I went into this show looking for something like what Owari no Seraph surprisingly turned out to be, i.e. a less “anime comedy” kind of fantasy action show. But in looking for that, I forgot that my first impression of Owari no Seraph was not nearly as positive as my last impression, and that over time I came to like different things about the show. The same seems to have happened with Sousei no Onmyouji. The beginning of the episode was a very similar kind of grimdark as Owari no Seraph’s first episode, and the introduction of Benio (one half of the Twin Star Exorcists) kept up that serious tone. As soon as we were introduced to Rokuro (the other half), the show veered into anime comedy land, complete with slapstick, boobs and the main character being rejected by a girl. This is something I hold against the show, and will continue to hold against the show in the next episode, when it seems we are due for panty jokes.
But the show also had very cool-looking action scenes, the style of which I liked even more than the action scenes in Seraph. It remains to be seen if the animation quality for these scenes can be maintained, but so far I liked what I saw. After the first action scene my first thought was “Ok, so it has good action like Seraph, but the anime comedy is still nagging me”, and I couldn’t really enjoy the whole thing. But then, out of nowhere, came a series of scenes with very funny faces, and I kind of made a 180 in my head: Forget the action. It’s pleasant to look at but it’s most likely the funny faces that will drive me to watch more of the show. And, after seeing the whole episode I must admit that the visual style, funny faces included, is very enjoyable, so much so that it can probably coast along on that alone, serious plot be damned. This change of mind is what I meant when I mentioned that first impression of Seraph.
Verdict: I liked it, but not for the reasons I was expecting. Not completely on board yet but I’ll continue it.
I don’t really know what to say about this show. Sure, as I expected, I liked the action scene. It was short, but well-animated and the shots were cool. I do still fear the possibility that the quality takes a dive after the first episode, but after learning that Bones have different teams (which should have been obvious, really) I’m not as concerned as I was before. And, considering I enjoyed the dialogue and the writing in general as well as the very exaggerated silly faces, it’s not the end of the world even if the character animation suffers later on. Speaking of the writing, I was surprised to see how comedic it was, and even more surprised to notice that I really liked the comedy. Well, it all kind of made sense after I remembered that this is by the people who made Star Driver, but I digress. I also liked that the comedy made the dark/serious parts of the episode feel less “edgy”. The show definitely knows that it’s silly, and I like that.
But it’s incredibly difficult for me to specify exactly why I liked the first episode. For the reasons that I just mentioned, yes, but none of them stood out to me as things that are the reason why I will continue watching the show. And now that I think about it I had the same difficulty with Star Driver. Did I like it for the robots? No, not just that… The comedy? Sure, but there was more… Maybe I could describe that indescribable aspect as “personality” or “character”. Not just the actual character characters, but the entire tone of the show and the way it tells it story. By the way, this applies to Bungou Stray Dogs just as much as it applies to Star Driver. Watching the first episode was a consistently pleasant experience, there is nothing about it that I didn’t like, but I can’t put into words specifically why I liked it. Ok, maybe that doesn’t matter. Let’s just say I thought episode 1 was solid and that I really recommend the show.
Verdict: Good, very solid show. Actually funny. Definitely continuing.