Please see Roger Ebert review of “North”, 7/22/94, paragraph 8. Thank you.
Although I’m loathe to talk about this series any longer than I have to, I’ll again refer to that review and paraphrase it here: “I hold it as an item of faith that Akiyuki Shinbou is a gifted director; among his credits are "Madoka Magica," "Natsu no Arashi," "Soredemo ," and the “Negima” OVAs. I list those titles as an incantation against this one.”
I have no bias against Shinbou – yet there are times when I thoroughly, viscerally dislike his work. This kind of smug, self-congratulatory clever-clever bullshit makes up for too much of the résumé for a man with this much talent. I’ve said in the past that Shinbou is at his best either working with a writer with an extremely strong presence, or a strong source material that’s stylistically opposed to his own hyperactive, St. Vitus’ Dance directorial style. Clearly, Sasami-san wasn’t it. I’m not going to debate the merits of this show – if you like it, that’s great, but my listing all the things I hated about it would serve no purpose but to irritate me even further and provoke just such a debate. I watched, I listened, I groaned in dismay. It’s time to move on.
One more thing – hasn’t SHAFT made enough money from selling a gazillion Madoka and Nisio Blu-rays that they don’t have to rely on cheap trickery and dialogue as a substitute for real animation anymore?