Welcome to the Summer 2016 First Impressions! Here I’ll be looking at three anime that fall generally under the romance genre and giving you my opinion on the first episode of each. Today we’ll be looking at Sweetness & Lightning, This Art Club has a Problem, and The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi, all can be found on Crunchyroll.
Sweetness & Lightening
Sweetness and Lightening is a heartwarming story of a single dad trying to care for his daughter after his wife dies. The first episode focuses on introducing the characters’ background and what I think will be one of the major plot points: the father’s developing drive to make delicious food for his daughter.
Overall, I though the first episode was very promising and I can’t wait for the next. The story is charming and the daughter reminds me vaguely of Ponyo with her personality and even animation style in some respects. I also liked how this show didn’t really use the trope of “single father has no idea how to raise a child” other than him not knowing how to cook. He genuinely seems like he has the basic parenting skills down and knows how to engage his daughter in ways that are fun for her such as the games he makes up surrounding chores.
The art is very good, and shows some differences in relation to other shows in the genre, especially centered around the daughter, though I thought the some of the father’s animations were lacking in some areas. Her huge floof of hair is adorable, and I almost want to see it take on a life of its own like a Miyazaki film. The one thing I didn’t like was the opening. I thought the song was a little off-putting at least for my taste. However, the rest of the music throughout the episode was very good.
Verdict: Can’t wait for more!
This Art Club has a Problem
This Art Club has a Problem is a slice-of-life/romance/comedy about a small, middle school art club. The club is made up of four members: the president that sleeps all day, the boy whose one goal is to create the perfect 2-D waifu, the more traditional artist, and the other member that hasn’t been introduced yet. So far the story has been introducing characters and the love-hate relationship between traditional Usami Mizuki and waifu-loving Uchimaki Subaru.
I was a little hesitant about this show at the beginning, particularly because of the character of Uchimaki and some of the fan service elements that popped up. However, I think Uchimaki redeems himself a little bit at the end of the episode, and I’m interested to see how both his character and his relationship with Usami develops. I also loved how the writers threw you right into the middle of a major plot point. It gives the first episode a sense of suspense and action that draws and holds you in.
The animation is pretty standard for the genre and nothing really wowed me about it so far. I will say, though, that I love the opening song. I can see it getting stuck in my head this season as I watch this more.
Verdict: Still hesitant, but will definitely be watching where this goes.
The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi
Fudanshi is a short-form anime (about 3 and half minutes) based off of a short-form comic strip. Though it’s not a romance story per-se, I thought it was fitting to cover this one since it’s a story about the life of a highschool boy who likes to read Boy’s Love (AKA a Fudanshi).
I’ve read the comics as they have come out, and have generally liked them. However, I found this adaptation lacking in some way. Maybe the act of converting something as short-form as Fudanshi to an anime format leaves a lot to be desired. The character’s are pretty interesting, though the character design felt a little off to me, especially when it came to Sakaguchi’s friend. The one thing I had a huge problem with was the weird overexposed filter they put over the whole episode. It was generally a turn-off for me, but I’ll probably keep watching for at least a few more episodes to see how it goes.
Verdict: Hesitantly watching.
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Want to add to my review? Feel free to post constructive comments below.
One thought on “Summer 2016: First Impressions”
Sweetness & Lightening is the only one of these shows I am actually planning on watching, but I am equally eager to watch it. It looks like a nice departure from a lot of other cliche animes that plague the modern anime seasons. Plus, who doesn’t love a good slice of life (it is technically a slice of life, right?)? Thank you for your thoughts!