Just a few quick & dirty reactions to series I didn’t even have time to cap:
Kuma Miko – 01
Talk about a tale of two halves. The first chapter was completely feel-good moe fluff – Satou Junichi on too much Zoloft. Then we got into some really squirmy territory – creepy guy telling way too explicit “fairy tales” to little kids, disturbing fantasy sequences, wholly inappropriate dialogue spoken by a 6 year-old.
The dilemma here is that the nice part was complete snoozerville, while the nasty part was at least sort of interesting. I don’t know which Kuma Miko shows up next week, and I don’t know which one I want to show up. The curiosity factor is there and at least this wasn’t regurgitated LN pablum, so it gets another look.
Re:Zero – 01
This is drawing some very positive notices, and I get that. To be honest I chalk it up to lowered expectations – anytime a LN does anything that deviates from the accepted formula even superficially, people fall all over themselves praising it. And Re:Zero is certainly bloodier and grimier than average.
Here’s the thing: Christopher Booker may have broken down all literature into seven plots, but even that’s way too broad for LNs. And for me, I don’t see Re:Zero as being different in any meaningful way – it just puts a nasty spin on an impossibly overused premise. It jumps right into the middle of the story for the benefit of an audience that has zero patience for development and exposition. It’s loaded with self-aware dialogue for people who think they’re smarter than everyone else.
Re:Zero certainly has a ruthlessness to it that makes it stand out. And it’s well-executed as an anime – competently directed and acted. It’s not for me, but I’m not too surprised it’s being so well-received – it’s a safe kind of rule-breaking in a medium that almost never allows the rules to be broken in any substantial way.