I got my new 300-gig HDD set up for external use, just in time for the summer season. As of my writing this, I’ve watched the premieres of three shows, raw. Now, I usually don’t watch raw anime episodes. But…I’m anxious of some reason. I know I could wait for the sub groups make the karaoke graphics along with translating the dialogue, but I got impatient so I decided to dive right in them.
Since I don’t really know conversational Japanese, I only understood the broad details that could be gleaned from visual cues and select words I recognized. I’ll definitely watch the subbed versions of these shows in order to get the full effect. For now, courage.
Honey & Clover:
The first episode was an overview of the previous season, narrated by Takemoto; the only new plot thing was Takemoto getting his driver’s license. Good for those who missed the first 24 episodes, although I’d really recommend people go back and watch last season because most of the jokes were lost in the condensation process.
Opening – “Fugainaiya” by YUKI
Sounds like “Dramatic” except there are electric guitars driving the song instead of drums. Also, there is a piano as an accenting instrument replacing the strings of last season. What remains is the ending note being punctuated visually, although this time it’s a fork in pancake. The presentation is a mix of both of last season’s openings: the uniform color background with a rotating center item and the . The dancing food is now a sculpture of “a dodo on a poodle on a lion on a unicorn” made of ever-changing materials, including dollar bills and grass.
Ending – “Split” by SuneoHair
A little slower than last season’s “Waltz” with more focus on bass this time, although the vocals sped up for a few of the chrous verses. I don’t even think there was a guitar in it. A spinning clover and floating character silhouettes are on screen before and just after the “next episode” footage.
Binbou Shimai Monogatari:
It is summer and also the day of the local festival. Kyou Yamada (age 15) gets up early in the morning and delivers newspapers while her younger sister Asu (age 9) stays home and does the housework. She also makes lunch for when her sister comes back. Asu puts some spare change money into the piggybank. After lunch, Asu runs to the festival site to make a layout map while Kyou empties the piggybank in order to buy a yukata for Asu. When she returns home, Asu gets angry at her, thinking she blew the money they had saved. Kyou goes onto the festival while Asu tries to return the yukata. Asu finds out at the shop that Kyou looked hard for a bargain; she feels bad for yelling at Kyou and heads to meet her at the festival. Once there, the sisters can’t find each other but Kyou gets an idea and yells from atop a hill in order. Happy ending accomplished.
I think I’ll continue to watch this one because (1) it’s kind of relaxing to watch and (2) it’s only 10 episodes long. The flashback scene was worked well and will probably be the method we find out about the girls’ past. Hopefully, why their father’s face is blackened out with marker will be explained sometime before the end. My guess: he killed their mother, maybe accidentally, but still was disowned by his daughters. *hears gasps* What, too bold? Anyway, the “ghost mom” thing seemed a little weird; she looked too out-of-place.
Opening – “Shinkokyuu” by Splash Candy
Set to slow rock, the sisters are shown playing in a field of flowers, cowering in some dark and windy place, and finally enjoying doing activities together.
Ending – “Soyokaze Life” by Kanako Sakai
Featuring a cute singer with some big-band horn backing, an average day for the two girls plays out while the camera is locked on their apartment window.
Sunao Konoe is a new student at some high school and, I think, wants to join/make a club so she goes to the seitokai [Student Council]. When she gets to their headquarters, which is looks on the outside like a Japanese temple, the ojou-sama president Erika (who made advances on her assistant before Sunao came in) tests her by making her perform a scene from “Romeo and Juliet”. It turns out that she had an experience in grade school on stage playing a princess and her cousin (a tree in the play); the cousin nudged her out of nervousness but then called her a daikon [giant white radish], a nickname she has loathed ever since.
Anyway, she surprised Erika by playing both Juliet AND Romeo and just then, Leo Tsushima (remember that tree kid) walks in to get Erika’s stamp of approval. Sunao gets distracted by his voice and ends up causing the stage to collapse. Must have been a shoddily-built stage. Leo saves her and thinks he’s seen her somewhere before; he notices her pigtails [tsuinteeru,
“swine tails” EDIT(7/5): “twin tail”] and calls her daikon, which gets him a slap in the face.
My favorite characters so far are Asada-san, the kind orange-haired girl, and Subaru-kun (played by same VA as Excel Saga’s Ilpalazzo). I kind of like Sunao but only really for her clumsiness. One thing that ANNOYED me, which will probably continue throughout, were the “Tsuyokisu” pseudo-eyecatches at seemingly random times. Sure, they kind of indicated scene changes but I felt interrupted the flow and broke the “fourth wall” in a way. Overall the show was entertaining enough for me to stick around for a few more episodes.
Opening – “Sunao ni Narenai” by Little Non
Ending – “open” by Kaori Utatsuki
I liked both themes: the opening for its tip-tapping chorus and the closing for its slow piano.
NEXT TIME – PART TWO:
Coyote Ragtime Show, Mamotte! Lollipop, Otogi-Jushin Akazukin