Sunday, April 11, 2010

First Impressions: Arakawa Under the Bridge 1, Hakuoki Shinsengumi Kitan 1, Heroman 1-2

From the Spring 2010 anime line-up. I'm working out my blogging schedule for the new season. Also, it seems I can only blog several episodes of a series at a time and no longer on a per episode basis.
Arakawa Under the Bridge (1)

Ichinomiya Kou is a self-supporting, self-proclaimed elite who, at a very young age, learned that the secret to success is to never get indebted to anyone. So far, he's been doing pretty well and quite proud of his own accomplishments, until one day when he loses his pants to a bunch of pranksters. In an attempt to retrieve his pants, he falls off the bridge over the Arakawa River and gets saved by a homeless, possibly crazy woman, named Nino, who claims to be a Venusian. Kou, who has heretofore never owed anybody any favor, realizes that he has to pay back his life debt to Nino if he wants to stay true to his life's philosophy. The only problem is that Nino doesn't want anything, except love. And so begins Kou's horrendously funny adventure as he is forced to move in with Nino in her container van house under the bridge over the Arakawa River.


Shinbo and SHAFT! I"m not hugely familiar with the duo. My only exposure to them is Maria+Holic, which despite earlier promises to the contrary I never got around to finish watching. That said, the style is distinctively SHAFT, especially the weird gradient backgrounds, the floating text, the still images.... The other SHAFT anime that I recently watched was Natsu no Arashi! and that, too, employed a similar style. The animation is not something to write home about but in this kind of show, it's not terribly necessary. Anyhoo, the first episode seems funny enough. Music is ok. Production values aren't terrible. Lots of close-up to make up for any lapse in the background area. If the comedy factor remains high in the next couple of episodes, I might blog this. 
VERDICT: under consideration 

Hakuoki Shinsengumi Kitan (1)

Yukimura Chizuru is a young girl who disguises herself as a man and comes to Kyoto in order to find her missing physician father. While in hiding from some goons, she unwittingly becomes a witness to a fight between demons and Shinsengumi. The Shinsengumi capture her and take her back to their headquarters to decide what to do with her. However, once they find out that she is the daughter of the man they are also looking for, they decide to let her stay and continue her disguise as a man.


Reverse harem. -_- But oh wow, are the men in this series pretty. Saitou is my favorite Shinsengumi character, mainly because of how he was portrayed in Rurouni Kenshin. In this series, he looks and acts a lot different from my RK image of him but that's okay. Production values are definitely high for the first episode, if a lot more purple-y than I would have liked. The character designs are beautiful, if a bit unoriginal. You'll recognize that many of them look similar to Peacemaker Kurogane characters. The storyline is interesting, especially since the characters are a secretive bunch. We're probably in for some surprise, plot-wise. In terns of relationships, maybe three or four of the men are probably going to unconsciously fall in love with Chizuru within the first six episodes, all while she only has eyes for Hijikata. Whatev. I just hope Saitou isn't one of those fools. 
VERDICT: blogging

Heroman (1-2)

Joey is just an ordinary kid who carefully balances schoolwork and a part-time job as a coffeeshop attendant and lives with his old grandmother. One of his classmates, cheerleader Lina, has a secret crush on him but Joey is too busy being scared of Lina's big jock brother to pay attention. And besides, he likes robots better. His other friend is Psy, a mophead punk with crutches. One day, Joey unexpectedly tumbles upon an abandoned toy robot, which he takes home and fixes up. After an accident, involving a lightning storm, Joey discovers that his toy robot can turn into a giant robot to fight evil and save people from harm. He names the robot Heroman and though initially baffled by this strange turn of events, Joey has no choice but to accept his newfound ability to control Heroman, especially when aliens arrive in his home city to wreak havoc.


Kid stuff. It's like the male version of mahou shojou. I don't know if this will turn out to be like Eureka Seven or even Xam'd: Lost Memories. At the moment, the show seems set to attract only the younger audience. Besides, I was never one for mecha. 
VERDICT: dropped