Spring Season: INSTANT REVIEWS 1

The upcoming season looks much more promising than recent years have. I watched some of them!

  • Hitohira

    A shoujo-esque schoolgirl drama about a girl who cries a lot and joins the theater group.
    Seems OK but not all that great. It may catch on due to “cuteness.”

    Very watchable-and-forgettable. I already forgot it…
    Audience: Moe fans only
    Production quality: meh

  • Guardians of the Sacred Spirit (Seirei no Moribito)

    Production I.G.’s historical slightly-magical drama. A woman named Balsa with a large, possibly wooden spear fights people with it, is hired as a bodyguard for a prince after she saves him from falling into a river, and leaves the palace with him just as it inexplicably catches fire. Lucky break for them.

    This one is all about the realism. Also, she has big lips. Due to samurai accents I totally have no idea what went on for half of it.

    The staff are all fresh out of Ghost in the Shell, so America will presumably love it.
    Audience: everyone
    Production quality: beyond excellent, though not flashy

  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

    GAINAX’s new super robot show, running at 8:30 AM on Sundays. A small group of people live underground in the grim future, where there is only war, etc.

    The main character (a little kid with goggles) finds a drill-shaped key while, uh, drilling; he subsequently finds a giant robot.
    After breaking his older brother out of jail — he was in for trying to escape to the surface, not something their chief is a fan of — a monster breaks through the cavern ceiling along with a woman carrying a big gun. The kid, naturally, instantly knows how to pilot his new super robot, and they easily defeat the monster. They use the robot to break out to the surface, which they’re very happy about even though the surface is clearly a nuclear wasteland.

    This show is AWESOME. It’s completely upbeat so far, and the older brother constantly screams out his burning courage while wearing the coolest sunglasses ever.

    Gainax still have a major FLCL complex; this really hurt Diebuster but it only helps here, in the form of massive amounts of fanservice:



    All of the giant robots and monsters shown so far are giant disembodied heads with legs but no torsos. Very odd.
    Audience: People who are AWESOME. Targeted towards kids, so no complexity here.
    Production quality: competent, though lots of shortcuts (close shots, etc.). Carries itself on shouting, which works.

  • Hayate the Combat Butler (Hayate no Gotoku)
    I don’t really have much to say here. Completely faithful and well-done adaption, I guess.
    Hayate’s parents sell him off to solve their debts, he runs away from the collectors and saves a rich girl, she makes him her bodyguard.

    The rich girl is a little girl wearing thighhighs and a gothy dress. That’s pretty moe. Norio Wakamoto contributes frequent narration, which has the bonus effect of making it like a Sound Horizon album.
    Audience: casual anime fans and up. Slight presence of moe if you’re looking for it. Probably can be shown to anyone without objection.
    Production quality: very good. It’s too bad everything so far is “very good”, because in any other season I’d really be underrating this.

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