I am taking over the blogging for this show, plus I promised to post first impressions about it sometime anyway….so here are my somewhat more positive impressions of this somewhat different blend of mystery and game/sports anime. It’s not quite what I was hoping for but it was still rather intriguing. (Spoilers below.)
But it’s a failure so far in my view.
And neither is a rather bland beginning. I must be getting old because shows like these don’t really get me going at all.
Yes, there’s murder, and yes, there’s tension, but since I don’t understand chess, much less shogi (Japanese chess inspired by the Chinese one), I couldn’t really get into it.
Because Kawasumi Ayako’s Shion is a mute, she practically didn’t act at all. Unlike Houko-chan’s young Clare , who make sounds, Ayako-chan’s Shion almost makes no noises. She has one internal dialog and that’s it.
We can obviously see that there’s conspiracy and intrigue going on as the rich young lady is very interested in Shion and Miss cross-dresser. We also learn how the cross-dresser learns her craft and what she’s advised to do (it’s a he), and things are supposed to be quite complex, but here’s what I saw: a girl’s parents get killed while she’s playing chess, and she doesn’t even realize that they are being murdered right in front of her face until the killer steps into her sight, and then the killer…makes a chess move??? What the hell?
The killer comes back to stalk her, and we have credits rolling. It’s a good cliffhanger.
The animation is in HD and the color is rich and the details are clear, even in the rmvb version I downloaded. But seriously folks, blood boiling chess moves sound so much like the things that these uber geeks did a high school and I’m not the least bit amused or even that intrigued. Ayako’s voice acting was almost non-existent, and I didn’t care for Romi Paku’s voice acting either. Ordinarily she’s quite awesome, but here she sounds bland.
This joins the rank of the bland shows this season. So,
75% recommended for your daily anime diet. It’s flat and if you’re not a chess, specifically shogi fan, you may want to invest your time elsewhere.