Spring 2016 First Impressions: Part 1

Kagewani: Shou

I actually really like this monster design.

I’m actually slightly disappointed with this episode. When I originally heard about the sequel being announced, I was excited about the possibility of seeing a direct continuation to the very abrupt ending of the first season. And that’s not what I got here. Instead of getting a more story-driven sequel, it seems that the second season will have the same kind of collection of episodic stories as the first one, except maybe with a few more references to the events of the first season.

But the thing that bothered me the most was that the first episode contained a fairly large leap in the story surrounding Banba, a leap so large, in fact, that I’m not sure if I should already be aware what happens in the gap between the finale of S1 and the first episode of S2. If that turns out to be the case, I will be frustrated, but I hope that this first episode was just kind of a cold opening and that the gaps in the storyline will be told through flashbacks later on. I personally don’t think that’s the best way of doing it, but whatever, I can live with it. After all, this is kind of a unique show compared to most other anime, and I actually like its way of doing horror, so I’ll continue watching it regardless of how the overarching story pans out.

Verdict: Might as well stick around until the end, considering the uniqueness of the show.


Uchuu Patrol Luluco

This is basically the point where the episode went off the rails.

Uchuu Patrol Luluco also surprised me, but it surprised me so much that I can’t yet tell whether I consider it a good or a bad thing. What I expected based on the PV was something… along the lines of the less insane parts of Ninja Slayer, maybe even full-on Inferno Cop at times (due to the show being co-directed by the director of Inferno Cop). What I got was more similar to the antics of the Mankanshoku family in Kill la Kill, and while there were some Inferno Cop-like moments – mostly related to the Over Justice… police… space… officer (?) who bore a striking similarity to Inferno Cop – the episode as a whole was surprisingly normal!

Well, I mean, when it came to Luluco having to constantly emphasise how normal she is, and the way the perceived difference between aliens and humans was told, the Trigger (or should I say Imaishi) absurdity was definitely there, but it didn’t go as crazy with the characters as I expected. And please forgive me for throwing around comparisons to other Trigger shows this loosely, but I really don’t have any other apt comparison. In any case, even though I can’t say whether I like it or not yet, the episodes are 7 minutes long so I’ll stick with it.

Verdict: Short enough episodes, Trigger craziness, good enough for me.


Ushio to Tora (TV) 2nd Season

Thank god you’re back.

Now this was a more familiar premiere! The first episode starts with another glimpse into the nature of Hakumen no Mono, followed by a bunch of scenes with Ushio and Asako being tsundere about each other. That’s about where the straight continuation from the first season ends, though, because in the blink of an eye it seems that everyone has forgotten who Ushio is. And I have to admit, I didn’t expect a mass amnesia kind of storyline at this point in the show. At first, I actually thought it was kind of a bad twist with how sudden it all seemed.

Fortunately, though, the exposition later on in the episode rectified my dislike of the twist. The amnesia being caused by the eyeball minions and the reason why Hakumen no Mono would resort to such a method made sense to me, and the inclusion of Tokisaka tied it together with what we learned about the origin of the Beast Spear in season 1. And Kirio was back, which kind of spiced up the whole thing. So, instead of feeling like a bad twist, I actually liked the mass amnesia as a setup for what’s to come. And the fact that Tora hasn’t forgotten Ushio means that even if the amnesia fights get repetitive and/or boring, at least Ushio and Tora get to do their whole shtick, which is one of my favourite things about the show.

Verdict: Was kinda on the fence early on in the episode, now I’m excited. Definitely finishing this.


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