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Old 2008-01-09, 16:34   Link #141
Avisch
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I was entertained. Honestly, if anyone criticizes this, they have to include that it is hard to adapt light novels all around. The music was alright nothing disappointing. The inclusion of Chloe wasn't bad so far. The animation itself was great to me.

The opening....I really like. Which is surprising because I normally don't like slow moving songs. I also like how the opening is pretty much related to the story in the tone of it's lyrics.

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Originally Posted by Sparrow1770 View Post

I didn't find the episode boring at all. It was slow to develop, but I think they used the time well to introduce the characters and the setting. I expect good things from this.
Same here. I like how it took time to open everything.
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Old 2008-01-09, 16:52   Link #142
Vexx
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Beautiful opening episode....
I don't think I'm spoiling much because its a first episode....

yeah, Chloe was not a bad inclusion just to spice things up a bit and it gives a center to events outside of the horizon around Horo and Lawrence (the transitioning pagan/one-god issues if I read the sudden termination of Chloe's part in the festival aright). The *pacing* is marvelous -- just exactly the right feudal pace-of-life. No problems with Lawrence other than yeah he sounds a bit like Kevin Costner trying to find his Robin Hood accent and not succeeding.
Horo and her VA are just about perfectly executed - sensual, playful, serious, etc.

I wish the animation and art had a bigger budget but in some sense the art feels right for a feudal setting.

I've spent a good deal of time studying the transitioning period between 400AD-1200AD and the loss of old culture to "that aggressive new religion that hated any competition" ( ) so this series is already a bit dear to me. Here's hoping they can make a satisfying anime tale out of the time they have.
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Old 2008-01-09, 16:53   Link #143
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I like medieval Animes. The idea is very original, OP and ED very good. Nice graphics and animation.
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Old 2008-01-09, 17:11   Link #144
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I absolutely loved the first episode. The relaxing atmosphere was quite nice, working perfectly with the fun cast. It also has that extra flavor i can't quite put my finger on, i'll just say it's beautiful for now. I can already see from the OP that we'll be expecting some interesting things to happen, so i can't wait.

Horo is lovely, like favourite character from this season material. I love how Ami Koshimizu uses that playful voice we heard sometimes from Kallen (Code Geass). Perfectly fine with Fukuyama Jun, he did a good job. The Ginko image & feel is there with Lawrence's character, so i don't think he needs a voice like Ginko.

The musical score is quite unique --- i love how the first track alone captures the Middle Aged setting, though i guess that was the aim. I can see myself rewatching episodes as we go along for the score alone.

Oh yeah, the ED is wonderful.
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Old 2008-01-09, 17:15   Link #145
Vexx
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I'm going to make a very early prediction about the plot line - and remember I've not a clue about any of the light novel contents and am only 4 chapters into the manga. Spoilering it just in case
Spoiler:

The japanese seem to relish those kinds of bittersweet plots.
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Old 2008-01-09, 17:16   Link #146
TinyRedLeaf
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Given the recent chatter about this series, I decided to check out the first episode. My first impression? I'm a bit lost. I understand the broad outline of Horo being some kind of fertility wolf goddess, but if I had not read elsewhere, I wouldn't have understood the bargain she supposedly strikes with Lawrence.

The animation and artwork were bland. Didn't catch my attention. The OP was sweet. I'd give points for the effort put into the ED (especially the illustrations), but unfortunately, it's hard to like something sung in mangled English (I'd really like to encourage Japanese are trying their best to speak English, but *sigh*).

I don't like the fanservice. I find novel's premise really interesting, for most of the same reasons Vexx has pointed out, but why does Horo have to appear in the form of a naked 15-year-old girl? Adding a nubile wolf-girl -- equipped with standard-issue animal ears and tail -- to draw in readers doesn't sound like a genuine effort at creating a unique character. It sounds instead like a cynical marketing ploy to draw in your targeted audience. I am more likely to respect writers who do not pander to their market; writers who dare to challenge convention. But then, I haven't read the novels, so I'm aware that I'm passing unfair judgement. After all, he is a prize-winner, so there must be something more in the novel other than fanservice.

Since I don't understand very much Japanese beyond basic conversation, I couldn't catch Horo's supposedly endearing accent. Yes, she's cute. But that's the intention, isn't it? So, no surprises about future sexual tension between her and the male lead. (*yawn*)

Lawrence sounds too young for the role. I don't like it, and I have a feeling I won't get used to it very soon. Looking at his character design, the first "voice" that came to my mind is Yuto Nakano, who played Ginko in Mushishi.

All gripes aside, it's only the first episode, so yes, it's too soon for me to judge how this series will turn out. I hope it lives up to the light novel's premise though.
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Old 2008-01-09, 17:48   Link #147
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Lawrence sounds too young for the role. I don't like it, and I have a feeling I won't get used to it very soon. Looking at his character design, the first "voice" that came to my mind is Yuto Nakano, who played Ginko in Mushishi.
I absolutely agree on this, 100%.

As much as I like Fukuyama Jun's talent in voice acting, his voice just doesn't fit Lawrence's character and personality. I am reading the manga and its Lawrence version feels like a mature adult man (you'd think Lawrence is in his thirties, or close to it). He defintely gives me the same kind of vibes as Ginko, so yeah, someone like Yuto Nakano or Keiji Fujiwara would definetely fit way better, in my opinion.

An other problem I noticed regarding the anime adaptation of Lawrence so far is that his personality seems to be a bit different from the manga. While in the latter he's calm, relaxed and a bit quiet (he seems to share some similiraties with Ginko even personality-wise), in the anime he instead seems to lack patience and coolness. I don't know if this is mostly due to the fact that it's a young VA voicing him, or if it's a combination of that and the fact that the encounter with Horo felt somewhat rushed in comparison to the manga, but his personality didn't feel the same. I hope to be proven wrong in the next episodes, though.

The overall impression is fine though, and it's definetely going to be one of the most interesting shows of this season.
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Old 2008-01-09, 18:01   Link #148
Vexx
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@Tiny Red Leaf:
Hmmm, not sure what to say other than she's a wolf harvest fertility goddess and she is just used to being nude. She only puts clothes on to fit in ("they're confining") and it really isn't a sexual kind of nudity (unless she's flirting). Chloe came on pretty strong fully clothed trying to make her intentions clear in comparison. I don't consider nudity to be "fanservice" by definition. Fanservice is something not germane to the plot but added as an easter egg or obscure reference or just for the T&A. A fair amount of the first episode plot is Lawrence getting used to her total unconcern for covering up (being an alien creature at root).

I'm not sure how you'd portray wolf goddess in human form without a tail or ears since they're a vital form of canine expression? Yeah, no arguments that it neatly fits into 'the usual mold of cute'.

She uses a very old form of conjugation and addressing --- I've no idea yet what period it spawns from.

Agree, Lawrence at times sounded far too young (he should be late 20s or 30ish using modern estimates?)
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Old 2008-01-09, 18:05   Link #149
Shiroth
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Agree, Lawrence at times sounded far too young (he should be late 20s or 30ish using modern estimates?)
Yeah i can agree, though there must be some reason behind casting Fukuyama as the role for Lawrence besides 'who's in' at the moment.
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Old 2008-01-09, 18:09   Link #150
Shinndou
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Originally Posted by Shiroth View Post
Yeah i can agree, though there must be some reason behind casting Fukuyama as the role for Lawrence besides 'who's in' at the moment.
The first reason that comes to my mind is that Fukuyama Jun's quite popular and his voice is easy to recognize. Mind you, he does have lot of talent, it's just for the role of Lawrence an older VA with a more "mature" voice would have fitted better.
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Old 2008-01-09, 18:23   Link #151
orion
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The target audience may identify more with a younger sounding VA. The target audience may also recognize Lawrence's VA so that's in the series best interest to keep him to increase profits. I have no problem with the VA at the moment but I haven't watched Code Geass either.

I didn't have a problem with Horo's nudity.

Chloe was acting way too immature and unprofessional for Lawrence. Talking business and trying to seduce the guy at the same time. What was that idiot thinking?!

Here's hoping that Lawrence and Horo have a long relationship.
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Old 2008-01-09, 18:37   Link #152
Masanori Ota
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For being an anime-only/original character, though, I'd say Chloe was well-executed. Here's to hoping IMAGIN doesn't completely screw up the plot by adding her. If they do, we might as well be watching and reading two entirely different stories.

Who else jumped about three times when watching episode 1? Each time a sudden noise happened I twitched a little. Perhaps it's due to me playing FEAR Perseus Mandate only a few days ago. Damn Alma.
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Old 2008-01-09, 19:22   Link #153
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Well thought it was a solid first episode. Was just drawn into this one for some reason. Had a nice OP that sounds great and just gives an interesting feel to things. Hard to describe exactly what I liked about that song, but at least know that I did like it .

Didn't find the nudity with Horo to be a big deal. Probably because it was in a more mature feeling and at least makes some sense to me. Would just guess that transformation magic in this case just doesn't produce clothing on its own.

Still that was a pretty big paw that was produced when she partially transformed. Can't exactly blame the guy for having such a reaction even if he did ask for it. Will probably get used to Lawrence's voice or at least stop thinking "what are you doing there Lelouch?" But did like Horo's voice so should be an interesting time.

Curious about the trip in itself. Obviously trying to get north while Lawrence does his work will be part of it. But issues like Horo's identity and the religious situation in the region should make things interesting to follow. At least I'm happy with the first episode and this should be a good series.
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Old 2008-01-09, 19:34   Link #154
Grimkill7
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I didn't see Horo's nudity as fanservice at all. Her being nude felt totally natural. If you notice, neither Lawrence nor Horo actually acknowledge it. It was actually a little more eyebrow-raising for me to see her in clothes at the end. THAT is how nudity is done tastefully and it just further proves that the direction in this show is unrivaled this season so far.
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Old 2008-01-09, 20:04   Link #155
Vexx
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Chloe was being practical, not idiot. This is the way many marriages often occur - a confluence of desires and interests. She's admired him for a long time, she's done well because of him, they have a lot of common interests, she finds him attractive in many ways - she wants to build a long stable *secure* relationship with a nice man. Its a practical kind of warmth and love. She seems to resorting to "look at me dammit, I'm a woman not just a business partner!" and he's responding in the "typical male lead manner" by astonishment and pretending the signals MUST be different than they look.

Yeah, the Horo/Lawrence angle is more romantic ... and also more impossible for more than a journey unless something magical happens.

But then if we didn't have dilemmas and obstacles, it wouldn't be an interesting story. We don't even really know whether romance will actually ignite from either the Chloe/Lawrence or Lawrence/Horo -- or whether either is going to fly.
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Old 2008-01-09, 20:16   Link #156
Masanori Ota
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Good point, Vexx. I'm just a bit miffed that Chloe even exists. Without her to take up time and extend Lawrence's character, though, the episode might not have been quite as good as it was.

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Originally Posted by Grimkill7 View Post
I didn't see Horo's nudity as fanservice at all. Her being nude felt totally natural. If you notice, neither Lawrence nor Horo actually acknowledge it. It was actually a little more eyebrow-raising for me to see her in clothes at the end. THAT is how nudity is done tastefully and it just further proves that the direction in this show is unrivaled this season so far.
Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Most sterotypical animu have either one or both characters freaking out about nudity. In SaW, neither does. It's amazing. If they follow/copy the manga, there will be more of this.
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Old 2008-01-09, 20:17   Link #157
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by Vexx
Hmmm, not sure what to say other than she's a wolf harvest fertility goddess and she is just used to being nude. She only puts clothes on to fit in ("they're confining") and it really isn't a sexual kind of nudity (unless she's flirting).

...

I'm not sure how you'd portray wolf goddess in human form without a tail or ears since they're a vital form of canine expression? Yeah, no arguments that it neatly fits into 'the usual mold of cute'.
Heh, it's not the nudity. I like beautiful naked women.

But that's the thing -- women, not teenagers. Why has a 250-year-old fertility goddess adopted the form of a 15-year-old girl? I hope there is actually a good reason why Horo takes that form. (Actually, I thought at first that Horo had possessed Chloe; or perhaps, Horo takes the form of whichever villager plays the role of the "wolf" during the harvest festival. In which case, lucky for Lawrence, the village chose to use Chloe that year.)

It would have been so much more interesting, in my opinion, if Horo were somewhat aloof, mocking even, but still sweet and innocent at the same time, as befitting an immortal who sees things from a completely alien perspective. I'd have hoped for a full-grown woman, complete with all the contradicting complexity that is the hallmark of an adult female, like Horo is supposed to be. I'm thinking, perhaps, of Kikyo from Inuyasha, a tragic character who was free to behave like a normal human only after she was no longer human.

As it were, Horo as she is presented now, seems like yet another exercise in wish-fulfilment for vulnerable young men who are afraid of dating real women. (Yes, yes, I know, the usual stereotype of Japanese otaku, but hey, Horo isn't exactly a break from the norm too, you know?)
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Old 2008-01-09, 20:38   Link #158
jigenbakuda
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Well, I guess you better add bestiality to my list of acceptable relationships.
So funny... but I have to admit I feel the same way. Lets make wolf love to the op...

But I enjoyed the first episode. I think the music is great and I like the setting. I have never seen a harvest moon anime, so this is very interesting. I can't wait till the fox/merchant relationship pans out. I hope it is a great story.

P.S. wolf girls are hot. What are they called in japanese? ookamimimi (so many mi's)?
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Old 2008-01-09, 21:02   Link #159
Srin Tuar
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Since I don't understand very much Japanese beyond basic conversation, I couldn't catch Horo's supposedly endearing accent.

The dialect really makes her character for me. She'd be pretty blase if she were speaking plain hyoujungo.


I guess its similar to jpop. Everyone I know absolutely hates it. I used to hate it.
Till I could understand the words there was only one way to describe much of it: "annoying".

Many songs that I would have considered annoying before now sound terribly cute to me. (much to the chagrin of people nearby)
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Old 2008-01-09, 21:05   Link #160
Masanori Ota
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Heh, it's not the nudity. I like beautiful naked women.

But that's the thing -- women, not teenagers. Why has a 250-year-old fertility goddess adopted the form of a 15-year-old girl? I hope there is actually a good reason why Horo takes that form. (Actually, I thought at first that Horo had possessed Chloe; or perhaps, Horo takes the form of whichever villager plays the role of the "wolf" during the harvest festival. In which case, lucky for Lawrence, the village chose to use Chloe that year.)

It would have been so much more interesting, in my opinion, if Horo were somewhat aloof, mocking even, but still sweet and innocent at the same time, as befitting an immortal who sees things from a completely alien perspective. I'd have hoped for a full-grown woman, complete with all the contradicting complexity that is the hallmark of an adult female, like Horo is supposed to be. I'm thinking, perhaps, of Kikyo from Inuyasha, a tragic character who was free to behave like a normal human only after she was no longer human.

As it were, Horo as she is presented now, seems like yet another exercise in wish-fulfilment for vulnerable young men who are afraid of dating real women. (Yes, yes, I know, the usual stereotype of Japanese otaku, but hey, Horo isn't exactly a break from the norm too, you know?)
I always assumed Horo was relatively young for her race of "gods" or whatnot. Whatever her age may be, she hasn't been in contact with her peers for quite some time and any humans she might have had contact with worshipped her or feared her. She's had no time to mature into a woman, hence her young human form.

This was my belief, it may be far off the mark.

Also, Horo is quite mocking in the manga, novels, and even a bit in the anime, though it was toned down. She constantly teases Lawrence.
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