Anime 1st episodes 2017: U
Including: UQ Holder!, Urahara, Urara Meirochou
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2017 >>
Keywords: SF, anime, fantasy, boobs, magical girl
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 3 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 29 December 2018
Listed under "E": Uchouten Kazoku (Season 2), aka. The Eccentric Family
It's a movie: Uchiage Hanabi, Shita Kara Miru ka? Yoko Kara Miru ka?
UQ Holder
UQ Holder!
UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: shounen action + fanservice (Negima sequel)
It's a Negima sequel, starring Negi's grandson as a Shounen Action Hero. I'd been mildly curious, actually. I quite liked Love Hina back in the day, but I'd never seen any of Ken Akamatsu's later (and longer) series. Time for some history! (Warning: I haven't watched any of this stuff myself, so here I'm just going on what people say.)
LOVE HINA (14 manga volumes, 30 anime episodes, 1998-2002) - harem comedy with nice-but-pathetic protagonist who's always being beaten up by his main love interest. These are just meant to be comedic overreactions and you're not meant to be taking them seriously. Has some lovable supporting characters.
NEGIMA! (38 manga volumes, 2003-2012) - started out as a fanservice-ridden harem comedy (because the publishers insisted), but Akamatsu ditched that after only two volumes. He'd actually wanted to do an epic magical action adventure. The series proper is about battle scenes, power-ups, other worlds, etc.
NEGIMA! (Xebec anime, 26 episodes, 2005) - focuses on those first two volumes. It's a fanservice-ridden harem comedy, except for an attempted change of direction at the very end. Doesn't sound very successful.
NEGIMA!? (Studio SHAFT anime, 26 episodes, 2006-2007) - completely abandoned the manga, except for the core cast and a few basic concepts. Apparently it's very Studio SHAFT, i.e. very weird and quite interesting. It's still not Akamatsu's Negima, though.
NEGIMA (some OVAs and a film) - apparently more accurate.
NEGIMA (live-action series) - you gotta be kidding me.
UQ HOLDER! (18 manga volumes and counting, 2013+) - Negi's grandson is being brought up by his adopted mother Yukihime, who was a character in the original Negima. (She's a 700-year-old vampire.)
...which brings us up to date with this anime series. We begin with a red-headed boy who's walking through a group of eight girls when he sneezes and blows everyone's clothes off! Unfortunately the girls' boobs don't have nipples. (That's true even if you're watching the Blu-rays.) The episode has thus already disappointed both sleaze-hounds and sleaze-haters.
That was just a pre-credits introduction, though. The show then ditches everyone and everything there and becomes bog-standard shounen action hero stuff. Our hero is Touta Konoe, a fourteen-year-old boy who's being raised in some nowhere village by a woman called Yukihime. She's also his schoolteacher. Everyone attacks her with wooden swords and gets their arse kicked. "Defeat me and you get permission to leave the village and go to the capital. The village leader did say that!"
Konoe is likeable, but not without shounen hero moments. "It's justice that I become the best at everything I do!"
Anyway, for a while I enjoyed this episode. It wasn't fantastic, but it was good enough. I liked Yukihime. The worldbuilding's also quite fun, with magic being an accepted part of modern life and so you'll see a police car parked in mid-air. Then, though, a baddie shows up and starts trying to kill people, which ends in Konoe accepting his fate and becoming SUPER POWERFUL!! so that he can KICK ARSE!! There's more gore than I'd have expected, but otherwise it's pretty much the bog-standard shounen action formula. The fighting's not as cool or interesting as it thinks it is. Konoe is a normal shounen hero, down to having shounen hero hair. I don't mind the show's existence, but I think that I personally would get bored if I tried to watch all twelve episodes.
ura hara
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: magical girls who love food and fashion... vs. aliens
Urgh. I nearly bailed halfway through. Invading aliens then showed up and so I stuck around a bit longer... but I shouldn't have bothered.
The good thing about the episode is the wacky colours and design. Someone clearly told the design team to go apeshit. Apparently the show's character designs were by a doujin-artist-turned-professional and it looks pretty awesome, actually. My favourite bit of aesthetic overload was the Japanese government's defence forces. Green tanks are theoretically not unrealistic. You could call it camouflage. The purple helicopters with reddish-pink trims, though, are simply fabulous, darling!
Unfortunately the main characters are a trio of vapid clothes horses who are high school girls and yet also run a shop that's all about cutting edge fashion and food. Being in their company for five minutes is enough to make you run for the door. They have some oddball customers, though, in particular the bloke with a rubber smile, stupidly long sleeves and a shachihoko on his head. "I'm searching for creative individuals who can create something from nothing. Artistic fashion and food to satisfy any tastes... this shop has it all!"
Not long after that, the UFOs land. They're from a culture-starved species that can't create anything for themselves, so they've come to steal Earth's art treasures. A talking shrimp turns our heroines into magical girls and we meet a fourth, tiny girl dressed as an ice cream scoop.
To be honest, I'd have probably enjoyed this show if it hadn't been for its heroines. They bore me. They're kind of self-obsessed and just not very interesting. Even their jokes are highlighting their unintelligence and/or laziness. "Tidy up the UFOs!" "But I hate tidying!" Magical girls, though, I like. Alien invasions I like. Trippy art design I really like. After spending an episode with those three girls, though, I realised that I should have quit after all.
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Urara Meirochou
Urara Maze Town Book
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: um, um, um... no
One-line summary: girls training to become fortune tellers
It's a kind of show I normally enjoy, but I think I'll give this one a miss.
Fifteen-year-old girls are going to the town of Meirocho, to become fortune tellers. The most memorable one so far is Chiya, who lives in the forest and appears to have been raised by wolves. She can run for miles (possibly hundreds of miles) without getting tired, she doesn't understand civilisation and she believes that you apologise by showing your belly. (Theoretically, shouldn't she also then be rolling on her back?) She's happy and lovely, but everyone else thinks she's some kind of underboob flasher.
Another girl is shy. The others are... well, I'm sure their personalities will be fleshed out in coming episodes. The show also doesn't seem to have a plot. There's no baddie, antagonist, threat, challenge or dramatic goal, except in a light-hearted way when Chiya's agitating the local defenders of morality. It's another show about cute girls doing cute things.
Is it sleazy in a harmless, pastel-coloured way? Are there lesbians? Answer: it's a Manga Time Kirara Miracle! anime. The entire cast is female, obviously, and so far there's no sign that males even exist in this world. Chiya doesn't just flash her own flesh, but will undress other girls when they're apologising "incorrectly". Girls often get very close and look into each others' eyes. The Bloque 10 Patrol officers have a crush on their captain and so far seem incapable of saying dialogue that doesn't come from their libidos. "I want the captain's cold inside me!"
I could have watched this show. It's empty, exploitative trash (albeit in a gentle, cute way), but I've watched worse. I'm sure it'll be good-natured and happy. No one will get hurt and everyone will be good friends. I could see myself losing patience with all the wibbling on about fortune-telling, but hey. It's fantasy. Presumably it works in this universe. Being undecided, I googled a few reviews to see other people's thoughts on the show as a whole. UPSIDE: apparently it's got an interestingly detailed fantasy setting with its own laws, customs and city-state government. DOWNSIDE AND TERRIFYING CLINCHER TO MAKE ME RUN AWAY AT TOP SPEED: someone compared it to "Is The Order A Rabbit?"