Seasonal Anime ImpressionsSpring 2021Part 1Hello Hello. I would open this blog post with some grand promises about how this is the only series of blog posts where you can get the one and only objective impressions about the first episodes of anime this season or whatever. But, as they say, I don't want to make it out the fake.But it's a new anime season. That's always exciting and motivating; it's like Japan telling me to go and write these posts, like a thousand miles away I heard someone saying "wake up". I'm certainly happy to write impressions again, it's nice and it brings back nostalgic.Anyways, let's get into the impressions. [The stuff in italics are the synopses taken straight from MAL]Mars RedMars Red takes place in 1923, and vampires have existed for quite a while. But now, the number of vampires is increasing and a mysterious, artificial blood source called Ascra has appeared.The Japanese government, in turn, creates "Code Zero," an unit within the army tasked with taking down the vampiric forces. And what better way to track vampires than by using vampires?Created by Lieutenant General Nakajima, this unit has historically been in the business of information war, but has been re-assigned to solve the vampire crisis."This is a work of fiction based on research into the period in which it is set." is always a promising start for a show about vampires. But, terrible jokes aside, this anime is really good.The first thing that might immediately strike you upon watching this is the cinematography. The anime chooses a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio that works really well for the kind of feel they are going for. Additionally, many shots are heavily symmetrical and also most other shots that are not symmetrical have a strong sense of composition that is sadly absent in a lot of anime.The second thing you might notice is the kagenashi(/zenkage)-esque art-style: Most of the time characters are drawn with almost completely flat shading save for some small, completely dark shadows below chins, etc. This is certainly leads to a recognizable aesthetic but in some less well-drawn shots in can look a bit cheap. Shadows on other objects and the overall shading color of a character are used a lot though and often to great effect which creates an interesting contrast.There is no exceptionally impressive animation anywhere here but things do move and the strong sense of style covers for any places where they might not,The plot of this episode was certainly not the vampire-hunting-action that one might expect from the synopsis, rather it's a slow-moving, quaint, tragic story that somehow involves vampires but also, just as much, involves an Oscar Wilde play. Besides that main, episodic plot, the relations between the military and vampires are hinted at. I presume that this is also how the show will continue, showing episodic stories involving vampires while developing an overarching narrative about the vampire hunting unit and how it's doings will play into the larger context of Japanese politics. And so far I'm really intrigued by both of these things.Not dropped - 5/10Vivy: Fluorite Eye's SongNierland—an A.I complex theme park where dreams, hopes, and science intermingle. Created as the first-ever autonomous humanoid A.I, Vivy acts as an A.I cast for the establishment. To fulfill her mission of making everyone happy through songs, she continues to take the stage and perform with all her heart. However, the theme park was still lacking in popularity.One day, an A.I named Matsumoto appears before Vivy and explains that he has travelled from 100 years into the future, with the mission to correct history with Vivy and prevent the war between A.I and humanity that is set to take place 100 years later.What sort of future will the encounter of two A.I with different missions redraw? This is the story of A.I destroying A.I. A.I diva Vivy's 100-year journey begins.Wit Studio sure does know how to make a good looking anime. But(!) there are some things I didn't like so much: The art-style, while not bad or anything, seems kinda over-done in the recent past and looks pretty undistinctive now. The rest are smaller things, just one example here: In the beginning there is a sort of countdown in the corner of the screen but the font of that looks horrible, the countdown being there itself didn't really make sense in-universe and it also didn't looks menacing or anything because of how it was presented, it was mostly just distracting. Overall, this anime still looks good though, don't take my minor critiques to be too important.The real problems are elsewhere: I found most of the characters pretty unlikeable and the setting is... well for one it's a bit silly that all robots just have one task that can be as weirdly specific as "make people happy through your singing" but I don't mind silly settings to much, in fact I kinda like them but JUST COMMIT TO IT DAMNIT because apparently robots do all kinds of other things anyways like saving children even though something like that being the case completely defeats the universe reason for the whole "one purpose"-thing and... I should calm down. Point is I don't like this aspect of the setting and the rest just seems to be generic sci-fi stuff.So, are there any huge redeeming qualities? ... not really but I don't really feel like dropping it yet either. I couldn't really tell you why, I really can't, I guess decent productions values and a catchy, even if simple, initial premise go a long way.Not dropped :| - 5/10Soo... I wrote the above a few days ago and I don't really think, I'll have the time and motivation to write impressions for every other show this season. So this is the end, sorry.Now it's the time to go.

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