Re:Stage! Dream Days has a middle school transfer student named Mana on her first day. As she’s getting a tour of all the clubs (the highlight of the episode) the guide, Minori, quickly glosses over what is obviously the idol girl club, dead giveaway. Mana then stumbles onto its clubroom, which looks like a tea ceremony room, and is nearly tricked by the devious but idiotic Mizuha to sign the acceptance form, so desperate are they for members. Another girl, Sayu shows off what they do by performing a popular number, and the second time around Mana is singing and dancing right along with her. This too is highly suspicious, even more so because Mana almost immediately runs away. Could she be related to another Ms. Shinkimiya, who won the Prism Stage competition last year? Of course, but we don’t get the dark backstory this week. Anyway, I think she joins because she and Sayu are perfectly in sync when they dance, and both “feel something.”
I watched this just to see if it would offer any interesting variation on the school idol theme, and I was briefly intrigued by a bit early where idol girls were being dark and gothic with black wings and all, but it was just a video. I didn’t see anything new in the episode at all. I should add that there was nothing terrible about it, either. Just average. Mizuha can be fun to watch. Sayu has a nice touch of tsundere. There’s nothing remarkable about Mana, however, and she’s the main character. However, it’s all cute, and they’ll bring in new characters later on, but that doesn’t mean I want to see them.
Naka no Hito Genome starts with online gamers getting an invite to a closed game, because they’re all so good. So Akatsuki sneezes and winds up in some forest with a grumpy girl named Karin, who punches him. Then they’re chased by a really giant panda, meet a swordsman killing a rat, and then Akatsuki befriends the panda. Already the show is choosing outcomes I don’t expect. They’re brought to the other players by a guy in a suit and an alpaca mask and told they’re in a streaming game and must pass 100,000,000 views, or else. The game, called “Let’s” I think, has variations, and each kid plays a different one, horror, sengoku, healing, etc. Four of them then do the second task and bicker a lot, except for Akatsuki, who’s too nice to bicker.
As I said, I didn’t expect what I got. It wasn’t as dark, the dysfunctional kids each show a sympathetic side, and there’s generally more comedy than I expected. I suppose we’ll get some real threat soon enough, because unlike a game, these kids might actually get killed. On the other hand, I don’t know if the challenges are going to be that interesting to watch. The only other one we see is an Ouiji board sad ghost girl whom Katsuki befriends (he befriends everybody), and there wasn’t anything new to it. Well, the point could be how the characters react to the predictable challenges, with, for instance, Karin the horror game player freaking out at the sight of a real ghost. Don’t know if I’ll watch it but I enjoyed the first episode more than I thought I would.
Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka?, or HenSuki as sensible people call it, stars Keiji, your average nice high school boy who is in the calligraphy club and so already has a harem. One day he gets a love letter–and a pair of panties, but the girl didn’t sign it, so he must figure out which girl it is. In the meantime, every girl starts throwing cryptic flirts at him. In the end he settles on the pretty and buxom Sayuki, telling her he knows her secret and is fine with it. Next thing you know she’s got her shirt off and is wearing a dog collar. To be continued …
I can’t say the episode did much for me. Keiki goes around pondering this stuff or talking it over with his buddy Shoma too much. On the other hand it sorta kinda if you look really close has an Amagami vibe to it, with a metaphor and everything. This time/girl it’s pets. He pats his sister’s head, they meet a dog, and finally, Sayuki wants to be treated like one. And I suspect that every girl in that club will get their turn with Keiki and bring their own kinks and metaphors to the mix, though I don’t now if the show will reboot like Amagami does. But while Amagami was fun and playful, this show, so far, sort of just lays there. Maybe it’s just episode one blahs, but if it doesn’t pick up the pace, or find some kind of rhythm, I’ll stop watching, even though I’m curious as to each girl’s kink.
Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou starts with Nagumo falling down a pit to the lower depths, where he encounters a killer rabbit, which is killed by a huge bear, which then goes after Nagumo, ripping his arm off, but he lands in some holy water or something. Flashback to just before, when he was helping to defend his classmates as they are trapped in, er, the Great Orcus Labyrinth, and then he’s betrayed by a classmate, hence the fall. Like that shield hero guy, he immediately snaps into vengeful survivalist mode, kills a monster, eats it’s leg, and suddenly his hair turns white and his stats go up. This puts him into gleeful vengeful survivalist mode and he eats more monsters. With his new powers he constructs a slick-looking gun, kills the bear, and prepares for more revenge. Oh, and there’s a blond girl who just hangs there.
If I hadn’t read the Random Curiosity synopsis I wouldn’t have known WHAT was going on. It hops from one moment to the next and doesn’t even bother to explain what he and his classmates are even doing there, let alone why someone betrayed him, though with his popularity with the girls I have a good idea. All the gore turned me off, but I liked the scenes where he mentally and physically regroups, apart from his missing arm, and figures out what to do next. I’m also glad they skipped over scenes of him being the class weakling and cut right to the action, even though it confused me. And while Nagumo’s wails of despair got tiresome, overall it was executed well enough to make me consider watching the next episode.
Cop Craft starts with our hero Matoba, a detective in the city of Sn Theresa on Kariaena Island, somewhere in the pacific, and his partner doing a sting operation. Turns out the goods is a fairy in a bottle. One of the crooks goes nuts, kills the partner, and runs off. Next day Matoba is sent out to meet a noble from, er, Semaria in the fairy land (a gate opened), and she is made to be his partner to track down the fairy, who is apparently noble, and so Matoba can get some revenge for his partner. Thus a magical dysfunctional partnership cop show begins.
Exedilica, the magical partner, and Matoba form an average relationship of this sort, at least in episode 1. She has magical powers but is completely new to Earth and naive about everything. Add that to her curiosity and we have Matoba saying “Don’t touch that” a lot. Also, she can’t believe that Matoba would make deals with crooked informants when he needs information. Matoba is too weary and annoyed to respond much. What interests me more is the place where they work, not only the gate but the city, which seems to be little more than a place for sex and drugs, indeed, the comment on the fairy in a bottle is that some good drugs might be extracted from her. What is the relationship between us humans and the people on the other side? I don’t know if the series will answer that in more than a superficial way. The story is guns-a-blazin’ with some good animation, a little gratuitous at times, but certainly not a bad first episode apart from the awkward ep1 meeting scenes, which hopefully are out of the way now.