More new shows: Natsuyuki, Moyashimon 2, Binbougami Ga!, and something Chocolate

Guess which one’s the ghost.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous looks like your average noitaminA show, … but when I think of an average noitaminA show I don’t know any more. You come up with one trait and immediately think of another that contradicts it. Smart shows? What about BRS? Realistic, adult characters? How about Trapeze, or even the next one I’ll look at. I will say that this one is realistic apart from one supernatural element (like AnoHana), stars adults (just about everything they do apart from BRS, or Tsuritama, or Wandering Son) who act their age (unlike Nodame or Trapeze) … Forget it. This one has slacker Ryuusuke in love with flower shop owner Rokka, only to discover that her dead husband is still floating around. Normally in these sort of shows that means they must find a way to get the deceased to move on, again like AnoHana, or Amnesia (whoops). Especially here, since Shimao, the dead guy is a pain in the butt, especially to Ryuusuke, the only one who can see him. It’s off to a good start. Ryuusuke confesses to Rokka by the end of the episode but nothing much comes of it. The marriage seems to be more complicated than they’re letting on, since Shimao said on his deathbed to forget him, but he’s the one hanging around. And Rokka can’t see him. Throw the sister-in-law in the mix and I’m looking forward to what they’ll make of it.

Guess which one’s the star of the show.

It’s been so long since the first season of Moyashimon that I had forgotten many things about it. First, the show isn’t really about anything. Okay, it’s about Sawaki, who can see microbes, but beyond that the show could be anything. This week the characters are set to start brewing sake and soy sauce … and so they start. More time is spent with brewing lectures (by humans and microbes) than anything else in the episode. They hint at a bath scene but ignore it. There’s a mysterious hidden door, but that’s next week’s plot. Haruka goes at Takuma with a whip over events from a drinking bout. Yuuki, in all his gothic finery, takes an ax to his family’s liquor store. Professor Itsuki ambles about being wise. The microbes serves as our hosts, welcoming us back, reintroducing the characters, assisting with lectures, giving little dramas, making asides, and being the cute microscopic scene-stealers they’ve always been. It’s all a big, wonderful mess. The OP and ED aren’t up to the level of the first season’s, but I’ll get used to them.

Guess which one is the Sweets Club’s student council presidential nominee.

I hate first episode weeks sometimes. The thrill of anticipation wears off quickly, and soon I’m watching the first seconds of a new show (usually a landscape or a building) wondering why I bother. And Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate is the show where I hit the wall. So forgive me if my thoughts are less coherent than usual (shut up). The show stars, I believe, Yuuki, a boy who eats sweets with a bunch of cute girls and one suggestive boy, and they learn their useless club is going to be disbanded if a girl named Satsuki wins the student council election. So Yuuki decides is forced to run against her. Sounds like a straightforward high school comedy plot, and most of the time it works that way. You got the childhood friend waking him up scene, also a drunk teacher, among other things. But there was the bizarre opening bit involving people in black cars exchanging things for cash and running over the girl who got it on film, a scene which hovered over every lighthearted event that followed. Also, the school is strangely high-tech and the student council room dwarfs many countries’ parliaments. And Yuuki keeps seeing things … It’s too soon to tell if the strangeness is merely a way to mask a mediocre HS comedy story or not.

Guess which … oh, never mind.

Binbougami ga! … I dunno. It looks to be a routine slapstick comedy, Ichigo being a girl overly-blessed with good fortune and Momiji, a goddess of misfortune sent to restore the balance. Episode one works out predictably; Ichigo’s good fortune outdoing Momiji’s bad through lot of slapstick fights and shouting, lots of shouting. The voices actresses in the leads seem to be having a great time. And to complicate things, the series makes it clear that Ichigo isn’t really that happy, just fortunate, and she’s sucking up the good fortune of others. But why should this disagreeable goddess of misfortune be the one to redistribute this karmic wealth? If they can work on those issues some more maybe I will enjoy this series, because the jokes in episode one weren’t all that funny.


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