Nijiro Days – 03
I don’t know if I’m going to blog it (I’m leaning against it but still reserve the right to change my mind) but I find myself quite liking Nijiro Days. It’s not too over the top in its caricatures – shoujo or otherwise – and for me, it’s actually a fairly realistic take on male (and female) teens by anime standards. But it should be 22 damn minutes…
I like the way perfectly normal stuff is treated as perfectly normal here. Tsuyoshi has a girlfriend? Fine – and they’re both otaku, so it works. He’s shallow (he considers breaking up with her because he’s moe for black hair and she dyed it for cosplay) but hey – most kids are pretty shallow when it comes to romance. The courtship between Anna and Natsuki is on the cute side, but they’re progressing at quite a believable pace. The boys verbally abuse each other in a good-natured way the way male friends in high school do without being excessively douchey about it.
In short, it’s all pretty on the level – a very solid slice of life that actually merits that genre tag, and one focused on characters that are underrepresented in the medium. I’ll keep watching for sure, and we’ll see about coverage.
Bubuki Buranki – 03
Setting aside narrative issues, it’s pretty striking how much better SANZIGEN’s full CGI effort looks than Polygon’s (though admittedly this was visibly a step down from the first two episodes). This sort of show gives me some hope that CGI anime might eventually prove watchable if indeed that’s the inevitable direction the industry is headed.
Of course we can’t set aside narrative forever, and while I would adjudge this episode of Bubuki Buranki to have been the most coherent and intelligible so far, it hasn’t closed the deal with me. The characters are pretty two-dimensional and the dialogue pretty trite for the most part. But the plot is fairly interesting, and there is a certain clumsy sincerity that puts me in mind of Symphogear, among other series. I’ll keep an eye on things, but there’s going to have to be a tangible leap in my interest level if I’m going to continue blogging it.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar – 03
I’m about ready to give on Grimgar, which is kind of a shame since there were elements here that were genuinely interesting. Maybe you have to be more of a hard-core RPG enthusiast to really appreciate this series, I don’t know – but I do like RPGs and there have been series (not that many, I admit) build around them that I’ve liked.
Bluntly, I think this show is just too LN for me. It’s so obsessed with the prurient obsessions of its target audience and its depiction of women is so demeaning that I just can’t bring myself to like it. I can appreciate it at times, but I can’t like it. We’e not talking about fanservice, here – by contrast to the kind of objectification and condescension in Grimgar fanservice like you see in shows like TLR is pretty harmless. I know there are worse examples of this in LN than Grimgar, but hey – I like those even less.
Another issue I have with this series is that the casting seems weirdly discordant to me. Every time a character opens his mouth (it’s not such an issue with the girls, as they’re too indistinct for it to matter) I think it should be the next guy’s voice – except for Yoshino-san, and he sounds like he’s doing a Yoshino-san impression.
What I did like here is the visual sense, which is both distinctive and attractive and suits the premise. And I think the way Grimgar actually points out the ugly side of committing ambush violence against creatures who don’t attack you first is praiseworthy and unusual. There are certain LN adaptations where I get the sense that the author would really like to be doing something more, but either feels or is compelled to lower themselves to the inane standards of the medium. I do get that sense here – though maybe I’m giving Jyumonji Ao too much credit. Either way, the negatives outweigh the positives for me.