Well, after two episodes I’m going to drop Gunslinger Stratos, under the “not bad, but nothing really stands out and there’s other things to watch” category. Tohru is a combination backstory and “why am I fighting, anyway” episode, and I mistrust infodumps like the one they gave us here. Also, Tohru apparently finds a reason to fight by the end but he isn’t telling anybody. Well, that’s not necessarily a flaw. The backstory is a mixed bag. The good part is that our heroes are basically fighting themselves from another timeline. That’s a nice, twisted concept. The bad part is that some mysterious crows are giving both sides tech to duke it out, and that they’ll give the winners the ability to stop this sandifying syndrome. Right now the good guys just know when the events will happen, so they can hush it up, but then why do we see a little girl dissolve before her shocked parents’ eyes? I dunno, nice idea not well held together, no really interesting characters. Time to drop it.
Same with Etotama. I watched episode 2 and got more annoyed by the second. It had its own share of infodumps and backstory, stuff about sol/lull, and the basic natures of all the zodiac members, none of which interested me. Then there was the first of what appears to be a battle of the week, this time between Nya and the Ox girl, chibified and CG’d (though I admit I love the battle place, a cross between ruined shrines and a half-built amusement park). And for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why Ox-girl is in love with Nya. I wish Gunslinger Stratos well; I just want Etotama to go away.
And while I’m at it, I really should drop Show by Rock!, but I can’t. I watched episodes two and three half-hoping that it would annoy me enough to give me the excuse, but in spite of the jarring differences between the character designs and art when they switch in and out of CG (and what was with those students we see at the end of #3? They’re cute animal characters but seem to be in the same world as the more-or-less normal universe), the routine story that they somehow manage to barely not botch up, and the dull, derivative music, I enjoyed both of them. Well, I do think it’s cute. I like how each character in Plasmagica has their own motives for being in a band, and they’re keeping secrets. The boy band Shingancrimsonz works as a nice parody, and the show works in the occasional good joke. For now, the pluses outweigh the minuses, though I’m hardly expecting greatness from this show in the future.