As I mentioned in my Season Preview post, I ended up liking the original tokusatsu Garo show more than the first anime adaptation. Now that I’ve seen the first episode of Guren no Tsuki, I can safely say that it reminds me more of the tokusatsu than the first anime. Unfortunately, however, that seems to include the tokusatsu’s issues as well. For the most part, this means that the slice of life comedy scenes are either awkward or annoying, or both, and the acting isn’t particularly impressive(Kintoki in particular is grating both in voice and tone). Zaruba is as amazing as always, though. So, in conclusion, I prefer the parts of the show that are about killing monsters to the parts that are about wasting time on humour.
But, on the bright side, that’s actually the only real problem I have with Guren no Tsuki so far. Now that I’m familiar with the lore, the story doesn’t feel too contrived, and I prefer the Japanese setting to the faux-European fantasy world in the first anime. I also wasn’t too bothered by the CG in the first episode. Sure, it wasn’t impressive, but I liked the heavy filtering more than the really plastic-y look of the first anime, and I think it fit with the art style in general. Not a bad start!
Verdict: Not perfect, but I liked it more than the previous Garo anime, so that’s something.
As far as sequels go, this was actually a pleasant surprise. I was excited about Noragami and Monogatari continuing, but the second season of Gochiusa was not one of the shows I was greatly looking forward to. I did enjoy the first season when I eventually finished it, but it just didn’t do it for me as a moe show. But the first episode of Season 2 did. It had a simple plotline that was easy to follow and which lead to many cute moments, and even a few funny ones(which is something I don’t remember the first season having in great amounts). I actually enjoyed it a whole lot.
And then, of course, there is the ED. Which is absolutely adorable. Pictured above is only one of several dangerously cute frames in the ED animation. In a sense, this ED is what I felt had been missing from the first season of the show. Gochiusa now totally fills the hole left in my heart by Kinmosa when it stopped airing 3 months ago. There’s really nothing more to say about it.
Verdict: Honestly? Cuter and funnier than I expected it to be. It finally feels like the show I wanted it to be from the start.
I had only one big issue with this episode: Since S1 finished airing, I’d forgotten who the traitor was, and the first episode of S2 decided not to reiterate that particular detail, so I’m terribly confused right now. But that’s just one little detail, and the rest I actually liked. The visual flairs, as evident by the screenshot above, look the same as they did in the first season, and the animation in the few fight scenes was really good. There were maybe a few small hiccups here and there(and a few big ones in the encode), but overall the first episode of S2 looked decently consistent.
And then there was the story. For some reason, this episode turned the show from an action drama into a courtroom drama(at least for the duration of the episode), which I ended up liking much more than I expected to. It probably helped that there were swordfights in the courtroom. In any case, I’m actually surprised by how glad I am that this show is back, and not just because Shinoa is super cute. I fully expect the story development to halt and run around in circles just like what happened in Attack on Titan, but that’s not the end of the world as long as the show is enjoyable to watch.
Verdict: Looks good, sounds good, kills vampires good, has Shinoa good. I’m satisfied.
And that’s it for this season, if my memory serves me. I have promised to watch and write about Valkyrie Drive Mermaid eventually, but I won’t be following it weekly, at least not at first. Anyway, it’s looking to be a pretty good season after all. Lots of pleasant surprises, big and small. Only a few disappointments(or was it only one?).