I’m not a huge fan of the typical fanfare pilot episode where you gotta make things interesting to hook people in. I’m more a fan of “make every episode interesting.”
Take the Fate Zero tl;dr mess of 47 minutes of episode 1. Gia points out a long moment where we’re just looking at a relic. Sure, we could be looking at something slightly more interesting (like Iri’s knockoff/hand-me-down gown she got from the Lunar Princess) while the notion of a conceptual weapon is explained to us. Instead we were just looking at the conceptual weapon itself.
But if you are a so-called fan of the franchise, that’s exactly what you want to see in episode 1. It’s like watching for the old crew from Patlabor in the second Patlabor movie. Or Saito in Tsuiokuhen. Or Akito in Prince of Darkenss. Or any One Piece character in Strong World. You get the idea. The scabbard of Excalibur is such an important icon in the Fate story that you can probably spin off a series just on the quest for it. It’s like one of those D&D RPG thing where the weapon has got its own epic tale across the time and space, because its soul still burns, or something.
Back on topic; a big bang opening is nice to see, but I can’t get the distaste of it out of my mouth–the 2000s were full of them from Hollywood. I think that is why I also think this is not as good of an idea as it claims it is. When you get 50% or more saturation, the same rhythm and pacing really can get on your nerves. It’s like, okay, when I go to a club I expect UNCE UNCE UNCE but when I put on some classical music I hear the same UNCE UNCE UNCE it’s going to be more annoying than Pachelbel’s Canon and its prevalence in music. When every action movie has the same structure and pacing and there’s nothing that surprises me (except for things that are surprising bad), it’s like having too much candy.
That’s not even the worse of it.
I remember Dogs Days. (Grats on S2 btw.) It’s a nice show, and some people really like the animated “American Ninja” sequences sort of thing. Great. Those game shows are fun to watch and have been around for decades in Asia. In the anime format it’s also pretty fun. So that’s why when we turn on to Majikoi and Horizon this week we see a similar schtik playing out. It somehow doesn’t surprise me at all that I find Horizon’s take a little easier to like, hypnotic swaying of large mammaries not withstanding, because it’s the anime equivalent of a car chase. And we know how there’s no real good car chases these days except in car films, let alone in anime where they are as rare as they come already. I guess all I’m saying is that even in doing the same thing, there are some stuff one can do to significantly distinguish itself from the rest. It’s like a good hook; it doesn’t have to be big, it just has to catch on. So rather than going big, it’s better to just, you know, go.
Which, compared to the subdued dialog torrent that is Fate Zero episode 1, it’s no wonder people found it dull. How do people survive high school these days? It’s way more dull and that’s compulsory and much longer.