Anime First Impressions - Spring 2014 Part Two

Aaand, here we are in the middle of the week with Part 2 of the First Impressions.  Let's just get right to it.

Blade and Soul

This series appeals to some group, but man I'm really not apart of that group.  Everything about the episode screamed "generic" at me, from the boring-ass "stoic" warrior chick to the rustic village filled with people who've carved out a "rough, but fair" existence farming that are being threatened by a kingdom who wants their land for its resources.    It wasn't offensive, it was just dull. Well, correction: the main female is offensive.  Note: Quiet protagonists are boring, not cool.  Stop using them.

I'll probably sit through another couple episodes to see if some of the other characters spice the universe up, but I'm guessing if you aren't watching this to see tits and violence that you're wasting your time.  Mind, not that I'm not a fan of both of those things, but I need something besides that.  Comedy.  Inspired designs.  Interesting characters.  Bunnies.  Anything at all would have helped.

Revision: Okay, I watched the second episode of this and I think I'm done.  The main character is so boring and so violent people who come within a six feet radius seem to become boring themselves or get murdered brutally.  Again, it's done nothing offensive but it's just too dull and watching it feels like a chore. 

Mahou Shoujo Taisen

After Madoka, nobody ever really knows what to expect from magical girl series anymore.  Even though it was just a single series, that deconstruction of the genre makes most fans feel like at any moment something unspeakably horrible could happen to a character at any moment.  So when I picked up Mahou Shoujo Taisen (lit. "Magical Girl Wars"), I had no idea I'd be walking into a five minute mini-episode that was basically a crack show.

Meant to be part of a variety show, Taisen features anthropomorphizations of local Japanese towns.  This means the plot is largely irrelevant (so far) and it's just about girls wearing extravagant outfits while whacking deceptively cute evil furballs to keep them from possessing humans.   For the most part I don't see myself dropping myself because it's pretty cute, and five minutes is one of the smallest time investments I've ever had asked of me.

Hitsugi no Chaika

A brother and sister with military training help a young girl sorceress do...something.  If I'm being honest the picture isn't painted clearly enough yet for me to know that yet.  The brother is a retired soldier, the sister is the only one with a job, and the girl can only speak in simple sentences for some reason that would probably make me brain myself if I knew it.

Actually, can we talk about that?  Chaika, the girl in question, is positively adorable, but can we stop making females who seem to be mentally damaged?   Anime never ceases to amaze me with the weird shit that they fetishize, but I need this not to be one of them.  It's really weird.   I'm not the most progressive guy in the world, and still I know we can do better than this.

Anyway: Honest opinion on the series?   Chaika's cute enough to give this series the requisite five episodes but this series is still high up on the list of shows likely to be cut if my time finds itself too taxed to keep up.

Captain Earth

Captain Earth was...weird.   Typically gorgeous BONES animation, but initially I thought it would go the route of weak ass Eureka Seven, until it suddenly saved itself mid-episode.   I don't actually know enough about the characters or the plot to make any concrete statements about the series yet, though.  Right now it just looks like your standard Super Robot series, complete with an oversized mecha, a really awesome assembly sequence, and an alien race with the requisite lack of respect for human life that makes it easier to root for the good guys.  (Also, as required for any post-2000 series, some very strange sexual overtones.)

Shows like this pretty much only get crazier as time goes on.  With only a generic kid who's determined to stop the Earth from getting...well, presumably blown up but I can't say for sure...I'll have to wait a little more to know if I'll stick with it.  Fortunately it bought itself the other four episodes.  

Seikoku no Dragonar

Mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!   This show bugs the hell out of me.  A main character with a hidden past.  a bunch of tsundere characters, and yet another loli snuck it's way in despite all evidence to the contrary.  Seikoku no Dragonar is supposed to be about kids who happen to possess the special ability to ride and control their own unique dragon partners, with the exception of the main character who can ride and control any partner.

By itself that'd be an interesting idea, but judging from the OP/ED, there's a fair chance that this will morph into a generic harem series.   I wanted it to be good, but it feels like a less inventive version of Unbreakable Machine Doll, and that series had its irritating moments. I'm in for four episodes with the caveat that it may get dropped if it has to stand alongside some of the better series for too long. 

And that's part two.   Part three has a good chance of showing up later today or probably a little tomorrow.   Don't worry, it's not all doom and gloom. 


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