Anime 1st episodes 2015: R
Including: Rainy Cocoa, Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace, Re-Kan!, Robot Girls Z Plus, Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers, The Rolling Girls
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2015
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2015 >>
Keywords: anime, ghost, mecha, superhero, SF, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 6 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2015
Review date: 18 February 2017
Listed under "C": Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, aka. Chivalry of a Failed Knight
Listed under "K": Rin-ne, aka. Kyoukai no Rinne
Ame-iro Cocoa
Rainy Cocoa
Ame-iro Cocoa
Seasons 1-2
Episodes: 24 x two minutes
Keep watching: no way on Earth
One-line summary: cute boys working at a cafe
It's like Is the Order a Rabbit?, but a bit less vapid and with cute boys instead of cute girls. It's a slice of life comedy with no laughs (yet), where everyone's a waiter at a cafe! The cutest boy is Aoi and he gets mistaken for a girl. There's also Keiichi, who's "cool" (i.e. anti-social and punchable). Ryouta talks a lot.
...and that's the sum total of its content. Admittedly I can hardly complain since I watched Is the Order a Rabbit?, but even so. Two minutes later, it ends. In fairness the show might well be good since I'm condemning it on the basis of only two minutes, but I can live with that. My loss.
Ranpo Kitan Geemu Obu Rapurasu
Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
Season 1
Episodes: 11 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: gruesome murder mystery at school
I've since finished it and... it's a good show underneath, but they've added annoying stupidities
It's inspired by the works of the Japanese author Edogawa Ranpo and commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death in 1965. Ranpo wrote murder mysteries. I've never read any of them, but this show should make me a little better acquainted with them.
The main character is a thirteen-year-old boy called Kobayashi who's liable to see the world and its people as nothing more than greyness. The episode begins with him drifting through a silent, monochrome embodiment of disconnection. "The world we live in is a dream. The dreams we have at night are in fact the true world."
We then see him lying on the floor of his classroom, holding a bloody hacksaw and alone with his decapitated teacher.
I don't think he committed the murder, but understandably he's the prime suspect even if the police can't detain a thirteen-year-old boy. He has a classmate, Hashiba, who defends him fiercely and they meet a seventeen-year-old genius detective, Kogoro Akechi. Kobayashi and Akechi seem similar in that they're both clever, bored and interested in horrible crime. Kobayashi thinks his current situation is fun. He's enjoying himself, especially when he's being accused and arrested. "This is the first time anything's seemed fun."
I'll keep going. Kogoro Akechi is a dick, but Kobayashi's much more likeable even if they both agree that people having been murdered in front of them is top-notch entertainment. There are also some impressively twisted revelations towards the end. On the downside, there's a daft anime-ism in the form of Kobayashi's replacement teacher, who's 32 years old but dresses, talks and looks as if she's twelve. I've just googled her and found that "there is no known equivalent of Hanabishi in Edogawa's works." No surprise there. The episode got more stupid while she was around. Apart from her, though, this seems pretty good.
Sixth Sense
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: horror movie ghosts in a slice-of-life schoolgirl show
I've since finished it and... it's likeable, but doesn't add up to much
None of the reviews I've read seem to think highly of this. I liked it a lot, though, and I'll definitely be continuing.
Hibiki Amami can see ghosts. They're everywhere. She transfers to a new school and soon her new classmates are accustomed to her having heart-to-hearts with thin air and stepping out of the way of nothing. This results in a charming episode of vignettes and compassionate moments from Hibiki, but no suggestion that the show's planning to have a plot. (I hope it does, but it won't necessarily be a deal-breaker if it doesn't.)
Hibiki can also talk to animals. An apparently cute cat is actually a leering pervert and masochist who wants to look up girls' skirts.
What's cool about all this is the ghosts. They don't fit the tone of a happy schoolgirl show. We glimpse one cuddly cartoon cloud-thing, but otherwise these ghosts are straight from J-horror. In a different show, they'd be killing people. Even in this one, it doesn't seem impossible. Hibiki's first one makes her do goofy things on a zebra crossing that could have turned her into roadkill, leaves red handprints on her legs and looks like Toshio from Ju-on. (If it is Toshio, then Hibiki's a miracle-worker because no one dies in this episode.)
That's before the opening credits, no less. "He's just playing a prank," says Hibiki. "He doesn't mean any harm." Later we'll see her on the ground, getting dragged off.
Did Hibiki just have a friendly conversation with a deceased serial killer? Not sure. Maybe it was a victim. The sheer number of ghosts revealed by Hibiki's behaviour is mildly unsettling. The girl can barely walk down a corridor. Casual moments struck me as slightly creepy, although I don't know whether the show will sustain that. The defiantly sceptic Narumi Inoue not realising what she's talking to when those four children come up to her in the playground late at night, for instance.
"Stop following empty space with your eyes."
Robot Girls Z Plus
Season 2
Episodes: 6 x 9 minutes
Keep watching: I suppose so
One-line summary: parody where classic giant battle robots are girls
I've since finished it and... it's great! It's basically the fixed version of Season 1.
I watched all of Robot Girls Z. It was a low "okay". The idea had potential, but I'd have probably found it funnier if I'd watched more giant robot shows.
This is more of the same. The main characters are still the three girls of Team Z, although this time they're not being unlikeable or borderline evil for comic effect. Z-chan fights another girl, Boss, who likes to think they're greatest rivals/friends/enemies. Z-chan denies this violently. Then another girl shows up with an even more mechanical body than is usual in this series and starts shooting everyone with her penis gun. Then Team G appears. I've no idea who those girls are.
It's the kind of thing you wouldn't bother watching if the episodes were longer. There's insignificant fanservice (underwear and a few nanoseconds of nudity). I'll continue, but I'm not really expecting it to be worth even this very small amount of time.
Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
Rokka no Yuusha
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Aztec-themed fantasy heroics
I loved the world design. However I was annoyed by the hero, so I won't be continuing.
Underneath it seems to be bog-standard fantasy, with a Demon God who's been asleep for a millennium and according to a prophecy is supposed to be defeated by six braves, etc. You know the drill. What's on-screen, though, is Mesoamerica. Aztec ziggurats, headdresses, awesome costumes, etc. You never get this in fantasy! It's always generic pseudo-medieval European, with some degree of Tolkein crossover, or else perhaps historical Japan if you're watching anime. South and Central America never normally get a look-in. I loved this world. I wanted to keep exploring it.
Unfortunately there's also a story. Adlet Mayer is a twat. He gatecrashes a ceremonial duel and challenges both fighters to take him on simultaneously, to prove that he's the world's strongest man. In fairness, he wins. He's tricksy. However that doesn't mean he's not a dickhead and I was delighted when the authorities pushed him into a pit, covered the top with a grille and forgot about him for months. Maybe it was years? I'd like that.
A girl with big boobs comes to talk to him. He can't stop talking about himself, specifically that he's the world's strongest man. Eventually she helps him escape and they run off on a quest to fight the Demon God. However since I don't plan to watch any more of him, I'm going to pretend to myself that in fact the princess filled up his pit with boiling oil while he was still inside it.
It really does look lovely, mind you, but I suspect the rest of the series won't measure up in the same way since we've now left that Aztec city.
The Rolling Girls
Rolling Girls
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: um... yes?
One-line summary: superpowered biker girl battles in gentle SF future
I've since finished it and... there's a lot to like in it, but it's also fairly random and pointless.
I have no idea what I just watched. I'll probably keep going, though, because I have a friend who recommended it. I'm on the cusp, though.
I love this future Japan. It has amazing SF buildings and robots in the background of quiet everyday life. Ten years after the Great Tokyo War, Japan's split into ten regions that have declared independence and are competing with each other for territory. The best bit is that they each have their own colours. The episode looks spectacular, with occasionally psychedelic colour palettes and unusually relaxed facial animation. It'll randomly throw in weird everyday things like a man with a crocodile's head.
Not sure what's the story's about, though. Regions resolve their differences peacefully via proxies, i.e. Rolling Girls. These are superpowered mercenary biker girls who beat each other up. To be frank, those motorbikes are the main reason I'm reluctant to keep watching. Motorbikes aren't my thing. (Ditto cars and petrol-driven forms of transport in general.)
There appears to be rivalry between Rolling Girls, but I've no idea where that's going. That ramen-eating race was amusing, though. They also have more low-powered friends and associates who live more ordinary lives and seem nice.
I've just tried to describe the episode I watched, but I don't know what it means. I don't understand the world yet and I don't know what these Rolling Girls are going to be doing for twelve episodes, except presumably ride their bikes. There's a squad of officers who go on patrols and seem laid-back and likeable. I'd definitely be continuing if it weren't for the motorbikes, I suppose. Besides, my friend reckons the show didn't get going until ep.2.