New shows Summer 2016 #2

showbyrockshortbeg
Kind of creepy, really.

Don’t know if I really want to start this post with a report on Show by Rock!! Short!!, but I’m waiting on a couple episodes. Anyway, the girls appear on a talk show and show their, er, tails. That’s it.

Hi girls!  Good to see you again!  How you been?
Hi girls! Good to see you again! How you been?

Basically a way to reintroduce the girls. I was one of the people who actually enjoyed the original series, so I’ll probably keep watching this. I just hope they bring in that visual kei boys band for contrast. Moving on …

Nice pretty tree to open Fukigen.
Nice pretty tree to open Fukigen.

Fukigen no Monokean stars Hanae, just starting high school but is having no fun because there’s a fuzzy youkai on his back. After too many scenes of him trying to make to school only to collapse from exhaustion at the gate, the shoe lockers, etc, he meets a grumpy exorcist named Abeno who helps him out. Turns out the youkai is a former pet, and since Hanae could see him, clung to him for love and attention. But now he has to pay off the debt for the exorcism, and there you have it.

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It could be simply first episode syndrome, where the inevitable setting up of situation and characters gets in the way of telling an effective story, but this show did absolutely nothing for me. Hanae seems like a decent character, but there’s nothing much about him. Meanwhile Abeno is a jerk. The episode’s story, where Hanae learns that supernatural creatures who attach to him and suck his life force have feelings too, didn’t thrill me very much. I figured there was an angle to the fuzzy thing acting like this and impatiently waited for the show to reveal it. It feels like a completely mundane anime series, so I’ll leave it at episode one.

We don't get many side views of balconies in opening shots.
We don’t get many side views of balconies in opening shots.

A possibly good food porn series next. Amaaama to Inazuma stars Inuzuka, high school teacher whose wife died half a year ago, leaving him to take care of his young daughter Tsumugi alone. He’s doing his best, spending all the time with her that he can in spite of his being very busy, but cooking well got left out of the picture, it’s mostly conbini bento for them both, and she’s getting tired of it. Through some strange circumstances he winds up taking her to a restaurant where there’s only his sometime student Kotori, some rice, and no one really knows how to cook.

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An interesting setup. Kotori, seeing how happy the rice makes the father and daughter, asks Inuzuka to cook and eat with her, and Tsumugi. Her own mother, who does the cooking at the restaurant, maybe has as little time for her as Inuzuka has for Tsumugi, since Kotori can’t cook anything, so we have two people who can help each other, and the bond is food. They can learn to cook together and then they get to eat. The importance of eating with people was the main theme of Koufuku Graffiti (part of the OP looks exactly like something from Shaft’s show), and with Amaama to Inazuma might bring us the cooking aspect that Koufuku often didn’t stress. The three characters are all good to watch; I especially like Kotori’s shy reluctance, though I can’t believe she can’t even cook RICE! Tsumugi might be a little TOO adorable, on the other hand they’re avoiding (so far) making her and the situation too emotional.

We're fallllinnnggg!!
We’re fallllinnnggg!!

In Taboo Tattoo we’re in a future Japan where there’s a new geopolitical power called Selinistan around, though that’s just boring backdrop for the story where a decent lad named either Seigi or Justice, I’ll stick with the latter, lives up to his name by saving a man from a thug and gets a weird tattoo on his hand as thanks. This is discovered by a girl named Izzy, American, I presume, who tracks him down and beats the crap out of him. Eventually, through some infodumps, we learn the tattoos are American weapons that have gotten into the wild and she’s trying to get them back. Why she didn’t do it the first time I don’t know, but she’s intrigued by this boy … Then there’s more fighting, etc.

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The story might not be so great but I rather enjoyed the first episode. First we see Izzy brutally killing someone, then we switch to Justice in a battle, and we think it’s going to be gory battles all the way through, but his fight comes with a bit of humor at the end. This show likes to inject silly gags and chibi characters in to keep things from getting too ridiculously silly-serious (unlike Berserk). There’s also Touko, Justice’s friend, who is good for some normalcy, like deciding on dinner. The fight scenes look good; I suspect the show’s budget can’t go overboard, with all the still shots they throw in, but it’s directed to be exciting. I might get tired of this series eventually, but for now …

This show starts by telling us what it is.
This show starts by telling us what it is.

Now another short: Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu, where highschooler Sakaguchi loves all sorts of BL manga, but he’s totally not gay, really! We see the embarrassment he undergoes at the bookstore buying a volume, with the assumptions that staff and other customers make, and then he complains about the whole thing to his longhair friend, who’s got problems of his own, mainly getting groped and Sakaguchi tweeting about it.

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Doesn’t sound like much, but it has an easygoing feel to it that I liked. Sakaguchi’s troubles at the bookstore might have been embarrassing to him, but it was just a minor occurrence in a day-to-day life. Both him and his buddy seem like decent characters and they have a good rapport. Sakaguchi tries to explain the appeal of BL to us, but I didn’t get it, but that’s okay. Kind of a slice-of-life with BL as the overall theme, and totally not gay, understand?

Servamp starts with Mahiro's mother's funeral.  But things lighten up after that.
Servamp starts with Mahiro’s mother’s funeral. But things lighten up after that.

Servamp stars Mahiro, high school boy who wants peace and quiet and simplicity and so takes on the troublesome jobs no one else wants to do because it’s such a pain to argue over it, sort of a different take on Tanaka-kun, really. So he picks up the stray cat at the station because no one else will. Guess what? It’s a vampire. Not only that, but Kuro really can’t be bothered to do anything either. I suppose if Mahiro’s going to get linked to a vampire this one is compatible. But Mahiro, cognizant of the fact that he’s where he is because others took the trouble for him, can’t just run away when another vampire shows up, no matter what Kuro thinks of it.

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Shounen story with vampires and less moody atmosphere than most. There is plenty of that, but the show throws in a lot of slapstick and silly jokes as well. The trouble is that Mahiro is a bit of a stick-in-the-mud and Kuro is a lazy thing who mutters insults most of the time, neither of which is terribly interesting to me. The villain vampires are just as bad; they’re the laughing-insanely type who gruesomely murder people for no reason while grinning a lot. Not much subtlety there, and pretty boring. Going to miss this one.

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4 thoughts on “New shows Summer 2016 #2

      • That’s debatable, but they are different characters in different settings and different stories. The analogy can only be pushed so far before breaking down. 🙂

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