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Spring Anime 2014 Impressions: Stardust Crusaders, Kamigami No Asobi

Posted on the 07 April 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

[HorribleSubs] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Stardust Crusaders - 01 [1080p].mkv_20140405_162310.218


Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Naru: Err, what I meant to say that…at long last, Jojo is finally back and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a few days after the release of the first episode, but the excitement still hasn’t shimmered down. And I doubt it will so soon since fans have been expecting this new season since last year.

Stardust Crusaders is the direct continuation to Battle Tendency (the second part of both the Jojo manga and the 2013 anime), where Joseph Joestar was the main character and found himself in a strange predicament involving vampires, Nazis, and freaking piranhas. But thankfully things change, Joseph gets old, and as a result the Jojo torch is passed on to his Japanese grandson, the taciturn Jotaro Kujo. The story looks promising.

[HorribleSubs] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Stardust Crusaders - 01 [1080p].mkv_20140405_162450.796

Oh, Kujo. Speaking of him, let it be known first that Jotaro Kujo is the most popular Jojo in the Jojo fandom. Why exactly? Perhaps because he’s the first Jojo to be Japanese and is terribly badarse for a seventeen year old.

While Jotaro is badarse, I can’t say he’s the easiest character to warm up to. The impression one gets from him after watching the first episode is a cold and rude one, especially if you take note of how he seems to treat people in general. His personality isn’t one I approve of, but I do have to admit it’s interesting to see how completely different he is compared to his rude grandfather and his gentleman of a great-great grandfather.

Regarding the other characters, there isn’t much to say for the moment. Holly Kujo worries me for many reasons, Advol/Abdul is just…there, and Joseph is still as loud and great as ever. And has maybe upgraded to the role of Experienced Character Who Likes To Explain Things (ECWLTT in my book), since without him, we wouldn’t know that Stands were the representation of one’s fighting spirit.

I’ve gotten used to them after catching up on the Jojo manga, but I still find them bizarre and radically different from the Ripple powers seen in the previous parts of Jojo. And I can only imagine what people who haven’t read the manga have thought after seeing Jotaro’s Stand and Advol’s flaming red chicken Stand.

Jojo SC2
That feeling when you forget something…

Story-wise, we have a clear idea of where we’re heading due to Jojo having the tendency to be so obvious with these things and explaining the main points so quickly. Now what’s going to happen in between the beginning point and the end point is unknown, but I can promise that it’s going to be full of fantastic surprises, twists and turns- you could just sense it near the last few minutes of the episode one.

Kamigami no Asobi 

Kamigami no Asobi First Impressions

Muse: About a minute into this show, there is a magical boy transformation sequence where a guy’s shirt buttons fly off with sparkly sound effects just before his pants get ripped off. He then flies off into battle with the heroine on a pegasus.

Your reaction to those two sentences will determine whether or not you should be watching this show.The show follows Kusanagi Yui (I’m so glad she has a name this time, if this was going to be another Amnesia I would’ve flipped a table), a Japanese girl who lives with her family at a shrine. She has no ambitions other than being vaguely interested in swords. One day, an unexplained magic glowing sword in her shed transports her to another world where Zeus has decided to create a school where gods can learn about love–I mean, bridge the gap between humans and gods. The rest of the episode has Yui running around, meeting her potential boyfriends–I mean, the other gods.

Screen shot 2014-04-05 at 7.19.50 PM

Aside from the hilariously over the top opening, there’s not much going on in Kamigami no Asobi. It’s pretty standard as far as the first episode of a reverse harem series goes. The heroine is introduced with “as you know” exposition from her bland friends that we’ll never see again, she briefly rebels against the premise to try to prove that she has a personality (I’ll believe it when/if the show doesn’t take away her agency), and the guys are introduced in quick succession and can easily be categorized by stereotype. There’s the angry one, the quiet one, the emo brooding one, the energetic one, and the designated gay ship.

Screen shot 2014-04-05 at 7.09.35 PM

If it sounds like I’m being hard on Kamigami no Asobi, I don’t mean to be. It’s not exactly reinventing the wheel here, but on the other hand it’s a surprisingly entertaining piece of fluff. While it’s not as self-aware as something like UtaPri, it does feel like the show is not taking itself very seriously either, leaving it free to play up the cheese. I burst out laughing the first time one of the harem members showed up and flowers bloomed behind him like the show was a 70s shoujo manga. Surprisingly, the animation isn’t quite as polished as the pervious opening episodes of reverse harem adaptations from Brains Base, but it still looks pretty good. If you like reverse harems, this one looks pretty harmless despite its leaps in logic. I can’t wait to see the context for the magic transformations…

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