Spring 2017 First Ep Impressions – Part 3

Imagine the time when you started out all hyped and then be deflated as time progresses.

Eromanga sensei

Regardless of the bad blood accumulated from the author’s previous series, he obviously has learnt a few things from it. Namely having the younger sister being not blood related, and removing the parents out of sight straight away. The setup this time taps into the world of LN writing that it just makes me curious as to whether he’s borrowing personal experiences into this as well. Just like another show in this batch, this series taps heavily into the whole pixiv culture as well. As a whole, this first episode sets out to reconcile the siblings, and it still keeps the loud breezy comedy style that’s found in the previous entry. Visually it maintains the usual standard of quality the A-1 A team can provide, with the character design from HSP/Kanzaki Hiro/Hiroyuki Oda still kept intact in this adaptation. I would like to believe that this is a better OreImo without all those excessive baggage, but time will tell if the author is able to stop it from dragging through the mud again. Love this part of the credit as well.

Hype Level: 4/5


Hinako Note

Here it is, the proper Cgdct series of the season. It’s bright and colourful, but seems to relies too much on those weird quirks that try to define the characters instead. Sadly those said quirks are rather on the absurd side that often draws me out of the immersion. Once the show stops throwing it at you every second punchline it’s a lot better. The ‘theatre club’ narrative thread allows for plenty of fun references and character progressions later on, and would be nice to see how it utilises the opportunity. There are plenty of chibi moments, and the movements are still quite lively. It can be quite detailed in key moments, and the hair flow is quite nice. I love the use of the notebook scribbles as eyecatch between skits, as they tend to add more to the personalities to this show. The appeal of this show is hard to describe, but its selective use of cute moments plays a huge part to it. I may not fully be engaged into the characters so far, but I can see how those that synced up with them will have so much fun with this one.

Hype Level: 3/5


Kabukibu

This is basically another combination of “niche Japanese tradition” + “Let’s start another highschool club” setup. Since it failed to entice interest in the kabuki for me from the get go, all those extra performances are just especially embarrassing to me. When I wasn’t invested in the goal at all, and all the encounters are rather stupid, I’m having trouble being interested in this episode throughout. The characters all have potential to be interesting later, but as of right now I’m struggling to find reason to care. The animation is inconsistent, and the expressions are lifeless. It’s a really cheap effort overall. The music has some more oriental touch to it to be consistent with the theme, but overall that doesn’t add much point to it. Most notably is the weakness in the voice acting, where they don’t put in as much force into the delivery, so there’s a disconnect which adds to the lethargic feeling. It might get better later on, and this isn’t entirely horrible, but this first up effort is pretty pathetic to say the least.

Hype Level: 2/5


 Re:Creator

This reverse isekai setup is so nostalgic that it makes me reminiscent about the younger days. Jokes aside, it’s kind of sad to see this show having lots of lazy keyframe checks as the characters tend to look horrible in so many scenes. On the other hand though, it has the best integration of CGI this season so far, helped by night time scenario most likely. It’s an urban fantasy, with the major gimmick being the exploration of the relationship between content creator and their created content. The overall direction seems to be of a revenge/rebellion theme, but time will tell how it advances forward. It’s a setup that can easily fail, but still has the opportunity to establish fun character dynamics throughout. That said, I do worry about the production value if this is what we see in the very first episode. However I just love how within the first 2 minutes this just feels so modern Japan just by stuff shown. There’s Pixiv, Nico, LINE, posters, train banners, and also CSP.

Hype Level: 3/5


Seikaisuru Kado

I typed up an entire post describing how I really like the ordinary aspect of the setup, on how it’s a cute little story regarding achieving the double-win scenario in negotiations, on how down to earth it is and that fact being so charming and lovely. And then the alien strikes. And then I realise that I only watched ep 0. Moving forward onto the actual first episode, the cliffhanger smashed its way from the very beginning. Watching episode 0 beforehand makes the characters felt more grounded within this surreal situation. I love the portrayal of out-worldly entities with CGI tessellation. The first episode gave us a giant mystery, and helps to chip away at the clues in every steps. The entire procedure felt really composed, yet leave the viewers with plenty of hooks within all those tension, and I love how I have no idea where this is going. It could just be one long negotiation as we learn about this new visitor, and I’m more than fine with that. On the other note, while it looks fine by itself, the decision to use CGI characters in some scenes is confusing at best. That said, it wasn’t too much of a distraction. The sound direction is just on point, building a foreboding atmosphere without being too deliberating suffocating. I love it. This could be what I wanted from Arrival (the live action movie) before it shifts to weird territory.

Hype Level: 5/5


Twin Angels Break

This show is so cliche that I’m actually afraid of this being a massive bait and switch. It’s surprising how differently it felt when the setup is played completely straight, with nothing too out of the ordinary, to the point that I am actively trying to make sure that there isn’t any foreshadowing going on. While it would be nice to have an orthodox mahou shoujo series again at this day and age, I just can’t be too sure at this point. You have the typical energetic protagonist, the cool and collected secondary protagonist with a chip on her shoulder, stock comedic relief support cast with updated tropes, and the usual fancy and silly antagonists. The layout is so to the book. It’s fully saturated in the colour palette, and with plenty of flowers and jewellery motifs. It wouldn’t be surprised if the target audience is more towards the kids side. This episode isn’t bad, but I do question how much longer this series could kept my attention if I watch on, hence the lower hype level.

Hype Level:3/5


Shingeki no Bahamut 2

In some way this is not necessarily a sequel. With 10 years gap in between, and a brand new protagonist, this feels like a brand new game. There are a few characters making their reappearances, Kaiser, Rita, and the almighty Hamsa, but as for now, the enigmatic Favro is nowhere to be found. Straight away this episode imposes a new shift in power balance, triggering a sense of unease throughout despite the new protagonist being a really lively girl. The first season had one of the best visual quality around, and this one doesn’t let up. The highly polished graphics, the bold choice of storyboard, it’s simply cinematic to the highest level. Even the soundtrack went with the full orchestra to portray the magnitude of its scale. Being part of the cygame universe, it’s also fun to see more characters popping up to make their cameo appearance. This first episode is highly impressive, and I can’t wait to see how that transpires in the next few episodes.


Uchouten Kazoku 2

Aaaand we’re back. Back to this eccentric family, back to this weird dynamic between human, tanuki, and the tengu. The first season was a fantastic tale about the lingering feelings and the family unity, and here it seems like we’ll be having the family drama from the tengu side instead. The first episode straight away established the point of conflict, while the ED visuals hinted at more stuff going on possibly in the background. It’s been more than 3 years since then, and it’s actually an enlightening experience going back to this old crew. Most of the characters made their way back, and we’re quickly reminded of their charming personalities during this first episode. This episode still looks fantastic, and it’s still as adorable as ever, especially the mother. The unique visual direction made a welcoming return, and the overall presentation still gives a warm feeling throughout. I loved the first season, and so far I don’t see any reason to think otherwise about the sequel.


Love Kome – We Love Rice

There’s an event horizon when the level of puns is just overloads the server. This is one of them. And no, I’m not really fond of this type of comedy at all.


Nobunaga no Shinobi 2

It’s still as great, it’s still as fantastic, it’s still as cute. No reason to stop now. Keep going.


Summary

  1. (N/A)
  2. Twin Angels Break
  3. Hinako Note, Re:Creator
  4. Eromanga-sensei,
  5. Seikaisuru Kado

Once again this is yet another batch where the sequels carry the torch. That said, I’m really liking the look of Seikaisuru Kado despite the rest of the bunch being just not quite engaging as I’d liked. Nevertheless, we’re almost done.

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