YOU’RE ALREADY DEAD
Kurogane no Linebarrels
Talk about a volatile combination: On one hand, we have the evil forces of Gonzo, Hisashi Hirari and Ali Project going at it; but then again we also have Goro Taniguchi and Ichiro Itano somewhere in the mix. To be perfectly honest, I don’t hold as much a bias towards those three “evil” forces as other people do. Gonzo can sometimes turn out good work (Blue Sub 6, Black Cat, Strike Witches); Hisashi Hirai draws well, but is a horrible designer; and Ali Project has about one good song that they remix to make all their other songs.
However, we’re still dealing with dangerous elements. The positives in this equation are far less influential than the negatives, but pehaps these negative elements can remember what it was like to be good? Sadly, they’re already not doing so well. Like I said, I think Hisashi Hirai has a good art style, but his character design method is something like: take characters from Gundam Seed and change their hair colour. He kind of stopped doing that here, possibly because these designs are based off of manga designs, but they still look pretty bad. Or maybe it’s Gonzo’s fault in rendering the characters. That main guy looked off in way too many cuts. I do admit that Mamiko’s character is decently hot, though.
The story stuff is pretty typical mecha stuff, but I’ll hang around since I dig these types of setups. Though, knowing Gonzo, they’ll probably trip and fall at around episode 3 and never fully pick themselves back up.
Kyou no 5 no 2 TV
The 5-2 TV series is already suffering the fate nearly all remakes suffer from. No matter how hard Xebec tries, they will never be able to live up to what fans expect. I guess that’s why they just decided to completely overhaul the whole thing by redrawing the characters (IIRC they’re closer to the manga designs, but I’d have to check), changing the voice actors, and putting their own unique directorial spin on it. As usual, these kinds of attempts to completely divorce a new work from the original only serve to piss people off even more. So as a result, just after one episode, this show seems pretty hated.
I don’t mind it, though. I like the new designs, and found the first episode to be decently enjoyable. It’s not really as good as the OVA, but I think this first episode carries itself well. The production quality isn’t as bad as people say, either. If anything it’s somewhere between To Love Ru and Kanokon. And hey, if you’re an SA member, watching this version of 5-2 has a lesser chance of getting you banned!
To Aru Majutsu no Index
I came in expecting a less-good Zero no Tsukaima, but instead I got a better Shakugan no Shana. The similarities to Shana mostly lie in the fact that this is another shounen action show with moe lolis and in the general presentation. I really dig the futuristic setting in this one, and for the most part like how they handle the supernatural aspect. The main character is a cool dude, and the main loli, Index, is pretty cute. This doesn’t have best of season written on it yet, though. I need to give it a few more episodes.
Also, some of those male character designs are way too Tite Kubo.