AX 2008 and its associated coverage put the new Summer 2008 season on hold for me. I’ve finally gotten around to actually watching a few of the new shows, though, and these are my thoughts. (An entry here does not guarantee regular blogging later.) All impressions are drawn from 1 or 2 episodes.
Zero no Tsukaima: Princess no Rondo
My hopes are low for this show, and after watching two episodes, they are still rather low–though it seems like, so far, there will be less of a serious “plot” than was attempted in season 2. At least i hope so, because it seems like the creators have forgotten what had made the show so great in the first place, particularly in the first season. They’ve already taken the cheap way out as far as Saito’s losing his contract/runes and, as Hinano can well attest, any actual character growth and change ends up being blocked. Still, the fact that they’ve gone for yet another round of this show demonstrates that somebody out there thinks that there’s still life in this setup. I will keep a wary eye on this one, mostly because of memories of season 1 still continue to egg me on.
Ray’s covering this already, so I won’t say much. Very little, it seems to me, has changed in the more than a decade that has passed since the last Slayers TV series. Megumi still seems to be able to do the fast, high-pitched Lina voice after all, and the humor is as odd and random as anything from previous series. They seem to know what they’re doing, these writers; even the animation, aside from a few details in the shading, is well-nigh unchanged. I suppose that’s a good thing, though I wouldn’t call myself a big Slayers fan (I only watched all of the first series and the third, and found them OK).
My “favorite” part of this cliche piece of fan service is the bit at the end of episode 1, where Our NEET Ronin Protagonist expresses some realistic doubts that he will be able to provide or protect his magical girlfriend from the sky. She readily assures him that, no, “you are who you are, and I love you.” Gosh, that was fast. This is all in episode 1, mind you. This is a world, too, where contracts are sealed not only with kisses (a la Zero no Tsukaima), but are accompanied with orgasmic noises as she “earns her wings.” I suppose it can be funny if you look at it a certain way, though heck, it’s not as boldly shameless as Kanokon–that show deserves some credit for not even bothering to pretend that it’s basically softcore porn, as the DVD releases amply demonstrate. This one starts with an action-heavy, Elfen Lied style scene and I think is angling to become somewhat focused on fighting and the like. Wake me up if it improves.
How could anyone resist a title like that? Much to my slight disappointment, the “World Destruction Committee” turns out to be a group of human heroes led by a scythe-wielding woman, living in a world ruled by furries Otherkin. The main guy even donned neko-mimi in order to get buy as a waiter in the Otherkin world. The WDC is opposed by an Otherkin group billing itself as the World Salvation Committee (WSC), who seem rather incompetent and doing their stated jobs. Just describing that made me laugh, and so it looks promising as an action-fantasy-comedy, the season’s Tower of Druaga.
Telepathy Shoujo Ran
It’s interesting that this show is coming alongside the sequel to Someday’s Dreamers, because they are both quiet shows about a girl who is discovering her magical powers. This one seems aimed at a younger, shoujo crowd, with its cute pre-adolescent osana najimi romance. The atmosphere is pleasant enough, though I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea for the long run. It seems like Dennou Coil without as much originality. Then again, I never expected The Girl Who Leapt Through Time to be such a masterpiece, either. We’ll see.
One of the last posts before Scattered Cels became Anime Diet was a post about this series’ OVA predecessor. It featured girls who became airplanes soaring to the tune of Rachmaninov’s Variation of a Theme From Paganini, and was “delightfully crazy,” as I wrote then. (It has, sadly, been taken down from Youtube.) I have not actually seen more than the first 10 minutes of episode 1, so this is not exactly a review. I just wanted to point that out, and make the comment that they could have easily subtitled this show No Need For Pants.
Anyways, that’s my roundup so far. I am seriously considering not regularly blogging any summer season show, actually, aside from the remaining episodes of Kaiba. I want to actually work into my backlog of DVDs and fansubs and write reviews for things like Gunslinger Girl, Bokurano, Gurren Lagann, Noein, Haibane Renmei, and other things I simply really ought to have finished. I’m thinking instead that future coverage from me of the summer season will consist of weekly roundups like this. It seems more efficient and will let me concentrate on all the stuff I should have done much earlier.