You only get one shot. If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.
So, did Just Because! impressed me on its first episode? Boy, it was truly impressive.
Let me ask you older folks a question: Do you remember your final dayss of high school?
Reflect on this period of your young life for a moment. After years of dealing with bullshit from normie peers, popular kids in their cliques, preppy rich kids, obnoxious football jocks, and teachers who never taught you shit, all of that was coming to an end. You were deciding if you should stay in your hometown for college. Perhaps you desired to relocate to a new, unknown city to expand your education and see something different. Maybe you didn’t want to go to college. You were in school for twelve years of your life; adding four or six more years of school through college and university would drive you crazy. The very thought of more schooling right after high school pissed you off, so you just went straight the workforce, military, or whatever.
During these four years, you had a few people in your circle whom you grew close with and you formed a bond. Throughout these four years, you and your friends hung out after class. It’s possible that you might have skipped class to visit your friend. Hell, some of you even skipped an entire day of school to kick it with your friend all day a few times. Your crew were tight. As graduation drew near, you dreaded if bonds you made will soon break forever; as you and your friends aimed to go your own paths in life.
That’s Just Because!: Pine Jam’s original anime about four third year high school students entering the final period of their high school career. Eita (the main character) is one of these students. What makes him unique from the others is that he recently transferred to their high school (rather late, as it’s the end of the second semester). Yeah, he’s yet another typical anime high school student transfer into a new school. That’s nothing new in anime. However, what makes Eita, different from other “mysterious transfer students” in anime is the fact that this guy knows a few people at his new school – including his old friends, Haruto and Mio. With that fact, he isn’t that mysterious.
Ten minutes or so into Just Because!, we’re introduced to the cast, as well as insights to their lives and motives. We have Mio; a studious girl who spends her free-time prepping for her college entrance exams (much to the dismay of her less studious friends). Next, there’s Haruto; the school’s baseball captain. He’s deciding if he should stick with baseball after graduation, or enter the job force. Then there’s Eita (whom I’ve already talked about) Next, Hazuki; a third year band student who spends her time practicing with her fellow band mates. Finally, there’s Ena; a second year student fighting to keep her Photography Club alive (which is doomed to be disband by the school).
With the characters and their goals presented this early, we are given a chance to care and know a few things about about them. That alone hooked me in into Just Because!. I want to see the characters grow and evolve overtime. I must note that it’s highly possible that this anime will have a solid amount of characters. Given that there were at least six through ten main and supporting characters introduced in episode one, I can assume that there will be more as the series progress this season. I for one cannot wait to see these characters interact with one another; especially Eita, Haruto, and Mio (as they were friends back in middle school). Ena seems pretty interested in Haruto and Mio’s baseball game. She spends most of the episode snapping away at their one-on-one game.
This brings me to my next point: the music and amiation.
The animation of Just Because! isn’t horrible. It is fine for what it is. The visuals aren’t on the levels of say Kakegurui or Made in Abyss, but it’s not bad. Some characters’ faces did look weird in shots were they’re not moving or interacting. I do not know if they’re off model, or if the animators purposely made them look weird. It’s isn’t jarring but it’s noticeable (after maybe two or three rewatches like I did for this review).
The animation does however shine during Haruto and Eita’s one-on-one baseball game. From Eita’s building power for his pitch and throwing his body weight into it, to Haruto’s attempts to hitting the ball as his body swings with his bat, the animation feels fluid and even realistic. You can visibly see the momentum in their actions – may it from the speed of Eita’ pitching or Haruto’s foot digging into the ground as he twists his body into his bat’s swing.
I cannot forget the amazing brass and string music that carries this scene. The song is a strong, proud brass fanfare in B-flat Major (with a key change to E-Flat Major). It starts with horns playing the melody with flare and pride as it slowly fades. As the brass backs off, snares and band drums As Eita and Haruto’s game builds up, so does the music with crescendo in sync. The brass section backs off, letting the percussion section carry Eita’s and Haruto’s silent stare down. The brass melody returns after four measures of rest as Eita pitches furious strike after furious strike. This continues on for about twelve measures
The brass sections backs off once again and the strings are introduced during Eita’s and Haruto’s final stare down. Haruto steps and grinds his feet into the ground with confidence. Eita winds up his pitch, matching his opponent’s confidence. As the cellos and violas plays the melody, Haruto hits the ball with great force, sending it over the field. The piano finishes with gentle arpeggios an the strings holding a chord in unison as the cast watch in awe of Haruto’s out-of-the-park come-from-behind home run.
I love how the music helps tell the story of Haruto and Eita’s game. It enhances the scene’s emotion of two good, old friends recently reunited as they go against one another in a friendly batter vs. pitcher one-on-one game. There is much to be praise on how well the music went in sync with the game (such how the music build up as the game grew intense to the strings playing as Haruto landed a home-run). The music played in this scene should serve as a reminder on why it’s important to use music as a story telling tool in anime.
The first episode of Just Because! has me execited for the series throughout the Fall 2017 season. Its hard for me to be sold on most high school anime series in which the main character is a transfer student. However, given this transfer student knows a few people in his school alreay, this kills the cliché “mysterious transfer student” from the get-go. I’m also digging the premise of the main cast being seniors in the last few months of school as they plan their lives after high school. I have yet to see an anime that does this personally. Character motives where clear from this episodes, therefore you start to care for them a little bit. The animation, while a little weird at some points, isn’t bad. If they animators use more expressive, fluid animation for more scenes just like the basegame scene, then I’ll be happy. The music is this anime’s strongest point. It’s well produced, light-heart just like the anime itself, and it has shown its usefulness in carrying a story.
While I’m on the subject of the music, I must say that “In Unison” is the perfect song title for this scene (assuming that’s the name of the track). Haruto gets inspire to resume his baseball practice against Eita after he hears Hazuki and her band play the trumpet parts. There are shots of the school band playing the song, which gives the illusion that they’re playing in unison. Then we have Mio watching the two boy play the game, but more so she’s fixated on Eita (it’s theorized that she has an unrequited crush on him; a crush she held since middle school). Finally, there’s Ena as she snaps the action on her camera.
Truly in unison, especially since this scene connects our five main characters, directly or otherwise.
Overall, the first episode of Just Because! is highly positively impressive. It has everything I look for a first episode that makes me want to stick around for the series run. I really wish Pine Jam dropped the entire series on Netflix or something so I can marathon the show in one sitting to gain the full experience of the story. I can’t wait to see what they will do with their original anime.
You only get one shot. If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.
Did In Another Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World impressed me on its first episode? Well, if I’m making fun of the title and its originality, then no. It did not impress me at all.
In Another World With My Smartphone is disappointing. I’m talking “shut-in, black sheep in the family who watches anime all day, cosplays at anime cons, and doesn’t play sports like your father wanted you to; thus he disowns you” disappointing (kinda like some of you weeaboos out there reading this).
I was optimistic that this’ll be a good show based on its premise: Our hero, Touya Mochizuki, is resurrected and sent to a new fantasy-like world of his choosing by God (who accidently killed him by throwing down lighting towards the Earth, striking him). In this new world, Touya can still use his smartphone as it’s powered by magic. In addition, his phone is still linked to his former world, allowing him to receive information and news from it.
It’s an interesting concept that I haven’t seen in any other form of media. Seeing modern day technology powered by magic as it technology itself adapts to the fantasy world. It’s such a great idea and you think the writers of the show can do some amazing ideas with that, right?
Nah. All they give us is yet another cookie cutter otaku fantasy anime with world harem undertones, with some decent and cool ideas to help keep it little original. Outside of the original ideas however, this anime failed to impress me in reasons which I will go over.
The anime opens with the recently decreased Touya chilling in heaven alongside God (who looks like a regular lookin’ grandfather; with his glasses, normal clothes, and all). God explains to Touya that his death was accidental to His own carelessness, and begs for Touya’s forgiveness. Touya’s rather chill about the whole mishap and forgives God, understanding that people make mistakes and you must forgive them for it. I mean, yeah, he did died at such a young age and he didn’t fully experienced life, but at least he doesn’t have to live on Earth with all its awful people and problems. And God’s seems like a very chill, mellow, and sincere dude.
You gotta think positive sometimes, ya know?
Impressed by Touya’s forgiving heart, God makes up for his (literally) fatal mistake by reviving him into any world of his choosing (a fantasy world as mentioned earlier), as well as making his smartphone operate in this new world and gives him His number.
Following that, the OP animation starts to play. It starts out normally – upbeat music plays, there’s panning of forest landscape, Touya’s face’s appearing in the foreground, and annoying singing by some J-Pop idol girls, and holy hell it’s so annoying. Many red flags are going off in my head like I’m a Commie.
Things went from “this show won’t be bad at all!” to “this is going to be yet another annoying, generic otaku harem fantasy world anime ain’t it?” To start with my disappointment towards this aniem, Touya transforms into Kirito Clone #314 with a white pallet swap of Kirito’s school shooter trench coat. That alone should had made me drop this anime as soon as saw that, but I decided to curb my anger just for this review.
What’s with light/web novel characters having trench coats
What’s with light/web novel characters having trench coats
And why they have the same facial features?
nd why they have the same facial features?
(Seriously, I’m not anime racist but, what’s with these light/web novel characters looking alike?)
Alas, my anger would soon dominate my chill and zen mind as the weeaboo-like OP music increased its awfulness. Like forreal, the music makes me want to choke out its producer. I’m willing to stack up and piss away $3500+ for a trip to Japan, just so I can personally strangle the anime’s music producer in hopes he or she will never make awful trash like this ever again.
That, or just master the song on the violin and make money off tips at anime cons from fans of this show. Hustle off these weeb kids and adults because they pay good money to hear violin covers of their favorite weeb song but I digress.
As for the OP animation, it’s what you expect from a Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World Anime: The first phase of the OP is character introductions. First, we have two girls roaming the countryside. We can assume that they’re twin sisters due to their similar hair and eyes color, facial structure, and clothing. Any clues of their personalities and how different they are aren’t presented as their introduction but if I can take a guess, one is an introverted shy twin and the other is more extroverted, open, and brash.
This is the look of a girl who’ve seen some things.
Next, we’re introduced to some samurai girl who looks like the love child of that girl with owl off Samurai Showdown and Reimu off Touhou. She appears to be just like any other average and plain samurai girl in anime of this type so let’s move forward.
Owl Girl (Samurai Showdown)
Following, is the obvious upbeat Himedere princess. I’m basing this sterotype off the fact of her position in this shot, the color coding of her dress, facial expression, and how her arms are up and spread like she’s a decision maker in her country.
She is followed by who I can assume to be another princess, perhaps a rival princess from another country. I can take a wild guess that she somebody close to her is either dead or missing based how she’s staring outside her window and the depressing look on her face. That, or her weedman whom she called two hours ago is on drug dealer time and is wondering why it’s taking him so long to come through.
We move forward with a below average gothic lolita reading in her dark and gloomy room filled with creepy stuffed animals. Then, we have some random minor character introductions. After that, is a quick ascending shot focusing on a floating island which is followed up by shot of a MILF and her daughter, maybe? Her student? Some kid she kidnapped? I dunno the connection between the two other than they have the same weird purple and white hair clips. Speaking of connections, is there a connection to the floating island and these two, given they had their introducing shots back-to-back with the same quick ascending panning.
Next, the OP focus back on that Himdere Princesss and she just look annoying with her overly happy childish Genki anime girl expression and animal mascot sidekick. She looks annoying and I hope her animal sidekick bites into her neck and drags her across the ground violently like Mantecore the White Tiger did Roy Horn. Just snatch all her shit up and maul her to death.
This is the most punchable moe’ face I’ve seen in a while
Then, we’re introduced to a secondary male character. He’s totally gonna be Touya’s rival or something with how he is position in the middle, there’s that speed lines pointing directing at him, and there’s a close up of his smug face. He has white hair, so he probably has a tragic past or something that will make the fangirls feel bad for him or something. Or “he” might be a cross-dressing girl with masculine features thus making everyone question their sexuality because it’s a harem show and we need to carter to every type of niche of animu girl archtype here – even reverse traps.
The OP transition to battle showcases and boy, are they boring. Every battle that is shown here lack any sense of direction towards urgency, excitement, or high stakes in terms of life or death. The brawler twin just curb stomps some dragon as she slams her fists into its body while her mage sister cast magic against….invisible enemies? Oh and we don’t know what kinda spell she just cast. I guess an explosion spell maybe? I dunno.
Reimu and Owl Girl’s love child fighting style example is one of the worse of this phase and here’s why: So Samurai Girl runs up on one lizard man) and lizard man puts up his shield to protect himself, right? But it looks like either Samurai Girl slice the shield or stomach of the lizard man but it’s hard to tell based off the camera angle and the awkwardness of the animation. Then she charges into two other lizardmen.
We can tell she’s charging into them based off the animation speed lines, but that animation just fades as she slices the first Lizardman’s shield, runs (with the speedlines re-appearing), the camera moving awkwardly behind her as the speedlines disappear and she attacks two more lizardmen. Just like with the first lizardman, we can’t tell if she hit them or not due to how weird the animation appears.
(Refer to the OP video link above as my GIF creation program wouldn’t work at the time of posting this review)
The scene quickly transition to the second princess firing a magic bow towards a group of some damn dirty apes who were just minding their own business. Not much to go on here, so let’s tear apart Touya’s battle.
Touya fights against some old dude in an empty arena for no reason. The fight choreography is lazy as there is no effort and direction with the sword fighting. The sword swings has no force or power behind them as they side step to the right. There’s small sparks at each clash of their blades but it’s not anything grand. In short, this is the worse battle of this phase due to the animator not caring or pressed for time and completion.
The OP finally ends with Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC (I’m not calling him by his real name anymore) and the girls standing in front of an unknown mansion. Will this be his personal penthouse for him and his harem where they all live in harmony? Are they going to do some The Great Gatsby type partying here? Is it some random dude’s house they just rented out the front lawn for this shot alone? Oh well, it doesn’t really matter.
At this point, my gut was telling me “Hey Benjamin, drop this now! It’s not worth your blood pressure rising due to your anger.” I ignored my gut’s warning.
“Nah, let’s see how laughably terrible this anime will get!” I rebuttal as I aggressively tapped my left index finger against the side of my laptop while punching the wall with my right hand in anger from witnessing such a generic show of a OP. I mean, this anime isn’t that utterly horrible. I can see why some folks may like it, but its’ not my cup of tea. And yet, I swear if I kept watching this entry level moe’ harem filth, I’d commit mass murder against all lonely otaku who love to project their harem otaku fantanties on main characters like this Touya..
I need to listen to my gut more often.
Once the awful OP ends, we see Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC lying in a field unconscious. He awakens, sees that he’s okay, and heads to town. As he questions how he’ll survive in this new world, Generic MC receives a call from God. After confirming that Generic MC is okay he informs him that he upgraded his phone to help him get through the new town with ease such as installing a map program detailing the area.
Once receiving the map updates, Generic MC heads to town, but is stopped by some weird, overly excited, possibly gay tailor; He begs the MC to sell his “bizarre” school clothes to him in exchange for some gold pieces and clothing to help blend in. The scene cuts away to an eye-catch of a recycled image of the MC checking his phone and annoying MMORPG-like music jingle.
“They’re gonna use this often, aren’t they? I hope not this is annoying.” I asked myself. “Eh, probably not, it’s just a one-time thing, right?”
Oh Ben, you’re so full of hope.
After receiving his new clothes (and being creped out by the tailor sniffing his old outfit), Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World MC wanders around town, seeking the Silver Moon Inn as mentioned to him by the tailor. He needs a place to lounge in and settle in the new world. While searching for the inn, he encounters the set of twins from the OP being harassed by some thugs in an alley. The girls sold the thugs a damaged glass antler piece and believe they should not pay full price for it. They demand the girls to lower the price, which they refuse.
Touya decides to step in and help the girls. And once again, a red flag pops up in my head.
“Let me guess: Dude’s gonna play hero, somehow overpower the two thugs who’re in better shape than he is, and the two girls will sworn over him and befriend him, despite being ignorant of his origins.”
My theory will be soon proven right.
The thugs try to attack the kid but he takes them out with ease. During the strife, we’re treated to a sample of his powers bestow upon him by God. As the smaller thug charges towards the MC with a knife, he dodges the blade. He notices that he is moving so fast that the world feels like it’s in slow motion. Taking advantage of this, he smashed his elbow into the spine of the attacker, knocking him out cold. The anime doesn’t show what happens to the other thug.
Guess he saw his homeboy getting that ass whoop and was like “Nah bruh, I’m good. I didn’t even want that glass piece anyways.” and dipped off screen.
So Touya, or Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC. This kid’s a Gary Sue – blessed by God who enhanced his natural abilities. He managed to whoop one thug’s ass so badly that his homeboy ran off on him like he just ripped off the plug. In under ten minutes we’ve encounter awful OP music, a harem set up, a generic fantasy otaku dream world, and now a Gary Sue MC who’ve just impressed a set of twin girls with his powers.
The cynical me was yearning for the kid to act all cool and cocky against the thugs, only to have his skull caved in by them. Kinda like Subaru (Re:Zero) was put in his place for playing hero by the two thugs harassing Emila. Granted, In Another World With My Smartphone is a campy “stuck-in-a-fantasy-world”anime compared to Re:Zero, and the kid did died at such a young age. He earned the right to live out this fantasy life of being overly powered and have girls fall of him day one. But still, this lazy writing and train wreck anime makes wanna drink. I need to get drunk tolerant this trash.
Touya and the twins (Elze; a headstrong brawler and Linze; the quiet mage) are quickly acquainted. After revealing some information about his background, he tells the girls that he’s searching for the Silver Moon Inn. To the surprise of nobody who understand lazy writing and are knowledgeable in classic RPG troopes/clichés, the twins are staying in that exact inn and agree to let him join their adventure.
There’s another cut away shot with some awful guitar music playing while the voice actresses of the twins are humming along to the melody (off beat mind you). They sound bored; as if they just wanna get their paycheck and forget the fact that they worked on this show. I don’t blame them.
[Skipping several unimportant scenes ahead]
Later that night, we see Touya lying in bed checking his cell phone. The phone is still connected to his old world, so he still receives news updates from it as we see him reading an entertainment article on a popular band from his world breaking up. I personally like this, as it shows that life in his old world has move on after his death. This makes me wish that I wasn’t dropping this anime, because I want to see the writers play with the idea of Touya checking his phone for news updates in his old world.
The next morning, Touya, Elze, and Linze scan a bulletin board searching for quests to earn money. After the twins get Touya hip on how the guild system work, the three apply to hunt down and kill five horned wolves, collecting their horns as proof of killing the beasts. Before heading out, Touya arms himself with a sword – furthering the point home that he’s a generic action-fantasy web/light novel hero
Toyua tears through and flawlessly kill two wolves as expected (because you know, can’t have the Gary Sue MC get torn apart and slaughtered by wild beasts ass in mere seconds), one of the wolves being an extra kill just because. After the battle, he mentions that he wants to learn how to read and write in the language of the world he’s living in, given he lacks the knowledge of knowing how to. Furthermore, he wants to learn magic as he was inspired by Linze’s spell casting.
Let’s break this down: he gets to live in a world that he’s happy in (fair enough due to reasons mentioned earlier), he takes down thugs flawlessly, links up with twins, kills two monsters with ease (one which was an extra kill), and now he wants to learn magic. As a Gary Sue kid with an unprecedented natural learning rate and talent, he’ll master magic with ease of course.
As they’re chilling back at the Inn, the twins tell Touya that in order to learn and master magic, he must have been born with strong aptitudes. Linze (born with strong aptitude) showcases her magic spells to Touya through elemental stones. Linze shows Touya a weak water magic spell, filling a small tea cup up with water. She passes the stone to Touya, who on his first try almost floods the table. The twins are shocked and even impress by this and suggest that they go outside to have him practice with the othert stones before he destories the inn.
Of course, Touya shows impressive display of skills of each stone’s magic. He has no hassle in using their powers a few steps above the average. It’s like he’s of the Master Knight class from the stagery RPG Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War – he can use all magic and weaponry. Expert unlike say Lachesis of Leaf (two Master Knights) who had to work their asses off to get that class, this kid would start off as a Master Knight right from the gate.
After seeing the kid showcasing how much of a Gary Stu he is, I decided to drop the episode right there and then. I had enough of it.
In Another World With My Smartphone isn’t too terrible, but it’s not great either. For what it’s worth, this show works well for its target audience and demographic. It’s a campy, fun show that doesn’t take itself or clichés seriously. I can see it as a show for somebody who just wants to relax on an easy day with a beer (or juice for the younger folks) and chill out after a long day of work or school. As for people like me outside it’s demographic, I can’t recommend it.
I was really hopeful that this anime would have been different with using modern technology in a fantasy world that still work due ot magic. That is an amazing concept that I wanan see more in anime, because it’s something I’ve never seen before. While I did drop the episode, I did manage to peep at the scene where Touya is explaining how to create ice cream with magic thanks in part with his cell phone. I thought that was cool him showing the resident of his new world how the technology of his former world works.
I must also appreciate the RPG like aesthetics of this show. It made me felt like I was watching a campy RPG come to life and I personally wouldn’t mind playing a RPG game like this. The music itself has that classic smartphone RPG vibe with it light orchestral soundtrack playing the scenes. Granted, I will say it got annoying at certain points.
Sadly, the predictable overpowerness of Touya and him learning magic and weaponery with ease is a huge turn off. I get that he was blessed by God to have his natural abiblities increased ten folds, but it comes off as cheap and lazy. However, it seems like Touya will struggle with reading and writing overtime so I guess that’s a fair trade off.
In short, just skip In Another World With MY Smartphone if you dislike OP’d Gary Stu characters and overly capmy RPG troopes. It’s not worth wsting your time watching. If you don’t mind it and just want a warm, upbeat show to watch then I say watch it.
I would give this show a 4.5/10, but it’s that modern day technology in a fantasy world idea is great and I think if done right, it could be sometime exciting to see in future anime series. Plus
I’m tempted to give this show a second chance just based off how relaxing of a show this is. Also I just saw how the other thug was defeated after writing this. Dude was knock out by the brawler twin but I’m too lazy to edit that in lol.
You only get one shot. If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.
So, did Hajimete no Gal impressed me on its first episode? Absolutely not!
I had to straight dropped this disrespectful-to-the-source-material trash in under eight minutes. It’s that horrible. However, I figure I’d watch the episode in full. I wanted to thoroughly explain why I don’t like this anime. Plus, I need to confirm my theory that it’ll be garbage overtime.
First off, the opening scene is a panty shot. No warnings, explanations, or buildup leading us to why we’re seeing Yukana’s crotch on the screen. Nope. Just straight up panty shot. To me, that’s just NAZ saying that they’re lacking confidence in the success of their adaption. If using a panty shot as the opening scene is a way to hook the viewers in, then your anime is going to suck.
The manga didn’t open up with a panty shot. The first pages were just Junichi groveling on the ground at the feet of Yukana, with his head lowered in shame. There was a panty shot towards the end of the chapter, but it was directed so that it made sense that. Junichi caught a peep of her panties from the angle of his position. The opening shot of the anime didn’t give that information or sense of direction. That’s why it was off putting.
The opening page.
Notice the lack of panty shots?
Next is the gosh darn annoying opening animation song and animation. The song, “The First Season”, sounds like some generic, entry level weeaboo J-Pop music that you’d normally hear on some weird Japanese-only rhythm game. For example, that Project Diva game that lonely spaz ass weebs play at anime cons. It’s easily forgettable, and could be passed off as a theme song for any other generic romantic-comedy anime.
The OP animation gives off the impression that series might be directed as a harem, as three others girls are introduced: A bubbly, cute, yet graceless chubby girl, a tanned gyaru (who may be the Yukana’s best friend or something), and a graceful, modest girl (whom we can assume is either popular, or has high status, given she’s surrounded by many peers).
Excellent. Not only did that unnecessary panty shot didn’t help anyone who may be skeptical about Hajimete no Gal, the OP is an extra strike for anyone (myself included) who hates harem, or overly perverted material in anime with no substance or reason.
(Admittedly, I’m on chapter 5 of the manga, and I’ve yet to encountered the other girls besides Yukana. Junichi and Yukana are already dating, and Yukana likes him. I don’t know what’s with other girls; if they’re further in the manga or what, but I digress.)
While I’m on the subject, the girl’s design looks plain and lazy. Uninspiring even – lacking depth and clues about their personalities. Also, why does each girl (sans the modest looking chick) have large breasts? Not every female character needs large tits my dude. Sigh. The opening animation pisses me off. The opening shot pisses me off. This episode pisses me off. If I were to watch this entire anime, I’ll lose my temper.
With that said, lets examine the rest of episode.
The anime begins similar to the manga; Junichi frets entering the new school year as a kiss-less virgin. His friends, a group of outcast nerds (Shinpei, Keigo, and Minoru) are in the same boat. Together, they make a pact to lose their virginity. Or at the least obtain new girlfriends before the end of the school year.
While Jun will achieve in getting a girlfriend (he’s the main character, he gets the girl first), his crew talks that good game about getting with a chick to smash and date. Mostly smash. Heck any chick is great for them. White chicks. Black chicks. Asian Chicks. Tsundere Chicks. Dandere. Yandere chicks. They’re all free game – even if the chick looks clearly like a loli.
And here is where things goes from bad to just utterly wrong.
I respect the fact that animators and writers must create filler scenes for manga-to-anime adaption. If you directly apadate the manga panel-by-panel without filler, you’re going to have a very short anime. With that said; when did Jun’s crew became a bunch of pedophiles, trying to smash a girl who’s clearly in middle or grade school? In the manga, they were some petty haters; mad at Jun because he got with Yukana. Cool. They’re still assholes in the anime. That ain’t changed.
But lusting after a little girl? Fam, what the hell? Like, after Nene is introduced (way too early mind you), Minoru starts asking and making some rather suspect questions and statements about Nene. I’ll let these screenshots speak for themselves:
Moving forward, The Virgin Brigade (sans Jun) make an unanimous decision to look at porn magazines in class. They drool over the models’ physical attributes, making rather lewd comments about them. Jun is pressured into reading one. He refuses, but gives up and reluctantly accepts one. While reading it, Junichi is startled by Yukana’s disgust towards the group. Junichi clumsily throws the book behind his back, landing at her feet. Jun hurries to recover it, stumbles, and falls near her. She glares downwards towards him and calls him disgusting. Needless to say, Junichi is utterly embarrassed at what has just transpired.
After school, Junichi confronts his friends about the incident. They tell him to chill and to take advantage of the recent situation. Next, they explain to him how easy(going) gyaru are; suggesting to him that he should pursue Yukana. Once again, he is pressured by his friends into another unwanted situation. In fact, his crew wrote a confession letter addressed to Yukana from Junichi’s point of view. He’s understandably pissed but he catches himself and calms down. He fantasizes about smashing Yukana, inspired after gaining a peep at her panties earlier. He figures that if he confesses and luck out, he’ll get to see more than just her panties, and loses his virginity. They slip the letter into Yukana’s locker and wait.
Later, Yukana receives the letter and meets with Junichi after reading it. They two meet up , and Junichi “confesses” – by getting on his knees, lowering his head, and begs her for a date. Yukana is disgusted once again, but starts to laugh and tease him, questions him if the only reason why he wants to date her is so that he could to lose his virginity. Dude starts to (over)think that he screwed up, but regains his confidence as Yukana tells him that she finds him cute and wants to get him know him better. She decides that she wants to go out with him, much to his disbelief.
The episode ends with Junichi shouting in victory at his success. Same as the manga.
To conclude, let me explain why I’m dropping this trash adaption. The extra scenes with Yui (the popular and modest girl) and Nene felt unnecessary. It made me assumed that the series was going to stray far from its manga roots; with Junichi attempting to get with every girl (as opposed to the manga where Junichi only had eyes for Yukana). If I had lacked prior knowledge of the manga. and watched the anime fully blind, seeing that possible harem set-up would had made me drop the show off the OP alone.
I’m that strict.
Then, we have Junichi’s crew. His friends are haters in both the manga and anime. They’re a group of young dudes interested in girls and sex, which is normal. What’s not normal is these dudes wanting to have sex with Nene just because she’s a loli.
Despite my overal harsh criticism, I will say that I appreciate that the animation team accurately animated panels from the manga shot-by-shot such as the guys looking at porn in the classroom, Junichi’s sexual fantasies, and his confession to Yukana.
As for the animation itself, it’s not too terrible. However, it’s not amazing either. There doesn’t seem to be any inconsistent, off models shots (from what I’ve noticed) or anything that would be jarring. Yet, there’s much more to be desired from the visuals, as many shots lack details, as many parts weren’t “animated” (example – the scene were the students are being lovely-dovely should have had arm moves, kissing, etc like Jun’s fantasy with Yukana were she’s slowly undresses herself, lick her lips, teases Jun, etc.)
Overall, Hajimete no Gal isn’t a completely terrible anime, but it’s not great either. Hell, it’s not even good. It feels like an sub-par romantic-comedy anime that could had have a lot going for it; given how amazing the source material is.
Sadly, the adaption falls flat on its ass due to its overused of fanservice, lack of detailed animation, and uninteresting premises that sway far from its source material. Maybe things will get better as the series carries along in the summer season, but from what I’ve been infromed by die hards fans who’ve read further into the manga than I and watched episodes 2 and 3, I shouldn’t have any hopes that the anime will do the manga justice.
On the bright side at least this review and score isn’t as brutal as on my Facebook page:
EDIT: Strong language removed so I can run this post as an ad for Facebook lol