Impressions! Spring 2016, Week Two

High School Fleet’s maiden voyage is a success! But Mayoiga misfires as it reaches its destination.

Even without Kabaneri airing this week, there are still too many shows grabbing my interest…

Flying Witch

Kiki’s Delivery Service and Non Non Biyori had a baby and gave it blissful comedy, serene beauty and a mandrake that screamed magic realism over the whole town. Relaxing into itself as if it’s a story we’ve been following for years, Flying Witch has a soaring debut.

And it is a story we’ve known for ages. New, weird girl moves into and disrupts the normal, peaceful life of a town. Some accept her, some only after she shows them her world. Nao may never really get along with her mandrake-pulling lifestyle. But nothing feels deliberate. The airiness of Makoto goes hand in hand with the still yet moving wonder of her flight.

A calmer, less fanservice-y, less romance-centered Waiting in the Summer. It can only forge its own exciting path from here.

Mayoiga

Some ups, some downs. The gang start to shine when they start getting to know each other. Otherwise, when commenting on the village or otherwise setting the scene, they mould into one bland recitation of important plot dynamics.

Yottsun was cool at first, but he’s further proof that not everyone is starting a ‘new life’ here; we can guess he was this quick to switch from rap to rape before. Minsumune’s spontaneous protection pact from Hayato nicely explains why he’s naturally eager to fall for people. And what was that banging with the bus driver, and why did he come to find the village after that?

Meanwhile, Lion’s distance hasn’t fleshed her out more, Masaki’s too soon being reduced to a victim, Koharun just seems stupid, and all the shadiness is missing its impact since there aren’t any relationships worth treasuring yet. The lovey-duvey couple even seem to mock such things.

With the over-dramatic still shots of everyone at the end, and the first ‘someone went missing’ mystery underway, I’m worried Mayoiga is too soon turning to a tired formula that Corpse Party killed and no-one can resurrect.

High School Fleet

The feel of K-On already aboard a plot of intrigue in an exciting naval alternative Japan. Where do I enlist?

Shipping jokes might get fired from every angle, but underneath these cute girls doing cute things there’s a Gakkou Gurashi!-esque interplay with the adult reality of a militaristic empire. The notes of cups smashing in the galley, and the SoL humour cutting into serious moments of uncertainty as their ship was fired on, established a great sense of irony between dreams and dangers.

Wanting to sail their ship peacefully with a ‘family’, still in training, these girls are every high school student just wanting a normal life. But will protecting the sea work if those choppy waters spell disaster for them?

The CGI looks great, too.

Sousei no Onmyouji

Familiar shounen fare with our heroes decreed as holding the fate of humanity in their hands. But Arima’s eccentricity made it hard to take seriously. None of the protection of normality we felt before; in a battle of pride against vengeance, the real loser was our heroes’ grounding in reality. Too much plot, not enough of the natural characters we started with.

The exorcists group really lacks a spark of the imagination. A bunch of copy-paste guys in robes led by a too-genki-for-his-own good nutcase? Please, take me back to Magano. Though the monsters there might already be growing stale too. The emotionless still-image flashbacks already are.

Flashy fight scenes, but they feel more engineered than an eight-episode-long Naruto duel. At least we might start focusing more on the marriage issue and become some kind of Nisekoi with otherworldly nasties.

Kiznaiver

If Kokoro Connect was about kicking the shit out of each other, we still wouldn’t be close to Kiznaiver’s sharp, electric delivery of a normal world getting torn apart. A mysterious girl throws a bunch of cliches into disarray. But is it only pain that they’ll share?

Character type is a sin, and we can expect events to break down everyone from their numb performance to honest, painful revelations about themselves and each other. What’s unknown is who Sonozaki represents other than a bunch of mascots that get more sinister the more they parade around a disco-lit hospital. Katsuhira sells the painless protagonist well, though it’s Chidori I’m more drawn to given her interactions with the rest of the cast.

Fantastic music and audio-visual effects pulled me deeper and deeper into the bizarre dramatic action, but I’m sure the plot will have the last laugh.

Boku no Hero Academia

The problems of this superhero society are turned on their heads. Deku’s heroism is born not from the advantage of a quirk, but the fundamental willpower to save that every human should have. It’s an emotional turning point, and All Might’s weakness helped stress that strength comes from the soul.

Katsuki kicking the bottled villain spoke again of how heroic powers in the wrong hands, even if you call yourself a hero, can lead to more problems made than solved. His anger also contrasted him to Deku; a hot-head reckless with the world talking down to a kid who’s reckless with his own life for the sake of others. Our hero is a good Christian role-model already.

While Deku begins his part in saving the world, it looks like Boku no Hero will keep saving shounen.

Netoge

Whoever writes these generic harem shows, I wish they’d stop proving they could make a fun comedy without all the fanservice. Kyou’s in-game ‘girl’ self  baring all but her experience points felt beyond unnecessary for an episode which managed to make persuading Segawa to join the club sound like inviting her to join a foursome. Keep the cheap boob shots at bay and do more of that, please. It was genuinely hilarious.

Ako’s conflict of game vs reality was entertaining, and Segawa has the opposite kind of insecurity. Our protagonist however seems far from the bland stereotype he ought to fill. Out to prove his patheticness rather than his worth to the girl who loves him, trying to keep the virtual and the real separate, might he only be drawn into Ako’s delusion? He fell in love with the virtual her; the real her may only draw him in further.

Plot, premise and characters are all still making me much happier than this genre should.

Short-Cuts

  • Space Patrol Luluco. Is ‘fighting for justice’ symbolizing the orgasm, or something much deeper? Either way, Trigger’s mixing of the base, the bonkers and the thematically brilliant has me hooked.

The Drop Zone

  • Sakamoto desu Ga. Browsing Youtube gives me more laughs than this, and Sakamoto offers nothing more than its comedy. Don’t get the hype, don’t want to.
  • Joker Game. I fold. I’m sure you were bluffing anyway.
  • Bungou Stray Dogs. Too much of the humour is lost on me, and too much of my time is lost with it.

That’s it for this week! Until next time!

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