Spring 2016 First Ep Impressions – Part 1

So the Spring time has begun, and in a weird sense of timing I’m actually on holiday now so I get to watch all the episodes unlike before. Even with that I’m already a week late with all my posts. Now as per usual. Minimal plot/spoiler, going off my impressions post ep1 and just talk about the relevant stuff.

SP - MayoigaMayoiga

Well that was a full chuuni-fest, where the cast of 20+ characters are all mentally impaired idiots with various personality disorders. The set up is precarious in that you can tell there’s going to be a massacre, yet like all teen slasher movies you don’t care about any of them at this early stage. The director once again weaved his magic handling this large cast of characters, successfully identified the key individuals while giving relevant secondary characters memorable moments to at least leave some impression. There are still plenty of mystery, plenty of superstition, and plenty of red herrings that are designed to spook the audience. There weren’t any big shocks yet, but the episode has done a nice job slowly building the tension, most notably by one person’s massive meltdown. I expect to see deaths fairly soon, especially since some characters has repeated seiyuu, and some has “past experience” listed in the site instead of “personality”. I’m intrigued, but I won’t be surprised if this went overblown in the melodrama given the writer. Cautiously optimistic at the moment, so it all depends to see how the cards fall in the subsequent episodes.

Mayoiga - ep1

Hype Level: 3/5

SP - Ace AttorneyAce Attorney

You know on those April Fools charts from years back they had several spoof anime adaptions? Since then P4A along with several other wanted titles were adapted, and Planetarian is getting anime adaptation as well. Ace Attorney, which received a revival during the NDS era in the west, was always a crowd favourite. This anime adaptation though, perhaps isn’t going in the direction that most fans would like. It’s rather family friendly in many respects. Highly saturated colour palette, stiff animation, faithful game UI replication, this tutorial stage demonstrated many pitfalls this series could have by not having the audience invested in learning the game system itself. Most of the jokes were poorly timed, the OP being one of the most generic low quality one I’d seen in recent years, and overall it just doesn’t look too flash for someone new coming into this series. Though I have to say that I got serious goosebumps once the iconic turnabout soundtrack started playing at the climatic moment. It’s certainly a disappointing effort in the first outing, however knowing the story already I’m interested to see how they transfer it to the passive anime medium properly.

Ace Attorney - ep1Hype Level: 2/5

SP - EndrideEndride

Yes it’s another one of those “transfer to fantasy world” storyline, yet come halfway of the episode there’s not much hook to it. Combine that with a fairly mediocre royalty revenge plotline, I can’t really get excited over the prospect. The writing itself is really lacking, going for the most generic plotline with the crystal thing being the only new element. The episode overall gave me the impression of a shitty JRPG from the early 2000s. Yes we get it that the protagonist is a crystal nutboy. Yes we get it that the other guy is a gloomy boy whose dominant trait in personality is “revenge revenge revenge”. The boner imagery is prevalent in this episode, it’s literally a dick waving contest. Naked Fencing has never been more appropriate as description than this show. The combat animation is none-existence, dominated by still camera, effect lines, and just flashing lights that obscures the battles. It’s painfully boring to watch. It doesn’t have the most polished visual either. While it’s not bland in terms of colours, the character lines are rather shaky and unstable. The blatant bishi design is obvious, but not good enough to make me get interested in them at all. I’m bored fairly early on, and the episode failed to provide anything that resembles a hook in the second half.

Endride - ep1Hype Level: 2/5

SP - Boku no Hero AcademiaBoku no Hero Academia

A solid outing, no question about that. Being one of the most hyped up series coming into this season, it’s kind of hard not to keep my expectations in check. I deliberately avoided the manga once the anime was announced so I could experience it “raw” without preconceptions affecting my judgement, and the slightly awkward pacing of the first episode made me rather relieved on my decision. It certainly didn’t blow me away at the moment, playing its cards safe to the chest while going for the emotional angle to sell the product. It has a faint whimsical tone, and bears slight resemblance to Tiger and Bunny from years back, yet at the heart of the story it’s about a boy trying to find his place in a world where everyone is running ahead of him. It’s a solid start, but definitely lacking that massive hook just of yet. The crazy colour patterns are used freely in the background creating a comic book-like art style, and as expected of BONES the animation looks fantastic on top of a really crisp and polished presentation. It’s definitely well made, but I’m just waiting for the breathtaking moment that made this manga series so popular. Given that the anime broke up the long chapter 1 into 2 episodes, my question will most likely get answered there.

Boku no Hero Academia - ep1Hype Level: 4/5

SP - KumamikoKuma Miko

It’s polished, it’s adorable, and it’s just hitting all the right notes. The dynamic between the miko and the bear is so heartwarming and hilarious. Before I realise it, it’s already commercial break, and then the momentum never lets up before we hit the ED that’s just full of charm as the show itself. The jokes all hit their point, with great use of kinetic shots and stillness to provide a good contrast for punchline. I especially love the set up in the second half to hit that punchline which both came totally left field yet so fitting to the overall soothing tone of the story. It reminded greatly of Gingitsune with the relationship between the two leads. The episode itself looks fantastic with strong sharp lines and vivid saturated colours, on top of a light erotic tone without being too obtrusive. The characters pop out of the screen without being too disconnected to the surrounding, creating a slight sticker note appearance while maintaining a good cohesive integrity with the surroundings. The seiyuu for the miko is more on the rough side, but the one for the bear is doing a phenomenal job juggling both the menacing and the fluffy sides. I just love this episode so much, if you can’t tell yet.

Kumamiko - ep1Hype Level: 5/5

SP - JJBA DiUJJBA – Diamond is Unbreakable

And here we are, the return of the punch ghosts, the mind games, the insane abilities, and the crazy battles. Years after the events of Stardust Crusaders we found ourselves in the quiet town of Morioh with a new JoJo to lead the way. The Stands battle system is here to stay, and as the manga reader I can’t help but to get really excited to see how some of the crazier encounters are presented in the animated format. If Stardust Crusaders is the trailing phase, this is where Araki flexes his creative muscles expanding the system horizontally to some more bizarre aspects. I especially love the first segment which interposes the calm atmosphere of a small town with the hidden horror of serial killers. The colour palette is eccentric as usual, most notably with the use of the yellow sky in the background. Also as with the shift in the art style in the manga the new Part had a revamp in the character design as well. Gone is the bulky shoulder pads, and in comes the smoother colour coordination and rounder look to the characters. I’m slightly disappointed that the composer remain the same, but there should be enough variation later on. No OP/ED in the first episode though, so that’s definitely something to look forward to in the next one.

JJBA DiU - ep1Hype Level: Hard as Diamond

SP - Uchuu Patrol LulucoLuluco

It’s a 7mins shorts from Trigger that brings back memories of both Panty&Stocking, Inferno Cop, and Kill la Kill. It’s chaotic and hyper-energetic, with some familiar skits making their return. The jokes so far hit their marks nicely. The character design strikes a nice balance between eccentric and charming, while the intentionally jerky animation brings back some nice callback to the titles mentioned above. I can only see things escalate to even more outlandish style later on given the history of the staff behind it. It’s basically Imaishi doing his usual thing again.

Uchuu Patrol Luluco - ep1

SP - Ragnastrike AngelsRagnastrike Angels

Well….They weren’t kidding. This is literally 30 seconds, literally an advert for the game.

Save it up for end of season marathon, and you’ll still have something that’s even shorter than 1 ep of Luluco

Ragnastrike Angels - ep1


  • 5/5: Kuma Miko
  • 4/5: Boku no Hero Academia
  • 3/5: Mayoiga
  • 2/5: Ace Attorney, Endride

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