Holy crap where does the time go? It feels like it was only last week that I wrote up my impressions to some of the summer seasons latest series, yet here we are almost three weeks later. I guess time flies when your working all the time.
Anyways, here is part 2 of my summer impressions. I haven’t been keeping up with these two series at all, so its essentially still just my impressions on the first episode of both (even though there are about 4 episodes out now I think). The next batch of shows will be a bit more in depth, as I have actually been watching them each week as they come out. Can’t wait to start talking about them! For now enjoy my thoughts on two shows that really missed there mark for me…
It seems some people are actually into this show for some reason. From the opening scene all I could do was laugh at the show, and it wasn’t because it was trying to be funny. After a quick fight involving a mysterious female character (who we got to see in the opening) the show opens with our protagonist fighting a couple of thugs. We immediately get to see that our protagonist is one of those “I’ll do whats right and deliver justice!” type characters, and that he is a petty capable fighter. Up to this point nothing really screams “laughably bad”, but it doesn’t make you think it is going to be anything other than mediocre either. So many series will start off with a flashy fight scene in order to try an draw in the viewer that it isn’t that exciting anymore. With no clue as to who the characters are its hard to care who wins or loses, the only purpose they serve is to give us a taste of what the powers or fighting style will be. These first action scenes don’t really show either, just that our protagonist is at least skilled enough in CQC that he can take on street thugs, and that there will be some kind of supernatural powers being used.
Anyway’s, I start to realize what kind of series this will be as soon as the protagonist finishes off one of the thugs and they literally run away crying for their mommy. This isn’t going to be a cool gritty action anime, it’s going to be the millionth action anime that tries to be funny, goofy, have cute girls and have all the normal tropes of every other generic action show. There are going to be maids (as seen from the opening), probably a loli character, fan service and of course, the protagonist is going to have some crazy ability that lets him get out of any tight situation, because plot.
It gets worse though, as the guy he was trying to save turns out to have some kind of crazy secret weapon. Like most rational people who have smuggled top-secret weapons from military facilities, he just decides to give it to the kid who just saved him from getting his ass kicked by some thugs. Yeah. OK. Our protagonist continues the idiotic behavior by accepting the gift from the strange guy, and when it starts to spark and cause pain he just keeps holding it because you know, why not. I would like to think that most people would probably drop the freaking strange slab that a random guy gave you on the street when it started causing you physical pain, but I guess our protagonist isn’t very normal…
So that’s the set-up to the series and how the protagonist gets his powers. I spent most of the scene just laughing at it, cause it was mind numbing to try and figure out the logic of it all. It would have been way more believable to have the random guy just kinda force it on him if he really wanted it gone. Anyways, the first episode pretty much lived up to what my expectations were. We get to see the mysterious girl from the start again, as she turns out to be working for the US military. She too has the same power that the protagonist now has, which manifests itself as a tattoo on their palm. Turns out that they need something to trigger the abilities of the tattoo’s (hers is chalk) and he doesn’t know what his is yet. The mysterious chick looks suspiciously young to be working for the US military, but hey we need cute girls in these battle right?
We get two more fights in the episode, both of which looked alright. The first one is between protagonist and mysterious girl (I really need to learn their names…) and i finally shows off some of the powers they have. Animation wise the fights look cool if you aren’t paying attention, but there were a few times that made me question how they animated it. One moment that really stands out in my mind is when the girl goes to punch the protagonist, and it shows it kinda from her perspective. The way they animated her arm as she is punching him made it seem like it was some crazy noodle arm, something you would expect from Luffy in One Piece.
Outside of those random moments I thought the fight looked really cool though, and I enjoyed them a lot. Hopefully the series focuses on the fights more than they do everything else, because as it stands its the shows best feature. There is some random fan service thrown in throughout the episode, and of coarse the main bad-ass chick acts insanely cute when she isn’t out to murder you. Its basically striking me as just another generic action anime that is doing all the things necessary to get fans to care about its characters (or at least care about the main chick, I can’t see anyone actually liking the main guy as he is just insanely bland and uninteresting). I can see people really liking the main girl and basically end up loving the show because she exists, but if you ask me the show isn’t doing anything too impressive or interesting.
So far its not a great first impression, but there is time to improve I think. It isn’t as bad as say absolute duo, which was probably the last generic action show I watched (attempted to at least, it was really bad). It is at least interesting enough to keep watching, so I will see where it goes.
Hanada-kun is the prequel to 2014’s amazing Barakamon, which was a slice-of-life show about a calligrapher who spends time on a remote island in order to grow as an artist and as a person. It was a charming show, full of unique and fun characters. It also featured some of the best child characters I have seen in an animated show, with some of them being voiced by very talented child actors. It was the type of show that could bring a smile to your face through its charm alone.
Hanada-Kun has none of that. Instead, Hanada-kun is a strait up gag anime, focusing on Hanada’s inability to read social situations at all while he was sin highschool. Everyone in his school is amazed by his talent and think he is one of the coolest guys around, but everyone is intimidated by him so no one will talk to him. Hanada takes this as a form of bullying, and thinks everyone is talking behind his back and making fun of him. When Hanada receives a love letter, he doesn’t even open it to see what it says because he thinks it is a challenge letter and someone wants to rip him a new one.
The whole show is crazy and wacky, and it can be easily seen in the character designs as well. One of the girls that falls for Hanada in the first episode is ridiculously large, especially compared to everyone else. Her head is probably 10 times the size of everyone else’s, so she end up looking like someone who doesn’t belong in the series.
Even though I loved Barakamon, Hanada-kun did not hit the mark for me. The gag’s just didn’t make me laugh, and the running gag of “Hanada misinterprets everything and causes wacky things to unfold” was already not that funny to me. I don’t see myself finishing the series because of this. If you really love gag series, Sakamoto-kun only aired last season, so check that one out. If you already watched it and are still looking for a gag series, give this one a shot. Hopefully you find the jokes funnier than I did.
*BTW: You don’t need to have seen Barakamon to watch this one. They are completely different, and from what I have seen none of the jokes rely on you having seen Barakamon. If you haven’t seen Barakamon however, go watch Barakamon! It’s amazing!