Fall 2018 1

Hello again, and welcome to my take on the very few new shows I’ll be watching this season. As usual, I’ll be following the Random Curiosity preview page and the shows I choose will come roughly in that order. Also as usual, I won’t watch shows that are sequels to shows I didn’t watch in the first place. And probably no sports anime, though I broke that rule last season. I won’t watch shows that are obviously bad, which means I’ll probably miss the sleeper hit of the season … Fanservice and stupidity are not deal-breakers. And finally, I’ll continue with my tradition of including a screenshot of the show’s very first moment, unless it’s totally black or something, and then I’ll wait a few seconds. So here we go!

A city at night to begin Double Decker

First on my list is Double Decker! Doug and Kirill, which already has TWO episodes out. Well, I’ll talk about the first. We got a young cop named Kirill who has possibly hopeless aspirations about getting promoted and being a heroic figure. He’s constantly in trouble with his boss because of this. Anyway, on a day off while searching for his landlady’s cat he stumbles on a hostage situation involving a thug who takes a body-morphing drug called “Anthem.” And Kirill’s best buddy on the force is there and wounded. Time to save the day, but how. Fortunately a special agent for Seven-O named Doug, who normally handles these things gives Kirill a chance to be hero, which involves taking off his clothes and being a time traveler. But it manages to work, and Kirill is transferred to Seven-O to start an exciting new career! Yay.

The guy in the back WOULD be the hero, but he’s stuck, you see.

Not bad. It has a Kekkai Sensen feel to it, though it’s not nearly as crazy. I also hear it’s related to Tiger and Bunny, a good thing, but apart from the artwork I didn’t see any connection. It is, however, funny in spots. I liked how Kirill is a fish out of water with the situation, but doesn’t back down when it’s time to be brave. He just need experience. I was relieved by that; I don’t want to watch a wimpy cop. As for the other characters, we’ll see–nothing wrong with any of them yet. Also, no over-arcing plotline yet–I hope it’s not a crime-of-week type of thing. So I’ll check episode two as soon as I get these other shows out of the way.

Not sure why Akanesasu Shoujo starts with a tower, unless it’s a radio tower.

Next it’s Akanesasu Shoujo, where a batch of average high school girls who sometimes cause a little trouble, go to a tree every day and, inspired by an urban legend, prays to be transported to another place at exactly 4:44, with a little radio tuned to that frequency. Nothing happens when they do. However, one of the girls deduces that their time is wrong, and when they try it again they’re suddenly in this gold sand world where cute yellow bunny-things gang up on them. They are rescued by a warrior girl who looks like and has the same as Asuka, our heroine. Things happen, and the warrior Asuka gets sent back to our world along with the girls, where some bonding occurs, and it becomes clearer that they are the same person, especially since they have a dead younger brother who I think will become important later. Oh, and there’s another warrior girl too, but all she does this episode is lurk in a tree and smirk.

akanesasu1-1On one hand there are some tantalizing mysteries going on. What’s with those crystals Chloe finds? Who’s that other girl? How are the two Asukas connected when they appear to be the same age? What’s with that other world, anyway? On the other hand, the episode feels all over the place, like they have so much to set up that we don’t know where the story will take us. Will it focus on the two Asukas’ friendship? What about the other girls–they get so much time that you know they’ll have things to do as well, but what? And there’s that alien world and the business with the radios and cassette players. I’m going to give it a chance, partly because it looks good. Warrior Asuka’s battle with the snake thing was excellent. The characters seem interesting and I’m curious so see how they will fit in. Hopefully the creators won’t fumble the ball and they don’t.

A weird glowing symbol forms on a street about to be bombed.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken, after a bewildering scene of WWII bombing and a boy being whipped up in a firenado, settles down in modern-day Tokyo and follows Satoru, an average salaryman who at age 37 is a virgin and has never had a girlfriend, yet he’s pretty content with his life. He meets a kouhai and his cute girlfriend and then out of nowhere gets stabbed by some guy. As he dies a computer voice starts talking about the powers it’s adding. After rather too much of that he awakens as a slime in a cave. As he gets his bearings the computer tells him things about his new form. Apparently he’s a very able slime. Also in the cave is Verudora, a sealed dragon who turns out to be a tsundere, and they strike up an odd friendship.

slime1-1The slime Satoru is amusing, a good voice (nice transition from his human form’s), and it was fun watching him figure out things he can and can’t do in his new body. I was worried that we’d have to watch him in his slime form for the whole season, but the ED shows him transforming into a human. Verudora’s turn from threatening dragon to a lonely, tsundere one was pretty good too. But the show twice falls into episode-one infodumps twice, first during his dying moments with the computer, and then Verudora giving him the rough story of the world and what’s there, plus long speeches about “summons” and “summoners,” how it’s rare for reincarnated people to wind up here, and other things we really don’t need to know right now. These scenes, however, did not drag down the show entirely. It’s all amusing, and it is, after all, a first episode. Let’s meet some more characters before deciding.

Here’s another pretty city at night scene to begin Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fruite Iru.

In Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fruite Iru, we watch as a young man effortlessly runs away from shouts of “thief!” but another guy catches up on a bicycle and asks him if he likes to run. Next thing you know, the lad, Kakeru, is being introduced to his new housemates in a disheveled dorm, a procedure which takes too long because there are nine of them, not counting the landlord. There follows a loud welcome party where we and the bewildered Kakeru watch the others show off their character traits, and then Haiji, the guy on the bike announces that actually they’re now in their university’s track and field team, and they’re going to run the Hakone Ekiden, to everyone’s surprise and consternation. A flashback to Haiji’s view of the earlier chase, and then a bit of Haiji’s motivation for running the race, and Kakeru’s past.

Kakeru’s the one in black, about ten o’clock.

The thing I find hard to believe is that some of these people are even capable of running. One chain smokes, others don’t have the build for it. Also, why would they run, apart from the cheap rent and free meals they get by living there? I’m with the law student who immediately threatens to sue. Kakeru’s past isn’t that interesting, what we know of it. He was a great high school runner, then stopped. Also, I didn’t much care for the introduction scenes–so many people to take in at once. The party scene wasn’t bad only I think the creators tried too hard to show these guys as being wacky, drunken college students. But that’s an issue with the script alone. There’s nothing really wrong with any of the characters; they feel real. And the show looks good. I might look at episode 2.

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