Initial Impressions : JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (Anime)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (2012)

I’ve heard a lot about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures throughout my time, and now that the anime series has finally begun airing, I finally have the chance to view this spectacle myself. With all that I’ve heard, I really had no idea what to expect in this series. However, I really think that this series has many qualities that characterize this show, and I can see how this story fares so well due to its uniqueness and story-driven plot.

Dio’s just lovin’ to point.

After watching this first episode, I can honestly say I am fascinated by the series. The rivalry between Dio and Jonathan, the connections between the Brando family and Joestar family, and the amount of character development in this series is superb. Just in this first episode alone, you can easily see how a story was formed between these two characters, and the development Jonathan goes through to match his new “brother.” While I didn’t find Jonathan to be the best character near the beginning, as he appeared a whiny, unappreciative brat, I later found appreciation for his character as he grew and evolved throughout this episode. To develop a character in such a short amount of time just demonstrates how much detail was put into this series. I haven’t read the manga, but from what I’ve heard there was much more time to develop on that medium, and I can only begin to imagine how detailed and vast the manga must be.

JoJo tries to have fun…only to have it end in utter defeat.

Animation-wise, I can easily say I was deterred after viewing photos of the series. The unique characteristics the animation holds definitely give meaning to the name of the series, and while the story alone proves to be wacky enough, the animation definitely struck the nail in the coffin to the word ‘bizarre.’ While it took a few minutes to get into the animation, once the story began to rev up I was able to cast my doubts aside and appreciate the series for what it truly was.

This is how you make an antagonist. Learn animation studios!

The OP, which arose during the second episode, gave a wacky and zany impression on what was in store for future episodes. Just watching the OP gives me the ‘bizarre’ feeling implied in the title, and the ED, while not amazing, doesn’t detract from the series as a whole. In addition, the use of foreign bands to perform the songs only added to the experience, as the setting of the anime lies outside of Japan.

While the series has only just begun, the vibes revived from this series were phenomenal, and I greatly look forward to future episodes. If you were on the fence about this series, definitely give it a try and don’t laugh it off until you’ve finished at least one episode. There’s a reason why Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures has such a vast following, and if the fan-base doesn’t expand to unspeakable territory, I feel this series can hold its own during the upcoming season(s).

Initial Impressions : Little Busters!

Little Busters (2012)

The time has finally come for another Key novel to be animated and have its story told anew. While it’s been four, almost five, years since that last adaptation, it feels like last week I was sitting in anticipation for the next episode of Clannad to air. While I’ve yet to play Little Busters!, I can say that I really enjoyed this first episode that J.C. Staff has brought to us.

Right to left: Rin, Masato, Riki, Kengo, Kyousuke.

I’ll be honest; when I first heard J.C. Staff was taking charge of this new project, I was hesitant to say the least. Hell, I still don’t know if they’ll do the game justice. However, after watching this first episode, I was able to watch and observe all the crazy antics that make a Key novel funny and enjoyable. In a way, it felt like another humorous episode of Clannad or Angel Beats!, and that’s not a bad situation to be in. However, I must re-iterate that this is the first episode, and what really matters is what goes on after this episode.

It’s only the first episode, but I can already say that Rin is best girl.

The story begins with the return of Kyousuke, a high school senior who completes the group of childhood friends who once called themselves the “Little Busters.” The group, consisting of five members: Kyousuke Natsumi. Rin Natsumi, Kengo Miyazawa, Masato Inohara, and Riki Naoe. At first glance, I had assumed the main character would be Kyousuke, as he’s the cool character with the aura of a cool protagonist. To my dismay, the story is told through the eyes of Riki Naoe, a junior who relies on the friendship and bonds these friends hold after he lost his parents at a young age. Luckily, the episode greatly follows the group as a whole, and doesn’t focus on one person.

Hey look, it’s your typical snob. Why does she matter at this point?

During some random course of events, Kyousuke decides that the group should spend their time forming a baseball team, and the episode primarily focuses on the crazy situations that occur trying to build up a team. The episode is full of humor, and I found myself laughing at quite a few scenes. However, this also worries me as I know the feels will be coming at some point, for there hasn’t been a Key work that hasn’t left me feeling for the characters at one point or another. Either way, this first episode was great, and I’m greatly anticipating the following episodes.

Finally, I felt this episode began the series off right, and while it didn’t clear all worries I have with this project, it did ease some of my anxiety over J.C. Staff animating this series. While they aren’t Kyoto Animation, J.C. Staff did a great job with this first episode, and I’m really hoping the following episode will not only be enough to tell the story, but also complete the story without leaving out vial details. Either way, I’m going to be playing the game at one point or another; with that, I’d really like to see this adaptation succeed and tell the story without butchering it. Let’s hope this series doesn’t crash and burn!


Initial Impressions : Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

I’m a big fan of the Hayate no Gotoku series, as I’ve been following it since it was first animated by SynergySP back in 2007. However, this series hasn’t been given the best treatment throughout its life, as the sequel didn’t appear until 2009, animated by J.C. Staff. In the following years, the movie was released, animated by yet another company, and finally, this series has begun, and breaks the tradition by retaining the same company who animated the movie. When I first heard about this series, I was overjoyed to hear that the Hayate series would return, and I’ve been waiting to watch the first episode of Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

Nagi, why would you buy something you know you don’t like?

This episode really brought back the great wacky feeling that the Hayate series gives off, and it really doesn’t disappoint in terms of a new Hayate animation. I am a little bummed that the project turned into a stand-alone animation, as opposed to continuing to follow the manga, but I can live with new content, and this episode does bring my hopes up.

In terms of the episode, the beginning left me recalling The Hangover, as the opening brings us to the Nevada desert, hanging on what events left poor little Nagi in this barren wasteland. First Steins;Gate, now Hayate; I don’t know the next series that’s going to wind up in the Nevada desert. Also, as someone who lives in a desert, I know everything that happened to her happens to me, minus the cactus part.

Why would you do that? You’ve gotta love the humor of the Hayate series.

The character designs so far have been decent, but it really is strange going to new designs yet again after changing them a few times. Every studio animates the crew differently, and it always takes some time getting used to their new looks. I don’t know how Hinagiku(Best Girl) or some other side characters are going to look, if they appear at all, but I’m sure it’ll be okay once I’m actually used to the change. The animation isn’t terrible by any means, just different.

Huh? Shocked? Nah, this happens daily.

We’re later brought back to the mansion, and man, this really brings out the whole change in animation studios. The mansion looks completely different, and while I’ve yet to see if that’s a good or bad thing, I was shocked to see how different it looked. While we pan back to the great mansion, Maria answers the phone and quickly changes to English to speak to the Nevada police. In appears that Nagi’s late father left some belongings behind, and they need Nagi to confirm if the items really belonged to her father. As she thinks about leaving to America, the television soon displays a show that discusses Area 51 and aliens, all of which pique Nagi’s interest and her will to go to America. While Hayate and Maria attempt to persuade Nagi into leaving when school is not in session, she storms off and complains in typical Nagi fashion.

Claiming to be an imouto? This is just too much man.

Everything that happens after can be said to pay homage to the first chapter in the manga series. The kidnapping, setting, and rescue all mirror the unforgettable intro to this amazing series. I really enjoyed this touch, and the attention to detail is superb. In fact, Nagi’s stubbornness and the fact the kidnappers are brothers (Though if they owe money to the Yakuza is unexplained) only added to my enjoyment of this dedication to the beginning. However, there are some details added in to create relevance to the current plot, and the plot-twist at the end was shocking, but I’ve yet to believe the validity of her claim. This may be due to the fact I just watched Who is Imouto?, but who knows.

Either way, I am swirling in anticipation for the next episodes, and I really want to know where this series goes. I laughed at quite a bit of this episode, and I only hope the humor stays in future episodes. Time to start the new season with a bang!