Two more premieres before the close of the weekend, and they hit substantially harder than my first three. Tonight, we have Aldnoah.Zero and Akame ga KILL! Unfortunately, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun did not make the first-episode cut, for reasons basically amounting to too much men. I don’t mind romcoms that mix it up, but I don’t really do male harems on girls. That’s someone else’s territory.
Getting on with it.
“The Martian Successors are coming, and they’re really fucking pissed you killed Yurika’s daughter from another guy.”
Nadesico sort of wrote an early book on how shitty you might feel when your token space aliens turn out to be genetically-altered humans obsessed with giant robots enough to build their own and almost take back Earth, only to fall short, and leave it to some secret society to try to finish the job with a drugged-up washed out cook-turn hero pilot. It was a parody of popular mecha that actually turned serious. Then, Gundam AGE doubled-down on that story by implying the exiled humans from Mars had SPACE CANCER and that motivated them enough to drag Frito through many decades of war before throwing in the towel for a magical mobile suit driven by plot armor and every Gundam special power combined.
So what does Aldnoah.Zero bring to the table?
Well, for starters, we have Kaji!
Right. Serious face.
So what Aldnoah.Zero does is the reverse of both Nadesico and AGE. Mars calls for Operation Colony Drop at the first sign of terrorism, a strategy only Vladamir Putin can possibly love. Cities around the world are leveled by falling castles filled with giddy aristocrats waiting to wage war against… someone. All for a dusty, shitty planet. I guess I never understood why we make science-fiction shows about space people who used to, or descend from, Earthlings, who want to take back the planet. You live in goddamn space. Fuck that planet, man. Let’s get Starcraft: The Anime going on here.
But never fear. A rag-tag group of students will save the day, and remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas.
First Rating: 8
Sub Group: Vivid-Watashi
“Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.”
If you’re looking for this to be the successor to Kill la Kill, you will not find it here. However, if you’re looking for what Mekaku City Actors could have been in a more fantasy medieval setting and less pretentious SHAFT visuals, you’ve come to the right place. Because this shit gets pretty fucking nuts in just the first episode.
You’d think in the first few minutes, with our naive hero slaying a monster with ease, that it might just be a show about an idiot who crossed worlds and somehow became proficient in a sword, given that he dresses like a school boy. The tone shifts as he enters the capital after being warned that it isn’t what he was expecting. From there, it starts to spin in directions I could sit and probably find similar show-analogies for, but the best is that after being taken in by a local girl and her family, he meets the Power Rangers.
With the last half of the first episode, I wondered how he might join this team of appropriately-labeled assassins after they began their nightly raid on the family home. Certainly, it seemed like they were toting the villain role here, so I was looking for the TWEEST. Sure enough, it happened, and it happened hard for our poor country-bumpkin hero. Naive as he is, he sure as fuck wised up and finished the scene on the best note possible, before being whisked away to join the secret club.
But really, I see this show having some cool potential if it plays much like the opener. At least we have Stone-Cold Shana and Chrono Trigger’s Ayla.
More like LIBERAL AMERICA. Huehuehuehuehuehue~
First Rating: 8
Sub Group: Horrible
So instead of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, and since I pretty much spent my entire evening appeasing the porcelain god, I decided to preview the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
I have to preface this with two things: One, I am not planning to watch this show during its run. Two, I have never seen the original show, or read the original manga. So a good number of you can most certainly school me in old-school anime and THINGS YOU WATCHED ON TOONAMI with ease. When my cousins liked this show, I was not into anime, and less receptive of magical girl shows. Obviously a great deal has changed, but even with Sailor Moon being one of the early pioneers of the genre, it just did not push my buttons the way a great deal other shows did after its time.
Now, I’m told by Professional Sailor Moon-mans and Moon-womans (but mostly womans) that the manga is much darker and grittier than the original television show was, mainly to work within the constraints of audiences then, and be further chopped up for shittier American audiences after. It basically puts Sailor Moon on par with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which we all know the lighter cartoon, but the original comic was much darker, and it took fifteen years plus for that to air in animated form.
So the target audience here is two-fold, new fans, and old fans looking for a reboot of the classic show that doesn’t violate their nostalgia. That’s a tall order, and coming from a Trekkie, watching JJ Abrams lens-flare all over the original series then cast Nimoy just to cash a buck on fifty-year-old virgins just grinded my gears. Reboots are something I do not enjoy because I do not see a need to alter the original material unless you are going in a vastly different direction that aims to stand on its own. If you’re going to pretty much retell the same story, why? It’s been told. You’re just pandering now. Rozen Maiden animated what should have been animated. Eva Rebuild radically departed from the TV series. Sailor Moon already touched the original manga once, but thinks it can stick to it better on the next pass. What are we doing here except applying CGI to transformation sequences?
But again, I’ve never seen the original show nor read the manga. So I am obviously not very qualified to tell you how you should feel about your favorite series being re-mastered in 2014 animation.
Long preface over, based on just that first episode, I found myself constantly looking at her face. Toei Animation always throws me off, because when they really want to up the ante on their shows, they do so in a way that both baffles and amazes you at the same time. Blocking out the original show face, which even I know, and I still kept looking back and forth between her eyes and mouth trying to connect the two. The spread is that of every magical girl show beginning I’m sure it helped start in its prime: A talking animal comes along and turns you into a thing fighting for justice, crystals, or lord knows what else. Thus the heroine is thrusted into a conflict between good, evil, and being a shopping-obsessed girl. But much like Arpeggio, the CGI did make me check to make sure my audio and video was syncing several times, as the voice acting was solid, but the animation was jerky in places. If I were to watch this show, from the start, given my zero knowledge of the source material, I’d probably not enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Nanoha, and that’s really because although I enjoy magical girl shows, I’m not that keen on the shoujo romance part of it. That was made for the females in the audience. As much as I rail against romcoms, I greatly prefer awkward comedy romance to actual romance, because that is precisely how my marriage is, because I am awkward as fuck.
So while this provided a distraction for my fifteen trips to the bathroom this evening, it will not be sticking around for the summer roster. Sorry sailor fans. Maybe if you convince me hard enough I’ll consider marathoning the completed series after a night eating hot wings and write about it after.
Sabagebu! came out as I completed this post, so it will wait for the third post on new season shows along with Himegoto and Hanayamata. Until then, I really hope I can sleep tonight, because I feel like literal shit right now. :/
Also, if you notice any words that are words, but look auto-corrected, let me know, because I was also typing some of this in the bathroom too. Yep.