Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer 2017 Simluicast First Impressions

Now that the Summer Anime season of 2017 has begun, I'll give my first impressions of the Summer series I've picked up this won't include Kakegurui or Fate/Apocrypha as those series got picked up by Netflix and I don't subscribe to Netflix and my rule is if a series is picked up by a legal streaming service I don't subscribe to and I can't afford it I don't watch it. So I'd love to talk about those series but cold hard economic reality prevents me. Also, I won't be talking about anything that is a holdover from Spring 2017 as they didn't premiere in the Summer and that would defeat the purpose of being the first impression. Also as of this writing some series only have one episode up and others I've seen two of. Love and Lies: An adaptation of the manga of same name this is set in a dystopian universe where the government of Japan decides who you will merry at the age of 15 our protagonist Yukari is a retiring and quiet boy with a crush on beautiful and popular girl Misaki Takasaki who than is assigned his marriage partner in the prickly Lilina Sanada. The dystopian government program aside this is very safe Romance. With two female leads that are sure to appeal to someone. Some have compared this to Scum's Wish but Scum's Wish was self-importantly riddled with all kinds of "angst" and being in the characters heads Love and Lives is a lower stakes how not attempting to be some grand declaration on the human condition or sexuality and instead a very simple love triangle story and that's fine it's enjoyable both female leads have their charm points and while the male lead may have a spine of a wet noodle he is at least trying to fight for his love. It's more the direction and art style that turns me off the story may feel a little cookie cutter but the Dystopian element gives it enough difference to not feel overwhelmingly cliché. It's overly bright at times while having really stock unoriginal character design. The story and it's twists and turns is at least enough to keep me engaged despite the lackluster visuals. My First Girlfriend Is a Gal: The story of a virgin High school student who asks out a "Gal" (A fashion subculture known for being flashy) girl classmate so he can hopefully lose his virginity to her because of the perceptions that Gals are sluts. This is very much a harem series with a number of other girls sure to appeal to the audience while the fan service is heavy it's also heavily censored on Crunchyroll so if one just wants the fan service uncensored Crunchyroll won't have it but overall it's not bad for what it is despite censorship but it's more an entraining trifle that feels like a throwback to early 2000s harem comedies. Aho Girl: A short series about a ridiculously stupid girl and the put upon male friend who can't stand having to mind her and who comedically abuses her. This is very much a series that trades in comedic slapstick violence and an idiotic and obnoxious lead played expertly by Aoi Yuki to play off the put upon straight man. The humor is very often dark but overall enjoyable due to the voice acting and direction. New Game Season Two: The second season of the cute girls doing game design and programming Anime it's really more of the same bright and cute design and color scheme that season one had with some character development from season one. It's, in short, an enjoyable trifle. With some office culture sub plots as of one episode Gamers: A series about a boy who plays video games who gets scouted by the most popular girl at his school to join her Gaming club full of oddballs wich he rejects so he can continue playing Mobile Games simply for fun. It's a goofy comedy and the lead simply wanting to be left alone is an interesting twist but all of it in the first episode feels like placeholding and none of the characters really feel fully developed more like poorly written stereotypes of people who play video games. It's funny in places but as I don't play video games a number of the references are lost on me. Slight but enjoyable. Restaurant To Another World: The Story of a restaurant that periodically ends up in random fantasy lands is a simple slice of life series about enjoying good food while also having various middle brow fantasy characters show up it's episodic and the attention to detail in the food animation is nice while everybody from the half demon waitress to the female adventurer find out the joy of food and honestly this is the kind of thing I like in cooking series is showing the enjoyment one gets from eating good food. With each dish being the center piece it has a decent economy of story telling but the focus is on the food front and center. Making for a calming and relaxing series. Classroom of the Elite: Set in a future Japan and in a school for the gifted that allots points to the students to cover living costs and basic needs while the class feels way too lenient until the last minute twist at the end. It's a dry kind of unpleasant series with a protagonist that feels more like a plot device than an actual protagonist. I think the basic idea is interesting but it's so dry and insular that while not labors to watch it felt overly expositional and needed to build the characters more. Has promise but this will probably be a minor series in my book. Princess Principal: An original series chronicling an espionage team staffed by young girls, in short, it feels like early episodes of Joker Game combined with a steam punk aesthetic looking nice but feeling like an attempt at being mature and confusing cynicism for depth. If the quality of animation continues it could be a nice technical exercise but not much else. Saiyuuki Reload Blast: Caught in an early 2000s time warp this is very much action with not much else with Sanzo and his merry band still trying to make it to India and getting caught in "fight of the week" stories and shenanigans. It's enjoyable but not much is different very much an if it's not broke don't fix it kind of attitude. No real dip in quality but nothing particularly exciting outside of the main formula very much for established fans but enjoyable to have something I liked from the early 2000s that helped get me back into Anime. Tenshi No 3p!!: From the Light Novel series by the author of Fast BReak comes a series about a shut in High School boy who gets blackmailed into helping a band of Elementary school students combined with Loli Fan Service this is a series for a very particular kind of taste. I find it enjoyable but am not particularly invested in any of it simply finding the character design and music fun. While backgrounds are nice and music has the same vigor that early K-On! Had except with a younger cast. Convenience Store Boy Friends: a cheap looking romance with Lawson's knock off being the meetup for the cast it's very much a slow High School romance that honestly feels like those Anime ONAs based on Vocaloid songs that have been released as of late. It's not terrible it's just average. Comparable to Winter's Seiren Anime Clione no Akari: based on a web novel about bullying this one just felt off with the bullying victim simply being held up as a victim waiting to be saved this could end up being insufferable after school special of a series. While visuals are plastic and imagery feel heavy handed could be better in a few episodes but so far it's not really anything other than being manipulatively sad. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits: A series combining Prefectural tourism and live Sentai shows it's cute and has good voice acting while the fight for your dreams ethos is nice as well. Other than being cute and having M.A.O. Is a supporting role not much else but looks fun Made In Abyss: Based on a web Manga chronicles a fantasy world where orphans are forced to excavate artifacts and a young girl discovers a robot that looks like a boy. With its hint at a dark and rather unpleasant world this could have the potential to be a really dark look at a fantasy world from the perspective of a child so far it's the best thing I've seen this season. Mahojin Guruguru: A loving send up of old RPG tropes this is a fun little series that is the remake of an older series based on a gag Manga. It's very much a throw back to things like Dragon Half and the first season of Slayers. Fun and nostalgic while also being aware enough of genre conventions that it does not feels stale.

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