Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Look: Psychic Detective Yakumo, Iron Man, Star Driver Radiant Takuto, Otome Yokai Zakuro

Psychic Detective Yakumo 1-3

This is Bee Train's offering this season. Psychic Detective Yakumo is about the titular Saitou Yakumo who was born with a peculiar eye defect: one of his eyes is colored red. The red eye gives him an ability to see ghosts and spirits, which he believes are bound to earth by one reason or another and which reason if eliminated will release said ghosts and spirits. Enter Ozawa Haruka who enlists Yakumo's help in exorcising a spirit that is possessing one of her friends.

From the outset, the story isn't that engaging and the characterization isn't the least bit novel. It's a dime-a-dozen story about a jaded guy with special abilities and his genki female sidekick/love interest. The art isn't even that great. In fact, the whole time I was watching Psychic Detective Yakumo, I totally forgot that this was made by Bee Train, so generic the visuals were. Worse still, the background music is fairly forgettable, which is really the lowest of the low, considering that this is a Bee Train project.

VERDICT: not watching

Iron Man 1-3

I don't think I have to tell you what Iron Man is about. Just know that this is the first of a series of Marvel/Madhouse collabs and that it should be good. It isn't by the way. The art is corny. The dialogue is corny. The CGI is corny. Even the story is corny. It looks a bit too much like Viper's Creed, only worse because I expected a lot from it.

VERDICT: not watching

Star Driver Radiant Takuto 1-3

Star Driver Radiant Takuto is about a boy who swims all the way to an island in order not to be late for the first day of classes at the academy where he is the newest transfer student. Unfortunately, he falls unconscious on the beach from exhaustion and is saved by a girl who has a special mission to save...something. After getting introduced to the student body, which make up the rest of the characters, the boy Takuto discovers that not everything is as it seems on the island and even Takuto himself isn't as ordinary as he appears.

Star Driver takes the formula for the brilliant character dynamics of Samurai Champloo -- that is, the main characters are actually a trio: the gregarious, hero type, the silent pillar of strength and the token female whose only role is to eat and do clumsy things. But their interactions are more along the lines of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time with its obvious love triangle. As for the story, if there is such a thing as mahou shojou for boys, Star Driver fits the bill.

VERDICT: The art is great but I really can't take the story seriously. Watching.

Otome Yokai Zakuro 1-3

Otome Yokai Zakuro tells the story of Zakuro, a half-fox spirit, half-human girl who leads a pack of other half-breeds working with a special branch of the Meiji Government that deal with spirits going rogue. It's a story about discrimination and acceptance, age-old culture clashing with modernization, and most of all love. My romance pick for the season? Definitely. Also, it's a comedy. Double yes.

VERDICT: watching and blogging