Winter 2015 – First Impressions, Part One

The winter season has begun, meaning it’s once again time for my endless, soul-crushing adventure into the preview guide. Winters are fortunately kind of light relative to most seasons, and this winter in particular is completely dominated by sequels, so I won’t be approaching the back-breaking thirty episode flood of fall. There’s still plenty to cover though, and so I’ll be releasing my thoughts in installments.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

First off, here’s the link to the preview guide itself, where you can check out my condensed thoughts on all the shows so far. Blurbs I particularly recommend checking out would be Yuri Kuma Arashi, where I dig into some of the already-apparent symbolism (more of that available in my full episode post from yesterday), and Saekano, where I talk briefly about a recent anime trend I can’t friggin’ stand. My immediate scores for everything are included in the list below (yay, scores), and clicking on any title will jump you to that episode’s full post. Please enjoy!

Yuri Kuma Arashi – 5/5

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! – 4/5

Saekano – 2.5/5

KanColle – 2.5/5

The Testament of Sister New Devil – 1.5/5

Absolute Duo – 1.5/5

5 thoughts on “Winter 2015 – First Impressions, Part One

  1. I only watched Kyoukai no Kanata in the last few months, so it’s so amusing to see how you’ve been broken of “Awww shit, the characters themselves are talking about storytelling mechanisms in the text, clearly they won’t commit the same problems in the show itself!” to the Saekano review.

    Then again, KyoAni’s attention to detail in its character writing (independent of its mediocre character arc track record) means that they might not fall to the self-aware LN-isms as much as another studio. Or, at least they’ll make up for it a little with aformentioned small character moments and details.

    Damn, now the prospects for Oregairu S2 are more depressing…

    • Yeah, that stuff’s just come up so much recently that it’s become a warning sign. I’d like for self-awareness to be a good thing, but…

    • The one interesting thing I saw about Saekano is that it did something beyond the obvious self-satirization in the opening scene. When the protagonist gets criticized for the bad exposition, they introduce most of the cast through (slightly more) casual conversation, but leave out the main heroine, which made me put her aside until that ending scene as a minor character. That was a great use of self-satirization as distraction, which makes me want to give it a few episodes to see if any more of that will emerge.

      Of course, it probably won’t, and I’ll be wasting my time getting fed up with the leering camera, but this is an awful season and I always get suckered in by shows with early potential.

  2. My take is that the writer is a massive troll – intentionally surprising people with a fanservice-laden OVA-like premiere, which sets the bar of expectation incredibly low, but with just the right amount of self-awareness as a potential hook for the curious few. The pickier and harder-to-please crowd would disperse right after this premiere (they would be unlikely to buy the BDs to begin with given the subject matter), but the more mainstream crowd would likely stick around which arguably outnumbers the former. Then in the following episodes actually try to surprise the audience again with a half-decent story, while tuning the fanservice setting down a few notches inconspicuously (according to some LN readers, they over-drafted the fanservice credit line in this episode). I wouldn’t doubt Maruto’s writing ability if he tries, even if this is supposedly one of his lower rated stories.

    It’s almost like a Nigerian scam, where the email / letters were written atrociously, with the intention to weed out the more cautious type, and allow the easier preys to self-identify. Whether this strategy can convert to commercial success is debatable but I can totally see some thoughts put into trolling.

    • What it reminds me of is the Haruhi episode 0.
      When my friends first showed me that in high school, it took me about halfway through to even realize that it was a parody, but it was a hell of a hook to episode 1, not just in making you wonder what was going on, but in openly contrasting the shitty ecchi fantasy harem anime of old to the new LN high school club paradigm that Haruhi S1 would perfectly execute.

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