Preair Impressions: Suisei no Gargantia and Date A Live

The beginning of Spring 2013 is almost upon us, but first we got early looks at 2 shows that look to figure prominently in the discussion for most popular show of the season (albiet in different ways).

Suisei no Gargantia had the gumption to air not 1, but 2 episodes ahead of broadcast. If nothing else, the show is being tightly managed on the production side. I was left with 3 immediate impressions after finishing both of them. First, Urobuchi Gen liked technobabble a little too much in the first ten minutes, which were far and away the worst part of the show. It could be argued that that time was meant to build the main character, but if that was intended, it failed, as he was still very flat throughout the show. Second, the female lead is voiced by the same VA who does Squid Girl, which is going to be pretty hard to disassociate. That might end up being a good move if the show gets uber-dramatic, as the mass-vaporization at the end of episode 2 indicated. Third, the scenery and visual concepts for the giant floating city were really breathtaking, and this’ll be a show to watch for the background shots, if nothing else.

The first thing that jumped out at me from Date A Live didn’t come from my screen, but from my speakers. The soundtrack is pretty terrible, and it’s not being handled particularly well (that festival-beat comedy track at the beginning ran for far too long). Beyond that, the direction was lazy, essentially just going with facial close-ups for almost every single bit of dialogue, and the script felt very much like something that was phoned in. While this show never got to the level of making true rookie-class mistakes, I don’t see much promise in it at all. One never knows how a show can develop, but this season is big enough that it’s not worth taking two episodes on a show that can’t start strong (and if the soundtrack is a problem now, it’ll be a bigger problem later).

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