Three in one, or none at all. I picked the former. What, you got a problem with that??
*ahem* anyway, impressions after the jump.
Getting your expectations up before actually watching the first episode is generally a bad thing, and that principle unfortunately held true with Mitsudomoe as well. The several blogs I skimmed that wrote on this show were decidedly positive about it, but the first half of the show bored me. It’s becoming steadily more difficult to hold an audience’s attention with nothing but weird characters in this day and age – we’ve seen so much of em, so seeing yet another three grade school kids with exaggerated personality tropes isn’t quite so entertaining anymore. How many eccentric grade-school/kindergarten trios have we had so far now? Hanamaru, Kojikan, Zettai Karen Children – the novelty is long lost. That said, the second half did go some way towards redeeming the show’s potential appeal. When the focus shifted from introducing and pimping the Marui sisters’ weirdness onto an actual plot point – a hamster named “Nipples”, the ball got rolling, and things actually got fun – hilarious even. For shows like these, it’s no longer what your characters are but how you use them that would bag you the gold. There is potential in this show I think, but with the way all but the best of these type of shows eventually get old, I’m not sure I’d be holding my breath.
As long as Dark Hiiragi Hitoha remains around the spotlight though, It’d be good for a couple more eps at least.
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi
I once read somewhere that in evaluating a studio’s work, one shouldn’t only be concerned with the overall absolute quality of the end-product, but also with the comparative quality of the source material versus the adapted production, assuming the work is an adaptation. I tend to agree, but when I see a studio (cough JC Staff) spin out an adaptation that appears to sport more or less averagely interesting characters, so-so plot and setting – and then nail in the massive finishing move in the form of deploying Kuroko as the friggin narrator, I… am not sure what to feel. It’s against the rules dammit! And don’t tell me that that’s Arai Satomi because it isn’t. That’s Kuroko! Complete with her witty perversion, her snipe remarks, and her great disdain for flat chests. JC Staff is essentially hijacking their other show to pull this one off the ground. The despicability! But tell me you aren’t swayed.
Kuroko awesome alone is gonna keep this going for a couple of episodes at least, but I’m not sure the show itself has enough substance to keep the interest levels up beyond that. The fairy tale parodies are a rather interesting touch, but not much of it has shone through quite yet. A good bit more ingenuity is gonna be needed if those are supposed to eventually drive the show. We’ll see.
Shukufuku no Campenella
And the reverse basically works as well – start with low expectations and you are greatly more likely to have a pleasant experience with the first episode. Low expectations helped me get pass the fact that every last one of the sizable cast introduced in the first episode, save the main character of course, is a bishoujo (or a MILF that looks like a bishoujo), without facepalming too hard. Beyond that however was a surprisingly pleasant and entertaining first episode with clean art, a great-to-look-at fantasy setting, and a nice matching slice-of-life-ish pacing, interspersed with occasional, sometimes genuinely funny comedy. As a bonus, the main character (and definitely the harem lead) doesn’t have that infuriating clueless look and is actually more of a woman player than a helplessly clumsy and easily-embarassed knucklehead, as is oh so typical with harem leads.
There seems to be some semblance of a story forthcoming with the awakening of that loli girl (the final/main haremette?), but I hope they don’t jump too frantically into it. I don’t see this show going very far with any kind of story as a focus. On the other hand I like the manner in which the first episode played out. They need to not take themselves too seriously for this to work. If they keep the pace and style right around here, there’s a good chance that this show will stick with me through the season. Put simply, this is a poor man’s Aria, and yes that’s a complement. Aria was that damn awesome.