The Summer '13 Anime: 1st Episode Impressions, Part 1
Another season of anime has yet again ambushed us. Are you ready for some crazy concepts and novel ideas? I've color coded these shows: worth watching, meh, and suck. As always, I will not be reviewing sequels, or spin-offs, or side stories of existing anime. It's only the brand-spanking new here. Each of these shows can be found on Crunchyroll.
Dog & Scissors - "Every Dog Has His Day"
Yes, this show is as crazy as that title. Dog & Scissors is literally about a dog and some scissors. Some kid is a total book nut. His latest literary obsession is Akiyama Shinobu, an enigmatic author who has all of Japan talking. Through the craziest and most tragic of circumstances, young Harumi Kazuhito has his life, and body, transformed. Harumi is now a dog, and there is one woman who would like to own him. Guess how this woman is related to Akiyama Shinbou!
She is a bit odd, and dangerous, but she is the only one so far who can communicate with this reincarnated book lover. So this weirdo show is actually funny at times, but the premise and the characters are so quirky that I don't have any imagination that everyone will love Dog & Scissors.
Free! - "Reunion at the Starting Block"
What, you don't want to look at high school boys swimming? Haruka Nanase is in his late teens. He loves to swim, and he's great at it. His friends, coincidentally, all have feminine names, and also have hard swimmer's bodies. Makoko is his closest friend, the guy who just walks through Haruka's house like it's no big deal. Nagisa is the smallest of the four guys. I guess he's the character for people who like their men short, or younger looking than they actually look. Finally there's Rin. He's the opposing force to Haruka. He swims for competition, while Haruka originally swam just for the enjoyment of swimming.
So how's the show? The story is a basic sports competition drama. It's nothing amazing. This is one of the most beautiful shows of the season, though. The combination of muscular, handsome boys and alluring visuals are meant for a very specific audience, so this is a show that doesn't have to work too hard to tell a good story. If you, however, have even the slightest problem with shirtless, sexy boys, you should already be close to the exit. I don't prefer men, but I like well produced anime, so I'll continue watching.
Gifu Dodo!! Kanetsugu and Keiji - "Kanetsugu and Keiji"
Although the show itself is set in Japan's late 16th century, I feel that its tone is foreign in to both the past and our present. The story is about two very special men.Keji Maeda is a BIG dude, at least 6'6". He's also eccentric, as we learn. Being super tall must be a hiring qualification for samurai, because Naoe Kanetsugu is also a giant samurai. Naoe is also an eccentric, so these two eccentric, giant samurai go around and intervene in matters in their strange manner.
Lost of terminology and names might have your head spinning if you watch this. Fun fact: uwanariuchi (where a guy's ex-wife gathers a female posse to attack the second wife, in an attempt to be rewarded money) is apparently a real historical ritual.In fact, most of the names and relationships thus far are based in historical fact. It's just enhanced by the "samurai times were super badass" lens that we oftentimes find in shows of this type. If you're a fan of samurai era anime, you have already seen numerous incarnations of these folk.
This is not a comedy, but I think Gifu Dodo!! has such an odd, silly aura about it that I don't know whether I should come back to it or not.
Servant X Service -"Be Careful About How You Refer to Someone and Why"
The joy of Servant X Service could have ended right after it's colorful, detailed opening animation, but the smiles, thankfully, don't end there. This is an anime about adults for a change. They are quirky, silly adults, but adults regardless. First, let's meet Ms. Miyoshi. She's new to part time work. Next is Ms. Yamagami, an overly eager worker. Last, but never lease, is Mr. Hasabe, a guy who can handle office work with ease, but he is not a model employee at all. You mix those three, and you have a very entertaining office comedy. There are a couple tired jokes in the first ep, but I trust that Servant X Service has fresh comedy to offer.