First Impressions Omnibus – Code:Breaker, Ixion Saga DT, Chousoku Henkei Gyrozetter, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

[DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_00.32_[2012.10.13_09.26.48] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.57_[2012.10.13_10.13.40] [sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_09.33_[2012.10.13_13.03.41] [Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_07.24_[2012.10.14_10.24.58]

Here’s some overdue thoughts on premières I haven’t had time to cover.  I kind of doubt I’ll be able to fit any into the rotation, but I won’t completely rule them out.

Code: Breaker – 01

[DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_00.28_[2012.10.13_09.26.44] [DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_08.10_[2012.10.13_09.34.44] [DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_00.35_[2012.10.13_09.26.51]
[DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_10.41_[2012.10.13_09.37.15] [DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_13.19_[2012.10.13_09.39.53] [DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_15.44_[2012.10.13_09.42.18]
[DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_20.36_[2012.10.13_09.47.10] [DeadFish] Code Breaker - 01 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_21.35_[2012.10.13_09.48.09] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.22_[2012.10.13_10.09.22]

This one interests me mainly for the presence of Irie Yasuhiro as director, as I’m a big fan of his work on FMA: Brotherhood.  The premiere is a solid episode without breaking any of the rules.  The art and story construction seem very arch-typically shounen, though the violence level is certainly amped up.  You have the tall, dark transfer student Oogami Rei (Okamoto Nobuhiko) living a double-life.  You have the heroine, Sakurakouji Sakura (Hikasa Youko) an ace martial artist who witnesses Oogami doing something terrible in the park.  While conventionally Sakura looks like the main character based on the premiere, that would be a bit of a departure for a shounen – though I don’t expect her to actually die or anything, as hinted by the end of the episode.

In short: an enjoyable premiere with solid production values from BONES-lite Kinema Citrus that didn’t blow me away.  There are similarities to Zetman and Ao no Exorcist, though I see a more general case of being a product of the genre through and through.  I expect an exploration of the merits of vigilante justice, with Oogami and Sakura on opposite poles.

Ixion Saga DT – 01

[HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.34_[2012.10.13_10.14.17] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.42_[2012.10.13_10.16.25] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.03_[2012.10.13_10.17.46]
[HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.15_[2012.10.13_10.17.58] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.38_[2012.10.13_10.21.21] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.01_[2012.10.13_10.22.44]
[HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.12_[2012.10.13_10.25.08] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.51_[2012.10.13_10.31.25] [HorribleSubs] Ixion Saga DT - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.37_[2012.10.13_10.33.11]

The details aren’t important, really – this show is basically big names having fun on their day off.  You have Brains Base, director Takamatsu Shinji and a cast that includes Kamiya Hiroshi as a villain, Fukuyama Jun as a bad trap, Eguchi Takuya (doing his best Okamoto Nobuhiko impression), Kousi Yuusa, Tomokazu Sugita, Kaji Yuuki, Hosoya Yoshimasa and Nakai Kazuya just to name a few.  And a premise that’s another take on the modern teen being transplanted into the world of an RPG – except it’s clear from the hilarious opening scene where the boy is seduced by an overacting buxom avatar that this is not being taken remotely seriously.

Not surprisingly given the talent involved, Ixion Saga ends up being quite fun.  No pretensions are made towards creating anything of substance – it’s plain and simple that this is a spoof of gamers, RPGs and the anime that portray them with too much seriousness.  From the ED and DT (virgin) puns to the simple kick-in-the crotch slapstick to FukuJun’s switching between trap and GAR voices to the Princess’ hilariously deadpan expression, it’s all pretty much a silly waste of time, in a good way.

Chousoku Henki Gyrozetter – 01

[sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_07.00_[2012.10.13_13.01.08] [sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_07.13_[2012.10.13_13.01.20] [sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_08.15_[2012.10.13_13.02.22]
[sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_09.12_[2012.10.13_13.03.20] [sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_17.14_[2012.10.13_13.13.16] [sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_18.49_[2012.10.13_13.14.51]
[sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_20.26_[2012.10.13_13.16.27] [sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_20.35_[2012.10.13_13.16.36] [sage]_Chousoku_Henkei_Gyrozetter_-_01_[720p][84194FD0].mkv_snapshot_21.22_[2012.10.13_13.17.24]

I’m not sure how much “Chief Director” Shinji Takamatsu is involved in Gyrozetter, but it’s yet another series with a big pedigree that’s safely under the radar.  This one has the sin of being a “kids” show, so matter the talent involved it won’t get much attention, but like Ixion Saga it’s a good studio (A-1), Takamatsu-sensei is involved and it has a very strong cast – plus, it’s written by Satou Dai, who penned the original Eureka Seven.

Make no mistake, this one is aimed squarely at the hearts of 12 year-old boys – pro wrestling humor, AI cars that kids can drive – some of which transform into giant robots – and annoying Moms, just for starters.  But because of the talent involved it’s a great example of what that sort of cartoon is supposed to be – the silly humor is actually funny, the kids are likable and the action is lively.  Also, no time whatsoever is wasted diving right into the plot.  A very solid and entertaining diversion.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – 01

[Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_02.51_[2012.10.14_09.51.22] [Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_04.03_[2012.10.14_09.52.35] [Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_05.29_[2012.10.14_09.54.01]
[Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_08.55_[2012.10.14_09.57.41] [Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_09.47_[2012.10.14_09.58.33] [Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_11.32_[2012.10.14_10.00.18]
[Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_13.53_[2012.10.14_10.02.39] [Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_15.31_[2012.10.14_10.04.16] [Commie] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 01 [39391476].mkv_snapshot_19.01_[2012.10.14_10.07.47]

A subtle, reflective and somber mood piece?  Um, no.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of those old shounen chestnuts (something like 70 volumes) that I don’t know much about, and I hadn’t seen the OVAs.  But I’ll say this – it’s an example where the popular view of a series is truth in advertising.  JJBA is bombastic, bizarre, surreal and silly – completely over the top and without an ounce of restraint.  And there’s certainly something to be said for that.

It’ll be interesting to see what David Production can do with this massive series in a relatively short adaptation, but they’re off to a good start.  The character design and art are classic shounen but nothing special in terms of production quality, but the little touches (straight from the manga) like the “Bam!” and “Smooch!” effects are a nice touch (that may have been the best animal punch since Alex Karras and the horse in “Blazing Saddles”).  Dio (Koyasu Takehito) is certainly one of the most despicable characters I’ve seen, and Jonathon Joestar (Okitsu Kazuyuki) – just the first of many manga protagonists – is such a preposterous fop that it’s hard not to like him.  Nothing in the premiere is remotely believable, but I was swept up enough by it’s relentless energy and goofiness that I enjoyed it right to the end. Also loved the use of the original LP version of Yes and “Roundabout” for the ED.

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10 comments

  1. l

    Predictions…

    Code:Breaker will end up being a full cliched adaptation, with annoying bishies everywhere but with good presentation. Kinda like Kuroko no Basket but super condensed to fit 1-cour.

    Ixion Saga DT will have horrendous animation throughout its run and will try too hard to make jokes ending up being hit or miss with its viewers. One of those you either love or hate.

    Didn't watch the kids animu (I do watch Ginga though).

    Jojo is going to be awesome, everything is going to be epic, and it's going to own every other anime on this season.

  2. T

    Wait, JoJo uses Roundabout for the ED? That's it. I'm gonna go watch it.

  3. S

    Yup, and in ep 2 they even use the full guitar intro super well. If you like the song, stick through ep 2.

  4. T

    Hell yeah. JoJo's looks like silly, brilliant fun, and I've been meaning to check out the manga for at least a year now, but've been pretty ambivalent about watching a short anime adaptation first.

    But I've been into Yes since before I've been into anime, even, so it's nice to have a little push to my motivation.

  5. J

    You relegated JJBA to a mere impressions omnibus? How dare you!

    But hey, you got the gist of it.

  6. S

    Code:Breaker has a decent, but limited number, of staff on it. It seems like it'll be a pretty "safe" conversion, so it's a matter of the source material. (Not supposed to be too grand)

    Ixion Saga DT is worth a watch of ep 1 for Kaji Yuuki (in an evil bishi role) having a chair dropped on him. I nearly died laughing at that. Someone described the villains as being the student council from Utena, which is pretty funny.

    Gyrozetter is going to be badly genre constrained (it's a toy/cards series), but the staff makes me think it could be awesome. I'm really hoping for Digimon good.

    JoJo's… is awesome. But, well, it's so over the top you just have to appreciate what they can do with it. And the OP is awesome. But I imagine a lot of people won't like the series, as it's a pretty big throw back.

  7. L

    Ixion Saga was way more fun than I thought it would be. I'll be following it as long as the protagonist keeps those swanky shoes.

    Not sure about Jojo yet. It kind of reminds me of those 80's latex metal bands, for some reason. Maybe it's the colours. I'll watch a couple more eps before I make a decision.

    The other 2, I don't really plan on considering.

  8. A

    Araki likes to name characters after singers/bands so if you're getting that feeling I think it's pretty intentional. Also Jojos began serialization in the late 80s.

  9. e

    I've only heard of Jojo en passant during the years but I was very eager to check it in anime form. And it delivers. Aaaah, old school cheese, just the kind of tone I was expecting <3 . On the female charas side, Erina still managed her own act of defiance with the mouth rinsing in spite of being introduced as – and mostly being – textbook damsel in distress. The poor dog wasn't so lucky unfortunately <— some true brand(o) of evil here.
    The series is structured in different arcs, in this sense the anime studio can tackle this manga monster an arc at a time.
    Having being raised and fed with heavy doses of '70s prog bands music the ED was my joy and delight. Oh Yes ;).

    About Gyrozetter… glad to hear the start seems solid. I'll check it out if it keeps being so.

  10. A

    It's sad to see that I'm enjoy Ixion Saga DT way more than SAO.

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