And we’re back. Let’s carry on with my first impressions of the shows of Summer 2016.
Mob Psycho 100
Mob is a middle school student who has trouble expressing his emotions, so much so that he often comes across as bored or emotionless. The emotions are slowly building though and when they reach bursting point you’d better watch out, because you see Mob is actually an insanely powerful psychic. All he wants to do is be a normal kid and maybe get to talk to his dream girl, but in a world full of phoney psychics, evil spirits and mysterious groups there isn’t much chance of that. The bad guys had better watch out, when Mob hits one hundred then the butt-kicking is going to start.
From the creator that brought us One Punch Man, we now have Mob Psycho 100, and it’s animated by Bones (I’m sorry, I didn’t realise it was Christmas already, but thank you for the present). I’m really enjoying this series so far, it’s funny, it has some great action and it is really really really really really really well animated. I love the style Bones have gone for. It’s this scratchy style that looks like the drawings have just gotten up off of the page, but it’s really fast and fluid, I love it. I can only admire the sheer amount of skill and time put into this animation. There isn’t much of a story so far outside of just getting to know the crazy cast, but then I like the weirdoes that have assembled for this series. I really like Mob, he’s a sweet and innocent kid and I like trying to guess what’s going to add to his countup to one hundred. Also he’s a badass when he uses his powers.
Justice Akatsuka (stop laughing there are worse names in this anime, the main girl is called Bluesy Fluesy so I think Justice here got off lightly). Anyway, Justice saves a weird guy from some street thugs and as a reward is given a mysterious tattoo that gives him superpowers, said superpower being able to create a void that will swallow anything, even Justice himself (gotta say, not much of a reward when you think about it). Now Justice finds himself caught in the middle of a conflict between the U.S. army who developed the tattoos and the kingdom where the tattoos originate from. Let the superpowered teen battles commence! And fanservice, lots and lots of fanservice (can someone please use the void power on either me or this show; I don’t mind which at this point.)
Ugh. Three episodes in and I’ve already reached the point of ‘ugh’, not a good sign. The fanservice gets worse each episode, it’s like the series is purposefully pushing me. Oh, you can take this much fanservice? Then how about this much? Or this much? All building up to the point where I punch the screen to make it stop. It’s ruining what could be a decent show, not a great one, but decent. The story is pretty average; we’ve got the teen protagonist given an obscenely overpowered ability, joining up with a secretive group to battle super-powered bad guys. The animation is pretty good, there are a couple of interesting powers and triggers among all the generic ones and I like how the military and political stuff adds a little bit of a different flavour, it’s needs more expanding upon, but it’s ok. If they just got rid of the fanservice then this would be ok to waste a half hour on each week.
Alderamin on the Sky
Ikta Solork is lazy, a womaniser and a little bit of a jackass (scratch that he can be a pretty big jackass), thankfully he also happens to be a tactical genius, though he certainly doesn’t see that as plus. Ikta dreams of a cushy desk job where he can just laze around and let life pass him by, but fate has other plans. When the ship he’s on ends up stranding him, his friends and a princess behind enemy lines, it’s Ikta’s quick-thinking and clever plans that save them. Unfortunately this rather impresses the princess who gets Ikta enrolled in the military school, just as war looks set to spread through the kingdom.
I like this series. Ikta has the potential to be annoying, but so far has skirted around it. He’s unmotivated and real know-it-all, not characteristics that are easy to root for, but beneath it you can tell that he cares about this friends and comrades and will do everything in his power to help them, characteristics that can be rooted for. I like that he’s not really that good on the physical side of things, so instead uses tactics and methodical thinking to get around problems, and we’ve had some pretty fun schemes from him so far. The rest of the characters are all enjoyable, if needing some further development, but there’s plenty of time for that. Yatori has to be my favour, and not just because she’s a badass with a blade, but she’s also really cool, level-headed and fun. The one thing I’m hoping for is someone that can match Ikta in the brains department. So far no one’s showing that they can present a challenge to Ikta and I think this series will get boring if Ikta has the answer all the time. So far though, this is an enjoyable series.
Hitorinoshita – The Outcast
I’d sum up the story at this point, but we don’t really have much of one at the moment. We’ve got a main character called Soran who was raised to master a super secret martial arts technique that he’s not allowed to use on anyone except other outsiders (other people with powers). There’s a scary girl who likes knives and killing things. Are villains are a creepy and annoying little kid and his overly sexualised big sister. We have no idea what they want or what their big plan is, just that they want something from Soran’s grandfather. They couldn’t get it from the grandfather’s corpse so now they want to dig into Soran’s memories to find it. That’s about it really.
This series does have some potential, I don’t know much about Chinese mythology, but it’s a nice change and I’m willing to learn. I just wish this anime would pick up the pace a little. I’ve seen three episodes so far what I describe above is pretty much all that has happened. I don’t need all the answers to what’s going on, but give me a general idea. What are the villains’ goals? How does this threaten our heroes? Who are our heroes? Where is this all headed? Why should I care about these people and whatever’s going to happen? I’m not invested in anything about this show outside of the mythology stuff (and there’s not been much of that). Our leads aren’t that interesting either, not the badass weird girl or the martial arts master, who used his powers once, lost and has spent the rest of his time whining and moaning. Way to make me care anime, way to make me care.
When mysterious creatures suddenly attacked the world and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction (it must be Tuesday), the children of the world were shipped off to a cold sleep facility. Now decades later they’ve awoken to defend what remains of their world, each of them having developed strange powers called ‘World’, they are the last hope humanity has of surviving.
Well, one episode can certainly change an opinion on a series. I mean I thought of Qualidea Code as a show that just about made it to average. I mean it had an interesting idea with the kids waking up in a world that they have to get back from the mysterious monsters, the Unknown, but never really even hints at using that part of the story in anyway. No instead we get the typical teenagers with superpowers fighting to save the world, with a really unlikeable main character. I get what they were trying to do with him, he’s so obsessed with protecting the people he cares about and he thinks it has to be him and him alone that does the fighting, but does the guy have to be so arrogant about it? The animation’s not that good and the rest of the characters are kind of one note. I was probably going to drop this series; then episode 4 came along. Episode 4 is bad. I mean really bad, it’s so stupidly, insanely bad that it is a joy to watch. I have never seen something so ridiculous and over the top (well not this week anyway), and all of it comes right the hell out of nowhere. They even knock the wind out of the main character so he’s no longer so arrogant. Just go watch this one episode; no description can do it justice.
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday.