Here I am again, doing first impressions after a one-season break. I picked up way too many shows again, but it’s summer, so I have the time to write about them. Maybe. We’ll see. Anyway, here’s the first one… derwall.
I tried to watch the previous Touken Ranbu anime (Hanamaru), but while I liked the fact that it was animated over at Doga Kobo, I couldn’t really enjoy it. The slice-of-life stuff that dominated the episodes (the action scenes were usually short) felt half-hearted and boring. Maybe that’s just me, though. Maybe fans of the franchise found it much more fun.
In comparison, Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu is an entirely different beast. The first episode was full of action and combat, animated in the always (or at least usually) beautiful Ufotable style. And though I still don’t feel a lot of attachment to the the characters or the story, the action carried episode 1 for me. And I very much hope it keeps looking as good as the first episode did, because if it doesn’t, I’m not sure the show can keep my interest. That’s the one weakness of the show so far: It’s all dependent on the action. Hanamaru may have been boring, but it did have likeable characters and slice-of-life that was occasionally funny. So far, Katsugeki has no hooks aside from the way the action looks. Well, that and the visual direction. Some of the non-action shots looked really good too.