A perfect illumination of how the spring season has left me feeling so far.
So, here’s our BL for the season. Going in, I was pretty leery, as it comes from the same manga-ka as Junjou Romantica did, and that was a terrible, annoying show, in large part since it focused in on the worst couple present in the story. I will note that this, in turn, enhanced my distaste for the thing – if Shungiku Nakamura was actually capable of creating decent characters with a decent story, why did the proceedings have to zero in on the weakest ones?
However… the first episode of Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi was actually… decent. In fact, it was quite good at points; the rendering of facial expressions for humorous ends that Nakamura used in the manga remain well-adapted to the screen here, and the depiction of the manga industry seems much more apt than you’ll find in something like Bakuman and many others. And our would-be uke didn’t seem to be a total idiot.
But, hey, with first episodes, there’s always gotta be a second, so…
Watching the second episode of Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, I couldn’t help but feel this sinking sense of despair – not, exactly, about the show itself, but more about the entire spring season that I have endured thus far. Because, thus far, I see little to be excited about. I also see little to be enraged about, but I am mainly viewing a field of mildly disappointing and not terribly engaging entries to the genre as a whole.
I want to stress that I don’t take this as evidence that anime is getting worse, because I am fully of the belief that stuff ebbs and flows. A poor season doesn’t mean everything is now going to be crap, it just is a part of the natural cycle of anime. But I still have found this season to be fairly uninteresting so far.
In the second episode, the uke, Onodera, seems to lose about 30 IQ points from the first episode. We also, unhappily, have the full plot contrivance of his selective memory rear its ugly head. I guess I’d managed to forget that there was a hint of this in the first episode since, when I thought on it again, I should’ve known this was coming. But our memories are very good at editing out the more unpleasant items we encounter in our lives – hence “the good old days” because, actually, you forgot a lot of the nasty bits. So, our uke is now blushing, stupid, and forgetful. Grand.
Of course, I knew the drop in quality was coming. The promo art made that pretty clear. We can get all set for rape-as-romance in ensuing episodes, I’m sure. Damn… why did I even bother?
I suppose of the good remaining notes is that Nakamura apparently finally figured out how to draw decent-looking female characters since she did Junjou Romantica. And, uh… uhh….um… Never mind, I guess that’s the only one.
Also, is anyone else annoyed by the way the heads are drawn? I find their angularity to be terribly unpleasing to the eye. It just looks ugly and stupid. And I think I’ve worked out that for Nakamura, a pointy chin = uke, whereas a squarish-one = seme. Hilarious.
Ugh. Pass. I live for the day we get a solid BL anime… which probably means I will get to live a good, long while since I haven’t anything to indicate that such a thing will happen anytime soon.