I’d say I was disappointed, but that would imply I had high hopes to begin with.
Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys!
I’ll preface my rambling by pointing out that between the two anime I’m talking about in this post, Bakamatsu Bad Boys (Bucchigire!) was the better of the pair. That may not be saying too much, but at least this wasn’t a total loss – mostly because I thought it looked pretty good. Some of the character designs I liked, some of them I didn’t, but either way, the distinct visual style of this show stuck out to me in a good way, especially the opening scene. It won’t be for everyone, but there’s always something to be said for unique artwork and solid background detail.
Unfortunately, that’s about where my praise ends for Bakamatsu Bad Boys. Between nearly all the characters being reduced to one specific physical trope or personality stereotype and the main character being the annoying “brash kid gets sword and yells a bunch about revenge” type, there wasn’t a whole lot for me to love here. That’s a shame, because the core plot would’ve had a lot of potential if only it had been executed better or the cast were more complex. As it stands though, despite being an anime original, this has an extremely standard shonen manga-type feel to it that may well appeal to other viewers but instinctively turns me off.
Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer
No, I haven’t read the manga, so no, there’s nothing for me to feel particularly disappointed about. As for the premiere episode itself, this just felt weirdly outdated to me. From the extremely flat colour palette and total lack of movement in animation to the poorly-timed panty shot joke, I found myself mostly bored and unsure whether this was supposed to be a comedy, an action/adventure piece, or something else I couldn’t quite grasp. I think I chuckled weakly once somewhere in the first couple of minutes – after that, I sat through the rest of the episode wondering what all the fuss was about. Don’t get me wrong, I do like that this thing seems to be set in college as opposed to middle or high school for a change, but tonally, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer seems all over the place, with nothing in particular anchoring me to the characters or the situation they find themselves in even if – once again – the concept itself isn’t bad.
If you’re one of those cool kids who really liked the manga, it sounds like you’re in for a frustratingly bad adaptation. If you’re going in blind like me, you may well also wonder why this anime feels like it was both written and produced sometime in the mid-90s.
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