Hein (fub) wrote,

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One month into the new season, it's time for the first episode reviews!

Sakamichi no Apollon: Set in the sixties. Kaoru, a lonely boy who easily gets anxiety attacks, likes playing the piano -- but living with his uncle doesn't give him much reason to be happy. Until one day he gets involved with the school's top bully, who turns out to be a jazz drummer. Kaoru doesn't want to lose to him (especially not in front of their classmate!) and takes up the challenge!
The Cinderella story of an unlikely trio who start playing jazz and come to appreciate each other! Great music (I was reminded of the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack, for obvious reasons), with great animation and characterisation.

Ginga e Kickoff!: Sho loves soccer, but he's not very good at it -- and when his team is disbanded, he has nowhere to go. But then he meets some talented kids (boys and girls alike), and decides to fight back and resurrect his team!
Kids sports anime, with all the usual trappings: burning hearts and lots of shouting!!! Though I really liked seeing a player of the women's world cup soccer team in the series, it wasn't enough to sell it to us.

Folktales from Japan: Japanese fairy tales collected from various parts and charmingly animated. Each episodes has multiple, unrelated, tales. It's not flashy, it doesn't have explosions or large CGI mecha -- but it's like having your favourite uncle read you a story before bed. We loved this.

Eureka Seven: AO: Sequal to the original Eureka Seven TV series of 2005, which we never watched. A boy, who lives on a tropical island, gets involved with otherworldly entities, who seem to be looking for a bracelet that was part of a delivery some shady types tried to make -- which is somehow connected to his mother.
Sound weird? We didn't understand much of it either, but it looks gorgeous and promises an action-packed and deep storyline.

Jormungand: Jonah is a child soldier who lost his family. He is out for revenge: he hates weapons and arms dealers, and yet it's the only thing he is skilled in. He gets picked up by Koko, an illegal arms dealer, who heads a coterie of mercenaries to help her run her shady business. Of course, that involves a lot of subterfuge and gunfights...
It's like Black Lagoon, but without the comic over-the-top effect. What remains is pretty intense stuff, with lots of preparations before pulling off an operation. Interesting to see, if you can look past the cartoonish character designs.
(To be honest, I had expected a fantasy anime: Jormungand is the name of the World Serpent of Norse mythology. It has it's tail in it's beak, and at the end of the world, it'll come unstuck so that it can eat the world.)

Kore wa Zombie desu Ka? of the Dead: Second season of the supernatural fanservice slapstick series. It was fun the first time around, but the wacky antics of the crew wore thin already towards the end of the first season. Still, if you really liked the first season, you can get more of the same from this one.

Kuroko's Basketball: Kuroko is an unassuming guy. In fact, most people forget that he's even there! He uses this to his advantage in a basketball game: he can move around relatively freely, allowing him to get the ball in the hands of the guy who can actually play well. He's the sixth, forgotten member of his middle school team, and he decides to help his new school conquer the teams of the other members!
OK, so it's sports anime. But Kuroko doesn't shout, so that's a very big plus. And his own type of basketball is amusing to watch.

Shining Hearts - Shiawase no Pan: Set on a fantasy island. Rick lives in a stranded boat, and works as a baker in a bakery -- surrounded by three sisters. There are also elves, who want to protect the forest and (thus) don't like humans -- but they do like Rick's bread!
This was so stupid it hurt my head -- even though I have a high tolerance for harem anime.

More later.
Tags: anime, first episode review

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