First Reactions: Arata Kangatari Episode 4

It’s not exactly uncommon in an anime for the main character to be the most interesting one, but it is more of a rarity to have one who’s as chronically underconfident as Arata is in an action show. It surprises me that I’m actually enjoying the resulting contrast.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 4

Though the premise of each episode thus far has been fairly similar, I’d never accuse this show of being on cruise control. It’s simply too well-handled. Muromi-san a roller coaster ride that has as much fun making fun of its own ideas as it does playing them straight up.

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First Reactions: Devil Survivor 2 Episode 4

So Photo Kano ended up being a study as to why scriptwriters are necessary even for skilled directors. The visual sense in that show is excellent, and fits the main character’s story very well, but the script is a bunch of torrid rust. I’m willing to bet Akitoshi Yokoyama had full control over the situation to the extent that nobody with veto power could come up to him and told him some of his story ideas were really, really bad. Even Masaki Yuasa’s name in a cutaway bit can’t save that script. I would watch another thing of his, provided his next producer keeps him 10 kilometers away from the script.

Moving on to shows that actually have me interested, I really like where Devil Survivor 2 is going. After a mediocre first episode, it’s been picking up the pace by laying down a layer of intrigue, setting up fast-moving, area-conscious fight scenes, and pumping up on drama. Thus, I’m making my hop right back on the ol’ rock-steady Kishi Seiji bandwagon.

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First Reactions: Suisei No Gargantia Episodes 1-3

Suisei No Gargantia is the new series from acclaimed writer Gen Urobochi. As a large fan of his previous work, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, I was immediately intrigued. So far I have watched 3 episodes, and all I can say is I hope to god this gets better.

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First Reactions: Arata Kangatari Episode 3

I like the characters of Arata Kangatari a lot more than I probably should. If I had to say why, it’s how believable they are. Arata, especially, but Kotoha’s had her moments. Too, the cast is adding members in this prison arc, hinting at their futures (or lack thereof) in all the right ways.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 3

This week’s Muromi-san episode felt a lot like a deliberate homage, taking themes from a number of older, well-established comedies and building them into a fun episode about irrational specism.

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First Reactions: Arata Kangatari Episode 2

Arata Kangatari didn’t really fix its terminology problems this week, but the dull monologues this episode explaining what in the whoozits a Hayagami is were plentifully offset by the key scene establishing the Shinshou as – so far – the best villains of the Spring 2013 season.

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Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko

Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko was the last TV show to pop out of what has so far been a very crowded April. While it doesn’t look like a sure thing by any means, the series did show some potential.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 2

Choosing the new show to blog for Saturdays was tough. It’s too good of a slate to take nothing from it. But I’ll still be blogging Space Brothers once the new-timeslot recaps finish up, and I don’t even want to think about what a 3-show weekend would do to the progress of stats and miscellaneous articles I’m writing up. So I’m left with a choice between Attack on Titan and Muromi-san. Titan has the plot and presumably some upcoming great action scenes, while Muromi-san has the higher energy level and small-things cleverness. While both are probably within my favorite 5 of the season at this point, I ultimately settled on Muromi-san because I simply liked it better from what I’ve seen so far.

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First Reactions: Photo Kano Episode 2

The two-week stretch of the season where every first episode comes out is almost over, so now it’s back to the equally enjoyable grind of talking about individual series in depth as they do their darndest to make an impact.

Photo Kano was a show I resolved to blog on the strength of one feature: its skillful utilization of photographic motifs to enhance a story about photography. After this episode, I’m even more convinced that rookie director Akitoshi Yokoyama knows exactly what he’s doing. This episode was all over the charts in terms of the events it featured, and he had a different camera trick for everything. And it’s worth nothing that, great as the camerawork in this episode was, it certainly wouldn’t have produced as much of an effect if the cast wasn’t growing increasingly charming.

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