Let’s see … Working ep1 turns out to be the same as the preview episode. I’ll skip that for now. Ookiku Furikabutte is a sequel, and though it looks all right I don’t have the energy to learn who all these characters are, or what I missed. So I’ll not cover that.
So let’s take a look at Giant Killing. Being a yank, I’m going to call it soccer. Also, being a yank, I know next to nothing about soccer. When the World Cup comes around I may watch a game or two, but that means I watch soccer matches once every four years. But a good story is a good story even if I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the game. Giant Killing might be a good story, if a bit routine.
The show opens in Portsmouth during an FA Cup match. It’s dazzling. The crowd shots are smooth and detailed. Every person is moving on his own, a far cry from Cross Game, where, much as I loved that series, the crowds always looked like cardboard cutouts. Watching the game are Gotou and Yuki, who have come to lure manager Tatsumi back to Japan to head East Tokyo United. They succeed, and the beginnings of a typical sports drama reveal themselves. And the animation quality drops …
Tatsumi is an unconventional manager. He is also disliked by ETU’s disgruntled fans for deserting them three years ago. The team is run by a bickering family, to which Tatsumi belongs. Nepotism is rarely a good thing. What’s more, on the first day of practice he decides the starters from which ones run a 30m dash fastest, alienating Murakoshi, the team’s star player and heart of the team. Murakoshi could be an interesting character. He’s a team player, but he can’t help but feel resentment toward Tatsumi’s practices.
In other words, Tatsumi’s off to a great start, but of course there will probably be a method to his madness, and they have to put in conflict points somewhere. But it’s told well, with no scenes that dragged or felt forced. I’m looking forward to the next episode.
The only thing that bothered me is that Gotou and Yuki did not know where in England Tatsumi was coaching. Soccer is a global operation; surely they should have no trouble finding out where, especially when his team was in the fourth round of the FA Cup …
A minute into Mayoi Neko Overrun I thought I had another Kissxsis on my hands.
And indeed, this show has its share of fanservice, but not nearly as much of it as I had feared. The shot above turned into a series of vocal gags and nothing more. What this show mainly did was confuse the heck out of me.
We have Takumi, an average anime high school lad, his tsundere friend Fumino, a spoiled, underdeveloped Umenomori, and, er, a pervert guy. They are each introduced in infodumps that happen so fast I’m glad I was taking notes. For the first half of the show nothing happens except for Umenomori and Fumino bickering at each other and anyone else around. It’s the second half, where a boy, accused of eating a someone’s cake, claims it was a cat as large as a human that ate it. So they rebake the cake and look for a big cat. There’s a chase scene that goes nowhere, the need for eggs, a small chick that Umenomori adopts, and I’m scratching my head at the whole thing. I’m not sure if this creators were playing with old formulas or simply inept.
In the end we meet the “cat,” and Otome, Takumi’s sister. I guess this is where the show is supposed to begin … at the end of the episode. I’m not going to write this show off quite yet. As I said, it may be that they don’t know what they’re doing, but there was a randomness to this episode that kept me guessing. It’s worth looking at ep2.
Lilpri … I just don’t know … Do I want another small girl’s show? Especially when I find its sensibilities suspect? Oh, I suppose it’s fine if you want to grow up and become a princess and hang out with fairy tale characters. But there’s an implication that only good, pretty, talented girls deserve this future.
Fairyland is falling into ruin. The fairy tale characters are vanishing, the gingerbread house is melting, and …
… So the Queen of Fairyland send three annoying little mascot characters to our world to seek out the new princess, who will create happiness and thus restore the happiness tones in the sky. Meanwhile, on earth, little Ringo is trying to get into a concert to meet her idol, this guy named Wish, and she meets Natsuki and Reira. The mascots, guided by magic stones, track down the girls.
At this point I’ve come to a few conclusions. The mascot characters are not only annoying, but all three must have solo time being annoying. And three girls are not much better. They’re simply dull. It might be the lifeless voice acting that’s causing it. I kept wishing for Yumeiro Patissiere’s Ichigo, an entertaining main character who’s voiced extremely well.
The girls are transformed into idol singers, and since Wish is late they warm up the audience, rather to the surprise of the concert hall personnel, and Wish, who shows up at the end. Their brief concert scene was downright creepy. Maybe it was the way it was animated.
In other words, there was a lot not to like. The whole princess thing kind of bugs me, but I’m not a little girl. On the other hand, nothing in the episode downright offended me. I’ll watch maybe one more episode.