There really is no accounting for taste, I s’pose.
The stream’s slowed a bit in recent days, but we’re still clipping along at a pace that lets me give you another trio of series, and two have even earned themselves full meet ‘n’ greets! One surprised me by how much I enjoyed it, while the other I was surprised I didn’t enjoy more. Hit the jump to read on and shake your head at my questionable judgment.
Dance with Devils
Studio: Brain’s Base
Original Series: Directed by Yoshimura Ai (Blue Spring Ride, SNAFU Season 1) and written by Konparu Tomoko (Kimi ni Todoke, Uta no Prince-sama)
Streaming On: Funimation (U.S./Canada)
In a Sentence: Self-proclaimed “ordinary girl” Ritsuka gets embroiled in the StuCo’s supernatural after-school activities after a group of devil-worshipers target her family in their quest to find a fabled Grimoire (but, like, WITH SINGING).
How was it? Um. Just. Here:
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I got a… uh… little excited about this one, and for good reason. Dance with Devils is a shoujo harem paranormal anime MUSICAL, and it is just as ridiculous as it sounds. 15-Year-Old Me would’ve thought this was pretty great; Present-Day Me thinks it’s pretty dumb, but still enjoyed it a lot. There’s a devil-worshiping premise that has the potential to go some entertaining directions, a priestly brother studying in England, and a female protagonist who’s fairly passive but has a spark of spunk, at least.
All the harem dudes seem to be your dangerous-but-sensitive bad boy types, and they give off some predatory vibes that I normally can’t stand in my fiction, but when you set it all to BROODING J-ROCK it highlights the absurdity and makes it easy to view the whole thing as a big, bombastic joke. If it can keep the creeper vibes to a minimum and CRANK THEM SHOWTUNES, this could very well be my next Chaos Dragon, and the best worst thing of the season.
Beautiful Bones -Sakurako’s Investigation – (Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru)
Based On: The light novels by Ota Shiori
Streaming On: Crunchyroll (North America, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, and Latin America)
In a Sentence: High schooler Tatewaki Shoutaro goes on archaeological day trips with Sakurako Kujou, a woman obsessed with collecting bones, and winds up in the middle of a crime scene.
How was it? Stylish, morbid, and off the beaten path from your typical light novel adaptation, but…
I’m giving this one the full meet ‘n’ greet more because I wanted to enjoy it than because I actually did. On the surface it appears to be doing its own strange, macabre thing, treading a line between playful and unsettling (particularly when it brings in some discomfiting sexual tension between our leads). There are some neat little stylistic touches involving butterflies and bone-o-vision that may expand into proper visual motifs at some point, and barring the excessive rainbow lens filters it looks pretty decent.
Where it struggled was its characters, because once you peel back the concept, these people sure do seem familiar. A long-suffering, blandly pleasant protagonist boy gets dragged around by a pretty and brilliant but self-centered
girl woman? I’ve seen that story in various forms before, and those at least involved two high school kids. The plot (such as it was) didn’t have much meat on it either, although my disinterest here may just be because straight CSI-type stories aren’t really my thing. If you like Sherlockian deduction, this one may work better for you. As for me, I’ll give it another week out of respect for the odd premise, but no promises past that.
Based on a long-running manga that already had a lengthy anime adaptation a few years back, it’s the silly tales of a strong-willed mother and her family. It’s cute enough as far as domestic, family-oriented kids’ shows go, but never made me laugh and didn’t do anything all that interesting. This might have worked as a fun little 5-minute short, but as a full-length episode it loses steam quickly. I’m out.