Shinryaku! Ika Musume
Despite having a killer opening, cute character designs, and the scene shown above, Ika Musume simply does not deliver. The humor is half-way done, and the delivery lacks punch. This really saddens me, since I was pinning this one as a series I’d enjoy, at the very least on a superficial level. I probably would have had fun with this sort of thing if I were in high school or in freshman year of college, but this level of execution and run-of-the-mill material just doesn’t cut it for me now. In other words, it needs to me more HIGH TENSION. I mean, at least live up to your title!
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
SoreMachi is certainly the stronger of the two SHAFT beasts currently out there, but as of now I can’t say by exactly how much. Visually, it’s by far and away better than Arakawa: Atmospheric lighting, fluid animation and a handful of classic Shinbo-isms make for a far more interesting visual experience than Arakawa’s autopilot-style directing. SoreMachi is a step back to older Shinbo works–it looks fairly normal, save for a handful of weird shots (we have the classic “camera looking up from inside the floor under the characters’ feet” shot, as see in Yu Yu Hakusho) and quick cutting. As for the actual content, I’m still warming up to it. It’s not as if the characters or writing are particularly bad–in fact, they’re quite good–I just need them to grow on me. A smile was forming on my cold and jaded face by the end of episode 2, so at the very least this’ll be a good SHAFTXSHINBO show. You know, unlike Arakawa, which has just turned out to be alright.
I want to make a quick note about the music: Round Table (sans Nino, she does the singing bit) are doing the BGM for this show. I was looking forward to hearing their stuff, but honestly I wanted something that sounded a bit less like anime soundtrack. It’s not bad, and it’s still a SHAFT OST that I’ll buy (used at Mandarake) but I wanted something more in the realm of quality of the Tsukuyomi OST. The opening and ending songs own, as usual, and their accompanying animations own as well.
To Aru Majutsu no Index 2
Index’s first season both started and ended before I took off for Japan, and now its second season is opening up more than a year after I’ve returned. That’s how long it’s been! If you know me, you know I’m not a huge fan of Index (the show, I love the character), but the show can be entertaining on a pulpy level if it wants to be, and this first episode certainly isn’t boring between all the jokes, kidnappings, and facial blood loss. It’s basically more of the same, but hopefully the dude writing these things has gotten a bit better. The last arc in season 1 wasn’t too bad, so let’s see if we can go upwards from here. Kind of doubt it, though. This one’s on probation: Not for what it’s done, but for what it may do.