Summer 2017 First Ep Impressions – Part 1

Compared to the previous season, this one has a significantly lower number of notable sequels. At the same time, with 4+1 shows I watch carrying into this season, it would also be beneficial for me to not pick as many either. As per usual, I’ll be going into those shows blind and see how their respective ep1s impress me.

Enmusubi no Youko-chan

Here we go again, the obligatory Chinese Cartoon of the season. While they kind of referred to some Chinese mythology on the surface, there are too many stupid tropes that distract too much from it. On top of really bad directing, clunky timing, unpolished visual, nonsensical infodump, and really retarded attempt at humour, not even the cute kemonomimi can save it. Barely 10 minutes in and I’m already bored. If they just stay true to the simple yet interesting “supernatural matchmakers” premise it can be nice even with subpar animation, but no. They just had to put in the retarded humour, the non-existent fights, the obnoxious arrogant in its own shitty writing. This is basically a parody show without being anywhere smart nor funny, kind of like your typical anime Youtubers. I’m so done with this piece of trash. I got this constant overwhelming urge to puke in the last 15 minutes.

Hype Level: 0/5


Kakegurui

There’s an inherent tension in all gambling matches, and there are ways to make it convincing as a narrative. Make it mechanics driven, and the flow will come naturally. Make it so that it all depends on luck, not even the most interesting setups can protect it from wearing thin. Precisely for that reason, even though the first episode is full of tension I can’t help but be weary about its future direction. Visually it’s really striking, with the constant juxtaposition between the supple shiny lips and the crazy grimace of the girls. The frequent contrast builds up the sense of unease and uncertainly, which helps with the tense atmosphere itself. On top of the glamorous look are those unappealing expression of the characters that presents a sinister charm throughout. The constant shifts between desire and fear is pretty good here. This is certainly bold in its directing, and for that I’ll be interested to see how it holds up as we go through the season.

Hype Level: 4/5


Hina Logi : from Luck&Logic

There will always be a CGDCT show every season, and this is one of the offerings. A seemingly SoL series that loosely relates to the unmemorable show from 2016 Winter, it’s another take of another one of Bushiroad’s franchises. Even without the stigma, this show is rather unremarkable like its predecessors. Yes the girls are cuter here, but the scenarios presented are barebone and mostly play by the book. Barring one turn of events mid-episode that made me think something more fun could be going on, this episode is a fairly relaxing affair without need to think too much. The comedy is more character based sitcoms, and there are a few sight gags which also extend to the gag transition eyecatches, but I just don’t like the rather excessive use of silly faces here either. It’s not hooking me in just yet, and I am not sure if I’ll be willing to give ep2 a go either. Nothing is really happening here.

Hype Level: 2/5


Fate/Apocrypha

Typical of a Fate franchise, the first episode is really exposition heavy. After a rather chaotic 7v7 fight served in the introduction that no doubt sets up of things to come, it spent the rest of the episode introducing the new twist to the usual Holy Grail War formula and how it came to be. In the process it established the main villain, and set out the battlefield for the rest of the series. I feel like A-1 studio isn’t a technically polished one and their best looking shows tend to be ones with highly stylised art direction, which this show sadly isn’t. It’s hard to gauge just how interesting this series may go so far, so we’ll see how it progresses in the next couple of weeks. That said, other than the fate title there doesn’t seem to be much of a big hook as of yet.

Hype Level: 3/5


Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu

If Hanamura last year was about the units fooling around at the Headquarter, Katsugeki seems to be more about their missions. Adapted from the popular MMD browser game, it features several missions for the sentient beings born from famous Japanese weapons in order to stop the time travelling baddies from changing the history. Despite its silly premise, there are plenty of fun potential for high tension scenarios given the tone established in this episode. Right now there’s no really a clear direction as to which way the story will go, and the characters are fairly cookie-cutter so far. That said those things can easily be rectified, and it’s clear that they are trying to go for a serious story here. As expected of Ufotable, visually this looks gorgeous and the marriage between the two animation methods is getting better and better. I have some reservations regarding the OP, but the Kalafina ED shown in the credit is top notch stuff.

Hype Level: 4/5


Knight’s and Magic

Do you like Mecha? Do you consider giant robots to be every man’s dream? Here we have a robo-fanatic as the protagonist who is close to achieving his own dream in this pseudo fantasy world. The mech design is more on the semi-realistic side, and Orange showed once again why they are the top dogs in the business. The entire episode is carried by the protagonist’s immense enthusiasm towards his goal, while introduce to us the basic world and the main support characters at the same time. The brisk pace allows it to not get bogged down by the unnecessary details and focus on what’s really important: the mechas. Also the protagonist’s unique backstory paved way for his more innovative way of thinking that sets up future developments nicely. It would be understandable if you see it as another tropey show, but man, who doesn’t like big robots here?

Hype Level: 4/5


Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun

When you throw in what’s usually a trait for an oddball side character into the protagonist, and make him extremely annoying, it makes it really hard to like this show at all. Even when they tried to justify its stupid setup with sentimental scenario, it just make me realise how retarded this entire thing is. On top of that they made the cardinal sin of making the protagonist overpowered and punch-able, reducing the quality on the sports side and making it not a fun watch either. Combining that with constant chibi jokes and forced absurd comedy, I don’t really like this weird take on a sports series. The entire episode is frustrating and annoying to watch. I’m not touching this thing ever again.

Hype Level: 1/5


Battle Girl High School

There are two modes to this setup: the carefree typical all girls high school SoL, and the team mahou shoujo action. The first episode doesn’t show indication as to which way the series will lean onto, but one would assume that in order for the viewers to get familiar to the huge cast of characters the former will have early priority. That said, the training scenes do allow for a mix of both sides. Unfortunately we haven’t yet get the impression of why they need to fight those monsters. While there are commander-role characters, they are more of the background support instead of having the player-unit interaction as the focus. It’s fairly competent so far without breaking much new grounds, and even the fights and the monsters look decent. I don’t expect it to have deep writing even with a big sinister development coming up, but so far it’s not too bad either.

Hype Level: 3/5


Skirt no Naka wa Kedamono deshita

Time duration: 5 minutes. Yes there’s a trap just like the title suggested. Yes there are 3 different versions just like the monk short last season. Yes that ‘girl’ is cute. Yes I was able to control myself. Yes it’s better than the monk series so far.

Verdict: My monster is already this big


Summary:

  • 0/5: Enmusubi no Youko-chan
  • 1/5: Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun
  • 2/5: Hina Logi : from Luck&Logic
  • 3/5: Fate/Apocrypha, Battle Girls High School
  • 4/5: Kakegurui, KTR

Man, not often do I feel like killing myself while watching a show, and this season already got 2 that do that. I hope it’s just bad luck and not a sign of things to come. Sadly nothing really eyecatching so far in this one.

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