Non Non Biyori Repeat
That was a really good first episode. It’s by far my favourite first episode of the season and I’m considering calling it the best-written episode of the season so far. I might even say it’s my favourite episode of Non Non Biyori overall. Maybe. Renge’s excitement and anticipation regarding her upcoming first day of school was not only gripping, it made me intensely nostalgic. Back when Barakamon aired I praised Naru for being a better child character than Renge, but there must have been some recency bias to that because the Renge in this episode was definitely a child in the sweetest, most emotional and most hilarious way. I could not have asked for a better way to start this season of NNB.
The reason I liked it so much was probably the focus on Renge. I don’t particularly dislike any of the characters, but I have gotten tired of some of their interactions. The Hotaru-Komari interactions kind of annoyed me in Season 1, and Natsumi’s relationship with Komari, while not annoying, is basically based on one joke, so it’s gotten a bit stale over time. However, as Hotaru doesn’t even appear before the very end of this first episode, I am of course basing all of these dislikes on the first season. There is still the possibility that Season 2 can do away with all the small problems I have.
Verdict: This is about as good as it gets for me. I want and need more.
Joukamachi no Dandelion
This show has a fairly unique gimmick, and it takes that gimmick to some ridiculous lengths. The size of the cast is large(the king has many children), the story is apparently in a game show-format(the children compete about who gets to be the next king) and they all have magical powers. The good thing about all of this is that it makes the show feel novel. Unfortunately, the characters don’t feel interesting, the jokes aren’t funny and the technical side isn’t impressive at all(the show looks and sounds average).
Those aspects just make the show kind of average and boring. In addition, there are two things that actively bother me: The fact that there are cameras everywhere in the town(giving me negative voyeuristic vibes), and the panty shot-related jokes. The latter would usually just bore me, but the fact that the characters are all siblings makes it all kind of creepy in a bad way. Compared to Shimoseka, which made me think ”Hehehe, I shouldn’t be enjoying this”, Dandelion just makes me say ”Yeah, I’m not really enjoying this”.
Verdict: Average to below average. Probably won’t watch the next episode.
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
As far as shoujo characters and story progression go, this show isn’t very innovative, at least not yet. Girl runs away from sleazy guy, meets nice guy, gets captured by sleazy guy, gets rescued by nice guy, becomes friends with nice guy. Yeah, I’ve seen that before. But, I don’t necessarily hate it. I actually enjoyed this first episode with all its clichés and everything. Shirayuki and Zen trying to one-up each other was even kind of funny. This might not be the kind of show that I look forward to every week or the kind of show that I would watch intently, but I can see myself enjoying this.
Also, it turns out that the buzz surrounding the studio and the staff was well-deserved, because this show looks gorgeous. The art is beautiful, the animation is consistent and very intricate when necessary, and I love the colour scheme. The pink highlights on green remind me of Makoto Shinkai’s movies in a very good way. Compared to the show above, Shirayuki-hime is in a league of its own, visually.
Verdict: I actually quite liked it, and it’s gorgeous to boot. Continuing.
Jitsu wa Watashi wa
Oh god, it’s Mayo Chiki all over again, isn’t it? Yeah, the story seems to be almost identical, except in this case the girl is a vampire instead of the boy being a girl. Yeah, I really shouldn’t have touched this with the proverbial 10-foot pole. The weirdness with the character designs turned out to be mostly confined to the promo image, because the green-haired girl looked much more like a normal anime character up close. The eye shapes of some of the characters still look somewhat weird, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. The show does have something going for it, though: The green-haired girl is really cute and I like her. If she can carry the show, I might be able to enjoy this in the same way I enjoyed Yamada-kun last season.
Unfortunately, she might not be able to carry the show, because the main character also exists, and he’s very annoying. He’s panicky and shouts a lot, and he’s your typical romcom protagonist: Unsure of himself and a loser in general. His gimmick is that he can’t lie or keep secrets, which is pretty yawn-worthy. Yeah, I’m not going to say that this isn’t my kind of show, but I will say that the main character is not my kind of character.
Verdict: I’ll give it one more episode.
The Ninja Slayer of the K-On genre.