Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some More First Impressions: Black Rock Shooter, Gokujyou and Smile! Precure

Just thought I'd do a write-up on some of the shows that premiered late in the season, with an update on the three older winter 2012 shows that yuri fans have been keeping an eye on- Symphogear, Lagrange, and Moretsu Pirates. First up we have...

Black Rock Shooter (1 episode watched):
Cheerful, slightly tomboyish Mato befriends shy loner Yomi. Unlike in the OVA, here Mato is already friends with Yuu, and her friendship with Yuu isn't what causes problems for her relationship with Yomi. (Keep an eye out for some subtext on Mato's side.) Yomi has a "friend" named Kazari who treats Yomi like trash while clinging onto her and trying to drive Mato away. In the beautifully drawn dimension inhabited by Mato's alter-ego Black Rock Shooter, we see Kazari's alter-ego (don't know what she's called yet) taunting Black Rock Shooter while trying to kill her. (Update: Kazari's alter-ego's name is Chariot. Thanks to Steven for finding it on BRS's official character list.)

I liked it. I'm interested in seeing where the TV staff take this scenario. My biggest problem with the OVA is that it stopped before it could really start, but with 8 episodes, the writers for the TV series have enough time to tell a tight yet fully realized story. Here's hoping that it lives up to its potential. And I really liked the opening theme- it's a nice shout out to the people who are familiar with Black Rock Shooter's origins.

Black Rock Shooter is streaming on Nico Nico in these regions/languages (source ANN):
English: United States, Canada
French: France, Belgium, Monaco, Switzerland, Andorra
Italian: Italy
German: Germany
Spanish: Spain, Mexico, Chile, Argentina
Korean: South Korea
Traditional Chinese: Taiwan
Simplified Chinese: Mainland China, Singapore

Gokujyou (1 episode watched):
Worst show I've seen this season. The brunette above goes to school forgetting to put on her underwear. After she realizes that she's commando, she steals her blonde friend's underwear and they fall on each other in fan servicey poses. The blonde chases the brunette around their school and they flash everyone. One girl nosebleeds when she sees them, so I guess there's your yuri. Thankfully, this show is only six minutes per episode. Never again.

Smile! Precure (1 episode watched):
Hoshizora Miyuki is a cheerful, slightly spacy second year middle schooler who loves fairy tale books. Guess what the theme for this season is? She transfers to a new school, where she meets red-haired Akane, who fits the gregarious, roughnecked Osakan stereotype like Battle Athletes' Ichino, yellow-haired Yayoi, the timid crybaby, blue-haired Miyuki, the cool-headed ojousama, and green-haired Nao, the one "with a strong sense of justice" who Akane amusingly compares to a banchou (the leader of a gang). From what little I've seen of her, she reminds me of Sailor Moon's Makoto.

After school, Miyuki sees a fairy named Candy being chased by one of the villains, who's based on the Big Bad Wolf. When Miyuki runs behind a brick wall, thinking that it's a foolproof escape plan because the Big Bad Wolf couldn't blow down the three little pigs' brick house, I hoped the wolf would know, walk around the wall. Instead, he turns the wall into a brick house monster.  Miyuki becomes a Pretty Cure and defeats the monster, causing the Big Bad Wolf to be like "Tch! Pretty Cure, I will be back!" The next episode will focus on Akane.

It was fine. Not as good as Heartcatch, but I liked it better than Suite.  I think I'll just wait to see if the buzz from the people continuing to watch it improves enough. The fairy tale theme is cute. Not that cleverly executed, but this is Pretty Cure, not Kissing the Witch.

As for Symphogear, Lagrange, and Moretsu Pirates...

Symphogear (5 episodes watched):
The good: The new symphogear user, Kris, found Hibiki annoying. Hibiki realized that she's lame and started training to become more competent. There have been a few nice Kanade x Tsubasa moments.
The bad: The sexualized torture scene in episode 5. This is still a poorly-written show that feels like it was only produced to sell songs by Mizuki Nana and Yuuki Aoi.

Lagrange (5 episodes watched):
Still enjoying it. I'm glad that Muginami, the character who was advertised as a ditz, actually isn't, and it was refreshing to see Madoka get pissed off at someone for once. Subtext fans will enjoy Lan's jealousy at Muginami stealing Madoka's attention (I'm SO glad Madoka confronted Muginami when Lan told her about what she's really like, instead of being willfully clueless), and it looks like some good plot development is coming up in the next episode.

Moretsu Pirates (5 episodes watched):
I'm still really enjoying this series. The build up to Marika's decision to become captain of the Bentenmaru is over, and we can look forward to her joining its crew in the next episode. The girls who helped her pilot the Odette II are sure to join, and with them, Jenny and Lynn (second screencap above), who are a canon couple in the novels. I'm really, really hoping that they'll still be a canon couple in the anime adaptation.


Anonymous said...

The anime Gokujyou contains yuri scene? There is a lesbian girl ? this anime is not yuri or shoujo-ai right?

Steven said...

Found Kazari's alter-ego's profile (can't read it, but I found it):
Seems there's another character and a couple more alter-egos to be introduced.
Having not seen the Black Rock Shooter OVA I'm glad that the show hasn't required any knowledge of said OVA to understand what's going on.

Also enjoying Space Pirates and glad to hear that Jenny and Lynn are a cannon couple. Still was (am) hoping for Marika and Chiaki to be a couple though I suppose that's not going to happen. (Perhaps I'm crazy here but it seems that Chiaki is to Marika as Homura was to Madoka, not just in that Chiaki and Homura's designs are similar but their personalities seem similar as well. Again, probably crazy.) On a related note, I contend that "Bodacious" was used in the title because whomever was naming it had looked it up in the dictionary, thought it was a cool word, and failed to check common usage of the word.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me if the anime Gokujyou is new 2012?
and can you put me a link to watch the first episode of Gokujyou?

Thank you.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Anon- A girl nosebleeds when her underwear-less female classmates run by. It'll probably be a running gag (Nudity! Cue nosebleed!), but won't develop into anything more.

@Steven- Thanks! So her alter-ego's name is Chariot. (Looks like Yuu is going to be the white-themed one, Strength, and...the guidance counselor is going to get the red alter-ego, Black Gold Saw? Going by character design comparisons, at least. The character descriptions don't say which alter-ego is whose.) As someone who's seen the OVA, I'm also glad the TV series can completely stand on its own.

I can see it. They have a similar
acting-gruff-and-standoffish-while-really-being-protective thing going on. (And yes, the character designs.) I haven't heard about Marika or Chiaki becoming a couple in the novels, but at least it sounds like they stay shippable.

"On a related note, I contend that "Bodacious" was used in the title because whomever was naming it had looked it up in the dictionary, thought it was a cool word, and failed to check common usage of the word." Makes sense. (More than someone who knows its usage thinking that it sounds cool, at least.)

@Anon- Yup, that's why I'm reviewing it in this post. If any legal English-language streams are available for whatever anime I'm reviewing, I will link to them. (A policy I adopted starting this season.) No link, no legal English stream.

Anonymous said...

Okay so if I understand this is a new anime that is not 2012 or Yuri shoujo-ai, there are just scenes "comic yuri" xD you know when there will be episodes translated?

And finally in this anime is its pdéroule in a high school for girls?

Anonymous said...

sorry, "And finally in this anime takes place in his high school for girls?

Katherine Hanson said...

@Anon- "there are just scenes "comic yuri"" Exactly. (And not the funny kind, like in Hayate x Blade.)

"you know when there will be episodes translated?" No idea.

I don't remember seeing any male characters, so I guess.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Anon- "not 2012" Oh yeah, no, it is a 2012 series. I said so in my earlier reply to to you, and this post says that it's a newly premiered show.