Random Curiosity

07-GHOST – 01 »« Saki – 01

Snapshots: Natsu no Arashi, Shangri-la – 01

Natsu no Arashi

Natsu no Arashi   01   01 Natsu no Arashi   01   02 Natsu no Arashi   01   03
Natsu no Arashi   01   04 Natsu no Arashi   01   05 Natsu no Arashi   01   06

Summary:

On a summer day, Yasaka Hajime has created a strawberry filled with pepper and wasabi and tries to use it against his foes at the cafe where he works. Through a mix-up, it gets put on the wrong cake, one that belonged to Kaya and subsequently disappeared. Not knowing about the strawberry but determined to find who ate her cake, Kaya drags Jun back in time twice to find out, and Arashi and Hajime follow her. Kaya is so bent on having her cake that she eats it in the past and soon suffers the consequences for it.

Thoughts:

I thought SHAFT might try to do a semi-faithful adaptation for this series, but boy was I wrong. They throw us right into the middle of the series where all the characters are already present, but no one’s been properly introduced. I suspect that folks out there who haven’t read the manga might be a bit lost or overwhelmed at first, and it kind of sucks that the whole time traveling thing gets spoiled from the get-go. Despite the initial shock though, the whole strawberry and time travel thing wasn’t too bad for a first episode. I’m sure the characters will eventually get a better introduction, but this probably means that SHAFT will mostly just use the characters and their abilities as a vehicle for their brand of creativity and humor. And in their defense, there were some pretty amusing parts to this episode, and I especially liked the mahou shoujo-esque sequence when Arashi went back in time.

The animation quality was also generally pretty good, and character designs didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would, but the voices kind of did. Specifically, I don’t think Shiraishi Ryouko was the best choice to voice Arashi (Noto Mamiko was what I imagined when I read the manga), and I kept hearing bits of Hayate whenever she opened her mouth. On the other hand, she does sing a decent ending song. Anyway, I might watch a few more episodes of this, but it’s unlikely that I’ll blog any more. Comedy series just haven’t been my thing in recent years.

Shangri-la

Shangri la   01   01 Shangri la   01   02 Shangri la   01   03
Shangri la   01   04 Shangri la   01   05 Shangri la   01   06

Summary:

When Houjou Kuniko gets released from prison, she’s brought back to her home where she’s to be the leader of a group called Metal-age that opposes the government’s policies. She lives in a world of carbon taxes, credits, and the carbon market, so everything is watched and regulated, and when some of the people in Kuniko’s town decide to generate some electricity, thereby creating some pollution, the military appears to come after them. The military is actually there for a different reason though, and the ensuing battle gets interrupted when a wave of something starts falling out of the sky.

Thoughts:

This was the series I was probably most interested in on Sundays other than the new FMA, however it didn’t turn out to be quite like I expected. The show got off to a promising start with a nice May’n opening song, but it sputtered halfway through. I knew that there were going to be environmental themes, but I didn’t think they’d be this overly complex. The whole conversation between Karin and that leader was way too deep, especially for a first episode, and all I ended up hearing was carbon technobabble. Things did manage to get a bit more interesting towards the end, particularly with Kuniko and the transsexual Momoko fighting and whatever mysterious thing happened at the very end. Incidentally, regarding the mystery of who’s voicing the two transsexuals (which aren’t even revealed in the credits), I’m pretty sure that Momoko is being voiced by Nakata Jouji, but I didn’t hear enough to figure out Mi-ko.

In any case, I’m sure all the environmental economics topics are fascinating stuff to some folks, but if they’re going to push that hard on those, then this probably isn’t the series for me. I’ll watch one more episode to make sure, but I suspect I won’t be blogging any more of this.

Note: I normally don’t do a lot of mini-reviews like this, but I was short on time and really wanted to comment on both these series.

April 6, 2009 at 5:48 am
38 comments »
  • April 6, 2009 at 5:52 amEspada

    thx for the reviews

  • April 6, 2009 at 5:56 amanimekritik

    shangri-la, big disappointment..

  • April 6, 2009 at 6:33 amTadloS

    Dropping this Natsu no Arashi already. Absolutely hated everything about first episode. Animation/artwork, plot, character designs, soundtracks and humour all is pretty poorly.

    Status: Dropped = And probably won’t bother ever to finish it.

    About Shangri-la. Well animation was great, but somehow plot is not interesting. But still I’ll will watch this mainly because awesome staff working on this.

  • April 6, 2009 at 7:45 amKind Anonymous

    Your review of Shangri-La made me go watch it.

    I love the character designs. All of them are so bright and attractive. The scenery is gorgeous. As expected of a show called “Shangri-La.” I’m not a music person, so I don’t really care for the OP and ED.

    I’m not sure if I fully understand the plot yet. It looks like that’s something that’ll be unraveled throughout the series. Understandable.

    I didn’t notice any carbon “technobabble.” In their world, carbon, or rather, the privilege of burning carbon, is bought and sold. The buyers burn carbon, while the sellers give up their ability to burn it. The value of the carbon depends on how well its owners contain it. And obviously, the more you burn, the more expensive it becomes, which is what’s happening in that foreign representative Abidin’s country. See, it’s not that complicated. :D Which part are you having trouble understanding? Maybe we can discuss it some more.

    Anyway, it’s for me too early to pass judgment on the quality of the story. There are a lot of unexplained elements, so it has the potential to be expanded. Plus, I’m sure it’ll touch upon how the state and happenings of their world are related to ours.

    Overall, while I might not be superbly hooked yet, there’s more than enough to keep me interested. I’ll continue to watch.

  • April 6, 2009 at 7:49 amConfusedGirl29

    I dunno if I should read the manga to Natsu no Arashi or watch the anime, I thought the anime was so-so but I suppose I might like it more after a few episodes

  • April 6, 2009 at 8:43 amewok

    Never bothered about Natsu no Arashi. Combat and ecology mix of Shangri La made me interested but transsexuals put me off! I like to know which gender I am listening to.

  • April 6, 2009 at 9:19 amBrizzle

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought Momoko was voiced by Nakata Jouji. I thought I was hearing his voice simply because I’m a giant Type-Moon fan.

  • April 6, 2009 at 9:32 amAnime Junkie

    So far it would seem that for Sunday’s offering, the only decent anime besides FMA: Brotherhood would be Valkyria Chronicles. Hopefully Valkyria Chronicles is something you will continue to post your thoughts on post-episode 1.

  • April 6, 2009 at 10:11 amFlobb3k

    I saw the first episode of Shangri-La, because I expect very much of this Series, but now I dont now, if I should drop this Series or not. Too many Arguments for an against that Anime.
    My first thoughst of the Charcter designs was, that is looking really weird, but only Kuniko had a good looking Style for me.
    And too deep information for the first episode, I looked for other things in the internet, so I dont sleep away by this babbling.

  • April 6, 2009 at 11:11 amvbnm

    I downloaded Shangri-la having seen just one illustration. Then I skipped around the video, saw that faggot with tits and deleted the file inmediatly. Motherfucking Gonzo, why don’t they just die.

  • April 6, 2009 at 11:53 amNai

    FYI, the first episode of Natsu no Arashi was the eighteenth chapter of the manga. The second episode will be the first episode of the manga. So no “vehicle for their brand of creativity and humor” here.

  • April 6, 2009 at 12:30 pmNot-So-Kind Anonymous

    @Kind Anonymous, maybe whoever did the review for Shangri-La is retarded?

  • April 6, 2009 at 12:55 pmnapen

    I agree on Natsu no Arashi, but maybe u had too much expectations for Shangri-la. will have to see for the future eps

  • April 6, 2009 at 1:10 pmSpacyRicochet

    I actually enjoy these mini-reviews more than the bigger, actual reviews. Since I mostly use this site as a reference for the appearance of new episodes, whether new series are any good and a quick view if people thought the same thing about an episode.

    So, more mini-reviews!

  • April 6, 2009 at 1:10 pmkadian1364

    The original premise and quality production of Shangri-la draws me towards it, but I don’t know how I’ll feel if it continues so heavily on the “like real life” politics of environmentalism and such. ANN called it a show “with an Ax to grind”, and I’m inclined to agree.

  • April 6, 2009 at 2:54 pmDuran

    You know seeing how things went for Shin Mazinger and FMA2, I think Nasu’s first ep was a general showcase of things, not a real introduction episode. It really wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case, since it seems the trendy thing to do with anime (Airing the pilot/showcase episode first) Though I think TMoHS kinda started it due to the weird broadcast order)

  • April 6, 2009 at 2:58 pmDuran

    I’ll also add that it’s foolish to judge the anime by just the first episode. (some big hits had first eps of varying quality…. TTGL didn’t quite impress on the first episode)

  • April 6, 2009 at 3:16 pmSilver

    @ vbnm

    If I were you:

    I watched the first episode of Asura Crying and one of the the characters was a ghost. I’m terrified of ghosts so I immediately deleted the file. Motherfucking Seven Arcs, why don’t they just die.

    That sure does not sound very good.

  • April 6, 2009 at 4:49 pmjaalin

    duran: WHAT?! gurren lagann’s first ep was amazing! fkin kamina was surfing a tower made entirely of underground boars! BOARS

    at any rate, shangri-la may be the very first anime title to be classified under action-economics. however, given the dialogue and events of the first ep, it might be better if they focus more on the action and less on the economics…

  • April 6, 2009 at 4:54 pmmb

    The design of Kuniko is so anachronistic in the setting of Shangri-La that I was bored from the start. By the time we learn that she is destined to lead Metal-yawn, like some pint-sized monarch, I was rolling my eyes. The most promising aspect seemed to be the artists’ depictions of urban decay, but that doesn’t make for much of a show on its own.

    I really don’t find the idea of a show that deals with such environmental themes inherently boring, but the first episode looks like a nightmare scenario envisioned by the addled minds of some Exxon astroturfers.

  • April 6, 2009 at 6:05 pmmoyism

    I think the Mi-ko may be by Houchu Ohtsuka if I’m not mistaken. Good to know I wasn’t the only one that thought Momoko was by Jouji ^^;;

  • April 6, 2009 at 6:22 pmSpeedy

    I enjoyed the first episode of Shangri-la. I’m certain enough about my own sexuality, not to be scared by a trans. I liked the joke about him going after those soldiers.
    The ‘technobabble’ really isn’t that much and easy to understand. And i like it, it adds some more background to the story.
    I’ll be watching more of this for sure!

  • April 6, 2009 at 7:12 pmAlive

    hmm…where should I start? Well when i watched the first episode of Shangri-La I had mixed feelings for it. The art was nice, well designed backgrounds, but what ended up disappointing me was the story and character development/introduction . The Character development in this episode was almost nonexistent. Characters were introduced, then left very quickly, and the most i could really find out about the main character was she is going to be the leader of Metal Age in the future. As far as the story goes, it didn’t really go anywhere. The importance of Carbon taxes were debated, and all that was demonstrated was that if the carbon tax was low, people were happy, and if it was high…well they were anything but. Overall this anime was greatly disappointing, and is probably not worth my time in the future

  • April 6, 2009 at 8:16 pmLightning

    Do you really unconditionally expect full-on character growth development in the very first episode when we’re seeing these people for the first time or it’s a total disappointment? Most shows do not do this, they first introduce them before growing them especially in the first episode, even many of the best shows. And the story definitely went someplace setting up Show Spoiler ▼

    .

    I enjoyed it.

    I loved the gorgeous art and animation (wow at some of those backgrounds in particular, and I loved the active way in which the main character moves) plus the fantastic soundtrack (thank you Last Exile composer). I think the characters are very likable and the story intrigues me and got me interested in the possibilities even if I don’t know what they are going to do with that potential yet.

  • April 6, 2009 at 8:28 pmMelchior

    Definitely agree with moyism. Mi-ko is has to be Houchu Ohtsuka.

    If you remember the kitten masturbator from Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid, it will come to you. Either that or the demon from Soul Eater. He’s using the same voice here.

  • April 6, 2009 at 11:47 pmKureejii

    Shangri-la…what to say…*Sighs* Gonzo.

  • April 7, 2009 at 2:04 amPutang

    urgh, I’m a bit worried about Natsu no Arashi o_o… if it’s done by that author… urgh… but if it’s more so SHAFT playing around with it I might watch it… but the second I see a reset after crucial development, or after marriage proposal’s/acceptances… I will probably join an anti- that author crew and send hate mail =_= like those crazy arse eva fans…

  • April 7, 2009 at 2:06 amKinda Anonymous

    @Kind Anonymous:

    Thank you for your comment. I am a huge fan of Range Murata and many others in the cast. Last Exile was a great series with a bit of complex to it too. But I liked it. Shangri-la is still something I’ll keep watching. Reading your comment was very reassuring. :]

  • April 7, 2009 at 5:46 amGod~Knows~

    Both never really left a good impression on me.Shangri-la had some hype,I’ll admit that I love the animation but I was just bored to death with the characters each living in their own little world.Gonzo..,I haven’t finished a single series of theirs since the sword of whatever.They ought to aim for a more interactive feel to reach out to the audience.At least keep me at the edge of my seat until the end of the first episode….

    Natsu no Arashi was….weird.It would have been good…10 years ago.Times have changed and having annoying little brats as the main character doesn’t sell as well with the otaku of this day and age.I’d watch detective conan any day than that chibi.Interesting so far but I doubt that it’ll go any further than that.

  • April 7, 2009 at 7:22 amlohking

    Saki episode 1 sub can be watched at http://bleachshippuuden.com

  • April 7, 2009 at 7:22 amlohking

    Shang ri la 1 sub can be watched at http://bleachshippuuden.com

  • April 7, 2009 at 7:35 amOldern

    You really had to type that twice, did you?

  • April 7, 2009 at 1:29 pmTJ

    Shangri-La’s debut was a little hard to follow since it was too focused on character intros than the actual story. Hopefully Gonzo won’t screw this up.

  • April 7, 2009 at 6:46 pmtom

    I actually like Natsu no Arashi more than Shangri-la.
    Reason:
    1. transsexuals just not my thing.
    2. Some transsexuals can still look nice for the eye that you couldn’t tell, but with Shangri-la thats not the case.
    3. I have the Natsu no Arashi manga so I kind of understand who and what happen in episode 1, so that probably help me alot.
    4. You thought that Noto Mamiko was better as the VA for Arashi only maybe you kind of relating this anime to school rumble, which is by the same author. But honestly I find the VA for Arashi fit perfectly, cause if you read the manga you get the feel that Arashi has a very open fun personality not a shy little girly voice that Shiraishi Ryouko does in school rumble.

    Overall I like Natsu no Arashi, will definitely wait for more episodes.

  • April 7, 2009 at 6:48 pmAznCoffee

    @Divine (…if your reading this….)

    I’d say it’s about time for you to make a comeback, and blog a show this season. xD
    Perhaps even two… >__> *wink wink*

    But it’d be great to see you blogging again. I miss your unique “Thoughts:”. xD;

  • April 7, 2009 at 11:28 pmasdf

    Shangri-La was great. So does GIS and stuffs.
    The reviewer can fuck off and cry to themselves because things seem to be too complicated for them.

  • April 8, 2009 at 4:08 pmdp

    Shangri-La was the first new episode of the season other than Ka-On that did not BORE ME TO DEATH with tedious crap. Complicated? Nah. Transexuals? Just a supporting character, big deal, who cares. The main character head attitude and a freaking COMBAT BOOMERANG THAT SLICES UP TANKS. What do you want? That’s cool. And she seems to be fighting for MORE POLLUTION. I can live with that!

  • April 9, 2009 at 4:34 pmFlyTaggart

    Shangri-La is the first Series this Season I dropped.
    Laame talk, a lot of GenderBender and no beautiful woman. Cant watch such an Anime