Spring season is underway and the early returns are… well, it’s something alright.
Kiniro no Corda: Blue♪Sky
I had my eye on Kiniro no Corda going into the season as something with the potential to buck the trend of otome game adaptations being categorically garbage. I find it disheartening when some people categorically dismiss visual novel adaptations as being not worth watching so it would be hypocritical of me to ignore something that seems to have some potential simply because of what the source material is. There are plenty of quality VN adaptations out there. You need only to look back a couple seasons to White Album 2 to see this but I’ve enjoyed even some of the more generic ones like Myself;Yourself or Mashiro-iro Symphony. Then again, there’s a lot of garbage out there in the VN world so I kind of see where the haters are coming from.
So where does Kiniro no Corda land on this spectrum? After one episode I’d place it decidedly to the good end of the dating sim world with enough plot and hopefully enough character depth to carry a show on something more than a bunch of young men with chiseled good looks. The main character, Kanade, is very reminiscent of her male counterparts in that she seems to sort of float through life wherever things take her and she’s more than a bit dense. We see this in how Kanade heaps praise on Ritsu ostensibly unaware of how this upsets his younger brought Kyouya who clearly has feelings for Kanade. The other concern I typically have with otome game adaptations and shoujo romance in general is the general rape-y vibe I often get from the male characters but that seems to be largely absent here thankfully. I got a chuckle out of the OP which consisted of almost chanting vocals from the male cast members accompanied by the most epic violin playing you’ve ever seen. Overall Kiniro no Corda Blue Sky seems to have justified my modest level of anticipation so far. If you have a soft spot for romance but generally don’t’ bother with reverse harems this might be a good starting place.
Kamigami no Asobi
On the other hand, Kamigami no Asobi seems to be thoroughly to the other end of the visual novel/otome game spectrum. The whole thing is very silly but you probably could have guessed that from the premise. For those of you who didn’t read our season preview (and why didn’t you?) the story centers on Kusanagi Yui, a girl called into the realm of the gods by Zeus himself to improve human/deity relations by teaching the problem gods about the meaning of love. The show is rife with typical harem tropes and I was honestly surprised by how universal these tropes are. I expect to have to significantly adjust my thoughts on that constitutes typical harem behavior when the genders go flipped but in reality it’s almost the same. You have your typical archetypes: the hot and angry tsundere, the brooding kuudere, the hyper genki friendly one, the cool and suave one, and the clumsy one. We even had a moment where the main character falls over and lands awkwardly with a harem member on top of her. Some things never change I guess. Yui is voiced by Hayami Saori who’s really growing on my as a voice actress so I figure I’ll keep watching at least another week just for that. However, unlike Kiniro no Corda, I can’t say I’d recommend checking this out unless you’re already willing to go down the reverse harem path.
Seikoku no Dragonar
Speaking of bog standard anime adaptations, Seikoku no Dragonar couldn’t be more typical Light Novel adaptation if it tried. You have your big boobed harem member, your other big boobed harem member, your dumb male friend, your brooding and disrespected main male character who’s actually really talented. We even got some signs that the female characters are secretly suffering and I’m sure this means that the main male character is just the one to heal them. Despite being about a dragon race, the first episode had a large number of still shots which tells me that this has almost no animation budget which isn’t ideal for a show in a high fantasy setting. I don’t think that the dialog is going to carry this one. Honestly though, I was expecting to be more shocked by the fanservice in this show based on its reputation, the manga and the PV. Instead the show was actually relatively subdued in that department. Unfortunately, that means instead of being offensive it just ended up being pretty boring. I might give this one another week but I can’t see it lasting longer than that.
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler
If Dragonar bored me with its lack of audacious fanservice, Daimidaler certainly made up for that with how audacious and over the top it was. Of course this was to be expected given this is brought to us by the same studio, director and scriptwriter as the infamous High School DxD. The basic premise vaguely resembles that of Hidan no Aria where the main character becomes more powerful when aroused. However, Daimidaler has left all the subtlety of Hidan no Aria (as far as subtlety in a show where a girl uses her clothes as a parachute goes) behind in favor of a complete devotion to the perverted. The upshot of this is that we got a true spectacle of a first episode that really pulled out all the stops as far as fanservice nonsense goes. Obviously this show is not for the faint of heart but I found it to be fun and worth a chuckle. The main problem I see here (aside from the obvious) is that I really don’t know how they can top the first episode. It seems like they’ve thrown out all the over the top perversion they can this week and there’s nowhere to go but down. I’ll keep watching for at least another week but this could be dropped very quickly.