Second Impressions Digest – Clockwork Planet, Renai Boukun, Sekaisuru Kado

Clockwork Planet – 02

It’s rather striking how poorly Clockwork Planet is being received by readers of the light novels (the vocal ones, anyway), because I kind of like it.  It’s not great or anything, but there’s something very sweet in the Naoto-RyuZU relationship, and a nugget of something cool and clever about the premise.

That said, execution-wise we certainly have our issues.  The pacing is way too fast, and the exposition tends to fall either into the “too much” or “too little” boxes.  I’m also not crazy about the second pairing of Marie and Halter, which just seems straight-up LN tropey.  And since they were on-screen for more of this episode than Naoto and RyuZU, it definitely suffered in comparison to the premiere.

I’ll give Clockwork Planet one more week to convince me that what I like about it is winning enough to outweigh the flaws.  I think there’s a pretty good chance I’ll keep watching for a while, but blogging seems unlikely at this point.

 

Renai Boukun – 02

I won’t deny Renai Bokoun  can be pretty funny a good chunk of the time, but I don’t see a whole lot in it from a blogging perspective.  This is pretty much a straight-ahead screwball comedy, about as ill-suited to post-mortems as an anime could be.  You either laughed or you didn’t – the end.

Did I this week?  Yeah, some.  But I suspect even from viewing-only angle this is going to be a show with a pretty short shelf-life.  The humor seems pretty one-note – dumb people doing dumb things and causing trouble, light fanservice, misunderstandings and tropes.  This week’s tale surrounds a budding romance between the Iinchou and a teacher. with the baka loli doing their best to support this ill-advised union without the kiss note (which Seiji has confiscated and stuffed down the back of his pants).  I guess it’s encouraging that the MC has enough common sense to be grossed out by all this even if no one else does, but that only gets you so far.

I do feel like there’s a fairly mean-spirited note to some of the humor in Renai Boukun, and that too may limit its staying power.  Plus, while the trope character classes are being exploited for comedy, there’s no real satire in it – they’re just convenient props to set up the gags.  This is a competent comedy with a good sense of manic pacing, but I can’t honestly say I feel much affection for it.

 

Sekaisuru Kado – 02

Sekaisuru Kado is probably the show in this post that has the most potential for coverage.  It definitely has some meat to it – there’s an interesting story playing out, and it’s being told tolerably well.  I like Clockwork Planet more, but liking it doesn’t blind me to its shortcomings.  I actually have warmer feelings towards the fake-out Episode 00 than what’s come since from Sekaisuru Kado, but there’s some legit groundwork being laid here.

At this point it’s probably too early to say what’s going on with Yaha-kui zaShunina and his intervention in Japanese life – we don’t even know if he’s from another dimension or even universe, or just a planet (hell, he could even be a God, as Shindou originally imagined).  This basic setup is certainly a sci-fi old faithful, from the likes of The Day the Earth Stood Still and on down the quality ladder.  But it’s the presence of Shindou at the alien’s side that makes Sekaisuru’s take modestly distinctive.  And it seems he’s going to be set off against another expert negotiation on the human “side” – though it seemed to me as if the P.M. and cabinet assumed Shindou was working on behalf of their potential enemy, which is rather an unwarranted conclusion in my opinion.

The CGI and constant jumps between it and cheap-ish conventional animation are certainly jarring, and there’s a certain detach to the proceedings here that gives Sekaisuru Kado a bit of a cold feel at the moment.  But I’m intrigued enough to see this play out.  The humans are stuck on the plane for 29 days while zaShunina’s Kado figures out how to transport them outside, and he’s given the government three hours to prepare for negotiations.  But negotiations over what terms?  zaShunina doesn’t seem to have any hostile intent towards the human race, but it’s too early to say that with certainty.  I’m curious to see what happens next week, and that’s always a good sign.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

5 comments

  1. I’m really liking Sekaisuru Kado . Its different then what we usually see and a good sci-fi series that does not involve giant robots (at least not yet) is a welcome addition.

  2. M

    Am I the only one that laughs whenever the word “negotiator” is pronounced by the characters in Sekaisuru Kado? I predict (or rather, I genuinely hope) negotiations break down the moment zaSushiboy meets that annoying scientist.

  3. R

    I was trying to put my finger on it and it finally clicked after I was browsing through some other light novels. Even though it’s not as old, Clockwork Planet reminds me a LOT more of the light novels from the Baccano or Spice and Wolf era (back in the 2000’s) than the current light novel scene. I wonder if that’s why it’s not as popular. It makes me kind of sad because I really did like a lot of the older LN series but all of the more recent ones are just too flat. It feels like someone crammed 3 books into one and it’s hard to get attached to characters or plot. Clockwork Planet has some of the same issues, but not quite to the same degree I usually see in a lot of LN adaptations these days.

  4. M

    Dunno about the anime or light novels, but the manga adaptation (scanlated version, of course) of Clockwork Planet did nothing to remind me of Spice & Wolf. I never read the Baccano LN though, but the anime was superb, and again, I don’t see any similarities to Clockwork Planet.

  5. R

    Nah, Clockwork Planet is VERY different from both of them (I was using them to indicate the LN era I was talking about. Both of them are from the early to mid 2000’s)

Leave a Comment