Spring 2012 anime season, Kokoro Connect and Humanity Has Declined

I decided to mention briefly mention what I’m watching simulcast from Japan during this anime season. I’ll probably do something similar when with TV in general after the fall stuff starts showing. Two shows have managed to hold my attention this summer:

 

Borrowed from crunchyroll.com

Kokoro Connect – This show is fascinating from the get-go. It’s about five friends, in high school, who start experiencing body swaps. The characters are distinctive and compelling enough to sell the notion that they’ve switched bodies. The cool thing is that the show uses the premise delve into the characters, and the characters are interesting enough to stand up to the scrutiny.

Further into the season it becomes obvious that character study is going to keep being a thing, and that the characters are going to be pushed. Their weaknesses, the things they don’t like about themselves, all of these things are going to be explored. So it’s interesting from a psychological point of view.

I was surprised at some of character decisions that the show made, but in a good way. Inaban’s issues as laid out in episode 4 struck a particular chord with me–the notion that you can just have this issue. Nothing happened to make you that way, it’s just how you are, and you don’t understand why. I think it’s a powerful thing to say, too, because there’s a heavy notion that problems have to have causes.

Note that some of the topics of discussion are probably not suitable for children. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

Borrowed from crunchyroll.com

Humanity Has Declined – This is a post-apocalyptic comedic fantasy, with weird elements thrown in. A girl is a UN ambassador to the fairy community in her village, but it’s much more rustic than it sounds, as this is in a rural setting. She deals with the fairies and with the implications of her community discovering old remnants of the previous culture of the world.

I wasn’t sure about it through most of the first episode, but by the second episode, I decided I liked it. This isn’t the most accessible series out there. TVTropes says it’s a widget, which is supposed to mean Weird Japanese Thing. Some of the plot devices remind me a bit of Written by a Kid, but more deliberate and more self-aware. I like it. It’s a little odd, but that isn’t a bad thing.

By the fifth episode, I’m decided that I like our main heroine and Assistant. The protagonist is generally well meaning, but she’s also very devious. These two qualities are usually thought of as incompatible, so it’s nice to see how they blend in this character. Assistant is awesome, in that he doesn’t talk or make any expressions on his face whatsoever, but you still get a sense of a character that’s actually very funny. He thinks very different from most people, and it’s expressed in different ways. The fairies are pretty whimsical, too.

Anyone else watching anything this summer?

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7 Responses to Spring 2012 anime season, Kokoro Connect and Humanity Has Declined

  1. Psycho Gecko says:

    Kokoro Connect looks interesting. I happen to like body swaps.

    Nope, not watching too much. Giant 80s or 90s era tv in my room got struck by lightning and barely works, so I’ve been going without for a year or so. It’s going to be one rough day when I ever push it out of here.

    The Newsroom has had its season finale for the year, so it’s gone for awhile. I have been trying to drag out this big thing of DVDs I got last year and work on one series in particular. Farscape. I never did see all of it, and now I have all of it on DVD. Definitely not for kids either.

    I really haven’t watched too much anime outside of what Toonami and Adult Swim used to show. Sci fi has an episode here or there, or used to, but the last series of it that I really watched was I My Me! Strawberry Eggs. It was nice.

    • Marie Erving says:

      I haven’t seen Farscape either though I hear it’s recommended. I almost never watch television on an actual TV, though, since Hulu and similar services have started taking off.

      • Psycho Gecko says:

        It’s good, but there is the occasional mention of sex…or a guy walking in on two shipmates in the middle of it…

        Given that it’s shot in Australia, with all but one or two actors being Australian, and the occasional bondage elements (Scorpius, one of the Big Bads, constantly wears a black leather suit that actually regulates his body heat. He’s a hybrid of Sebaceans, coldblooded people that look human, and Scarrans, reptiles larger than humans that can direct their body heat through the air at people as a weapon.) it has at one point been famously declared “One man’s journy into the Australian bondage scene.” A simplification. It’s also a good sci fi show that was ended too soon.

  2. wildbow says:

    Downloading the first episode of Kokoro Connect. Will see how it is (or is it a series that takes a few episodes to sell itself?). I know some shows take a bit to get into. ‘Now & Then, Here & There’ is one show where I watched the first episode and went, “meh.” Downloaded the first episode again by accident a little while later, couldn’t remember if I’d seen it before, watched the second to see and was blown away. Wound up watching the whole series in one sitting. (Then, years later, I checked it out again to see if it was as good as I’d remembered and watched it all in one sitting all over again. A good way to spend a day at home sick).

    Watched the first two or three seasons (can’t remember) of Doctor Who, in part due to your recommendation months ago. It’s sort of a different kind of show than what I mentioned above; one of those odd shows where I don’t really feel compelled or excited to watch the next episode, but I really enjoy myself when I do. I put the Sopranos and the ‘Sword Age Online’ anime in the same category. Like Doctor Who, I put them down for a while/got distracted with other stuff and haven’t felt compelled to go track down more episodes.

    Might lose my geek cred for that.

    • Marie Erving says:

      I personally just sort of shrug at the concept of geek cred. It makes more sense to me to watch something because I want to instead of because I’m told I should. It’s supposed to be entertainment, after all.

      I got that way with Battlestar Galactica. I really enjoyed watching it, and managed to get through three seasons before school hit. And I’ve never gone back to see the fourth season, even though I keep meaning to. Same thing with Monster, an anime. It’s really good and I will totally finish it one day. Can’t promise when, though.

      Kokoro Connect got my interest somewhere within the first episode or two, if I remember right. I think you should know pretty early if it works for you or not.

      • wildbow says:

        Monster didn’t win me over, though I do respect the artist’s ability to draw a variety of different, distinct looking faces.

        I agree that BSG is another series that I fit into the same category as The Sopranos and Doctor Who. Great series that I just don’t find myself compelled to keep watching. I did feel compelled with Caprica though. Hooked me that much more, somehow.

        Liking Kokoro Connect, but taking a break from watching it to make sure I have tonight’s chapter of Worm done, haha.

      • Marie Erving says:

        I do remember Monster being a slower one for me to get into. I really ended up liking it for what it did with the characters, but I can see where it might not be for everyone.

        I’m eagerly awaiting the new chapter, by the way.

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