It’s that time of the year again! Yes, Summer First Impressions!

~~~~~~

Summary:

In this world, fox spirits (with their extremely long lives) become matchmakers for humans as they reincarnate through the centuries. They will ensure that you and your lover continue to be together in subsequent lives–at a price.

Suusu is one such fox spirit, from the extremely powerful Tushan fox clan. However, Suusu herself is extremely weak (spiritual power-wise) and has a marraige engagement to some unknown man. Not wanting this fate, Suusu embarks on her first matchmaking assignment to become a fully fledged fox spirit.

Our two main characters.

Meanwhile, a man named Haku attempts to foil his own engagement attempt, which seems to have been forced upon him by his family. While he’s desperately seeking another woman to marry, Suusu crashes into him; and they get mixed up in a plot between two reincarnated lovers.

Unbeknownst to Haku and Suusu, they are actually the people engaged to each other, whooooahhhh!!!!

This was the lamest action scene I had ever seen.

My Opinion:

That summary is probably the most coherent one you’ll get from me on this series, because honestly; the first episode was kind of a mess. It was, to say it bluntly, pretty bad.

This is the first series I’ve seen that explained far too much (exposition-fest alert!) while also somehow not managing to explain much of anything. There’s far too many characters thrown in far too soon; and it feels like the writers of the show were trying to prioritize the “comedy” aspects of the show over the plot. I put the word “comedy” in quotes because… well, the slapstick moments in this episode just weren’t that funny.

The animation in this episode was also a bit awkward (and by that I mean “bad”). In quite a few of the shots the characters look off-model (i.e. cross-eyed). There are also a ton of blatant animation shortcuts taken. One of the characters in the first episode spoke mainly through telepathy/voice projection… just because? I really hope there’s a proper explanation for that, because otherwise it really just looks like the animators couldn’t be bothered to animate her mouth flaps.

I also can’t not mention this because a lot of people complained about it. The sound direction in this episode is bad. Most sound effects (background sounds, etc.) are turned down way low for some reason. One “action scene” was basically ruined because the sounds didn’t quite convey the severity of the scene. The VAs also sound like B-rate voice actors. But I can forgive that last bit as this was a dub. A Japanese dub of a Chinese animated series.

Yes, Fox Spirit Matchmaker is actually a Chinese series, produced in China. We’ve been seeing many more dubs of Chinese animated series lately, and it pains me to say this but… A lot of them just aren’t that great. Hey guys, remember Spiritpact? I love that China is producing its own animation, and I actually really want them to succeed! That’s why I’m going to keep reviewing these shows! I’m glad to see that their animation is improving to a quality that’s… kind of watchable? But at the same time, I think Chinese animation studios really need to work on their pacing. That’s definitely their biggest weakness that I can pick out. Their episodes are really badly paced.

It would also help a lot if the characters were better written. What’s with all the asshole main male characters? At least Haku isn’t completely abysmal as a character compared to Keika. These animated shows are apparently based on popular Chinese manhuas/webcomics, so I’m hoping we someday get a Japanese dub of one of the better shows? Hopefully??? I know there are some good Chinese shows out there, such as the Balala: Over the Rainbow magical girl series. I know that the animation is still not quite up to Japanese animation standards, but that series looks like a masterpiece compared to Fox Spirit Matchmaker and Spiritpact.

Overall, I’d honestly say you’re better off skipping this series, unless you have a fairly high tolerance for bad characters, low quality animation, and a gigantic mess of a plot. The overarching story in Fox Spirit Matchmaker could actually be potentially interesting, but if the series continues floundering about in cliched slapstick instead then we’re out of luck.

Out of five for this episode, I give:

precure heart2 and 1/2

(If only because the animation is slightly nicer than Spiritpact and also didn’t make me rage as much.)

Do you guys even know how hard it was to get decent usable screencaps for this show. So many shots were awful. SO MANY.

Advertisements