Fall 2017 First Ep Impressions – Part 1

Does anyone read this introduction anymore? Anyway, with 34+4 shows this upcoming season, we got a lot to go through here.

UQ Holder!: Mahou Sensei Negima! 2

In some way it’s a sequel, but in reality it’s hard to tell by this stage. I won’t go into the details surrounding the circumstances, but for now this should be considered an original series with some callbacks. Standard adventure initiation episode with just enough characterisation for the main duo. For the first time ever the studio is able to replicate Ken Akamatsu’s art style, and with the mangaka at helm for the series composition. It may be squashed as the rumour suggests, but it would be interesting to see how he handles it given the baggage this series carries. As for the episode itself it’s fairly standard without too many surprises barring the sudden graphical nature of some scenes. Competent opening with a clear goal and a bit of an overhanging mystery. It may not be a great show, but I could see it as a nice way to spend extra free time with.

Hype Level: 3/5


Black Clover

(Un)officially crowned the “isekai smartphone” of the battle shonen genre. It takes all the standard shonen jump tropes you can think of and cram them all together without giving it any personal touch. Every scene is just filled with cliche and nil emotions. There’s no hook, no drive, no way for the viewers to empathise with the protagonists. It’s so badly written that I don’t know why I should care about this guy. All the necessary build up and information were omitted for assuming that we care, and it just felt really weak overall. Compare to recent successful shonen jump stories (haikyuu, BnHA), this is just really really bad. The only saving grace being that it isn’t going to offend anyway for doing something, but at the same time it’s losing lots of points for not doing anything worthwhile.

Hype Level: 2/5


Infini-T Force

This is essentially the Avengers of the TatsunokoPro universe. 4 classic heroes (gatchaman, polymer, tekkaman and Casshien) brought to the same universe to defeat the baddies together. It’s not the most innovative type of story, and mostly came across as a fanservice-y celebration type of work, but it does its job well. Episode one mainly focuses on establishing the setup and give us a taste of them all in combat, which is enough of a hook to go into next few episodes. The biggest talking point is probably the way it produces its visuals, being mo-cap into 3D CGI. This feels more like game cinematics than your traditional anime, counting even the CGI dominated ones. It looks great however, and I already has a different expectations going into this series than your usual anime series. At the moment it’s too hard to tell how the story will go, but an all-star shows like this is always fun even if we don’t know all of the cast just yet.

Hype Level: 4/5


Juuni Taisen

When NisiOisin does the writing, you can always count on fun charismatic characters and his tendency to make the strong lose in the most humiliating ways possible. This is a straight forward battle royale story, with the chinese zodiac as a design gimmick for the characters themselves. It doesn’t shy away from the brutal nature of it and there are plenty of blood spatter around just within the first episode. Visually it looks great with darker and less saturated palette, and a thin line for characters, on top of really nice looking combat animation and choreography. While what the first episode ended on wasn’t too surprising given all those foreshadowing, it does open up a lot more elements to the whole tide of the battle. That being said, I do wish the characters can establish themselves more and become more interesting. The Battle Royale story type have its own charm but at the same time is quite restrictive. Given how troll-y Nisio is in his stories, I’d imagine the late twists would be more interesting in this one. Before then, I can see myself fatigue quite quickly as a lot of the narrative structure confined the storytelling possibilities.

Hype Level: 3/5


Sengoku Night Blood

Otomege style setup with a self-insert diving into a sengoku isekai where the characters all have kemonomimi, and apparently there are vampires as well. It’s basically one girl in the land of so many pretty boys, and they all have factions which heavily borrows from the sengoku era. From a relatively unknown studio the combat animation is quite lackluster, and there’s this odd blue filter across all the scenes which I somehow did not notice until I was looking for screenshots. This episode does hit the minimum for reverse harem, that being the pretty boys all have solid character art, but other than that there’s not much memorable being said. I don’t expect too much from this. Despite this first episode’s best efforts, all the introduced characters are filled with cliche tropes, and the main girl is as character-less as many other badly written shows.

Hype Level: 2/5


Konohana Kitan

Speaking of Kemonomimi, here’s one CGDCT show this season, featuring cute kemonomimi girls working at an inn. Typical setup, the surprise being that it’s not a Kirara series considering how many we’ve got from them in the last few seasons. Fairly standard approach to the setup, but without a clear goal as to what the protagonist wanted to achieve in the mean time. Couple that with a slightly faster pace than I’d liked means that there’s an constant slight sense of frustration throughout. The girls are all fairly adorable (dibs on Satsuki), and visually it still looks fairly nice. However it just fails to grasp my imagination nor being able to make it overly interesting. Remove all those animal character design traits there isn’t much memorable here. It may just be playing the cards too safe, though a few moments of innocence does shine throughout without crossing the barrier of being too stupid. We’ll see.

Hype Level: 3/5


Urahara

This is an odd one. At its core structure this is essentially a magical girl series, with unknown mass of enemies, a weird mascot, and transformations. What sets it different from others is its low-budget indie look that emphasised more on the colourful palette instead of linearts. Similar to its setting, this show is really denpa, in that it’s highly experimental and outlandish, without going too overly. All the designs are more of fashion The characters though aren’t that innovative at the same time, so there’s a weird mix of boredom and intrigue throughout the episode. The most disappointing thing is that Shirogumi is just production by name again and none of their expert CGI stuff is seen here. As crazy as it may want to be, it’s just not out there enough for it to be memorable.

Hype Level: 3/5


Osomatsu-san 2

As crazy as ever. The famous episode 1 from the first season went all out in terms of the meta absurdist humour, and in some way this first episode surpasses it. It mocked the part of the fandom that also overlaps its own. It mocked the lazy tropey efforts from some reason sellers. Most of all, it’s just balls to the wall insanity that is really hard to describe in text. It doesn’t rely on explicit references like in the first season, and through that the humour is a lot more stronger and lasting. My Sanity score dropped several levels while watching this episode, because it’s just so out there and crazy. Given the episodic nature of this series, it’s fairly easy to jump into this episode without prior exposures. The only downside is that you won’t get some of the recurring jokes.

Verdict: Probably even better than S1


Cinderella Girls Gekijou 2

More deremas is always good. In some way I actually prefer the original skits than just direct adaptation. That said, there’s one cameo of a strip during this episode. Think this is basically just more of the same really, and that is always good. The new ED isn’t as catchy though, might still get better later on.

Verdict: yes yes yes

Omiai Aite wa Oshiego, Tsuyoki na, Mondaiji

This is hentai. I have more fun imagining this being the prequel to Kuzu no Honkai.

Verdict: fap material v3

Osake wa Fuufu ni Natte kara

This isn’t hentai. This one has more similar tone to Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken, and with more tips on making cocktails. The main couple is cute, which is enough for me to follow this short.

Verdict: yes?


Summary:

  • 2/5: Black Clover, Sengoku Night Blood
  • 3/5: UQ Holder, Juuni Taisen, Konohana Kitan, Urahara
  • 4/5: Infini-T Force

Unlike previous seasons, I’m appreciating the fact that there are shows that are at least alright within the first batch.

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