Tempest’s Downpour — Review of Katsucon’s FUNimation Preview

Posted on Feb 21 2012

FUNimation is the company that changed the face of anime in a positive direction. It was the first company that I noticed to bring out consistently good dubs with excellent scripts and directors who really knew what they were doing. Special care was put into its shows as it progressed from Dragonball Z to Fruits Basket to Fullmetal Alchemist.

The preview panel at the Katsucon showed that it still knows how to dub a show well. But I’m concerned about the choices it’s making.

There was a large influx of programs that were heavy on fanservice: Heaven’s Lost Property, Rosario + Vampire, Sekirei Pure Engagement. Heck, Heaven’s Lost Property advertised itself using flying panties, while Sekirei’s actual tagline is “Boobies for the win” — I’m not kidding.

This is apparently what sells anime.

Then, there were programs that had Bandai’s label torn off and FUNimation’s band-aid lovingly applied, but for what reason? As a longtime .hack fan, I can tell you that there is no reason for .hack//QUANTUM to exist. That horse has been rotting for years, so please stop beating it. The second season of Sengoku Basara advertised itself using a huge war scene, but I doubt anyone who hasn’t played the game will find reason to care about any of the characters. There’s a reason why most anime adaptations of video games don’t sell well, and that’s probably the same reason Bandai stopped making anime.

I was making that same face when I watched the first episode.

Yamada seems like another dull attempt at Suzuka, but with internal monologue that was too over-the-top. The show is desperately trying to be funny, but I found it more unsettling than anything else.

Chaos Head, on the other hand, looks fascinating. The preview pointed out that it’s stylistically similar to DeathNOTE because it was made by the same company, but that wasn’t quite enough information. I do recommend looking up the trailers and FUNimation will probably have it on their youtube or niconico account if they don’t already. What the preview neglected to mention is that this anime is based off a visual novel, which already colors my opinions bleak and grey.

It looks deliciously dark at the very least.

Katsucon was called “Jellycon” for a reason as it marked the release of Princess Jellyfish. I can say honestly that the preview is not enough to go by in judging this series. From what I grasped, the series is strange, it is funny and I suppose it will be heartwarming. But its tentacles haven’t drawn me in yet, so I can’t pass judgement.

I watched eight shows get pushed and though I was mildly intrigued by two, I was disgusted or disappointed by six. Those aren’t good odds.

Princess Jellyfish seems to be very… whatever this is.

I’m reminded of my time in Borders when all I could find were crappy yaoi series. I worry that this is the fate of the anime industry: a damaged economy leads to companies seeking the basest of programming just to scrape pennies together. Good programming is out there and it’s my fear that it will be overlooked because it just doesn’t have enough fanservice or because it’s not from an exhausted franchise.

On the other hand, I visited the FUNimation booth in the Dealer’s Room at the con where the very same presenter managed to pique my interest in three more shows and convinced me to buy Summer Wars.

Also, Anime News Network says that Princess Jellyfish is one of the top anime of 2010, so maybe I’m passing judgement too soon.

Do you have thoughts or opinions? Have you seen these shows? Talk to me in the comments.

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  • Kibs February 22, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    I think I keep getting princess jellyfish confused with squidgirl.

  • Kanashimi February 22, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I think Christmas will be upset by this post. xD

  • Kayarath February 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    I got Princess Jellyfish! It looks like an interesting series!

  • Cheflelouch February 23, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Well at the moment I want to get princes jellyfish and .Hack but i lack the money

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