Sunday, January 4, 2015

short reviews of Fall 2014 animes

I think I liked the Fall season better than the Summer season of 2014. There were a couple of surprises there.
For the first time I watched some really short animes, even two of them.

Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Kohina is a little girl who lives alone for some reason. To cope with things, she likes to pretend she's a doll. She also really, really loves instand cup noodles. One day she accidently summons a fox spirit called Kokkuri-san, who wanted to haunt her but then became more of a surrogate mother. Two more spirits start living with them, a pedophile stalking dog spirit and a drinking and gambling playboy Tanuki.

Kohina is really abit weird - she's drawn so weird, so small. And nothing is explained to why she lives all alone, as a little girl. And Inugami, the dog spirit was really creepy and too much of a pedophile, for my taste.
Kokkuri-san and Shigaraki, the Tanuki, were likable characters though. And the alien classmate was hilarious.

Gugure! Kokkuri-san is a light, enjoyable comedy. I really liked the opening credits, too, such a catchy tune.




Orenchi no Furo Jij┼Ź

This was one of the surprises. I didn't read the details before and so I was surprised that the episodes were just a few minutes long! But it soon became one of my favourites this season.

Tatsumi is a young man who lives alone. One day he finds someone collapsed on the riverbank and after rushing to help, he finds it's a merman. Wakasa from then on continues to live in Tatsumis bathtub. Wakasa is a bit childish, very clueless about the human world, enthusiastic and easy to impress. Sometimes his friends visit, there's Takasu the octopus who's good at fixing things and giving massages, Mikuni, the jellyfish who can shrink and doesn't need food and Maki, the tiny hermit crab.

It's really a bit of a strange set-up and with just about 4 minutes per episode there's not much of a plot. Of course there's some yaoi innuendos going on, but it's only hints for the fangirls, the anime itself is harmless. The opening is strange, too, it looks much more dramatic while the anime itself is pretty light-hearted.




Akatsuki no Yona

Yona is the princess of a small country, the only child of her kind father. She's in love with her gentle cousin Su-won, one of her two childhood friends. The other one is General Hak Son, a famous young warrior. On her sixteenth birthday, just when she decided to tell her father that she intends to pursue her childhood love, she sees her father being murdered by just this man, Sun-Won. Completely shocked, she's about to be killed, too, but Hak manages to save her and escape with her. Constantly on the run and in hiding, she takes some time to process what happened. Meanwhile Sun-won is crowned as the new king. Yona then decides to seek the help of four mythical humans with dragon.blood to take action.

At first this looked like another reverse harem with the annoying, helpless "heroine".  But it's actually different. While Yona is suffering at first, I think it's rather understandable considering what she just had to go through. She gets herself together after a while and starts taking responsibility and changing and growing stronger.
Still, at the beginning it feels more like it's actually about Hak, he seems more like the main person.
I also like that Sun-won is not portrayed as a completely evil person. Even after you see him coldly killing his uncle, you're still not sure what drove him and whether he wasn't right after all...

This anime is going on for more than this season, so there's still time to catch on.




Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken

As long as the title is, as short are the episodes, again only about 3 minutes. And of course, there's not much of a plot, it's more a slice-of-life anime.

Kaoro is a hard-working OL (office lady) who for some reason married an otaku. That's really all there is to day about the story.
It's funny though I probably didn't understand half of the references to other anime. But it's not as good as Orenchi no Furo Jijou.




Donten ni Warau

The three Kumoh brothers Tenka, Soramaru and Chuutarou live in a shrine together with former ninja Shirasu in an area where the sky is always cloudy. The reason for this, according to a myth, is that the region is cursed by a giant demon snake called Orochi who resides there and is reborn every 300 years within a human host.
The brothers have the job of delivering criminals to a big prison in the middle of a lake, but the Kumoh family is also part of an alliance against the Orochi. Something the two younger brothers know nothing about but will soon enough have to learn - the hard way.

One warning: this anime is really sad at times. It does have a somewhat happy ending, but it's often rather dark.
I really liked this one, enough to buy the German mangas. The art and character design is really beautiful, the characters are insteresting and there's one or two big surprises in the plot.



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