I can’t recall the last time a season opened (not counting Miss Monochrome yesterday because 4-minute shows that aren’t Teekyu and Puchimas can take a hike) with 3 shows I had pegged as high-odds winners in the first day. I can recall the last time a show I had pegged for high odds disappointed me with a breaking tailspin, so the eye test is obviously important here.
Coppelion won its opening minute before the characters even took the stage with an immediate pan over an extremely verdant landscape while the audio matching it could only be described as eerily silent wind (in general, the show was great at not using music where doing so would have been stupid). It’s visual style once the characters were added reinforced that sense of the unusual, with designs a bit off of the standard depth perception in a way that got more apparent with the camera panning early in. There a definite sense that its backgrounds were focused on by the staff* in a way that may be a bit behind the times, but was not at all lacking in panache. In general, the plot seemed to be serious without aiming at Btooom-eqsue excess, and has a lot of room to grow. I’m penciling this one in for 3 episodes of additional time.
As the third installment in the series in as many years, Kyousogiga’s TV series opened in style with a cool opening, but the episode itself was a broadcast of the 2011 ONA. Reserving judgement on this one for real until it actually comes out with non-recaps, but the signs that were there at all were good ones.
Kyokai no Kanata opened with a much less impressive use of camera pans than Coppelion earlier, and its intro dialogue was very wrapped up in itself. That same opening, though, when combined with the intro credits, teased something of a rich man’s Kaze no Stigma; a battle series that develops its world just enough to support a truly complex story and carry an average power system to solid fight choreography. The casual use of a prelaid tripwire** and household cleaning tools in combat was a very excellent first step in both those directions. While the main character was channeling a bit of canned straight man for most of the episode, and the dialogue in general needs some improvement, I can see myself sticking around for at least 2 more episodes to see if the characters can build some chemistry.
*A casual spot of googling reveals a 3-man brain trust of relatively inexperienced yet definitely talented directors helming the show. This group includes K project’s Shingo Suzuki, Mardock Scramble’s Susumu Kudo (the one of the three who actually has experience), and Hiromitsu Kanazawa, the guy who changed SYD from a third-rate comedy to a first rate one.
**Full Disclosure: from that point until the chase scene ended, I was grinning ear to ear. I hold a real love for crafty protagonists, especially the ones that have to cheat to win.