So About Fall’s Mystery Anime (And The New Garo)…

…just read on.

Whenever I get a seat on the train ride to and from work, I like to watch something on my personal laptop. Currently I’m in the middle of finishing up the first half of Gate, but that show is really boring me so I figured I’d look at the rest of the first episodes I didn’t cover in the last post, even though I said I was dead set on watching them later anyways. And I still am. Just thought I’d have an idea of what to expect.

Sakurako-san

This one’s got all sorts of long names, so I’m just going to call it Sakurako-san for short (not to be confused with The Pet Girl of Sakurasou). Anyways, the reactions to this one were kind of lukewarm, but I wasn’t exactly sure why. That changed after watching this episode because it was fucking stupid. Literally nothing happened but the main dude praising the lady (named Sakurako, obviously) despite her doing nothing but fanboy over corpses and being cuckoo in general. And when they’re presented with a case, she just solves it instantly for the sole purpose of showing off her talents. The case literally had no relevance to the story other than that. It’s just a lazy expository introduction with a lot of mishandled filters. Nothing more, and that’s a bad thing.

The Perfect Insider

Definitely going to need to try watching this again once a few more episodes air because I tried the premiere and it really bored me. I heard quite a few good things about A-1’s new noitamina contribution upon its release. And after watching it, all I have to say is this: why? Okay it was better than Sakurako-san, but this episode was nothing but people talking and talking and talking and talking and talking and somebody stabs someone in the eye…oh wait no that didn’t happen. That was just me threatening to self-mutilate my own sockets if someone wasn’t going to do it themselves.

I took a closer look at people’s reactions and the positive word apparently comes from how they enjoy the craft of its writing the same way I appreciate the craft of Fincher’s direction. Fair enough, but just like Fincher’s bad movies, I don’t understand the appeal of this sort of craft when it’s not applied to anything more than promises and setup that the show might not even deliver on and even when it does, it takes too long to do so (Shin Sekai Yori, Uchouten Kazoku, Overlord, every VN anime ever). Oh there’s a girl living in a computer? Neat, but why is she in the story? Who are these characters? Where’s the fucking mystery you promised A-1 (not that I expect you to keep your promises)?

Yeah, I’m definitely going to need to wait a few weeks before trying this again.

Garo 2

First off, I want to say that this was my favorite premiere of the first season. Yes, it’s technically a continuation of a show I’ve admitted to liking, but it doesn’t have the same team or characters behind it, so I might as well have not seen the original show in regards to this. Plus, Sho Aikawa is writing this thing and people who know my taste in anime writers know that I don’t really like any aside from the big wigs, but Aikawa is definitely one whose name makes me groan every time he appears. Didn’t stop me from loving the thing though. It’s a premiere that actually has cool stuff happen and uses conflict to set up the overall story. And we all know that I enjoy stories centered on humanity’s dark side, which Garo generally delivers on with a good amount of camp and decently choreographed fight scenes.

Now let’s get into my quibbles with the episode. Along with the animation being as shitty as usual, I’m not sold on the characters so far. I like how the male dude has to rely on the female lead to activate his powers, but the show hasn’t really characterized them yet and if they turn out to be nothing more than shallow badasses, I’m not gonna be able to tolerate them the entire way through. Also, I can’t say I’m a fan of the humor. It seems to be increased from the last iteration, lack of physical violence aside, and it’s just lame. But maybe that’s just the annoying kid talking.

Still, I had fun watching this to the point that I might keep up with this show weekly, along with Ushio and Tora. Hey, Fridays are the most open of weekdays, right? And I can think of a lot worse ways to waste time than watching two shows from my current favorite TV anime studio on the same day.

9 responses to “So About Fall’s Mystery Anime (And The New Garo)…

  1. I agree that Sakurako-san was dull, but I really enjoyed The Perfect Insider. The impression of a story about secluded geniuses colliding with each other, and the way Magata was introduced (and wasn’t), ticked my boxes. But I’m just starting uni right now, so being overly intellectual and philosophical about things is kinda my jam. Every interaction of characters felt nuanced with depth that we can only appreciate the surface of right now. The mystery is certainly about why Magata is like she is now.

    Whether or not all the threads that the opening gave ‘deliver’ shouldn’t be an issue for analysis at first; it’s best to just get as interested as you want to in what’s offered and review afterwards whether your interest was rewarded.

    • The thing is, I have no reason to care for Magata’s condition other than her existence. Just being supernatural as of itself isn’t enough to get me interested. That’s like starting Lain without the girl committing suicide to kick things off.

  2. I think Sakurako-san has some potential. I’m sort of interested to see where it’s going to go. I thought the Garo episode was pretty but I think it introduced way too many characters, so it seemed a little unfocused.

  3. The Perfect Insider hits me as a story that’ll possibly be about AI, given the context, and the hint about the parents being killed by a “doll”. Personally I find it fascinating and I appreciate the slow pacing (incredible, isn’t it?). Surely, the build up CAN be disappointing, but that does not mean it can’t also be a good thing when it delivers (by the way, loved Shinsekai Yori and appreciated Overlord too). It’s just tastes in this case really – I like frantic stuff too, but now and then I like a good, slow show that doesn’t look like it’s trying to cut its plot into 20-something minutes pieces that manage to all end with some sort of cliffhanger or climax to fit the episode runtime.

    • Not sure what’s to like about Overlord if I’m being honest. Literally nothing happened and the whole “trapped in a video game” angle might as well not exist. And that’s not even getting into how bad the action was.

      I like a good, slow show that doesn’t look like it’s trying to cut its plot into 20-something minutes pieces that manage to all end with some sort of cliffhanger or climax to fit the episode runtime.

      My problem with Perfect Insider isn’t that its slow (I mean c’mon, one look at my favorite anime list would snow I like some methodical pieces of animation). It’s that they didn’t introduce the conflict or justify why these characters are the leads. Nothing’s really tying those things you like together and whilst I’m not denying that won’t happen later, isn’t that the first episode’s job?

      • About Overlord, it’s definitely a geeky kind of pleasure, the plot is definitely not that compelling, the video game angle is there in some episodes (notably the final battle) but sometimes might indeed not exist, and there are some very silly anime-isms. What I liked about it? Mostly the idea of the fundamental conflict between Ainz’s human nature and his monstrous one, the way it lead to the relationship with his minions, and the times where he actually unleashed his power in battle in amusing ways. That basically amounts to the three huge climaxes of the show – the battle in the village at the beginning, the battle in the cemetery with Clementine, and the final duel with Shalltear. Anyway I won’t defend it as a great or even very good anime, it’s decent and niche, but I got some fun out of it. Some episodes are admittedly slow and boring though, not even the good kind of slow.

        As for Perfect Insider, well, the first episode’s job is to catch your attention. Introducing the conflict is one way to do so, but sometimes the nature of the conflict itself might be something to be revealed. I think the first episode *foreshadowed* the conflict, well enough at least that I can form hypotheses on what it’s going to be and am in fact hooked to see if they’re right, while keeping also me genuinely interested in the characters themselves. So that makes me want to keep watching.

    • I think the first episode *foreshadowed* the conflict, well enough at least that I can form hypotheses on what it’s going to be and am in fact hooked to see if they’re right, while keeping also me genuinely interested in the characters themselves. So that makes me want to keep watching.

      Yeah, I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m not a fan of foreshadowing as substance or when the product relies on the twist at the end. It’s something Fincher has a problem with every other movie. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, for example, spend the entire first half of its long length on setting up the mystery and it wiped me out to the point that the second half couldn’t fully get me in. Though it didn’t exactly help that Lizbeth added jack to the story.

      • Well, okay, but this *really* is a matter of tastes. Personally I like fast stories – so much so in fact that in a sense occasionally watching slow ones is a way for me to kick back and try go into a mode where my sense of attention focuses on little details and takes things in short sips, kicking my ADHD back in a corner for a while. It’s not something that I would like to do all the time, in fact I need to be in the right mood for it, but doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it. But it’s very personal. I can totally see just being pissed off or bored by it.