So I guess today was a day for transfer students, hm? As well as for male leads who befriend some pretty nice-looking females right in the first episode. All generic set ups aside, these two much anticipated shows seem to be proving their worth right from the start.
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, a.k.a. “Haganai”
I wasn’t too impressed with this show after watching the OVA, but I’m happy to say that the first episode of the TV series captured my interests once again. There’s been a lot of hype about this show from the get go, and I’ve seen plenty of talk about it both in blogs and in forums. And what’s not to like? The art style is pretty, thanks to the beautifully drawn lips by Buriki, and the dialogue is quick and full of punch. The premise behind the show is a fun one, too. The whole notion of a couple of friend-less students forming a club for the blatant purpose of making friends sounds a bit silly, but isn’t that the reason why many people, if not all, join clubs in the first place–to find and interact with others who have the same interests? The only catch in this case, though, is that neither of the characters, and the audience included, knows if their interests will work together or not. Obviously in the shown example of Sena and Yozora, that is likely to be in favor of the negative.
My misgivings are my usual ones: a hope for minimal fan service and a hope that more males show up so this isn’t just another harem. Thankfully, the male lead isn’t too boring as of yet, at least visually. Unlike many other harem male leads, Kodaka is actually interesting to look at, with his gradient-shaded blonde hair and sense of style. I especially like Yozora at the moment, with her strange logic and brusque way of attacking issues head on. Even Sena isn’t all that she seems, all big-boobed (complete with shaded nipple dots on her uniform) and blonde-haired. Her acknowledgment of her supposed popularity is refreshing, even believable. With the rate the club is going, I look forward to meeting some more eccentric members.
Persona 4 The Animation
I know nothing of the video game, but that doesn’t stop me from liking what I see, and disliking some other areas that I wish I could overlook. The opening scene is pretty cryptic in nature, as we’re confronted by some all-seeing, long-eared old man called “Igor” and a hottie-tottie blondie named “Margaret” who talk to the viewer of spaces between borders, contracts, and fated futures. The sudden change of setting and introduction of our protagonist makes the opening all the more mysterious and intriguing, since what seems to be the real world looks pretty drab in comparison. Transfer student Narukami moves to Inaba Village, a town with little to outwardly distinguish itself. There are some interesting rumors going around, though, of a Midnight TV through which one might see his or her soul mate. Taken into account with the gruesome murder that takes place, all’s not right in a town that should be peaceful. Narukami and his friends find that out all too soon for themselves when they take up the challenge of watching Midnight TV and get sucked into the television into some sort of alternate universe where monsters lurk. What’s the connection, and when did Narukami ever make his contract for his persona?
If there’s one thing I dislike so far with this anime, it’s the art style. For the better part of the episode, the character designs look carelessly created and shaded. Narukami is thoroughly boring to look at; the one redeeming aspect to the designs are the surprisingly stylish school uniforms. It’s not until the three students fall into television world that the saturation levels are amped up, and the animation suddenly looks worth the big hype. I hope the contrast in art style is intentional, otherwise I find it a shame that such a pumped up title is saddled with such poor artistic flow.