More First Episodes

I think I’m catching up …

BEATRICE! I had heard unpleasant things about Umineko no Naku Koro Ni and had seen images of the girl getting slapped around for being annoying, so I wasn’t looking forward to this one. I’m still not, but the first ep wasn’t bad, apart from the rushed introductions of all the characters, the overdramatic reactions of shock and anger from the adults, and the suspicion that I’m not really going to care either way. Well, okay, the overdramatic reactions are kinda funny … The kid wasn’t that annoying to me, but I’m not a parent …

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 brings up another dysfunctional family, except they’re not, really. They’re just stretched a bit from work pressures and the fact that the girl is a grumpy adolescent, like we all were. I actually liked the give and take the family delivers; it felt like a close family that had found ways to stretch and bend around problems. Kind of a shame that it’s probably the last we’ll see of it. The opening credits have some striking visuals, and the quake, when it comes, is terrifying, probably because we’re experiencing it through the girl, and her balcony looks pretty damn precarious. I’m looking forward to more.

Umi Monogatari looks pretty silly, but I loved the accompanying background piano and cello (bass?) they use through much of it. It suggests the show might be more low key than you’d expect. And I adored the undersea noises. Dolphin and whale sounds mixed into blurring sounds. Lovely stuff. It’ll probably get dumb quickly enough, but here’s hoping.

I’ll probably get through only one or two more eps of Princess Lover. There’s nothing really here to see, except the girl doing a Saber impersonation …

Bakemonogatari … The first note I wrote was “Panties … blood and guts.” Happily they abandoned the panties after that first bit and proceeded with a visually interesting ep where a boy named Aragari encounters a girl named Senjougahara (ouch), who proceeds to staple his gums (double ouch) for being too interested in her. But he’s actually a reformed vampire or something and takes her to meet his mentor and a weirdo blond girl who’s not really there, they say, who sulks in the corner. It all reminds me of Ef, in that we get tons of striking visual moments while the characters discuss things that don’t make any sense, maybe because I can’t read the subtitles while the visuals are going on. Unlike Ef, it looks like a single story will be told here, and it will be more straightforward, with more blood and guts and panties.

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