Anime 1st episodes 2015: O
Including:
Omakase Mamitasu, One Piece: Episode of Sabo, One Punch Man, Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan, Osomatsu-san, Overlord, Owarimonogatari
Medium:
Year:
2015
Series:
Keywords:
Country:
Language:
Format:
7 first episodes
Website category:
Review date:
3 February 2017
one.piece
Listed under "M": Okusama ga Seito Kaichou! as My Wife is the Student Council President
Listed under "M": Ore Monogatari!! as My Love Story!!
Listed under "S": Owari no Seraph, as Seraph of the End
Not reviewed: Onna no Ko tte. which I couldn't find and it looks dispensible anyway
One-off special, but I've reviewed it anyway: One Piece: Episode of Sabo, which is surprisingly bad
omakase.mamitasu
Omakase Mamitasu
Omakase: Miracle Cat-Dan
Season 1
Episodes: 32 x 9 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: flamboyant ghost turns cat into SuperCat
Cool theme music. "Neko Boogie."
It's a kiddie cartoon, set in a household with a nine-year-old girl (Pokotan), her mother (Reiko) and grandmother (Etsuko), plus lots of cats. There are ten. The one in this episode is Mamitasu.
There's also the friendly ghost of Pokotan's dead father. The internet tells me that he used to be a pop star, which explains his dress sense and personality. I'd been guessing "drag queen". He's a nice guy, though. We learn that cats can see ghosts and that ghosts can turn cats into Miracle Cats with superpowers and the ability to talk.
Apparently it's based on an autobiographical essay book by a cat-loving lady who in real life herself owns ten cats. The episode ends with a photograph of her with the real Mamitasu. The anime seems pleasant, but so far it's just fluffy nonsense for little children. Not tempted to continue.
one.punch.man
One Punch Man
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes + 7 OVAs
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: bored superhero looking for villains who'll last more than one punch
I've since finished it and... it's fun in medium-sized doses, but there's less to it than I'd hoped
It's based on a webcomic with terrible art. If I drew a comic strip in a hurry, it would look like this. It's cheap, it looks as if it was knocked off in half an hour and its cities have names like "A City", "B City", etc. However their story is quite fun, being superhero parody with a hero so powerful that he's got bored of being stronger than everyone else. I've just read the first four chapters and they're a surprisingly close match for this first episode of their anime adaptation.
Well, apart from the art and animation from Madhouse Studio. According to the chief animation director Chikashi Kubota, the budget was average for a TV series. This boggles the mind. He had to say it because no one would have believed it. These action scenes are deliriously good. The money shots are so fluid and dynamic that it's as if Madhouse is showing off.
Anyway, our one-punch hero (real name: Saitama) is a parody of all those fired-up shounen heroes who can't shut up about "I need to be stronger!" and "I need to be the strongest!" Saitama really is the strongest and he finds it boring. No one can challenge him. This is the source of most of the episode's humour, as Saitama underreacts to supervillain mega-destruction while he's shopping at the supermarket and offhandedly supposes that he might as well go and fight.
The character designs occasionally reflect the webcomic. Saitama himself has a bland approximation of a face, representing his lack of emotion. Testicle Chin Boy is in line with the webcomic's art style but more startling in the well-drawn anime.
This show was a mega-hit, by the way. I also understand ep.1 wasn't even its best and that the show gets better. I liked ep.1, so I'm definitely continuing. The supervillains are seriously badass and Saitama's casual attitude is amusing.
Young Hot Spring Fairy Hakone-chan
Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan
Young Hot Spring Fairy Hakone-chan
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: a hot spring with a fairy who makes trouble
I've since finished it and... it's nothing special, but I enjoyed it
The title sequence has a boy and lots of girls, but so far it's not harem-like. It might have fanservice and/or some ecchi, though, if only given the title.
There are two main characters. The first is Touya, a boy whose job is cleaning the hot spring in the garden. He seems fairly normal. The other is Hakone-chan, the spirit of that hot spring, who's currently a white-haired little girl with magical powers and lots of attitude. "That's why you're having to make wishes in order to hope for any success with women!"
It's amusing and it's only three minutes long. I'll continue. The only question mark involves a girl called "Haruna-nee-chan". Does Touya fancy her? Maybe. Hakone thus "helps" them get closer by catapulting Touya with a water blast and causing an involuntary boob squeeze. (Like I said, a bit ecchi.) The potential problem is that "nee-chan" might mean either:
(a) big sister, or
(b) any girl of the appropriate age, whether or not they're related to you.
I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is (b), but the episode hasn't yet ruled out (a) as a possibility. It's anime. I'm hoping for clarification on this. Otherwise, though, the show looks like harmless but slightly dirty fun.
osomatsu.san
Osomatsu-san
Mr. Osomatsu
Season 1
Episodes: 26 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: not sure yet... okay, I've decided. No.
One-line summary: comedy that's all over the place
I've no idea what this show's going to be like. I don't have enough data for a decision on whether or not to continue. I'll have to watch ep.2 and see what I think. In the meantime, though...
Osomatsu-kun is a famous comedy manga from 1962 to 1969, by Fujio Akatsuka. It became an anime in the 1960s and then again in 1988-1989. It starred the Matsuno sextuplets, who were ten-year-old troublemakers. (Osomatsu is just the oldest sextuplet.)
Osomatsu-san is this anime, which so far seems to be a sort of sequel. It starts with 1960s black-and-white animation with an old-fashioned aspect ratio. The Matsuno brothers realise they're on TV again! It's an anniversary commemoration for Akatsuka's 80th birthday. However surely a creaky, unfashionable old fossil from the Shouwa era won't cut it with modern TV audiences? "There's no way we'll be popular these days!"
The show then becomes a glossy, full-colour idol parody. Suddenly it's a modern anime in every way. Our heroes are on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans. They're colour-coded pretty boys who go to BL school for beautiful people, but sometimes they also make energy beams shoot into space and destroy meteorites to save the world. Wow, gosh! Each one is going for a different fangirl appeal. Oh, and sometimes their clothes fall off.
It's a deliberate cliche storm. This is funny, but after a while I was hoping they'd start parodying something else. Fortunately they do. The brothers start reverting to their Shouwa-era personalities, which clashes in a big way with the idol genre. That's funny too. Then the episode starts doing Attack on Titan so blatantly that it got them in hot water. (There are other parodies too, but this is the one where you can understand how people might get sued.) Eventually we return to the Matsuno sextuplets in their original form, but ten years older and living together in what might perhaps be the format for the rest of the series.
What?
This episode has since been pulled from Japanese streaming websites, Crunchyroll and the DVD and Blu-ray releases. It's commercially unavailable. It no longer exists. This is an ex-episode.
EPISODE TWO
No, let's not bother. This is a more stable episode, but I also didn't find it that funny. I've watched two episodes now and found them both unengaging, with the show being fundamentally uninterested in getting me involved with its characters.
The sextuplets are trying to avoid getting on with their lives. They don't want to work. They're fairly appalling people, actually, each with his own unique personality defects. The episode's first half is called 'Let's Get a Job' and describes their broken attempts in that direction. After that, Osomatsu tries to take an interest in his younger brothers and fails. That's 'The Melancholy of Osomatsu-kun'. I was amused by a few individual bits, e.g. Osomatsu reducing an idol to white-eyed horror at a fan-meet event, but not enough to get me watching 26 full-length episodes. It's like a three-minute unpredictable gag show that for some reason has been given full-length episodes.
"I don't have five friends! I have five enemies!"
over lord
Overlord
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes + a 13th OVA
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: hero is villain in online MMRPG
I've since finished it and... it's great and I'm thinking of buying the light novels now
There are quite a few MMRPG anime out there, of course, but the ones I've seen have tended to be quite good (Sword Art Online, Log Horizon) and this one has a fun twist. I enjoyed it.
Our hero is Momonga, a nice chap and the last remaining member of a players' guild called Ainz Ooal Gown. (I kept misreading that as "Own Goal".) Its rules were: (a) you had to have a job in the real world instead of being a drop-out, and (b) your game character couldn't be human. Momonga chose to be a gigantic skeletal supervillain. We see him having a nostalgic chat with an ever-melting pink slime. However at midnight, the Yggdrasil game servers are going to be turned off and everyone's going to have to return to real life. I bet they'll just find other MMRPGs to play in, so it's all fine.
It's not fine. When midnight comes, Momonga finds that the Yggdrasil world hasn't disappeared. On the contrary, it's got more real. He can't access his game console, while the computer-controlled NPCs can suddenly understand speech beyond the game-specified commands and even have conversations with him.
Momonga tests a few things. He's no longer restricted to the standard set of actions that had been built into the game. (To be precise, he tests this by touching an NPC girl's breasts, but he asks her permission first and she's more into it than he is. Also no clothes are removed.) Anyway, his next action is to assemble all his NPC underlings and take stock of what's happened to this world. As befits any good evil overlord, Momonga has a castle of evil, an ultimate weapon of evil and a bunch of possibly evil henchmen (often in maid costumes). The ones who stand out the most are a pair of Dark Elf twins.
That's about it so far. It looks promising, though. I enjoyed the contrast between Momonga's mild-mannered inner voice and his fearsome game appearance. He's got something he wants to investigate. Theoretically this is yet another light novel adaptation with an impossibly overpowered fantasy hero, but I think they earn that with the villain thing. I'm definitely up for more of this.
owari monogatari
Owarimonogatari
Story arc 2 of Season 3 of the Monogatari series
Episodes: 12
This episode: 48 minutes
Keep watching: I didn't even finish this episode!
One-line summary: talk talk vampires supernatural talk
I don't get on with the Monogatari series. ("Monogatari" just means "story" in Japanese, so for clarity I'm talking about the Studio Shaft anime about a boy who gets involved with girls who are vampires, ghosts, etc. They have titles like Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Nekomonogatari (Black and White), etc. This has nothing to do with Ore Monogatari, Genji Monogatari or any other story with a similar name.)
Everything about the show sounded cool and interesting, but every time I actually watch it... they're having conversations. That's all. People talk. 24 minutes will have passed and nothing's happened. I like the fact that these are liable to be fairly abstract, philosophical conversations, but still as far as I'm concerned it's beautifully animated navel fluff. (Hypothesis: maybe the show has a habit of starting its seasons like that, before later growing a plot? Since I keep starting with ep.1 of each season, this would mean I've always been giving up before getting to the good stuff. This might well be true, but what the hell.)
What's worse is that this is a double-length episode. (Apparently it's split in two in the Blu-rays, though.) Would I make it to the closing credits? Answer: no. I've fought my way through some fearsome trash in my time, but this beat me.
We start with Euler's Identity. Apparently this is going to be a story about maths. No, arithmetic. No, numbers. No, majority rule, the only system for turning a mistake into truth. (That's what it says. All this I like and I'd have been delighted had it been turned into a story rather than a conversation.) Koyomi and Ougi are trapped in a classroom. Koyomi is a boy. Ougi is a girl. This is a magical classroom where the clock's stopped just before six o'clock. Ougi thinks this is connected with something in Koyomi's past, two years ago, when his class held a special assembly because of a maths exam. Apparently the students who'd participated in an informal study group had outscored their classmates by an average of 20 percentage points. Conclusion: the study group cheated!
This is horseshit. What's more, it's horseshit for mathematical reasons, in an episode about mathematics. That twenty-point difference is based on a small sample size that wasn't randomly chosen. It's a self-selected group of people who'd wanted to do maths. Had anyone checked the difference in the expected results for those specific students? (Perhaps someone had, but the episode doesn't suggest it.) Statistically, that's horrific. Of course it's possible that cheating had taken place, but what we've been shown so far barely even counts as evidence. What next, an investigation into why couch potatoes keep getting beaten in races by keen sportsmen who do extra-curricular athletics?
I couldn't take it. It's too much of an endurance test. Talk talk bloody talk... and what they're saying is eye-rolling bollocks. I admire Studio Shaft for making this static non-story look visually arresting, though.
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