Monday, July 6, 2009

New Series Review: Umi Monogatari Episode 1

So a week after the summer anime season started I have watched my first summer anime. Yay for being late at everything I do. XD But I am used to it by now so what is the point of being RARW about it. That and I think Chrome Shelled Regios and Shugo Chara Doki should be sadder that they are getting pushed back more and more. Hang in there guys I will get back to you eventually. It is just easier to watch one episode at a time than watch 8 episodes at once. Slacker I am.

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The newness sparkles!

So here is the series synopsis for Umi Monogatari courtesy of the good people at Anime News Network:

The story centers on Marin and Urin, two “pure” sisters who live alongside the fish in the sea, but yearn to be in the world beyond the water and above ground. One day, a beautiful ring falls in the middle of the sea, and Marin and Urin retrieve it. The two decide to leave their water bound world for the first time to deliver the ring. After an arduous journey, they come across an isolated island where a high school girl named Kanon lives. The encounter between Marin and Kanon — the maiden of the sea and the maiden of the skies — awakens a hidden power as the world is threatened by an enveloping darkness.

So based on that information and several other bloggers giving this show a whirl I did too. Because I give into peer pressure all the time. Sheeps for the win!



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I know the feeling Urin. I know the feeling...

Both the opening and closing theme song were way too slow for my liking. But I have to say the story behind the closing theme song is cute. Not cute in a traditional cute way but cute in a WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA that was so sad it was cute. It brought be back to my childhood when my dad was set to the store to pick up a copy of the Little Mermaid. Only I think it was before the Disney one came out and he came back with the real version, dead Little Mermaid and all. I remember being traumatized by the sad ending and MOG did she really die? So I can relate to Urin being MOG sad about that sad, sad little story.

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So sniffly sad!

The music felt a little off at times. Like when the MOG scary moment of the episode happen it was like there was two different songs going on at once and neither gave me that ohhhhhhh something scary is happening now vibe. It felt bleh. The girl singing into the ocean was pretty though. Maybe the music felt off because most of the time there was no dialogue going on so it made it feel empty.

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I have anger issues too...

So on to the actual episode. Err…it moved very, very slowly. Now I would be the first one to complain if on the first episode the plot was moving too fast. So maybe I am just hard to please. But the plot was going at a snail’s pace. I was just expecting more since this is going to be a shorter series and every minute is important.

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Tis a miracle!

Deep in the ocean two sisters Marin and Urin find a ring that came from the skypeople. Marin wants to go to the “sky” and return the ring while he sister is a little more concerned about the type of people the skypeople are. They stop and get some magical breathing device that is conveniently laying around on some statue. Both girls go up to the surface leaving their two friends Sam and random girl slightly worried about the situation. Both girls make it to the surface and they are slightly impressed in what they see. The island that they are near is celebrating and everyone is in good spirits. Well, except one high school girl. Even her mom’s funny antics can’t cheer her up. Just a few hours ago Kanon (grumpy girl)was dumped by her boyfriend at this festival. Pissed off Kanon threw the ring her boyfriend gave her into the ocean. She tries to take over her duties as a fortune teller but her demon aura scares people away. Marin and Urin are walking around trying to find the owner of the ring but mostly people are staring at them because they look half naked. They stop and listen to a cutie sing into the ocean but continue on with their mission. Kanon overhears the girls with the ring and confronts them. Marin doesn’t understand why Kanon is so upset about the ring, that her boyfriend must be a good person for giving her something so pretty. Kanon declares him evil and throws the ring away again.

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X_X Do not want?

Both sisters go after it even though Urin doesn’t think it is worth it. Urin thinks that the skypeople aren’t pure hearted people. Marin likes Kanon and is sure she is a good person. Kanon leaves her booth to walk around the festival and she sees her ex-boyfriend with another girl. She goes demon again and stomps away. Urin and Marin split up to look for the ring. Marin runs into Kanon who is disbelief that Marin cares so much. But Kanon ends up looking for the ring too. Fireworks start going off and Marin and Urin are scared out of their minds. But Kanon is there to calm down Marin while Urin runs off scared. Marin realizes that her sister won’t understand the loud noises and Marin and Kanon go looking for her. Urin falls down a hill near some statues and gravesites. There she finds the ring underneath an old coffin. She works at fishing it out and she ends up breaking the barrier charms on the coffin. She starts hearing a voice asking her to let it out. So Urin sets to work opening up the coffin and BAM black smoke escapes from said coffin. It fills the area and seems to taking over the ring. The huge dark energy covers the entire island and things are not looking too great. Urin hides in terror as Kanon and Marin search for her in the rain and scary lightening. The end.

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This blatant fanboy shot does not offend me.

Now normally I would be unimpressed with the amount of flesh being paraded around and go -____- at the gratuitous bending over scenes. But in this instance I think it was done tastefully. I think the reaction to said almost naked girls was natural and not fan boy drooling. And given that these are sea people and sea people have a tendency to be slightly naked I can almost appreciate their effort to be somewhat clothed. Because living in cold water at the bottom of the ocean gets hot people!

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Dang straight I am likable.

The characters that we saw in this episode were pretty likable. Marin is a little naive but every anime show needs one of those kind of characters right? Granted I probably would not have gone so above and beyond to return a ring to someone who apparently didn’t want it but Marin needs to be painted as the good kind soul so it is acceptable. Urin is probably going to be the sister with the common sense and the voice of reason. Yes, it is time to go back home when the sky people start screaming and staring at you. Kanon is a little spaztastic which is understandable. I don’t think I would be a barrel of sunshine and rainbows if my boyfriend “dumped me” at a festival and showed up three hours later with a different chick. I would probably be doom and gloom too if I lost my boyfriend like that. And as for Mr. Boyfriend…..well I will hold off throwing him in the deepest parts of hell for now. For all we know that could be his sister and he could have an excellent reason for dumping Kanon. But you are on shaky grounds Mr. Boyfriend.

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Want more of please.

The side characters seem to be interesting as well. The crazy mother trying to pass off being a high school student amuses me greatly. But more so Kanon’s reaction to her moms antics. The two other sea people Sam and whats her face maybe should be a little more worried about their friends going up to the surface. But maybe they are not total scaredy cats of humans and it’s not that big of a deal. The girl who was singing to the ocean had a beautiful voice so I want more of her just to hear her sing again.

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Can I have some plot?

The actual plot didn’t really happen during this episode. At the very end Urin did unleash some kind of black smoke monster and it appeared to possess the precious ring. But other than that it was just lalala we are sea people coming to the surface and looking for the owner of a ring. Said owner of the ring was pissed off to see the ring again. After tossing the ring about 300 miles away both sisters decide to look for that ring. And I am pretty sure the ring is just an ordinary ring. Not anymore since it was possessed by said black smoke monster but certainly it was not that important.

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Or maybe it will just be a ring....

Or maybe it will turn out to be important and the key to solving whatever problem will come up in the future. Maybe the boyfriend knew about this ring and gave it to Kanon on purpose. But most likely it is some cheap gift that means nothing and I am reaching for straws.

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Quick, give them a a little plot at the end to hold them over!

So….this series seems to go the Tears of Tiara route on me. The first episode is beyond….slow and doesn’t do a very good job of representing what the series is going to be about. I think way too much time was devoted to looking for the ring and not enough build up to the actual plot. Or maybe when watching new series it is better to watch episodes 1 and 2 back to back to get a better feel of the series. XD I think the animation was cute and the summary seems decent enough for me to give it another shoot. Also it reminds me of my own personal rule about not giving up on shows just because of the first episode. So one day I might go back and watch Tears of Tiara. But maybe after I catch up on the other 3483975 series I have on my list.

So heres to hoping that episode 2 is focuses more on the plot and things move at a quicker pace. Not an insane fast pace but just…more. Just slightly more please. Thank you.




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