Winter 2016 First Look: Part 2

Sekko Boys

Miki Ishimoto hated art school. She hated sketching geometric shapes and sculptures and she hated her teachers for criticizing her for deviating from the models. She’s excited to leave that whole world behind when she gets a job managing the hot new idol group, Sekko Boys. Much to her dismay, she discovers the members of Sekko Boys – St. George, Mars, Hermes, and Medici – are all marble busts. Available streaming on Crunchyroll.

Well, that was silly! The premise of Sekko Boys is utterly surreal, and well-aware of it. The episode opens with the boys performing to a stadium full of glowstick-wielding screaming fangirls. They shout their catchphrases, setting up their personalities: Mars is a warrior but also a passionate lover, Hermes is beautiful and multitalented, St. George is a protector of the weak, and Medici is charming and innocent. Yes, this is a world where marble busts are alive sentient, retain the personalities of the the ones they represent, but also are still heavy statues that must be carried and carted from place to place, injuring their handlers’ backs in the process. Working in a profession where back pain and other stress injuries are a major occupational hazard, I felt for Yanagisawa, their chief manager.

Artists, on the other hand, will doubtless feel for Miki’s backstory. Her frustration at endlessly copying the masters in the name of developing fundamentals, without her teachers ever allowing her to put her spin on things, is a common complaint, as is her resulting burnout. Much of the episode’s humor, other than the sheer absurdity of the premise, stems from her shock and horror at being confronted with the exact subject of her anger at a completely separate job.

The verdict: Sekko Boys’ premise is unlike any other, to be sure. I look forward to seeing how the silliness develops.

Likelihood of weekly coverage: Low. It’s too light to really warrant any heavy discussion.

Continue reading “Winter 2016 First Look: Part 2”

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Snow White with the Kind of Boring Anime Series

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I love fantasy shoujo. I love romances where the two people treat each other kindly. I love smart, capable heroines. I love Studio Bones’ expressive character animation and stunning background art.

So why, oh why, didn’t I love Snow White with the Red Hair?

All was well for the first three episodes or so. Shirayuki showed the spirit I so adore in my heroines when she cut off her red hair and left it for Prince Raj as a special little “fuck you.” Her adventurousness and excitement as she anticipated exploring her new home in Clarines spoke to me, as I suffer from my own case of wanderlust. Her expertise in herbalism gave her opportunities and the ability to stand on her own two feet.

With each passing week, however, I became less and less eager to watch the new episode. Something about the show just wasn’t grabbing me. I didn’t understand – this show had everything I could possibly want! I should be shivering in anticipation of each installment. As the show marched stolidly on toward its season closing, I had to admit it: it was dull. Boring. A slog. How could a show, with so many winning ingredients, made by one of the most consistently excellent studios, fail so hard?

Continue reading “Snow White with the Kind of Boring Anime Series”