Catching up – February 2014

An effort to comprehend what’s actually airing right now.

Shows discussed: Inari, Konkon, Koi IrohaMikakunin de ShinkoukeiNoragamiSakura TrickSpace DandyWitch Craft Works.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

It’s a story of a schoolgirl, eponymous Inari, upon whom one day a goddess, also Inari, bestows magical powers. Since then, she can transform into other people, with a complimentary Sailor Moon-ish animation. Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha is a cute show which doesn’t intend to do much, and does what it wants to do just alright. There’s comedy, there’s a love story, everything is rather naive, yet still fun. It’s a solid show, but don’t expect too much from it.

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei (Engaged to the Unidentified)

Mikakunin

It’s a romantic comedy with a solid comedy part, yet it leaves romance somewhat unpronounced. Life of our heroine, Kobeni, is suddenly changed, when she finds out she’s engaged – and her new fiance, his siter, Kobeni and Kobeni’s sister start living together under one roof. The characters are decent, but a little on the cliché side – however, they prove capable of building a steadily developing spectacle.

Noragami

Noragami

Noragami is a story of a god. Not a particularly successful one though – Yato, currently homeless, shrineless; poor and not really divine at all. One day he’s saved by a girl, Hiyori, who jumps in front of a bus to save him. She’s hurt herself though – and from this moment on she’s neither alive nor dead, in-between worlds. Later on they’re joined by a ghost of a boy, Yukine, who serves as a weapon for the deity.

The result is a trio of clashing personalities, fighting monstrous spirits polluting their city. In a long-term, the plot supposingly revolves around Hiyori’s effort to become fully human yet again. Currently, however, it seems that the story isn’t really being pushed anywhere – it unfolds slowly, giving us a wider scope of characters’ past. The show balances its action and drama parts pretty well, and as the result Noragami is a quite enjoyable series.

Sakura Trick

Sakura Trick

I’ve recently stumbled upon this post, and as the result decided to watch Sakura Trick. To be honest, I was afraid that this anime would opt to be a fanservice-heavy show without actual value – this is, however, not the case.

Sakura Trick is filled with good comedy in a neutral (admittedly cliché) school environment. I’ve always had a weakness for such shows – Azumanga Daioh, Lucky Star and sorts. This series isn’t perhaps on the same level as aforementioned, but it mixes the school comedy / slice of life genre with a romance plot in an interesting way, often using the romantic basis to build jokes. Because of such foundation in romance, I’m having a hard time getting used to sexuality in a show that is, on the other hand, a school comedy. It’s something new to me, but this proves just one thing – Sakura Trick is even more view worthy, because it shakes a genre I considered established.

Space Dandy

Space Dandy

Imagine Cowboy Bebop – with a protagonist somewhere between Futurama‘s captain Zapp Brannigan and Samurai Champloo‘s Mugen – mixed with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy. With tons of retro aesthetics and various references. You can’t go wrong with that.

Space Dandy is an action-packed comedy, in space. Main focus of the show are adventures of the Dandy (hence the title), his robot and a space-cat – they’re alien hunters, looking for new species across galaxies. Events of individual episodes have little in common, and therefore they tend to escalate into ridiculosity just to be brought back to starting point at the beginning of another show. This is what makes this series a blast for me – unpredictability to the point of absurdity.

I’ve seen some posts condemning Space Dandy for being ‘dumb’ or even ‘disgusting’. I’m sure that form of the humor presented here can not be appealing to everybody – it’s not subtle and tends to be physical. However, if there’s anyone who haven’t tried this show yet, I strongly urge you to.

Witch Craft Works

Witch Craft Works

Boy (Takamiya) meets a girl (Kagari), but the girl is a badass witch who fights other witches and mechanical rabbits and evil. And the boy becomes a witch himself. And, apparently, he’s a princess. Sort of?

This anime dazzles me. There is some plot, there are some characters, there is this whole witch thing, and all together it serves as a framework for the show. However, at the same time, every event that occurs in the show breaks from this very framework. Or perhaps the boundaries haven’t been defined in the first place? You can’t root for anyone, because you can’t identify with anyone here. That’s how vaguely described characters here are. We know Kagari’s motivation, and that’s about it. Everyone just… exist, and we see their actions, and it’s ridiculous and inexplicable, but it’s just plain fun! I got on that train, and I hope it won’t get boring.

___

I’ve dropped Nobunagun already. Premise was interesting, but the show did not develop engaging enough to continue watching. It’s kind of shame, after the first episode I had higher hopes for it. I can’t put my finger on what disappointed me though – perhaps it’s just one of these cases where there are little, yet many shortcomings. Perhaps I’ll wait for it to finish and then watch in one run?

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2 comments

  1. All good tastes, and more converts! Much success! Mwahahaha!

    Shame about Nobunagun, but I understand your reasons. I think perhaps most of us with high hopes for it kind of got blindsided when the Asao/Shio relationship just vanished, when it had been the strongest point of (arguably: carried) the first two episodes. It’s like keeping the star running back benched. Otherwise it is a very formulaic 12-year-old-action-adrenaline show with frills.

    1. Kudos to you :)
      Formulaic, yes. I shouldn’t be judging an anime I’ve seen only a couple episodes of, but it seemed like the whole E-genes were introduced only to bring up rather cliché superpowers. And yes, Asao/Shio thing was sad to see being let go, however, it’s understandable – perhaps it was done so to emphasise the gravity of Shio’s new duties. Nevertheless, watching an episode of which a good part was their relationship, just to see it go down the drain, wasn’t a pleasant experience.

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