Summer 2009 Anime Impressions – Umi Monogatari (Sea Story)

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I’ll remind readers that as of last season, I started to hold off on doing anime impression posts until I saw at least a couple of episodes because I wanted a more accurate representation of the show and oftentimes one episode isn’t enough. This might put these posts a week or two behind other blogs but I prefer getting it right over getting it out first. (No disrespect is meant towards other blogs – different strokes and all that.)

I’d never wish an anime to fail but the prospect of this series succeeding worries me a bit. If you remember, Umi Monogatari is based off a line of pachinko gambling machines and if it should turn out well then I’m worried that we’ll have to deal with tons of other anime based on similarly odd inspirations. I’m already shuddering at the idea of a McDonald’s anime or Colonel Sanders anime. But maybe I don’t have to worry, after all how good could an anime based off of pachinko machines be?


Rating:
episode 1 – 8/12B+
Rating: episode 2 – 8/12B+
Anticipation Level: 3/5 – Average to Medium

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To answer, surprisingly decent.

Umi Monogatari appears to be a magic girl series that will have priestesses of the sea (pseudo-mermaids) and sky (humans) working together to defeat Sedna – a major bad guy that was partially released from a coffin at the end of the first episode. (When the seal – a small strip of paper – was torn; I wonder who was the idiot that figured that was all that was needed.)

I’ve not watched much in the way of magic girl series but through osmosis I’m aware of the genre enough that I don’t think the plot has strayed too far from the standard formula yet. The big reasons that I found this to be surprisingly decent was the animation and that some of the characters really stand out.

In the case of the former, the last two works by Zexcs – Wagaya no Oinari-sama, Chrome Shelled Regios – were at best average in the animation department but Umi Monogatari is actually pretty. The style of the show is highly reminiscent of J.C. Staff’s watercolor look; which in my books is a very good thing. The character designs look good and harmonize well with overall style of the show. Another plus of the animation is the frequent use of chibified characters – I love chibi characters and Zexcs knows how to integrate chibi moments into it’s shows. On the character side – while the pseudo-mermaids (they live underwater but still look totally human) Urin and Marin so far just feel like standard character types, Kanon and her mom are awesome characters as is the talking turtle.

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Another reason that helped my enjoyment of this series is it’s sense of humor. Much like how Sengoku Basara earned some laughs by playing on our knowledge of the genre, Umi Monogatari earned some laughs with our expectations of the magic girl genre. I even got a chuckle from when Marin did her magic girl transform sequence to become the priestess of the sea that the only difference is that she had more hair and was wearing more clothes. 🙂 And I almost forgot to mention that the background music was pretty good as well.

At this point I don’t see it being among the top tier shows of the season but I think there’s a good chance that it’ll be a fun and entertaining show to watch – well worth the time and a good counter-balance to the darker shows of the season.

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2 thoughts on “Summer 2009 Anime Impressions – Umi Monogatari (Sea Story)”

  1. Thanks. That poll encapsulates the many feelings I have about Haruhi right now.

    I don’t think it’s a quality show and I have the feeling that this show will be a victim of diminishing returns but right now I’m okay with it being a enjoyable fluff show.

    Like

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