Panning the Stream: Terror in Resonance, Love Stage!!, Momo Kyun Sword

So that’s two huge hits and one wide, WIDE miss.

image

We’re creeping ever closer to the end of the Premiere Flood, and every time I worry that the stream is going to dry up, the anime gods smile upon us yet again. I mean, sure, sometimes the anime gods poop out a mess like the last show in this trio. But other times they bless us with ambitious thrillers and delightful rom-coms, and for that we should all be grateful.

Ambitious thrillers, delightful rom-coms, and one messy poop below the jump.

Zankyou no Terror (“Terror in Resonance”)

image

Studio: MAPPA
Original Series: Directed by Watanabe Shinichirou (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Space Dandy)
Streaming On: Funimation, Hulu (one week delay) (listed as “Terror in Resonance”)

In a Sentence: A group known as Sphinx leaves an online video promising “darkness,” two boys calling themselves “Nine” and “Twelve” transfer to a new school, outcast Mishima Lisa finds herself drawn to them – and then everything comes together, and nothing will be the same.

How was it? Met, punched through, and shattered expectations.

Overall
Gold Nugget Alert!

This was the other show on my schedule (along with Tokyo Ghoul) that got through my “hype blackout,” although I really didn’t know anything about it except that Watanabe Shinichirou was in the director’s chair. That’s hype enough, though. Shinichirou isn’t perfect but he’s damned ambitious, so anytime I see his name attached to a project I figure at the very least it’ll be something different, and at the most it’ll be something spectacular. So where did TiR fall?

Somewhere close to “spectacular,” I think. This is a dark premiere, a story of outcasts and destruction that also happens to include a terrorist attack on a pair of connected skyscrapers. (The building is in Tokyo, but the real-world parallels are hard to ignore.) The attack is masterfully handled – there’s no gore here (all the violence happens off-screen) but the billowing smoke and scenes of chaos are much more unsettling and somehow “realer” than a bloodbath ever could be. Even so, I could see how the subject matter could turn some viewers away. This premiere is tense and eerie and stark, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me uneasy at times.

But while it’s hard to say I enjoyed TiR, I was absolutely captivated by it, start to finish. Art, music, animation, characters, story – everything came together to create perfect tension, to the point where I caught myself actually drumming my fingers against an armrest at one point. This is clearly a story that’s had a lot of work and thought put into it, and whether or not the subject material is for you, I think it’s hard to deny the talent and energy at the heart of this project. Watanabe has set up a grim world and a group of scarred people to inhabit it. Now let’s see where he plans to take them.

Coming Back for More?
I have absolutely no idea where this show is going or what it’s trying to tell us, but I’m more than eager to stick around and find out. I await the next episode with chewed fingernails and bated breath.

Love Stage!!

image

Studio: J.C. Staff
Based On: The manga by Eiki Eiki
Streaming On: Crunchyroll

In a Sentence: Ten years after acting in his first and only commercial, camera-shy otaku Sena Izumi finds himself unwillingly reintroduced the world of show business – and to his old costar, Ichijou Ryouma.

How was it? Adorbs.

Overall
Shounen-ai (romances featuring two male leads) is one of the more divisive anime genres, as the vast majority of viewers seem to fall into two camps: Either they will watch anything tagged as shounen-ai, regardless of quality, or they refuse it altogether, ALSO regardless of quality. I’m part of the smaller third camp (I don’t care as long as the characters and story are engaging), but I haven’t really seen/read all that much shounen-ai, simply because a lot of it is the same recycled plots and characters over and over again, and it’s hard to know how to find The Good Stuff.

I say all this as a kind of preamble, because this first episode of Love Stage!! is definitely The Good Stuff. It’s cute and funny and charming and, really, just a great rom-com premiere. The MC is endearing, the story is populated by a cast of likable oddballs, and the humor features a great blend of slapstick and wit. J.C. Staff is also doing a fantastic job with facial expressions, comic timing, and pacing – I couldn’t believe how fast this episode seemed to go.

Bottom line is, this is a good premiere with the potential to be a good series, too. People who like shounen-ai should like it, people who like a good story should like it, and c’mon, People Who Refuse To Watch Shounen-Ai, don’t be that way. Give it a try. You just might surprise yourself.

Coming Back for More?
How could I possibly say no to a show that made me smile as much as this one did?

Momo Kyun Sword

image

Studio: Tri-Slash, Project No. 9
Based On: The light novel series by Kibidango Project
Streaming On: Crunchyroll

In a Sentence: A poorly-conceived reimagining of the Legend of Momotarou where he’s a busty lady named Momoko.

How was it?
image

Overall
This show wins the award for “shortest amount of time I watched a premiere,” beating out Samurai Jam by a whopping five minutes. It is not a show about Momotarou. It is a show about boobs. Weird, glowy, flopping boobs. And if you ever want to drive me away from a show, the quickest way is to overload it with crass, superfluous fanservice. Josei out.

Coming Back for More?
JOSEI. OUT.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s