Tiger & Bunny (Ep. 1)
Well, I wasn’t sure what I would think about this show based off of the very sparse description on pretty much every anime chart I looked out, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable I found this first episode. Sunrise pairs two interesting ideas: advertisement and superheroes. Advertisement-wise, they are making use of their sponsors by putting their logos into the anime on specific heroes. The advertisement idea goes even further in plot and characters, as superheroes are also sponsored by major businesses in the anime and perform all their heroic feats live on television in the very popular show “Hero TV.”
This is where our two main characters step up. “Wild Tiger” is a veteran hero who is starting to feel the effects of time in his popularity and rising ineffectiveness. He clings to old-fashioned ideals of separate identities and dated suits. When a rising new star makes an appearance and Wild Tiger’s company is bought out, he finds himself with a new boss and a new partner. This partner turns out to be the very same newcomer from earlier who has the exact same powers as Wild Tiger–the ability to get 100X stronger for a duration of 5 minutes. However, unlike Wild Tiger, this new hero is able to achieve at what our veteran fails.
I always find veteran/rookie pairings interesting and of course, comical. And that’s what this show seems to be all about: comedy and tons of action…in a fresh way. I say, bring it on!
OP: “Orion wo nazoru” by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN–The song’s a bit too poppy/rock for my taste, but the visuals are gold standard. It was a treat to watch and see all the different heroes, both in hero form and as their regular selves outside of costume.
ED: “hoshi no sumika” by Aobozu–A bit slower paced than the opening, this song has a nicer feel to it and doesn’t seem so much like your generic seinen music. The graphics, too, are not as flashy as in the start, featuring cityscapes and various shots of Tiger and Bunny.
Interest Level: 80% Sure, I’ll stick with this for now and see where it takes me. I hope the following episodes are as fun as this first one.
A Channel (Ep. 1)
What we have here is the perfect example of an anime that drives anti-moe extremists nuts, and what gives moe-lovers a bad name. I was attracted to this show from the visuals I had seen, plus the fact that I usually enjoy slice-of-life, school girl anime. But at least in those types of shows, there are usually interesting events happening in the background, with dialogue that endears the characters to me. Unfortunately, there is none of that in A Channel. I kept sitting and waiting for something to make me chuckle, but all I thought while watching was how generic this anime felt. Tooru-chan’s affection for and possessiveness of Run-chan is kind of cute at first. But the writer decided that tiny moment of cuteness was enough to warrant bashing us over the head with it repeatedly within the same episode. By the end, I wanted Tooru to just jump off the school’s roof. In the above screenshot I compare the main characters to ones from K-ON!, but I could do the same to girls from a bazillion other shows. This anime is even more boring than the first season of K-ON!, and that’s saying something (though I actually like the second season).
The one scene I laughed at in this episode is in the section after the ending theme, where Nagi imagines that the boys ask Run-chan about Yuuko’s three sizes, and actually has her answer them without any reservation.
OP: “Morning Arch” by Marina Kawano–The upbeat song, paired with the moving cityscape and various other visuals, tricks you into thinking that whatever follows will be just as sparkling and energetic. It’s too bad I found the girls more entertaining in the opening than in the actual episode.
ED: “Humming Girl” by Kaori Fukuhara, Aoi Yuuki, Yumi Uchiyama, and Minako Kotobuki–Featuring the girly voices of our main characters, I again found this ending deceivingly cute in its fluffy vocals and lyrics. It portrays the hope and uneasiness the girls feel in their everyday, young lives. The visuals themselves are nothing special as its just the girls going about their regular days.
Interest Level: 50%, I’ll try out a couple more episodes in the hopes that the dialogue takes several steps up. If things stay the say they are, I’ll most likely drop it.
Maria†Holic Alive (Ep. 1)
Shaft returns with this sequel to the 2010 Winter 1st season. If you’re at all familiar with the first season and enjoyed it for its comedy/parody, then you’ll be glad to know that Maria†Holic Alive returns to give you more of what you love. The premise of this show is ridiculous, and you’ll have to set aside any misgivings you may have on blatant degradation of sexual orientation to enjoy it. This anime strives to parody the norms of yuri anime/manga, as well as that of all-girl situations that hint at yuri. The result is a highly offensive series of skits that you either really love, or passionately hate. I can’t remember exactly how rude the 1st season was at portraying so-called lesbian tendencies, but I found it overly disgusting at the beginning of this first episode. They may not want me to take it seriously, but I still have a hard time swallowing the correlations they make between lesbians and man-haters/uncontrollable desires.
Get past the beginning, and I actually enjoyed the rest of the episode where Kanako and Co. battle through the trials of the First Girls’ Dorm (a.k.a. the dorm mistress’ series of traps to discourage male/female rendezvous). The visuals, as usual, are appealing, with the mixture of dreamy visuals and highly saturated character graphics–echoing the juxtaposition of the religious and innocent, school atmosphere with overt mockeries.
Random notes: I have a strong liking for the Dorm Manager and her soft-woofing dog, Yonakuni-san. I also loved the episode’s nods toward schoolgirl-running-with-toast-in mouth and deux ex machina plot devices.
OP: “Runrun Riru Ranran Rara” by Yuu Kobayashi–With the horrid lyrics and singing, I know I’m supposed to find this hilarious. But. I don’t. I just find it degrading; I mean, please: “Kanako is a lesbian. Everyday, her delusions rush uncontrollably through her mind…Her loathing of men is her solitary flaw!”
Interest level: 70%, I remember enjoying the 1st season to a degree, and I usually like Shaft works (Bakemonogatari, Hidamari Sketch, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, etc.). Though this show teeters between being overly offensive and devilishly clever, I kind of enjoy that torturous struggle.
Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox (Ep. 1)
This anime starts out pretty similar to any schoolgirl-type show. Our protagonist is clumsy and self-indulgent Toyotomi Hideyoshino, a.k.a. “Hideyoshi.” Because of her late-night habits of goofing off on her cellphone and browsing the fashion trends on the net, she can’t get up early enough to take a less-packed train to school. As a result, she continually takes the busy train, misses her stop, and arrives late to school. Since she spends all her after-school time on hobbies, she doesn’t do too well in her studies. Instead of changing her bad habits, she instead decides to ask for help at the local shrine. What follows is a disastrous encounter with an unknown woman and Hideyoshi’s transportation to a different time and place. In this world rife with war, she is saved by a feudal lord and her loyal vassal and pledges to help them find the missing pieces to a mythical set of armor known as the “Crimson Armor”–only until she can find her way home.
OP: “Kagerou” by Tenka Tori Tai (Satomi Akesaka, Mariya Ise, Sachi Kokuryu, Rei Mochizuki)–Again, we have a well executed intro. of both music and graphics to set the mood for this show, which obviously includes flashy action and plenty of boobs. Each of the warrior women gets a turn to show off her moves and glorious body (I find myself mostly interested in the archer chick). The song is pretty typical for an action-type anime, and not too memorable.
ED: “Atsuki Ya no Gotoku” by Tenka Tori Tai (Satomi Akesaka, Mariya Ise, Sachi Kokuryu, Rei Mochizuki)–As with most shows, I find the ending music more likable than the opening. Slower-paced, whimsical, and lead by the throaty vocals of the above-named women, we’re also treated with the images of the same warriors from the OP, only this time stripped of all their armor and battle faces. They float through floral patterns and carefully placed ribbons–women in full bloom, indeed.
Interest level: 70%, I seriously picked up this show on pure whim. I had had zero interest in it when I first saw the description, as I usually dislike vast amounts of fan service. Despite the hefty bosoms that threaten to spill out of armor pieces, I didn’t find the amount of fan service too much–at least in this first episode. Another part of this show that caught my interest was the whole girl-caught-out-of-time aspect; it reminds me a bit of Fushigi Yuugi. The idea is admittedly overdone in tons of anime, but I like that Sengoku Otome takes a sex twist to this blast to the past. Instead of the known male leaders, we have women. While this was probably just done to entice the male viewers, I still enjoy seeing strong women in leadership roles. The main character, however, leaves much to be desired with her flighty personality. From the opening graphics, I can assume she’ll become stronger and gain a little sense. I’ll try this out for now.