When I said I was quitting my blog, I was joking. This show made me reconsider. The character designs are as generic as can be, and the character animation is almost offensively bad outside of the action scenes, which in turn are only somewhat generic, though sort of good looking. The character writing is almost as bad. The main character and his (eventual) love interest are just bland, while the little girl who appends “-sama” to everyone’s name is actively grating. As is the love interest’s brother, though he has great hair. Oh, and naturally they’re all high school students. Big surprise, I know.
The story is no better. The premise is basically Mahouka 2.0, and the storytelling is so lacking that it would actually benefit from additional exposition. There’s plug suits and bullshit science and alternate universes and/or time travel, but nothing is explained. The most exciting and relatable moment in the entire episode was when the main character had to fight off ravens with a rusty pipe. The soundtrack was ok but I didn’t notice much of it, and the OP was bland as hell. The ED sounded nice, but featured some atrocious art.
If I had to say something positive, I’d say that the illusion/hologram/little girl mystery was pretty interesting. There was some potential Lain-from-another-perspective stuff going on for a moment there. But it was not enough to warrant sticking around for the next episode. Verdict: I want my 24 minutes back.
This show didn’t disappoint when it came to art and animation, as well as cinematography(there was one particular transition near the beginning that I loved). The faces are fairly detailed and crisp, and the hair has that Dogakobo shine to it, just like in Mikakunin de Shinkoukei. The facial animations in particular are very good, and they serve two different purposes: Funny faces and expressing deep emotion. The latter is important to the main hook of the show, and what a hook it is! Even while I was writing notes I kept being drawn to the story of the show.
The story didn’t manage to distract me from the issues, though. I hate to compare this to Gunslinger Stratos, but… at least Gunslinger tried to be serious. Its lack of comedy meant that it was unable to screw up comedic timing, which is something that Plastic Memories very much did. The pee joke at the end ruined the mood so badly that it was actually funny, in a sad way. I actually didn’t find any of the jokes funny at all, and that combined with the boring character archetypes(there’s a violent senpai, a tsundere and Isla is lobotomoe) just smelled of laziness. It’s like they hired a famous writer to write the scenario and then half-assed the rest(wink wink, nudge nudge, Aldnoah.Zero).
I’ll watch another episode, but only because I want to see if the story keeps being as emotionally powerful as it was in this episode. Verdict: Not bad, not good.
Arslan Senki – The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Man, those CG soldiers looked bad, am I right? Haha, anime is ruined, let’s all go home. Ok, with that out of the way, I can concentrate on the actual show. Arslan Senki is one of those fairly rare high fantasy shows that actually try to build a large world with different countries and ideologies and stuff like that. It reminded me of Break Blade in that way. To be completely honest, that’s all it took for me. The only way I’ll drop this show is if absolutely nothing happens for several consecutive episodes. I love the setting, the Middle East-inspired architecture, the idea of different ideologies clashing, all of it. And Arslan himself is a surprisingly likable. He’s timid and kind, but because he’s a prince, it doesn’t feel like sympathy bait.
I’m finding it difficult to think of anything negative to say, because honestly, I liked almost everything I saw. This is the kind of show that is carried by its story, and the story in turn is one that isn’t carried by an underlying mystery, so it could theoretically go on for a very long time. And it actually has, because the novel series started in 1986. So, to reiterate, as long as it doesn’t get boring, I could probably watch this show for a long time. I just hope it gets more than 1 cour.
So yeah, I’m actually going to instantly recommend this. This isn’t going to be the most mind-blowing show in existence, but I’m guessing it will be one of the most consistent shows of the season. Verdict: Yes!
Show By Rock!!
You know how it goes. Girl wants to join the Light Music Club. Gets cold feet and goes home. Shamelessly and unsubtly advertises the game the show is based on. Gets sucked into another world where musicians use guitar solos and the power of love to fight monsters. Ok, no, hold the phone. Is this Macross? Because that sounds like Macross to me. Unlike Macross, though, this is definitely not a show that you watch for the story. I learned that from the anime adaptation of the Girl Friend game. No, this is pure and unadulterated fluff. Unlike Re-Kan which mixed fluff with profound stuff, I feel like Show By Rock is better off not even trying to be serious.
Because let’s face it, it rides on characters alone. The monster, while interestingly silly in its design, was not interesting in the slightest, and neither was the antagonist shown near the end. This show is cute and occasionally funny, but it will never deliver an interesting story. And that’s ok. Between this and Kinmosa S2, I think I have a good amount of relaxing stuff. That is if the production doesn’t fall apart. The CG characters looked very impressive, so I hope they can keep that up. And there was one very noticeable shot where anti-aliasing had not been applied to the lines, so everything looked really jagged. I hope that doesn’t happen again.
Verdict: Very cute, and that’s good enough for me.