Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring 2016 Anime First Impressions Lightning Round 1: Pan de Peace!, Asterisk War S2, Ace Attorney, The Lost Village, Space Patrol Luluco, Cerberus

It's time for a new season of anime! Depending on the show, it's probably already in its first or second episode or will be coming out very shortly. I've checked out several of the shows available on Crunchyroll and have my opinions below. Some others impressed me enough (or pissed me off enough) that I'll do a separate review for them.

Today we'll be talking about Pan de Peace!, Asterisk War S2, Ace Attorney, The Lost Village, Space Patrol Luluco, and Cerberus.

Pan de Peace! パンでPeace!

This is a cute little yuri centered around a shared love of bread. There's not much of anything besides fluff and the episodes are only 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

Asterisk War Season 2 >学戦都市アスタリスク (Gakusen Toshi Asutarisuku)

This is a direct continuation of season 1 with no slowdown or time to reset. It is so far focusing entirely on action. There wasn't an ounce of character or plot development in the first episode, just progressing through the tournament that season 1 ended on.

Honestly, it was pretty disappointing, but if you take it as a Season 1 Episode 13 and not as a Season 2 Episode 1, I'm hopeful it will go back to being a satisfying show and not just devolve into a series of stages that the heroes have to progress through.

Ace Attorney  逆転裁判 その「真実」、異議あり! (Gyakuten Saiban: Sono "Shinjitsu", Igiari!)

What is this show? I saw a YouTube video on IGN with the title something like, "Why fans of the Ace Attorney games should be watching this show" and my only thought as I clicked through was the answer had fucking better be "because no one else will be watching this garbage."

I wouldn't show a 2 year old this show. Besides the fact that it is ostensibly about a series of murder cases, it's straight up insulting to the intelligence of 2 year olds. The animation is cheap, the CG looks like something from the PS1 era or maybe a first generation DS, but on the large screen of your television so ten times worse looking. Laughable logic and solving of the cases (and not in a good way).

This might work for a game that you are actually controlling, but it is completely unwatchable with no plot or actual story.

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ- Mayoiga

There's no hook to this show. Are people that love mysteries so desperate to be teased that a show can get away with being nothing but character introductions and mystery for the sake of mystery? No plot or anything that was the least bit interesting unless you seriously want to be strung along.

Space Patrol Luluco 宇宙パトロールルル子 Uchuu Patorooru Ruruko

I was a little late getting this up and there's a second episode of it already up. I'm not sure if I'll be watching this show or not. On the one hand, it has potential to be amusing and it's super-short, but on the other hand, it's already super-pissed me off. Space Patrol Luluco is an absurdist comedy of an aggressively "normal" girl trying to live in a weird alien/human city. Stupid crap happens that is supposed to be amusing.

It was an interesting distraction for about 4 and 1/2 minutes, but once the events got unnecessarily stupid/embarrassing for the heroine, it lost me.

The characters are drawn simplistically, the backgrounds are a joke (but they look fine), and there's hardly any actual animation. In terms of art quality, it seems like the show could be done by a high school animation club.

Cerberus 聖戦ケルベロス 竜刻のファタリテ Seisen Keruberosu Ryūkoku no Fatarite

This was an interesting first episode, but plagued by the slow-start that most anime seem to think is OK—as though the promise of 12 episodes is reason to not want your viewers to be immediately interested in your show.

There was an exciting prequel to start the episode with BEAUTIFUL character design that ended up being entirely wasted. It was a big waste too, because I was immediately sold on a strong female protagonist and was a bit dismayed when there's a 10 year jump and the freaking kid is the actual protagonist and is about as generic a stock male protagonist as they come.

If I had to guess what the major premise of the entire show is based just on the first episode, I would say that it's DragonHeart but where the dragon is the bad guy. It was slow-moving enough that I was pretty annoyed when the episode ended before the hook was set.

I don't get the tease tease tease start-to-hook sudden-end strategy. It should be hook hook hook, OK let's let you struggle on the line for a bit before we reel you in.

Anyway, so those are the first shows up for review this season. Have you seen them? What did you think? Are there other shows you're interested in? All of these are available on Crunchyroll right now, so check them out if you get a chance. I'll probably be continuing on with Cerberus, Asterisk War, and possibly Pan de Peace!, but I'm not in love with any of them so far.

Round 2 of this Season's Anime: Lightning Review 2
Round 3 of this Season's Anime: Lightning Review 3