Anilog #2: More Winter 2017 Impressions (2nd Week)

Well, so much for this being a Sunday thing. Anyways, here are the impressions from the last week of first episodes.

Gintama.

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I am glad the episode didn’t start on a serious note. Even though, this episode (or this arc) is not comedy heavy, we do get tastes of the good old parody this how is famous for.

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You got to have Gintama (also interpreted as Silver Balls) to pull off such blatant parody

Needless to say, the hilarious mix of slap-stick and sexual comedy always gets me good (even though they weren’t as prevalent in this episode). But, then the episode, rather early, undergoes a tonal shift- where it starts an exposition piece on the main antagonist, Utsuro. Occurrences in the Harusame fleet and Utsuro’s meeting with the elders in the far end of the universe also gets interwoven in this part. Another big, serious arc is coming and I look forward to it.

Little Witch Academia

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Ecstatic Akko didn’t know that there is a 9 and 3 quarters for going to Little Witch Academia. She gets stumped, because she neither has nor can ride a broom, until Lotte comes to the scene. Atsuko’s heavy luggage pulls them down and they join up with Lucy. A Titan cockatrice-dragon (?) appears and climax ensues. Shiny Chariot’s teacher persona comes to the scene just in time to help the three witches make an escape portal. At this point, I am wondering why did I even bother to write this dry summary… so unlike the warmth of this first episode.

I couldn’t imagine a better start. We get all of the things that Little Witch Academia is visually famous for: fluid animation, constantly changing facial expressions (those are such a joy to watch) and the Shiny Arc animation sequence. I liked how empty this episode was narrative-wise, but rather a consolidation of Akko’s character.

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 Gabriel Dropout

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Now we have got an anime where cute angels and demons are coming down on Earth and doing cute things! I wonder what else is left for the ‘moe’ anime medium to come up with. Gabriel graduates from an angel school and comes to Earth as a high school student (what else?) and gets addicted to video games-she becomes a Umaru and then we get introduced to her best friend who is Vigne the demon. Satania herself makes an appearance and claims that recycling a bottle with the cap on and not doing homework are a diabolical deeds (haha, pretty cute and funny, right?… Right?).

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Despite the slightly sarcastic tone of the last paragraph, I actually enjoyed this anime. I would neither defend nor complain about the very basic character designs, lighting and art style which is pretty common in most ‘cute-girls-doing-cute-things-anime’. However, the comedy in this anime is petty easy-going and doesn’t try much- and I like that. The fan service moment don’t seem forced. I also like the characters and their gimmicks- I will be following  this anime.

Hand Shakers

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Wow, this show is bad- like laughably bad. I cannot even call this an anime with uncanny value like Aku no Hana has- at least, that has a story to tell. Hand shakers are basically male and female partners that have to have contact with each other- otherwise the female will die. Other than that, there is zero world building and all we know about the protagonist is that his sister died and he is good with machines. Oh and we also get a fierce battle between chains and gears. The character designs are pretty bad- except the color palette, which admittedly is beautiful to look at. Now, that stray praise is out of the way, let me share my opinion on the animation… oh, the animation! Inconsistent frame rates, awkward camera movements, badly timed scene transitions, janky walk cycles and the weird transition between 2D and CGI are just the tip of this crap-berg. The fan service is very awkwardly framed and disgustingly animated (Just shut up already, Bind!). The script is very badly written: at this point, I really think that 13 year olds made this anime. Maybe, I will watch this anime just because it’s bad, just maybe.

ACCA: 13th Territory Inspection Department

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The first things that caught my eyes (and ears) was the interesting art style and the diverse bursts of upbeat soundtrack that accompanied almost every scene. Content-wise, I could only gather so much: Jean, second-in-command of the inspection department of one of the 13 states in a kingdom gets a new sub-ordinate. His department was going to be disbanded but they (Jean and his sub-ordinate) uncovered some kind of corruption and their department was saved. I cannot comment on much in this show. It is a pretty clean and unassuming show despite the “Police” genre tag. I am interested in what’s next.

Scum’s Wish

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Scum’s Wish is a fresh take on teenage romances in anime: it’s about two people who just kiss, hold hands and other things not because they are in love but just because they are, apparently, never going to get their love interests to themselves. This surprised me, because anime rarely portrays this kind of relationships. The opening sure hinted at a lot of sexual tension and probably it will be the focus in future episodes. The art style is pretty decent and the lighting is exceptionally done.

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I’m getting Aku no Hana vibes for something I can’t put my finger on. I also liked the way they animated split-screen (or manga panel) style: which reminded me of Ping Pong. This episode seemed thoughtfully directed and really expressed Hanabi’s disturbing nature (I’m sorry- I cannot understand her). Yeah, the show does wallow a lot in such taboo (?) but doesn’t overdo it- they do add some other expressions to Hanabi beside the kuudere face she has above. I really don’t want to get invested in the main couple because  I really don’t understand them (even if they try to justify it more than enough, yeah its empathy, whatever) and  I’m sure something will happen that will just annoy me- like Aku no Hana did with Saeki. Nevertheless, I am interested in the drama and the other characters. The ending is pretty well drawn and animated.

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Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon

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And we finally get a SoL anime that is not set in high school!… But still has a ‘monster (loli?) girl’ with a huge-

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This would be a much better start without the fetishisation, I think. But maybe, that’s just the loli-hater talking. Anyways, interesting premise and very crisp art style with very in-genre character designs. Nothing much else to say, I will be watching this despite sound-cued-boob-jiggles.

  Konosuba Season 2

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A great first episode! I love Konosuba’s style of comedy: a wonderful mix of visual gags and hilarious voicing of the script. This episode was no exception. I was surprised that quite a number of people on MAL did not like the first episode because of the alleged degradation of art quality- to that all I have to say that this anime is a parody of the ‘Issekai’ genre so I think it is justified to mock the LN-adaptation-high-quality art style that other anime of that genre has. Either that, or I am a huge apologist for this anime- and I (would) love to be one.

I still plan to watch Chaos; Child- so I guess, that will be moved to the Sunday post: where I will be talking about the second episodes.

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