C – 01: the postmodern Mononoke?

I think it’s a pleasant coincidence that I watched the first episode of C after I watched the second movie of Eden of the East. Both series just drag one in to its world: C starts with a very cold open, while Eden of the East starts in medias res. There is something I don’t want to see from C, however, and that is the lack of the direction that I found in Eden of the East. The latter started off as a series brimming with potential, like C, but it fizzled out and left the viewer (me, especially), with a decent, but not awesome ending.

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The series reminds me even more of Mononoke than Eden of the East, however, despite the latter’s similarity with C. Maybe it’s because of the creepiness emanating from Masakaki and the demonic symbols that pervade ‘The Financial District.’ Or maybe because I’m just reminded of the Medicine Seller whenever Masakaki speaks and toys with the protagonist. Takahiro Sakurai is simply delicious in these types of roles because his voice can evince the cunning and intelligence in these characters: I recall House of Five Leaves as well-executed partly because of Yaichi, and that character was also voiced by Takahiro Sakurai.

The episode was extremely watchable, although because of its EotE premise also invites some skepticism from me. I was impressed, certainly, but I wasn’t blown away as I was with Tatami Galaxy. Part of the reason has to do with the Yu-Gi-Oh fight in the first part of the episode. The manipulation of currency was well-animated, and the fight was excellently done, but it simply seemed out-of-place precisely because the monsters seemed to be stolen from Yu-Gi-Oh (insert episode number in the hundreds here). The art of Masakaki is also reminiscent of Dark Magician from YGO (I watched YGO back when I was younger. I don’t regret anything, but it was quite repetitive).

Oh, besides C and Hanasaku Iroha, are there any notable Spring shows? I don’t really see many choices.

4 Responses to “C – 01: the postmodern Mononoke?”

  1. Jack Says:

    This seasons range and quality of titles far exceeds anything I’ve witnessed in the last couple of years. However, they are not all ‘notable’ and I can only talk about what I’ve personally watched. Hanasaku and C you already know about but we also have:

    X-Men: A well produced anime about the X-Men. Unlike Iron-Man and Wolverine it’s production values are not awful. Assuming you’re already familiar with the X-Men you should know whether you want to check that.

    Kaiji Season 2: The second season of the infamous gambling anime, Kaiji. If you are familiar with and enjoyed season one this is a show you’ll want to watch. If you haven’t seen the first season I’d definitely recommend checking that out beforehand because it’s very good.

    Steins;Gate: An adaptation of the very popular and well received science-fiction visual novel. I don’t feel that the actual execution is very strong but the story may still be intriguing. Others seem to enjoy it far more than I.

    Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera: This is a very well produced retro-style production based off of a Go-Nagai property featuring monster-of-the-week shenanigans and joyfully stupid antics. This probably isn’t notable but it does serve a very specific niche very well. Much like the X-Men production the question is: do you care for this property, or Go Nagai style works in general? If not then there’s little need to investigate this work.

    Nichijou: This seasons comedy offering from Kyoto Animation. It’s tricky to recommend a comedy work because of the huge variances in taste that centre around humour. Perhaps I could claim it sits somewhere between Excel Saga and Azumanga Daioh. I’ve found it to be rather hit-or-miss so you’ll have to see for yourself. Most notable for it’s very high production, animation and general presentation qualities.

    Tiger&Bunny: Another superhero themed work, this time looking at the life of an older hero. The general work seems to be inspired by the Incredibles, but with a Japanese flavour. Whether it goes plays around with this premise or sits idly by remains to be scene. Probably not something you’ll be dying to check out but it’s well put together for what it is.

    Ano Hana: Last but certainly not least we have what appears to be another serious drama looking at the relationship between a shut in and his friends from childhood. Who’d have thought this year would be one rich with anime drama shows? This is the most notable show that I’ve seen outside of Hanasaku Iroha and Kaiji so I have to give it my strongest recommendation, even though only one episode has aired.

    If that sounds like a lot, well, it is! I’m actually watching a few more shows than those I’ve listed but they don’t really register on the ‘notable’ scale like the above works. I hope that I’ve been on some help.

  2. terebi-kun Says:

    Hello! I’m a longtime reader, first time posting. Loved your analysis of “Tatami Galaxy”

    Being a somewhat older fan, I’ve never adopted the custom of sampling every show of the season. I guess in that sense I’m a little old-school, going for premises or authors that are somewhat known to me.

    In that sense, I must agree with Jack’s opinion of the only two shows of this season I’ve seen: “X-Men” and “Tiger & Bunny”.

    What I haven’t seen mentioned about X-Men is how its aesthetic choices are a textbook example of the Yoshiaki Kawajiri Madhouse style, which is probably the best suited to adapt north american characters. What can I say, being an X-Men fan, is an extremely competent series. I watch it every week with a lot of joy.

    Now I’m ready to check (C), just to add a little more japanese flavor to my menu. Loved “Eden Of The East” and most Noitamina series, so I guess this’ll be right up my alley.

  3. Michael Says:

    Jack:

    Thank you for that assiduous presentation of your observations regarding this season. I actually have not heard of Ano Hana, and I’m very grateful you’ve mentioned that to me. I will certainly watch it, because that’s certainly up my alley. While I like my share of action, I really am more fond of introspective series that explore the nature of friendship and love. That’s why I love Tatami Galaxy and Honey and Clover, for example. I’ll put up Tiger and Bunny as a meh show to observe, but I’m really grateful for your recommendation of Ano Hana.

    terebi-kun:

    Thanks!

    I’ve never adapted that custom, either. It takes too much of my time. I’m also quite old-school that way. I’ll also look up X-Men. Surely both of you won’t be wrong, although that will be behind Ano Hana.

    Most of what Noitamina produces are excellent, so … go ahead! 😀

  4. Taka Says:

    I 2nd the Noms of Dororon Enma-Kun, Steins;Gate, and Tiger & Bunny. They look like they have potential to be good shows. I would add that Tiger & Bunny is like a combination of Super Heroes and Nascar. Companies sponsor heroes and heroes accrue points for saving people and catching bad guys and it’s all televised for your viewing pleasure!

    I would throw out a two other shows because I know you occasionally enjoy mindless stuff like Infinite Stratos: Dog Days is lolwut is this comedy/action/something. It’s war except more like a japanese gameshow.
    Sengoku Otome is surprisingly enjoyable “Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” type of story except in the Warring States period and all the generals are now chicks.

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