Spring 2017 – First Impressions (Part 2)

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Just about all the premieres have completed their run by now and so, I’m back with another impressions post! I hope everyone’s got their fill of shows this season; I for one am very happy about the turn out this time around. I’m following a couple more shows than last season but in general, I’ve been enjoying the one’s I’ve picked up a lot more than in the past season. That begin said, there are a couple shows that aren’t quite up to par, which is a little sad to see.

Any-who, there’s a ton of shows that I got around to watching this week that I want to talk about so let’s get started.

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS

I’m not quite sure why the title is in all caps, but it certainly does set the mood for the show. Boruto for those who haven’t heard about it, is the spinoff/sequel of Naruto – Masashi Kishimoto’s massive shounen hit. As the flashy title implies, Boruto features the next generation of Naruto, with the main cast being largely composed of the children of the old Naruto cast. The story of Boruto seems to share similarities to its parent story as it follows Boruto’s journey growing up as a ninja in the leaf village. The main difference between the two stories being that Boruto’s treatment because of his lineage and his resulting personality differs immensely from Naruto’s old situation.

Boruto’s story isn’t one of an underdog, like his father’s. His family’s respected and he grows up being much more skilled in ninjutsu than many others. He’s a kid with a bit of an ego and a father complex – things that were briefly touched on in the first episode and things that we’ll definitely see more developments on as the series progresses. The show also hinted at a major shift in the global opinion of ninjas with its opening scene. Boruto seems to be pushing the theme of “the old making way for the new” – which is a certainly an interesting thing to focus on.

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As a whole, the first episode was a good set up for this new season. The characters feel very similar in some ways to the old ones so the sense of nostalgia I felt was definitely there. I’m not a big fan of Boruto as a character, but given the progression of Naruto in his story, this’ll probably change. The biggest thing holding me back from enjoying the series though is the feeling that this show isn’t targeted towards me. Just like Naruto, Boruto seems to be catering to the shounen demographic and so some things didn’t really work out. For example, the show seems to be following a villain-of-the-week format – something that really doesn’t work for me. That being said, I’d like to come back to the show in about 50 episodes or so to see how much the tone and format of the show has changed. Until then, I think I’ll leave Boruto off my spring watching list for now.

Re:CREATORS

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I feel like every once in a while Ei Aoki pulls Hiroyuki Sawano aside and goes, “Hey, let’s make another anime together, I’ve got this great idea.” After which they share an emphatic high five and drink away the rest of the night. Re:CREATORS is another anime directed and written by Ei Aoki, animated by the animation studio TROYCA (which was founded by Aoki) with music done by Hiroyuki Sawano – otherwise known as the man behind, I SAY CRY. With the Aldnoah.Zero money burning a hole in their pockets, the two came together once again to make another anime original project – this time, without Gen Urobuchi’s name attached.

With the explosive introduction of Aldnoah.Zero, I was expecting some quality popcorn from this anime’s premiere – and I got exactly what I wanted. Re:CREATORS is a beautiful show, with well animated action sequences and no god-awful CG in sight (Mechas and Cars are fine). The story of Re:CREATORS on the surface, is simple. The fictional creations of various authors have come to life and now seek out their creators. With the reason for their entrance into our world and their intentions for finding creators, not being revealed yet. With such a simple premise, there’s a lot of directions that the show can go. Some works that I’ve read/seen go for a pretty self-indulgent and fantastical story, but Re:CREATORS doesn’t seem to be moving in that direction. The presentation of the show seems to imply that it has something to say about the power of creating and life of a creation after it’s been released out to the world. This idea interested me as a creator and in tandem with its aesthetic, it hooked me right away.

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The show didn’t hold back in the voice acting department either. Mikako Komatsu (Seishirou from Nisekoi, Inko from Aldnoah.Zero) as Celestia and Inori Minase (Rem from Re:Zero, Hestia from DanMachi…) as Meteora  both do a great job as the female leads and their dynamic with Daiki Yamashita (Izuku from My Hero Academia) as Souta was fun to see. I have to say, Daiki Yamashita was probably type-cast to this role as I felt the same normality and timidity from Souta as Izuku from MHA. The rest of the cast list, including characters that haven’t shown up quite yet, seems pretty star-studded including the likes of Sora Amamiya (Asseylum from Aldnoah.Zero, Aqua from Konosuba) and Aki Toyosaki (Yui from K-ON, Uiharu from Railgun).

Re:CREATORS seems to be wholly in my ballpark of anime that interests me, so I’m looking forward to much more. Hopefully it turns out better than Aldnoah.Zero did…

Eromanga Sensei

Ugh.

So Eromanga-Sensei – written by the author of OreImo, this show features two siblings. Full stop. Masamune is our ever-present bland MC; he’s the doting brother to his hikikomori step-sister who locked herself away from the world after the supposed death of their parents. He writes light novels as a side-job and she draws lewd art for her profession. They both later find out that she drew the cover for his light novel and bond over this miraculous coincidence.

Could you tell that I care very little about this show?

Okay so real talk, criticizing this show is really just grasping at low hanging fruit and I’m sure plenty of other have already picked apart the show. Because of that I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to write something about this, but there was something that I wanted to say about these kinds of shows. When done right and done maturely, shows depicting love between siblings can be and usually are good. And this show may not even touch the issue of incest, but both Tsukasa Fushimi’s track record and the implications from the first episode really say otherwise.

The bone I have to pick with the show isn’t one of content. Most of the time, I could care less about what anyone writes or creates – the problem comes with the effect the work has on its viewers. The fetishization of sibling relationships is weird and in cases with minors, more than a little fucked up. I have a sibling and the number of times that anime-fans joke (either ironically or un-ironically) about incest if/when they find out that I have a sibling is both awkward as hell and pretty freaking annoying. So Eromanga-Sensei, please stop. Thanks.

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World End: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?

I can’t tell you how much fun it was to type up that title. Anyways, so this anime was given the unfortunate abbreviation, Sukasuka and as so I’ll be referring to it as such. From what I could gather from the first episode, Sukasuka tells the story of the last remaining male on earth and his habitation with several children who happen to be weapons. Okay, hear me out – this show isn’t as bad as my synopsis implies.

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The thing that first drew me into Sukasuka was the aesthetic and world building. The art of the show looks very different from modern anime. The looks of the show feel similar to older anime and that gives it a kind of novelty. This aesthetic extended to the landscape and the town where the world building started. The long shots of the city and its winding vertical paths made the environment feel more real. So when we learn about the world’s composition and the situations of the characters, it became a lot easier to understand because of the built up environment.

The characters in the show aren’t bad either. Willem looks pretty young, but from the flashbacks and his personality, I suspect that he’s older than we might think. This honestly gave me a lot of relief since his situation felt very much like a set up for a fantasy harem. The children of the ‘weaponry warehouse’ were endearing and pretty adorable and their interactions with Willem were fun in a father-child way. The show’s seems to have set up a family unit and with the hints at a tragic end, this show can go a long way in its emotional narrative. There’s a lot of things that we still don’t know so it might be a little early to say for sure, but Sukasuka might turn out to be one of the better shows this season. I’m certainly looking forward to more.

Saekano – How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend .flat

Saekano is back with the regular crew of Kato, Eriri, and Utaha. I’m not leaving anyone important out right? I didn’t watch episode zero, so this episode was my re-introduction to the series and it was pretty alright. This episode looked at Eriri and Utaha’s past with one another. It turned out that they are huge fans of each other – with both almost having love at first sight reactions to each other’s work. This was actually pretty cool to see and it gave their respective characters a little more depth and their relationship a lot more.

Their hatred for one another basically hinges on Tomoyo-what’s-his-face and without him, they would probably be good friends. I wasn’t expecting this kind of character development right from the start (or even at all) so I was pleasantly surprised. For me, the enjoyment in Saekano’s first season was largely from parody and comedic timing. This second season continued the excellent comedy with some signs of actual development. If Saekano keeps it coming and I’ll be glad to keep on watching.

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Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side

To start off, Sword Oratoria is a spin off series for, Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? A 2015 anime by studio J.C. Staff. Known mostly for its big-breasted heroine, Hestia, the parent story featured a game-like world with an incompetent MC learning to grow both his abilities and his relationships with the girls in the series. Sword Oratoria tells the story of Aiz Wallenstein, the girl that initially saved Bell, the MC of the original story.

Sword Oratoria is one of those shows of which I’ve actually read the source material. As such, my impression of the show will be skewed by my impression of the source – which in itself is a complicated thing. I liked the Sword Oratoria manga; the action, story, and characters felt way more interesting than the parent story and it was engaging because of these things. But when I read the light novel, I mostly hated it. The writing was pretty bad and the pacing for the introduction was long and exhausting. The latter may have been intentional, but there was no way that it would translate well into anime.

Fortunately, Sword Oratoria’s anime decided to majorly cut down the introductory part of the series. But by doing this though, the show seemed to gloss over a lot of character introductions and development. For me, main characters like Lefiya felt seriously underdeveloped by the episode’s end. The episode’s priority seemed to be to rush to the point in which the series intersects with the parent story to cater to the audience that watched the original story. This decision felt a little wonky for me and detracted a lot from the experience.  I don’t think that Sword Oratoria is very good and the rest of the anime probably won’t be very good either, but here’s hoping for some good action sequences at the very least.

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Annnd done. It looks like I’ll be following about ten shows but I expect to drop about 2-3. That number’s a lot higher than last season so I’m pretty happy. This season looks to be pretty good and I’m excited to see more. So which shows are you watching? How has your anime season turned out? Let me know below, if you feel like it. I’ll be back again at some point for some probably non-seasonal anime related posts so look out for that. And as always, thanks for reading.

Carriage.

4 thoughts on “Spring 2017 – First Impressions (Part 2)

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