Minus Yowamushi Pedal (cheat to win-strong is still way too fresh in my head for me to care about cycling) and Pupa (airs who-knows-when), the last pair of shows to air this season are running in the noitaminA timeslot, the first pair of original series they’ve run in over a year. Shows on noitaminA are still cause for moderate excitement, but the brand’s taken a bit of a dip in recent years, so I approached the day’s fare with cautious optimism.
Only one new show today, and it didn’t take too long to form an opinion on. The presentation of My Mental Choices was of the very dull kind; not outright lazy in the way BlazBlue was lazy, but in the circa 2005 sense when art was getting polished up but nobody making the show cared about anything but their next paycheck. And then there were parts that were just outright sloppy, like the insert song from out of nowhere during the bullshit science bit that went on for way too long (whenever you have 3 verbal audio tracks competing for the available audio space without a press scrum taking place on-screen, somebody screwed up big). Also, the point of the comedy was poorly established and made it hard to feel strongly either way about the main character. One one hand, he was doing things too reprehensible to like, but it’s hard to hate him because it’s very technically not his fault. It’s tough not to see this as an excuse plot to have splatter fanservice all across the screen. The premise was less of a problem than the ass-awful presentation, truth be told, but nothing that really promises more than a giant pile of mud in this one. Dropped in the strongest possible terms.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a week since the season started. This Fall has been packed with interesting prospects thus far, and today was, oddly for a Tuesday, no exception. Though of course not all prospects play out the way you expect them to; that’s what makes air week so much fun.
I put myself on the record this August saying that Arpeggio might be the Those Who Hunt Elves of the modern era, with the potential to sell well enough to launch an industry trend. Only this time with all-CG animation instead of late-night TV timeslots. The CG is still a tad weak when used for big movements, or presentation that would be more exaggerated in a hand-drawn series, and it took me about halfway through the episode to get accustomed to. But once I did, there was very little not to love. Kishi Seiji is doing a good job of keeping most of the body language to more small, natural-looking motions and making every frame of that count. The big flourishes were, as expected, saved for the naval battle sequences, which looked mighty fine. The story, a large-scale ambitious beast and looking to create a sci-fi world without putting everything in space, also appears highly intriguing. I’m looking forward to seeing how the crew, presumably a Nadesico-style quirky bunch of doers, gels together as a group as the series goes on. I’ve got at least 3 weeks worth of interest in this one.
Especially since these sub battles are going to be regular things
Oonuma Shin is sitting this season out, but one of the prospects at studio Silver Link got his crack at being in charge today. And the result was just as backgroundy as I could have hoped for. The intro was spiffy thanks to the scenery, and the rest of the episode carried on with a fun, slow pace with echoes of Hidamari Sketch and Yuyushiki. It’s getting 2 more episodes from me to see if it stays fun and consistent.
Speaking of typically one-director studios branching out, Unbreakable Machine Doll would be the only the second Studio Lerche project not helmed by Kishi Seiji. But it didn’t show much of a dropoff, and packed a mean punch with an early, fresh-feeling train action sequence. The steampunk setting seemed to offer some depth, but it turned out to be ostensibly just a battle academy series in the vein of Yugioh GX or Phi Brain, albiet with pretty action. I might have kept up with it in a less busy season, but right now I don’t see a strong appeal. Dropped.
In contrast to a sports-packed Saturday, Sunday’s lineup consisted mainly of more laid-back fare. Which in no way necessitates a drop in quality. At least, I believe all genres are created equal before they get executed by a particular staff. Today’s slate ended up being fairly satisfying.
Last up this Saturday is a pair of mismatched sequels; one to a fun sports show that I expect is going to make up the middle of a three-show sports power triad, and the sequel to one of the most spectacularly derailed, NTR-rich plots I’ve ever known.
Saturday’s slate is, as usual, packed. It’s also, in a less usual twist, clogged to the brim with sports. I’m saving Kuroko s2 for the nightcap, and for now going over the two adaptations of KMA-winning sports manga, old and new.
I’m not in any way expecting this Friday to replace Gatchaman Crowds’ level of performance from last season. Kyokai no Kanata and Coppelion are already pulling the bulk of the week’s power hitting closer to Wednesday, but it’d be nice to have at least one show for every day of the week pulling its own weight.
Wednesday was in many ways an unusually strong opening day. Thursday, by contrast, is usually expected to be one of the heavy hitters, largely because it’s the non-weekend day with the largest number of open timeslots. noitaminA doesn’t bring its heavy guns until next week, but there’s still some [nominally] A-list fare on the block.