Let’s have no illusions, this is pretty formulaic stuff – though by their very nature VNs are formulaic, so that’s no condemnation. I can’t really quantify what it is about this show I like – in addition to the familiarity it’s also nothing special visually, and the cast is trying a little too hard to really sound natural. Yet like it I do – sort of, anyway. If anything I guess it’s the fact that there are some genuinely weird things going on, like the visions Oojima has in the premiere and pretty much everything about Yume (it’s always great to have Ogata Megumi – who gave arguably the most important performance in seiyuu history – in a major role again, though I haven’t figured out if her performance here is genius or terrible).
The anime has also done a good job of teasing some mysteries so that I’m actually curious about them, like Chisato’s aversion to chocolate. And I see reason to at least be hopeful that the show is going to make a fairly in-depth exploration of student politics, with the added element of the spy novel stuff hovering the background. What Koichoco hasn’t done – and what Mashifony did almost from the start – is give us an indication that the characters were really outside the mold, and that something original was going on there. The anime seems to be pushing the Chisato route pretty hard right out of the gate, though Shinonome seems like the most interesting girl to me. So far the character side of this isn’t doing much for me, but there’s enough in the plot and overall tone to keep me around for at least a little while longer.
Accel World – 14
It’s a new cour, and with it a new OP and ED – both pleasant enough but nothing special, though the ED animation is pretty funny and somewhat intriguing.
I continue to see Haru-Chiyu flags everywhere, though I know it can never be. Her “cooking for my future husband line” – quite non-specific – and the fact that Haru was the first to see her naked – though I suppose it’s all a tease on the writer’s part. That peepshow was courtesy of our new friend Noumi, the boy who causes AW fans everywhere to rage to the point of catatonia. I don’t quite see it, myself – yeah he’s a snarky and cocky SOB, but aren’t our villains supposed to be people we love to hate? I’m not expecting all that much subtlety in terms of the good guys and bad guys in this series, to be honest, so I’m perfectly happy with a theatrical baddie to spice things up a bit – if he were a few years older, I would practically expect Noumi-kun to twirl a mustache.
He has a certain sense of style, too – the locker room switch was pretty clever, and Noumi certainly seems to be a couple of steps ahead of Haru and Taku in the mental department without needing to use his “Physical Burst” command. Three seconds for five points? I guess that’s an OK deal – but I can understand why he wants to blackmail Haru into being his personal burst points bank, because if he’s using physical burst for practice kendo matches all those five-pointers will add up.
Seems to be that the purpose of this arc is to give Haru and Taku – even Chiyu – an enemy they can do battle with while Kuroyukihime is in Okinawa taking movies of her Chanpuru, and one that won’t have them biting off more than they can chew. Thus I don’t expect him to approach anything above mid-boss levels, and in any case I think I can already see the seeds of his eventual downfall – his adolescent hormones, as he seems to have a thing for Chiyu.