Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Anime Thoughts

I watched the first episodes of two new anime series recently. Can you believe neither one of them was Death Note?

The first one I watched was Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion. In theory, this could've been great. You get CLAMP character designs for a Sunrise mecha show. Unfortunately, it was a bit underwhelming. The show takes place in the future where the evil Western empire of Britannia has fought a war with Japan (using mecha, of course) and has taken it over. Japan is stripped of its name and seven years later is now “Area 11.” The Lelouch in the show name is the main character, a smart student who vowed as a child to destroy Britannia.

The main problem with this show is that its premise is a ripoff of Gundam Seed. When Lelouch encounters a Britannia soldier who is actually his childhood friend Suzaku, I was reminded a whole lot of the scene in the first episode of Gundam Seed where Athrun and Kira meet again. The animation for this show is very nice and the action sequences were good. Despite that, the “been there, done that” feel of the story keeps it from being more than so-so.

The other show I watched was Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (aka The Wallflower). Imagine Ugly Betty as a wacky anime comedy with bishounen and you'll pretty much describe this show. Four guys all live together in a huge house owned by a rich woman. The woman offers the guys a deal. If they can turn her niece into a “magnificent lady” then they will be able to live in the house rent-free. The guys agree and the lady leaves on an around-the-world search for love. The guys meet the woman's niece, Sunako, and are scared to death of her. After being rejected by a guy because of her looks, Sunako became somewhat of a weird recluse. She wears her hair very long, wears cheap clothes, hates “beautiful” things, gets nosebleeds when she sees something beautiful, and loves horror movies. Oh, and let's not forget that she's actually ugly.

For the most part, I liked this show. I enjoy anime comedies (Azumanga Daioh and Excel Saga are two of my favorite shows), and this one is wacky and fun. I liked the fact that all the scenes with Sunako were treated kind of like a horror movie. The male characters on the show are overdramatic and over-the-top. The character designs, which match the style of the manga, are a little off-putting, though. There's something kind of disturbing about anime characters with lips. This show doesn't scream “new favorite” the way Ouran High School Host Club did when I first watched it, but I think I'm going to keep watching it.

Next time, I will finally watch Death Note, Busou Renkin, and D-Gray Man and see if they're any good. Or maybe I'll watch something else. Who knows?

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