January Summary/First Impressions Part 1 (AnoNatsu, Another, Brave 10)

Ano Natsu de Matteru

3 Episodes

AnoNatsu has left a surprisingly good impression at the end of the third episode. Now, I'm not familiar with any of the Onegai series people kept connecting this anime with, but on first glance, AnoNatsu appears to be build on a generic setup and runs on a very formulaic development. What surprises me is that the story has consistently develop in ways I didn't quite expect. I'd have thought it'll be easy to predict the general outline of the story, but no. What I got in the end is an anime with a very familiar setting and popular character styles, but runs on a very fresh (and very welcome) story style that marks a refreshingly stark contrast with your average common anime series. This might sound like overly high praise for just three episodes, but I always appreciates it when stories avoids the cliché traps in the opportune moments. The plot itself still leave much to be desired, but AnoNatsu has already worked out half the formula for a success.

Outlook: Very Positive


3 Episodes

Despite being a horror series, I failed to be even mildly thrilled by anything they've tried for the first three episodes. If anything can be considered scary, it would be the BGM; and unfortunately, only the BGM. I understand that the anime is still at the phase where it has to build up the suspense and setting and stuff, but it has never really gave the audience anything to be scared of. I'm pretty sure that if you turned off the BGMs, all you'll get is simply a pretty boring high school story with a hint of mystery.

In any case, Mei is way too cute to be the subject of my horror; and it's ironic that I'm enjoying this more as a regular high school anime instead of something that's supposed to freak me out. Being adapted into a unfamiliar style and its fantastic animation quality is keeping me interested, but I'm not sure that would carry me very far.

Outlook: Mildly Positive

Brave 10

3 Episodes

I'm not normally into samurai series like these, but this feels like a more shounen version of yet-another-sengoku-anime, without too much anthropomorphism, exaggeration or gar. TMS studio is also something I've never heard of, so I'm quite interested to check this out...

ahh... fine. I'm watching this for Satou Rina. Damn.

But ideally, I was hoping for another Samurai Champloo or Seirei no Moribito. Well, from what I've seen from the first three episodes, I'm sure Brave 10 would never get anywhere close. We have a fairly generic plot of the main character meeting and fighting the various "braves", but at least the action's pretty good so far. Nothing's amazing, but the anime has done well to avoid clichés despite having rather shallow characters. It's unfortunate that Satou Rina's character, Isanami, is portrayed as your regular female lead that falls in love with the male lead for practically no reason.

Anyway, they should fire the sound guy. Too many times the voice work is barely comprehensible compared to the overwhelming sound effects, and I can't seem to find a appropriate volume I can set to watch the show.

Outlook: Fairly Good