Friday, October 08, 2004

Huh. So that's an Instalanche. Interesting.

Anyways, I got a look at some of the Fall anime last night at Dave's. Not a particularly impressive batch, sad to say. The Summer fling with galfeltch is starting to look more like a torrid affair, and the opening themes continue what's beginning to look like a long and painful period of hip-hop "edginess".

Bleach is a passably decent supernatural-fighting-psychic manga, but the anime adaptation is slow and obvious. The art style of the manga just screamed "Seventies Punk", so the melange of bad music which composed the actual soundtrack was a big disappointment. It's just a bland execution of material which, while not being particularly brilliant in the original form, was at least a solid, stylistic and entertaining sample of the genre.

Mai HIME is the anime everybody was talking about before the season broke, and I don't quite see why. It's a Sunrise production, and as a result it's easily the stodgiest anime I've seen in years. Flat character designs, robotic relationships and dialog, and yet more fighting-psychic-teens. The little girl with the claymore so large that she has to repeatedly spin about, sparks flying as the tip gouges up everything around her, in order to bring it to bear in a fight was the one real saving-grace of this anime. I'll probably keep watching it, because it doesn't suck outright, but it's not exactly setting my world on fire.

Uta Kata is a dark magical-girl show with bleedingly obvious porn-computer-game character designs. Our doomed protagonist is lured into some sort of "promise" by a peer-group apparition in a haunted mirror in the old school building, and the apparition claims that she wants said protagonist to write her summer-break essay-assignment before the apparition goes back to magic-land. It's strange enough to keep watching, and surreal in a restrained, creepy fashion, but I have the feeling this isn't going anywhere good.

Kannaduki no Miko is just jaw-droppingly bad. It reminds me of Gravion in that sense - a bizarre, exploitative melange of stupid ideas thrown together at high velocity with little regard for pacing, continuity, or cohesion. The two high school lesbian protagonists are "miko" who are threatened by mecha-piloting "Orochi" villains, but there's a "burning youth" boy with his own Orochi-mecha who's going to protect them. The cool-love-interest miko is named Himemiya and hangs out in a suspiciously familiar rose garden; the high school looks a lot like the one in Marimite, and there's a passing reference to a Prince of Tennis. It's exactly as derivative as it sounds. We broke out laughing at the end of the show, from sheer embarrassment at having watched it in the first place.

The real stand-out, surprisingly enough, was an August show which somebody just started subbing, Space Symphony Maetel, a "side-story" from Galactic Express 999. Normally, Matsumoto shows drive me up a freaking wall, but the first episode of this was surprisingly excellent - it had cohesion, direction, passion, and the story made sense. I actually want to see more of it, which is more than I usually say of latter-day Matsumoto retreads. Best of all? No magical girls, no galfeltch, no harems, no fighting psychics. Very refreshing.

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