I love me some fantasy, but the more a genre appeals to me, the pickier I tend to be about it. Let’s see how these next two shows fared in that regard.
Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara/Irodoku – The World in Colors
I would probably have liked this opening a lot better if the scripting actually made sense. I know that sounds harsh, but I honestly spend a lot of the episode alternatively laughing in confused disbelief or laughing just because it was funny, even though the anime itself was clearly taking itself 110% seriously. That strikes me as one of the show’s biggest problems actually – pretty much every word coming out of the main character’s mouth (or inside her head, as there’s a lot of inner monologuing going on here) is treated as though it’s incredibly deep and profound, when in reality it’s as trite as it gets. On top of that, when the characters do speak to one another (not with, definitely to), it’s as though they’re all hearing something a bit different than what’s actually being spoken – none of their lines seem to quite match up, and the result feels like a badly translated light novel playing out on screen.
That’s a shame, because it ruins what otherwise has the potential to be an interesting setup, where magic exists as an inherent part of society not only in the future but also in the present. Since I have a major weakness for alternate universe-style stories, I would definitely have been on board were it not for the writing dragging nearly everything else down with it. The other big plus the series has going for it is the artwork. I’m not really into most of the character designs, especially the MC’s, but the backgrounds are delightfully detailed and strikingly colourful, which more than makes up for this. I won’t be watching any more of Irozuku myself, but I can certainly see why others might, and I wish those people happy viewing.
Sword Art Online: Alicization
I tend to dislike overlong premieres, especially when they still fail to really go anywhere (usually because they’re too busy throwing exposition in your face), and even more so when those same premieres are sequels. At that point, you just have to conclude the writing’s bad – after all, how much time can you actually use up yet produce nothing much to show for it, even when an audience should presumably already know enough of what’s going on to make sense of things without being spoonfed? But hey, nobody ever accused Sword Art Online of being subtle, so that’s all par for the course. In all fairness, this opening episode, drawn out and awkwardly paced as it is, actually does a fairly okay job establishing itself, and without relying too much on viewer knowledge of SAO’s previous instalments to make sense at that (er, in terms of plot that is, not actual logic).
Indeed, if I had to sum up this premiere in any one word, it would probably be something like ‘workmanlike’. It does its job – no more, no less – and it does so with a certain amount of competence, if not exactly inspired storytelling. This is mirrored in the artwork and animation, which is tidy, consistent, and honestly a bit sterile. The earlier, more ‘anime-like’ art of the first couple of seasons may have been less fluid, but it was at least it had some flavour, whereas now, if I hadn’t already known what I was watching, I probably would’ve assumed this was an Ufotable production. In fact, that about goes for the rest of this episode as a whole. Make of that what you will.
Question of the post: Did either of these premieres appeal to you more than they did to me, and if so, why?