Posts Tagged ‘funimation’
Spice and Wolf II Complete Collection
In the two stories that make up Spice and Wolf II, the first involves Lawrence and Holo arriving in a village just in time for a local festival. After meeting a new friend, the pair find themselves in a bit of trouble when he decides that he has fallen in love with Holo and wishes to buy her out of the hands of Lawrence to make her into his wife. In the second story, another plot to sell Holo forms around a city ruled by the church which has placed a strict embargo upon fur trading.
Good and the Bad
Not terribly long ago, I watched and loved the unlikely series, Spice and Wolf. I could tell you that it was the gripping story that pulled me in but we’d both know that was a lie. What makes Spice and Wolf so charming is the world that are filled with such special and fun characters; particularly its leads and it’s such a wonderful feeling to say that the second season does little to betray that initial feeling.
Maintaining the same emotional pull, the world that you loved in the first season remains true with beautiful backgrounds and design that makes you feel as though you’ve been transported to a world from the distant past. The world is filled with rich, lush colors and comes to life before your eyes. Keeping in tradition as well, the world is only aided by the continued lessons in fictional economics from Kraft Lawrence which educate everyone around him on how to make a profit.
As this season unfolds, it’s clear that not all things have stayed the same. One of the nice things about the first season that kept the series constantly fresh was how quickly the series moved from one story to the next. Around every corner there were new twists and adventures which eventually would draw the Lawrence and Holo closer together. In the second season however, this method of storytelling is ditched entirely to tell two longer story arcs which make up the entire season.
This proves both good and bad. On one side, both of these stories are strong narratives which give the audience real chances to feel the tension arising between the leads. Within the first couple of episodes, Lawrence gets himself into quite the mess and will have to work hard in order to get out of it. While the conclusion is a predictable wrap up, I can’t deny that I felt the drama rise as time ticked down to the deadline.
What is unfortunate is that with these longer story arcs, Spice and Wolf shows a major flaw in that it doesn’t know how to fill up time properly. With single stories taking up half a season each, each episode has a large amount of time that it must fill up with simple dialogue that doesn’t always have anything to do with the story. Sometimes these moments are sweet bits of back and forth between Holo and Lawrence as their relationship begins to evolve into a very flirtatious one filled with a hint of romance. These moments were fine and the banter back and forth rose to wonderful new heights that will please anyone who has secretly urged these two on to finally say what is important.
But then there are the moments in which Kraft will discuss business and this takes up a lot of time. It’s at these times when sometimes all you want to do is tune out Lawrence discussing his latest business strategy to win back Holo from their current predicament. It always involves great detail and will always involve complex dealings that were sometimes confusing to follow. The one saving grace to these stretches is the motivation behind the writing, the passion that the character feels in order to win back his personal tsundere and that’s just a nice reminder of why you loved them to begin with.
Being that this is a second season, there is naturally an at least small barrier to be hurdled along the way. While not completely impenetrable, those who are coming into this season without any prior experience are going to find themselves struggling for at least parts of these episodes. While there are plenty of flashbacks to the first season eluding to things that have happened, there is rarely any real elaboration on what those events were at any given point.
While it may sound recycled from season one, the new period tracks on this series continue to make Spice and Wolf one of the best series musically from within the last few years. Matching the setting perfectly, the music composed by Yuuji Yoshino are always a beautiful addition to any scene and match the tone wonderfully. The one place that left me in a small state of confusion came in episode five when a sudden almost saxophone sounding melody began playing which completely threw its particular scene off the rails for a few moments.
Funimation gets so many bonus points here it’s not even funny because they actually brought over the original Japanese extras. Beyond the clean animations, the two notable extras on this set involve education with Holo and stretching with Holo. In the first one, Holo educates the audience on some simple terms used throughout the series and while cute is nothing compared to the latter. An absolutely ridiculous little stretch of animation that involves Holo stretching with the audience. Yups, just plain ordinary exercise stretches. Why? Oh, why not? It amuses me that these extras were ever made to begin with but to have them included on the region 1 release just amuses me to no end.
While it might be a little harder for viewers discovering this series for the first time, this was a series that I never got tired of watching. Worthy of being called a wonderful sequel, this series tells two more stories that fans have every reason to love with all of the charm and wit of the first season. Spice and Wolf II is a hidden gem worth discovering.
So I am supremely late with this. Like really freaking late. How late am I? My deadline for this is usually the first of the month. I have a really good excuse though and that was there was just too much good anime coming out this season! Between the slice of life series proving much more interesting than previously imagined, the comedies being off the charts hilarious and the action providing more than enough to keep your eyes bugging out, I’m willing to call this the second good season we’ve had in a row. If this is what the first half of the year has brought, what will summer and fall bring?
For the first part, I’m taking a look at all of the series I was able to hit from the first half of the month ranging from Dog Days to Steins;Gate.
Summary: A foreign teenager living in Japan is summoned to an alternate world where dog people and cat people are fighting an endless war of cute. After being recruited to the dog side by the beautiful princess, he is crushed to learn that he won’t be able to return home.
Where I Started: This is so cute I think I just went into diabetic shock.
Where I Ended: This is my absolutely mindless series of the season. I can be totally upfront about this though; this is a monumentally sugary series and beyond that I can’t think of any real redeeming qualities. The story is laughably silly and the writing is shallow at even its best of times. It’s just that Seven Arcs has created such a beautiful looking world and adorable characters that it’s hard to care.
Verdict: Pick this one up! I’m going all the way!
Tiger and Bunny
Premiere Date: 4/2
Available via Viz Anime
Summary: Super heroes backed by corporate sponsors fight crime in a city where it is all televised on on reality TV. When an old veteran and a rookie are forced to team up, aggressive sparks fly between the two.
Where I Started: Wow, not amazing but still worth a wow.
Where I Ended: Anime mixed with western super heroes and buddy cop movies creates quite the impressive offspring. Helped in no small part by its amazing visuals, this is a series that caught critics and fans completely off guard. Unlike anything else this season, the witty writing and unique premise has won over plenty of fans including myself.
Verdict: It passes and lives to see me continue.
My Ordinary Life
Premiere Date: 4/2
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Available via Crunchyroll
Summary: Imagine Azumanga Daioh with edge that only comes from a weekend bender.
Where I Started: I love this series.
Where I Ended: I still love this series. I love just how far outside the box this series is willing to think in all of its scenes, I love the very simple animation style and I love the two separate stories telling student life and the world of the child professor living with her robot. This is the best random school comedy since Azumanga Daioh and is easily the comedy of the season you should be watching.
Premiere Date: 4/3
Available via Funimation
Summary: In a fantastical world, Toriko is the greatest gourmet hunter there is. With his assistant, he travels the world finding the most dangerous, exotic animals to kill with his bare hands and create his ultimate dinner.
Where I Started: Well, that was definitely a shonen series.
Where I Ended: This series is filled with so much manly gar I had to shave after watching one episode. The comedy is juvenile but the premise keeps this series clever and fun. While I’ve never been one for shonen shows, I was getting into this one by the time I was done with it. I won’t be continuing this one but anytime I need a fix of weekly manliness, I know exactly where to find Toriko.
Premiere Date: 4/3
Studio: PA Works
Available via Crunchyroll
Summary: A young girl is ditched by her mother and forced to live with her estranged grandmother who puts her to work in her inn.
Where I Started: This might end up being the best looking series of the season.
Where I Ended: A great looking series that is telling a strong story about growing up. As the focal point of the series, Ohana is serving as a memorable heroine that is growing up before the audience’s eyes. The emotion of the series is sweet and endearing even. The beauty of the animation only serves as a strong helper of the slowly forming story. This is worthy of being called PA Works 10th anniversary piece.
Verdict: Pass and I’m going all the way.
Without Wings – OreTachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
Premiere Date: 4/3
Available via Crunchyroll
Summary: 3 stories about couples coming together under the most different of circumstances including the handyman on the search for a girl’s lost bike, an angel who doesn’t want to leave his girlfriend and cousin behind and the restaurant worker who can’t stand her her co-worker.
Where I Started: Ok, didn’t expect those panty shots.
Where I Ended: Jumping from story to story, I was hoping that this series would have something that stood out as special. No such luck even with three different tries. All three of these stories are not nearly as interesting thanks to its reliance on fan service and terribly unlikeable male leads, it can’t even write a decent romantic hook. The angel story was the closest this series ever came to hooking me in but since most of these episodes were focused on the lesser two of the three, it became a struggle to even get through three.
Verdict: Cheap drama that relies on pointless fan service. Fail!
Premiere Date: 4/4
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Available via Crunchyroll
Summary: Teen girl gets transported back to alternate feudal Japan that is made up entirely of women. She then proceeds to act like an idiot and gets rewarded for it with a quest.
Where I Started: I hate this and I hate those in Japan who made me watch this.
Where I Ended: I predicted an odd mix of Sengoku Basara and Queen’s Blade, I was not disappointed. Battle Girls wants to be a lot of things: it wants to be a fan service series but can never quite pull the trigger, it wants to be a comedy but only knows how to write jokes for the idiot female lead, it wants to be an action series but doesn’t do anything memorable with the sequences. There are just not enough things in this series to make it worth anyone’s time. The writing is poor and the story has been done better.
Premiere Date: 4/5
Studio: White Fox
Available via Crunchyroll
Summary: A mad scientist accidently creates a time machine with his microwave and sets about to discover its secrets before he is killed for his discovery.
Where I Started: If this finds some focus it could really turn into something.
Where I Ended: Yeah so much for that. Never finding a focus, Steins;Gate tells a haphazard story that is meant to keep everyone guessing and searching for answers. Instead it left me confused and wondering if there would ever be a point to this series. All I knew for certain is that after a couple of episodes I was ready to say that I didn’t care about the answers. It’s hard to judge if this series will be any good but then there lies the underlying problem: it never made me care to find out.
Verdict: Maybe it’s going somewhere but I’m not sticking around to find out. Fail!
Originally published on Ani.meToday is a special day for anime fans because Funimation has re-released the classic parody comedy Excel Saga back onto store shelves. While I consider myself one of the lucky ones who still has my ADV Imperfect Collection, there are many others out there who aren’t so fortunate. Based off the manga, the 26 episode series first premiered in 1999 before making its US DVD debut in 2002 leaving fans in a fit of laughter each time.
Finally though, Funimation is releasing this series to a brand new generation of unsuspecting fans. The fools will never know what hit them. Muhahahahahaha…. ahem, ah right, sorry. Where was I? Oh right! Now there are some of you reading this who have no idea what Excel Saga is; well among other things the main idea behind this series involves aliens named Excel and the kidnapped Princess Hyatt working for Il Pallazzo in their quest to dominate Earth. Only a team of plucky young adults on the surface can stop them despite most of them hating each other. Sounds simple enough right? Right well, you keep on thinking that.
Before you crack open that box set though, there are a few things you should know before you get started.
Bone up on your pre-21st Century anime and Japanese pop culture
This is a parody comedy that relies heavily on references to other series or events from the real world. However it’s still parody series that originally aired in the very late 90′s which means all of the references are aimed at series from the 90′s and earlier. Where Lucky Star might have been happy to take aim with moe jokes, <b>Excel Saga</b> will hit you with hardcore Leiji Matsumoto references. If you’ve never watched an anime more than 10 years old this entire series is going to fly over your head.
Every story has its place
At certain points throughout the series, the story will go on very long, winding, seemingly meaningless tangents that make no sense whatsoever. I promise that all of these scenes have a meaning and a purpose so don’t ignore them.
Dub change halfway?
If you’re listening to the English dub and are even vaguely perceptive, you’ll notice that Excel’s voice changes around the halfway mark. The character of Excel speaks at such a fast pace and for so long that the original voice actress, Jessica Calvello, damaged her vocal cords and had to be replaced with Larissa Wolcott. The change isn’t significant but if you’re paying attention you’ll definitely notice the change.
You will never see everything in this series.
Well, that’s probably an overstatement but this is a series with a very high replay value. As with many parody series, this is another great series that only gets better as you see more series and understand more of the references.
Hyper anime alert!
The pace that this series delivers its jokes and dialogue is some of the fastest to ever come out. There is NO such thing as a slow paced joke in this series and if you can’t keep up with the initial episodes you’re in for a world of hurt later. Trust me, this isn’t something to watch in the background if you expect to keep up with all of the jokes and the humor.
Well that’s it, if you haven’t already checked out this series and you consider yourself hardcore otaku than this is one series that needs to be on your checklist. Filled with insane humor and off the wall writing, this could arguably be considered one of the greatest works of Shinichi Watanabe but be ready because this one is in a class of its own.
Today Funimation has re-released a little horror/action series called Chrno Crusade for fans to buy, enjoy and savor. And believe me, there is a lot within this series to become completely lost in. Produced by Gonzo in 2003, Chrno Crusade managed to find life and rave reviews within the shores of region 1 thanks to ADV in 2006 (though not really the legions of fans that it deserved) before disappearing from radars and store shelves quietly. Finally though, a brand new audience can discover the demon fighting thrill ride that is this series.
Taking place in late 1920’s New York, Chrno Crusade focuses on a demon fighting nun named Rosette Christopher (Hilary Haag in the English cast) in the Order of Magdalene and her demon partner, Chrono (Greg Ayres), as she searches for her missing younger brother Joshua (Chris Patton). As she continues to search however an enemy appears bent on bringing Hell to the surface and it turns out that he requires Joshua to do it. An amazing series all the way through, here the things that you should know ahead of time before starting in.
Taking place in 1920’s New York, the staff behind this series really wanted to reflect that through the language. This is particularly true of the English script which is filled with references to ‘apple Sauce’, ‘the bee’s knees’ and other references appropriate for the period. This can sometimes be annoying though more often than not I found it to be a really nice touch that helps to create the world.
You Won’t Be Saved But…
All of the main characters from this series are connected to the church in one way or another but do not let this scare you off. Within the 26 episodes Chrno Crusade explores religion from new perspectives while asking questions that will leave audiences with something to think about for days afterward. Even if you’re not interested in western religion at all, the points that this series raise make this series much more thought provoking and thoughtful than anyone would suspect.
Moe Before There Was Moe:
Satella is easily, hands down the best fiery German redhead since Asuka and Azmaria is one of the cutest sidekicks in anime history. This is just another point to Chrno Crusade that completes the entire picture. While the foreground is never lacking in interesting events or situations, the background is equally filled with the side stories of the easily likeable supporting cast.
I don’t own a big home theater system so this is hardly an issue for me but if you do own one, get your ear plugs ready. As Rosette remembers moments from her past with Joshua there will be moments that constantly shift from soft whispers to blood curdling screams. Sometimes it even happens within the same sentence.
Get Your Tissues Ready:
If you take nothing else away from this article just remember that you’re going to need to stock up on tissues. I’m not interested in spoiling how it ends but this is one of the best climaxes of the decade. No major open questions, just satisfaction and buckets of tears.
One of the most underappreciated series of the last few years, Chrno Crusade is one of the titles that I worried no one would ever release again. Thanks to Funimation though, a brand new wave of anime fans will get to see one of the best series to be produced by Gonzo (possibly ever). If you weren’t watching anime a few years ago or you were but didn’t check this one out, I cannot let this end this without urging you to change that. A classic to be appreciated, if you like action, demons and wonderful writing this should be in your collection. If you’d like to check it out yourself, the series is available in a brand new collection on Right Stuf and Amazon.
Right now in theaters across the country, Funimation is holding screenings of Eva 2.22. You might’ve heard about it from various ecstatic people who have gotten to see it for themselves. I would not be included among them because the closest theater to me is about 90 minutes away and I can’t make that trip at the moment. I guess that means I’ll be waiting to hopefully review it when its released to DVD in the spring.
If you happen to be in the same boat as I am, I bet you’re similarly dying to get a taste of what’s to come. Particularly, in my case, I am absolutely dying to learn more about the new character Mari Illustrious. Yes, she’s basically a glasses girl character who didn’t really need to be added to the story but she’s still just way too cute to not be curious about.
Well, despite being completely snowed in down in Texas, Funimation has put a note up on their blog letting fans know that a new teaser clip has been uploaded to Amazon. The clip, which even has some introduction commentary from Spike Spencer (Shinji), features the very first time that Shinji meets Mari (Trina Nishimura).
You can find the clip by visiting Amazon and clicking ‘See 2 more images and video’ below the artwork. The clip is only around 90 seconds (excluding the intro and close clips) but I admit it, I want very much to see more of Mari now. You’ve won this round Eva but come this spring we shall see if you have what everyone says you do.
Premiere Date: 1/ /11
Genre: Ecchi Action
Available via Funimation
First Impression: Another series that feels pointless unless its uncensored.
In a few decades, the Earth will be in a war against inter-dimensional monsters called Nova. The only way to fight back is to implant teenage girls with devices that give them superhuman powers and healing which can prevent even death. The girls are called Pandoras and are partnered with younger males called Limiters. In the first episode, the top year 2 Pandora named Bridgette is undergoing a series of battle simulations while watched by top military officials. After cutting down (literally) every other top student, she finally meets her match… a new transfer student named Kazuya Aoi. After mistaking her for his dead sister, he becomes the first to touch the “Untouchable Queen” and begins their relationship.
Good and the Bad
In the distant future, the world is fighting aliens with teenage girls. Why is it always beautiful teenage girls who have to fight our wars?
Before the series ever premiered, I had a vague idea of what I would be getting myself with this. Comments from others helped solidify that impression and watching the first episode cemented it in place. Freezing promises blood, violence and fan service and delivers just that. In the first episode, the entire story is based around introducing two key pieces: the elite, cold as ice warrior named Bridgette and the legacy that once belonged to Kazuya’s sister. For the most part there is some measure of success, just not enough to be particularly meaningful.
After spending just a little bit of time with Bridgette, the staff does a great job of making her appear exactly as they want her to: cold and without fear as she battles alone, very good at what she does. Over a dozen classmates take her on and, one after another, she slices them down until they’re lying in a pool of their own blood. In the quieter parts, the focus is on Kazuya’s sister and her role in the previous major conflict. These scenes weren’t accomplished nearly as well and beyond the fact that she’s a dead sibling, I just couldn’t care about this character at all but maybe that’s just my personal problem.
The biggest problem that plagues this series is the same one that fans of High School of the Dead or Seikon no Qwaser had to deal with. This is incredibly bloody and gory series. Limbs get hacked off and Bridgette is happy to slice classmates from throat to navel while watermelon sized breasts bounce from one side to the next. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what is happening behind all the black bars, shadows and bright lights which obscure the picture every couple of minutes.
As an ecchi action series, there is no way that this series could be aired uncensored in every part of Japan. Funimation also has certain standards they must abide by which means we get the censored version. Maybe I’m missing something but from what I have seen so far, the visuals and blood are pretty much THE major selling point to this series and plays fairly major roles in what this series calls storytelling. If I can’t watch the uncensored version, what’s the point? I suspect this is a series I’ll be waiting for on DVD instead.
What I loved about the music composed by Masaru Yokoyama (Kimikiss pure rogue, Queen’s Blade) is how dramatically every scene is played up. When schoolgirls are being sliced, there is always dark string themes in the background straight out of every horror movie ever made. When Kazuya’s sister makes her big attack that saves everyone, the moment shifts to focus entirely on the soft piano theme which lets the moment appear sad and meaningful (though I still wasn’t feeling it even with the music).
If I watch this series it’s going to be on DVD. The censored streams just take too much away from the experience to feel like I’m enjoying it to its fullest. That said, even if this stream were completely uncensored with all the blood and boobs left in tact I doubt that I would be continuing it for very long. The story and writing are average at best and there is not nearly enough here to make me feel like there’s going to be much more to look forward to. If you really need a new series featuring beautiful teenage girls fighting to bloody near deaths, you’ve found it. Otherwise, this series feels beyond pointless.
So, it’s no secret that this hasn’t been the greatest week for Funimation what with that little incident a couple of days ago. But Funimation isn’t the type to sit around, they bounce back in grand style with an anime about… breasts, blood and aliens. Wait, really? Alright, alright.
In a press release sent out this morning, Funimation has announced that they will simulcasting this season’s ecchi action series, Freezing. The sci-fi booby action series takes place in a future where the world has been invaded by aliens from another dimension. To fight back, humans are training special women called Pandoras and pairing them with men referred to as their limiters. This series centers on Kazuya who enters one of these training facilities and ends up pairing with the cold but powerful Bridget.
The first two episodes will premiere on Funimation’s site on Monday, January 24th at 9:30am Central (7:30 Pacific/10:30 Eastern) with new episodes being added weekly. I actually haven’t seen any episodes of this yet. It’s actually the last new show from the season that I haven’t looked at (that I plan to at least). So to be totally fair, I’m reserving all judgment and jokes until I’ve had a chance to do so. If everything that I’ve been hearing from people holds up though, I suspect I’ll be back to making breast jokes and references to Queen’s Blade and Seikon no Qwaser before too long.
Full press release below the cut
Think you’re going to watch a legal stream of Fractale episode 2 today? Yeah, not so much.
Last night bad news hit the internet as Funimation announced through ANN that they have been ordered to halt the simulcast of the Noitamina series, Fractale. According to representatives from Funimation, at some point in the last week the Fractale Production Committee managed to get online and see that there were illegal copies of their series premiere available online in every territory. After seeing this, the committee decided that Funimation was not doing a good enough job of keeping the internet safe from piracy and shut the whole thing down until they could. Yeah, seriously.
So, seriously… I need to dissect this a bit because the logic coming out of this has been astounding me. So, the production committee has decided that Funimation was doing a poor job of keeping the internet free from pirates. In order to fight back, they are removing the only legal option available to fans… which means that they now have to use the pirates if they want to see the series that was just taken away from them. Suuuuuper genius!
And honestly, how can anyone blame Funimation in the least for this? On top of that, how exactly is this production committee expecting Funimation to enforce this copyright all over the world? They can lock down their servers in Texas and hope that none of their episodes are ever leaked (you know, again). But how is their anti-piracy team supposed to stop people in other countries and regions from uploading an episode to the internet? Perhaps they can install a worldwide honor system. As an aside, I wonder if anyone at Crunchyroll is seeing this and feeling a bit of relief that they got Wandering Son and not Fractale. Otherwise they would be the ones dealing with this mess.
Obviously there’s something more to this. No person with a developed sense of intelligence could use this kind of backwards logic and really, truly mean it. It’s just not possible. The best guess I can have is that someone on the crew saw the ratings of episode 1, actually looked at the episode and had a moment of ‘Oh shit! This is what we produced? Get it off the internet!’
Then again, I could be completely wrong though.
Studio: A-1 Pictures/Studio Ordet
Premiere Date: 1/ /11
Reviewed: 1/ /11
Available via Funimation
First Impression: Well, that goes another series that I really wanted to like.
Taking place in the distant future, the world is now run by the Fractale system which gives people utopia. Conflicts are almost unheard of and the humans that are left receive all the money and tools they need. Since people constantly upload themselves into Fractale, they can be brought back as holographic doppelgangers and the only drugs to be found are accessed via SD card.
The hero is Clain, a boy living on an island with few others. While out one day, he sees a girl being chased through the air by a mysterious gang in a small rocket powered airship. Saving her, he hides her at his place and learns only the vaguest of details about her. After spending only a day together, she disappears leaving behind her pendant.
Before I start anything else I need to get this out of the way; can we please just call him Crain (or even Crane)? I know, L and R are interchangeable in Japanese but Crain sounds so much better!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way; the second addition to the Noiatamnia block this season was one of the most talked about prior to its premiere. After finally watching the first episode, I have to join the chorus wondering aloud if this is really what we’ve been waiting for? A decently animated piece that wants really hard to be Ghibli but isn’t by a long shot?
Fractale is a special series in that the amount of potential that it has is lost in direct proportion to how long the episode runs. Opening on a world that, for all its technology, is a simple and more peaceful land to live in. There are rarely any conflicts (though they do still require a police force), families and loved ones are replaced by alien looking holograms and technology that we use today are considered antiques and collectables. And everything in this series is wonderful… until Clain leaves his house and then things just all start to go downhill.
With a lot of series this season, the issue has been premieres episodes that try to squeeze too much information into not enough time. With Fractale, the problem is the exact opposite: they have all the time in the world thanks to slow pacing and yet it feels impossible to get to know or form even a basic connection to anyone in this series. With most of the series being made up of holograms, the main focus is rightly on the leads. The issue is that Clain essentially lives alone and never lets on about anything about him other than he likes to collect old technology. Phryne isn’t any better; she obviously has a mysterious past but her entrance and exit into the series are so sudden. Questions and curiosity aside, I feel no reason to care for this character though and when she disappeared I couldn’t say that I cared at all that she was gone.
The music for Fractale goes in one direction and stays there for the bulk of the episode. Never particularly memorable or original, the tone of the music is right in line with fantasy series that you’ve heard in the past. When Clain rides his bike along the cliffs, a soft insert song (which I believe audiences are going to hear dozens of more times) sings about the day star. When a chase fills the skies, it picks up into a brass chase theme and when the leads are together at night a gentle flute melody accompanies them. I’m hoping that as more interesting things happen, the music will pick up.
I did really want to like this premiere but it’s hard to support something that just looks like it’s trying so hard to be something it’s not or to stand the shoulders of those that came before. It doesn’t even feel like its doing that particularly well. I have sincere hopes that this series finds its footing in the next couple of episodes but if this weak first step is any indication I’m not optimistic.
So I’ve been a little quiet the last couple of days thanks to being absolutely swamped in the new season. There is still some pretty interesting things happening in the news though so there’s probably going to be a post blitz near the end of the week when I finally get to play catch up. But before I start getting all my early impressions up (I have 4 waiting to be edited), Funimation has awoken from their season long slumber to send out their first (and quite possibly only) simulcast announcement of the season.
In the release sent out this morning, Funimation has announced that they will be simulcasting the new series, Fractale, from A-1 Pictures and Studio Ordet starting tomorrow (Thursday the 13th). The new series is the second addition to the Noitamina programming block this season (the other being Hourou Musuko). Taking place on a distant island which is suffering from a breakdown of the mysterious Fractale system, a young boy named Crane finds a girl who leaves her pendant behind. Going on a journey to find her, Crane will discover the secrets behind the Fractale system and why it is breaking.
It’s not entirely surprising that Funimation is picking this one up though it is surprising how late they’re announcing it. I also have to admit that I’m a little surprised by how quiet Funimation has been over the last couple of seasons. After simulcasting 7 series last summer, they were completely quiet over the fall and this season they’re only doing 1. Perhaps they’re holding off for later in the year but I have to wonder what Funimation is planning for the future that is keeping them out of the simulcast market now.
Full press release below the cut