Monday, April 2, 2012

First Impressions - Natsuiro Kiseki, Furusato Saisei: Nihon no Mukashi Banashi, Saint Seiya Omega

[rori] Natsuiro Kiseki - 01 [Pre-air][4F1796CB].mkv_snapshot_21.18_[2012.04.01_16.55.01] [HorribleSubs] Folktales from Japan - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.23_[2012.04.01_17.11.27] [uh] Saint Seiya Omega - 01 [B255D1EB].mkv_snapshot_20.57_[2012.04.01_18.23.30]

Have you ever felt your cosmo?

Natsuiro Kiseki – 01
[rori] Natsuiro Kiseki - 01 [Pre-air][4F1796CB].mkv_snapshot_04.40_[2012.04.01_16.45.17] [rori] Natsuiro Kiseki - 01 [Pre-air][4F1796CB].mkv_snapshot_08.19_[2012.04.01_16.48.56] [rori] Natsuiro Kiseki - 01 [Pre-air][4F1796CB].mkv_snapshot_15.02_[2012.04.01_16.54.10]

I certainly realize I’m not the target audience for this one, but there were enough unusual aspects to this 4 Girls@School premise to at least give me hope that it might catch my interest.  The gimmick is that the girls are voiced by the idol group Sphere, but the elements that struck at least a small chord with me were the inclusion of a fantasy thread, the studio (Sunrise, in a change of pace) and especially the presence of Mizushima Seiji as director.  Alas, the episode itself felt extremely generic, full of schoolgirls overdramatizing events that should be of no interest to anyone but them, and the inclusion of the magical realism at the end felt pretty random.  Even if this is your genre I don’t see a lot of potential for anything fresh or original in the premiere, and for someone who isn’t a fan of the basic premise it’s pretty slim pickings so far.  Out of respect for Mizushima-sensei I’ll give it another ep or two to see if it catches fire.

Fususato Saisei: Nihon no Mukashi Banashi - 01
[HorribleSubs] Folktales from Japan - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.22_[2012.04.01_17.10.26] [HorribleSubs] Folktales from Japan - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.40_[2012.04.01_17.17.44] [HorribleSubs] Folktales from Japan - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.55_[2012.04.01_17.24.59]

I have no idea why Crunchyroll picked up Folktales from Japan, which seems aimed squarely at a domestic audience.  But while it’s nothing profound and the animation is low-rent to say the least, I still enjoyed the first episode.  Each week will feature three Japanese fairy tales (I didn’t know any of the ones used this week, which all seemed to center around greed) with a focus on the folklore of Tohoku, the region devastated by the 3/11/11 earthquake and tsunami.  There’s a complete lack of irony here – just elemental tales presented with a dollop of gentle humor and a good deal of sincerity.  It’s simple, straightforward and fun – and a nice introduction to the legends of the country whose more adventurous arts we all love so much.  Give this a try – you just might be surprised how many times you smile in 22 minutes.

Saint Seiya Omega – 01
[uh] Saint Seiya Omega - 01 [B255D1EB].mkv_snapshot_07.41_[2012.04.01_18.09.22] [uh] Saint Seiya Omega - 01 [B255D1EB].mkv_snapshot_10.10_[2012.04.01_18.11.51] [uh] Saint Seiya Omega - 01 [B255D1EB].mkv_snapshot_11.27_[2012.04.01_18.14.00]
[uh] Saint Seiya Omega - 01 [B255D1EB].mkv_snapshot_16.37_[2012.04.01_18.19.09] [uh] Saint Seiya Omega - 01 [B255D1EB].mkv_snapshot_22.11_[2012.04.01_18.24.44] [uh] Saint Seiya Omega - 01 [B255D1EB].mkv_snapshot_22.32_[2012.04.01_18.25.04]

Let me state for the record that I’m nearly a complete neophyte when it comes to Saint Seiya.  If you asked me, I’d have said it was some sort of super sentai show about Greek Gods and Goddesses, and it aired a long time ago – and struggled to come up with anything else.  Indeed, this is the first new series in 25 years, but I was struck by the promo art and it’s always interesting to see what legendary Toei Animation is up to, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’m not going to bother trying to explain the premise – I’m the last person who should be doing that – but it was fun, and very competently produced.  From what I gather young Kouga (Midorikawa Hikaru) is the child of the Goddess Athena (posing as a mortal named Saori) and possibly Saint Seiya (Furuya Toru), the gold-clad hero – and an extremely powerful cosmo user though he doesn’t know it yet.  The villain of the piece is the God Mars (Shibata Hidekatsu, recently the narrator on Fairy Tail) – mixing our Greek and Roman mythology there - looking to use Athena’s (Nakagawa Shouko) power to rule the universe.  It seems to be up to Kouga to stop him, though I’m not exactly sure whether Seiya is dead in the material plane or just unable to intervene directly (he did save Athena and Kouga from Mars when Kouga was a baby).  It’s definitely old-school – overdramatic and theatrical – but Saint Seiya Omega is a fair bit of fun.  I’ll definitely watch a few more eps and see how it plays out.


8 comments:

  1. Saint Seiya Omega appears to have the same people working on it who made Casshern Sins and Heartcatch Precure into worthwhile shows, so chances are it may very well turn out to be worth watching. Also the source material is completely out there so if they're able to channel the craziness of manga-style Saint Seiya (of ROYAL DEMON ROSES fame) they should be onto something.

    Natsuiro Kiseki wasn't as bland and irritating as I was expecting--actual conflict? in MY slice of life???--but when I thought about it later I realized that if my expectations were any higher I probably wouldn't have batted an eye. But the staff are good so I guess we'll just have to see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What do you think the targeted demograph for Natusiro Kiseki is. Wjile watching the show that's all I could think about. It was a little boring but had enough intrigue to make me want to watch the next episode. The seiyuu are for guys, the character designs are unisex and the story seems girly. Sunrise what are you trying to do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My assumption is that this is solidly aimed at male otaku, halfway between the Tamayura/Sketch Book set and the Yuriyuri set.

      Delete
    2. The target audience is sphere fanboys like me who got everything I wanted out of this episode.

      The writer for this show has worked on stuff like Saki and A-channel,Tamayura,people who liked those I'd say are also the target audience for this

      Delete
  3. Oh man,no Hakura Tomatsu mention in Natsuiro Kisek?
    I thought she stole the show from the other girls and I normaly don't even like genki girls but she pulled it off.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oooh, did they keep the(roughly) BURN OH MY COSMOS, BURRRRRRRRRRRN! [To the end of the universe] catchphrase? I used to watch the original series back in the 90's. Very creative dub (they added a lot of Homer-ish Iliad flavour to it) featuring some of the best VA voices, it was fun to listen to XD. The chara design was by the duo Araki&Himeno... same people who had worked on Rose if Versailles = it was also very easy on the eyes, bloody moments included.
    Going by the screenshots here they have basically kept that chara and updated it a little, but honestly I prefer the old one facial features-wise. The eyes in the old series were not so huge and fit better the face imho.
    If Kouga is Athena's and Seiya's son... well finally. At long last, congrats Seiya my boy :,) your cosmos was felt in romance land XD. The guy was hopelessly devoted to miss Beautiful Reincarnation With Lavender Hair (yep, I had a girl crush on her, her damsel in distress syndrome notwithstanding ).
    I'm not too keen on checking this series for now - Furuya Toru is tempting me though... - but I'll keep an eye on your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So, Saint Seiya episode 1.

    Solid start to the franchise's first TV serial in over 20 years, but the beginning's the easy part, as anyone with any significant experience in anime can tell you, (As well as anyone who sat through Guilty Crown) XP

    I have to say, the art style is extremely refreshing, a welcome sight to eyes that have grown weary of seeing the same generic character models and color-schemes time and again. The battle scenes were very well-animated; character movement and color-schemes just seemed to pop though I have to wonder if it's just a matter of budget front-loading. (I hope not).

    As for the plot, it's too early to say, but I think we can expect a typical shounen story with the usual "protect loved ones" themes and what not. Not that a story centered around traditional themes should be indicative of anything negative in the slightest; what matters the most in the end is always execution.

    And I have high hopes for the execution-style of Saint Seiya's plot. Being a classic franchise, one would imagine that the writers will utilize plot techniques from the show's era of origin to construct the overall story- the likes of which haven't been seen for a long time- even if it does deal with "timeless" themes. If this is indeed the case, then my prediction is that we're in for a refreshing, interesting and very educational ride...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad you're Saint Seiya Omega a chance :-)

    So far, I like what I've seen. Character designs, music (they even included old themes from the original series!) and fluid animation. Let's just hope toei keeps up the good work and delivers us fans a great series.

    P.S. I'll definetely be coming back here to check out your blogs.

    ReplyDelete