Sunday, 9 January 2011

Spring 2011 Season, few opening thoughts

It's certainly been a while since I posted... we've had a couple of great shows out of 2010. Oreimo, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Kuragehime and even MM! (I found it funny :-) ). Even the monthly event that was Katanagatari had me excited and clamouring to watch each new episode!

So, anyways, onto this year! There're a few new offerings that might tempt me (or have): Freezing, Infinite Stratos, Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!! (hereby referred to as OnKNZSJDn, that doesn't really make it better, does it?), Gosick, Rio Rainbow Gate! and Yumekui Merry. Quite the list methinks. Although I'm yet to watch all of the first eps, so expect that number to plummet! (As an aside: I expect Rio might be a poor pachinko tie-in, with quite a weak sounding plot but I'm willing to give it a chance)

First up: Freezing
I think freezing might be the first anime I've seen based on a manhwa. Having read a chunk of the it about a year ago (before some of the scanlations dried up, I think there's been a bit of an explosion of chapters since I last looked!) I was quite excited to find that an anime was on its way.

Having seen the first episode I remember why I was excited about the series. There's just enough mystery about Genetics and the Pandoras: what they are and who they are is slowly explained (rather than remaining a mystery) in the manhwa, although not in any super-satisfying detail. The animation is good, it's fluid and fun to follow. The action is definitely well-laid out and makes a great hook for the series (since there's quite a bit more action to follow!) although whether the quality will drop off much over the next few eps we'll have to see.

I'm looking forward to seeing how they progress the series and how closely it follows (my memory) of the manhwa! Expect to see some interesting plot development, although the plot itself does start to suffer after a point in the manhwa (around the time I ran out of chapters to read). Hopefully the anime will cover enough beyond this point to redeem the low points.

Infinite Stratos:

This is a series I heard little about before airing. The basic outline seems to be that, once again, only bishoujo can wield the true weapons of war. That aside, they've introduced the twist of the First Man To Be Able To Control Them.

Despite the series introducing some tried and tested tropes: the childhood-friend-who's-in-love-but-violent-rather-than-admitting-it, the foreign-noble-who's-condescending-but-interested-in-main-character and the mysterious-older-sister-is-now-his-teacher. Nothing wrong with these and they're carried off with some flair owing to the main character's testicular strength and, for once, not being a complete pushover.

The action is well done and the fights look interesting, a different take on the piloted suits (since it looks more like powered armour than giant-robot-death-machine) gives the whole thing a more personal feel. Like the characters are fighting directly.

All I can hope for is that it progresses with an over-arching plot and avoids too much of the school-related antics typical to this sort of series. Overall, though, it looks like a fun series with good action sequences and comical moments.

I'll aim to watch the other first eps soon...depending on work schedules and so on :-(

Edit: I've noticed that my 'To-Read' and 'To-Watch' lists are woefully out of date...I'll update them over the next few days :)