Anime Spring Season 2017 – Early Impressions – Part 2

[Continued from Part 1]

[Segmented Version, page 2 of 3 – G to R]

Is this actually for anyone?

Gin no Guardian [Dropped]

Aka The Silver Guardian

Short. As soon as I saw the Haoliners splash screen appear, my scepticism set in. I’ve yet to like a single thing from that studio, and unfortunately Gin no Guardian was not the one to buck that trend. It’s not necessarily bad, but it is very, very boring.

It cold-opens on some other dimension where on top of a pyramid our hero stands alone (okay, not exactly, he also has his cat) against an encroaching horde of undead. This continues into some uninspired action scenes that don’t really sell the idea that the guy has been fighting a new horde every night. While it cuts to the “real world” at times, it never really explains what is going on, or sets things up in any way. It’s just rather tedious.

It’s also just 12-13 mins long, which surprised me, because it certainly felt like it took a lot longer to get done. Not sure I could recommend this to anyone considering the better stuff on offer this season.

Wear armour when chopping wood, kids.

Granblue Fantasy The Animation [Maybe]

Possibly the only show that does a decent cold-open this season. Our female lead/macguffin Lyria is trying to escape from the imperial airship she’s on along with her protector Katalina. Or rather, Katalina is/was an imperial officer who decided that what they were doing to Lyria was wrong, and decided to break her out. The most obviously evil villain appears to try to stop them, things go sideways, and Lyria uses her power to blow a hole in the ship which throws her out. And presumably Katalina also jumped out, because she is somehow on the ground later on.

Down on the island the airship was flying over we are introduced to Gran, our male lead. He has this half-armoured outfit that he seems to wear at all times, even when chopping wood. He also has a partner in a small dragon(?) Vyrn, who doesn’t have a vocal tick. Which I mention because it is unusual (but welcome) for this kind of mascot character to lack. He just speaks normally. Kudos.

The airship and the explosion don’t go unnoticed in the village, and they see a bright, blue light descend from the ship to land in the forest. Gran and Vyrn go to check it out, and they find Lyria. Being the hero he is, Gran decides to protect Lyria from the imperial soldiers that appear (in what seems very much like a combat tutorial from a game). They run off, and quickly reunite with Katalina, who says they need to get off the island. She has a small airship readied, but the problem will be getting there. Gran insists on helping them, and Katalina gives up on protesting after not too long.

They run into Obviously Evil Villain from the Obviously Evil Empire again, and Gran and Lyria end up mystically linking up to save Gran’s life. Then they summon Bahamut because it’s time to end the world, I guess.

This seems like a decent show, actually. I wouldn’t say the writing is great, especially with how Obviously Evil the Empire is, but it does have some interesting ideas. I really don’t know anything about the game this is based on, but the first episode certainly played out like the opening of a videogame.

However, it just barely doesn’t make the cut because there are other things I would rather prioritise. Part of what made it fall short is that even though Katalina and Lyria have really great chemistry, it feels more like the show intends to force a romance between Gran and Lyria. Maybe they sell that better later, but you should know me well enough to know I generally consider het romances to be a minus.

If I end up dropping a couple of other things, I might slot it back in.

Reminds me of Lucky Star a bit.

Hinako Note

Seems to be the most moe show of the season, so I feel right away I have to stick with it for that reason alone.

The titular Hinako is a girl moving from the country into Tokyo. She has applied for a school in the hopes of joining its theatre club. She is really shy, easily flustered, and tends to freeze up when talking to strangers, or sometimes even with people she knows. Her dream is to overcome that by learning to stand on stage in front of an audience, as any time she has seen a play she has been dazzled by their performance and bravery.

So she gets into the school and goes to Tokyo where she’s going to live in a boarding house with several other girls, who all turn out to be slightly odd in their own way. It feels strangely similar to Lucky Star actually. The OP especially is the most Lucky Star OP I’ve seen since Lucky Star’s OP.

This is the kind of stuff I tend to absolutely love, and the first episode was promising enough that I want to see more of this.

Enjoyable sci-fi romp.

ID-0

It is the “distant future”, and Mikuri Maya is a promising geology student at the Alliance Academy. She is out on her first field mission helping a mining vessel recover a vein of Orichalt, the macguffin substance of the show that is a very powerful and has led to basically all of mankind’s big space advancement and expansion. However it is also quite volatile, and there’s still a lot of unknowns regarding the material.

As things don’t go that well with the drilling, the crew have to actually go out there to check what’s wrong and hopefully correct it. This is where the show’s big idea comes in: I-Machines. Large robot frames that a human can transfer their mind into via backup pods that make a save of their mind going in, and keeps the body safe as they go out. If the I-Machine is lost and they “die”, they simply revive in the pod. Hopefully with their memory of being in the I-Machine intact, but the backup save is there just in case.

Things turn bad on the asteroid they’re mining, as the Orichalt becomes unstable. The two others are blown apart almost instantly, while Maya is flung into space. She is rescued by the crew of the pirate mining vessel Stulti, and taken on board on the condition that she helps out. Maybe they’ll even help her get back to her human body. But did they just happen to be in the area, or did they perhaps know she would be there?

I thought this was a really enjoyable sci-fi romp. It has an interesting setting, cool designs, neat robots with a neat concept, and some pretty good characters from what we got to see of them. Made me think a bit of Homeworld, too. Now I personally wasn’t bothered by it, but some people might be put off at how the show is entirely CG animated. So I’m just letting you know.

So yeah. Fun and neat.

Kabuki is not for me.

Kabukibu! [Dropped]

I don’t remember anyone’s name for this. Our protagonist is a high school student who for some reason is really into kabuki, and wants to form a kabuki club at his school. Because he thinks it’s really fun and interesting. I don’t understand why. So he goes around trying to recruit people from a list his equally kabuki-interested friend has put together. I really only got halfway through the episode before I was bored out of my mind.

I am going to draw a comparison to Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, even though this show is absolutely nowhere near that good. My reason for dropping Rakugo Shinjuu, even though I could appreciate it as a good show, was that I absolutely couldn’t stand the rakugo performances. And I feel completely the same about kabuki in that I have no interest, and can’t stand to watch it. So if I didn’t put up with it for a much better show, I’m certainly not going to put up with it for this one.

Papikana and Mimi, or Mirai and Riko?

Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel

Aka Twin Angel BREAK

There has been a previous Twin Angel show, but I was told I didn’t need to have watched that to watch this, so I gave it a shot. It really doesn’t seem to be directly related. Also it’s based on a gatchapon game?

Our two main characters are Meguru, who just transferred to a Tokyo high school as part of an exchange program, and Sumire, a proud and somewhat cold girl. Meguru seems to fall in love with Sumire at first sight, though Sumire doesn’t exactly seem to return those feelings.

Soon enough it turns out that Meguru has been selected to be a Twin Angel by a magical hedgehog, and her introduction into the role is rather abrupt as a bad guy appears not long after she started school. Her role is only revealed to her as he is carrying out his scheme, and she has to stop him. She doesn’t really succeed, but is saved by another Twin Angel, which turns out to be Sumire.

Meguru is eager to work together with Sumire from now on, but Sumire blows her off completely. She says she will no longer be a Twin Angel, and for Meguru to never talk to her again. The hedgehog says Sumire has already been a Twin Angel and has been fighting alone for a while.

This kinda feels like it’s borrowing elements from both Maho Girls Precure, and Flip Flappers, but based on the first episode it was not exactly mind-blowing. I thought it was fine. I can see it becoming good. So I’ll watch a bit more, even though I’m not quite seeing what other people have seen yet.

Too much pink power.

Kenka Banchou Otome – Girl Beats Boys

Short. Hinako has spent her whole life in an orphanage, never aware she had any family at all. But as she’s about to enter high school, a boy named Hikaru shows up claiming to be her twin brother. His (their?) father has enrolled Hikaru into Shishiku Academy, tasking him with rising to the top of that school, as I believe his older brother had done before him. To avoid this, Hikaru asks Hinako to switch with him. He’ll take her place in the school she was going to, and she takes his place at Shishiku.

Unknown to her, the school is home to the nation’s biggest delinquents, who regularly fight over who gets the top spot at the school. So while she knows that her “mission” is to rise to the top, she is unaware of how that would work. So what will she do when she finds out?

Everyone knows of Hikaru’s older brother, so they’ll be on the lookout for him, or rather her now that they’ve switched. Though I suppose the title gives away that Hinako knows how to hold her own.

At 8 mins long it’s not the shortest show, but still only a third of a full-length episode. The first episode was pretty good, so I’m okay with sticking with this one for now.

Hanayo why

Love Kome – We Love Rice [Dropped]

Short. A show about anthropomorphised rice attending rice school to become rice idols and save rice in Japan from being out-competed by bread and noodles.

So basically they’ve let Hanayo write and direct an anime, and it might have been better if they hadn’t.

Where is this going?

Makeruna!! Aku no Gundan!

Aka Don’t lose!! Evil Corps!

Short. This is about an alien who sees an ad for how to make your own invasion force, and decides to go for it. With two comrades he heads for Earth which is known as an easy invasion target, for… some reason.

I really only looked at this for completion’s sake, but I am now honestly curious where they’re going with this.

Not what I expected.

Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine

Aka The Royal Tutor

Heine Wittgenstein is a young (and very short) man who gets hired by the royal family to be the royal tutor for the four younger princes. While the eldest is indeed the crown prince, the king still wants excellent education for his other sons. Just in case something were to happen.

So Heine shows up at the palace, and after a brief misunderstanding gets in and meets the princes. And as soon as I saw them, and his reaction to them, I thought “here we go, a yaoi harem”. I have a very hit and miss history with BL stuff, so I adjusted my expectations accordingly.

Only to find that after a slightly rocky start, it turns out to actually have a very good sense of humour. I ended up liking the first episode of this a lot, and I didn’t expect to. Heine is wonderfully deadpan and undaunted in the face of everything. His stature has probably led him to this “who gives a fuck what people think, I’m gonna do my job” attitude.

The princes have only been briefly introduced yet, with the exception of the one he ended up interviewing this time. There’s the large stoic one who doesn’t say a word, and only glares at everyone. There’s the smug, intellectual one whose attitude shifts greatly depending on how he feels about the one he’s talking to. There’s the young playful one with a bit of a playboy attitude who is prone to going with the flow.

And finally the interviewee, the one with a big chip on his shoulder towards the very idea of teachers and tutors, and very openly hostile about it. It of course turns out he is not that bad of a person, he just has trust issues after so many previous tutors have abandoned him and his brothers. And he hates studying, preferring physical activity to academic. Heine manages to get through to him a little, but the prince has a lot of insecurities to work through.

I want to see more of this, because it was actually quite funny. And a bit endearing.

Too early to tell.

Re: Creators

After a cavalcade of title drops for what I assume are pieces of fiction that only exist in-universe (I didn’t recognise a single title, at least) we are shown a scene where an unknown girl seemingly throws herself in front of a train. This never comes back up during the first episode.

Because then we cut to our… main dude. He says he’s not the main character, he’s just the narrator, but the show certainly focuses around him for this episode. He’s a big nerd and… I’ll say an aspiring artist, even though he seems to have a bit of an art block at the moment.

While looking up information on his favourite anime on his tablet, he starts playing the PV for the next episode, and his tablet blue-screens. Good job, kid, never seen that before. But before he can get around to rebooting it, it seemingly fixes itself before freaking out completely and spouting nonsense at him in several languages. Then it blue-screens the world, because this kid is just that big of a fuck-up.

Actually he ends up transported to an alternate world, more precisely to the world of his favourite anime, in the middle of the PV he was just watching. Stuff happens, and the main character of that anime, Celestia (Selesia) Yupitilia ends up being transported back to his world with him. There she is forced to come to terms with how she is actually a fictional character, or at least regarded as one in this world.

The person she was fighting, a curious woman in a strange uniform who can summon an infinite amount of sabres (I started referring to her as Sabres, actually), follows the two of them, and offers Celestia to join her in her grand plan. However, Celestia grabs main dude and makes a run for it. After a heated chase she is forced to resume her fight against Sabres, until another person interferes: Meteora. Sabres disappears, but not until after telling them both that this is the world of the gods, and she seems to want to destroy them all. But first she wants “all the players” to be present.

I think I get what she means. They all come from worlds made by creators from our world, and have gained a will of their own separate from their creators.

After Sabres is gone, Celestia and Meteora fly off, leaving main-dude behind. Though a few days later he ends up finding both of them in his room when he comes back home, as they realised they have nowhere else to go. At which point I thought “this is 100% the set-up for a harem show”. However it does seem to have enough going for it that I want to see a bit more.

How did this happen?

Renai Bokun [Dropped]

Aka Love Tyrant, The very lovely tyrant of love♥

This could well be the worst anime ever created.

Thinks it's far cleverer than it is.

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records [Dropped]

Aka Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor

To get this out of the way right away: This seems to be another teen-wank show that is probably leading into harem stuff with The One Dude.

So we start with Sistine and her sister who are attending a magical academy. Their previous teacher has just quit, or moved, or died, or something… I forget. And they’re due to get a substitute today. One hand-picked by one of the greatest magicians at the school.

The thing to keep in mind with this show is that it thinks it’s being subversive. It probably looked up “subversive” on TV Tropes and thought “yup, I’ve got it”. But the thing about satire is that it has to have an element of criticism towards what it’s satirising/subverting. When you’re just doing the thing you claim to be satirising, while pointing out “hey, look at this thing”, that’s not satire. Then you’re just doing the thing.

I bring this up because we quickly run into the typical scene of “girl is about to round the corner, unaware of the guy sprinting in that direction, so they’ll run into each other”, except! As he’s about to hit them, Sistine casts a spell that repels him and sends him flying into the fountain. Subversion! Except… as soon he gets out, he starts poking at her sister anyway. Causing Sistine to knock him into the fountain again before they both storm off.

At school it of course turns out that this asshole is their substitute teacher. He has no teaching license, no experience, no motivation, no integrity, and really no place being there. He was just sponsored into this position because… his sponsor wants him to lead a happy life, or something? Consequences be damned for anyone who has to put up with him, I suppose.

After a rather tense and awkward class, with Sistine in particular trying to get him to take things seriously, they move on to the next part, which apparently requires a changing room scene. Which he of course decides to burst into. The reason he gives is “why should they need to change”, so he knew they were changing… and still decided to burst in on the girls. Not the boys. He then says, more or less, that he knows this is cliche, but he’s not going to look away in shame, he’s going to stare as much as he can before they kick him out. What a swell guy.

This culminates in Sistine challenging him to a duel, saying that he has to take his job more seriously if she wins, which is also a clear teen-wank thing. I fully expected him to win, because that’s just how these things go, but he actually doesn’t. He puts on a good performance, but still loses.

I’m still not going to stick around for this though… it has so many things I can’t stand, and it pretends to be subverting some of them, but it’s really not. Plus I’ve heard that basically the entire second episode is about dragging Sistine’s character through the mud, and even has an attempted rape scene. I don’t want to see that…

This really is one of those shows where this might have been okay had they just not had The One Dude.

[Concluded in Part 3]

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