October 8, 2006

Lovedol episode 1

Oh yes, it's finally out. And yes it's pretty bad. Luckily, I've insulated myself by lowering my standards specifically for this show, and now that I'm done putting myself at the mercy of episode one, I'll pre-emptively say that despite its horrible animation budget and disappointing start, the show may prove to be "watchable" at the very least. However, my specific recommendation: skip episode one and just read this summary. I'll let you know when it's safe to come out.

Next, screencaps and commentary:
Lovedol screencaps
It is immediately obvious that the animation for this series is incredibly low budget. As you may have read on seiyuu3, they did indeed reuse animation for the opening scene, and it's so horribly obvious in length and execution that anyone would have noticed it. It's a bad way to start a series, but let's face it..nobody who's watching this thing wasn't already planning to watch it solely for voice acting from the start. When you bill it under a cast like this, the need for making a good first impression on animation quality goes out the window. Still, I wish they had gone the route of some shows by simply discarding the opening for the first episode altogether until they could scramble enough scenes together to make a clip-based opener fused with what they had here. Oh well, at least what little was animated was kind of cute and..um...the lack of any sort of moving background means it's potentially good gif material? No probably not.

Lovedol screencaps
By the way, the OP theme by Nogawa Sakura is disappointing. I have no complaints with her singing itself and the tune is fairly catchy, but it's overly simple, as if the composer threw all the notes together on a pad in under five minutes and then hired a student arranger. I suppose I was hoping for something of perhaps.."Motto" quality? This sure ain't Magikano.

Lovedol screencaps
Lovedol screencaps
Anyway, it only gets worse, not better. The first ten minutes of the show actually consists of 90% still images slowly panned from left to right behind a "digitize" filter and laboriously introduces us to each of the twelve pre-existing idols. Yes, you will slowly pan through three or four images of every single girl shown on stage here. Considering the show isn't even about them, the amount of time dedicated to doing this is absurd. Interestingly, the song they sang here in my opinion was actually better than the OP. Sadly, there wasn't nearly enough of it to offset the sheer boringness of waiting the scene out.

Lovedol screencaps
After that mighty test of patience, one of the idols Yui (voiced by Nogawa) announces to the fans that she has some important news...

The debut of four new idols, in order of appearance

Lovedol screencaps
GOTO YUKO! Oops, I mean Nekoya Miu. She likes making cat sounds and pawing. Goto's voice here is pretty good.

Lovedol screencaps
MOMOI HALKO!!! er...Nonomiya Mai. She has way too few lines to get any sort of analysis going on yet, but I must do my duty as a Momoist and use what I can. She sounds a little stiff, but I think that is intentional. Mai seems like a cynical character who makes blunt observations. will be interesting hearing Momoi play a stoic role like this. Her episode will come...and I can't wait.

Lovedol screencaps
CHIHARA MINORI! Um...Hojo Hina. Boy she sure is quiet. Minorin is using her soft voice.

Lovedol screencaps
NAKAHARA MAI! No, Kiryu Kotoha, another quiet girl. Mai-tan sounds pretty standard here but that's ok, I love her voice in any state.

Lovedol screencaps
So what's the announcement? Well girls, your big debut has just been postponed :V

Lovedol screencaps
The manager, who also organized the last 2 generations of idols for his company Sweetfish Productions, realizes he just got screwed and hurries to demand an explanation from the president. Apparently she feels the idol group is still lacking something, but, in a typical "I'm much better than you" fashion, allows him to go figure that part out himself.

Lovedol screencaps
Of course, manager Fujisawa Tomohiro here has absolutely no idea what it is. The president has conveniently sped away in her black car to let him alone crush the dreams of his lovely idols.

Lovedol screencaps
The next day, Tomohiro thinks about the president's words before he is interrupted by his little sister Ruri (voice by Sakai Kanako). Ruri is quite a cheerful personality, and Sakai Kanako is surprisingly good at bringing this out. I liked her so much, this scene was actually fun to watch. Some people have applied the "oniichan complex" to her but I don't think that's the case based on what I've seen. Acually Minorin's character Hina is probably one with the oneesama complex.

Lovedol screencaps
Ruri ventures an insightful guess that since all the past generations of idols had six people, the third generation still needs to find two more girls before it can be considered complete. Tomohiro dismisses this theory, but Ruri, always looking out for her big brother, secretly heads out to the agency to meet with the president later presumably to sign up as the fifth person.

Lovedol screencaps
After meeting with his idols for the day at practice, while heading home from the studio Tomohiro sees a girl (Sakaki Mizuki, voiced also by Nogawa) walking by while humming to herself. She sets up shop on a street corner and sings some more. Nogawa performs both tunes pretty well, and this is when I realize happily there is probably going to be a lot of singing in this show. After she's finished, Tomohiro in a decidely creepy stalkerish way, follows her into a park and confronts her. He says she has potential and asks if she would like to sign under his company. Little did he know, Sakaki is very EMO and has issues.

Lovedol screencaps
"I hate singing." Offer refused.

And there's our cliffhanger. Six girls who will become the next generation of Lovedols. So...pretty bad right? Well here's what made up for the whole damn episode:
Lovedol screencaps
No I don't mean "the ending" as in "har har, it's over." THIS should have been the OP dammit. The theme is catchy as hell, and there was actually some animation going on. Someone must have gotten them switched up! It makes me happy that this is the song they've chosen to cover on all of the character CDs. No wonder. If you missed the link to the OP, here it is again, it also contains the ED so you can compare. http://www.avexmovie.jp/lineup/lovedol/song.html

Next episode previews has a pretty nice sounding line from Momoi, but it looks like there may be some fan service which is good or bad depending on your viewpoint.

Final Impressions: Episode 1 is junk, but as a series, it has potential to go somewhere. Maybe nowhere high, but probably on the level of an average anime based on an erogame or something similar. I've definitely seen better, but I've also seen worse. Plus if you're into these particular seiyuu, you'll probably at least enjoy it for the songs they seem to throw in randomly. That's our security blanket we can use when/if this show crashes and burns (then again it is possible to just wait for the character CDs to come out without watching the show). I wouldn't admit to watching it in real life that's for sure.

Posted by Paranda at October 8, 2006 6:29 AM

Comments

I agree... the OP and ED should be the other way around.

But, the show still looks somewhat enjoyable (altough then again, i kinda enjoyed Lemon Angel Project... i guess i have low standards). ^_^

Posted by: InsaneLampshade at October 8, 2006 7:31 PM


Yes who cares about the show, it's all about the seiyuu for this one.

I'm getting the Minorin CD myself. :P

Posted by: houkoholic at October 23, 2006 1:54 AM


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