Watching this made me realise that I was probably a bit too paranoid about and obsessed with the comparisons to Plastic Memories(why I was worried about both this and Ranpo Kitan being like Plamemo, I cannot remember). Yeah, this does mesh comedy with seriousness just like Plamemo, but it’s not even close to being similar. I’m actually happy that Charlotte takes place in high school, because the drama is actually related to high school. And I thought I’d gotten completely tired of the kind of comedy that comes with that, but no, apparently Jun Maeda does it again. This is essentially the same kind of comedy as in the early parts of Clannad and Angel Beats, and I actually found it pretty funny.
I also liked the show visually. The art is crisp and the animation, especially during the action scene, is impressive. The character designs have transcended fish eye-syndrome, but the eyes are still pretty big and may require some getting used to. The soundtrack is composed by Anant-Garde Eyes, who were also responsible for Angel Beats. I didn’t notice the background music too much in the first episode, but I expect another VN-esque experience.
Verdict: I still have a soft spot for this kind of stuff. Definitely continuing.
Ushio to Tora
Just like with Kyoukai no Rinne, the first episode of Ushio to Tora made me feel like it’s really not my kind of show. However, just like with Rinne, it’s a kind of show that I’m not very experienced with, so I can appreciate it for its freshness. Now that I think about it, that’s why I liked some aspects of Parasyte as well. It felt like it was from a different era than the other currently airing shows. In particular, I’m not a fan of the unnecessarily exaggerated violence, comedy and yelling in Ushio to Tora(is that characteristic of these kinds of shows based on ‘90s manga?)
Beside the stuff that I wasn’t a fan of, however, there was a lot to like about this first episode. I’m not sure I’m a fan of the general art style, but the character designs(Ushio’s beast form in particular) really grew on me, and the animation style is very nice. As for the voice acting, I liked Ushio’s voice, especially during his monologue at the end of the episode, but I didn’t particularly care about Tora. I usually like Rikiya Koyama, but this was just a generic monster voice. That’s not a huge problem, though. I also really liked both of the theme songs.
Verdict: Not my favourite thing, but unique enough to interest me.
Gatchaman Crowds Insight
Gatchaman continues to be very obvious and very skilled at presenting its ideas about society. No other show I can think of makes such radical changes to its own world while still remaining believable(at least in my opinion). I just have two problems with this first episode of the second season: Firstly, the celebrity status of the Gatchaman and Hajime in particular has escalated so much that the stuff about social experiments is starting to feel kind of hamfistedly exaggerated. The addition of Gel-chan and her special ability is not helping either. Secondly, it’s starting to feel more and more like the show is tooting its own horn. It’s one thing to play with ideas about different kinds of societies, but if the show genuinely starts to say that it takes place in some kind of utopia, I’m probably going to have a problem with it.
Concerns aside, I am hopeful about the new stuff in Season 2. I don’t really get the point of Gel-chan yet, but Tsubasa has a lot of potential. I have a feeling she will be a sort of counter to Hajime now that Berg-Katze is not a real threat anymore(as far as we know), and I also got the feeling that Hajime might get an actual character arc in this season. So I’m looking forward to that. That, and the soundtrack.
Verdict: Favourite thing of the season so far.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX: Believe in Justice and Hold a Determination to Fist.
I, uh, forgot to take notes while watching this. This is because I really, really like Symphogear(I actually started watching the first season the same day I finished writing that preview post) and I got lost in the spectacle. Symphogear G was, in many ways, even crazier than the original. Continuing that tradition, the first episode of GX sort of blows G out of the water. I assume the middle parts of GX will be slower and probably more boring(as is also tradition), but still, this was a pretty impressive first episode.
I mean that mostly visually. The first season had good animation but lacklustre art, G had great animation and decent art, but this was on a whole new level. The action and performance scenes in particular looked like they could compete with the best in quality. As for the music, which is a pretty important part of the series for obvious reasons, I’m not the biggest fan of the new songs, or the OP(Synchrogazer is still by far my favourite), but this may change with time.
Verdict: I have never been this determined to fist before.