It seems as if World Trigger has become pretty much a universal punching bag since its premiere, but I must confess I rather like it. I certainly won’t deny that the animation and background detail is mediocre at best, but ultimately I can live with that if the story and characters can hold my interest (and in any event I’ll still take chintz traditional animation like this over grisly CGI like we got in Kingdom). And so far, my interest is held.
Sora no Method – 02
I don’t think this is going to work for me.
I’m trying to give Sora no Method every chance in the world based on my respect for Hisaya Naoki as a writer, but it’s a steep hill to climb. It’s certainly not awful, but so far seems so abjectly a moe-pandering series that I’m having a tough time getting past it. Back in his day Hisaya was something of a pace-setter for moe but he managed to cut it with considerable subtlety and pathos, but the vibe with this series is that an already moe-centric writer kicked it up to eleven to try and keep up with the times. Unless Episode 3 really grabs me, I’m going to have to call it a day.
Gugure! Kokkuri-san – 02
Funny is funny, and Gugure! Kokkuri-san is funny. It’s one of the sillier shows I’ve seen in a long time, but that’s certainly not always a ticket to success. Happily most of the jokes work, and the sterling performances by the cast certainly don’t hurt.
This episode makes it pretty clear that there aren’t many boundaries with the humor in this series, with jokes about perverts and little girls having sex and characters turned into ground meat (how do you get an Inugami out of a blender? With a straw, of course). That character is Inugami (Sakurai Takahiro as a male, Saitou Chiwa as a female) who’s not only a dog spirit who contracts with and eventually consumes its master, but Kohina’s personal stalker. This naturally sets up quite a rivalry with Kokkuri-san, though both of them temporarily find common ground when a cat wanders into the temple. This gag is an example of how the roles of dog and cat lovers are reversed in America and Japan – in the former it’s we cat people that have to suffer through dogs getting all the press, but in Japan cats are definitely top dog. I knew when I saw that the cat food section at the suupa was bigger than the dog food section that this was the place for me.
There are several other highly successful comic bits in this episode, starting with Kokkuri-san’s doomed attempts to teach Kohina to smile, which induces her facial features falling off and store window breakage. More than specific jokes, though, what makes the show work as well as it does is the offbeat and tragicomic tone of the banter between the characters. I wonder, though, whether the weirdness of the premise is eventually going to be delved into. A grade-schooler living alone is weird enough, but the fact that it’s inescapably a temple she’s living in makes me highly suspicious that something darker is going on here. I don’t know if this is the sort of series that would go there, but it would certainly lend itself to some interesting possibilities.