Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Makai Ouji and WataMote

Today’s Monday, and it’s been about a week since the first summer anime have aired. A few are on second episodes now, but I’m not going to end up covering them because WataMote clinched a lock on my open Monday slot.

I try to go into shows with an open mind. Give me a technically-savvy work with a lot of fanservicy material, and I can deal with the way it sells itself. Makai Ouji did not open like a show that was either subtle or savvy, teasing a BL couple with some very basic imagery. In theory, this episode had some potential with a story of a man who’d lost his position in society due to circumstances beyond his control. But that ended up just being a cheap hook to drive him into the world of black magic. His realistic attitude clashing with the world of magic he found himself in was amusing, but this episode whiffed more often than it hit and spend a long time explaining itself in monologues. It’s a drop, though not the worst one of the season.


Really, it just made me miss Don Valentino

Sporting black comedy roots and the director of one of my favorite anime (Oonuma Shin), WataMote gave me a lot to look forward to. I wasn’t in the least disappointed.  The humorously hopeless monologues were accompanied by snappy visuals. They kept finding ways throughout the show to keep it visually fresh, from cubist imagery to pentagons of illumination to a person made out of sound effects. Also, the OP was fantastically out-of-genre while still keeping a sense of the main character. The overall impression I got was basically a convenient pastiage of everything I love about Oonuma Shin’s style in one tightly-wrapped package. This was my favorite first episode so far, and it’s earned the max 3 episodes of guaranteed additional watching.



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