Winter 2014 First Impressions Part 4: Slices of Life

Slice of life is a (loosely defined) genre that relies heavily on character interactions, but I won’t be discussing the genre here because this post should be about first impressions on new series. 

Part 4 will cover four minus one slice of life premieres. And the word of the day is fun.

Sakura Trick

[Mezashite] Sakura Trick - 01 [CE6A102E].mkv_snapshot_13.05_[2014.01.19_01.18.29][Mezashite] Sakura Trick - 01 [CE6A102E].mkv_snapshot_14.15_[2014.01.19_01.19.09]

This was fun for many reasons. Many of the jokes were funny. The character interactions were fun most of the time. The show looks simple but good, and the colors really suit the mood of the show. I like the character designs. And lastly, Tomatsu Haruka and Iguchi Yuka voice the two leads.

You can always expect low budgets from DEEN productions, so it’s up to the staff to make it look good within the budget constraints (if they care). And lately, the people involved in a number of DEEN shows have really been doing an excellent job of working within the budget. This probably has something to do with some former Shaft people working in recent DEEN anime. Sure, you can easily see the low budget with the many still frames and other ways of cutting corners, but it doesn’t do the storytelling any disservice anymore.

Sometimes the show is too stupid for my taste. There’s fun stupid, then there’s stupid stupid. When it reaches that point, I don’t find it fun anymore. I feel like I’m being taken for an idiot. There were also times when the fanservice was too much. Fanservice is fun, but it can also break the fun. That was the case for some of the scenes in this episode, the most notable example being the bouncing PLOT close ups. I didn’t mind the thighs though.

Overall, it’s fun. So I’ll continue having fun.

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei

[Underwater] Mikakunin de Shinkoukei - 01 (720p) [8A3E74AB].mkv_snapshot_01.48_[2014.01.18_23.29.51] [Underwater] Mikakunin de Shinkoukei - 01 (720p) [8A3E74AB].mkv_snapshot_07.18_[2014.01.18_23.35.43]

Wow, that premise doesn’t really come off as interesting, but this was actually fun. It has pretty art and backgrounds. The animation was really good. There were even some sakuga scenes. The whole part where Kobeni was looking for the loli sister-in-law had impressive sakuga. The cut where loli sister-in-law ran to her onii-chan was also really good. Some cuts in the opening video also had really impressive animation, especially the part after the slideshow. The whole opening itself is really fun. The youtube video above really showcases the talents of the animators involved in this project. These subtle details in the animation (thanks to the key animators and animation directors) provide additional character acting (in addition to the voice) that really helps the comedy and characterization of the cast. This makes the show and characters a lot more fun, especially when you’re a sakuga fun.

[Underwater] Mikakunin de Shinkoukei - 01 (720p) [8A3E74AB].mkv_snapshot_09.22_[2014.01.19_00.07.31]I didn’t like Mashiro’s voice that much (the acting was good though) but she was quite funny. I like Kobeni. Kobeni is the grounded kind of fun. She thinks and is considerate of the people around her. She’s self-aware and reflects on her actions. Kobeni is Terui Haruka‘s first main role and she’s doing a very good job. I like her Kobeni voice (“Omae wa hontou ni… nan nandaaa!” ❤ ). Hakuya feels like he’s decent guy who will hopefully be given time to shine later. Benio’s antics weren’t very funny, except for the proud loli part. But the overall chemistry between the characters, Benio included, is really fun.

The dialogue felt natural and flowed really well, which was a big part to this episode’s success. The only problem I had with the script was that I thought Kobeni’s tsukkomi was not needed at times and just lessened the fun in some scenes. It had good pacing and scene transitions to complement the flowing dialogue, which made the whole episode flow well. The camera was also fun.

It seems like this isn’t going to be fully slice of life. This will probably be slice of life romcom. That should be a fun watch because Kobeni’s a fun lead character. I’m all in. 

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren
All this time, I thought it was “Banishment” not “Vanishment.”

[FTW]_Chuunibyou_demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_Ren_-_01_[720p][9172389F].mkv_snapshot_03.27_[2014.01.15_20.56.49] [FTW]_Chuunibyou_demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!_Ren_-_01_[720p][9172389F].mkv_snapshot_18.30_[2014.01.15_21.05.05]

If you had fun with the first half of the first season, then you’re going to have fun with this premiere. It still has all that awesome animation. It retains the natural feel of the funny silly comedy and the charm of the character interactions the first season had in its first half. It also had a Nibutani-Dekomori scene cut and I hope we get more of that throughout this season. They’re the best couple in this series.

Personally, I didn’t like chu2koi that much when it shifted to being heavy dorama. It was technically impressive, but it just didn’t connect with me. I also wasn’t a fan of the ending. So for me, I hope this second season is just lighthearted all the way through. I wish for some developments, but I’d prefer it be in a more lighthearted way. Speaking of developments, I hope for Nibutani and Dekomori’s relationship to blossom fabulously.


About cladinblue

Clad in blue and surrounded by fields of gold.

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