We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness. The essential elements of our blogging will be courage, audacity and revolt. Blogging has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit. The blogger must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Blogging must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man. Standing on the world's summit we launch once again our insolent challenge to the stars!
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I love Yuno. Her adorable design, her cute faces, her innocence, her determination to do things her own way, the things she does for her friends, her diligence; even if she is crying, you just want to give her a big hug. She truly is one of the most fluffy and lovable characters in modern-day anime.
But enough about Yuno from Hidamari Sketch. Let’s talk about Yuno Gasai.
Look at her. This is what you watch Future Diary for. The Queen of Yandere. The Crazy Stalker To End All Crazy Stalkers. Yuno’s reputation is bigger than that of the manga she stars in. I have heard gruesome stories about this little lady and I look forward to seeing how and if the anime will adapt all these horrors. Because you might press the play button to see Yuno do things that would make every person with a sanity more stable than hers uncomfortable, after 24 minutes, Future Diary will have won you over with much, much more than… that.
We have a pretty interesting plot, which people who enjoyed Eden Of The East and Death Note will be sure to enjoy, decent writing and the promise of some terribly messed up adversaries Yuki and Yuno will have to face. The character designs are unique and pretty original at times, such as the main character not wearing a school uniform for once. The animation is fluid, yet nothing revolutionary, although the CGI monstrosity voiced by Norio Wakamoto comes dangerously close to the uncanny valley at times. The BGM was all over the place and the direction missed some opportunities to truly scare the living daylights out of me, but overall, Future Diary promises to be an interesting ride. At its very least, it’s given us a character we’re not soon to forget.
By the way, Yuukki acting a lot like Shinji and Deus Ex looking a lot like an Eva can’t be a coincidence.
This show sucks.
Slice-of-life anime with 24 episodes are a dangerous thing. Most shows in the genre already struggle with holding up the audience’s attention for one seasonal run, so if a production company decides to go for a full two-cour run, they had better have some ambition to back this decision up. Even an ambitious show like Hanasaku Iroha last season didn’t manage to convince me that 26 episodes were needed to tell the story the creators wanted to convey.
If there is anyone who fully understands the slice-of-life genre and its recipe for success though, it’s Junichi Satou, the inventor of that genre fans like to oh so annoyingly call ”healing” anime. What exactly Sato’s latest original project, a series of four OVAs by the name of Tamayura, was supposed to heal is beyond me, though. It sure was not boredom.
The series was often described as ‘K-ON! with photography’, but it severely lacked everything that made K-ON! so interesting in the first place. It had no jokes, no memorable characters or noteworthy music and was completely different in both setup and pacing, as Tamayura also attempted to smuggle in some character development. This once again proves that not every show with a main cast consisting of four high school girls needs to be compared to K-ON!
My favourite character gets ditched after the first episode. Ágætis byrjun.
The Tamayura OVAs were mostly just boring, depending entirely on invoking a sense of nostalgia and hoping to make people feel warm and fuzzy by having its main character babble on and on about her late father to her cardboard cut-out friends while tinkly piano music plays in the background. So when I heard that this foursome of boredom would be followed up by a 24-episode anime series which would actually air during the day, I was coloured interested. A writer like Junichi Sato would have some clear ambitions with this setting and these characters in order to take on a challenge of this calibre, right?
After watching the first episode of Tamayura ~hitotose~ on a train on a dreary Thursday morning, I can say that Sato managed to pique my interest, for now. While the atmosphere and pacing remained generally the same from the OVAs, the focus shifted from random slice-of-life antics to the events and character establishment leading to our main character Fuu moving to the Nameless Town Her Late Father Loved and reuniting with her childhood friend Kaoru.
The similarities to the first episode of Hanasaku Iroha, an episode which was utterly non-indicative of the nature of the show as a whole, are striking. The fact that Tamayura also depends heavily on scenery porn to establish a sense of traditionalist nostalgia doesn’t help either. There are some things Hanasaku Iroha even managed to do better that Tamayura. In Hanasaku Iroha, Ohana’s mother forcing her to move to Yunosagi because she wanted to elope with her boyfriend was portrayed as something ridiculous and cruel. In Tamayura, Fuu’s entire family decides to move just because Fuu is thinking about attending high school in the Nameless Town Her Late Father Loved on a whim that even Satsuki Matsumae would consider inconsiderate.
Despite all this, though, this episode left a positive first impressive on me. The acting was brilliant at times and the writing managed to quite decently introduce Fuu’s character and her relationship with her father. In the OVAs, she was mostly a clone of Yuno from Hidamari Sketch, a character I may or may not have a small platonic crush on, but this pilot episode established her as her very own kind of girl quite well. Near the end of the episode, all pieces of the puzzle fell into place. The colour palette consisting of mostly whites, greys and browns, the music and the character designs, three artistic elements that didn’t seem to agree with each other at first merged together to create an already unique vibe.
In the end, the chances are very likely that Tamayura ~hitotose~ will not be the plot-heavy slice-of-life show I’m still longing for, but it’s definitely a thing to consider watching for fans of the genre. Tamayura will definitely be a nice change of pace from all the magic warfare, yandere slaughter and truth seeking this season will have to offer.