First Impressions Digest 10/5/14 – World Trigger, Magic Kaito

World Trigger - 01 -9 World Trigger - 01 -12 Magic Kaitou - 01 -7 Magic Kaitou - 01 -10

Saturday is definitely the right day of the week here.

World Trigger – 01

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Phanfone (that has to be one of the strangest typhoon names ever) continues to bear down on Japan, my sisters continue to run me ragged, my body continues to expunge the unsightly residue of a weeklong cold, but like a river the new anime season rolls inexorably on.  No rest for the weary, indeed.

First up here is World Trigger, a Toei adaptation of a Weekly Shounen Jump manga.  And while the animation is clearly low-budget (not the massive terrible CGI kind, but the off-model and lacking background detail kind) I rather liked it.  I was surprised by how much it plays like a boy’s own adventure kind of show – this is clearly a kids series, or at least plays like one so far – but in a cheeky and offbeat way that works well for me.

There’s good pedigree here – director of Outlaw Star Mitsuru Hongo, and legendary composer Kawai Kenji – and the premiere is well-paced and weaves in the exposition pretty well.  The nominal lead appears to be covert BORDER agent and 9th-grader Mikumu Osamu (Kaji Yuuki) but the more interesting character is Kuga Yuuma (Muranaka Tomo), the diminutive white-haired boy who comes from the other dimension where terrifying beasts called “Neighbors” have been streaming through and terrorizing the residents of Mikado.  Yuuma is an odd-duck, a stoic and snarky badass who doesn’t even take names after he kicks butt.

I have major concerns here – the budget, the fact that the source manga is less than two years old – and it’s too early to know if the plot is really going to command my attention.  But the premiere was a pretty entertaining 22 minutes and I’m certainly on-board for at least one more week.

Magic Kaito – 01

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The history of Aoyama Gosho’s Magic Kaitou is certainly an odd-one. Detective Conan is obviously Aoyama-sensei’s top dog, and Kaitou seems to only get new material every few years or so.  But Conan’s little brother (and sometimes crossover partner) is fairly popular, and has accumulated enough material over the decades to prompt an earlier anime series and now this 24-episode entry.

I’ve tried several times to “get” Conan over the years, and I’ve never quite figured out the massive appeal.  And I wouldn’t say the phantom thief genre is among my favorites, though there are exceptions (like D.N. Angel).  That said, as with World Trigger I found this premiere to be pretty entertaining.  The production values are a sight better, that’s for sure, and like it’s protagonist KKaito Kuorba (the irrepressible Yamaguchi Kappei) the show has a good deal of flair and flourish.

Kappei-san isn’t the only veteran in the cast – also on-board are Miyamo Mamoru, Hazama Michio, Ikeda Shuuichi, Kitamura Eri, Ishizuka Unshou, Tomizawa Michie, and Yukino Satsuke among others.  This is an old-school anime with an old-school cast, with no ambition to be anything else – it airs at dinnertime on Saturday nights and is clearly meant to be watched by the entire family.  Don’t dismiss it too easily, though – the premiere at least is quite well-directed and occasionally quite funny.  I liked it better than any ep of Detective Conan that I’ve seen, for what that’s worth.  I don’t know how strong a blogging candidate it is, but strictly as an entertaining Magic Kaitou is off to a solid start.

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11 comments

  1. S

    I'm not sure why I like Detective Conan, but I do. It's extremely stupid, like no one would ever notice that Mori's mouth isn't moving when he's revealing the culprits, and that there would be a murder literally everywhere they go, but it's just fun to watch and try to figure out who the murderer is. I also think that Conan/Kudo is evil, which is my biggest problem with the show aside from all the character logic and cheap animation, but I just can't stop watching it.

  2. E

    The characters would joke sometimes, that Kogoro is a shinigami, but we all know that Kudo is the real shinigami, bringing deaths wherever he goes.
    I stopped reading the manga myself, since it's not going anywhere, and Aoyama Gosho doesn't seem to have any intention of ending it, but Magic Kaito has a soft spot in my heart, since I genuinely enjoy it as a kid. Might download it later.

  3. E

    On the contrary, I eel like the ending is getting closer and closer by the case. Since the Train incident it seems like the main plot is being addressed almost all the time.

  4. K

    Yeah, I wouldn't blame Aoyama but Shogakukan for having the cash cow continue for so long. He's taking constant breaks nowadays (likely due to age) and it's probable that he would draw Magic Kaito less irregularly if not for the stark difference in sales between it and Conan.

  5. g

    You're an one from few, who didn't trash World Trigger & you're not even reader of the manga. I don't read it but it seems the manga has been slower and slightly boring at firs, from others' opinions.
    The idea for a plot is simple one but neat but pacing and quality of art & animation make great disservice to the anime. OP is nice.

  6. S

    Well, to be fair, given the shitstorm that's coming over Cross Ange, World Trigger comes out as a rather cute attempt.
    Still, I ended up dropping it mid-episode. The production values were just too abysmal, and they affected the quality of the storytelling as well. Long exposition with stills, tell-don-t-show-because-showing-costs and so on. It was really hard to bear.

  7. K

    Whoops, I'm not sure what happened since my other comment posted, but if this is a repeat then please delete.

    I just wanted to point out that the title is Magic KAITO, from Kuroba Kaito's name, rather than from KAITOU Kid.

  8. K

    Actually, Magic Kaito is older than Detective Conan by seven years and that means Conan is the more successful little brother.

  9. S

    So Ishida Akira was dropped in favour of Miyano Mamoru? The poor guy doesn't seem to get many roles nowadays.

  10. t

    I really liked magic kaito when it was released as specials under Conan's frame back then.

    magic kaito is somewhat the prototype for Conan since the characters in Conan are based on Kaito's, which BTW started earlier and is in hiatus-like (the author almost never writes chapters for kaito).
    this series, magic kaito 1412, started really the same like the specials. the animation and design is the same, yet it has some of the touch and improvements of A-1 in some places.
    it's a good thing that it has listed as 24 eps. hopefully they'll adapt everything and maybe reach some conclusion, something the specials didn't have (I don't know if because they were meant only as specials or because they didn't have material for it). but probably lots of eps will be like the specials (namely like stealing of the week or something), well I still gonna enjoy this. Kaito fits to the role of the MC as a funny, charming and kind character, along with Aoko and her father, the inspector.

    as for world-trigger. I don't really have lots to say. it seems like a regular shounen. the 1st episode was decent and OK. I do hope the series can rise above the average shonen level that I feel in the air, but for now this is doing OK.

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