I don’t usually fanboy over studios so I can’t relate too much to when people call themselves a Shaft fanboy or whatever, but I do know that the only reason Shaft has been staying in many people’s good graces lately is because they keep making sequels to their popular franchises. When it comes to their post-Madoka stuff, nobody has every really been on the bandwagon in regards to drinking the Shinbo kool-aid. Which makes sense given how they’re a very hit-and-miss studio, but people tend to forget that the same way Hyouka made people temporarily forget that KyoAni specialize a lot in “girls doing nothing” series.
Which is why I don’t get why anyone was expecting anything from Nisekoi based on the fact that it’s solely Shaft. Sure it’ll have some good visual tricks, but they’re all recycled crap that Shinbo has been doing for years now without any sort of change whatsoever. Ever heard of something called evolution, dude? Not only are you not participating whilst several others are (with YOUR style, no less), you’re causing other studios to regress as well. I’ll excuse Meganebu because Deen’s history hasn’t been all that great, but not only did Noragami‘s visual tricks not do a thing for me, Bones is way more capable than that. That’s all on you!
And of course there’s the fact that Nisekoi is a fucking AWFUL manga! Like really really awful. Unfunny, lacking creativity, and just typical Shonen Jump garbage all around. Why do people like that shit?
But anyways, that’s just my pre-impressions. How was the first episode? Did having it with moving pictures make it better? Did Shinbo come up with some new visual tricks? Is the Claris song at the end good?
The answers in respective order are: awful, no, no, and god no.
Again, I was ready to rip into this the same way I was ready for Nourin, but whilst Nourin still managed to irritate me in its sadness, this is just bland and boring. Obviously, the story is every harem cliche ever with the only thing separating it from the pack is that it’s Shafted. But that just leads to another problem. It’s every Shaft show ever made, period! First, it becomes Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Then it becomes Monogatari. Then it becomes Madoka/Sasami-san. Then it becomes Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei again. Then it becomes Pani Poni Dash. Then Negima?!. Then…you get where I’m going with this, right?
In order to try and spice things up, Nisekoi just keeps on switching Shaft styles without adding in anything unique to the mix. It’s nothing but “recycling” without any of the substance that complemented those styles, leaving it just as visual noise. On top of that, because they’ve been used so many times, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate this thing on a visual level even if I wanted to. This is why I don’t understand why people say more studios need to be more like Shaft. Yes, their commitment to visual tricks in order to make up for their lack of a budget is cool. Does that mean I want every show I see to use that style? No!
What keeps fiction entertaining is variety. Different stories. Different fetishes. Different ways to have fun. As much as I love Tarantino’s style, I don’t want to see other people try and copy him. Because then we’d get the f*cking Boondock Saints! Just do your own thing. Whether I mock you for it or not is irrelevant. At least it’s something different!
And of course, there’s the fact that I question why Shaft keeps using that style since they now have money to do actual animation. But what do I know about their inner workings?
Oh right, this is supposed to be a first impressions post on Nisekoi and I haven’t talked about the substance that might have allowed me to overlook the same-y visual tricks. What do you want me to say? The story sucks. The characters suck. The comedy sucks. It’s a giant snoozefest of an attempt to make a generic harem artsy and it SUCKS! There’s nothing of substance for me to say about any of them, which is part of my problem with the show. My recommendation? Use to care insomnia only.