Welcome one and all to the first instalment of the spring season here on Otaku Digest! We are kicking things off with an open mind since the past winter season raised the bar in terms of anime content. There were some serious stand-outs among the many new titles that were released, particularly in terms of narrative and all round content.
This week, however, we are kicking off the spring season, which is very exciting as it is set to be hopefully one of the better seasons with some very interesting titles being released. This week’s entries are Gyakuten Saiban: Sono ‘Shinjitsu’, Igi Ari! and Bakuon!
Gyakuten Saiban: Sono ‘Shinjitsu’, Igi Ari!
First up is an anime that really needs no introduction; Gyakuten Saiban: Sono ‘Shinjitsu’, Igi Ari! Or, as we all know it – Ace Attorney. Finally, an anime based on the fan favourite CAPCOM GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS game franchise which also spawned a manga series. For anyone unfamiliar, this is a mystery, comedy, police and drama anime which began airing on April 2. This anime brings us straight into the world of the newly appointed defence attorney, Phoenix Wright, as he goes to take on his first defence case in court (and a homicide case no less), a risky move for a rookie. Standing watch is his superior and boss, Mia Fey, to lend a hand where needed as he defends his childhood friend, Larry Butz, who is accused of murder. Watch and see how he finds the contradictions in witness testimony to get to the truth while facing off against his prosecutor rivals in the process. Objection!
My prayers have been answered and we finally have an Ace Attorney anime but the question remains: Is it all that I hoped for? The answer is yes! My one concern at the start was that it follows the events of the game exactly. This worried me since I thought it would make the anime boring considering I knew exactly what was going to happen. I was (thankfully) so wrong and it did not make any difference to my enjoyment of the anime. If anything, it completely complemented what was already done in the games as, obviously, now the characters have movement and more facial expressions. There are additions to the story as well to fill in the gaps from the game and, although there was no real additions to the anime narrative, they were done brilliantly and gave more definitions to the different characters. I look forward to seeing more events from the games come to life with more defined character developments for all the characters as the overall story progresses.
Will I Continue to Watch? YES YES YES! No lies or objections here!
Next we have the slice of life, seinen, cars and sport anime Bakuon!! Adapted from the manga of the same name which first aired on April 5, this anime revolves around the high school student Sakura Hane who appears to be a bit of an airhead when you see her first. Sakura attends an all-female high school which she cycles to everyday. One day ,while exhausted from trekking up a hilly road with her bicycle, she sees a girl called Onsa Amano riding as well. To Sakura, this is the greatest thing and she becomes obsessed with motorcycles from that moment onwards. She and Onsa decide to join the motorcycle club in their school, with Sakura setting out with one goal: get her motorcycle license so one day she can have her very own motorcycle.
I actually think slice of life anime are becoming more frequent just to torture me. I know they are a cheaper alternative to create but putting some thought into them wouldn’t hurt. I also understand that I am completely biased in this as slice of life is also one of the most watched genres of anime and I await the day a good enough slice of life anime comes along that will change my opinion of them.
There have been some contenders but nothing from the recent seasons. The thing that usually annoys me about these series is that the subject matter is usually outrageous or as boring as dishwater. I will admit, however, that there were moments of this anime I found enjoyable in a ‘What am I watching?’ kind of way. It took something as normal as riding a motorcycle into an experience of a lifetime. The characters, for the most part, are cliché and bland as individuals but are more interesting in their interactions with each other. The most interesting character by far is Sakura since she is quite the airhead but still remains determined to be better and get her licence and, although she fails at times, her failures make her stronger and even more determined. The events of the anime can often be hilarious but even I have to admit the talking bike was a bit much.
Will I Continue to Watch? Unlikely! Although slightly entertaining, it is not enough to keep up with.