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Fall 2013 Anime: First Episode Impressions, Part 2 of 5

Posted on November 4, 2013 AT 06:00pm

Yowamushi Pedal (Yowapeda) – “Because I can Go to Akiba for Free”

Look at me, watching sports anime. Although I don’t feel like this is as strict a sports anime as I was expecting, it still isn’t the kind of show I would find myself wanting to watch. Onoda Sakamichi is our main kid, but when we meet him, he’s not interested in athletics of any kind. Circumstances lead him to meet Imaizumi Shunsuk, the type of guy you expect to be the star of a show like this. He’s totally competitive, he’s athletic, and he trains regularly. Yet, Onoda is the star. Because he is an otaku on a budget, Onda’s pedaled his little heart out on a massive, steep hill every time he wants to go pick up some otaku goodies. Imazumi is naturally stunned at this twerp’s accomplishments.

Yowapeda succeeds at being a sports anime that a wider audience can appreciate. Onda is funny, and he’s likeable. The gamble to make him the lead, rather than a side character paid off. I cannot commit to this show, because, again, sports anime are not ones I gravitate to. If the other anime this season don’t turn out to keep my attention, I might find time for some bicycle racing.


Beyond the Boundary (Kyokai no Kantata)- “Carmine”

Kyoto Animation have always impressed me with their animation. The stories they attach to their animation are not as consistently wonderful.  In Beyond the Blood, we begin with our hero/narrator, Akihito seeing a girl he believes is going to kill herself. He tries to save her life, but things don’t go in any way he could’ve imagined. Mirai Kuriyama is her name, and she is a short, glasses-wearing klutz. She’s also attempted to kill Akihito numerous times. They live in a world where youmu exist. They are beings who can posses humans, giving them superhuman power.

Akihito is more than just a human possessed by youmu. He is part human, part youmu. This makes him immortal,  and Mirai’s attempts to kill him are futile. Mirai’s family is in the habit of killing youmu, because they are Spirit World Warriors. Her particular bloodline can manipulate their own blood and use it as weaponry. Mirai, though, doesn’t really want to kill youmu. So, in short, a complicated relationship between two high school students has developed.

There are only so many tales out there to tell. We know stories of killers who don’t want to kill a certain target. We have seen numerous stories where humans and supernatural creatures co-exist. Kyo Ani is animating this particular story, though, so Beyond the Blood‘s beauty triumphs over the familiar smell emanating from its pores.


Strike the Blood-”The Right Arm of the Saint I”

Ah, vampires. No matter how many films and TV shows are made about them, there never seems to be any end to vampire fiction. Strike the Blood is another in a long line of not only vampire anime, but also anime about humans and supernatural creatures coexisting.  Kojou Akatsuki is not only a vampire, but a super special one. He is Fourth Progenitor, a title that makes him a target, and that is why he meets Yukina. Yukina uses this cool collapsible polearm thingy, as member of the Lion King organization. Insert Simba jokes here.

I was just talking about seeing familiar stories, and here we are with Strike the Blood. The difference between Beyond the Boundary and Strike the Blood is that Strike the Blood doesn’t look like it’s twisting the same old story into a new shape. A great example is that in vampire boy Kojou’s past, he was in some desolate area, surrounded by fire, and about to watch a girl die. If I had the power to gather all of the scenes in anime that look just like the one described, I could create a compilation so long, it would take the rest of your natural life to finish watching it. Strike the Blood is not an offense to good writing or storytelling, but it is certainly forgettable. Besides pantsu and hooded sweatshirts, most of my memory regarding this anime has faded.


Galilei Donna- “Galileo DNA”

For real!? This is a concept for a show? So Galilei Donn is about three sisters, the Ferrari sisters. Their great ancestor is the famed astronomer, Galileo Galilei.We don’t start out with them straight away. What we set our sights on first is a fish-shaped ship that drops its cargo on an unsuspecting research facility. The cargo are mecha that steal crates of methane hydrate, and don’t leave before creating massive collateral damage. We then jump to a girl being chased in the streets by a ship that looks like the infant version of our first fish ship.

Up, next credits! The opening credits animation tells you everything you need to know about this show. We have three girls: one is bookish, the other is into the physical pursuits, and the third is mechanically minded. So the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without Michelangelo, I guess? Of course, there are the secondary characters, and a fish theme throughout. Is there some Japanese Galileo pun that involves goldfish? Whatever.

Hazuki, Hozuki, and Suzuki Ferrari are three sisters who can’t escape their ancestry, if their mother has anything to say about it. Evil forces seem to care about the Galileo legacy more than the Ferrari sisters do, and they are willing to kill for it. Galilei Donna is a bit ridiculous. For one thing, why does Hozuki build the things she builds? They would serve no other purpose than aiding in the conflict that happens in this episode. Is she psychic? Also, why do these ships need flapping fins? They could very well be explained in the next episode, but I doubt it. Even with these questions swirling around my fishbowl, I’m fully prepared to take a ride in the ol’ goldfish ship.


Arpeggio of Blue Steel  – “Those with Shipping Routes”

In Fancy Italian Word Show, we (meaning EVERY nation on Earth) have gathered our forces to fight an enemy known as the Fleet of Fog. We’re not winning. They have a clear technological advantage, so not looking good for us humans. Our last hope is in, an enemy battleship that works primary through Iona, an android who is its consciousness. This is the I-401, the titular Blue Steel.

I don’t think there is an awful lot to report about the first episode of this show. I really think it’s a show meant to get geeks to buy dolls of cute anime girls, and also buy ships of different colors. I like that main dude Gunzo is a rebel, acting on his own as a battleship for hire. How he jumps from being a cadet to a captain calling his own shots is quite a leap. I know a cute girl makes everything better, but why did Gunzo and his crew decide to go off on their own, rather than be part of humanity’s forces?


Check out part one of my anime impressions, and stay tuned for part 3.


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