Winter Games 2018 – First Episodes

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Yuru Camp – Episodes 1 & 2

Yuru Camp, or Laid-Back Camp, has got to be one of the most relaxing shows i’ve seen recently. With some genuinely pretty visuals, a lovely soundtrack, and a cast full of adorable moe girls, the good times never stop coming. I really enjoy Moe-style shows, but many of them tend to toe the line between being kinda creepy and pandering (Hinako Note), and being cloyingly sweet and fluffy (Konohana Kitan). Yuru Camp sits comfortably right in the middle.

First off we meet Rin, a young girl who loves camping (because camping is amazing), and sports a lovely Hinedere attitude. While camping, she meets Nadeshiko, a bubbly klutz of a girl who had fallen asleep on a bench and lost her way home. We get some hilarious and adorable character interactions, as well as a few gorgeous shots of Mt. Fuji (Fuji-San!!!)

Episode 2 gives us some more character building, not just of Rin and Nadeshiko, but also the two girls in the Outdoor club, which Nadeshiko quickly joins. I must say, though, the best part of the episode was just Rin being herself, whether it’s interacting with the other girls, or exploring a campground, she’s just a lot of fun to watch.

This show was my personal pick, and i’m super glad I decided on it. With a nice, relaxing atmosphere, the show gives me a similar feeling to sitting by a fire, very warm and comforting to be around. I guess that makes it a perfect fit for the Winter months, yeah? Anyways, I like this show, and i’m looking forward to more of it!

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Predictions:

  • My general prediction is that the various girls we have seen so far will all end up in the same club. (This one’s kinda obvious I think. Gotta start with the easy points, though.)
  • As for a character action, I just want more of Rin’s nonchalant/downright rudeness. It’s hilarious. But as for a prediction… I think she’ll start warming up a bit to the other girls.

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Sanrio Boys – Episodes 1 & 2

Coming from the lovely Irina, Sanrio Boys was not at all what I expected, at least from the first episode. The basis of the story is that there are a group of boys who are fans of Sanrio products (Hello Kitty, etc.) and are learning to stick to their interests even though it might not be considered “cool” or “proper” for a high-school boy to be interested in things like that.

Honestly, the show was more entertaining than I expected. With some hilarious scenes and snarky comments abounding, it was a pretty enjoyable ride. My one complaint, for now, at least, is that the main character’s motivations and “tragic backstory” honestly felt pretty forced, at least to me. I mean, why couldn’t he have just been a guy who liked stuffed animals? Why does there need to be family drama and death associated with it, taking up a third of the first episode with a flashback?

As for Episode 2, while it was quite funny and entertaining in the first half or so, the latter part of the episode I actually found to be quite dull, the drama again seeming very forced. The comedy moments are great, but it gets irritatingly dry once we run away from that.

Overall, though, impressions were relatively positive. I still can’t shake the feeling that some Shounen-Ai vibes are lurking around the corner, but it’s looking like a fun watch nonetheless.

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Predictions:

  • My general prediction (another obvious one here) is that all the boys who so very clearly stand out (lots of parentheses here, I know, but like… easiest game of “spot the main characters” i’ve ever played) are gonna have an obsession with one or more items of Sanrio merchandise. What those are, however, I have no clue.
  • My character action prediction is that one or more of the boys are gonna get in trouble with the student council president. Yup. Called it. You read it here first, folks.

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Record of Grancrest War – Episodes 1 & 2

Record of Grancrest War delivers a relatively standard palate for a Fantasy show. Boy meets girl, they go on an adventure, magic exists, the world under threat from Demons. What interests me so far about Grancrest is, not only are the visuals great and the characters interesting, the magic system seems quite unique and well-thought-out.

With Theo, the wandering Lord, coming into contact with Siluca Meletes, the latter pledging loyalty to the former (even though their relationship really seems to be the other way around), they immediately capture the domain of another Lord, gaining power for Theo immediately. Siluca’s scheming brings them to the brink of war very quickly, resulting in another Lord falling under their control.

While the visuals are nice and the magic system is interesting, the story so far doesn’t really stand out much, for me. It seems very generic, and somewhat poorly paced, and I don’t feel attached to the main characters at all, really. But I guess we’ll see where it goes in the future.

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Predictions:

  • Now that Theo has captured the crests of not one, but 2 Lords, I can’t help but think he’ll be drawing quite a bit of attention to himself. I can only see this sparking more violence.
  • As for character actions, i’m going for an easy point here at the start (since repeats aren’t allowed) and i’m gonna say that Siluca is going to keep being teased about her outfit.

Thanks everyone for reading! Don’t forget to check out TPAB, Leap250, and Irina’s blogs to see their predictions, and don’t hesitate to help us keep a tally of how we’re doing as the season moves forward!

Oh, and please let me know, would you guys prefer my thoughts/predictions to be all compiled into a single post each week, like this one, or would you prefer individual posts spread throughout the week? Let me know!

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45 thoughts on “Winter Games 2018 – First Episodes

  1. The Yuru Camp show probably sounds the best out of the three even if it involves the infamous trope of characters doing cute things. Sanrio Boys sounds like a product placement show and when you described the plot, I seriously thought it would parallel the brony fandom with guys liking girly things. The last one looks like a typical fantasy show, but I could be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grancrest, as it stands, is one of the most startlingly average shows I think i’ve ever seen, honestly. The writing is cliche and quite dull. Sanrio has ups and downs, and yes, the product placement is veeeery strong here. Yuru Camp (surprisingly) seems to be the most well-rounded of the three, and it manages to be more than just cute girls doing cute things, which I really enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a huge fan of Studio Trigger. Their stuff isn’t for everyone, i mean, Kill La Kill I wasn’t a huge fan of, and Space Patrol Luluco was just wierd, but Kiznaiver was amazing, and Little Witch Academia was my choice for Anime of the Year last year. They constantly come up with crazy and unique ideas, making original content that is massively polarizing, but always super fluid in motion and gorgeous to look at.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I see. That’s really good. Thanks for your honest opinion about Studio Trigger. I liked how you mentioned their strengths in animation while mentioning that their stuff isn’t for everyone. I may have to check out some of their portfolio of work whenever I have a chance to.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Madhouse makes some great stuff but they have a habit of not releasing very many sequels. Kyoani always does a good job with Drama/SOL, and ufotable are a master of gorgeous action and general production values

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Gotcha. Madhouse has some quality stuff and I’ve given 10/10s to two of their projects (Perfect Blue and Texhnolyze). Kyoto Animation is good. I had to look up Ufotable, and I realized I’ve seen a few episodes of Futakoi Alternative years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I still don’t get why Siluca wore that outfit in the second episode. Given the fuss she made about being forced to wear it in episode 1, I refuse to believe she couldn’t find something else for the fight in episode 2. Surely she would have burned the outfit the moment she had the chance. But clearly the animators like that ridiculousness and so I guess it will show up again in later episodes and almost certainly she’ll get teased about it.
    It will be interesting to see if your predictions are right for the other shows.

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. YuruCamp: The only one of these shows I decided to follow weekly (because it is possible to have a cute boy overdose). Completely agree on the description of the atmosphere. Pinecone-chan is best girl.

    Sanrio Danshi: Even though Leap revealed who chose what, it was pretty obvious Irina chose this one…That said, it’s hard to walk anywhere in an anime with an all/mostly male cast without encountering shonen-ai vibes (both real and fan-imagined) these days, and I don’t mind in the slightest. However, the product placement in this show was heavy, even for me.

    Grancrest Senki: After two episodes, I can see it’s already going to get quite repetitive. Didn’t notice the poor pacing until you pointed it out, although that may just be my tastes in action anime speaking.

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