First wave of light novel adaptations out of the way, it’s time to move on to something more colorful. The weekend brought with it a few potential sleeper hits, in addition to its heaping helping of sports anime. (Just don’t tell anyone I’m a week behind)
White Album 2
I didn’t originally plan to watch White Album 2, mistaking it for a sequel to the first White Album, which I never watched (and apparently already got a second season, so I guess this is based on another iteration of the source material?), until Deadlight recommended it to me in the comments. He’s been given the show nothing but the highest praises, and, well, he liked Texhnolyze so I might as well take his word for it. It took about half the episode, maybe a little more, before WA2 managed to grab and hold my attention, but once I got into it I noticed that it wasn’t quite hitting my expectations of it. I was continually waiting for an exceptionally “anime” moment of overreationary, overemotional drama or comedy, with all the blushing and yelling and pervert-calling and misunderstanding, but it never came. It never cracked a self-aware joke. The characters take each other seriously, treating each other like people instead of plot objects. It felt a little eerie, honestly, how un-anime-like it was. As of the first episode, I’m still not completely hooked, but this bizarre phenomenon has prompted me to watch another episode to see if it can hook me. It’s not really saying much to praise a show for what it doesn’t have, while on the whole what it does have so far is not all that much (though it did look pretty good and have some nice background music), but I’d like to see the slow burn eventually build up to something good. I’m not sure if it will – for all I know it will just continue its streak of being a little boring – but it would be refreshing to have a solid romance series that doesn’t resort to the same cheap tricks that other anime do.
Keeping the trend of colors going, we had White Album, and now Silver Fox. Like White Album, Gingitsune is very low-key; there’s not really much excitement to be found here. It’s not dissimilar from shows like Natsume Yuujinchou – it deals with a girl who can communicate with spirits and presents a series of short stories about her using this ability to help others with their problems. The problem is, these shows have a real tendency to put me to sleep with all their Shinto harmony – everything feels really lightweight and nothing has much of an impact. They’re a pleasant way to calm down and relax, but hardly make for a thrilling experience. The silver fox himself probably has the most personality here, and if you’ll like him, you’ll probably like the show. But just like Nyanko alone wasn’t enough to make Natsume resonate with me, the fox could not do the same for Gingitsune. It’s not a bad show by any means – I can see that it’s good at what it’s trying to do, but it’s just not really my genre.
So this one doesn’t actually have a color in the name, but it is darn determined to be the most colorful show of the season. There are two things that really make Meganebu stand out: one is the bizarre and intriguing visual direction with its blindingly bright palette of unusual color combinations (pink and green and yellow, oh my!), and the other is the absurdly hysterical background music singer, who will occasionally remind us with great aplomb that “This is Megane-BU-UUUU”, and that “All you NEEEEEED IIIS… M-E-G-A-N-E”. Beyond that and the unexpected appearance of a giant robot (which – spoilers – is actually glasses), there is little of note about the series. It is somewhat remarkable just how much they can think to say on a topic as seemingly mundane and one-note as “glasses”, and part of me is curious as to how long they can keep it up. None of the characters in particular stand out at this point, and the jokes weren’t really all that funny. But rookie (and formerly independent) director Soubi Yamamoto has lent an otherwise rather dull series a unique vision (har har), that I’d like to see more of. Even if it’s just for the visuals. Which will likely take enough of a toll on my eyes with its intensity of color to make me bump up the prescription on my own glasses. Clearly that was the plan all along!
Next time I’ll be hitting up the big genre of the season with fall 2013’s sports anime! I’ve recently taken more of an interest in sports anime than I previously had thanks to last year’s Kuroko no Basuke, so I’ll be putting that newfound interest to the test!