Winter Anime Impressions – Genji Monogatari Sennenki or A Tale of Genji
Now that I finished up with my look back at 2008, it’s time to get back to the current season with a few more anime first impressions. The first is from one of the shows I was looking forward to, Genji. This is based off of the world’s first novel, it’s a thousand years old and considered a classic.
Rating: 10/12 A
Wow. If this first episode is representative of the rest of the show then I’m surprised that this show isn’t being talked about more.
The combination of good looks, smooth personality, and being second-in-line to the throne means Genji can have pretty much any woman he wants as the opening scene shows us. He literally has this one woman on a schedule – every 3 months or so he comes by for a night of romance. The majority of the first episode reveals, however, that he doesn’t always get the girl. When he was nine he meets a beautiful young woman (age 14) in passing within the halls of the palace and instantly falls in love. He tries to find her again but can’t find her anywhere when he is summoned by his father. He goes to see the father and the father introduces the young woman as his new mom. This really messes with Genji’s head, as you may guess and probably contributes to his later playboy mentality.
Watching this first episode felt weird. On one hand, the historical setting is cool and different and would lead me to expect some sort of period drama. On the other hand, Genji’s back-story sounds like something you’d see in a modern harem or ecchi comedy anime series. It’s like a mashup of two totally different types of anime that don’t belong together but I know the show is based on the actual 1,000 year old novel.
I did like this first episode, though. The animation was very good and the style had a slight antique feel to it and fit the setting well. The voice acting was good and I already said I liked the setting. That’s about it for now, hopefully more of the series will get subbed so I can continue watching.