Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Namiuchigawa no Muromi-san, Attack on Titan, and Zettai Boei Leviatan

This piece’s subject is 3 shows whose only connection is that they are animated and contain mythical creatures. Oh, and that they’re all at least somewhat entertaining.

There’s a sweet spot fast-talking comedies can hit that exists for a certain balance of tossing out jokes constantly and milking the really good ones for significant chunks of the show, and Muromi-san was right on target. Fully cognizant of the short 12 minutes it had to deliver, it wasted zero of them, keeping up a steady stream of high-energy dialogue between the two main characters, expertly punctuating with the occasional dry interjection from whatever sea creature happened to be on the scene at the time. Mix that in with surprisingly stylish animation and the most clever opener of the season, and I can’t see any way I’m watching this for less than 5 episodes.

Attack on Titan was facing up to high expectations going into the season, coming from acclaimed Kodansha Manga Award-winning material. I’ve had some experience with the manga, and while I can’t say it exceeded my expectations, it definitely did a fine job of meeting them. Beyond the opener dazzling with ambition, the two main points of the first episode were to establish the despair permeating to the world the story takes place in, and make the readers afraid of the titans. There were a number of scenes that worked both angles, and the one that absolutely sealed it for me came at the end, when a titan was slowly spilling the blood of his victim all over, backlit by a shockingly eerie sunset. The cutting finesse this first episode carried earned the series 3 more weeks, at a bare minimum.

While the show itself relied on moe action show tropes (the generic, unpopular group of thugs who can’t take a hint) to exhaustion, the staff of Leviatan chose to open with a short chase scene, and therefore showed at least a minimum amount of competence. While I don’t have anything resembling high hopes for the show, I could still see it working out into something enjoyable, so I plan to give it 1 more episode to get a better look at where it’s going.

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