First Impressions – Karneval

Just look at that cast and tell me they’re not pure eye candy

Welcome to the colourful ship of Karneval! Us trio will be your hosts today, in other words, starry-eyed maidens who like bishies. Though, doesn’t mean we will look over the faults or sugar-coat anything. Sit back and relax for a colour adventure. Take it away, Miyu and Kara~
BL bait indeed. Well, everything I’ve seen so far for this anime looks pretty fabulous. Will the rest of the series live up to that? I’m hopeful at least, from this first episode. And if not, looking at our icons, the four of us are certainly appropriately coloured for watching this anime at least.
You already know when you see that the tag group for this show is full of girls and only girls that there’s going to be some bishielove going on!! c: We’ll try our best to push away our yaoi goggles and review this calmly… lol who am I kidding I know you know what I’m thinking >D

§ production pats

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*kyokai // Manglobe isn’t really a studio that screams major releases but they have been known for their interesting work like Ergo Proxy, Michiko to Hatchin, House of Five Leaves, KamiNomi and recently ZKC: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke. I think their only mistake till now has been Deadman Wonderland and we all know what happened with that. Coming to the main staff behind producing and directing though, none of them have any famous series under their belt so I am concerned on how this series will be treated but then again is plot going to be the main center of the series or it’s colourful characters? I would like both but as it’s just the first episode, it’s too early to setup any expectation or predictions.

Coming to the stellar seiyuu cast, it’s heaven for a seiyuufag like me. I mean, Hiroshi Kamiya, Daisuke Ono (all Durarara!! fans, you can scream now) and Mamoru Miyano are UP there in my list but then you add Junichi Suwabe, Aya Endo, Nakamura Yuuichi, Eri Kitamura and Yusa Koji; and I wouldn’t really care if there is any plot in this. Another interesting fact is that the ED is sung by KAmiYU, which is a duo made up of Kamiya and Miyu Irino (who sadly doesn’t have any major role this season except for the carryover Chihayafuru’s Tsukuba). So, you are in good hands along with eye-candy character designs and colourful setting. Don’t expect flowers all the time though because this is still an action genre series. Overall, I’m impressed with the credits minus the brains, who have to prove with the pacing of the series, their adaptation skills.

§ an uncanny duo

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*karakuri // So Hiro Shimono and Hiroshi Kamiya. That seems like an odd combination for a BL bait show, but what do I know? (Maybe I’m just so used to Yuuichi Nakamura and Yuki Kaji being in everything I watch). Anyways, the show seems pretty clear on who the two main characters are. So we have Nai, who has an extraordinary sense of hearing and… an extraordinary lack of common sense. I have no idea who this Karoku person is, but considering that Nai doesn’t know how long it was since he last saw him, I’d say that Nai doesn’t really have much going on up there. In short, I guess he’s kind of more like an animal, since he says things like “I want to eat food with him (Karoku)” and has superhuman senses. That plays well into his blatant innocence as well (not to mention that his hair is painfully reminiscent of animal ears). …I’m interested on finding out exactly why he was handcuffed and in bed with that creepy ass spider lady, but at this point, his past is obviously supposed to be a mystery.

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Now on to the other mystery, Gareki. Ah yes, the stereotypical cold, calculating character. His mechanic skills are impressive though and he’s obviously used to busting down walls like a badass and stealing from people. …It’s kind of a mystery as to why he was okay with taking Nai along with him, but it’s all good for moving the plot forward. Another good thing about him is that he’s relatively calm about whatever life throws at him (probably because he’s so used to his job). Actually, Nai was pretty good about this too, but his calmness seemed to stem from lack of situational awareness as opposed to lack of caring like Gareki. …Though he does seem to care at some points since he dealt with the bomb and lifted Nai with him when train jumping. The interactions between the two of them run pretty smoothly, even without BL filtered glasses on, so whether stuff happens or not, this should be interesting.

§ le circus

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*miyu // Well, if you’re someone like me who hasn’t read the manga before, you’d probably be really confused as to who this bunch of mysterious flying people are. To summarize what their role is in the Karneval world, they basically play the role of the… magical police in a sense, to settle crimes that you know, normal police that can’t fly can’t handle. The Circus is a highly-exclusive, top-secret organization where members are identified by a Circus I.D., which gives them the ability to fly and also other magical powers including materializing a magic stick out of thin air… *coughs* I’m going to go ahead and assume that they’re the good guys here. The main antagonists of the show haven’t been revealed yet, although from that particular scene the spider-lady seems to imply that there is a higher power at work, perhaps some sort of evil organization? I guess this setting is similar to that of Kuroshitsuji’s, where Ciel and Sebastian have to handle situations that cannot be revealed to the general public to prevent chaos from breaking out because things like scary spider-ladies would probably make everyone go batshit crazy.Obviously, Nai’s beloved Karoku had something to do with Circus (bracelet and all), and had mysteriously went missing (I highly doubt he’s dead — he probably has some mindblowing reason for disappearing). In the near future, I would think that the two of them will be working closely with (…or against) the Circus, if not join them to fulfill their own interests. After all, I’m pretty sure none of them are big on the whole “saving the world from other-worldly crime” thing, so they might have conflicting interests with Circus (or maybe that’s just Gareki), because I’m sure Nai would want to get closer to them to find out more about Karoku. Anyway, the idea of magical flying police is really cool, and I’m a fan of both the cool megane-kun and pretty loli-chan already! c: More fun times ahead~

A lot has been talked about Karneval already and interestingly the views are almost extremely opposing with people loving and hating it and before releasing too! Can you believe the elitism of some anibloggers?! But hey, it’s a part of our community after all. So, before watching the first episode, the only thing I knew is that it’s a popular niche manga, which even got some drama cds to boot. In the industry, for a manga to be successful, an anime offer is not always the first step but drama cds do their trick, but there are exceptions to rule in everything; still Karneval seems to be stepping up on media vehicles amassing a bigger fan-following.

On face-value, this anime looks beautiful though the first sorry to the fans who were expecting flowers and cute creatures is to face a fugly spider-baba. Stuff happens guys. Though, the train action was pretty sweet and I’m liking the unique air around all the characters and this is just the beginning because the entire star cast is too huge to squeeze into one episode; not to forget some fluffy characters and a white Pikachoo. I have issues with Nai all puppydog innocent and trusting a stranger (Gareki seems to be thinking of his own hide than anyone else’s), but he seems to have been too much protected by the Karoku fellow so it’s really not his fault. They are trapped in a unique situation so anything can happen really, maybe a possible recruitment? Nai has the trademark bracelet anyways. For now, the Circus folks have me interested with their eccentric way of dealing situations – I mean, busting up a train and causing damage to public property? Do they have a lot of reserves to pay back? We shall see.

Well that was even better than I had hoped for. I was expecting nothing more than heavy BL vibes and this even had a creepy ass spider woman and unnecessary violence. That animation! Man, studios that aren’t DEEN should animate things like this more often, since everything in this was great to look at. ….Yes, even the creepy ass spider woman. The main characters are interesting as well. …Okay, that’s Kamiya bias talking. Actually, I don’t know what to think of Nai. He’s there, but he doesn’t seem to do much to be honest. Gareki has enough quick thinking skills to keep me interested, but Nai just seems to occasionally help (but not really) and he’s constantly being rescued. Hopefully he provides more in future episodes. Actually, I was also surprised about the amount of female main characters in this so far (judging from the ED). I was under the impression that they didn’t exist in BL (ignoring Hakkenden) or were really rare. Then again, maybe I’m thinking yaoi. ….Can you tell I don’t watch these things often? I’m currently really loving Tsukumo (since she can actually hold her own) and even if the rest of the female population of Karneval turns out useless, I think I’ll be able to stick with this.

…One downfall though was that lot of it didn’t make sense of course (like Tsukumo and the other guy being able to fly), but I’m sure that will be explained in time. I mean, I know that they’re all in some defence force, but I still don’t get the significance of the bracelet. They also implied that there’s something going on behind the scenes with that grandfather and Suwabe character. …And that Nai is special for some reason. I don’t even know. Karuko is a big mystery too (but he’s obviously supposed to be).  It IS an interesting set up though and it looks like it has enough violence and capable leads to keep me interested, even if things wind up not making sense.

I am getting all sorts of No.6 flashbacks from this show and it’s making me want to cry. Don’t even try to tell me that Gareki isn’t exactly like Nezumi at the start of the series, both untrusting and only ever concerned with their own interests. Nai might make for an even more naive Shion (god, I didn’t think that was possible) and much more gullible in a sense, but I’m hoping he will grow in away like Shion did, knowing more about the cruel world out there but not losing that innocence that once made him who he was? *too many No.6 references* Ahem. Okay, back on topic, this was just a very.. complicated episode in general? They introduced a lot of things in one episode and didn’t really fully explain them, but the good thing about this is that it managed to capture my interest and make me look forward to the next episode’s answers (uh, hopefully there will be answers), instead of just leaving me confused and stunned!

Aaaand I shall leave you with a very lovely image to end off the post:

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Sweet dreams~ _(:3 」∠)_

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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29 Responses to “First Impressions – Karneval”

  1. Muir says:

    XD of course 3 girl bloggers covering Karneval hahaha
    BL bait everywhere~

    I was actually not sure if I was going to be watching this series this season, I just checked out episode 1 for the heck of it, and I can say that it was quite enjoyable. If it keeps this up on the second episode, I will probably continue watching this series~

    I’m also a really big fan of KamiHiro *^* almost as much as I love HanaKana haha Tsukumo is my favorite character so far (bonus points for twin-tail loli) and the fact that she’s voiced by Endou Aya makes her even awesomer =w= btw Aya is doing a great job on DAL as Reine~

  2. zztop says:

    I was half expecting the zebra from Madagascar to turn up singing ‘dundadadadacircus dundadadaafrocircus afrocircus…’

  3. mistress_kisara says:

    Liking the adaptation so far, and people don’t have to worry about the females being useless they are all badasses! XD

  4. skylion says:

    “I only ever had three choices…Enemy, nobody, or prey”.

    …or yaoi hole.

    • skylion says:

      …despite that snicker, I thought the show was rather well made. Good action scenes, some cleverness, buildings falling on monster/robot dominatrix thing, kick ass magic using, and a manipulative grampa.

      Bits of it’s world building reminded me of an old CrossGen comic series called Mystic; but just some of the magic and the costuming…

  5. Irenesharda says:

    Of the shows coming out this season, so far, this is #2 on my list (Under Titan but before Gargantia). I thought the visuals really well made and plot intriguing. Manglobe has already gained major points with me for The Unlimited, so I am really behind them here!

    Honestly, when you say there was a major division on that some fans really liked it and some really hated it, I’ve actually haven’t seen that response around. Most I’ve read either think it’s okay and will remain cautious, or they like it a lot. I’ve never seen anything really controversial about it (unlike another anime that shan’t be named involving les fleurs du mal)

    This show does have BL overtones especially in the overly pathetic character of Nai, but readers of the manga have assured me and others that this is not BL/shonen-ai/yaoi series and while I’m sure the fujoshi here will have a field day, I haven’t really seen a couple yet that I like so I will just forgo that for now and just roll with the plot. :P

    Nai is a pathetic character that is innocent for innocence sake and is a like a lost dumb puppy. But like a lost dumb puppy, you just can’t get mad at him and are glad when the more interesting character of Gareki takes him in.
    Gareki so far is my favorite character as I enjoy the cool, collected bad boys that do what they want and don’t care who you are. That scene where he calls out Hirato was hilarious. LOL

    Circus is an interesting organization and was better than I was expecting. I am glad that this show is going to be a action show with some mystery and plot to it. With all the pretty colors going around and the notion that Circus actually does shows had me suspecting that this was going to devolve into slice of life with some action overtones. So I’m happy with what I see.

    The character of Karoku has a mysterious non-presence and its giving me vibes of Seimei from Loveless. I have a feeling from the way Circus was referring to him and how everyone is recognizing the bracelet that something not quite right is going on here. It also appears that both the bad and good guys are interested in Nai’s hearing ability, so it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.

    My biggest issue in the episode was actually nothing major but simply Nai’s hair. I want to cut those stupid purple bits off! I know that if I did cut his hair, he would have the same hairstyle as half the guys in the show (seriously, no variety guys? Of the major male players in this show SIX have the same hairstyle, just with different colors. Come on people, try a little harder. If this was in black and white I’d be in trouble!) Yet, a manga reader has informed me that the purple tufts of Nai’s hair actually have a purpose, so I guess I will stay my shears for now. :/

    Really liked what I saw here and I will be following this one this season and I give this episode an 8/10.

  6. Liza says:

    Oh good. I’m not the only one that got No.6 vibes from watching this. XD

    I really like the character designs for this series and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

  7. Highway says:

    The show was an enjoyable enough watch. It certainly didn’t turn me off like K did, so that’s a good sign, but the plots within plots were a little bit eye-rolling: “I *let* them capture me so I could see how the special cops responded”. Guess you’d have been screwed if special hearing boy never showed up, huh?

    The show it most resembled for me was Arcana Famiglia, and I don’t really know why. I didn’t really care for Nai, and I really don’t want to keep hearing about Karoku for this whole series unless he becomes a lot more interesting.

    • skylion says:

      Peter Griffen: “It’s his sled. There, I just saved you twelve episodes of time”

    • akagami says:

      K turned me off at first (I think I dropped it after the first episode because I face-palmed one too many times during the skateboarding scenes) but I’m glad I decided to pick it back up, eagerly awaiting S2!

      • Highway says:

        I dropped K after one episode, and never saw any screenshot or heard anything about it that interested me in the slightest about picking it back up again. I dislike the look, what I hear of the story, just about everything. Different horses for different courses…

  8. Overcooled says:

    I admit I was a bit wary about Karneval at first because I thought it would be fujoshi bait without any substance. The first episode dispelled all my worries about that. It’s a fujoshi bait show WITH substance!

    I’m sure manga fans will be really touchy about changes made in the anime plot (I don’t blame them) but I’m enjoying it so far. Nai may have only one brain cell in his entire skull, but I kind of like him. Don’t you just wanna see someone that innocent get completely corrupted? That kinda person just begs for disaster to knock at their door. :3c

    • skylion says:

      Don’t you just wanna see someone that innocent get completely corrupted?

      ;-)

    • Irenesharda says:

      I admit I was a bit wary about Karneval at first because I thought it would be fujoshi bait without any substance. The first episode dispelled all my worries about that. It’s a fujoshi bait show WITH substance!

      That was exactly my fear too, but as long as there is a plot, they can send as much fujoshi bait my way as they want. :D

      And yeah, Nai is one of those extreme uke individuals you just want to see taken under the wing of a stronger male. It’s almost too easy. ;)

  9. Jrow says:

    I enjoyed the first episode a good bit. The BL stuff has already been mentioned a bunch, so I won’t dwell on that, but it looks Karneval has a chance of being a fun series, and with a good voice cast.

  10. akagami says:

    I agree with most of the comments above. I was walking into this half-expecting it to be a heavy BL/shonen-ai/yaoi series, and ended up liking this a lot than I thought I would have. As long as it doesn’t turn up the BL vibes to No.6 level or worse I should be relatively fine.

    But every time I see Hiro’s hair, I keep thinking he has hair/ears sticking out at the side (the purple tinted ones), and then I see the normal ears, but then I see the animal ears again. I’m getting so confused ><

  11. berrish17 says:

    Ahhhhhhh, Kamiya Hiroshi <3 OnoD <3 KitaEri <3
    Hiroshi calling OnoD "Kuso Megane" LOL!!
    Yes, indeed cast are awesome =D

    Beginning was scary…those bones crack…
    and Nai's like, "Youre making me nauseous"haha

  12. JapanInspired says:

    Haha, and I thought I was the only one that got No.6 flashbacks.
    By the way, was that Mamoru Miyano at the end?

  13. BlackBriar says:

    This anime is to be feared if it’s hooked you three in one fell swoop. I’m amazed Anaaga isn’t part of the Tag Team. An acceptable start. The action is alright but I’m worried about the apparent BL tones that could rub me the wrong way even though there’s “shoujo” in the genres. I can handle it to a degree like with [K] but not if it turns out like No.6.

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