Winter 2009 Pilot Episode Reviews

There were a few early broadcasts online.  These previews usually don’t have opening or closing credits, and are probably poor quality. Nonetheless, I viewed them and posted my thoughts.  Enjoy =D

Akikan!

It might just be Jun Fukuyama’s past few roles, but I found it incredibly odd hearing Lelouch’s voice coming from an exhibitionist/pervert.  Admittedly, he DID voice Keita from Inukami, another exhibitionist character.  Also ironically, the entire first half of this episode made me feel like I was watching Inukami again.  Depending on the person, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.  For me, it’s mixed.  While I did enjoy Inukami, it sure as hell wasn’t because of its manservice.  Indeed, that aspect of the show made it very unique and made for some hilarious moments, but it was the show’s characters and serious side that won me over.

As for Akikan, obviously one episode isn’t going to be enough to tell how the show will play out.  What I can tell you is, besides Kakeru, the characters are interesting.  (That gay doctor FREAKED the HELL out of me.)  The animation quality, on the other hand, was really rocky.  At frequent times, I found myself yelling “This is BRAINS BASE?!” (especially when Nijima laughed).

All in all, don’t consider me sold just yet, but I’m willing to give Akikan a chance.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 7/10

 

Maria†Holic

Wow, that was very toned down for Shinbo directed anime.  Of course when I say toned down, I mean the trap centered, yuri obsessed girl, obedient maid, creepy neko-dorm-president kind of toned down.  Or better to say, SHAFT comedy as usual.

First and foremost, Maria†Holic’s first episode had great lines.  I found myself laughing hard when Kanako says “Don’t call me a lesbian! Yuri sounds much better!”.  Indeed, Kanako might actually be the best character is this anime thus far.  It was really amusing to see her ridiculous fantasies through “inner Kanako”.

While I did enjoy the first episode… I have a gut feeling that this is one of those animes that very good in the beginning but can’t stay good.  Also, this doesn’t look like a show that I can easily blog.  I’m cautiously optimistic.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 7.5/10

 

White Album

I wasn’t actually planning on starting winter series until I finished all the fall reviews planned… but after seeing the scathing reviews, I decided that I should check out this series ASAP.

So what can I say after viewing it?  The first episode might turn off a few viewers due to its slow pace and flat characters; I can see that.  What I can also see, is that this show has SERIOUS potential to be very good later on.  The seeds of some good drama were set towards the end of this episode, now all we do is see how it grows.  As for the two turn-offs, it’s quite hard to fairly judge a character in the first episode of ANY show.  As for slow pace… didn’t another to-remain-unnamed anime have a slow start as well?

As for aesthetics, I don’t think that that was the real opening animation.. the real animation will probably air next week.  The accompanying song was quite good though.  Aya Hirano looks like is using her Minato (Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka) voice for Yuki.  Lastly, animation quality and character designs were really good, the best I’ve seen this season.

I definitely need more episodes to accurately judge this series, but until then

FIRST IMPRESSION: 8/10

 

Asu no Yoichi!

Well, that was quite OK.  And I don’t mean that in a good sense… nor do I mean it in a bad sense.  The first episode of Asu no Yoichi is remarkably unremarkable.  You’re not gonna find a more formulaic anime to air this season.  Buut, if a socially inept strong man, forced to live w/ tenants that don’t have a good impression of him, is something you like, you’re just in luck.

Asu no Yoichi doesn’t even TRY to separate itself from it’s set up, like adding a unique spin.  It’s like you pick up a new book, only to realize that it’s exactly like another book you’ve read except w/ different names for the characters.  That being said, the soundtrack was nice, and the main female characters might have an interesting background if the OP is any indication…

FIRST IMPRESSION: 6/10

 

Kurokami

Now THIS is what I’m talking about.  I was completely blown away by the first episode ofKurokami.  A great combination of suspense, horror, and action.  Yeah some things were changed from the manwha, but I almost feel that it was for the better.  Keita ended up being much more likable in this version then he did in the manwha.  And Kuro’s dark side was very well portrayed.  

The emphasis on the doppelgangers and doppelliners were what brought this show home for me.  Especially that last scene, I could feel how horrified Keita was when he saw that girl die in front of him.  And give props to Sunrise for not censoring that out, REALLY added the impact.

The one action scene shown was VERY well choreographed, and the soundtrack is very suited. So far, this is easily the best show I’ve watched so far this winter.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 9/10

 

Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo

There are good shows, there are bad shows, and then there are shows like this… Shows that are just sooo horrible, that you can’t help but be entertained by the epic fail.  Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo (an obvious pun off the popular film, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo) has one of the most amusing first episodes I’ve ever seen.  And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Flat character, unmemorable soundtrack, weak action, and Lelouch(Jun Fukuyama) as a megalomanic robot yelling “FUCK SOCIETY!!!”, should be enough to constitute a trainwreck of an anime.  But just like watching an actual train wreck (as long as no one is getting hurt), there’s just something cool about it.

Well, that being said, a failure is a failure.  Oh, but what a memorable failure it is.

“I Have Control!!” 😄

FIRST IMPRESSION: 5/10 (Giving an extra .5 out of sheer entertainment value)

 

Ride Back

It’s hard to say what I thought of this episode.  I’m usually able to give an accurate review if I can tell where the story is going (ie genre, plot synopsis).  This episode didn’t really iron what it would be about.  On one hand, we had Rin’s story about ballet and her attempt at redemption through Fuego all while the overarching political story wasn’t glossed over.  So I can’t judge it off of the story.

The artwork is mixed.  On one hand, I loved the background drawing, but on the other, character designs kinda turned me off.  The last scene w/ Rin’s first outing on Fuego was probably the highlight.  Everything else was kinda boring.

I’ll keep watching this show for a few episodes to get a better idea of the story, before deciding if I want to complete it or not.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 7/10

 

Chrome Shelled Regios

This is one of those shows that I’d classify as a “comfort” anime.  It isn’t anything unique, but it’s made up of stuff that I enjoy to watch.  Regios looks to be your standard shounen action fare, which is fine by me.  You’ve got superpowers, rag-tag group of protagonists, and a lead character who unusually strong.

Well stop, Regios does have a finite number of episodes, so I can, potentially, look forward to how it ends.  But that’s a way ways off (24 episodes, if I’m correct).  The first episode doesn’t have a lot of explanation, but it’s got some interesting characters.  And I really like the artwork

I don’t think I’ll be blogging this series, since I’m currently leaning more towardsKurokami.  But I’ll probably keep watching.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 7.5/10

 

Munto TV

(This show is officially titled Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, but for obvious reasons, I’m gonna call it by it’s shorter unofficial name)

Quite honestly, that blew me away.  And from what I’m hearing, the first two to four episodes are simply rebroadcasts of the OVA that this series is based off of.  That means we haven’t even seen the modern KyoAni artwork applied to this series yet.  That, in and of itself, has me excited.

As for the episode itself, animation quality was godly.  I frequently felt like I was watching a Makoto Shinkai film.  Okay maybe not THAT godly, but it was still quite good.  There hasn’t been enough about the characters to make a formal judgement about that, but the story seems to be building up quite nicely

Of course, now it’s decision time.  I’ll say right now that I’m probably going to blogKurokami, unless something drastic happens.  As for the 2nd series i pick up, it’s either this or White Album.  I’ll let NamorSol see this ep and let him decide if he wants to blog it or not.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 8.5/10

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