Posts Tagged ‘tetsuya kakihara’
The summer season of 2009 is interesting on the surface in quite a few different ways. Only a little less than 40 titles will be released from June to August. That number includes specials, OVAs and movies being released which contrasts against at least 30 TV premieres last summer alone.
In terms of content, this is a summer of dreams for fans of manga based stories with up to eight series being adapted from a manga, though that number goes past a dozen when you factor in light, visual and traditional novels as well. Only two series are based off eroge this season but sequels and continuations are alive and well taking up 10 titles of their own.
In terms of studio activity, Madhouse and Studio DEEN are easily the most active of the season with three releases each. On the Madhouse queue are a TV series, a special and a movie while Studio DEEN will be releasing two television series and a series of web shorts. JC Staff and SHAFT aren’t far behind them though with two releases each and a wealth of others filling out the crowd with one each. One studio will even be making their debut their season with GoHands taking a shot at the eroge adaptation ‘Princess Lover‘.
So enough with the introductions, (with apologies to Gia of AnimeVice for adapting her preview style a bit) listed below the cut are as many of the releases that I could find information for. I have tried to make this listing as complete as possible with my resources but I’m not perfect. If you see any missing titles, feel free to drop me a line in the comments and I’ll make sure to get them added.
Titles are listed by premiere dates and will be continuously edited throughout June. Keep checking back for updates as new premiere dates are listed, previews are written and finally to read all the latest reviews as the new series premiere!
It’s episodic and panders to the fan girl nation but admit it, it’s funny while doing it.
Keeping with the episodic format for the second volume, four episodes means four stories. In the first episode of the volume, the princesses are put on edge when there is evidence that they may have a stalker. This puts student association president in training Sakamoto into a tough position right away when the student body learns of it and decides to protect the princesses with their very lives.
The second episode focuses more on Sakamoto and his home life. As the summer nears the end, the princesses finally get some time off. Mikoto is off to see his girlfriend so the other two decide to meet the famous Sakamoto family: a family filled with nothing but beautiful people.
In the third episode of the volume, the princesses are tasked with coming up with a song and dance routine as the opening act for the school chorus concert. Of course, this is made even more difficult when Mikoto reveals that he’s entirely tone deaf. In an alternate story though, Tohru’s troubled home life visits him at school and someone has to bail him out in a most unexpected way.
In the final episode of the volume, the princess program is put into jeopardy when the new director of the school, Ryuzaki, visits and declares the princess program to be absolutely absurd. Determined to see the princess program saved, everyone has to work hard to tour Ryuzaki around the school and change his mind.
Good and the Bad
With the episodic format, this series continues to do its job with absolutely no false pretenses. From start to finish, this series knows that it has been created to be entertaining and to make people smile. While a plot seed was planted on this volume that will likely surface near the last episode of the series, this series largely just decides to remain in firmly in the slice of life genre.
The writing in this series really does a great job of letting the audience know why it belongs in this genre though. Just like the first volume, the comedy on this volume is very fast paced and well written with a variety of comedy thrown into the mix which keeps the jokes fresh and entertaining in every episode.
The Sakamoto centered episode is a great example of this. The original premise for this episode was easily one of the most unappealing things ever served up. The audience has to pity Sakamoto because he comes from a family filled with beautiful people? Yeah, my heart is really bleeding for you there kid.
But then the setup is over and the episode’s primary motivations are put into play. All bets are all off once Sakamoto takes his guests into a room and they play ‘guess the relations to Sakamoto’. The verbal comedy here is really accented well with the sight gags that are thrown in creating a really fun balance that I couldn’t help but laugh at.
As mentioned earlier, there is a plot seed planted during the third episode of the volume which I didn’t expect. Moving the series into a slightly more dramatic light, Tohru is forced to reveal something from his personal life to his co-workers that he would rather keep hidden. While the way that he was saved will catch a few of the audience members off guard, I will warn people that if you are watching this series with someone who has ever ‘squee’d than I suggest you get out of ‘squee’ range.
More importantly though, planting this dramatic plot seed really shows an awareness to keep the audience interested. The dramatic scene was about as believable as the rest of this series so audiences would be well advised to not enter the episode expecting some absolutely earth shattering piece of dramatic anime cinema, it’s pretty cheesy drama but still well presented.
The music in this series continues to be fairly simple in its presentation. Always understated and usually orchestral, the music continues to be well composed without being in the least bit obtrusive. Sadly this also reads as being forgettable. The music in this volume does its job with guiding the audience towards the proper emotions but ultimately it is forgettable.
Dub vs. Sub
The Japanese cast continue to do very well with this series. All three Japanese seiyuu performing the role of the princesses: Jun Fukuyama (Tohru), Romi Paku (Yuujirou) and Tetsuya Kakihara (Mikoto); always sound like they’re having so much fun feeding off of each others lines. The chemistry of the three is easily noticed and it goes a long way towards selling gags that might not have worked otherwise.
Continuing to be a surprising hit, this series is still hilarious and entertaining. While the third volume is highly unlikely to provide anything else particularly ground breaking, this series so far has been an enjoyable ride. The comedy is well timed and paced with writing that never tries to be deep. While some people are going to look at this with a confused sideways head tilt, many more of us will be giggling incessantly.