Three more shows are here for first episode tests. This time, only the first two are comparable to each other in many ways, with the Eureka Seven sequel as the odd one out. I also wanted to add Jormungand, but I couldn’t really say anything meaningful about it that others didn’t. I’m not even sure if I like it. And I’m not so much interested in just reviewing episodes by describing all their aspects, as finding at least one issue in them, or around their audience reactions, that made me think about something unique.
At the time when I wrote the season preview, I was expecting this to be a typical slice of life four-boys-group show, just in some surreal presentation. Comparisons to Kimi to Boku were brought up.
After sitting through the entirely enjoyable first episode, the most surprising realization was that thinking back, technically, I was absolutely correct. Sure, it was all very well-made. The art style was vibrant, the visualisation of the protagonist’s social awkwardness as drowning was pretty clever, and fishing as a theme isn’t exactly typical either.
Still, I can’t help the feeling, that if the exact same story would be told with four girls, I, along with many others, would already be busy attaching a fanspeak term to every character’s personality, and quoting High School Girls are Funky on how ridiculous it is that every random plot can be sold with cute teenage girls in it. Probably most of us wouldn’t even get to the part of discussing color themes, or drowning scenes. That always seemed like an interesting dilemma to me. Are we hypocrites for changing our attitudes based on such a shallow surface? Or maybe always slightly modifying surface is “Anime Presentation 101” , and creators who fail to do even that, all had it coming?
In either case, Tsuritama itself is an enjoyable show. There will apparently also be some “saving Earth” plot, but I don’t particularly concerned about it in either way. If the execution is good enough that would really watch these guys fishing for 11 episodes, then I guess they might as well save the Earth, and it will work.
Sakamichi no Apollon
This one came with such a ridiculous collection of burdens, that in about two weeks, it will be impossible to merely “like it”, “dislike it”, or be ambivalent about it. There will be the “elitists who think they are all that sophisticated just because they are worshipping Josei noitaminA shows, listening to jazz, and watching bromances while ranting about moe”, the “haters who hate it just because it’s always hate on popular things”, and those who “smugly look down on both irrational groups just because they are watching the show but also finding some minor flaws in it, that makes them sound like moderate wisemen”.
That is unfortunate, because I don’t know yet which group I will belong to, but I HATE IT when people try to psychoanalyze why I’m watching someething, based on stereotypes.
So far, Sakamichi no Apollon did everything fine. The art style is a really clever mix of old and new. Previously, in the Sankarea preview, I complained about how I prefer the more modern shiny art styles that give a depth to the characters, than the simpler flat ones that often kinda look like someone just drew a black outline, and filled it’s insides with the paint bucket in MS Paint. On the other hand, in this case giving characters shiny skin or even obviously digitally created shadows, that would ruin the retro atmosphere. Apollon found a nice middle ground, with lots of shading, in a style that still makes the characters look like old drawings, but also gives them depth.
Musically, I wouldn’t expect much from it other than nice BGM, and maybe 3-4 full music-playing scenes during the whole series. Even if the show is about jazz, animating instrument usage is expensive, music recording is expensive, and for most unmusical viewers, adds nothing to the story. It’s not like K-on had so few concert scenes only because KyoAni hates you, either.
Eureka Seven AO
I only want to know about two things:
- Taking place a generation later than the original story, that took place in a far future world, how can it now be 2025, in Japan? I’m pretty sure that there is a reason for that, but it must be so out there, that I’m not sure that it can be presented appropriately. Granted, when I had trouble ith seemingly nonsenscal timelines, in two of my favourite visual novels; Ever 17, and ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two, they both turned out to have genious solutions, but still, this time, it really doesn’t make sense.
- What the fuck happened to Renton and Eureka, that forced them to be separated from their kid? I DEMAND ANSWERS! Not in the last-episode-revelations, but right there in the second episode. And the answer shouldn’t be that “they are dead”, because in that case, FUCK YOU BONES, Don’t you dare to ruin my happy ending! If they are alive, then still, fuck you for messing up their lives, but only with lowercase letters.