Thursday, October 16, 2008

Michiko to Hatchin ep 1 first impression!

Subject: Noir
In between packing (and loading games on my laptop) for my trip, I managed to catch the Michiko to Hatchin raw. It's kind of low-res and a weak audio mix, but it was more than enough for a good preview.

There was a lot going on, though it was all very much over-the-top and easy enough to follow. I'm sure there's a lot of detail in the dialogue that went totally over my head, which left a couple of sequences confused to me, but on the whole, I think I'm really going to enjoy this one!

Especially if a hi-def version becomes available... because the art direction is probably the most outstanding aspect of the show. The raw was really crunchy, but you could tell that there's a lot of detail and color and care that will totally enrich the Brasil-based world onscreen.

The music was pretty much awesome throughout, with a melange of styles that went from the sort of latin-style that was expected, to some funky 70's exploitation beats that totally accentuate some of the over-the-top bits.

Voices, I'll have to give it another listen to judge. So far the common "complaint" is Hatchin sounds too mature. She sounds like Kino's VA to me (too lazy to check right now...). But I'm not distracted by that.

Story, I'll have to get the dialogue to get a better feel for it, but I'm pretty sure that it's pretty much working at the "fun romp" level, and is self-depricatingly using over-the-top tropes to move things along. It's working up a frothy stew of homage in every sequence, I'm sure. I expect it's going to be all about experiencing the individual moments -- journey-not-the-destination -- and I'm down with that. Oh yeah.

Animation, well, I'm a bit torn. I simultaneously love it and find it annoying. I love that they're overloading the motion and using lots of very expressive, lively poses. Somewhat more subdued sequences contrast nicely with the over-the-top exaggerated action. Very humorous. And did I mention expressive? Yes, yes I did.

But ugh, in a lot of scenes, their motion timing is really clunky. It's not particularly smooth motion to begin with, but like with Bounen no Xamdou, I don't mind that when there's actually a proper sense of weight and gravity to compensate for the lack of tweens. It's no Champloo in this department, that's for sure. Which is a bit dissappointing.

That said, supposedly there are other studios and animators who are involved in various episodes. The ED looks like it's a multi-animator "exquisite-corpse" sort of affair (which Masaaki Yuasa does a very Kaiba-looking segment for, I believe). And over time, I'm hoping it will improve. But for now, it's not a show-stopper.

If it were better, though, I'd be a raving obsessive lunatic over this show. It would do no wrong by me. Heh.

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