First Look: Urahara

Anime Original by Shirogumi
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Three girls run a fashion clothing-slash-patisserie shop in the trendy neighborhood of Harajuku in Tokyo. Everything in their world is impossibly pastel and chic, but one day aliens descend to earth in order to steal its culture, and only they can fight it! For some reason!

Marlin’s verdict: Amateur Job

As Jel noted in the preview guide, this is the first work by Shirogumi, and it shows. The direction is bizarre, meandering from scene to scene without much thought, and the writing is equally disconnected from reality, almost seeming like space-filler in a show that is acutely vacant of any presence. I’ll admit I am definitely not the demographic for this style, but everything just seems absolutely gaudy in this universe of theirs. It plays more like an animated AKB-48 video than an actual cartoon. There’s also wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much exposition, and that of the worst kind where nothing interesting is even happening on screen other than the character’s blabbing. Outside that, our characters are either one dimensional or inexplicable. Why must twintails yell about everything? Why does the main girl never talk above a mumble? Why can the loli tell the future? Like seriously, what was up with that? Could that shrimp mascot be even more annoying? Why is this American captive decked out in a kimono anyway? All in all, a real subpar product. I just hope Crunchyroll didn’t invest too heavily in this.

Jel’s verdict: Like a Hand Knit Sweater

Urarara feels rough around the edges but in a charming, hand crafted sort of way moreso than from technical incompetence. The shaky line work and minimal animation might annoy some people, but I think it makes it look very unique. Everything is brimming with personality, whether it’s the girls, the scenery, or the uh, talking fried shrimp that explains their magical girl powers. About the only thing I would complain about is the amount of talking. For something so colorful and stylish, I would have liked to have seen more motion. Couldn’t they have at least started their battle with the aliens as a tease for next week? I don’t know if this show will amount to anything than artsy fluff, but it might be worth watching another episode.

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