ID-0 First Impressions: Not for me

This one came out on Netflix over the weekend so I thought I’d check it out and maybe binge a couple of episodes. Then I got to the end of episode 1 and figured I had other things to do.

Impressions:

It should be pretty obvious that it was not love at first sight for me and ID-0. It isn’t that there is anything grievously wrong with it. My few complaints are either minor nit-picks or just personal taste issues mostly relating to the main characters shrill voice, the unexciting feel of the episode, the illogical design of the system being used to transfer their consciousness into a machine and some minor issues with some of the character designs and animation. None of these are actually indications that a show deserves an instant drop and if we weren’t about to launch into a new season of anime, I probably would stick this one out a bit longer. At some point I’ll likely go back and try it again when I’m in a slightly better mood as well.

id0b

But, this episode really didn’t do much for me. Stuff happened. Young and inexperienced girl gets dragged in over her head and then abandoned by her team who are apparently selling information illegally anyway. The end result of that being that her consciousness is trapped inside the machine she was in and her body is still on the ship and she can’t get back. Um…

Didn’t the ship back up their consciousness in case the machines got broken? And the other guys’ machines were smashed to little pieces and so they just woke up? So surely somewhere in their infinite wisdom, someone programmed the thing so if it got out of range is assumed the thing was destroyed and consciouness would be returned to the body? Right? No. Apparently not. Apparently you can just get stuck in a machine and your body, without you in it, can go off elsewhere.

I’m a fantasy fan so I’m used to premise’s that have holes in them but that seems like a technology killing issue. No one would ever use it if that could happen so easily.

id0c

Anyway, they do give us some back story on the protagonist. She’s an orphan, needs a scholarship, yada, yada, yep, usual deal. Again, not bad, just not interesting to me right at this point and time.

It is amazing how each issue isn’t that big on its own but the snowball effect was that overall this episode just fell pretty flat and even though I’d set up to binge watch (had snacks and everything), I passed on this in the end.

Oh yeah, there’s like space pirates and government groups and all sorts of other issues going on. Bit of a space battle (like 1980’s style with green lasers everywhere), and then episode ends.


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Kurau Phantom Memory First Impressions

Overview:

In a world of mercenary agents, Kurau is a martial arts master and elite thief—but she has a secret. Her body has been fused with a binary alien life form called the Rynax. Every moment Kurau lives is lived twice, one alien sharing her consciousness, the other still waiting to be born. The truth about Kurau has begun to spread, and now the ultimate agent is the ultimate target.

– Crunchyroll

Impressions:

I came across this title while looking at some of the shows Crunchyroll had been adding over the last few weeks. What specifically drew my attention to this one was it was apparently done by Bones back in 2004. While I don’t love everything Bones is involved with, I certainly have more hits than misses with that studio so while waiting for the Autumn season to get under way I gave this one a try.

Kurau2.jpg

I’m going to point out that this one hasn’t aged well. While some scenes look really good the general character designs and a lot of the action sequences are definitely showing their age already and it isn’t like this anime came from the 1990’s. The music is also pretty ho-hum. Still, it isn’t as though this was a total let down. The basic concept is kind of interesting even if Kurau as a main character seems to have the same emotional range Hayden Christensen demonstrated in Star Wars.

Kurau3

I’ve been watching off and on over the last week of so and have made it about half-way. I actually do intend to finish this series but I’m not in any rush. I actually do want to know more about the Rynax and the various characters who have been researching them or using Rynax as energy sources and the like. I also enjoy a lot of the support characters in the story even if the main duo of Kurau and Christmas (yep, she named her ‘little sister’ Christmas) don’t really interest me that much.

Kurau4

Hopefully I’ll get to the end of this soonish and write a full review. However, I know the biggest complaint I’m going to have is that there’s a lot of down time in this show as the characters just kind of mill around or wait for the next thing to happen.


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Kuromukuro First Impressions

Kurmukuro has been on Netflix for awhile and I’ve been eyeing it off but hadn’t bothered to start it. Recently, I read a review about the show and finally curiosity got the better of me. The reason I hadn’t tried it prior was because it has a samurai in it (and I’m not a big fan of samurais) and it is a mecha anime (and those are always hit and miss for me).

So going in hopeful but at the same time cautious, Kuromukuro actually gives off a reasonable first impression. There’s some action, there’s some high school drama, there’s some comedy that works well enough even if its predictable, and the overall premise is kind of interesting even if in these first few episodes I’m still not really sure what the villains are trying to do or why (I hope we find out later).

The story mostly follows Yukina who is your normal, average high-school girl (except that her mother is the director of a UN research facility). She hasn’t really got a sensible goal for her future, she suffers from feelings of inadequacy due to a highly accomplished mother and she also has father issues that I’m hoping will be dealt with sooner or later. Anyway, she’s at her mother’s lab when some unknown enemy drops out of space and somehow she opens a box that contains the samurai who or course can pilot the artefact mecha that’s in the basement of the research lab. Yukina is dragged along and gets injected with something that makes her the copilot of said mecha.

The whole thing might devolve into the standard cliches and tropes but the first few episodes were energetic enough and interesting enough to make me want to continue this show. A few obvious criticisms are the use of high schoolers as pilots (there are trained adult pilots as well so why are you letting a high schooler pilot a giant robot?). Then there is the walking animations in the first two episodes. Particularly the girls. Its just wrong. Watching them is weird because they aren’t moving right. This seems to be improving as the show progresses but it was honestly creepy in episode 1 watching them descend a flight of stairs.

Anyway, there are two seasons of this with 26 episodes total so I’m going to chip away at it while I wait for the new season of shows to begin. I’ll do a series review when I get to the end.


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Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid First Impressions

Overview:

Tohru is a dragon who shows up to be Miss Kobayashi’s maid after some drunken incident in the mountains. Only, as a dragon, Tohru’s understanding of how to be a maid is a just a bit off.

Review:

I’m not going to lie, I really didn’t enjoy this first episode. It’s perfectly functional as a show and I’m sure some people would find it adorable but I just found the voices grating and the interactions between the characters pretty dull. It is a shame because I’ve been kind of curious about this one, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing to watch it. Probably the most fun I had during this episode was when the robbers came to the apartment but that lasted about a minute and while it was funny, I just don’t think a show has lasting appeal whtn a minor joke mid-episode is the highlight for you.


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OneRoom First Impressions

Overview:

You are the protagonist. Be prepared to feel creepy.

Review:

Honestly, I didn’t make it through the four minutes of this first episode. The deal with you being the protagonist is fine, even if it leads to bumpy camera as ‘you’ move around. What isn’t so fine is the lingering camera shot on the girls skirt, the sweeping shot up her body, and the return lingering shot on her chest. They put you in the place of the protagonist and then got you to feel like you were ogling your new high school neighbour. That I probably would have still finished the episode after except, they then break the illusion that the camera is from your point of view by giving you a low angle shot from behind said neighbour suggestively tilting up her skirt. Seriously, if even the people who made this aren’t actually invested in the ‘you are the protagonist’ line then I’m out. Because unless you suddenly, mid-converation, walked around the girl and crouched down behind her, that shot had no point existing.

OneRoom is available on Crunchyroll.


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Piacevole First Impressions

Overview:

High school student starts part time job at an Italian restaurant.

Review:

For a four minute episode this is kind of a reasonable set-up and cute enough but like most short anime it just doesn’t do much to grab me. The premise isn’t interesting enough to hang around for, none of the characters really distinguished themselves in any way, and a food shot for the episode isn’t enough to make me sit through another four minute episode. That said, there’s plenty of first episodes worse than this out there so if you are looking for something relatively benign this might be your cup of tea.

Piacevole is available on Crunchyroll.


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Zetman First Impressions

Overview:

There are two forces in the world: the Zet, who are entrusted with the survival of humanity, and the Alphas, who have chosen an extreme form of justice. In a certain city, Jin lives under a bridge with an old man, struggling to pay off debts. He carries the destiny of humanity’s survival. Kouga lives on a hill and stands to inherit vast wealth. In his admiration for heroes, he seeks out the meaning of justice.

– AnimeLab

First Impressions:

Normally I don’t copy and paste overviews but this one I feel needed to be because from what I’ve seen in the first two episodes, it is pretty misleading. We might get to a point where we have Zet and Alphas as two forces but really what we have in episodes 1 and 2 are some kids going through trauma and then kids all grown up but life is still pretty traumatic.

That said, I’m not disliking this. I found it while scrolling through recently added stuff on AnimeLab and apparently this came out in 2013 (I’d never heard of it) and the write up was enough to get me to start it. We’ve got secret labs and experiments, shady dealings, a weird mark on some kid’s hand, an overly justice minded friend, and so far a lot of violence so two episodes in and while this isn’t amazingly compelling its definitely watchable so I intend to carry on.

The opening theme is ridiculously catchy. It isn’t good and as a song it is actually dreadful, but it really is catchy.

Right now I have a lot of questions about this show. Particularly around the whole Alphas thing mentioned in the overview because so far haven’t seen anything to do with that. It will be interesting to see where this story goes and whether we continue the pattern of everyone who meets Jin getting attacked because to be honest that could get old fast. Still, there’s enough potential here for a good story.

If you’ve seen Zetman I’d love to know your thoughts and I’ll do a full review after I’m done viewing.


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Hunter x Hunter First Impressions

Okay, calling this a first impression is probably misleading given I did watch some of the original anime series (though where and when I do not remember). However, I’m picking up the 2011 version for the first time and at this point I intend to finish it.

First Impressions

I think I’m going to spend a lot of the first few episodes confused because it is similar to what I remember of the original but not the same so my brain keeps trying to reconcile the two memories and is failing to do so. However, given I didn’t watch much of the other series I’m pretty sure I’ll get over this eventually.

So far while I enjoyed the set up in this episode that was essentially all we got was set up and introductions. I didn’t really get a sense of danger or particularly care about anyone on the boat so the storm had very little impact. The other issue I found was that Gon is really way too up-beat (sorry, I shouldn’t dislike characters for being happy but honestly I just wanted someone to puncture some of his enthusiasm).

All and all though, this seems like it will be a nice action/adventure story and so many people have told me to watch it and it will be nice to clear it from my watch list so I’m going to keep going for now and see how far I get.

 

Haikyuu! First Impressions

Okay, so this anime has been recommended to me almost 50,000 times at this point so I figured given I have run out of shows from Autumn 2016 that I have access to and any desire to watch now was a good time to try the first episode of this.

First Impressions

The first 7 – 10 minutes of this I was wondering why I was putting myself through this. This is a sports anime in every sense fo the word and while I’ve come across a few sports anime recently I haven’t minded most of them have been very character focussed. Add to that my severe distaste for Volleyball as a sport (pretty much my only real experience with this game involves broken fingers – fortunately not mine – and casual games that are more aerial ping pong than volleyball) and I was more or less ready to call it on this.

And then…

I’m not sure if it is Hinata’s tenacity or the fact that they introduce Kageyama who kind of balances out Hinata’s over the top enthusiasm but the second half of this is kind of engaging.

Haikyu1b.JPG

All and all, for a first episode we’ve established two characters and it managed to make me curious about how their relationship will develop now that they are at the same school so while I’m not doing somersaults about this I’m actually looking forward to watching a few more episodes and hoping that the characters get fleshed out a bit more.

Blade and Soul First Impressions

Overview:

Alka, a member of the sword clan, is on the run and trying to find the woman who killed her master so she can follow some code that may or may not involve killing the person responsible (they are maddeningly non-specific on that aspect).

First Impressions:

Okay, so I’ve kind of watched about half of this series before I’ve bothered to do first impressions but that’s okay. I still have about 7 episodes to go so plenty of things can change before I do my final review.

Firstly, I received this as part of my last Hanabee Mystery Box so I’m actually enjoying it enough for the price I actually paid for it.

Secondly, apparently I’d started this anime before (possibly on Crunchyroll but maybe somewhere else), though it took until the third episode before anything happened that jogged my memory that I’d seen it before (and amazingly enough it was the stupid armour the ‘Pleasure Gang’ were wearing that tipped my memory.

That said, given I didn’t finish the series the first time I watched it, and given even as I remembered that I’d started it before and dropped it I started thinking about all the things wrong with the series, my first impressions aren’t great.

Certainly, this show is watchable (provided the outfits on some of those girls don’t make you flee but you can figure that out from the art work). The biggest complaint I would have is actually Alka. She’s an incredibly boring protagonist and no one else has really stuck around long enough to leave much of an impression. Plus the show has this nasty tendency to introduce characters only to kill one of them off in a totally preventable manner but have Alka and other strong fighters just stand around and let it happen. That’s when the highly overpowered villain isn’t just turning people into red mist.

I am going to finish this because despite that complaint I’ve actually found a lot to enjoy. It’s ridiculous and the story is moving incredibly slowly (which is probably a good thing given there doesn’t seem to be much story) and the characters are all kind of caricatures rather than people but it’s the kind of ridiculous that is mostly relaxing to watch and if Alka develops some sort of personality it would almost be recommendable as a binge watch on a rainy weekend.

So that’s my first impression of this series and as I said it still has time to actually go somewhere or do something amazing.

Before I finish I’m going to add in one more major complaint. The guy who follows around the girl who either serves or is manipulating the villain (yeah, I’ve paid a lot of attention to names here). He only talks in grunts and seems less articulate than Chewbacca from Star Wars and yet the girl responds to his various noises as if he’s an ace conversationalist.