04 February 2010

First Impression: Katanagatari

Besides Durarara!! and Vampire Bund, the other anime that I'm looking forward to this winter season is Katanagatari. Maybe it was because of the "katana" in the title or the poster that caught my eyes (the unusual art). Whether or not it will be like Durarara!! (which I freaking love) or Vampire Bund (which was a disappointment), we just have to find out by watching this almost 1 hour episode (49:59 minutes).

The first 2 minutes sets a really good mood. I guess my buddies would know why: murder. Seems like there is this dude who doesn't need a sword to decapitate people. How sick is that? But wait, didn't that defy the title of this show? =\

I guess they are trying to use the irony factor...

Yasuri Shichika is now Kyotouryuu head since his dad died a year ago. He is the descendant of that dude who doesn't need a sword to have a sword. Get it? I don't either but that's how it is. So I assumed Shichika must have learned the same technique. He lives in an island as an outcast with his sister (because of his father rebellion). He is really a simple dude and borderline moron. He's awesome when he gets mad though.

what's up with the maple leaf, man?

One day, Togame, a strategist, came to the island to seek the head of Kyotouryuu. I didn't expect her to be clumsy though. That's the only likeable thing about her imo. She didn't pay attention to what other people say and go on about what she has in mind. She also trying to convince Shichika to take over the world. lol wut?! But wait, listen to her reason of why Shichika should help her. It's because of love. She wants Shichika to fall for her so he won't be able to say no. Heh, gotta love a confident girl. Oh btw she has one badass katana with her despite that she really doesn't know how to use it. I want one exactly like that ^__^

Togame needs Shichika's help to find the last remaining 12 katana (believed to be evil) made by Shikizaki Kiki under the order of Shogunate because they feared the owners (who the shogunate sent to retrieve the katana but betrayed them once they get a hold of it) of those 12 katana would revolt.

One thing led to the other and in the end Shichika is in love? WTF? I headdesk.

The art style is something to get used to I guess. I mean Shichika's hair looks like mapple leaf most of the time. It may be his trademark look though considering he has it tattooed on his wrist. Also, the animator cheated. They used the same framing over and over again especially when it comes to Togame's turn to talk. The background was pretty though.

ever seen ninja wearing a clown suit? Now you have. And it has the most annoying laugh ever!

The narrator sounds like an old hag. It brings back the memory of watching Osshin with my mom when I was little (Osshin was a Japanese drama that aired when I was like 7 or 8 years old. It was the rage back then). Shichika's seiyuu, Yoshimasa Hosoya, wasn't really experience I guess if you look at the work he had done previously. Less than 10 anime. Togame's seiyuu, Yukari Tamura, on the other hand has quite a portfolio. Unfortunately I'm not really familiar with her work either. Having said that, I think they did a good job for both characters. Their personalities really stands out. Shichika the laid back protagonist and Togame, the obnoxious annoying female lead.

Part of that is because of the dialog. Most of the time, I chuckled when Shichika said something absolutely dull and unexpected that it turns out quite the funneh. But... the dialog also goes on and on and on! SHUT THE FUCK UP and get on with the action already!

This is what I'm talking about!

Well, it doesn't reach my expectation as a whole but it wasn't that bad either. Seems like this will be once a month release show so I expected it to end in December.

art 7/10
story 7/10
sound 6/10
character 7/10
enjoyment 6/10
overall 7/10


The art, or more specifically character designs, for this anime is something I just can't get used to.

yeah, the eyes look kinda dead isn't it?

Nice to see I'm not the only one who isn't enamored with Katanagatari. I think the best part of the whole series is the two minutes before the OP. It gets your hopes up, but it goes downhill from there.

I stuck with the anime for five episodes, but ultimately discarded it in disgust. All the action scenes were great, but too few. The dialog takes up most of the time and it isn't too interesting. Just way too much exposition. I've been told that this is probably because the novel itself is very dialog heavy.

In later episodes you begin to understand why Shichika is how he is and who he says he's in love with Togame. The swordless-sword style makes him almost like a sentient sword. He "loves" Togame basically because she tells him to and he has more or less accepted her as his master. Shichika himself is pretty naive and almost personalityless. (There's a scene in one of the better episodes where he is pretty much shown not to have a clue about right or wrong when it comes to killing people. Its one of the rare scenes I actually like Togame in.)

There are some pretty fucking brilliant moments in the anime, though. I would recommend the episode where some of the ninja come to the island and attack Shichika's sister. Episode four, I think. It was pretty fucking badass.

There is also a horrible moment where the animators troll the viewers by showing part of an epic fight in an episode preview, but skipping the whole fight in the actual episode. We just see Shichika and Togame afterward talking about how epic it was.

Studios need to get their genre right. If they categorized it as action, then they should deliver just that. Was that too much to ask?

After the first episode, I was too busy and not really care if I see the rest of the episodes. I plan to see it one day though, just to satisfy my curiosity.

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