Well, if you already read some first impressions of this episode or actually watched it, then “Hidden God/Wolf” really rained down on what little excitement parade you might have had for Winter. :P
For those who haven’t done either, I wouldn’t go so far as to discourage you from at least trying it out but it’s better that you store those hopes away for now…unless you want them to get punctured, then that’s up to you.
OP: “Toki no Mukō Maboroshi no Sora (時の向こう 幻の空)” by FictionJunction”
Moving along with the “meh”-ness, the OP song is one of the few only highlights of the anime so far. It’s FictionJunction, what do you expect? Sadly, can’t say the same for the animation sequence. It isn’t bad, per say, but I wouldn’t call it good, either. Rather, I think both the visuals and the song slowed each other down quite a lot, making it less exciting than it should have been and…yea, just downright boring.
*sigh* Pretty disappointing. Even Pandora Hearts’s “Parallel Hearts” OP was a mile better than this and quality was half of what AIC gave us here.
I’m sure the song will come to grow on me later on but if I do continue watching this, I’ll probably be skipping the OP for the duration of the run.
ED: “Tsukishirube (月導)” by Yuuka Nanri
Unfortunately, nothing much to comment about the ED either. It’s just the camera running through the labyrinth-like streets at night, passing characters along the way, and like the OP, doesn’t do much but accompany the music.
Vocal-wise, Yuuka Nanri’s not half bad and it’s a decent song but this one will probably take a little longer for me to get used to since I don’t know anything about the singer unlike FictionJunction whom I’m already familiar with. Though I wonder if it’ll even happen since I plan on skipping right to the preview after the ep is done. :P
I am interested in the characters that haven’t shown up yet, though. Especially the girl/woman with the long hair in the middle screencap though just barely for the hair-doesn’t-move-like-that effects. But yea, this is really nothing special.
(wow, I haven’t done this for a long time)
It starts off with a guy, called Hiroshi, being pushed against one of the playground bars by a girl with short blond-hair, whom he calls Isuzu. She says that she couldn’t take it anymore and declares that she loved him from the first moment she laid eyes on him. He tries to run but she catches him and her eyes start glowing red. Suddenly, a voice calls out and asks “Is that really love?” and shadows break out from their surroundings to start chasing them. Isuzu pulls him by the hand and they run from the shadows, all the while denying any accusations by the voice against her claim but is forced to stop when they both notice the strangely dressed figure of a masked being above their heads. The masked person’s huge scythe gleams under the moonlight as she swings it down, her words “I will…[
kill you for being annoying? do something, I dunno]…you…”
Cut pass the opening…
Our resident megane
kko, 16-year old Hiroshi Kuzumi, moves into the town of Jouga with his father (occupation: author) and younger handicapped sister, Mana. Upon arriving at their new apartment, he meets Isuzu Tsumuhana, who takes an instant attraction to him and greets him with hey-too-close-for-just-having-met hug. The next day, the siblings give their father their feedback on the beginning of his new novel-in-the-works at breakfast, as well as discussing Hiroshi’s “new girlfriend”, before heading out to school. Having left first, Mana nearly falls over, wheel-chair and all, for trying to descend a large step onto lower ground to be saved by her brother in the nick of time though she is not at all happy for his help. Isuzu catches up with them and a little argument ensues where Isuzu insists on accompanying Hiroshi no matter what and Mana says she can get to school by herself just fine.
Before homeroom, Hiroshi’s classmates give him a very warm welcome and this new popularity status he’s been receiving (especially from Isuzu who clings to him even when class is starting) surprises him to no end. Only one purple-haired girl seems indifferent to all this though no one pays her any attention at first. At lunch, since he didn’t have time to make a bento for himself, Isuzu offered to go buy him lunch leaving him to have a conversation with her best friend, Kaname Asagiri. Kaname calls him “Hakase-kun” since the way his name is written can also be said that way. She finds it intriguing how he became so well-liked when he moved in only a short while ago but admits that there’s something strange that just brings others to him. Isuzu then comes back with a bag full of…sweet bread and pushes Hiroshi into a promise that they’ll go out for ice cream later.
After classes are done for the day, Isuzu tells Hiroshi to wait for her while she and Kaname goes to wrap up some book committee business. Everyone crowds around him again and just as he’s about to be dragged away by this guy named Osawugara (?), the purple-haired girl from before stands up and calmly tells him to stop to which he freezes in sudden panic and releases Hiroshi immediately before leaving the room, as does everyone else. Hiroshi thanks her (whose name we found out is Nemuru Kushinada) for her help but she says that she didn’t do it for him and that he’s annoying before walking out, leaving him, along with Isuzu and Kaname who just came back, confused.
The trio make their way to town, but not before noticing that Osawugara is now frantically trying to keep away from Hiroshi for unknown reasons. On the way, they pass by an area filled with hassaku (that orange sour fruit) trees and Isuzu explains that they’ll be having a hassaku festival soon, despite the bad harvest. Apparently, the fruit is so important to the town that it even has a commercial with a dancing wolf in it.
Hiroshi sees something interesting on the opposite of town (labeled the “old town” because it hasn’t been modernized) and asks if they could go there to visit. Isuzu is against the idea since people from the old town dislike the modernization, and therefore, the people who live in the “new town” as well so it’s better that he doesn’t go. He also learns later on that all the stores close at 7 PM in Jouga for some reasons that are not explained (because Isuzu is being bratty little bitch over some crepes they won’t get to eat).
That night, Osuwagara is running away from this herd of shadows (they wear the same traditional-esque clothes and masks we saw the scythe person wearing from earlier) and is cornered by their leader at a street intersection. The moon glows and Osuwagara starts to go into demon mode only to be sliced down (we don’t see it, just a sleeping Hiroshi) in one swift cut. As he lays there dying, he looks up and we find out that the “person” has the face of a young girl with white hair…along with a long tail sticking out from behind her.
Elsewhere, a man is looking over a terrain map of Jouga with an angry expression on his face.
The next morning, Hiroshi notices that Osuwagara’s seat is gone and Nemuru walks in to say the he “moved”.
Below average is below average.
…actually, it didn’t have to be this way if not for some multiple setbacks. And I think I have a little more (trivial) complaints than some would. Probably due to the fact that I’ve been following both Peach-Pit and Ryukishi07 around for a while now so this collaboration I’ve been all hyped up about over the summer really didn’t match up to what I expected.
Plot-wise so far, it’s still going pretty steady. The mysteries surrounding the students who almost seem to “prey” on the new transfer student, the prejudice the old town people have against the new town people and most of all, Nemuru, who obviously is the scythe girl leading the night hunts are what’s keeping me in my seat.
I can say at least that Ryukishi hasn’t disappointed me yet with his writing
even though lately, he’s been having a strange tendency to bring too many new characters into the story *coughUminekoEP6cough* and trolling readers so much with more “WTF’SGOINGON?!IDUNUNDERSTAND!!!@.@;;” content and I’m looking forward to what will happen later on…even if I do get trolled…but it’s okay. Getting trolled by his work feels pretty good. *weirdo* 8D;
Characters, however, are not on par. Not Hiroshi and Hiroshi-high Isuzu anyway.
Going on megane, first…I can’t even call him a guy and am so very tempted on making him my first Photoshop victim. I mean, wouldn’t he look just endearing in a frilly pink lolita dress with a big bow atop his head? Heh?
I don’t hate him for being so mediocre for a male lead but it’s just so annoying to see the quality of the protagonist sink so much to this level even if it’s just starting out. And from two very renowned creators as well. I mean, come on, Ryukishi. Where are your GAR heroes I’ve been in love with during Higurashi and Umineko? This is so pathetic that comparing them even feels wrong. -_-;
If there is significant buildup, I might change my mind but Hiroshi has given off such poor impressions for a while that it’s going to be difficult to overturn that.
And Peach-Pit, you’ve drawn a glasses guy as a male lead before. Why is this one so…wussy? That sailor uniform isn’t helping either. D/
I know it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover but Hiroshi has hardly anything I can like about him. He has such a pushover personality and though he seems like the nice guy, that’s not really enough.
It’s depressing that I have to remind myself that his rise in popularity must be because he looks like fresh meat to all the demon-hidden people of the town. That’s got to be it. Transfer students don’t get that much attention, I’m sure.
Also, this is just a personal thorn in the side, but I’m not pleased with Yu Kobayashi playing this role. Don’t get me wrong, I think Yu Kobayashi is a very great seiyuu but I think she really needs to step down for a while. There is no variety in her tones of voice or the types she’s acting behind. I appreciated the wonderful performance she gave in Maria+Holic and Nyankoi! but other than that, everything else sounds and looks the same. Always feminine-looking boys for some reason. WHY? There’s nothing wrong with bishounens but please act as something different for a change. And tomboys barely count.
Moreover, she’s been voicing for a characters that I haven’t been liking lately. Like Kanon. Yes Kanon. Sorry, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t bring myself to like that pessimist. >:(
It’s silly but that dislike tends to carry onto the next character if I think they share one or two similar qualities, namely the voice.
I think Mitsuki Saiga could’ve done better but with Yu Kobayashi’s growing popularity among the fans, she’ll probably be taking more of these roles for the upcoming year. Please no. Go take a vacation and let some other not as common seiyuus take the spotlight.
Mana, however, is just adorable. x3!
I love how she brushes Hiroshi off and tries to do things on her own, despite being handicapped. Really, that just made Hiroshi come off as more annoying even though I shouldn’t say that since he’s only doing it out of concern as her big brother. But still, he’s probably got some siscon going on.
Mana probably has some tsundere brocon, too, judging from her reaction on Isuzu clinging to him but it’s just not as bad as his is. :P
And as far as character design goes, she and Nemuru have the best ones, that’s pretty clear. Though it again bothers me a little. Just a little bit.
I can distinguish P-Pit’s artwork by the eyes of the characters they draw. They always appear big and the color of the irises’ are so wide and near-solid that it can almost be described as “fawn-like”. But from all their series I’ve read so far, there was enough difference in the structure of the eyes and faces that I’ve grown to like very much. Here, if you take all the girls, remove their hair and put their mouths in a straight line…
…it’s like I’m seeing Utau all over again.
Mostly in Nemuru anyways since both tend not to smile as much and always have that firm hint of a frown on their face.
And if you don’t know, I’ve stopped liking Utau for a while now (this is kinda similar to what I said about the voice scenario earlier). It’s not serious or anything but anything that reminds me of her just annoys me. *grumble* This is why I needed to take a break from SC!
Funny, cuz I actually like Nemuru the most out of everyone else. Go figure. :P
Still wish P-Pit could have been more creative with them going beyond the hairstyles, though. *sigh*
And here is the bitch I wanted to RIP THE HAIR OFF!!! of. Not because of Hiroshi but her obsessive clingyness is a trait I absolutely hate seeing in girls. The minute this ep started, showing her all breathing hard and just draping herself all over Hiroshi was just disgusting. “First love”, my ass. You know you’ve got yourself a stalker when they jump on you before introducing themselves. But of course, Hiroshi isn’t smart enough to realize something was odd when that happened. :P
Also, the way she just pushes everyone off as if she’s the only one who can
molest touch Hiroshi just warrants more hate towards her in the future…OH! Why hello thar, Yuka from last season! xP
I did get a good laugh at Hiroshi being topped by a girl, though:
Loser, your uke-ness is not even attractive. Fail. :P
Anyways, we don’t need to guess that all of that will get her into shit crisis later on as it’s already shown in the first five minutes of the show. This just makes me hope that Death God/Nemuru will really slice her through thoroughly with that scythe of hers.
Ah, some break from the crap. Kaname (no, not that Kaname) is probably the third most likable character among the cast. She’s actually normal compared to her classmates and is the sensible best friend type. Plus, I love her braids and her habit of recording things down in her little book. So cute~ <3
And finally, we have Nemuru…who is just cool. And ooo, exotic hair earns her some points, lol. XD
Wiki confirms her to be some large influence of a big name family hailing from the old town side. I’m not surprised given how everyone reacts to her when she speaks and it’s not just because she’s holds a lot of authority in school (she’s head of the school committee or whatever) and Jouga.
For one thing, if you look at those two exclusive strands of hair on either side of head, don’t they look similar to Miss Death God here?
Put two and one together and it comes as no surprise at all. Family lineage, traditional-esque garb, the OP where she and her “followers”, I suppose, standing on the rooftops of the old town’s houses, and everyone’s fear of her likened to everyone’s inner demon’s fear of the Death God.
Wow, that didn’t take very long. =A=
But the mystery behind her still remains so there’s something interesting in that aspect. It’ll probably be the only thing that keeps me going to the end. Phah.
And since it’s as good a time as any, the animation isn’t something to applaud for but it’s not awful at all. Looks like they got the wind factor down (everyone’s hair is so swooshy even by just a little breeze) and first episode has been consistent so far. Let’s just hope it keeps that way to avoid getting more negative points than it has already.
Also, I hope they’ll kick the action scenes up a notch or two. It seems like all the money to make Death God look threatening had gone to polishing the scythe to make it EXTRA SHINEH under the moonlight and all she does is just float in the air. Urg. D/
Hmm, angry, maybe-you’re-hot guy here seems to agree with me.
Well, his appearance definitely gives us one more reason to see what’s going to happen next. Bet you’ll he’ll be the one who stands in opposition to Nemuru and her shinigami gang on all the sudden disappearances of the townsfolk of the new town side or something. That or he’s just pissed the guy he bought the map from cheated him for it $5 more than it should be. :P
And whoo~ on them keeping ep 2 vague with showing us this instead. /sarcasm
Nothing happens except for Isuzu still being an annoying slut and Hiroshi unable to keep up. I don’t even want to bother remembering what Hiroshi (or whoever) was saying during the preview. Some girl was singing a song about the god coming to get them or something at the beginning, though. Yay~
So yea…I’ll continue watching this and blogging it (in much shorter posts) until I get bored. I’m not hoping for anything to turn it around or for an ending with everything resolved, much less.
*sigh* Yep. Now off to go take a break, practice some piano and then work on the DRRR! post. It’ll be shorter than this one probably but overflowing with ZOMG!LOVEDTHIS! enthusiasm cuz it. Is. Just. That. GOOD. XDDD
Hope I can get it up before bed, then. If not, expect it tomorrow.