Hajimete no Gal – 01
Hajimete no Gal was on my sleeper list going into this season, but truthfully, the first episode was pretty awful. I’ve spoken in the past about how anime is depressingly good at making shows that are degrading to both genders in equal measure, and this is one of them. No one really comes out of this disaster looking good.
I have no problem with ecchi (and this show is borderline hentai), and I certainly have no problem with shows dealing with the adolescent preoccupation with sex. The problem with Hajimete no Gal is that it makes no effort to contribute anything towards an exploration of the human condition whatsoever – it’s just a lot of soft porn, innuendo and stereotypes. My upside hope for this series was B Gata H Kei, which was a (vastly underrated) story of a girl trying to lose her virginity and the unlikely guy she decides to do so with. But that was “War and Peace” compared to Hajimete no Gal – it took the time to develop the characters and actually had some interesting observations on the relationship between love and sex, and how teens deal with both. This series is just trash, pretty much, and not especially good trash – I laughed once or twice, but that’s not nearly enough to convince me to subject myself to the experience for another week.
Clione no Akari – 01
Not a whole lot to say about this odd little series, the first ever produced by a studio called drop. Maybe there was a story behind this one – like it came out of Kickstarter or something – and I don’t remember it, but it doesn’t feel like a typical anime production. It’s pretty low-rent to be honest, with very simple animation and amateur voice acting. Watching it feels about like watching a college-level animation project.
There can be a charm to that sometimes (see Symphogear S1), and Clione no Akari is at least heartfelt – the story of a bullied middle-school girl and the two kids who empathize with her but are too scared to stand up to the bullies. That’s a common thing of course, and certainly good fodder for an anime. But this one is too simplistic and clumsy to have much of an impact. And at 9 minutes the opportunity to make one is pretty limited to begin with.