Extra: Be gentle, it’s my first time

I’m such a liar. I’m not going to be gentle. I’m a critic and the first episodes of these shows are going to get what’s coming to them. Look out Spring 2014. Your new streaming shows are just about to get taste tested!

Wizard Barristers 
I’m not huge on animation styles, but I’ve gotta admit that this show’s animation was rather enjoyable for me to watch. And the fact that they opened this up with cops trying to nail a criminal helped keep my interest. Until the “heroine” showed up. Now this show is focused on a topic that, if done right, can really be unique. It’s a courtroom show that has two vary different sides, the cops and magic users. This shakes up the usual criminal show scenarios as it adds an extra layer of prejudice. But then that heroine… Our first encounter with her is the typical “oh no I’m late why didn’t you wake me up on time” scene complete with cutesy voice and school girl attire. We later learn she’s a super genius, which is how she landed a job so young. I call that BS right now. The creators just wanted an excuse to feature a schoolgirl. Man, is that getting old. On the bright side, we do see a bit of a deeper element to her as it looks like someone she cares for is a convicted criminal. But considering how naive her character is (complete with annoying mascot character and fanservice scene first episode), I fear it might not be enough. But who knows. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll get more interesting as this goes on. But for now I’ll just pay more attention to the cops and other side characters.
Impression: Pretty display, but side dishes might be a bit more flavorful 
New episodes aired on Sundays

Noragami
Alright, I might be a bit more gentle on this one, but for good reason. This show’s first episode was a good hook. You have a god no one really knows down on his luck, but still putting up the good fight for world domination and a very hysterical, martial arts loving girl who gets herself stuck between life and death who needs his help. The weirdness of the art on occasion (when the girl wakes up to see Yato in her bed, the art is wonderfully creepy) along with the free spirit attitude of its hero are all interesting enough to make a good first impression. The problem is, will it get better, remain on the stable but midlevel ground it’s currently on or slide down into the mess of horrid clichés tread upon by so many others?
Impression: Nice burrito, but could use a bit of salsa
New episodes aired on Sunday

Nobunagun
My first impression only a few minutes in was: that voice does not match that character/the art. After that my thoughts ran along the lines of: this art is…weird. Wait, it’s horrible! Wait! It’s…artsy? What the heck is going on? Then there’s the op which is a Japanese screamer? Well, at least it’s different (unlike the plain Jane ed). And that’s certainly what this show is overall: different. Although considering that the lead’s voice grates on me and none of the characters have felt genuinely unique of themselves, the art and music might end up as the only interesting bits of this show. That and the excellent gun fire sound effects. I’ve heard fake gun sounds too long. Dang this gun sounds good!
Impression: That one weird drink you down more for the experience than the taste
New episodes aired Sundays

D-Fragments
Dumb comedy. That’s the best way to describe this show. The art is extremely mediocre, the music forgettable and the female characters all essentially the same. To tell the truth, I’m not sure how much of this I’ll watch. I might give it one or two more episodes, but it doesn’t really have anything going for it besides the male lead’s punk friends. Currently they’re more interesting than any of the main characters. This said, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I admit to a chuckle here and there. But this was primarily because of the references made and the fact that the guy’s face reminds me of Kyon from The Melancholy. That’s not gonna last long.
Impression: Candy corn. You eat it for the nostalgia, but can usually only stomach one or two
New episodes aired on Mondays.

Hamatora
My first thought was: pretty colors! My second was, hope this picks up soon. My final thoughts: I love how they’re handling the special powers. Requiring characters to make some kind of action first before they can bust out the special moves adds an interesting touch. Overall, I like the start off okay, but I’m really hoping the characters get fleshed out properly and the plot doesn’t end up as a case an episode deal. Those can get old fast when the cast isn’t interesting enough on their own. And I have a feeling they’re not going to be, so hopefully the plot will at least pull out a few more stops.
Impression: Snap of flavor, not much to eat
New episodes aired on Tuesdays

Hozuki No Reitetsu
Since I’ve caught a few gifs on this one last week when the first episode aired for premium Crunchyroll members, I was happy to note some unique designs, such as the goldfish plants. But in the end, I’m a bit let down. Oh the plants were everything I wanted. Cute, yet disturbing. And Momotaro even showed up (I know that story backwards thanks to Japanese 102). But I’m sad to say that I was pretty much bored the whole way through. There were moments where the show seemed to struggle to be funny, but all I ever managed was a smile for a cultural reference. That’s it. It wasn’t funny to me, and although the ideas and creatures are interesting, the characters were just dull and lacked action. I might watch another episode or two of this, but if it doesn’t pick it up its game it’ll be dropped.
Impression: Nice bag, stale chips
New episodes aired on Thursdays

Engaged to the Unidentified 
Please don’t pull the catching girl while she’s following cliché, please don’t – Dang. There are a lot of romance clichés in anime these days, but this one in particular really grates on me. I mean, how do you not hear someone walking that close behind you? That and the cliché is used so much now that it really has no punch left.
That said, I enjoyed this show’s pace, even if the designs and such as all pretty mediocore. The fact that the main heroine has trouble with being compared to her sister might really spice things up, if it’s handled right. But I’m scared this will be the typical romance type, where the guy is always magically there to help out and they legit fall in love and junk. For once I’d like the leads to realize they like someone else and for that to not be some bump in their relationship with the other lead, but they really fall in love and stuff goes in a different direction. Cause that’s life. It doesn’t always shoot straight, but the journey is well worth the twists and turns.
Impression: Sugary, with the barest hint of tartness
New episodes aired on Thursdays

(Please note: This post is scheduled and thus, by the time you read it, these shows should be in their third week of streaming)

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About inrosegalaxy

Raised on everything from Moby Dick to the Star Wars X-Wing books from a young age, it came as no surprise to anyone who knew me that I’d become a literature graduate and avid writer. But my love of a good story wasn’t restricted to the written word in my early years. Star Trek, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and badly dubbed Godzilla flicks helped shape my love of science fiction on screen as well. I wrote my first story while in the second grade. It was a horrifying tale about murdering a fairy-eating dog via a slice of pizza (in my defense, my only exposure to pizza was in the cafeteria and I swear you could legitimately kill someone with those things). I was a special snowflake. Today I write science fiction, fairy tales, Gothic epistolaries, fantasy and anything else that pops into my bizarre and twisted mind. I write new articles for my blog every Tuesday and Thursday. And if you happen to fancy Japanese animation, I also run an anime review blog, RRAR, which updates every Monday.

3 thoughts on “Extra: Be gentle, it’s my first time

  1. Out of these titles, the only one I’m following is Noragami. It could use a bit more substance, but it’s early days yet so I’m not counting it out. On the plus side, the artwork and animation are gorgeous (as to be expected of a Bones production), and it has a general stylishness to it that I really dig. In that sense it reminds me a tiny bit of Durarara!!.

    • I think someone else made that connection to Durarara, which is one of the reasons I tried it out too. I just wish FUNimation’s new video player didn’t have so many issues. I’ve only seen half of episode two due to constant video lags and restarts.
      Which is odd. Usually FUNimation uses Hulu or NicoNico. I have no clue which player they use now, unless it’s a new version of NicoNico I haven’t seen before. If so, they need another upgrade. This one is super buggy. >_<

      • Yeah, I’m not surprised that other people have also mentioned Durarara in relation to Noragami – Izaya and Yato are both voiced by Kamiya Hiroshi.

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