I mean… they’re all okay?
The Blue Orchestra (Ao no Orchestra)
Of all three anime mentioned in this post, I was probably most underwhelmed by Blue Orchestra despite it seeming the most promising on paper. I think overall, I’m just wary of anime giving all male classical musicians sad backstories. If you’re a guy anime character and you play classical violin, piano, or even a traditional Japanese instrument, you probably have a traumatic past of some kind, and I’m kinda over that. I also rolled my eyes a bit at the on-the-nose storytelling – it’s called Blue Orchestra and the main character has blue hair and is named Aono… geddit? Not helping matters is that both storytelling and artwork-wise, this anime somehow screamed old-school to me. I don’t mean in a fun, unexpected retro way – more that it felt and looked like it was made circa 2008. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who can appreciate this show, as it’s not like it commits any major sins, but personally, I just found the premiere fairly lackluster.
Why Raeliana Ended up at the Duke’s Mansion (Kanojo ga Koushaku-tei ni Itta Riyuu)
I was in, and then I wasn’t, and then I was almost again… I don’t know. Objectively, this anime does absolutely nothing new. Girl gets transported into the world of a novel she recently read and becomes one of its side-characters, but she’s going to die, so now she has to figure out a way to… you know, not do that. Also there will of course be a hot guy who saves her. On the plus side though, the MC is not a villainess character, and I’m also mildly intrigued that she dies in the book specifically because she’s poisoned over time by her fiancé, meaning the show is something of a murder mystery, only pre-murder, if that makes sense. A lot here is going to depend on whether Raeliana can hold her own as a solid character in her own right, as opposed to being more or less defined by Hot Boi and his obviously extremely high social standing/wealth. I’m not convinced that will be the case, but for whatever reason, I felt charitable enough after this first episode to stick around and find out. So for now, we’ll call this one a hard maybe.
Insomniacs After School (Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia)
I think I wanted to like Insomniacs more than I actually did, in part because yeah, I get it – insomnia sucks and the anime does a surprisingly decent job portraying how that can work, especially if you have no option but to be up and at ‘em in the daytime. The premiere also didn’t raise any major flags for me – no random fanservice, no super cliché dialogue, and the characters are, if not necessarily immediately likable, then perfectly tolerable and/or relatable. The problem is that I’m not inherently drawn to anything in particular either. There’s nothing about either main character that makes me want to especially root for them or tune in to see how they develop as people. Their romance – likely a foregone conclusion – is cute enough but not overly compelling. All the show’s technical qualities – the artwork, the animation, the music – do their job competently but without standing out in any real way. Insomniacs is basically the very definition of “adequate” in every respect. I guess I like at least the core premise enough to check in on episode 2 next week, but it’ll definitely need to do something to pull me in for a full commitment.
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4 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Blue Orchestra, Raeliana, Insomniacs After School”
Ao no Orchestra: I, too, found myself not that in love with it. I definitely could have done without the nosebleed misunderstading. As for the name: I pretty much ignored it. It’s just something anime does on occasion; I like some shows, but not others. It’s perhaps a bit more on the nose with the hair colour, than with the name, but I can live with that.
Raeliana I didn’t watch yet, since for some reason the Japanese track didn’t appear, and I’m not interested enough to watch a dub.
Insomniacs After School: I did like this, but I have fairly little to say beyond that. Not sure this concept show needed a grouchy guy/chipper girl dynamic; especially, when they address how sleep deprivation can cause you to become more grouchy. Without addressing it, it feels unbalanced – like the eversmiling wife ideal or something. It’s not a big deal, but it does make me a little cautious.
If you happen to be watching Raeliana on Crunchyroll, the Japanese track is there, you just have to manually change it in the same video’s settings.
Ah, thanks. Didn’t know that. I’ll get around to it when I have the time.