The Season at a Glance: Spring 2010, Part 2

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Hero Man

descent’s take: To be honest I only wanted to watch this show for one reason: my morbid curiosity with a Japanese studio’s take on American  culture. The show itself is based in “Center City”, “West Coast”, USA and so far as we have seen has no East Asian influences what so ever. A school full of kids NOT wearing uniforms? Gotta give’em credit for drawing it all. A bunch of American teens with All-American names talking to each other in Japanese, yes!  Jocks, jerks, the cool guy, and a cheerleader love interest, yessir this is the good ole’ US of A indeed. The show itself is about a kind-hearted but initially weak-willed protagonist Joey who works hard to care for his grandmother and seems to be the subject of some rather unfair bullying to top off his rather difficult life. By repairing a broken toy and after some lightning-related shenanigans he finds himself in the possession of the powerful robot “Heroman” which he controls with a nifty remote. I assume this means Joey will proceed to save the day for the rest of the series at it appears that some rather ridiculously looking evil aliens are on the way to co-opt earth for its resources.

The animation is average throughout and is mostly interesting only for its attempt to depict of western culture and scenery.  None of the characters are really all that unique though Joey is likable and Lina deserves credit for being a girl who isn’t shy about her feelings (though this is probably the writer trying to make some kind of overwrought shoutout to “American culture”). Heroman looks cool and his mouth lets you think he is about to start talking and reveal his personality but he’s only been the stoic and silent-type so far. The downfall of this show from an older viewer’s perspective is that the antagonists already look extremely fail and the action hasn’t even started yet. While I enjoy the spectacle this show presents us with and love seeing my own country depicted in some way or another the lack of interesting action and drama will probably keep people from liking this too much.

The Music: The OP is ok and the animation here does a great job of showing off what Heroman is all about. The ending has a great western comic book theme that makes you want to give props to the creative mind at work there. Honestly the background music is top notch throughout and actually enhances the feel and atmosphere of many of the scenes quite well. Props in this department.

[easyreview title=”” cat1title=”A First Glance” cat1detail=”It was pretty fun but lacks depth and probably won’t maintain its appeal” cat1rating=”7.5″]

The rest after the jump…

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Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

descent’s take: Guy gets accepted to anime Hogwarts and aspires to be a high priest, saving the world with rays of righteousness and hammers of justice. Instead the school’s fortunetelling, chain-smoking robochicken anoints him the next Demon King. What follows should be an epic story of a strong-willed and pure shonen protagonist fighting against fate and his inner demons as he seeks to overcome the cruel joke fate is attempting to play on him, right? No, apparently what you actually get is the start of a harem, gag-inducing amounts of panty shots and ecchi, and some of the less believable school/relationship drama and setting I’ve seen recently while the magic and abilities themselves appear rather lame. I personally find nothing exciting about this show the way it is presented to us and doubt my mind will change anytime soon. I always say that I can forgive a lot about a show if I am intrigued by the characters or the way they fight, neither is the case here. I lost interest in our hot-headed female lead after she showed the “goods” much more than necessary and is so blindly prideful I find little to be redeemed in her, everyone else has been forgettable so far. The way Sai keeps accidentally drawing parallels to the Demon King of old is  actually really funny but it needed some help from the rest of the plot and it didn’t get it. Now maybe this show will get better but it didn’t help its case by turning me off from the word go. The animation was actually fairly good but feels wasted on this premise and plot.

Music: No OP this week, ED tries to make itself look cool but the music fails it, the BGM tracks didn’t stand out.

[easyreview title=”” cat1title=”A First Glance” cat1detail=”I mean its watchable but it’s hard to care about what is going on. (As one commenter said this does potentially fall into the ‘so bad its good trope'” cat1rating=”4″]

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Kaichou wa Maid-Sama

descent’s take: Man-hating school council prez Misaki is a hard-working if yet overbearing girl that does her best to help her debt-riddled and fatherless family while also running the school like a communist dictator. Takumi is a popular, intelligent, but aloof guy who at first glance looks the part of a heartless jerk but is revealed to be a kind, complex, and mysterious young man. And that’s a brief look at the two main characters J.C. Staff’s new anime based off a popular Shoujo manga Maid-Sama!. The character drawings are not particularly amazing but they fit what I’m used to from this studio and have a more mature feel to them that is pleasant enough. The story is intriguing from the start and both of the main characters are much more complex than they first seem. I already feel very supportive of their pairing which strongly suggests I will continue to watch. You can tell that there will be plenty of laughs and also some heartwarming moments and this makes Maid-Sama one to watch this spring.

Music: The OP screams Shoujo, which is a good thing given what it is, duh. The ED gives us a decent song and sets up the romantic tension rather well. Perhaps what makes them better than they appear is how well they seem to fit the show.

[easyreview title=”” cat1title=”A First Glance” cat1detail=”About the best start a show from this genre could hope for, now it needs to stay good to keep me cheering on the main characters each week.” cat1rating=”8″]

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Kiss x Sis

descent’s take: Helpless little boy is always protected of by his two older sisters,  he seems to crave their affection, they love him back, what a cute family. Flash forward to the present and those two sisters have grown into sex-crazed fiends who throw themselves at their brother with no sense of self-respect or propriety. Reading the wiki’s summary of the manga it seem that is has some semblance of a plot while peddling its incest wares. This show however seems to quickly eschew any vestiges of that for the sake of all fan-service all the time. The budget obviously wasn’t there and that is reflected constantly in the crappy animation and style, but Kiss won’t be redeeming itself with story or drama anytime soon. Even “touching” developments like having the girls come for a parent-teacher conference turn into vomit-inducing excuses for more ecchi with a half-assed “resolution” tacked on at the end. Their delusional parents and lack of push back by anyone at all regarding how crazy the girls are move this past redemption or intrigue, there is simply nothing to care about here.

Music: No OP this week and most of the BGMs make this feel like a cheap porno. Oh god the ED! Not only is it bad music, it’s some poorly executed and animated dance scene with the two girls that looks freaking laughable.

[easyreview title=”” cat1title=”A First Glance” cat1detail=”Who the heck is the target audience, even incest fans should demand better quality!” cat1rating=”2″]

If your looking for it, Part 1 of this review can be found here.

Keep an eye out for Part 3 and Angel Beats Episode 2 Reviews coming tomorrow!!! Thanks for reading!

-descent

Posted on April 9, 2010, in Anime, Episode Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Good review, I’ve actually been regretting giving Ichiban a waku waku in light of other shows that have come out this season, but I’m going to be watching this series because:

    A. It’s a comedical double wammy. It has its comedic moments that are pretty funny like you mentioned, but it also has something else that you didn’t mention: It’s REALLY bad. Sometimes you can’t help but watch a train wreck without giggles. Did you see the same way it opened I did? There was mother carrying a baby delivering lines like “You are the chosen one and our only hope” while lightning was crashing in the background. I broke down in a fit of giggles on the spot. It was so horribly stereotypical I couldn’t help it. If it continues you to ride that line I’ll enjoy it.

    B. I like the way they’re implementing the shaky cam on the close up motion shots. It’s a really good way to emphasize life like qualities in the character. While I realize this isn’t a redeeming from a writing aspect its still fun seeing an anime incorporate it.

    I read a previous comment on “Under the Bridge” dying out midseason. I wanted to point out that’s a very real possibility that I hope won’t happen. We might lose all interest after all of the community is introduced and it’s not funny anymore. At that point they’re going to have to do a meaningful transition away from one-dimensional humor to a great theme.

    Good reviews:

    (Kiss X Sis was bad in a bad way)

    • I almost stopped watching cause of that opening lol. It was gruesomely bad indeed. Some of the shenanigans were ok or lame enough to laugh at but it doesn’t make a show. I will admit the “it only took him a second to make her his woman” line got this ep like a whole extra star.

      -Nice call on the cam effects, I hadn’t really paid attention originally or better yet didn’t know how to describe what I saw as well as you just did but in general I had not problems with the animation.

  2. Nice review of this wave of episodes. Good to have opinions about what is out so far. Especially for some shows that I haven’t really checked out yet.

    Hero Man – Wow this series just goes over the top. Robot gets hit by mysterious lightning caused by the aliens coming in and for some reason goes all red, white, and blue on it’s powered up form. It’s also kind of weak to have Joey just pressing a button. I mean sure it’s a fight, but he’s being way too dramatic when just pressing something. He’s not even picking the commands they show up on their own. We’ll have to see if this remains entertaining enough to hold the appeal. Lina is a pretty nice character since she is clear about her feelings.

    Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – I had some reasonable expectations. For the first 10 minutes or so anyways. The protagonist seemed like a solid guy and the girl seemed reasonable. Sure she was pretty serious about their vow, but it wasn’t that crazy. Then he gets a cruel joke of a fortune and every single thing he does gets misinterpreted. I say he should just give in and change society for the better. No one is going to listen to him (including his ‘friend’) anyways. I’m going to check out a couple more episodes to decide if this has any hope at all.

    Kaichou wa Maid-Sama – Still have to check this out. Something about the summary leaves me feeling like I wouldn’t get into it.

    Kiss x Sis – Now this is a show that either can be loved or hated. They go into such extreme territory that it’s tough to find middle ground. Having read the manga I can say there is plot. Not a great deal of plot, but it’s there. Just a weird triangle with the guy feeling more or less the same as the girls, but being the only one who thinks everyone is getting carried away. I don’t think it’s that bad, just something you turn the brain off when watching.

  3. for ichiban
    Quite good episode, I actually had my doubts about this series, but it turned out quite interesting!
    Nice genre-mix, and it even seems to have a story plot^^
    The ecchi-scenes were quite rare and “decent”, I think (No wobbling boobs or similar^^) In comparision to “real” ecchi-animes that was nothing, so I don’t care about it. I liked the episode. *Adding to my watchin list*

    for kaichou,
    The story is much too rushed. Come on, like, after two days of knowing him outside of school, she says something about accepting him as her rival? What the hell? It just seems unrealistic to me. I can understand Usuis reasons and motives (at least I think I can) but Kaichou’s attitude towards Usui felt more than slightly out of place.

    but other than that , i pretty much liked it.

    for kiss and sis…. <..> wtf

    Nice review =)

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