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musings of the enigmatic

October 7, 2009

“first impressions”: fall 2009 openings

Filed under: First Impressions, Opening Themes, Ramblings of the Heart — thenightsshadow @ 12:32 am

First Impressions are initial thoughts regarding the anime itself. It typically consists of thoughts compiled after cap-watching or screen-watching the first episode and watching the OP a bunch of times.

Fall 2009 is upon us, and because of that, we have definitely new openings. But before I start covering, I want to make something clear: take everything with a grain of salt, as these are opinions from a unique blogger with unique circumstances.


To Aru Majutsu no Index To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
While I may not like the overall world of the Index universe, this song seems to fit. It seems like an OP, fits the universe, and helps set the tempo for the series. Standard fare, most series need their OPs to do the silent talking.

The ironic thing here is that I’m taking Linguistics as a Major and I hear some of the strangest English I’ve heard in the past three months: “Looking this prism this planet to such away/only my railgun can do let me want to that”. Awesome. Just ridiculously awesome. (Note I was using some subs, and I’ve gotten updated versions: “Look in the prism, discriminate through such a way./Only my railgun can shoot, letting my soul out.” We’ll see what’s more accurate.)

The big thing that’s gonna play a wild card with this series is Kuroko, based on the OP. It’ll be hard to tell if she’s gonna be the great supporting character or the reason the series fell flat. Sure, time will tell, but what else are OPs for?

Kampfer
Kampfer’s OP is reminiscent of a couple of OPs I had created back in the day, all of which had the same problem: a lack of confidence. Sure, it doesn’t helpful that said singer is off-tune about 30~% of the time, but the fact remains, Kampfer’s OP doesn’t spell wonders for the series.

The novelty item in all of this happens to be the main character, a guy/girl named Natsuru Senou. Yes, guy/girl. This is probably the initial selling point, and by how the series looks from its source, the only thing worse than this would be a sluggish pace, something the OP tends to waver on (a.k.a., we’ll see some nicely-paced episodes and some slow-paced episodes, like the show can’t make up their mind).

Oh well. Kampfer will have to have a lot more confidence in itself to survive the season unscathed.

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu -Purezza-
I don’t even want to get into how mad the OP makes me. It doesn’t feel like an OP for that universe for one, and secondly, the OP seems to let us know that the comedy will be taking a backseat this season, though it will appear once or twice, and that’s not a good thing.

For the attraction this time around, we have a new character, an OP-only character (for now, at least), and a rekindling flame. Do I expect another Shima incident? Yes, and something that might cause a little harrowing in the fields, IYKWIM.

I don’t doubt that this series can make it, but the things that it put together for its success seem to not be all there this time around. What’s the new formula?

Seitokai no Ichizon
Uh, hello. I was pretty content with this apparent Slice-of-Life style OP until I see the guy at the end. Are you kidding me? Heck, the ED fits the series even better than the OP, and I’m not an ED guy.

What you can tell from watching the first episode? 0% Plot, 100% References. What you can tell from watching the OP? Not a lot of glue to keep it together. Many other blogs are already referencing this, but at least the OP proves it.

Before I got befuddled with the inclusion of the male figure at the end, it was difficult to figure out who was the main character, something I think is underappreciated by a society that mainly prefers to know everything beforehand. However, it’ll take a lot of rear wheel power for this rear-wheel vehicle to get going, but at least it can get out of it. It’s up to the series to let itself off the hook.

Natsu no Arashi! Aikinai-chuu
I don’t think it takes a lot to understand this OP. Anything goes. Simple, sweet, and to the point. So what’s the problem?

Simple. When you take A and B, mix them together, and people like it, ordinary people would continue to do it again and again. And for those that hate milking money from a series, that’s for you. Arashi is taking the same route again here, using what made it popular among its watchers here again, without a new trick in store.

That, unfortunately, tends to end up in disaster. Of course, to get there, they have to stumble and fall, so at least you’ll have a plausible reason to watch it.

The Sacred Blacksmith
Man, the OPs of this season are depressing. Cecily seems like the kind of character that would normally beset a typical male harem lead, except it’s fantasy fare and she’s female. Big diff, right?

Not really. Rarely do those kinds of shows develop the lead anything but mentally, and Cecily will gain confidence. Standard fare for this kind of show, so it’s not really anything novel or new.

Of course, with that interesting little “Justice of Light” part at the end, it might be the needle in the haystack. Or it could be the ground, covered up by something even more useless than itself.

Kobato
I get CLAMP vibes looking at the characters. *checks* Yeah, it’s by CLAMP. Cuteish opening but again I’m disappointed by how standard fare everything seems to be. There’s nothing big hidden like in Macross Frontier’s OP a while back, and while I don’t expect that, I wanted something small, like the second OP of Bakemonogatari: Mayoi’s OP. I mean, why does the OP have to reveal everything? It makes it kinda not fun in a way.

Okay okay, you got me. I don’t like CLAMP. I wholly believe that in order to be unbiased, you have to choose not to review a couple of things: your likes and your dislikes. Sure, you can have an opinion, but not for something like this. All I’ll say is it’s not my cup of tea, but the OP is nice and quaint, allowing for many different directions. Focusing on one should be the goal of the ED, and then at least you can go places and see things.

Kimi ni Todoke
Heh. Another series that’s brutally honest. Todoke’s OP just says exactly what its premise states: female that is considered off-limits but approached by male that honestly wants to get to know her. Shoujo anime, right?

The thing here to watch for, IMO, is the dynamics. There’s gonna be the constant “playing hard-to-get” clashing with “I want you”, as per typical, but there’s a little added bonus to the mix, “what am I to myself” that might come out a lot more forceful than the OP lets on.

Of course, if you don’t watch shoujo, like me, the above probably meant nothing to you. That’s alright. For those that do, don’t let the imagination run wild with this one, go with the flow. That’s what the story wants.

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