat. You will get to see a different but equally annoying side in the mid-part of the series (if they did not change the story). Luke is a main character that is stereotypical of a shounen show: soppy, ignorant and generally like a total punk. It’s a good thing that the other characters in this series is bloody kick ass.
Verdict: The first episode sets the foundation of the story with some seemingly generic characters (seemingly being the key word). Nonetheless, this RPG series has very strong characters, and I am looking forward for more of this.