New Spring 2014 #2

This show wants you to know what you're watching right off the bat.
This show wants you to know what you’re watching right off the bat.

It’s almost not worth writing about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders. In it, Jotaro is in jail and won’t leave until he gets to the bottom of the evil spirit that’s inhabiting him, no matter that the cops and fellow prisoners are begging him to. So they call his mom, who calls her father, Joseph Joestar, who brings an Egyptian guy with his own evil spirit, and we have a small-scale Jojo-style confrontation. Dramatic speeches, grunting, gasps of surprise, fear from the onlookers, shouting, and some violence, but not a lot by this show’s standards. Sort of an appetizer for the rest of the series.

Jotaro's EVIL SPIRIT CATCHES A BULLET!!
Jotaro’s EVIL SPIRIT CATCHES A BULLET!!

It looks about the same as I remembered (I only watched halfway through season one), and now that I’m satisfied that the show is as daft as ever, I’m going to drop it. Not because it’s a bad show, but because a little of this stuff goes a long way for me. For the rest of you: enjoy!

I believe that's Hong Kong.
I believe that’s Hong Kong.

Kindaichi Case Files R is apparently an update of an old series. I never saw the original, but I’ve seen enough old series to catch the old-fashioned feel that this new version maintains. We got Kindaichi, lazy high school student, grandson of a great detective, who’s best friend/possible love interest, gets approached by a guy who wants to have her model in a fashion show in Hong Kong. She has no qualms about saying yes to this strange request, and soon the two, plus Saki the Sidekick, are walking around Hong Kong until she vanishes in a dressing room, and the fun begins.

Kindaichi and his sidekick, Saki.
Kindaichi and his sidekick, Saki.

I’m of two minds about this. The unabashed, old-school plot and direction are refreshing, and they got me interested in the story. They throw a lot of plot at us (not to mention characters), but it’s told well enough that I’m going to tune in next week to find out what happens, which is exactly what a show should do. On the other hand, there are moments that are a little TOO old-school, like the bike-chase that ends as you’d expect (though Kindaichi’s tossing his smartphone into the getaway car so he can track it shows that the show isn’t afraid of modernity). And I’m not sure how long I can handle close-ups of shocked faces, eyebrows twitching, with a “ching!” sound effect. Well, you take the good with the bad, and others might not mind it at all.

Kenzen Robo Daimidaler … Heh.

I'm not sure what that is, but it's in a shower.
I’m not sure what that is, but it’s in a shower.

We meet, well, first we meet a giant robot which is stomping the city, then we turn to Kouichi, a high school boy who’s more perverted than most. A woman representing … earth, I suppose, I forget, tries to recruit him to join her team. Since Kouichi’s trying to peep at the time, he’s not interested, until a bunch of penguin guys show up and attack him. He grabs Kyoko’s boobs, and his latent Hi-EROS power is revealed! After that it’s the usual scenes of him not wanting to join the good guys until the evil penguins force his hand (by breaking into his room and reading his porn magazines), and Daimidaler, the big robot, is wheeled out.

But it's for the sake of mankind!
But it’s for the sake of mankind!

Basically, it’s a “troubled youth with great potential must be convinced to fight the good fight” story, but with more boob-fondling than usual. It’s also not terrible. Like Kindaichi, it has sort of an old school vibe that contrasts with Kouichi’s hentai nature. And Kouichi, while a hentai, is more practical than some (“If we fight in here, we might break down a wall and I’ll lose my deposit!”). There are other good, funny moments along the way as well, as well as embarrassing, why-am-I-watching-this? moments. So I’ll watch episode two and decide then.

A forest, in a flashback.
A forest, in a flashback.

Seikoku no Dragonar looks safe to drop. After a flashback where we see our hero, Ash Blake, lying in a tangle with a girl, being healed and given a tattoo by some woman, we see the troubled Ash attending dragon school, in spite of the fact that his dragon hasn’t manifested yet. We meet snickering classmates and a couple friends, whose names I forget, and the show’s noblewoman blonde tsundere, Silvia, and they have a falling out and vow to work it out at the annual dragon race, where Ash meets the wrong person, gets his dragon, who’s actually a naked girl, etc etc.

dragonar1-1

None of this gets me terribly interested. First, Silvia’s dragon can fly, and Ash’s loner-dragon, Brigid, can’t. Hardly seems fair. When this finally occurs to Ash, he’s deep in the forest, no one is around. How did he get there? The show doesn’t explain. There was also a lecture to the students on things they ought to know already, in order to give us some backstory. In other words, lazy writing all over the place. It looks adequate but the characters tend to look alike. I kept mixing up Ash and his buddy. At least the girls have different colored hair, along with their oversized boobs. Yeah, I don’t think I need to see any more of this.

This is magical stuff.
This is magical stuff.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei has another possibly troubled lad, Tatsuya, entering a magical school, along with his sister, Miyuki, who has a serious brother complex. At the start (well, after a backstory narrative and Miuki’s voice talking about how wonderful her brother is), she’s upset because she’s the top student of the entry class, while he’s a second-tier grunt, or “weed,” as they’re called. So school starts, Tatsuya meets some cute girls and a bro-sidekick, we get hints about the two siblings as yet-untold past, and there is a confrontation with some “blooms,” the upper tier.

Tatsuya, Miyuki, and two sidekicks or harem girls.
Tatsuya, Miyuki, and two sidekicks or harem girls.

The show has some rough edges, some first episode scene-setting clumsiness, but nothing as bad as Dragonar. It’s also patient and deliberate, with some surprises thrown in, such as the visit to a temple where Tatsuya is immediately attacked. Tatsuya could be fascinating or dull. He seems to have expected the class warfare he encounters at the school and deals with it patiently, and there was his obvious pride and pleasure when Miyuki gave her matriculation speech. He meets strangers with a mix of courtesy and suspicion (hints are made about his aura giving something away). But we don’t know his reasons or his story. Miyuki had better had something going for her besides her oniisan complex. The side characters are okay. The blooms vs weeds friction is overdone a little. So, a mixed bag, but worth keeping an eye on.

A running scene in a flash-forward to start the series.
A running scene in a flash-forward to start the series.

Kamigami no Asobi has Yui, a girl who works at her family’s shrine and worries about what she’ll do after high school, finding a magic sword, like you often do at shrines, and gets whisked away to a strange, nearly-deserted big estate. She starts running into strange young men, each of whom get the framed-by-flower treatment and treat her with either rudeness or indifference. Then she meets the guy who brought her (and them) here: Zeus, who orders her to be a student or something, among these troubled young gods, in order to give them a girl to seduce or insult, depending on your nature. Yui shows some gumption and refuses (good to see she’s not entirely passive), only to meet Apollo, and it looks at the end like she might think it over again. Heh.

Yui meets Loki, I think.
Yui meets Loki, I think.

So they have this huge frigging school in some cosmic landscape, and only seven students? This is going to be a show devoid of people, or gods. Plus, there’s no way to bring other people there that I can see. Without more people to interact with the show will get stale very fast. As for the episode, all that stands out is that Yui walks around confused a lot, until she meets a god who confuses her even further. The only variation, apart from the type of flowers they get framed by, is how badly they treat her. Frankly, I’m not interested enough in the characters or the story to learn what else the creators will do them.

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2 thoughts on “New Spring 2014 #2

  1. Re Dragonar: the buddy has blue eyes. Ash has brown eyes. (heh)
    I figure this show will be good for a lot of cheap thrills (considering how most of the women are being drawn) but it won’t be good for a lot else.

  2. I will put your observation about eye color to good use if I watch another episode, which is highly unlikely. I kind of want to see the dragon girl in action, but not that much.

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