Summer 2014 Continues its Roll-out

Well, I’ve had a chance to watch a couple more shows, of which one looks very good, two okay, one not so good.

Aldnoah.Zero looks really ambitious and is off to a rousing start. I can’t wait to see the next episode.

Sabagebu, which I keep seeing as Saggybaggy, is a bit weak, reminding me most of D-Frag. Zany characters who aren’t very interesting mixed with superficial recalcitrance, mediocre humour and some total immersion moments. I didn’t really enjoy D-Frag and I don’t expect to enjoy this.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun was mostly good. The female lead seiyuu is very new and excepting for her occasional internal histrionics is pretty good. Nozaki-kun is voiced by the very veteran Nakamura Yuuichi, currently playing Tatsuya in Mahouka but some of his past credits include Kosaka Kyousuke, Clannad’s Okazaki and Ryuu from Kimi ni Todoke.

The show had a couple of good lines, which mostly spring from the gap in their awareness of Sakura’s feelings. My favourite was when he asked her, “Do you think love could arise from this?”, and her response was, “I think trust could arise.”

Finally, there is Akame ga Kill, a high-energy, violent show which oscillates between being light-hearted and a gore-fest, and then adds some really clumsy writing. The bad people are so bad that being evil, torturing, psychopathic mass murderers isn’t enough. Sigh.

Ratings:
Aldnoah.Zero – 4
Sabagebu – 2
Gekkan Shoujo – 3
Akame ga Kill – 3

Summer 2014 has just begin

Well, I watched my first shows of the new season. So far, two shows look enjoyable to me, out of seven. Those being Tokyo Ghoul and Rail Wars.

Of the others, Glasslip is on too slow burning of a fuse. I think that the viewer should be able to make some connection to a show’s premise in the first episode. This show could have taken place anywhere. There appears to be a lot of history between the characters which might be natural in such a setting but it’s painful to watch if it’s not done well. There are too many pained expressions that only the other characters understand. Not off to a great start but that could easily change after another episode or two. Looks nice.

The second biggest show of the season must be Sword Art Online II. First episode was dreadful. Asuna looked nice. Didn’t get to see Suguha. The bulk of the show seemed to be a truly tedious discussion between Kirito and some nameless fellow that mostly consisted of lines like, “I’m leaving!”, “No, please stay!”, “I’m really leaving this time!”, “No, please stay. Have some cake.”

The biggest show of the season would have to be the remake of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal, which appears to have a 26 episode run planned. On MAL’s site, they indicate that it will air two Saturday’s a month, which is a little different. One would think that they would do that with 24 episodes but… whatever makes them happy. As an aside, MAL fails in that they actually don’t have the main character on the front page (as only four names make the front page).

One of the stories around the show is that they brought back Mitsuishi Kotono, the original seiyuu to reprise her role as Usagi, but none of the other members of the cast; Seems weird. Unfortunately for me, I can’t help but feel that they would have done better with a new seiyuu in the title role. I have watched but a handful of the original series so I might be completely imagining this but she seems to be voicing the role in exactly the same way, including what is to me, a painfully irritating voice whenever Usagi gets flustered. The show has modern visuals and modern audio but is it otherwise going to rest entirely on its laurels?

Oh yeah, I forgot about this but I have to say that I was underwhelmed by the transformation sequence.

Tokyo Ghoul is tense and dangerous and filled with anxiety. I have no clue what the full story will be but the show’s creators delivered a great first episode and I can’t wait for more.

Rail Wars looks like it should be a fun show.

Ratings:
Sailor Moon Crystal – 2
Sword Art Online II – 2
Rail Wars – 4
Glasslip – 2
Tokyo Ghoul – 4
Bakumatsu Rock – 1
Argevollen – 1

Mahouka – 3

Rating meaning:
4 – Enjoyable and look forward to the next episode
3 – Decent
2 – Bearable at current level but needs to improve
1 – Hopeless

Back into neutral

Well, the build-up that I’d made is gone now. Over the past three months, I’ve only been able to find one anime to buy, Haganai Next. There hasn’t been very much released that I’m interested in and what there is, is too expensive in my opinion.

Or, it’s only released on DVD and not Blu-Ray. The latest example of this is Funimation’s release of Red Data Girl, which I’d buy if it was on BD. After seeing the DVDs on HMV’s shelf, I went to their website to see if the BDs weren’t just at another store. They weren’t on their site either. So on a whim, I checked Funimation.com. Alas, they’ve only released the DVD version.

Thinking about this, I decided to look up a couple of other shows that I see only in DVD format, to see if the problem is at the retail level or distribution level.

Railgun is only available on DVD, as is Seiken no Blacksmith. I just noticed that there is a combination BD/DVD of Kore wa Zombie that was released this spring, but I didn’t see it last time I was in the store.

This is a mess.