Winter 2014 #7, the end of the beginnings

One of Nisekoi's calmer moments.
One of Nisekoi’s calmer moments.

On this final, mind-breaking (my mind, not yours) installment, we start with Nisekoi. I’d read a bit of this online and liked it, but I never imagined that SHAFT would be up for doing it. But then I looked at Shinbou’s list of credits and remembered that he’s not only known for oddity, but for prolificity. So we have a perfectly normal anime series where the son of a yakuza clan leader meets a girl in school that he can’t stand, but because she’s the daughter of another yakuza clan leader, they have to pretend to be in love. Now just imagine that with the Shaft treatment and you’ve got it. Needless to say it’s visually dazzling, from the opening memory scene that plays like an old movie, to Kirisaki’s description of what two girls said earlier, there’s always something interesting to look at. It also has the odd camera angles and constantly changing scenery you’d expect, and it all plays well with the dialogue, which is primarily the two kids bickering. It all seems bigger and classier than the other new shows out there. I have to remind myself that I’m biased toward Shaft and they have a lot more money to throw at a show these days. Still this is my first definite keeper of the season.

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Nisekoi looks wild, but the story is perfectly ordinary. Sekai Seifuku -Bouryaku no Zvezda, on the other hand, might be the weirdest show of the new season apart from Nobunaga the Fool. A homeless high-schooler (haven’t had to many of those) named Jimon Asuta is stuck outside when curfew hits and everything shuts down. He meets a small girl named Hoshimiya Kate, who orders him around and talks about conquering the world, though it seems might she might just be lost and scared. The contradiction between her age and her vocabulary, however, is enough to pique our interest. As they dodge (and later destroy, er, conquer) tanks, we meet a lot of other weirdos, most of them having powers and swearing fealty to Kate. Asuta is given the duty of reacting, usually with shock, as things get weirder and weirder. It’s well-done. The weirdness doesn’t alienate or WTF us out of the story, and the secret society Zvezda’s desire to conquer the world because that’s what it’s there for, is not something you expect out of a child’s mouth. Barring a complete collapse next week, that’s two keepers in a row!

Sorry to say, Norio Wakamoto's talents are wasted on that frog.
Sorry to say, Norio Wakamoto’s talents are wasted on that frog.

Wizard Barristers Benmashi Cecil looks like a decent show. It had a big action opening which got things going nicely. But after that I began to lose interest. The heroine, Sudo Cecil, the youngest wizard barrister going, was all nice and spunky, taking on a case before she even arrived on the job on her first day (big violent disasters and crimes seem to happen all the time in this world they’re in). But she didn’t interest me that much. Neither do her coworkers, or the case she’s on. One thing that does is the obvious discrimination that magical people have there. Cops try to inspect her bag after pulling her over, the defendant was bullied at work because he also was a wud, as they call them. I guess the cops’ excuse is that wizards there seem to cause damage wherever they go. Still, not enough to keep me watching. But this one is a matter of taste. Nothing seriously wrong with the first episode at all.

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Finally, we have Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha, and I’m on the fence with this one. We meet a nice, clumsy girl named Inari, who has a crush on a guy, rescues a spirit fox, gets a wish, and rather recklessly transforms into the guy’s crush. Where, sigh, she learns a lesson. I’m not crazy about lesson shows, but this one at least has some good dialogue, and some of the characters have potential, including both Inari the girl and Inari the goddess who grants her wish as recklessly as she asks it and is later caught watching dating sims. What worries me is the episode’s conclusion and the new power Inari (the girl) has. Will she have to learn a lesson every week when she uses her power? I hate that kind of thing. On the other hand, Natsuiro Kiseki threatened to behave like that too but instead became a decent and sensitive series. I’ll decide next week.

Oh, how could I forget? The most important show to air since Teekyuu!

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And with that, I’m done with the new shows!

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