And you thought that those milksops were a new trend in anime.
Not much this week; my internet has been spotty at best, so I have yet to have watched K, Zetsuen no Shitfest, or the latest episode of From the New World. I’ve also started a new job, so there goes all my time!
From the New World, episode 6
More of the queerats versus queerats stuff. Sigh. Not exactly thrilling stuff, although I did enjoy the whole starry cave ceiling thing. Why? ‘Cause it looked pretty. Rumor has it episode seven is the end of this particular arc, at least.
AKB0048, episodes 3-5
I feel kind of weird for enjoying this as much as I do, as this is fairly obviously a wet-dream made reality for moe fans, yet… I do really like it so far. The music is awful, and CG terrifies me, but I like that the focus has been moreso on the huge amount of effort necessary rather than on the flashy shows. I also really enjoy the fact that our characters are fairly competent and sharp, and are shown thriving in a sphere which they are largely responsible for running, which, as I’ve said before, isn’t something we get to see too much with teenaged female characters in anime (and, curiously, my favorite examples are all seinen properties!)… although I would be pretty thrilled were the blue-haired one to get hit by a truck or something. Holy shit, she’s obnoxious!
Meanwhile, the whole “idols are serious business” thing continues to feel fairly ludicrous, but I suppose I’m willing to endure that aspect.
Tenshi ni Narumon/I’m Gonna Be An Angel!, episodes 1-14
And here’s the odd-ball this week, a title which some of you may recall as a particularly good example of how to handle a title catastrophically. For those of you unfamiliar, once upon a time there was a company named Synch-Point, which was a subsidiary of Broccoli. They released a few anime, of which FLCL was the clear winner in terms of popularity, which in turn meant that they sort of mishandled everything else, since FLCL performed so well. I don’t wanna get too into the weeds on this, as it gets messy fast with the international connection involved, but they never released all of Tenninaru; they kept pushing back the release date for the fourth volume before flipping everyone the bird and vanishing. Some folks were legitimately bummed… but not very many.
But, before I go any further: Tenninaru is about a hapless young man named Yuusuke and Noelle, the angel-to-be who falls into his life and brings her strange family along with her. Since this is anime, they all live together, and kerrrraziness ensues! But some weirdo in another dimension is trying to kidnap Noelle! And Yuusuke loves another girl, even though Noelle has declared her determination to become an angel for him! Complications galore!
Anyway, here I am, watching it. Tenninaru feels, in many ways, very old. Its that “zany!” anime that doesn’t quite exist anymore, the sort where weird elements just seem to have been tossed in for the sake of the weirdness. The most recent closest example I can think of is Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, which came out in 2008 and felt outdated as hell when it aired. Basically, Tenninaru is The Munsters: The Anime, just, y’know, with stuff like “girlfriend from the sky!” and occasional low-grade mecha action added in.
And yet there are these moments which bring to mind Revolutionary Girl Utena and Princess Tutu that keep popping up… so, no surprise to discover that it shares staff with both of those shows (RGU pre-dates it, Tutu post-dates it). Its almost, but not quite, like there are two shows running here, as the deranged “comedy” moments couldn’t be more unalike the esoteric scenes. And one could note that the central question of both is similar and is handled similarly – Utena wants to be a prince, but what is a prince, anyway? Noelle wants to be an angel, but what is an angel, anyway?
Tenninaru never comes close to engaging on the level that RGU did, but I find myself intrigued despite the fact that both Noelle and Yuusuke are incredibly irritating. Granted, it does help that Akira Ishida voices a mysterious aqua-haired young man who is apparently an angel-to-be himself…! But I do genuinely enjoy the moments where the show gets odder than garden-variety zany family antics. I just wish these moments were more frequent.
One final note: visually, Tenninaru has aged pretty decently. You would never mistake it for a show from 2006 or later, but the animation is fairly smooth, and the art is pleasing to the eye in color and quality. You can tell it must’ve had a nice little budget, surprisingly for a Studio Pierrot show… although KyoAni was in the details on the animation front. Hmm!