With the bar set at a decent level for the new decade in Ladies versus Butlers, would any of the first episodes I watched in this second block top that? This post contains some first (and some last) impressions of Chu-Bra and Soranowoto (done that way because it’s easiest and does it really matter anyway?)
First up was Chu-Bra which is about as high concept as you can get for an anime these days. A middle school girl who is an underwear maniac. Full stop. On the face of it, there is some opportunity for this series to be educational about a delicate subject, which I would welcome at this point. Principal character Hayama Nayu does provide some assistance of that type to new friends Jinguuji Yako and Shiraishi Haruka, but that might provide a mere 2-3 minutes of substance. The rest of the episode seems to revolve around fan service shots of older and younger characters while trying to wedge in some sort of jealously plot device with other girls in her class.
Some other impressions of the episode included a welcome lack of DVD selling censorship, and while it did do its job of leaving nothing to the imagination, I probably could have done with about half that. It’s probably best that I leave it at that and drop the series because there is no way a high concept that might last a 1.5 OVA episodes will last over a 12 episode series.
Completely Subjective Episode Score: 72/100
The second episode of the day was Soranowoto, another of one of these fabled stories featuring a girl struggling with a long object. Yes it would be easy to dismiss this as simply K-On with horns or moeblobs basically doing what moeblobs do, but that would be far too easy to do.
The story takes place in something resembling a French village around the turn of the 20th century. Protagonist Sorami Kanata is a young girl who plays a horn in the military, who is then assigned to the village which has a legend regarding young girls and horns. In the first episode, she gets into all sorts of adventures just trying to meet up with the rest of the squadron she is due to meet. Ultimately she meets one of her teammates, then the others by way of blowing her horn. In the end, she gets to play in the start of the next day for the village…very badly. But there’s always a training montage for that.
Some things that jumped out for me in this episode included poor animation when playing a trumpet, though given the historical cost-cutting involved in anime in general is expected. There’s also some sort of war going on, but if I’ve learned anything slice of life means never having to explain life. As far as the future, I probably will continue watching this because there’s at least the possibility of something good happening.
Completely Subjective Episode Score: 64/100
Winter 2010 Ranking So Far
- Ladies versus Butlers!
- Chu-Bra – Dropped Episode 1