To start part three we have Yagate Kimi ni Naru, which starts out with solo piano, so we already know it’s a love story. It stars Yuu, first year girl, who dreams about the heart-skipping, tingly feelings of love but hasn’t encountere it yet and wonders if there’s something wrong with her (to which I shout “NO!”). She encounters a girl named Namami being confessed to and politely turning the poor lad down. Apparently it’s the 10th time, not the same guy though. Nanami is a popular senpai and in the student council, so Yuu joins, maybe because she thinks Nanami is cool. Imagine Yuu’s surprise when Nanami confesses to HER! Ah, so it’s THAT kind of love story! Meanwhile, the solo piano has been joined by small ensemble. However, Yuu still isn’t feeling the heartbeat or tingles …
I haven’t watched a lot of Yuri, but this looks like a standard-issue one. It kept me watching. The characters all have a stock anime-girl appearance but there will be quick closeups of eyes narrowing, or odd angles showing a face full of shock or tension that set me back. Yuu is stuck with reacting to people most of the time, except when she has to make a decision about a boy who confessed to her a while back. But relationships, especially yuri ones, are new to her, so I can cut her some slack. While it’s told through Yuu’s POV, we can see things she perhaps can’t, that maybe Nanami’s pulling back after her confession was that she’s just as confused and embarrassed as Yuu is, but part of Yuu’s goal right now is trying to figure out this alluring senpai and what she’s thinking, so I think together they’ll figure things out. Will I want to watch as they do? It was a good first episode, so I’ll probably watch a second. Besides, I want to see what makes Nanami tick, too.
I did not expect another season of To Aru Majutsu no Index, but I am delighted! Now, if I can only remember all the characters and relationships … As I expected, episode 1 starts silly, re-introducing various characters (Hi Uiharu! Look, it’s Maika the rotating maid!), showing Touma’s misfortune in various ways, Mikoto’s tsundere routine, etc, while a little story begins to bubble up. It seems there are tensions betwen Academy City and the Roman Catholic Church (when is there not?), and later a nice old lady who buys Index a crepe takes Touma away at gunpoint and says Academy City is behind it, and only he can stop it. She is then shot by Tsuchimikado, and Touma is whisked away–to Paris, jumping out of a jet, in order to steal the Document of Constantine. One episode in and the story is already ridiculous. Yep! It’s Index all right.
I’ve said that this franchise has everything good and bad to be found in Anime. Bizarre plots, too much talk, panty shots (except Mikoto and her sensible shorts, of course), but fun, odd characters, great action and thumping music to go with it. I don’t mind any of it because that’s Raildex’s style. By now you’re on board with it or you’re not. I certainly am. The show looks the same, maybe a little crisper than before. All the characters are in fine form. I’m already scratching my head at the story. Nothing much has changed. But please tell me that they didn’t just leave that old lady there to die. She’s Oyafune-sensei’s grandma! I hadn’t seen a series this season that I felt I have to watch, but this one I do.
I skiped a few, then I TRIED watching Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!, but the first ten minutes got on my nerves so much that I stopped. I’m not sure why–it’s no different from a lot of other shows. Maybe that’s the reason.
So we move on to Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet, where we are immediately brought to a fight between rival clans at a posh high school, the White Cats, led by Juliet, and the Black Dogs, led, I think, by Romio. From the fighting and the names you can already tell where this is going. We follow Romio around for awhile as he laments that he loves Juliet though she’s an enemy. Juliet, on the other hand, does not want to be thought as weak. She’s a noble but won’t get any power because she’s a girl, unless she can change the world. She’s abducted by DOgs, gets rescued by Romio, and later in the cutest duel I’ve seen in a while, gets over his fear and confesses. And so a beautiful but secret romance is born! Yay.
An odd show, because the animosity is real and you get the idea that someone could really get hurt, but at the same time it’s built around rom-com slapstick. Two of the abductors are too stupid to put eyeholes in their masks, but a third one has pepper spray and a box cutter … Well, even so, maybe no one is really going to get hurt here. It feels too much like a romcom, with some fighting added. I didn’t enjoy the violent parts too much, apart from the duel at the end, and that was because it was actually a confession scene. The romcom bits worked well, maybe because of the contrast, but also because the timing and also the voice actors are very good. This is another “wait and see” show.
Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara has a girl named Hitomi living in Hiroshima, in a world where magic is commonplace and can be purchased at little new-agey shops. Hitomi’s depressed because she apparently can’t see colors, so her nice grandmother sends her 80 years into the past, to our time, to try to get it back. There’s some difficulty because she materialized in a boy’s room and is spotted sneaking out, but the observers are nice enough only to giggle for the boy. Meanwhile, Hitomi meets her grandma’s grandma at the magic shop and is taken in. And then she sees the boy drawing on a pad and we get a lovely, colorful sequence like out of a painting.
The show’s art is just amazing. There are bright colors everywhere, in the fireworks, the bright-red candy apples in the festival stall, and then there’s the moving painting scene at the end, and they contrast harshly to the monochrome view that Hitomi sees (and we do from time to time). It almost overwhelms everything else in the show, which looks to be a typical PA Works affair, maybe more subdued than usual. That’s what worries me. The actual story could turn out to be another Glasslip or Nagi no Asu kara, mundane stories with dull characters with a magical frosting. However, this one looks so good that I’ll probably watch it anyway.
Next we have a run-of-the-mill kid fantasy called Radiant, starring Seth, a boy who wants to grow up to be a sorcerer like his guardian Alma. But he’s crap at magic at the moment and causes more problems than he prevents. Worse, the local village are suspicious of sorcerers because they’ve been tainted by “nemesis,” monsters that fall out of the sky and cause ruin, mayhem, etc. That only sorcerers can fight nemesis isn’t something they can understand. Anyway, a nemesis egg falls into the village, Alma’s not around, and so Seth tries to fight the monster alone, and nearly dies except for the sudden appearance of the “Bravery Quartet,” a team of sorcerers. End of episode.
There’s nothing new or remarkable about this show at all, but I’m not the target audience. They want to attract kids who haven’t already seen all the other shows. However, that doesn’t make ME want to watch it. Also, while I understand the show has to set up the characters and the situation, the episode seemed to drag. Things take a little too long to happen, conversations, action bits, etc. Add that to the predictable humor, and the traditional story, and I was drumming my fingers and checking the time a lot. But some kids ought to like it.