Winter Anime Impressions – Shikabane Hime: Kuro

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The second season of Shikabane Hime started the week after the first season ended with a different set of animators, much like the second season of Minami-ke. I’m hoping desperately with this recipe for a better result then what we got with Minami-ke.

Rating: 7/12 B

I’ll keep the story recap light so I won’t spoil the end of the first season. The second season starts six months after the end of the first season and in that time Oori’s been training to be a Contracted Priest and his friends from school are wondering where he’s been. Even after six months Oori hasn’t been too successful in his training and at least one of his masters is starting to doubt that Oori will ever get better.

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I definitely wasn’t reassured after this episode and I can actually see myself dropping this in a few episodes if it doesn’t improve. My problem was the “bright idea” of the second season animators to fill a large amount of this episode with stupid fan-service. It gave me the impression that they had maybe 10 minutes of actual content and didn’t know what to do with the rest of the time. I’m not an expert here but wouldn’t advancing the story in the first episode make more sense? Especially when the fans of the first season are most likely fans because of the story and characters and not because of the very small amount of fan-service found in it.

And the more I think about it, the more angry I’m getting at that new Shikabane Hime that they introduced. On one hand we have Makina, her whole family was killed around her and her attachment to this world is killing the monsters that did it. Then we have this new Shikabane Hime, who, since I’m feeling charitable, I’ll characterize just as a bimbo and one who lacks the mental capacity to form a deep enough attachment to become a Shikabane Hime. It really seems to belittle what has happened to Makina.

I hope in future episodes, the animators remember why the first season was good and stick to that. If I want blatant fan-service, I’ll watch a show that’s funny, entertaining, and has it’s fan-service better integrated into the story so it helps the plot, instead of hindering it.

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5 thoughts on “Winter Anime Impressions – Shikabane Hime: Kuro”

  1. Where exactly did you read that the second season is being animated by a different team? I guess it does explain the extreme focus on fanservice of the second season, but I can’t find any information to confirm that.

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  2. I remember reading in many places that Gainax had the first season and Feel had the second season but when I tried to find some sort of official announcement to that effect, I couldn’t.

    I thought I could maybe figure something out by looking at credits – even though I have no Japanese language skills. I popped in episode 19 of Gurren Lagann and noted that I saw “Gainax” in the opening and in the closing twice. I then looked at Shikabane Hime:Aka episode 2 and can only find “Gainax” in the opening once. And then in the second season, the credits are exactly the same as the first season, so I can’t see if there’s any difference.

    Probably doesn’t prove anything but I do think they’re purposely making it difficult to figure out. They want to avoid what happened with fan reactions when the second season of Minami-Ke was done by different people.

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  3. Why do you all pretend to hate fan-service? you shouldn’t be watching animes witch are, just like barbie, the creation of a man’s mind. For example toradora and all the other episodes are nothing compared to this show, but well, i shouldn’t be arguing with “slice of life” guys.

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  4. @IamMyself: thanks for the comment. I don’t hate fan-service per se. I just don’t like when fan service is substituted for actual plot and story. The first season did just fine with just a little bit of fan service. I also think certain types of shows, like Maid Guy, Kemeko DX, or Asu no Yoichi, are better suited for the inclusion of fan service. And really, how much fan service does a person need before it becomes boring.

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  5. Steelbound, you’re a fan of yokohama kaidashi kikou? I’m glad some one else has actually heard of it, let alone enjoyed it.

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