Summer 2016 First Impressions: Part 0

This post is titled “Part 0” in part because I will only be writing about one show, but also because I watched the episode without subtitles (and so may have missed a few details here and there), as well due to the fact that this show started airing a good half week before the rest of the season “really starts”. I have to admit that I really dislike it when I have to adapt to this kind of non-conformity when it comes to anime premiere dates and stuff like that, but on the other hand, non-conformity is one of the things that can make anime exciting.

On the same topic, there are a few shows that I wrote about in my preview post, but which I may not be covering in the regular “first impressions” kind of way. The first of these is Momokuri, which is an ONA series from half a year ago, now being broadcast on TV. If I can, I want to follow the TV broadcast schedule as I watch it, but this will be difficult if no one is simulcasting it or subbing it every week. I could of course watch it by getting the episodes of the original ONA series and watch 2 episodes of that every week, but that’s too complicated, so in that case I will probably just not bother with the show at all, or I will watch it in its entirety later, as a backlog show.

The other show I’m unsure about is ReLIFE, because it is being released by Crunchyroll in a way quite unusual for anime (but familiar to people who use Netflix a lot): All 13 episodes will be available simultaneously on July 1. This means that there will be many ways to go about the show. I could watch one episode, write first impressions, and then watch the rest of the episodes after that. Or I could watch all the episodes and write a first impressions + final thoughts kind of post. Or, I could not write about it at all and watch all the episodes when I find it convenient. I have not made a final decision yet, but I just thought I’d give you a heads-up.

Anyway, on to the show which I’ve actually seen the first episode of:

 


Fukigen na Mononokean

Summer 2016 Mononokean

The show doesn’t really have much going on, visually.

So, the story goes: Boy walks around neighbourhood the day before he is to begin high school. Boy finds what he thinks is a stuffed animal, but it turns out to be a supernatural being. Supernatural being plagues boy to the point where he can’t attend school normally, until one day, when boy contacts another boy (who happens to be in his class) who can help him with the annoying supernatural being. Things happen, and the main character boy gets rid of the supernatural being, but ends up being indebted to the other boy. And so the story will probably continue with manzai humour and monster-of-the-week style stories.

I can’t say that I’ve watched a show with this exact same story before, but a few similar ones come to mind, such as Natsume Yuujinchou and Re-Kan (the latter being animated by the same studio as Mononokean, Pierrot Plus). In essence, Fukigen na Mononokean is a mishmash of supernatural comedy anime elements. This is not a negative thing in itself, though. In fact, the first episode never did anything so offensively unfunny that I wanted to turn it off. I watched the whole episode, and I even found one joke moderately funny. The character interactions and story were by no means terrible.

It’s just unfortunate, then, that the visuals are so unbelievably boring. I kind of had a similar problem with Re-Kan, but I at least liked some of the character designs in that show. Not so with Fukigen na Mononokean. The character designs are some of the blandest I’ve ever seen, the colours as a whole looked washed out, and while the backgrounds looked kind of nice, it wasn’t very comforting when the foreground (where the action happened) had nothing interesting going on with it. I’d rather just look at the backgrounds on their own.

Usually when it comes to these kinds of shows, I’d overlook the boring qualities and give the show some time to grow on me. This time, however, I just don’t have enough energy to do that. I want to spend time on shows I actually care about.

Verdict: Not offensively bad in any way, but not interesting enough to continue. Dropped.

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