I wrote briefly about this show in my first impressions post, but I’ve decided to start posting on it in earnest. I was skeptical of its high school romantic comedy aspects, and indeed, both episodes so far have felt weakest when focusing on the 2 main protagonists. Fortunately, the show has been about much more than them, and it has excelled in other aspects, not the least of which is the wonderful narrator.
This one spent more time developing Ryouko and Ryoushi. Unfortunately, that was not such a good thing. For one, Ryoushi’s crippling fear of being seen isn’t all that interesting. It made for a couple okay gags, and I do admit that it plays nicely with his role as the sniper behind the scenes. But, come on, really? Perhaps the problem is that we’ve only seen Ryoushi as a collection of his character traits, not as a complete human being.
Same can be said about Ryouko and her character type of being tough on the outside to cover up her scared inside. It’s been done to death in all mediums, but especially in anime. Come on, just because she looks like Taiga doesn’t mean that she has to be a tsundere like her too. Hearing her fearful thoughts when she was tied up at the end just pushed it over the top for me. It’s okay that she’s like a dozen other heroines out there, but I’d rather that fact not get forced into my face. It’s more fun to see her kicking ass.
The other characters were also pretty meh. Really, it’s only 2 episodes in, so we can’t expect to know too much about everyone, but so far they seem like nothing more than warm bodies to fill the cast. Fortunately, the one without the body, the narrator, has been excellent. In fact, she’s pretty much stolen the show.
I wrote it before, but Satomi Arai’s peculiar voice just works so well for the dry sarcastic narrator she plays. And you can tell that she’s enjoying it. She was even more out there in this episode, giving us some really wacky voices at times. She was omnipresent, going over the top to tell us the obvious, but in a very ironic way. I loved it. I can’t help but picture Kuroko from the Raildex series when I hear her voice, but that’s a good thing.
As for the story in this episode, it seems to be the start of something bigger, what with the boss mentioning a bigger boss and the man in the shadows at the end. I hope it builds into a real violent gang war, because the action was pretty good at times. That 1st fight wasn’t particularly well animated, but the one at the climax was a lot of fun to watch. That said, it was not very well directed. Using the OP this early on in the show is just tacky. Give us some time to associate it with the show, to get a Pavlovian reaction out of it before using it in a dramatic scene.
And Ryoushi managing to beat the boss just doesn’t make sense. There’s something to be said for suspense of disbelief, but given that he was presented as being a wuss the whole time, I think it’s reasonable to expect that, given what we saw him do earlier, then Ryoushi stands no chance.
I’m hoping for more fairy tale interpretations are in the coming episodes, because that’s where the show shone. This episode didn’t have such a one, as far as I could tell, and it was saved by the narrator and a well animated fight scene. I’m willing to give more time to let the main characters develop, but what I’ve seen out of Ryouko and Ryoushi haven’t been inspiring. Let’s hope that J.C. Staff realizes this and either fixes that or moves the focus away from it all together.
- I’ve noticed that in this show and others, people say “jiiiii~” when they stare at someone. Anyone know where that started? The 1st instance of that I know of is Stalker-tan from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
- Shizuka Itou’s character in Amagami SS also seems to have a thing for dogs.
- Speaking of which, I’ll continue to blog Amagami SS, but only every 4 episodes, following each heroine’s arc. Given the pacing and style of that show, I feel that writing after each individual episode would be overkill.
- J.C. Staff has officially Anglicized the title as Okamisan and Seven Companions.
- The OP and ED were both shown for the first time this episode. I thought the OP song was just okay, very typical for this type of show. The OP animation reminded me a lot of that of A Certain Scientific Railgun, what with the jumping at the end. I enjoyed the ED a lot more, with its catchy chorus and childish mood set both by the lyrics and the animation.