First Impressions – Steins;Gate, X-Men, Dog Days

I’m not normally one to watch a brand new anime and especially not one to hunt it down until I find it. However, something struck me about this season. A lot of the stuff looks pretty interesting, and… Well, thanks to Japanator, I actually know what the hell is coming out. Right, so here’s the first part of my first impressions. It’s not going to be very long or in-depth, but I’ll try to give my thoughts on everything in a timely manner.

Steins;Gate

I knew absolutely nothing about this series going into it, except that it somehow involved time travel. That’s all I really needed to hear to get interested, honestly. I’m a sucker for a good time travel/time paradox story. It helps that, so far, Steins is a total mindscrew and has some pretty enjoyable characters.

Also, mad scientists are always welcome.

The art seemed a bit fuzzy, though. However, after checking multiple websites out, it seems to just be flat-out fuzzy all around. I’m not sure if that’s the style or if it’s something on my end. Something tells me it’s a style choice, though, because it works surprisingly well with everything. Speaking of style, the first episode oozes it. Good angle choices, an interestingly muted color scheme, the aforementioned fuzz? It all works to give everything a heavy, serious atmosphere. You can really feel the summer heat beating down on you in some of the outside shots.

In the end, all I can say about Steins;Gate is that I seriously hope they keep it up. Maybe we’ll eventually get that visual novel it’s apparently based on. I could always use another good VN to kill some time.

X-Men

I’ve never really seen X-Men or been a terribly huge fan of it. I mean, it’s cool, but I never got into the lore or anything. Hardcore comic fans, forgive me for any mistakes I make. So yeah, it’s gonna be a weird one. Not weird in the PSG kind of way, but more so in the culture shock kind of way. I’ve never seen any of the other Marvel anime, so I don’t know what to expect. I mean, I certainly didn’t expect Beast to make a squid talk and then have that squid give a lecture.

One one, Mister Devilfish: Why don't we in the real world have talking squids?

I gotta say, though, I like the approach they’re taking with this. The art style is a nice mix between Western and more typical anime, the opening scene is a flashy-as-hell fight, and Beast teaches a squid to talk. Is it too early to hand out my ‘Best of the Season’ award? Keep it up, X-Men, because I think you’ve finally got your hooks in me.

Dog Days

This is the only anime I ended up reading a bit about beforehand, and by that I mean I read a summary on Japanator. It’s your basic shonen-tastic feel good fighting series. And it reminds me of MÄR, so it gets points for that. As much as I joked about X-Men being my favorite series of the season, I think this one may really be it. The concept is nice and fun. It’s a light-hearted little series and after watching Madoka and Steins;Gate, I needed something like this.

Is it wrong that I like these more than chocobo?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one right yet. Steins;Gate basically turns everything around at the very end, X-Men has Wolverine cutting through giant slabs of concrete without breaking a sweat. The most that’s happened in Dog Days was the setup for everything: The war keeps going, the hero spends some time in the real world with his friends and gets ready to go back to Cornwall for spring vacation, he gets summoned, etc. There’s a bit of fighting – which looks completely badass considering it’s featuring people with fluffy cat and dog ears – that I can’t wait to see more of, though. It looks flashy as hell, over-the-top, and damn silly. Honestly, could you ever want more from a shonen?

Keep checking back every now and then for my impressions on the next handful of series I’m gonna check out. ‘Til then, I’m out. Peace!

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