Flying Witch starts with a nice girl, Makoto, and her cat taking trains and buses to a peaceful area of Japan, where she will start high school. Though we can figure out by the title that she’s a witch, all the show gives us early on is that she’s sweet, eccentric, and has a terrible sense of direction. Her cousin Kei picks her up, she’s greeted with suspicion by younger sister Chinatsu, and a touch of jealousy later by Kei’s friend Nao. The show establishes that while witches like to keep it a secret, but you know, sometimes people find out, and it’s okay. So guilelessly gives Chinatsu a ride on her broom and, in a bizarre scene, gives Nao a lovely thank-you gift.
Some shows work very hard to keep you entertained and I’m counting the minutes until it’s over. Flying Witch is a quiet, simple series, but it breezed by–I was surprised that the episode was over. There are bits that disconnected me; I couldn’t believe the reaction of the local folk that not only are there witches, but one lives among them, sort of a “Really? Huh!” attitude, but I suppose it fits in with the show’s overall calm, sweet tone, similar to Tamayura without the tragedy and with witches. The characters are all presented well; we learn a lot about them in small, subtle ways, and there are hardly any infodumps. All very charming. I’m keeping this one.
Sansha Sanyou, a CGDCT series, has the formerly rich but still high-class Yoko having her lunch of bread crusts when the other two girls DON’T fall on her (nice gag, that). Soon they are friends and always eat together. Most of this episode either has Futaba (the idiot) and Hayama (the nice girl you shouldn’t cross) trying to lighten Yoko up or Yoko trying desperately trying not to alienate these sudden new commoner friends she has.
… Not bad, I guess. Predictable. The best parts might be Yoko’s attempts to remain dignified and restrained when she’s obviously delighted at Hayama and Futaba’s presence. Her attempts to be common were less successful. Least successful of all were the sudden appearances of Yoko’s former servant, Yamaji, who isn’t stalking Yoko, honest! It was funny the first time. Can’t say I’m all that impressed overall, but it wasn’t bad enough to drop.
Wagamama High Spec very quickly introduces four student council girls, who are stuck working in a room with no AC. Guess what they do?
And that’s pretty much it. I’ll pass on this one.
Big Order takes place in a world where some people get their wishes granted, and it’s usually the twisted ones. As a small boy, our hero Eiji wished for something he can’t quite remember, but he wiped out a good portion of humanity with it. Now a guilt-ridden teen, he understandably wants to live peacefully and care for his sick sister Sena and ditch his classes, that is, until a really cute girl transfers in and later innocently asks him for help with her apartment lock. But, this being the show it is …
I loved the opening scenes, Eiji’s musings along with a backdrop of bright, varied images that suggested a complicated world. As the episode went on I grew less enthused. I grew tired of those same musings, and worse, he was speaking them out loud. And it got worse. Eru did more or less the same thing, saying aloud lines like “I’ll go down and finish him off now …” when we already knew that’s what she was going to do. The translation from story narrative to an anime is terrible. And then there was the final, “domination” bit, deliberately sounding like rape. That almost turned me off completely. It’s a shame because there are some good things in here, like the aforementioned visuals, and the story’s backdrop.
Yet my heart has been heavy for three weeks now, as Teekyuu!, the WORLD’S GREATEST ANIME is gone. But then I discovered a new show by the same author, featuring weird girls maybe tennis. So, with hopefulness, I watched Usakame.
Hmmm … I need to get used to these new girls. Much of it felt like Teekyuu, the strange gags and the like, but this show is five minutes long, over twice that of Teekyuu, with not much more story, so it felt like Teekyuu with more breathing room. I’d watch a bit and think “Teekyuu would have done that bit in three seconds, not seven.” I shouldn’t expect it to behave like another show, so I’ll have to adjust. However, I could do without the actually serious moment one of the girls has about practicing for senpei. Also, I wonder if they’ll stick to tennis like they did in the first episode …