Welcome to Round three of the impressions for the Summer Season of anime. I'm generally more impressed with this season than I was with last, so there's that, but it's not quite as stacked as the fall season was, but I don't know if we'll see a season that good again for a while yet. Anyway, on to the impressions for the next set of five shows that have premiered so far, I know I'm starting to lag behind a bit, but I'll catch up to everything soon enough! The five for today are: Rail Wars! Barakamon, DRAMAtical Murder, Akame Ga Kill! and Hanayamata
This is a great example of a show that's pulled down from what it could be due to a copious amount of fanservice. I didn't really count the amount of time spent on it, but it felt like it was close to a quarter of the episode. As a result a lot of the rest of the episode felt rushed. Their beginnings at school? Rushed. Why these four became a group that was close to each other? rushed. It's too bad too, because the emotional pay-off with the steam train would have been much stronger if they had focused some more time with these characters first. Then again the set-up near the end of the episode seemed to be where they really wanted to be, so maybe the pace will slow down, now that the set-up is out of the way. It almost feels like they crammed about a season's worth of good content into an episode in order to rush into season 2, if you get what I mean.
Verdict: Cautious, but watching for now
This show is a nice breath of fresh air, it's one of those feel good shows mixed with a hefty dose of fish-out-of-water comedy. Barakamon is about our protagonist a professional Calligrapher who is taking some time away from the rest of society in Tokyo after a particularly embarrassing incident. He decides to live in a secluded island to take his mind off of things and work on his writing. It's here that he meets a lively group of people who live in the town, but the episode lives and dies on the relationship of him and one lovable scamp who has made his residence her base of operations. The antics between the two of them drive much of the episode forward with great comedy, right up until the end when it smacks you with the feel-good stick.
Verdict: I'm going to be watching this one
Ok, so I didn't even realize that this show was a BL show until I went to go grab pictures for these impressions, yeah it was mighty bishoneny through the first episode, but I didn't think much of it, I figured it was based off of an otome game or that was just the style, but um whoa, some of the crap on google image search was graphic. Anyway as far as the episode went, the story was OK I suppose, we're introduced to pretty boy Aoba, who "has hair that hurts him when you touch it" and his merry band of model friends, who are apparently awesome fighters, but virtual reality fights are becoming popular, but apparently this is bad because the cops show up for some reason and it's also causing real gang fights to stop and the pretty boys don't really like this. Also there's a deep voiced puppy that serves as both Aoba's companion, GPS, scheduler etc. AND his virtual reality fighting partner because why not. The art on the other hand is terrible, and I don't mean character designs, they're your standard bishounen faire, I guess. I'm talking about the animation, it's just painful to watch the whole show stutters along as if a few frames are missing from every bit of animation, when your show can't even do a pan angle with out chopping, there's a problem. I don't think I'd continue watching this show regardless of whether it's BL or not, it's just not that good or that interesting. If it just was a show that happened to feature a gay protagonist, and was interesting, fine I'd watch it no problem, but this was not.
Akame Ga Kill!
This show was the most hyped show going into the season, maybe barring Sword Art Online II. I heard about the adaptation as far back as three months ago and peeked at the manga it's based off of. I didn't want to spoil it too much so I only read the first few chapters. Now, watching the anime version it was pretty much as I expected it to be and that turns out to be fantastic. With the exception of one scene which uses a couple of still frames rather than full animation, in a spot which really needed to drive home the absolute terror of it all, the show was fantastic. I'm rooting for this one to succeed even if it does feel a little shoneny at the start it doesn't feel that way for too long. It's one of the few shows in recent years that probably deserves the hype at least for the first episode anyway. Keep it up Akame ga Kill!
Verdict: Believe the Hype!
Ok last one of the round up, and here's my honest opinion on this one. I hate the protagonist of the series. She's a whiny, quivering, blushing mess who doesn't know what to do with herself and is constantly looking outside of herself for someone to save her. She has no ambition and just wants to stick to the normal status quo. Granted if this stayed the same the show would be totally awful, but thankfully we have Hana a foreigner, who drags our protagonist kicking and screaming (literally) into advancing her character (only slightly). I will give the show a couple episodes to see if it can find it's footing, but as it stands, it's my least favorite show of the season, even over the poorly done BL series DRAMAtical Murder, which was pretty bad. I can't stand this type of character, but maybe she'll open up some more.
Verdict: you got a few episodes to turn it around Hanayamata