If anime is about the “WTF moment”, I think I have reached the stage of Nirvana. I just watched some of the new offerings of the fall 2008 season, and one anime struck out as one of the strangest anime ever. Instead of following traditional convention to pick a series based on prior interest, I decided to pick out whatever appears on the Rss Feed. What appeared first was Casshern Sins. Anyway, if there is ever a “strange” anime category to kick off my fall season watching, it must be Casshern Sins. With my bias toward old-school anime, will this break the mold or just follow suit like how all re-makes have generally failed?
After watching that totally bizarre old school anime, I decided that it is time for a series that I know something about, which is Kuroshitsuji. I did read the manga after realizing that there is a manga for this series. In addition, there was some bad blood among some readers of THAT for portraying this show as a yaoi show during our preview, and I got to review it to see if the vibes are going to be apparent for any would-be viewer.
Since I am on a roll of emo-ness and horror, I decided to watch something lighthearted. Hyakko comes to mind immediately. It is almost diabolical if I go into this show with the killing hands of a cold-blooded critic. Nonetheless, a job has to be done and this will be the third series in this review. Ready to know about my impressions?
Let’s go. The Fall 2008 season is upon us. The misery of viewing crap is upon me, you lucky readers.
A humanoid named Casshern is killing tons of robots. These robots alleged that he will bring about the destruction of the world, and they have to consume him in order to end this crisis. Although he does not understand what they are saying, he fought these robots that attempted to kill him. Dispatching them with ease, another girl suddenly appears and says that she knows him very well and mysteriously disappears.
Casshern stands in a wasteland, seeing a young child. The young child seems to be a malfunctioning robot that do not have much time to live. After talking to the child, it seems that Casshern has no memories of who he is. A stray metallic robot interrupted their idle conversation, as it tried to kill the young child. It also stated that the child might be human rather than a robot. Casshern went into overdrive rage and brutally destroyed that robot. Casshern also managed to scare the young child, as the child’s guardian. That mysterious girl then appeared again. She told him that she knew him very well, and he is created to be an assassin.
It’s a remake? I guess it caters to old school anime viewers? Oh, the graphics is good during the fight scene. God, don’t force me to write a good comment about something that totally did not make any FREAKING SENSE.
As explained by Fin, this show is in fact meant to be cheesy with good action scenes to cater to those interested in old school action. I can see the charm of that, despite being unable to appreciate it too much. However, if its aim is to be rather cheesy, it is doing a good job at it, and the action scenes ain’t too shabby either.
I sat down, watched it for 15 minutes (which took me one hour to hit the 15 minute mark because it was very boring) and patiently waited for a sparkle of interest. It didn’t matter. Logical sense tells me that as a discerning anime viewer, I should give it a few more episodes. Girlfriend told me not to watch it after I started complaining at the 7th minute mark, but I continued viewing to have a decently objective standpoint. However, from a very pragmatic viewpoint, this show blows. Honestly, I feel like I am being an absolute a-hole for saying this, but this show does not excite me a single bit. I mean, there are shows like Gurren Lagaan that I did not like a lot, but I obviously can see the potential of greatness for shounen fans.
The main plot goes something like this: Casshern must be dead, but no one knows who he is. He emos and kills people for fun. You know that a show is doomed when the only redeeming fact comes from a barely-average fight sequence. The seiyuu sucks to be honest. Either that or they are cast very badly because no one sounds half-natural to me. The only natural sounding people are the robots, and that is very sad.
Graphics are old school and below par for me. I was expecting something better in the mold of Gurren Lagaan but I was disappointed to say the very least. People say that a shoujo anime viewer cannot appreciate good shows. Sure, we can’t, but we can at least be open-minded enough to tell you that it really sucks. It does, and no attempt to cotton bud this thing can help this first episode.
It throws things at you that makes little attempt for future exposition and sense. The all-so-emo male lead that cannot remember his identify is such an age-old cliche that can bore the most excitable anime viewer out there. Psgels has some better words for this show, but I think he is really trying hard due to the style of graphics that caters to his viewing habits. OP sucks too, by the way. I found it so queer.
Verdict: Unless you are ready to hold up on a emo-angsty action show that has not shown any ability for potential, stay clear. Of course, if you are a fan of Tohru Furuya or is a fervent mecha/action viewer, you do not need any second hesitation to pick this up.
Sebastian is the chief butler for Ciel, the heir to the Phantomhive empire that has strong economic powers in the game industry. Sebastian is preparing the mansion for a visit by a French businessman, as Ciel wakes up looking particularly grouching. While Sebastian prepares for it, the other workers overhear the conversation between Ciel and Sebastian. They decided to impress Ciel by accomplishing the cleaning, cooking and gardening. However, they are totally incompetent, and Sebastian has to clean up their mess.
When the French Businessman came, Sebastian is able to remedy the issues that were screwed up. The french businessman clearly wanted Ciel to invest in his factory, but Ciel was simply concentrated on the game they are playing. During the game, there are some clear premonitions on what is going to happen, as Ciel tells Sebastian to give the man a Phantomhive welcome. It turns out this French man wanted to cheat Ciel of some money after closing his factory, as he spoke on the phone.
He also told the other party that he does not care about his workers, and only wanted to cheat Ciel’s money. Just then, it seems that there was a phantom staring at him while a haunting voice tells him about death, pain and broken legs. Eventually, he freaked out and dislocated his ankle while moving. When he ran to crawl away, he found Sebastian and tried to hide in a small cupboard. It turned out that this cupboard is a stove, and he was burned alive. During the aftermath, it seemed that Sebastian simply gave that man a mirage to freak him out, rather than truly killing him. At the end of the show, we see a flashback of Ciel’s parents.
This is how you make a decent introductory episode, Casshern Sins! You have a premonition of something. Then you start off with something casual before hitting the climax with a surprising twist at the very end (a very vicious one indeed). This is what defines good plot writing rather than throwing random action scenes for impressing others. You will never impress me with that sub-standard writing of yours, Casshern Sins!
This is also the first anime where the anime OP completely fits the series. The only yaoi vibe that you CAN even remotely feel is during the OP to be honest. I have a few seconds of total annoyance, but it passes by very quickly. I hope it does not degenerate into the abyss of yaoi vibes, but I did not feel that much of it even when I am reading the manga. I doubt you will feel it as well.
In terms of characters, they really found the right seiyuu for the job. Sebastian sounds just downright nice and creepy at the same time, but do you really expect anything else from Daisuke Ono. Getting Maaya Sakamoto to do the voice of Ciel is great as well because she is a very versatile seiyuu that can fit into many roles without blinking an eye.
Graphics seem somewhat waning at times during the character profiles and close ups, and this does not spell good for a series at the first episode. It is a bit worrying for me that the quality might drop after a few episodes. I am also extremely annoyed at the three retards. I really hate stupid characters. Other than that, it’s a very strong first episode.
Verdict: Ignore those ignorant people (like me) that this is a yaoi-vibed show. If it can repeat its antics in the first episode, we are ready for a total romp of a ride. Totally watching more episodes.
A girl named Nomura Ayumi separated from her friends as she left her phone back in class. However, she realized she is lost in the big school. This school is Kamazino, a private academy with primary to university levels of education. Ayumi is someone who is shy and finds it hard to be straight forward with what she feels. Just when she panics, she found a fellow classmate Tatsui.
As they moved around, it turns out that Tatsui is lost too after Ayumi finally gained the courage to question Tatsui. The girls are soon shocked to see a girl named Kageyama Torako jump out of a nearby window, seemingly spraining her ankle in the process. Torako started screaming with pain, and Ayumi wanted to call for help. However, a girl named Saotome Suzume appears as well and Torako miraculously felt better. It turns out that the two girls who jumped from the second storey window are also lost, and they moved on together.
After wandering around, Tatsui mentions that their dominant hand differences make it impossible to find their way. Ayumi also reveals that she has a GPS, but the signal disappeared. However, they have enough information. They then tried to open the locked door that is impeding their progress, with Suzume breaking the nob. Torako then picks up a brick. Tatsui tries to stop her, but the brick still broke during their struggle. A teacher saw them in the act, but Torako punches him right in the gut. When they finally reached their classroom, this teacher is their form teacher and criticizes them strictly.
It is funny and ridiculous. That two qualities should be more than enough to entice anyone to watch this. I totally adore Suzume and Torako, because they are so darn funny. I have this liking for silent characters, since I find that a strangely endearing quality. Torako is just down right spunky without being a tsundere at all. She’s the perfect archetype for Impz’s favorite girl.
In addition, I like some of the random jokes thrown in. They are hardly laugh out loud sequences, but they manage to hold my interest to my very end. I have repeated many times that characters make or break a slice of life series, and this makes it through the finishing line with a time that nearly beat the Commonwealth record. It’s no mean feat.
I really did not like Ayumi. Yes, I have shown a tendency to dislike any shy, weak type of girl. I like my spunky Kyoko-sama, Shuurei and Sheryl Nome (yes, I betrayed Ranka) rather than those “oh no, I need to be saved from my distress.” That turns me off the most, and it is the actual reason why some shoujo series just annoy the living lights out of me. Nonetheless, it is a minor point because she is not the focal point of the series, and she does not annoy me as much as Sora from Sketchbook. Yes, my hate of things stay for a long time.
In addition, the graphics are pretty average, but it is expected for a series such as this. The OP is typical pop, but it’s all good.
Verdict: Light-hearted with a tinge of peaceful craziness is prevalent in this series. I don’t think that this will have any actual story plot, but it is just as good as it can be. I see it as a less cute and crazier version of Manabi Straight, and that is not exactly a bad thing. Worth viewing for one episode.