Panning the Stream: Glasslip, Samurai Jam -Bakumatsu Rock-, Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen

We’re diving in!

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Summer Premiere Week is upon us, and that means it’s time to pan the simulcasting stream for gold. Here’s hoping we find more than a few old boots along the way.

In the interest of NOT clogging you tumblr feeds with a 15-page post, I’m going to be doing the premiere posts in trios, plus any notes about sequels if they’re airing but I’m not watching them. I’ll get at least one of these posts out per day, and in some cases more, in order to keep up with the deluge.

So let’s get right to it! The first round of meet ‘n’ greets is below the jump.

Glasslip

Studio: P.A. Works
Original Series: Written by Nishimura Junji and Sato Rika
Streaming On: Crunchyroll

In a Sentence: Third-year student (and part-time glassblower) Fukami Touko and her four longtime friends have their day-to-day routine disrupted when Okikura Kakeru transfers to their school.

How Was It? Perfectly pleasant.

Overall
So far this feels like a show you watch more for the atmosphere than the story, but the atmosphere is so great that I’m 100% okay with that. Beautiful P.A. Works scenery (isn’t that redundant?) and a soundtrack both lively and relaxing bump this easygoing premiere into the upper tier of shows I’ve watched thus far. It didn’t blow me away, but I found the dialogue natural and the characters likable enough that I’d be happy to spend more time with them..

Plus, I really enjoyed the scene where Kakeru challenged Touko’s ideas about understanding another’s desires (even if that “other” WAS a chicken). It felt very much like the kind of High School Philosophical Debate my friends and I used to get into – a bit silly, sure, but ultimately worthwhile because it got us thinking about the world in a new way. It’s a coming-of-age moment that rang true for me, and I hope we see more of that.

Coming Back for More?
I usually end up with one solid character-driven “slice of life” on my schedule, and I feel pretty confident that this will be that show. Granted, it could end up exploding into a melodramatic love hexagon or (far worse) fading into dull cliche, but I like what I see so far, and I’ll definitely be back for at least another couple episodes to see where Glasslip plans to go.

Samurai Jam -Bakumatsu Rock-

Studio: DEEN
Based On: A visual novel otome (girls) video game
Streaming On: Crunchyroll

In a Sentence: In a reimagined Bakumatsu Era where samurai sing in boy bands, one young rocker comes to Edo to try to make it in the big city.

How was it? As stupid as it sounds but not nearly as funny.

Overall
This is an intensely dumb series that has no idea how dumb it is. I had very faint hopes that it would play to its ridiculous premise and just be out-and-out silly, but the 10 minutes I managed to watch proved to me that this was not the case. The character designs aren’t even good enough to be fanservice-worthy, the “humor” falls flat, and honestly, watching Okita and Hijikata in a boy band burned my Kaze Hikaru-loving soul a little bit. Dropped this one in a hurry.

Coming Back for More?
HAHAHAHA no. No. Oh dear kami in the heavens, no.

Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen

Studio: XEBEC
Original Series: Written by Sato Tatsuo
Streaming On: Crunchyroll (listed as “Argevollen”)

In a Sentence: In the middle of a brutal war, new recruit Susumu Tokimune runs into Jamie Hazaford and her cargo: A top-of-the-line mecha that may just change the outcome of the war.

How was it? Extremely competent.

Overall
The word “competent” kind of covers my whole opinion of this series, really. I watched the entire episode with mild interest but not much past that. There were some political overtones that caught my interest, I appreciate that the cast seems to have a good male/female balance, and Jamie struck me as a potentially cool character. I’m less sold on Tokimune, who’s more of a stock hotheaded idealist at this point (one of these days an anime character is actually going to get court-martialed for disobeying orders, dammit), but there’s time for that to change, I suppose.

Truthfully, I’ve never been a huge fan of the mecha genre (even the classics don’t rank terribly high on my “favorites” list, although I’m always quick to commend them for objective quality), so this series might score higher with others than it did with me. Even so, there was nothing here to really DISlike, which at least suggests the potential for good things in the future.

Coming Back for More?
I’ll stick around for at least another episode and see where the story is going. If they can get me invested in the characters, then I’ll almost certainly be in it for a while longer.

Not Watching

Free! Eternal Summer

Sorry, guys. I have nothing against Free! but I have no interest in it, either. I was never able to get into the first season so there’s no reason for me to watch the second one, and hence no reason for a view and review. Anyway, at this point I suspect anyone watching this show doesn’t need (or care about) reviews, so I doubt it will be an issue. Enjoy your ripped swimmin’ boys, friends, but I won’t be diving into this particular pond with you.

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