Well, the new season is starting, and already we have some pretty good gems of fun here, including a rather unexpected look to the anime adaptation of Aku no Hana, but otherwise, nominal showings from three other premieres, Majestic Prince, Photo Kano, and Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru
After the random insanity and good that was GJ-bu last season, it makes sense that Dogakobo’s entry into mecha this season, Majestic Prince, isn’t one for being srsbins at all. All five of our intrepid “Space Rangers” are indeed as clumsy and moe-ridden as any, and they have Hisashi Hirai character designs to boot, making it just plain funny. The first episode does not disappoint however, laying out the basic story of aliens attacking humanity and the space forces looking to pull back on of their outlying stations. Hitachi Izuru and his friends are all part of an elite unit of mecha pilots who are seen as pretty bumbling and overall bad, but are given the opportunity to pilot state-of-the-art units known as “Advanced High Standard Multipurpose Battle Device” or AHSMB, in order to defend the base until it is evacuated.
It looks.. goofy, I mean, the characters just have these wide range of faces like LOL GUYZ WE PILOT ROBOTTTTTTS which I presume is just rookie eyes for now, until the fun starts. Or we’re just looking at a much lighter mecha series that isn’t going to have someone turning Shinn Asuka EMODUCK when his sister dies and all he is left with is a cell phone. Twenty-six episodes, I’m down with that. Let’s see how this plays out.
TLDR Watch This: POWER RANGERS, robots, DAT TITS
TLDR Don’t Watch This: 2moe4mecha
Sub Group: Horrible
First Rating: 7
If you were given a nice camera during high school, would you go around taking pictures of girls playing sports without their consent? If you answered yes, you are a creepy motherfucker, and by consequence, Photo Kano is for you. Starring Maeda Kazuya as the regular high school boy, he receives a hand-me-down camera from his father than happens to be a fairly powerful camera. Fascinated by the device, he wanders around school snapping pictures of people and friends, before being discovered by Kudou Hiromichi, head of the Photography Club. Along with his cohorts, he aims to get Kazuya to join in order to complete his collection of people with camera skills to take the “perfect pictures of youth”, which mostly means girls. Opposite of his club though, are the Photo Club, head by another girl, who takes the official pictures for school functions. Kazuya reluctantly joins the Photography Club to learn about his camera and take photos.
It’s light and fluffy, that is a description now. It’s pretty much the premise I imagined. Slice-of-life through a lens. We’ll see where else it goes from here.
TLDR Watch This: Taking photos of people, girls with bangs over their face
TLDR Don’t Watch This: If you’re afraid of your soul being stolen
Sub Group: UTW
First Rating: 7
Oh man. I started seeing chatter for this on Twitter before I started watching, and I thought there was some rampant photoshopping going on, but when I downloaded and started watching, holy shit, was I in for a surprise. ZEXCS went a far different direction with this than I anticipated, and I am not sure how to take it. I’ve already written about Aku no Hana the manga and the story details in this post, so I’ll skip that part in this first look. The first episode pretty much plays out like the beginning of the manga, but god, those faces… I just can’t look…
The purist in me should probably have skipped this in favor of sticking with the manga. After Nazo no Kanojo X being a pretty good success in its anime adaptation, I figured Aku no Hana should be in fairly decent hands, even if it’s different studio, people, etc. I know the manga is pretty fucked up, and I expected it to be toned down some in the anime, but I was not expecting this. The animation is just so sloppy to me, choppy, the mouths barely move, like they’re making this on a super-cheap budget. That might make it edgy, cool, or otherwise “different” and elicit a response from people as being something unexpected in a good way, and I can somewhat agree. Those expecting moeshit shouldn’t have even bothered with this series in the first place, it isn’t going to go the direction you want it to go, it’s not going to be another Chuunibyou, so y’all be moeshits posting in a non-moeshit anime. I may be new to the manga myself, having finished it a couple weeks ago, but I’m familiar with it enough to say that the least they could do is try to make the faces sort of match. You know?
But given what is presented, I’m still interested to see what they’re going to do. As I said before, the manga gets into some fucked up territory, so how far with the anime go? Will it try to make itself a serious AOTY contender? Let’s find out.
TLDR Watch This: Unlimited Reaction Face Works, Nakamura
TLDR Don’t Watch This: WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FAAAAAAAACE?
Sub Group: gg
First Rating: 7
In the random-but-maybe-interesting realm, we have Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru which I’m shortening to Ore no Seishun for conversation-sake. Here we have Hikigaya Hachiman, a high school boy who while seemingly keen-eyed and intelligent, does not seem to care about anyone or anything, has no friends, or a girlfriend, and is perfectly content being that way. Unfortunately, his teacher, Hiratsuka Shizuka, decides that he needs to be “reformed” and forces him to join the “Volunteer Club”, a club of one, Yukinoshita Yukino. Despite her “heavenly” appearance, she has a cold demeanor and has no problem tearing down Hachiman’s facade, only he manages to rebut her almost as effectively, and winds up becoming the second member of the club, possibly willingly. Her club’s goal, is to help people fix themselves, but not by directly helping them, but more showing them how to help themselves.
There are several different premises here, a little bit of Tomodachi, little bit of Tonari no Kaibutsu, and so on. In my typical Gary-Stu’ing, I laughed a little in the episode listening to them back-and-forth over their conceptions of friends and social norms, as my high school life was pretty much “fuck all of you, die plz” at times. Yui just reminded me of Natsume though, which is where the TnK reference stepped in. “Oh hay, I’m a ditz who is sorta popular, like, teach me how to bake, because, like, you know, I can’t? Tee-hee!” Haw. At any rate, I’m interested to see where this goes.
TLDR Watch This: Yukino stare, burnt cookies
TLDR Don’t Watch This: If you were popular in school
Sub Group: Commie
First Rating: 7
So four premieres down, Ore no Imouto this weekend, and then new premieres next week. Aku no Hana will be the hot subject to watch, already lots of buzz on Twitter and 4chan, those faces will be the stuff of legends in the weeks to come.