Little Witch Academia
I will never get tired of this show’s message of optimism. I know I already said this many times before but Akko is a nicely written character. Her positivity knows no bounds but she is aware that she is not that skilled to finish things with finesse. She plunges into the danger despite knowing she will fail. At best, she challenges the time-tested status quo in Luna Nova. At worst, she becomes the laughing stock in her class. Dianna serves as a good antithesis to Akko. She is skilled and thinks logically, but is aware that she does not deserve some of the accolades Luna Nova throws on her. I cannot wait to see where the writers intend to bring the two.
In this episode, Akko and her friends tried to do the impossible and made the wailing monster laugh once again. Of course, there was no deus ex machina to save the day. It’s just Akko and her never ending positivity. Perhaps we can all start changing by having a positive outlook in life, no?
So a hybrid CGI show sits atop my first impressions. You might be weirded out by the sudden change in animation style here as the characters in the first episode were in CGI against 2D backgrounds, even though episode zero was drawn traditionally. To be fair, Seikaisuru Kado is one of the better-looking CGI shows out there.
Shindou and Hanamori were supposed to be in an international conference when a massive cube descended from the sky. The plane that was carrying them tried to go back to the runway but was unfortunately absorbed in the end. The government officials began looking for ways to rescue them along with other passengers.
The build-up towards the mystery behind that cube was tastefully done, similar to Ajin’s breathtaking storytelling last year. You get some characters that think, you carefully lay out the circumstances and give scientific explanations that do not feel stupid. That’s how you do a sci-fi thriller mystery if you ask me.
If there’s one thing that worked against Kado’s rather good premiere, it’s the prelude to the energetic first episode. I know it served as a backdrop to Shindo’s ability as a negotiator, but it was ten minutes too long. As a result, some moments were a bit too dull. Yet hey, that could be good given the sudden plot shift later on.
Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan 2
Then we get the highly-anticipated sequel of Attack on Titan and it is the same as ever, for better or worse. We began right after the events of menace of Titan shifters and it somehow diminished the revelation about the nature of the walls. Not because it was done sloppily, but I honestly felt that should have been the perfect ending last season. You cannot just go throwing plot twists in the first episode you know. Well, I read the manga and to its defense, the scenes were faithfully adapted.
On the brighter side of things, Araki has a knack for making the climactic moments matter, hence giving Attack on Titan’s sequel an early AotS feel. The first episode shoveled us into despair (seriously, Mike’s death was so uncomfortable to watch because the dude was just babbling things about bravery then he died pathetically). Sasha’s episode was better, because she was given some much-needed development in her character beyond that potato girl back in 2013. I swear to God I had shivers when encountered the midget titan. That was deliciously done.
However, do not ask me about the brewing major plot at this point. Attack on Titan has always been mediocre with build-ups. Fortunately, the limited episode count makes the wobbly pacing a bit better this season.
Imagine a reverse isekai genre where the characters from your favorite novels are brought to the real world. Re:Creators is a novel idea on paper, but the execution was a bit too somber for me to enjoy. The action scenes were cool but someone, please tell me what is going on in the midst of that sakuga and bickering. In its defense, the show told bits of it but I can live with some exposition since it is the damn premiere.
Other than that? The characters are nothing much to write about, and I am afraid they will be downgraded to basic quirks next episode. You better not. Ugh. The dialogue is average but I can say the direction saves this series from being meh.
High School Star Musical (Star Mu) 2
Oi Oi. My beloved male idol show is back along with its ridiculous random music videos! Hmmm? Did I enjoy this overall? Sure. However, I have some caveats for those who are also watching this sequel. Now that the novelty and the simple yet relatable plot are gone, what else does Starmyu have to offer?
Instead of resting on its laurels, the show introduced more events and a whole lot of characters. Team Otori advanced to the music department and they are now merged with other successful students mentored by the Kao Council. The graduation performance is coming up, and everyone wants to win the major role for various reasons. It is understandable for a sequel but it also put barriers to newcomers. For those who watched the first season, good luck trying to memorize all the new characters who appeared in this episode.
Well, the good things that make Starmyu a nice idol show are still there. Hoshitani’s group is still dorky as ever. The teasing between the Hiragi siblings remains cute, and the show always has a way with introducing quirky characters. I believe in this sequel.
While Shingeki no Bahamut is making a name as one of the best mobile game adaptations, there goes GranBlue Fantasy adhering to every trope from the fantasy genre. The first two episodes are boilerplate since we have seen pretty much everything it does. On the other hand, the production values are okay (except for that ugly CGI dragon) – A-1 Pictures have a knack for making their first two or three episodes good looking. Now let’s dissect what I didn’t like about this premiere.
Gran is MC prototype #2345 (Sorey 2.0?), Lyria is your manic pixie damsel clone and Katalina-sama (hot!) is the hotter version of Erza but with more emotions. It is also a shame the premise reminds me of Comet Lucifer (UGH!), especially with its decent execution of a clichéd story. Lastly, I want to burn that annoying mascot that accompanies Gran.
Fortunately, GranBlue’s energetic presentation was more than enough to keep me awake in these two episodes. If you got bored with the first episode, the next one is much better in establishing its world. Just do not ask me what is original about the plot so far.