Now, which arc of Monogatari is this?
Wrong show? Oh boy, here we go.
Hey there! It’s an anime with little comedic story revolving around people who love everything anime, made by anime lovers for anime lovers. I’m dead sure that today we will keep seeing attempts at breaking the inception started by Shirobako.
Brought to you by the studio responsible for the objectively second worst anime show to ever exist on the planet (watch it here!), Animegataris instantly sits very far on the opposite side of the table, not wanting to be part of what makes WAO World infamous.
No matter how I look at it, I cannot ever deny the overwhelming improvement this studio has managed. While many other lesser known animation studios burned out and filed bankruptcy, WAO World legitimately pulled themselves out of the bottom despite the weight of their balls of steel, and fearlessly strive to better themselves. Now in 2017 they brave themselves and give us an original production, Animegataris. It is definitely not ground-breaking, but I really hope that it would be the first show ever to open the door for them, to a veranda of fruitful arts.
Speaking of ‘arts’, the overall art is passable for 2017’s standard. It is surprisingly bright and warm in colors, boasting the fun potential in which I have to keep my eyes peeled for. I’m digging those paint-like colors in the characters’ eyes, too!
On the animation department…
If you have actually clicked the link to watch that and wasted 19 minutes of your life to witness a masterpiece then, it would take just a little more of your attention to realize that not much has actually changed. It’s not a bad thing because even in that huge flop of an OVA, the animation, while it lacked a concerning amount of frames, did not really ‘derp out’.
This is actually more of the reason I’m starting to really hate Toei Animation because they have the money but lack the care for their products nowadays. WAO World on the other hand stayed afloat throughout their time since the formation in 2000. They get a constant stream of minor animation works from the big dogs in anime industry, consisting of mostly frames correction. With very little budget they get, sometimes talents really do pay off because they are a serious proof that work is best when done with passion. What they got in the end is respect. Yes, WAO World is a well respected studio.
I have spent my days re-watching the first episode so many times to see if there are things to be appreciated (I am that kind of person after all; I’m not looking for things to shit on, you see).
First and foremost, the characters: They actually move like one!
It seems like they have paid attention to the fact that the characters are mostly female given how many times they ‘blinked’ (females blink a LOT). See, even a simple two-frame animation such as blinking can differentiate between a live character and a dead one.
Looking at the bigger picture, it all still feels flat for me; they could do less with the 2.5D animation which was employed at a very noticeable amount for the opening sequence. Nevertheless, the opening sequence alone definitely qualifies as one of the more enjoyable watch this season.
The opening theme comes as a surprise for me as I have known GARNiDELiA for leaning closer to pop rock than whatever-pop they have used for this show, Aikotoba. It actually sounds lovely and I respect the fact that they don’t just limit themselves to whatever they made their fame out of. I’m preparing my wallet for when this song gets its release in November.
Animegataris has all of trope characters for your school comedy. Animation alone cannot do justice to make them all work uniquely, other parts of the characters have to equally contribute. This is where voice acting comes in as the second most important attribute to a ‘character’.
Let’s talk about the supposed protagonist!
Asagaya Minoa makes it easy for me to pick up on the fact that she is indeed the clumsy type before the talking cat even tells her that she is of one. This is frankly, mostly thanks to the talents of Hondo Kaede, who voiced a very similarly clumsy and troublesome but fun vampire Takanashi Hikari from Demi-chan wa Kataritai. So if you find Minoa to be annoying then I think that Hondo-san pretty much did her job successfully.
The show boldly claims to be of comedy genre but I think most of them were misses. Some of you may be overwhelmingly happy with the number of ‘references per second’ this show pulled, I on the other hand was being tested.
Now, I will have to shamefully admit my inferiority as a vivid anime fan as I couldn’t even pick up half of them!
Maybe I was just taken by surprise; I’ll give it a crack once more… haha.
Looking into the first episode
A lot of people are already throwing flames at this show, calling it boring and all that. While it is true that the first episode really lacks any punch, it is however filled with too many things to be considered boring. I think this is one of those shows where you really have to love anime in order to gain anything out of it.
I am still trying to figure out the reference to the anime Minoa saw when she was little. Please tell me that it is not anything of Macross!
Comes a scene of your protagonist quickly getting out of her bed and rushing to her school because she is late. I never minded the cliche but let this be the first hint of her clumsy character.
The second one is this…
Arriving in her classroom, Minoa’s curious mind forces her sight onto Miko’s light novel in the latter’s hands. Upon being given some time to look at the book and its title…
It’s a common knowledge nowadays that light novels sport long and painful names. The show gives its best effort to pay respect to that very fact. I’m no stranger to light novel references as this one I come across is quite old.
Many light novel names tend to reference the Toaru series in one way or another because you can add practically anything after the words (A Certain___) and depending on your choice of words for the title, there is a potential in leaving someone on the floor laughing. I still can remember having seen an advertisement for A Certain Mummified Monk before Exodus’s premier in Shirobako, haha!
Miko’s book however, is A Report on the Irresponsible and Depressing Chronicles of Me and a Certain Eccentric Childhood Friend. And that is actually a reference to another Toaru series.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is how you name a light novel.
The first episode may ultimately be about the beginning of a journey for a to-be anime lover, the focus however lies in peeling off Kamiigusa Arisu’s skin as she is later revealed to be a huuuuuuuuuuge anime Otaku. Minoa gets called to a private meeting with Arisu and begins the game of reference.
Let’s talk about her temporarily rotten side for a bit.
Having been on both sides (Arisu’s and Minoa’s) of perspective before, I cannot help but appreciate the level of detail put into Arisu’s fetishist way of communicating solely because she has heard Minoa mentioned ‘anime’ once back in their classroom. Yes, it comes off as weird in every way and to top it all off, kind of disgusting seeing how she even talks about some of the more segregated anime genres. That is not to say that she has instantly put herself in my hate-list. No, she may actually make it to my favorites because relatability is just among many enthusiastic traits she’s sporting!
Now, take two on the references… here we go…
Arisu has mentioned quite a respectable amount of shows within a minute and fifteen seconds. They are:
- “Hero School” (Boku no Hero Academia)
- “R:Zero” (Re:Zero)
- “Shikabari” (Koutetsujou no Kabaneri)
- “Time Travel Shounen” (Boku dake ga Inai Machi)
- “Tamukeda” (Tanaka-kun is Always Listless)
- “Toramiko” (Kuma Miko)
- “Bakusou” (Bakuon!!)
- “Kyou Kara Sessha Wa!!” (Kyo kara Maoh! R)
- “Angel Stories” (Saint Beast)
- “Gachiemon” (Doraemon) where she asks whether Minoa likes Nobue (Nobita)
- “Cinnamon Roll Z” (Dragon Ball Z?)
- “Previous Genesis Everstrike” (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
- “Autumn Wars” (No. It’s Summer Wars lol)
Yeap. I still cannot pick up on all of them.
Right, back to the show (Animegataris, that is), Arisu’s quick switch of personality is just on point it’s scary. A true enthusiast knows their way into keeping up with conversations and keeping it alive for as long as the topic remains within their knowledge. Being denied her expertise in the field of “MyAnimeList”, Arisu says the things even I would without hesitation.
Just like Arisu, I do get irritated if you start talking to me about anime but quickly end up going very far in a tangent.
Minoa later figures out that there has to be an anime club running within the school. Upon arrival to the club room, she gets a dose of disappointment as she discover a dark, abandoned room. Arisu’s eyes catch on a treasure laying on the desk which to her, is the very first issue of Anime Shangri-La magazine (probably referenced to LaLa magazine but I’m still unsure because there IS an anime show called Shangri-La). Having seen Arisu’s many enthusiastic reactions to all things anime, Minoa settles on helping out the former in reviving the anime club.
Claiming to not be familiar with anime, Minoa is unable to escape Arisu’s enthusiastic grip as the latter dumps a pile of DVD’s onto her. The two shows Arisu recommends her to take priority in watching are “The Girl Who Slept Through Time” (Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo) and “Replica” (Paprika), both of which are proud anime films by studio Madhouse.
After having the room cleaned up, Minoa is able to access the supposedly locked door (as Arisu is not able to open it). There she finds a red beret on a chair and upon picking it up, she feels supernaturally weird-out.
Eventually Minoa really settles on becoming a member of the anime club, looking forward to her socially-fulfilled journey. The show isn’t even trying to hide anything and gives us cameos of potential characters who will be joining the club.
At the bus stop, Minoa once again feels the weird pulse she’d once felt when she touched that red beret. So she gets it out of her bag and…
I still don’t know what’s with that man. He is definitely a true mystery there!
And that mysterious call also! The cat promises me that I will find out in the next episode so…
The ending theme and its animation sequence takes the show to the next level of bright and fun. I am pretty damn sure that the part starting from the chorus–where full on 3D CG is being used–that is a direct homage to Love Live! School Idol Project.
Animegataris’s first episode is maybe dull but it is full of proven efforts to the point that Lucky Star may just now have a sister show. I am willing to sit through the entire season of it since I am always a sucker for shows that involve cute girls (not too sure about them doing cute things) and relaxing comedy. They don’t make me roll on the floor laughing–they make me smile and grin to myself.
I have only looked into this episode out of pure curiosity. I will not say that you can expect me to come back next week with another post like this! ^_^