Musings and Reflections – Fall 2017 Week 0

 

     Once again sequels comprise the most prominent part of the already started season. Everyone wants to see again the effects of some exceptionally tasty cooking, to get depressed over shogi game or to return for the n-th time to a weird setting of feudal Japan for some reason invaded by aliens. As always, there’re some new typical shounen shows (I wonder if Black Clover will prove to be even more generic than Ballroom), pointless manga adaptations (Inuyashiki manga only started well), obligatory full-CG experiments and much stuff that doesn’t look either too good or too bad. Sometimes it’s good to have a clear leader like One Punch Man once was but even among many shows of lower profile this season looks to be a bit stronger than the last one. That is if any show proves to be at least half as enjoyable as Made in Abyss was. So yeah, let’s get through a few shows that for me look quite promising.

Kino no Tabi

      As I’ve recently finished the original show, it’s very tempting to see how some years can change the original concept. I’m probably with the minority since I wasn’t too impressed with the stories but still the show felt original and thought-provoking enough for me to decide to try the new one. The PVs weren’t impressive as CG was too apparent and character designs were too moe-ized. The director of the first show Ryuutarou Nakamura sadly isn’t among us anymore so many changes are inevitable but it still might prove to be mildly entertaining. At least Kino no Tabi as a story has proved that some mind-racking is definitely needed and that also means interpretations and discussions which by itself is a very cool thing. Let’s hope that the denizens of Kino’s world will be at least a bit less dumb than before.

Mahoutsukai no Yome

     What do you get when you mix Natsume Yuujinchou with Akagami no Shirayuki-hime? Yep, that’s the show. Mahoutsukai no Yome provides a main character with problems almost exactly like those Natsume has, only a tad harsher, and it just happens that the heroine has some nice red hair. The 3-episode OVA already showed the capabilities of the staff and elevated my opinion of the show from “might try” to won’t miss”. Especially the backgrounds were particularly lush and detailed, animation also was if not jaw-dropping at times then at least comfortably above average. The only thing that might go wrong seems to be the story, as towards the OVA I stated to doubt that dramatic advancements were unfolded that satisfyingly. Anyway, the OVA showed just a tiny bit of the backstory of the heroine so the main ride still remains to be evaluated but hopes are certainly high for this one.

Ballroom e Youkoso

     The show that I’m least content with but I guess if I started it then I’ll just need to finish it somehow. The first huge arc has already ended and some directions for the future are becoming clearer. I’m not sure if adding a tsundere-ish (from getting extremely flustered to arrogantly criticizing our main guy Tatara) character is the right ingredient for the show to move forward. Well, if that somehow means that we’ll finally get some dancing scenes that span longer than 10 seconds and that women will finally be treated appropriately, that’d be only good news. But for now we need less annoying characters and more story progression that doesn’t feel like Tatara in one episode is the king of a ballroom and can do no wrong and only a few weeks later it turns out that he still hasn’t learned practically anything and was able to participate in a serious competition only because he’s as shounen main character as possible.

     As always, I’ll add another one or two shows to the simulcast queue as the firsts episode will start to air and it’ll be possible to judge the shows not only based on their staff lists. Quite intriguing pseudohistorical circumstances of Dies Irae or colorful and not too bad CG of Houseki no Kuni (studio orange, what else did you expect?) among a few others could stand out but more serious candidates would be

  • Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou – childish character designs worked for Made in Abyss, right? I don’t know if there’s such a trend in the manga industry but anyway White Fox usually is a thing and a queer dystopian setting might prove to be fun.
  • Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau –  sounds quite vague but its visuals certainly catch an eye. That paired with some decent staff (at first glance) also could prove to be a decent investment of time.

     And that’s about all. Of course there’re more than plenty shows to chose from and unexpected bloomers are always welcome but I guess the amount of interesting-before-airing shows isn’t too high after all.

     What do you plan to watch this new season? Has any show so far surprised you yet in any way?

 

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