I’m running behind with my reviews — weekends are always a viewing-heavy period for us, and with some home projects taking some time (of which later more), I haven’t had time to write proper reviews.
Ousama Game: The Animation: Nobuaki transfers into a class of 32. At first he is decidedly anti-social, but he opens up to his classmates. But then everybody in the class gets a text message from ‘the king’: they have 24 hours to comply with his orders, otherwise they will be punished — which always involves death. Nobuaki recognises this: he is the only survivor of a class that also had to play the “King’s Game”…
It’s one of those series in the genre of “gradual elimination” that’s been popular ever since Battle Royale came out. There has been a gradual shift in making the participants the victims only, with external circumstances enforcing arbitrary rules that determine who gets to live and who not. We don’t have any interest in the genre, and this one didn’t win us over either.
Verdict: Thanks, but no thanks.
Houseki no Kuni: The land of jewels is populated by people made of… gemstones. There is an ‘avatar’ for each gem, and they are ranked by hardness: the hardest of them are warriors, who need to repel attacks of Buddha-like figures who descend from the moon to capture them to turn them into jewellery. The softest of them, Pho, can’t be a fighter, according to their (human?) master, who is dressed like a Buddhist priest — but they can be the writer of the encyclopedia. Not a job they were waiting for!
High-concept, original setting with lush visuals and oddly elongated, androgynous character designs and casual Buddhist imagery strewn in. Five minutes in, and it’s so fresh and new (and, dare I say, sparkly) that we wanted to know what happens next.
Mahoutsukai no Yome: Chise is an orphan. She can see spirits, so people find her creepy and her relatives basically pass her around. She is sick and tired of it, and basically sells herself into slavery. She is bought by a magician, whose head looks like a stag skull… He is the first one who is genuinely friendly to Chise. She has certain powers, and he wants to make her his apprentice — and his bride.
Set in some kind of Victorian-era England, with deep forests where fairies dwell. The magician is certainly friendly, but it takes Chise quite some time to understand what is happening to her. It’s not very dynamic or fast-moving, which means it takes the time to show how the characters react to each other: it seems quite character-driven.
Verdict: Yes, thank you.