「白い少女」 (Shiroi Shoujo)
It’s like X-men in Toyko, and the bad ESPers have the upper hand. Also, it’s bloodier.
Lots of ESPers
The first episode starts out introducing…well, a lot of people. I don’t rightly remember any of their names though, not based on this premiere. Which is an odd situation. Normally stories give us a point of view character early on, but this one forewent that in favor of third person omniscient. As a writer, that tells me that this is intended to be a large tale–it’s not about one person, but about many people, and the world at large. It’s tricky to start out like that though, because though I’m intellectually interested by what I’ve seen, they haven’t given us reason to be emotionally invested because we don’t know who any of these people are. A gutsy move, and not one I’m sure is working…though only so far.
Plenty of Powers
One thing I noticed was that, though they didn’t introduce the characters fairly well, they did introduce their powers, and by showing them rather than telling. Aside from psychometry girl (wiki!), they explained no powers, but I picked up what all of them can do. The leader villain uses illusions, his lieutenant is a teleporter (insert Nightcrawler reference here), tertiary villain uses balls/walls of air, megane onii-chan can apparently see the future, at least to a limited degree. Tokyo ESP takes risks, but it’s doing its job well in introducing us to the world, even if the bit players are still a shallow mystery.
Animation & Character Design
My first impression of the animation was…irrelevant, because I quickly realized that the animation is actually quite good. It’s the character designs that aren’t sitting well with me. They look like bargain bin SHAFT to me–not quite Nisekoi levels of phoning it in, but not the best I’ve seen either. The animation itself works though, with plenty of explosions and the combat done reasonably well. Once I acclimate to the art style, I don’t expect to have any problems–which I mostly have already.
World Gone To Hell
I hesitate to call this dystopian, because a first episode where everything is shitty doesn’t mean everything will stay shitty. Everything is certainly shitty right now though, as the
Brotherhood of Mutants the antagonists have parliament suspended in the air, and they’re apparently planning on dropping it somewhere painful. Illusion man seems to have bad things planned…but honestly, the parallels to the X-Men are so strong that I can’t work myself up to caring about the ESPer’s plight just yet. If that’s even what this show will be about! Based on the anime only, we really don’t know yet.
For an episode that feels like the first half of a prologue, I almost feel it’s unfair to judge it too far. They’ve established the world and the first conflict, and established them well, but everything else is still a giant question mark. I can judge it a certain amount for not expounding on that–and I do–but past that, I’ll wait and see.
Looking Ahead – The Shiroi Shoujo
They did a good job of building up the Shiroi Shoujo before she appeared, so that, when she did, I was ready to see what she had up her sleeve–and cliffhanger, DAMN! As much as it feels like they didn’t give us enough this episode, they gave me enough to be interested. Well done, XEBEC. That’s not something I get to say often.
I don’t know if I’ll be blogging this, but I will be watching this, so if a post doesn’t appear next week, check in with me on twitter for more! And you might just find that we revisit this (and other un-blogged) shows in some manner or other…but I’ll leave you to wonder what I mean for now. Until next time!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A premiere that feels like half a prologue, introducing the world & ESPer powers without getting into the characters much at all #東京ESP 01
- “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Any anime that quotes Albert Einstein–and such an evocative quote to boot–has my attention.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Writer, author, full-time author, Disorganized ≠ creative, Don’t make customers regret their purchase, and Anchor.
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Full-length images: 06.