Thursday, February 6, 2014

[New][December 2013] Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil

See that guy up there? He and two others got "UMF" voice overs for BEING BLOWN OFF A TRAIN

Summary: In the near future of 2018, where wizards and humans live side-by-side in Tokyo,  As a result, there are laws against using magic, and a "magic courtroom" exists to preside over lawsuits regarding magic use. While police continue to protect the rest of society, wizards are tried according to magical laws in special courts defended by wizard barristers. Cecile Sudo has just become the youngest wizard barrister at age 17, and begins work at the Butterfly Law Offices.

First Impression: This one's apparently got a really high budget. I'm not sure if the focus is action, or Intrigue based drama. One of my first thoughts was "Oh it's 'Law and Order', with magic. and more explosions"

First Opinion: My God do they start off strong. I mean strong as in thick, not strong as in impressive. Let me double check now, the first explosion occurs...Precisely 52 seconds in. After very precisely animating a guy sweating, and the setting dial on the side of a gun. I don't usually pay attention to animation or graphics too closely, but when you rub it in my face this hard, yes I do notice. I got a nice chuckle out of the three swat guys getting UMF's for being thrown off a train explosion. Y'know, that potentially fatal landing being nicely summarized with 'UMF'.
Aside from the show enjoying what must be some unbelievable budgeting for animation, the show had equal parts (really highly detailed) explosions and equal parts world, character, and setting building. And the frog. The stupid frog. What's with the stupid googly eyed frog? I have mixed feelings about the frog. I recognize the voice actor as a favorite of mine, his distinctive roll for his R's, and the unique way he puts emphasis on 'Suu', that I've always loved. (it's kicking me in the ass that I can't remember a major character I know he voiced, that I wanted to use as an example). But the stupid frog is so wierd. As a character he fits fine, and his roll in the story is solid, but he's just so wierd. I'm personally going to struggle with this.
Interestingly enough, of all the latest releases of anime, this was the first one I picked out to have some moderate expectations for, as the summaries I read of it were really interesting. In the face of 'Witch Craft Works' and 'Mahou Sensou(Magical War)' both not being immediate flops, I ended up letting it get pushed back this far. I kind of regret it now, because this is going to be a really good show, the budget makes sure of that. It may not be the 'BEST SHOW EVAH ', but the high budget ensures that the bottom line is higher than normal, and I personally am interested in the concept. I felt like they were kind of shooting themselves in the foot, starting off so strong on the magic with massive explosions and property damage, the supposed emphasis being on Magical Law and Trial. I mean, at the rate they start things going it's a small wonder the show wasn't being cast in a massive rubble wasteland, how would there be any cities left if one man caused that much damage that fast? But hey, they made it work. They staged the fastest change in tone and pace I can recall that didn't feel at all forced or jolted. I'm going to give this one a good recommendation for watching if the plot summary sounds at all interesting.

[Aside]*slaps desk* AH HA! I knew there was a recent cast of him that I really liked! I went and looked it up, and the voice actor in question is Norio Wakamoto, (and holy shit he's been in a lot of stuff I've seen, no wonder I can pick him out so fast), and the role was the Fairy King in Fairy Tail. In addition, I found out he was the Narrator of both Nichijou, and, of all things, S-CRY-ed, a really old show I liked from my childhood. I don't even remember S-CRY-ed having a narrator. Whenever this guy shows up as a voice, he's always distinctive to me, he always makes whatever character he voices stand out a lot more to me. Which is really jiving me with the stupid frog. At least now I understand why the frog is bugging me so much.
[Aside end]

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