Spring 2018 new season #1

Welcome once again to my thoughts on the new season, well, at least the shows I decide to watch, which won’t be a hell of a lot. Time and circumstances and all that. As usual I’ll go by the Random Curiosity preview order, unless it’s wrong (and it already is), and I won’t watch anything I don’t want to, so there. Oh, and as usual I’ll give you the first image of each episode for the hell of it.

derbybeg
Pretty Derby doesn’t waste any time getting started. Also, I’m tempted to add a “first show out of the gate” line here, but I won’t.

After skipping Gegege no Kitarou Season 6 (because of the “6”–no sequels to shows I haven’t watched) and Nil Admirai no Tenbin (it actually starts next week), we start with Uma Musume Pretty Derby, where a nice girl named Special Week (Spe for short) enters a prestigious academy for horse girls, yes, horse girls. They all have ears and a tail. The details on how you come up with horse girls is not explained, and I don’t think I want to know. Anyway, she’s there to race, of course, she joins a team, has a seemingly aloof but actually shy roommate named Silence Suzuka, does weird training with the team’s idiot trainer, and at the end of the episode, breaks her maiden. Oh, turns out she’s also an idol-in-training, but she didn’t know that.

derby1-1… and it’s done by PA Works. I couldn’t believe it when I saw their name on the credits. This bit of silly fluff isn’t anywhere near the kind of show they normally do. Well, since they ARE involved it explains how tight the first episode is. It’s energetic, bright, colorful, and doesn’t take itself too seriously, shown by Spe’s “late for school” dash except instead of toast it’s a carrot. The animation level is also higher than it might have been had another studio done it. Not to say this is a masterpiece, it’s actually kind of stupid and had a boatload of “first day of school” clichés. There’s nothing special here, except the production is better than average. But if you like this sort of show, it’s reassuring to know that the production will probably not screw up.

mahouorebeg
Mahou Shoujo Ore starts with a view of some planet or another …

Up next, and no less silly, is Mahou Shoujo Ore, where we meet Saki, an incredibly unpopular idol, and her friend, the taciturn Sakuyo, who can at least sing a little. We see a fantasy dream involving magiacl girls, see Saki and Sakuyo perform, rather badly, and learn that Sakuyo’s big brother Mohiro is actually a very popular idol in his own right. By now half the episode is over and I’m getting bored. Things liven up when Saki goes home and encounters a Yakuza trying to coerce her mom to … return to being a magical girl. Mohiro, Saki’s crush, is captured by demons, so she agrees to taking over for her mom, and transforms, as you probably know by now, into a man in a dress.

mahouore1-1
Still, he’s probably more trustworthy than Kyubey.

If the horse-girl show was predictable but raised by production values, Ore has some clever moments and nice voice work marred by often inept direction and poor animation. Did they really need to show so much of both those songs? What was up with that ship going/not going under that bridge? All right, be fair, I liked some of it. The idea of a Yakuza type being a mascot character, whipping out a dubious contract and all, was funny. The comments during the dream sequence about the black and white confusing the viewers was sort of funny, and much of the dialogue works well, but otherwise, things felt off, not timed right. That can be fixed, I suppose, and I’ll probably watch another episode to see if they do.

kakuriyobeg
Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi is one of those rare shows that starts its run with the actual opening credit sequence.

Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi stars Aoi, a young woman who can see spirits but otherwise has a normal life, well apart from her mother deserting her, almost starving to death, etc, but otherwise pretty normal. Then she gets abducted to the spirit realm by an ogre named Oodana, and she learns that her nice grandpa who raised her put her up as collateral for a debt (100,000,000 yen). Okay, maybe not so nice, as now this ogre intends to marry her. She offers to work it off but can’t find a job in the spirit realm until the nice fox spirit (choice #2 in Aoi’s male harem), inspired by her omrurice, suggests she open a restaurant in a building near the inn.

kakuriyo1-1
… as Aoi searches the fine print.

Of course, she’d have to work at that inn for a long time to make up the money, so this is essentially a story of which already romantically attracted person is going to cave in to the other’s wishes first. With some food involved, which is good because so far it’s paced at romance-anime speed, meaning everything takes about twice as long to happen than it normally would, at least for people who like me who don’t much care for romance stories. Food would be good, like an Isekai Shokudo with a love story. Yeah, that’s it! However, I suspect that they’ll focus more on the romance and the harem than the food, and the connection between the two. The show bandies about the concept of “being eaten” a lot.

Okay, next is Captain Tsubasa. Sports anime so I’m not interested. Gundam Build Divers is part of a franchise I can barely comprehend (All I’ve seen is the original series) … Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Die Neue These Kaikou … can’t find it yet … so it’s Tokyo Ghoul:re, but that’s a sequel to a show I dropped …

tachibanabegSo now it’s Tachibana-kan To Lie Angle, where a girl named Hanabi, first year high schooler, moves to a dorm she thought was fancy, but it’s not, but she sees a naked girl, and that makes her feel better, and we know what kind of show we’re getting. She meets some other residents who come tease her in various ways, including a childhood friend named Konomi, whom she’s forgotten and possibly won’t be forgiven for it, at least not for a couple episodes.

tachibana1-1It could be worse in all respects, animation, art, fanservice, in other words, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from the yuri premise, but not blatant. Also, it’s only three minutes long. This is good because I frankly don’t think any of the characters can hold up their end for any longer than that at a time.

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