Apr 092011

First thing: The word “impression” is lame. Peeps should say “assumptions” or “biases” or “super mega guessing games” or “I have no idea what I’m saying but I’m gonna say it anyway.” So yeah, here’s some shit about the new season where I say things despite having no real basis for feeling that way outside of my own assumptions, biases, and guesses. Because that’s what you do at the beginning of a season.

Ridiculously bold and likely incorrect (but I don’t give a damn) prediction of the season:

Tiger and Bunny will be this season’s best anime. Like, nothing will even come close. Not even my much-anticipated Azazel-san. At least so long as Azazel doesn’t get subbed.

I’ve heard some peeps complaining about Tiger and Bunny being “too western” and stuff like that. Anyone that makes that complaint has never, like, read a super hero comic or watched a super hero movie, because the only thing about this show that even remotely resembles a super hero story is the costumes. And even then, Japan has plenty of super hero-esque types of its own, and these Tiger and Bunny dudes mirror those tropes just as much as they mirror your typical Marve and DC stuff. So yeah, if you’re whining about this show being “too western,” you’re as wrong as someone that thinks any anime that isn’t about shit blowing up is “slice of life.”

If you wanna play the “evil imperialist influence” game, the gaijin devil show Tiger and Bunny best resembles is Frisky Dingo. Both shows do the whole “heroics as corporate whoring” angle, and both play it up for laughs. Dingo’s humor is decidedly more snarky and mean-spirited, while Tiger goes for a more goofy style of humor, but that’s what you’d expect from an anime.

And I gotta give it props for being a hero/action show that isn’t about some prepubescent typical-otaku audience stand-in. Instead we get what I have to assume is a dude in his late 20s or so who can be an audience stand-in for us “older” fans. After all, our opinions are of more value than the kiddies, so we should get more anime about peeps close to our age. But yeah, cool to see a show where it’s about a dude dealing with issues beyond “growing up.”

As for the other shit airing this season, I’d love to rave about Azazel-san, but I wasn’t able to gleam that much from the unsubbed episode I watched. It still has that grotesque edge that I liked from the OAV episode that aired last year, but I’ll have to wait for some subs before I can tell if it has the same nasty wit about it. More on this shit when some fansubber finally decides to be cool, pulls himself away from the latest abhorrent “girls doing absolutely nothing” anime, and subs it. Pretty please, sub dudes?

The X-Men anime is looking pretty decent. It has some awkward pacing and editing issues (Some scene transitions suck, for instance), so it’s something of a jarring watch, but the rest of the show reeks of X-Menness. And that’s a good thing in my book. I’m loving Beast’s “Ron Perlman from the 80s Beauty and the Beast” look, and I love how they juxtapose that Beastier-than-Beast look with bow ties and fancy clothing. The action scenes are decent, if nothing special. I don’t care much for how the second episode made Storm look like a lightweight (Really? She nearly passes out from using her powers? She has more balls than Scott and Hank (Beast) combined.), but I’m hoping that was just a matter of them trying to create some faux tension in this episode. Surprised they’re using the U-Men in this, if only because they’re a fairly new villain group that came along long after I quit reading the comic, but I guess they went with them because they figured their techno-cyborg look’d appeal to the typical anime fan.

I also rather like how Wolverine looks different in this series compared to his slicker, “prettier” look in his solo series. Anyone that’s actually read a comic book will know that character designs fluctuate greatly depending on who is the artist in a particular series, so having Logan go from athletic but somewhat slender to buff and gruff fits the comic book mold quite awesomely. It ain’t an inconsistency, it’s an appropriate quirk.

Nichijou and Dororun Enma-kun? Yeah, they’re about the same. Sure, one is a low-key cute girl anime and the other is a grotesque Go Nagai monster show, but seriously, they’re pretty much the same damn thing. Despite their extremes, they’re both inoffensive but mildly interesting comedies about weird shit going down. The only significant difference between them is which fetishes they want to appease. Do high schoolers that look like they’re barely out of diapers appeal to you? Watch Nichijou. Do kappa and witches and monsters with sword dicks appeal to you? Watch Enma-kun. Other than that, they’re the same old shit, if a bit more interesting since they actually have something resembling a decent sense of humor.

Preliminary rankings:

Tiger and Bunny > Azazel-san > X-Men >>Nichijou = Enma-kun >>> All that shit that’s already aired that I intentionally avoided because my kneejerk assumptions are always right

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