Anime Impressions Summer 2013

I haven’t been terribly impressed with the selection of anime available this season – none of the synopses grabbed me, and while I watched a semi-random selection there are few that make the cut.

Kamisama no Nai Nichiyoubi is a strange piece with an innovative concept (God has departed the world and people don’t die) that loses marks for its generic designs (indicative of low production values) and washed-out colours. An oppressive atmosphere hangs heavy with the twilight-drenched scenes, harp-and-choral background music, and enigmatic bleak setting. The translations are excellent, with good use of archaic verbs like “forsake”. The main character is cloying, but plot developments in the first episode promise something a little bit different. I’ll watch a couple more episodes to see how it goes.

I hoped for much with Genshiken Nidaime, 6 years on, but somehow my enthusiasm has waned. Partly it’s because they replaced all the seiyuu with new ones I mostly don’t know (though Fukuyama Jun has taken the reins from Ishida Akira as the nutcase Kuchiki), and partly it’s because I can’t remember the characters. Probably it’s more that I’ve lost touch with otaku culture. I don’t remember if the deformations were so common, but to my jaded eyes they strain a bit. In an ironic twist, all the no-girlfriend wota have been replaced by no-boyfriend fujoshi. Anyhow, I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series, as strange as that may sound.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou is a misfire for me – the early use of stills, over-large-eyed character designs, truly ugly character designs for adults, and awkward first-episode exposition. The blood, eyeballs and skulls in the OP suggested something interesting, but by the end of the episode I wasn’t feeling the love.

Fantasista Doll has better animation, but the OP (and later the ED) gives it away as a kids’ show. While the horror TV show a character watches at the beginning looks interesting, I doubt I’ll get any hard-hitting drama here. Another pass.

Rozen Maiden 2013 is finally a successful first episode. The animation seems much more pencil-oriented than the original (with large doses of CGI), and this opening installment rushes through introductions (trying to summarise the prior series), but it seems this series is worth watching. It’s been 8-9 years, so I had trouble remembering everything – not helped because Traumend was apparently an “original story” (made up for the television series) and a character named Kirakusho appears. While she was present for a few seconds at the end of Traumend, I assumed I should have recognised her but didn’t. Anyway, supposedly this follows the second manga series (the first one was brought to an early deus ex machina conclusion, rumoured due to a dispute between Peach Pit and their editors) so the story should develop – in any case, the preview for the second episode looks like it will take things in a strange direction.

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