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EP. REVIEW: Wish Upon the Pleiades


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Red Fox of Fire



Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 345
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:06 pm Reply with quote
So generic it's unique, eh?

I immediately thought of Pikmin watching this show. Seriously, their goal is to collect pieces of a busted spaceship so an alien can return to his homeland. This is Pikmin as magical girls.

It's nothing outstanding, but I've enjoyed it so far.
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JaggedAuthor



Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Posts: 981
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:29 pm Reply with quote
I really wanted to enjoy this show more than I did. If I weren't following a million other series (only a slight exaggeration) this season, I probably would have stuck with it.

Great review, by the way!
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Mertal



Joined: 17 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
It's refreshing to see one of those again. Remember when magical girls meant positive female friendships, rainbows, and smiles? In the wake of Madoka Magica's success, we've suffered through countless imitators of its dark, cruel atmosphere. Such imitators often leave behind everything that was interesting about that show, only cranking up the despair to turn a once sweet, if vapid, genre into torture porn. Why can't happy and innocent just be happy and innocent? Why do we feel the need to corrupt these things and look for a hidden cruel twist?


Completely agree, which is why I have hated Madoka Magica from the onset and still do. I really like Wish Upon the Pleiades and hope it becomes really popular.
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 1187
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:35 pm Reply with quote
Ah, this review made me wanna watch. I do agree Mado spawned many imitators, and I have been enjoying the genre before and less so recently. I think I'll pick this up, to see if it is interesting or not.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 879
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:08 pm Reply with quote
Oddly enough, Madoka isn't nearly as cruel as its reputation makes it sound, and the ending is one of the most positive ones I've ever seen in an anime. Maybe the dark stuff seems worse because it's a magical girl show. Though its imitators sometimes only take the "horrifying" and "magical girl" components and crank up the former to maximum (Day Break Illusion...).

I really liked the original Pleiades OVAs, mostly just for the aesthetic and music and stuff. The series is pretty good so far, but it feels kinda padded out since there doesn't seem to be much new plot content, other than an expanded gotta-catch-em-all quest for magic spaceship parts. All the engine-revving and car terminology is getting a little distracting (surely naming the show and the protagonist "Subaru" is enough product placement? People don't choose cars based on their engine noises, do they?). But it's still cute and pretty and lacks fanservice. Slice of life, with magic.
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wastrel



Joined: 26 Oct 2012
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Mertal wrote:

Completely agree, which is why I have hated Madoka Magica from the onset and still do. I really like Wish Upon the Pleiades and hope it becomes really popular.


Same here. I couldn't stand Madoka Magica. I get dark, cruel despair when I get out of bed in the morning -- I don't look for it in the shows I watch.

It's sweet, and innocent, and nice. Yes, just plain ol' nice. What the flippin' heck is wrong with nice, dang it all?!?!

I'm surprised at how much I want this show to be decent. Not groundbreaking, not a shattering epic for the ages, just a decent, nice show.

And now having expressed a fondness for niceness, many haters will appear to accost me. Well, just know I'll be decking my, yes, Subaru SUV out in show accessories, and riding down the road being nice to people! Ha!
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Yttrbio
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Joined: 09 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:11 pm Reply with quote
I really like this approach to sponsorship. It's not subtle, but it doesn't get in the way either. They've essentially sold the rights to their technobabble and mcguffins, but sponsored versions are no more meaningless than original versions.
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 13805
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:48 pm Reply with quote
My response for the second episode with what was wrong with not making it as good as it should be and confusing was that it is having trouble communication itself. It hinted that there was something odd about them all "sharing a desk", but it did not go into detail of what that implied other than "thread of fate" and then later has the characters talking about the other not being the one they knew.

It kind of feels like when they made the storyboard they kind of assumed the audience has information they had and thus they left it out so scenes don't connect like they should. Until they make it coherent it won't get any better.
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
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Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:46 am Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
Oddly enough, Madoka isn't nearly as cruel as its reputation makes it sound, and the ending is one of the most positive ones I've ever seen in an anime. Maybe the dark stuff seems worse because it's a magical girl show. Though its imitators sometimes only take the "horrifying" and "magical girl" components and crank up the former to maximum (Day Break Illusion...).


Yeah, I didn't feel the need to clarify in my review because I thought it would be obvious, but my criticisms don't apply at all to Madoka itself. It's one of my favorite anime and I completely agree with you that it's actually a very hopeful story in the end.

But with every big success come shameless imitators. And of course they took the most obvious, least interesting thing about it--"it's magical girls, but DARK!"--because that's the easiest to carbon copy, and cranked that up to 11. What makes these "milestone" shows great is usually a lot harder to bottle and re-sell, at least successfully.
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7jaws7



Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Posts: 643
Location: New York State
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:38 am Reply with quote
Pleiades in a magical girl series? This isn't the anime adaptation of spoiler[Kazumi Magica], is it? Razz

Seriously though - I don't mind at all if the genre goes back to its roots after Madoka's success. But since that's what this show appears to be doing, it should at least give itself an identity. Most magical girl shows have one. Too early to tell for Wish Upon the Pleiades, but so far it looks awfully average.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:18 am Reply with quote
Quote:
It's a paint-by-numbers magical girl show, and if that feels fresh, it's mostly because no one's done it in a while.

"No one's done it in a while"? What about PreCure? 11+ years of magical girls and still going strong. You haven't not had a regular magical girl anime in over a decade. Just because something's not on your streaming sites doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
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Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:39 am Reply with quote
Kimiko_0 wrote:
Quote:
It's a paint-by-numbers magical girl show, and if that feels fresh, it's mostly because no one's done it in a while.

"No one's done it in a while"? What about PreCure? 11+ years of magical girls and still going strong. You haven't not had a regular magical girl anime in over a decade. Just because something's not on your streaming sites doesn't mean it ;doesn't exist.


Does Nanoha count? It's airing this season as well. But then again, how do you define what a Magical Girl show is?

I really hate how many people blindly praise Madoka for being genre defining or deconstructing. Honestly, Madoka is good because it's phenomenally well written, not because it did anything super amazing with the genre and by putting it on a pedestal, it does a disservice to the genre as it generalizes everything else.

Magical Girl is just a genre and each interpretation is a unique as the last. Sally the Witch, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Princess TuTu, Precure, Madoka, Sakura, Nanoha, Panty and Stocking, Misty May, etc... The only real connection between them all is that they are fighting, transfoming girls with a mascot character. It's like how each Kamen Rider series is completely unique with only a transformation belt to link them together.
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SquadmemberRitsu



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:32 am Reply with quote
Honestly, I LOVE Madoka. If I put it up against all the other magical girl shows I've seen it would only be second to Cardcaptor Sakura in terms of my love for it.

With that being said, Isn't it better to just watch shows and judge them on their own individual merits? If the very idea of a show turns you off there's literally no reason for you to watch the show at all.

Personally I prefer to think of Madoka as a great dark fantasy series with magical girl elements. It's got magical girls, but if we're talking about magical girl anime as a proper full fledged genre then I'd say it deviates a bit too much to put it in the same category. Also no, it's not a deconstruction of the genre as has already been pointed out a million times over.

As for this show... well it's certainly generic. Although in a time where magical girl anime is pretty much just Precure, pervy Nanoha rip-offs and Madoka rip-offs with more edge than Coldsteel the Hedgeheg this is actually somewhat refreshing.
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 496
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:43 am Reply with quote
Kimiko_0 wrote:
"No one's done it in a while"? What about PreCure? 11+ years of magical girls and still going strong. You haven't not had a regular magical girl anime in over a decade. Just because something's not on your streaming sites doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


I talked about Precure multiple times in the review.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 377
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:51 am Reply with quote
I feel that Madoka ruined things in the sense that it didn't hide the dark track it was heading towards. I suppose if you limit one's experience to only specifically magical-girl anime, then it is true there are very few similar to Madoka. However, broaden your view just a bit and there are plenty of shows that had the same simple magical track that turns dark.

Madoka was written and directed well, and it shone particularly well because it was during a season that didn't have a lot else to pull attention away. I can see the "hopeful" interpretation of the ending, but spoiler[it comes at the cost of Madoka, who the story was really about saving from dying, allowing herself to die to save everyone else]. There is hope to be seen in that ending, but it's still very dark for a magical girl show, or even anime in general which tend to avoid killing off main cast, let alone title characters. In fact, the only real difference between Madoka and any other anime is that the character who dies actually stays dead. Even Precure usually makes a deal towards the end of the girls nearly losing and appearing to be on death's door, only to pull a big turn around in the last episode. Have one or more of them die at the end or Precure and suddenly you'll hear people calling it as dark if not darker than Madoka.

The success or failure of subsequent "copies" of Madoka have not really been in terms of story, but execution, the same as about any anime. The problem Pleiades will have is no doubt that it is trying to take a relatively brief ONA based on original content (no manga or LN source to draw from) and expand it to a full [12 or 13?] episode series. I anticipate this show will show a frustrating degree of execution problems associated with that development route.

Lastly, I would say it's a little premature to say this series won't take the same sort of dark twist other series have recently. The memory thing they've noted already has easy potential for a very twisted turn. spoiler[That no one in the class noticed that there were repeated incidents of someone appearing in their class with nowhere to sit is certainly suspicious enough for a paranoid mind]. Pleiades certainly has potential, but I don't think it's particularly well positioned to be a big hit, what with the specter of Madoka's success still out there, and the anticipation of Nanoha on the horizon.
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