Fall 2013 shows #1

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According to Random Curiosity, Super Seisyun Brothers started up on the 13th, but it’s only now I’ve seen any subs of it. We’ve got two pairs of siblings, older sisters, younger brothers, who are good friends but completely different. The first two four-minute episodes are a sort of feeling out, little conversations to demonstrate their quirks, but with so little time in each episode that’s about all we’re going to get. Mako and Mao are the more interesting siblings, because they’re weird, while Chiko and Chika have more routine (for anime) interests, Chiko’s otaku tendencies notwithstanding. Unlike Aiura from two seasons ago, the art and animation are downright crude, and I’m betting the character interactions won’t be much better, but we’ll see. Maybe if they introduce some new characters.

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Miss Monochrome is also four minutes long and, like SSB above, has a narrator feeding us back information, so I’m already worried. They might as well just recite a complete plot synopsis. At the end of episode 1, Miss Monochrome, some sort of robot who wants to be an idol, is working at a convenience store. Aaaannnd, that’s all I have to say about it.

The first real show I watched is Coppelion, which tries to be very serious and often can’t avoid seeming absolutely ridiculous.

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Some nuclear thing wiped out almost all life in Tokyo, which is now “the largest ghost town in the world.” Three girls, genetically enhanced or augmented or whatever to handle the radiation, walk into the city to investigate SOS signals that have recently come out of there. I should add that the rest of the world looks just fine, so this was a local event. The first half is both serene and threatening. The girls, Ibara (leader), Aoi (annoying), and Taeko (glasses) walk along past realistic views of ruins of overgrowth, talk about normal things, take in the views, find a survivor in a hazmat suit, who is picked up by their vice-principal from a helicopter, leading to a conflict because Ibara extended the victim’s life for a few hours with an injection when she was told to leave him alone. They walk on. We wait for the danger to spring up. It’s eerily quiet, not even a soundtrack, just wind. And then there’s a crisis, I think.

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That much is okay, but then we consider that the girls have been trained for this search-and-rescue operation, but they’re wearing school uniforms with tiny shirts. And they don’t behave like professional rescue workers. Aoi, in particular, seems to have no business there. Only Ibara seems to act the part. I suppose you could call it an incongruity that might be explained later, but for now it looks like the creators wanted schoolgirls in a post-apocalyptic setting. Plus, when the danger hits it implies a greater danger to the absent Taeko, but it takes them some time to put two and two together. And we learn Taeko isn’t armed. What the hell? Who’s running this operation? (that would be the vice-principal, actually) There’s talk about the girls being “puppets,” suggesting that they’re expendable, but surely they’d have some idea of what they’re getting into. So, yes, ridiculous. But interesting enough to keep watching for now. I expect that some of the incongruity will be explained later.

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Having decided that I don’t have time to write two paragraphs if I’m going to cover everything I want, I turn to Kyoukai no Kanata. Some people are excited because this is a supernatural tale better suited to Kyoani’s animation skills, instead of just showing us cute girls battling with megaweapons of their own imagination, or cute, built boys splashing in hard-to-animate, er, fluid, water. This show looks like it could have been in Chuu2koi if that show had actually had the supernatural in it. Same character styles, same movements, same witty directing. It even has a clumsy meganekko, Mirai, playing one of the leads. The other lead is Kanbara, who’d be this show’s Makoto were he not a “half-shade,” which means Mirai, who kills …wait, what do they call them in this show … oh, “dreamshades,” or would if she wasn’t sure of her abilities because she’s shunned by other, er, hunters, because she can turn her own blood into a sword, is constantly stabbing him, for practice, or probably this is the only way she can get his attention. While she stumbles around cutely trying to stab him we meet a few real dreamshades, and they’re not terribly interesting yet, though when you watch one of them form you get a glimpse of what Kyoani might have in store for us. Some long infodump scenes between characters who already know the facts, but otherwise this was fun to watch.

The only way to slow down this show is to tie up the characters.
The only way to slow down this show is to tie up the characters.

Kyousougiga is, I’m guessing, about a girl named Koto and her younger siblings who want to go home, but it’s all so hyperactive and surreal that it’s difficult to say exactly WHAT it’s about. We start with Koto and the kids wreaking havoc in this odd version of Kyoto while some people get annoyed and others just watch. They’re reined in by Myoe (I think) a monk they stay with, and this is more of a older brother-younger sister relationship thing, except Myoe’s part of a trio of people who evidently have some power, and they bicker a lot about Koto, and Koto’s absent mom, whom everyone wants to see but vanished a long time ago. I’m guessing. It’s really hard to tell because there’s wild stuff going on at every moment, even in the quiet scenes. They’ll cut to something in a completely different style to explain a plot point, then return. This can be big fun, but most of the time I’m wondering what’s going on, or wondering if I really care what’s going on, or wondering how long this will go on because my eyes need a rest. We’ll see.

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Nagi no Asukara … some sea people start attending school on land. It sounds absurd, but they take care of one question straight away when we watch a typical family at breakfast, looking perfectly normal, except that a few fish are floating around. It’s basically above ground with a few ocean peculiarities. People walk around in a brightly-lit, pretty town, unless they decide to swim instead. Just like PA Works’ last work, Uchouten Kazoku, it all looks very lovely, and if you wonder how they can cook and eat a stew underwater, some things you just forgive, I guess. And the only issues anyone has with being on land are invented by the creators to use as plot devices, like the skin cracking after too much exposure to air. As for the story, we got underwaterers Hikari (resentful and angry at just about everyone on the surface, and therefore a pain the butt), Manaka (a hopeless girl who has to be escorted everywhere, it seems), and two sidekicks, one of whom, Chisaka, is jealous of Manaka and Hikari’s relationship. There’s friction between the two types of people which leads to some unpleasant problems at school, and a priest who essentially tries to sexually assault Manaka when she visits. Oh, and a surface kid who’s fallen for Manaka, and probably vice-versa, which will make Hikari even madder. In spite of it being done by one of my favorite companies, I’m leery about all this. In spite of the beautiful scenery, there’s an ugly side to this whole thing. Or maybe it’s just Hikari.

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