Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FIRST LOOK: Chihaya Furu, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter 2011

 Chihaya Furu (1-2)

I didn't include this title in my short list because I thought it was just another generic shoujo. However, when I realized that it's by Madhouse, I decided to see what's it all about. So Chihaya Furu is about this girl, Chihaya, whose dream is to see her sister become a famous model, until a classmate from grade school told her that dreams are supposed to be for one's self, not for others. The classmate is a prodigy with furuta, a type of card game. After seeing him play one afternoon, Chihaya gets excited by his dream of becoming the best furuta card player in the world and wants the same for herself. There's also another classmate with an unrequited crush on Chihaya. With furuta as their common ground, the three grow very close but soon separate due to the fact that they attend different high schools. Although Chihaya is popular in her new school because of her good looks, she has also acquired the reputation of wasting her beauty since she's only interested in furuta and nothing else. What I like most about the show is the beautiful art. Typical shoujo indeed. The story is a bit meh. I mean, obviously Chihaya hasn't learned her lesson well. She went from dreaming that her sister would become a model to "stealing" her classmate's dream of becoming a furuta card player. Tsk-tsk. There's also seems to be a love triangle going on. Anyhoo, the production value is high enough to warrant a three-episode test.

 Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (1)

I thought this was going to be a lot like ToraDora!, what with the mistaken-for-a-delinquent bit, and for a while there, I really thought the protagonist in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is another Ryuuji (oh, look, he does housework, too!) But then the anime takes a turn for something different with the introduction of the main girl, who, strangely enough, reminds me of Senjougahara with her constant self-contradictions. Anyhoo, the two have something in common. They just cannot make friends -- they don't know how to, for some reason or another, and they decide that the solution to their problem is to form a club with the aim of making friends. The show is funny -- not lolwut funny, but you know. Check out that screencap, a shout-out to Marimite? For that alone, I'm giving this the three-episode test.

Hunter x Hunter 2011 (1-3)

Ah, nostalgia. But I have to admit that I was quite disappointed with how there seems to be little changed in how our main characters look. Not that there was anything wrong with them, but I expected to see some minor changes that would distinguish this 2011 version from the older one. Anyhoo, Hunter x Hunter 2011 seems to be more fast-paced and each episode more tightly-packed with action and revelation.... I think this is definitely an improvement. The show passed the three-episode test so I'm blogging it.