Moyashimon Episode 1 – I loved this, mainly because I studied microbiology as part of my Food Science degree. It’s a comedy about an agricultural student who can see microorganisms with the naked eye. And he can talk to them too, and they can talk back. There’s a lot of stuff about fermented foods in this first episode, and a certain fermented food featured makes me pleased that natto was the most extreme food we tasted on my first year seminar on fermented foods.
Rental Magica Episode 1 – is, as I had surmised, a poor man’s Ghost Sweeper Mikami. The only good thing about it is the level of research into magic it has, but I would imagine that’s down to the original author of the novels it’s based on. Everything else was ferociously mediocre.
Genshiken Season 2 Episode 1 – this felt better animated than the first series on a technical level, but at the expense of the cartoon-y feel the best episodes of the first series had. The conclusion is that director Kinji Yoshimoto’s talent isn’t in directing sitcoms. As good as the story was, there was the nagging feeling that under the control of a director with a better head for comedy, it would be great.
Shion no Ou Episode 1 – More mediocrity. It wants to be some kind of gaming/suspense hybrid, but veers into melodrama at full speed. Oh and it has moe elements for good measure. It’s one thing to have a 10 year old orphan who is shogi prodigy, has never spoken since her parents were murdered in front of her, and a shogi king piece is the only clue to the murderer. But then it has the nerve to layer extra layers of ridiculous tragedy on top of that SPOILER ALERT her rival is a cross dressing teenager with a sick mother. And the animation is flat and dull. Watch Kaiji instead, which loads ridiculous layers of suspense, but isn’t trying to wring some kind of moe angst out of the viewer.