So now with the Fall Season well underway, we have hit the halfway mark with a lot of its anime. There are obviously feelings people have towards these up and coming anime. That being said, I have a lot of mixed feelings. I am watching far too many for a healthy lifestyle…and it is hard at times keeping up with some. I’ll try the best I can to give my brief feelings on each one that I am watching. I’ll say whether or not the show at this point is worth watching, droppable, or I just haven’t made up my mind quite yet.
Young Black Jack
I am a huge fan of Tezuka Osamu. I am often mixed on a lot of his material though. Seeing another managaka take a shot on one of his most prolific works, Black Jack, was my hope to finally get around to watching the series. Young Black Jack is before Black Jack became who he was in the original, well of course that sounds obvious. This is where he starts to create his view on the world, with all these short stories. It is quite episodic and often episodes don’t connect to one another and feel disjointed in transition if they do. That being said, Young Black Jack doesn’t know where it is going half the time. The themes and morals are often blunt and constantly repeated through every episode. THE WORLD IS BAD! HUMANS ARE BOTH GOOD AND BAD! YES I GET IT ALREADY, STOP BEATING ME OVER THE HEAD WITH A THEMATIC HAMMER! The stories are often far too over dramatic for its own good, and the characters and scenarios try far too hard. There is also that not so subtle hint of politics often found in Tezuka Osamu works which the writer did seem to get down pat. One of the many pet peeves of mine.
Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou
I am not that big an advocate for Shingeki no Kyojin in general, so I was very skeptical of this from the start. Thing is, it often has proved me wrong. I somehow laugh…me!? I hardly laugh at comedy series! More so that it is a parody! It has this weird way of portraying the scenes of the original SNK anime that will make you laugh. Whether it be dark or even black humour, you will laugh a bit from its childish antics. That is the thing though, there is a level of sophistication to being able to craft a childish show parodying an over the top action show and make it a good time. I like it, but honestly I don’t know why. Is it the caricatures of the characters? The hyperboles of their personalities? The scenes mirrored exceptionally well from the manga, but dumb downed to not seem so morbid? The awkward episodic scenarios that are school related, but more often than not end up like an SNK scene one way or another? I don’t know, nor do I want the magic to disappear.
Decision: Conditional Pass (Must watch for fans of Shingeki no Kyojin, but referential humour will pass right over newcomers’ heads, and that is the main draw)
Did someone want this? A choppy rotoscoped horror short ruining good concepts with a lack of execution, is Kowabon in a nutshell. There is little to enjoy, and probably one of the worst horror-esque type of anime I have ever seen. Heck, Corpse Party’s gore horror was far better than this. At least there I was put off edge by the sheer visceral imagery and great sound design in moments. Kowabon has nothing going for it, nadda, and zilch. You may think three minutes is not much, but it is still a waste of time. The lack of atmosphere, compelling cinematography, scene set-ups, or even stories is what ruins Kowabon and makes it unwatchable.
Decision: You don’t need to ask, my answer is clear
Another horror short…oh boy. I had six episodes to go off of, and I’m noticing a slight pattern. These ideas would work well as a horror film on their own. The cinematography is everywhere, ranging from bad in the first episode to surprisingly good in the next few, only to drop again. I’m so confused on the overarching plot, as it appears to take itself seriously in this episodic mess. I like some individual stories, and actually those stories would be a fun watch as an OVA or film. That being said as a 7-8 minute short, these will almost do nothing. I still like the concepts, but I couldn’t in my right mind recommend this to anyone.
One Punch Man
The hyped up series of the season! One Punch Man is here! Thing is, I am about as excited as Saitama is for the most part. Madhouse put their best foot forward as the scenes are animated beautifully. The jokes are more often hit and miss as the parody has a hard time staying in between a fighting shounen and a parody of fighting shounens. The comedy at parts is executed well, but the jokes at times become predictable or repetitious. There isn’t much in either the story or character departments as often the attempts to do so are waved off for comedic moments. There is a distinct lack of tension when there are fight scenes and where it crosses the line into what it is parodying with other people fighting who aren’t Saitama. That being said, it can easily improve from its current standing and will be very entertaining to watch for a bunch of people. Even though I am not enjoying this as much as others, I can see what it does for others. A fun little battle romp, which will make you laugh sometimes.