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First Impressions Digest 01/07/24 – Ore Dake Level-Up na Ken, Ao no Exorcist: Shimane Illuminati Hen

Ore Dake Level-Up na Ken – 01

Yeah, this is one of those times where I just don’t get it.  I know Tower of God is really the only manhwa I’ve liked (though the Noblesse anime wasn’t bad), which leaves me a suspect barometer.  Even so, when a series has the kind of aggregator scores this one does, you expect to be able to form some notion as to why.  I know manhwa typically score higher in such metrics but even so, Ore Dake Level-Up na Ken nabs some of the best ratings of any out there.

I didn’t hate this or anything, but my goodness, it just played as so generic.  Right down to the exposition by explanation, as universal an indicator of lazy writing as anything out there.  Magic portals, beasts, “awakened” fighters grouped by level, weakling protagonist (who will eventually get strong) – haven we not seen all that a thousand times before?  And not that infrequently done better?

The caveat here is that this is only the anime I’m going on, as I haven’t read the webtoon.  Maybe Solo Leveling is really great in that form and the adaptation just butchered it (I can’t speak to content but I’d describe the production values as “erratic”).  It’s not like Tower of God’s anime did it any favors.  More likely though I think this series just isn’t for me.  So we’ll move on to…


Ao no Exorcist: Shimane Illuminati Hen – 01

So I guess the deal is, every six or seven years Ao no Exorcist gets a new series.  I certainly have some history with this franchise, having watched and blogged the original not long after I started this website.  It was good, but kind of went off the rails at the end with an anime-original ending.  Then an OVA which was also good, and a movie which was even better (sneakily one of the prettiest and most well-animated anime films of its era).  As such I was quite looking forward to the second season (Kyoto Fujouou-hen).  But in the end I was surprised the makers of Ambien didn’t sue it for unfairly competing.

Needless to say, I never finished that trainwreck of a season.  But this was fine, really.  Most of what’s under the hood has changed – A-1 is out and VOLN is in, and the key staff apart from Oono Toshiya (who wrote one of my favorite anime of all-time and not much else that did anything for me) on series composition.  There are references to Kyoto in here but it’s easy enough to pretend it never happened, as it doesn’t seem to directly underpin anything that’s happening.  The premiere was pretty much AoEx as I remember it, which is Rin as a likeable goofus and a lot of big-name seiyuu chewing the scenery pretty hard,

One thing about this show that never changes is that it’s very talky, one of the talkiest action shounen around.  Sometimes that works better than others, and the first part of this episode with Godain-kun and Mephisto worked better than the bit with the family portrait.  Any time you go back to a series after this long it’s a bit disconcerting as your mind goes back to places it hasn’t been for a very long time, but I slotted all the characters into place pretty quickly (including the kid with the puppet who never says anything himself).

Certainly the early returns are promising on this season being better (if a lot more CGI-heavy) than the second.  But this is looking like the busiest anime day of the week (as usual these days) so I have no idea at this point whether it’s be something I’ll consider covering.  At the very least it was fun to be back in this mythology again after so long.

The post First Impressions Digest 01/07/24 – Ore Dake Level-Up na Ken, Ao no Exorcist: Shimane Illuminati Hen appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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