Thursday, April 12, 2012

FIRST LOOK: Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Space Brothers, Lupin III: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna

So there are quite a few shows from the 2012 Spring Season that I've overlooked. Below are three of said shows that I found a little interesting. There ought to be a fourth one, Sankarea, but since my internet is being shitty, it's taking me more than two days just downloading the one. I'll post my first impressions of that series later. For now....

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

 I did not include this in the shortlist because I'd just seen Another and thought this was going to be a poor replica of a good horror series. That and the very valid suspicion that horror + comedy = another Occult Academy. But, after watching the first episode, I think I may be wrong.

First of all, the art is nice. Not as creepily atmospheric as  Another maybe but worlds away from  Occult Academy. Granted, this is just the first episode. Production values could downgrade as the series progress so there's that caveat. The episode was cleverly done, too. At first, I was confused.... Is this déjà vu? Is VLC playing havoc with me again? Oh, wait, this is how it's supposed to be. If you want to know what I'm talking about, go and watch the episode.

The comedic scenes are not laugh-out-loud funny but I found myself smiling in some. There's a little fan service as well but it's not sleazy or anything. And finally, there are hints that the story line might go dark in later episodes. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia may not be horror material in the level of  Another but if it's able to entertain me in the next three episodes, I'll give this a try.

Space Brothers

Every season, there's always going to be that one show that I do not include in my short list, which turns out to be a hit. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we found it for this season. Space Brothers is exactly what its title says: it's about two brothers who dream of becoming astronauts. When they're older, the younger brother becomes part of a mission to the moon while the elder loses his job and moves back in with his parents. In the middle of trying to get back on his feet, the elder remembers and revives his long-forgotten dreams of space and finally takes the astronaut exam. 

Great first two episodes, so far. There's ample drama in the works here although the show doesn't indulge in them. From the onset, I love Mutta -- his hair, his fuzz-mustache, his unfounded belief that the elder brother should be one step ahead of the younger, the fact that he's scared to reach out for his dreams because he's afraid of making a mistake. A totally relatable character. In contrast, the younger brother character is like a cardboard figure. I enjoyed this and I am looking forward to the upcoming episodes.

Lupin III: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna

This one I actually overlooked on purpose because, although I enjoyed the few Lupin III episodes I've seen before, I didn't think I'd be up to its formulaic approach. Then, just for the heck of it, I decided to watch the first episode and got blown away by the art. This latest installment in the Lupin III series takes us back in time when Lupin meets Fujiko for the first time, back when Lupin isn't the smooth but goofy operator that he is in previous series but someone rougher (though still goofy) and a lot more dangerous. This series is grittier. Even the lines are all dark and bold and rough. Add to that the jazz soundtrack and, yes, this could be promising. Oh and yeah, this series is probably NSFW with the amount of nudity involved in the opening clip alone.