Written by Josh Dunham
Snap Judgment: Summer 2010 Digimon Xros Wars
By Josh Dunham
Toei wants you to buy more toys. So to rectify this, they send three elementary school children to the digital world to fight digital monsters (digimon) several million times their size. But it’s all good because they have X-Loaders, (this season’s version of a digivice) and digimon companions.
Digimon Xros Wars
Initial Thoughts: Being a Digimon fan since I was a kid, the opportunity of a new show was too much to pass up. I’m going to say it up front in case you haven’t caught on, Xros Wars is a money grab to make little children buy merchandise. But even at that, this show kicks gigabytes of ass!
Fans of older Digimon shows will be happy to know that the new installment has returned to its roots. Our heroes are back to being bright and cheerful kids, and the digimon featured are either ones from shows past, or pay homage to them. That’s not to say Xros Wars doesn’t have a few unique tricks of its own though.
As mentioned, the staple digivice has been changed to an X-Loader where they are stored before they fuse to take on stronger forms. This creates an entertaining premise all in its own, but by far the greatest part of the show is Shoutmon. The badass little guy is best summed up as Gurren Lagan’s Kamina in a digimon’s body. ‘Nuff said.
There are a few worries I have about the show, unfortunately. The X-Loader gimmick makes it feel a bit much like Pokemon, as teams of digimon are stored and thrown out at the will of their master, but not by much. The other concern is Shoutmon’s ability to decimate all foes no matter how strong they are. This creates little need for digivolving, which is half the fun of the Digimon series. Still, I expect great things.
Premiered: July 6, 2010
Produced By: Toei Animation
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi
Much like the A-Team, an after school club jumps into action to solve the problems of others. The only difference is that B.A. is a flat-chested loli with kitty boxing gloves, and there is no Hannibal Smith. Disappointment ahoy!
Initial Thoughts: One thing must be noted; as I write this I am listening to a mixture of Masaki Endoh and JAM Project in hopes of converting my rage into hot blooded passion.
This show honestly feels like a waste of time to watch, and a painful one at that. As snarky as the synopsis sounds, it’s really not. The folks over at J.C. Staff have done it again and created another otaku-pandering, moe-bait show that I’m not going to watch. The whole feel of the show is as if the producers found a 2-for-1 deal on moe at the local 100 yen store. I’ve said it once and I’ll say again - I don’t care to watch flat-chested, underage girls in the bath, no matter how much steam there is. On another note, the whole tsundere character type is old hat. As much as I can enjoy a bit of rough role-playing, having the character say “I don’t like you at all! *blush*” is about as subtle as a naked ninja screaming in your face. The whole point of a tsundere is to subtly hint that they might have feelings toward another besides rage and sadism, not to beat the viewers over the head with it.
With the overused archetypes and forced plotlines, the comedic intentions of the show become completely lost. Jokes are far and few between, with the rest being about as funny as a rock on the beach. And like most comedy anime, strip away the jokes, and what’s left is a bare-bones plot, and weak characters.
Premiered: July 1st, 2010
Produced By: J.C. Staff
Highschool of the Dead
The setting is a modern day Japanese high school. Days seem to be moving slowly for Takashi Kumuro, until his school is plagued by a zombie infestation. Suddenly, students are wandering the halls without a hall pass, as they proceed to eat the teachers, also without a hall pass. Only a handful of students manage to prevent themselves from being infected, but how long can they hold out against an entire school?
Although the whole premise of a disease ridden zombie pandemic is nothing new, the team of Daisuke and Shouji Saito make it feel like the idea’s never been used before. That being said, because mostly everyone is familiar with zombies, this anime has no trouble getting a grip on the subject. The show isn’t just about killing undead school kids. It also has likeable and very relatable characters, well as relatable as a head-bashing teenager can get.
The production value for Highschool of the Dead feels incredibly high. I compare HOTD to a fine desert, and boy does it taste great. Seeing how it’s a zombie show, one factor is crucial to its success: splatter. This show nails the gore effects, and works well within its TV restrictions and censorship to keep the mood.
With that said, this is one damn good bloody desert. The must see of the season.
Premiered: July 5th 2010
Produced by: Madhouse
Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin
Way back in the days of 1999 lies the Japanese school of the occult. And just like any other school with questionable teaching materials, it has built a bit of a negative reputation. When the headmaster passes away, he leaves his non-believing daughter in his place. All seems well, until a naked man from future comes down from the sky.
Judging from the chart that comes out before every season, I was rather unimpressed, but my opinion of the show soon changed. To be clear, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin isn’t a cult mystery thriller, but much more a comedy with promising beginnings for a plot. The art was passable, but one thing I liked in particular where the facial expressions. While they weren’t amazing, they did a good job at capturing the feeling, and stole a chuckle or two out of me.
The best part of this show is that it doesn’t present its humor on a silver platter; you’ll have to pay attention and work for things a little. Not that I want to make this show out to be Frasier, but it’s the subtle things that hold the most value.
Premiered: July 6th 2010
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
|< Prev||Next >|