Weekly Digest 7/19/2016 – D.Gray-man Hallow – Cheer Danshi!!

D Gran Man Hallow - 03 -26

Cheer Danshi - 03 -27

D.Gray-man Hallow – 02

I know it’s been a long time since the first D.Gray-man aired, but this series is sure different than I remembered it.  Specifically, in terms of pacing, because I remember long arcs that seemed to take forever to unfold (generally to good effect, I should say).  It was definitely a dark epic, but Hallow is just so much more frenetic.  Perhaps it’s nothing more than the fact that TMS has only one cour to work with this time, but there’s just so much happening that my head is spinning by the end of every episode.

I have no idea how long the “Phantom Thief G” Arc (or whatever the manga readers call it) took to unfold in its original form, but I’d guess it was longer in relative terms than in the anime.  This was a good story, but it reminded me of a politician giving a good speech who dulls its impact by never pausing long enough to let the audience applaud (are you listening, 2004 John Kerry?).  The key moment here, I suppose, is the introduction of Tsukikami (Madono Mitsukai, and old-timer who’s excellent here).  He’s the human manifestation of Timothy’s innocence, and he appears in the nick of time to try and help his master fight his way out of a pack of akuma (a Level 2, 3 and 4).  It’s also notable that Crown Clown actually hurts Allen when it’s only supposed to, you know – hurt evil things.

The action here is pretty solid, but it flies by so fast that’s it’s hard to really latch onto what’s happening at any given moment.  Likewise the denouement, which is Timothy and the exorcists rescuing the orphans and Sensei, and his decision to join the Order.  There’s some genuine emotion to it, but it’s just upon us too fast for it to really have much impact. If this sort of pacing continues for the rest of the season, I’m not sure I’m going to have the endurance to keep up…

 

Cheer Danshi!! – 03

Cheer Danshi certainly isn’t the most exciting series out there.  It’s not slick or especially polished, either.  But there is a certain charm to it.  The show – and its cast – are so unapologetically goofy and unpretentious that it’s hard not to like them both.

This episode offered a little more in terms of high-revving comedy than the first two as well, which marked a nice energy boost for what can sometimes be a dangerously languid show.  Most of that involved the seventh team member, Tokugawa Shou (Ono Yuuki) and his obsession with hyper-kawaii product mascot Rocky the squirrel.  Somehow Mizuguchu gets it into his head that he should try and be a squirrel too, as he and Toono (and Haru for a while to) struggle to to learn round-off back handsprings to try and impress their new desired recruit.  Much of the episode, in fact, consists of the three of them practicing endlessly to try and perfect (well – that might be a little strong) the move.  As someone who really hated tumbling and was terrible at it, I feel their pain.

I think what saves Cheer Danshi, in addition to its unassuming nature, is the fact that it never comes off as a series that’s trying shamelessly to appeal to a specific demographic (like Free!, for example).  The guys in this series look for the most part like actual guys – a little squishy around the middle, or skinny-armed, or just generally a bit mousey.  I suspect not trying too hard will in this case mean the production committee not having to spend much time cashing checks, but be that as it may, it’s quite appealing.  I may not keep blogging it, just because it kind of speaks for itself and the season is pretty loaded, but I’ll still be watching for the foreseeable future.

 

 

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8 comments

  1. w

    DGM Hallow’s Phantom Thief G arc is about 11 chapters in the manga. So it should have been a 3-4 episodes of adaptation if they were not given a limit of 13 episodes. They skipped a lot before the scenes of episode 2, and it’s really costing the emotional impact and thrill in both Timothy and the exorcists and Finders’ (and all other people’s) situations. Besides that, they took out an interesting plot point that made the situation in the orphanage more dire, gave a more questionable look on humanity in cloth, and explained some deeper meaning to the akuma’s appearance there.

    The two episodes of this arc were enjoyable, but they were also rushed. Some scenes in ep 3 just felt weird because there wasn’t much screentime given for some characters to be given some sort of character development.

    As to the fight, it wasn’t really a long one. They did have a hard time with the level 4, but Kanda and Allen weren’t injured or weakened like before (not so much anyway). Kanda was more helpful this time, and his opportunistic self came through here too.

  2. Thanks for clarifying that.

  3. w

    You’re welcome! And oh yeah, Timothy’s arc occurred a few months after what happened to Cross on ep 1.

  4. e

    Cheer Danshi: well, that’s my sleeper hit. I find it just the right degree of enjoyable right here and now. What they say about right timing? ^^ —– Squirrells ftw! Now where’s Papa Balboa and Mama Adriana Squirrel to complete the Rocky team? No kidding. I think the summer heat is getting to me but I actually thought that. And the new guy’s taste in clothing is rather interesting – his Cyborg 009 OP sequence suit included – :,D. Plus Sugita-san’s delivery&character finally clicking with me this week. Oh, and the very first sequence left me 1) wondering if this was Binan KuroTama University 2) wishing I could lift my leg that high so nonchalantly. From a sitting position. In the tub.
    Last but not least… one QC slip that once seen I could not unsee: Tono’s face turned positively borderline chiseled for 3/4 of the episode before reverting to his usual round goodness. Was a bit distracting :,) .
    P.S.: I suck at tumbling and everything else showcased in this episode. Being a candy apple head carrier doesn’t help either – even when my back muscles and arms used to be up to snuff for a bridge the top of my braincase would lovingly and devotedly stay glued to the ground – X,D.

    D. Gray-man: compared to what’s next this is a bit of a breather arc imho but it did have its moments and they managed to adapt the overarching bits, although rushedly so. They still might pull the next part off…

  5. s

    It’s actually the Waseda University: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2007/09/16/to-be-sorted/three-cheers-for-the-boys/#.V4__aNKyOkr

    “The guys in this series look for the most part like actual guys”. You are right, Enzo, and we easily forget that they are not random guys but all athetes excluding Ton who has troubles with the exercise until that very morning and we saw him fall in the gym after noon.

  6. e

    @say: I was joking, that was a ref to a certain Binan anime series currently airing and its penchant for placing the main cast in sento group scenes. Thanks for the handy link in any case 😀 I had spotted it elsewhere some days ago and forgot to bookmark it.

  7. D. Gray Man is kinda how I remembered it, the whiplash between comedy and serious moments is irritating but the fact that it plays around with ideas that anime rarely touches nowadays makes it very interesting. It seems like they are focusing this anime on the upcoming arc, I hope they take it a little slower this time round.

  8. J

    I was waiting for this review of DGM and I agree that all that you said. It’s been a while and I’m steadily catching up to/rereading the manga (Getting pretty close) but I do remember that this was indeed longer. Still, I liked the way it ended but I didn’t feel anything (Except for Allen, which I felt genuine emotion for as he slowly moves on) for Timothy much. Hopefully this next arc will be handled smoothly.

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