Impressions: Winter 2016, Week One

This is going to be so much less time-intensive than full episode reviews. Plus, I get to talk about more stuff. In the words of Musani’s director, it’s a ‘win-win’!

Myriad Colours Phantom World

I’m disappointed in you, KyoAni. You start with breath-taking pixelated effects to establish the fantastical setting, and then settle for this. On top of that, cliché jokes about cliché harems don’t work if your show is already quickly turning into a cliché harem. Even the pixie was pretty fanservicey when she ate all that pudding from between her legs.

There ought to be a lot of discussion on offer about the implications of fantasy and our perception of reality – the dancing poles versus the dead ones, for instance. There ought to be. But then the protagonist started pointed out how much her breasts were bouncing. There’s poor pacing too, but really, even if there was, how can anything feel serious after you’ve solved the episode’s problem with this season’s rendition of Jiggly Jiggly Heaven?

Bring on the filler episodes.

Sushi Police

The Japanese version of The Incredibles lacks Pixar’s multi-national appeal. I mean, it starts with the same narrative, the public turning against them newspaper-style and all. While I can understand why Mr Incredible beats up bad guys, why should I agree with these weirdos that mayonnaise soy sauce is a crime against humanity?

It would also be nice if a three-minute-long episode didn’t say ‘ten minutes earlier’ before getting to the scene we saw before a minute and a half later, with no cross-cutting.

Too bad a pretty good theme by Perfume and treadmill-dancing OK Go! is wasted on a 3D short where everyone looks like they’re made of slug.

GATE: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

So, our new baddie’s a rapist. At least the first few minutes of this proves that point I keep trying to make that sex in anime isn’t always porn.

Still, while he follows the noble path of running all seven deadly sins through his system, we get the impression that the SDF are the opposite, refusing to have company with the Capital’s whores. But that’s only because of the diseases – a good note that an army is about efficiency, not ethics. We all know how willing Itami was with Rory back in the first season…

New season’s certainly shaking things up. Erm, yes, that’s the joke you get. No, there won’t be any jokes on this blog about starting the season off with a bang. No. Stop it.

Divine Gate

So, another show about gates opens with a girl being put through a horrible ordeal.

I can’t fault those great tonal shifts using colour – the brightness of the Adapter’s world (did J.J. Abrams order that lens flare at one point?) against the rainy dourness of Aoto’s home, albeit with the Water Fairy’s joyful presence sticking out to make me feel how pitiful his situation is. Both strike you harder than Aoto’s wet fist. But the well-paced unveiling of his back-story hits you the hardest.

There were a couple of moments where the animation didn’t feel solid, but that’s outweighed by the tour-de-force I got to feast my eyes on the other 99% of the time.

There’s also a goody variety of styles of exposition. Everyone’s voice reveals us something about the world, and the more blunt exposition comes from a madman, which makes it feel less orchestrated and more watchable. Also liking the theme music, and the girl in green (not just because the blog is green).

Ojisan to Marshmallow

Ore Monogatari definitely caught on.

I’ll admit I’m already a sucker for the girl’s antics. Would’ve gladly had that marshmallow out of her mouth.

Also nice to see her being the most active one, even if it’s mostly for comedy and cute moments. Watching her on screen has to be said to be indulgent, but that’s what marshmallows are like. That’s what falling in love is like. With marshmallows, at least.

Conclusion from this season so far: marshmallows > sushi.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi

 

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I’m sure Satoru’s ‘Revivals’ made me go back a few minutes each time too. That didn’t feel like a third of an hour. But the thought of getting this every week… nope, don’t need time travel. It’s worth the wait.

Satoru’s voice has to be one of my favourite male performances in anime already, and it’s a new VA. Wow! I love the interplay between his speech as narrator and as a character. The challenge given to him by the editor, of ‘digging deeper’, is also an incredibly well realised hook for his inner conflict. What does it really mean for him to ‘be seen’ in his work?

With that question underpinning every move he makes, and remakes, here’s a beautiful weight to everything you see, hear and feel in this show. The last one matters most. You feel his Revivals, the scream of his neighbour, and the weight of his heart. And the weight of his mother’s being cut open with a knife.

Painfully good.

On the Catch-up List:

  • Durarara!!x2 Ketsu. Still haven’t finished Ten. I think I’m on episode ten. Huh.
  • Dagashi Kashi. Doesn’t look good, heard it was good, so it’ll probably be amazing. Have to remember how much of a surprise Sore ga Seiyuu was.
  • Assassination Classroom. Never finished the first, having gotten bored with it going downhill and losing its edge.  I’ll give it another go if I have the time.
  • Oshiete! Galko-chan. Forgot I was going to watch three shorts this week. Feels bad that I could have at least watched this instead of Sushi Police. Someone remind me again why I watched Sushi Police. I forgot.

 

That’s it for this week! Next week might not have thoughts on Sushi Police and Myriad Colours Jiggly Jiggly World, unless the next episode of the latter convinces me to start calling it by its proper name again.

What did you think of this week? Any good shows I miss? Also, what do you think of these new, compact impression of each episode? Have your say in the comments below!

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Current theme music: MYLK – Candy Pop

 

 

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