Special 7 – Special Crime Investigation Unit
Short Synopsis: A rookie cop helps bust a bunch of bank robbers.
Unlike Wooper, I actually didn’t have that big an issue with the opening plot and bank heist. It’s a simple and straightforward way to introduce your whole cast. No, my issues lie much deeper. From the knockoff Shadowrun setting, to the crazy cast and dull visuals. First up, the setting, which it establishes as fantasy-modern in nature ala Shadowrun but does virtually nothing with. Window dressing that might as well not exist, even with all the wasted opportunity of a bank heist to throw in things like magic or magical races and the like. Meanwhile the cast itself just doesn’t feel like a “mature” one, to use Wooper’s word. They feel like over the top Shounen characters. Which in a Shounen show is fine, but for a cop drama? Eeeeeh. Last up the actual presentation, which just felt… flat? The crosshatch shading gave me flashbacks to Berserk 16/17, while the actual scenes themselves never really felt fully together. Like a lack of depth, or direction, such as simply cutting to different sides of the car as characters talk, etc etc. I’m just not feeling any passion from this project, which is a shame. Because passion can at least take something dull and make it unique. This is just forgettable.
To put it frankly, Special 7 (“Tokunana” in Japanese) didn’t hold my attention. Neither its flashback opening scene nor its ‘in medias res’ bank robbery plot are crafted with much care or attention to detail. They just serve to introduce our newly-minted policeman friend to his childhood savior and his new partner, respectively, via dialogue you’ve heard a dozen times before. The mystery of which bank employee helped the robbers with their heist was Scooby Doo-tier in its simplicity, and only gave Mr. Rookie an excuse to scream about justice and punch the traitor in the face (despite having a gun trained on him). The ‘supernatural procedural’ angle, which has already been tackled by Cop Craft and Midnight Occult Civil Servants this year, adds basically nothing of value. Worst of all, the show looks ugly as sin, featuring jerky character animation and hatching lines being used to shade an inordinate number of surfaces. The result of that second technique is so amateurish that it must be masking the plainness of the unaltered backgrounds, though I don’t know how they could look worse than what we got. Special 7 is proof that mature anime can turn out just as poorly as the moe and isekai bogeymen of recent years.
Actors: Songs Connection
Short Synopsis: Countless boys gather in a club to sing and “connect”.
Actors is another male idol property and it has the same problem many idol or game-adaptation shows before it have: it’s so busy introducing too many characters that the plot gets sidelined. And because there are five, six characters getting introduced at the same time it’s hard to tell them apart, let alone have any proper investment to them. The fact that it has a supernatural twist about White Wall and white shadows that would fit right at home with shows like UNDONE (hey, I just watched it. UNDONE is awesome) than here doesn’t work for the show’s benefit. There’s an actual singing at the end that serves as a climax for this premiere and brings everything together, so I’d suggest that if you decide to check it out, wait until that moment to decide whether or not this show is for you. For me, while the song isn’t bad it lacks the dynamic of songs in say… Sarazanmai or production values of Carole & Tuesday, thus there’s nothing to keep me hanging here.
I’m not even a fan of normal idol shows. So why in god’s name the other writers thought it was a good idea to let me be the one to write this is beyond me. Maybe they thought it would be funny to watch me lay into the series generic characters or complete lack of actual production value. Or the seemingly split focus between being an Idol show, and this odd supernatural mystery. For the songs themselves, it wasn’t bad, I just didn’t feel anything from it because I didn’t much care about anything that built up to it. Of course, Mario references Sarazanmai and Carole & Tuesday in his writeup, which doesn’t really help considering I wasn’t a fan of either of those as well. So to make a long story short, my answer is this: If you like Idol shows, you will probably like this. If you are like me, and don’t like Idol shows, there is nothing here for you. It’s a very binary choice, all things considered.
Boku-tachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai 2
Short Synopsis: An average student must earn his recommendation by tutoring several geniuses who are brilliant in one area and useless in all others – can he avoid falling in love with them…or his teacher?!
Our first episode back and we’re here to…discuss bust sizes. Boku-tachi had an entire season’s break to come up with that premiere? Not only that, this episode came off as picking on one of the candidates rather than the typical building up of one girl per episode. I’ll be honest, my patience at this point is wearing pretty thin, so barring any remarkable character building within the next couple of episodes (which would be a complete departure from where the manga was going last I checked), this is probably the end of my “learning” from this show.