This week, The Hook takes a look the first episodes of "A Centaur's Life" and "Angel's 3Piece!"
The summer anime season is looking pretty angelic... whether it's orphan kids with sweet sounds or a class president with literal wings, there's definitely magic in the air. This wee, we're looking at the first episodes of A Centaur's Life and Angel's 3Piece!, two summer simulcasts you can watch right now. What are they about, and what will hook you? Read on to find out!
A Centaur's Life
Himeno is a kind, caring, extremely clumsy schoolgirl. She's beloved by her classmates, crushed on regularly, and even gets cast in the class play as a princess. Oh, and she's a centaur -- which would stand out, were she not in a class full of angels, demons, fauns, catfolk, and other mythical creatures.
But beyond the fact that there's not a single human to be seen in this show, it's your typical school comedy. Well, you know. As typical as a show can be when the main character is half horse.
The Hook: Each episode is divided into two parts, and the first half of the first episode is an old standard: the school festival and a class play. It's the second half where things get wild.
In this alternate universe, the creatures that would eventually evolve into humans died out, with six-legged creatures becoming the dominant species. This shift in evolution led to what we see now: animal-folk, angels and demons, centaurs, and (though not at Himeno's school) mermaids. There are some relatively painful tongue-in-cheek statements about how equal and tolerant a hypothetical human race would have been... but then there are whispers of other things. Centaurs were once slaves, and many modern laws came from that fact.
It's hard to tell yet whether this will be a show a la Interviews with Monster Girls (which used fantasy creature as a metaphor for various types of illness and "otherness"), but it will definitely be interesting to find out.
Who Is It For: If you're a fan of the aforementioned Interviews with Monster Girls, or generally like shows that play with the ideas of mythical beings, this looks like it will do so in a fairly inventive way. You might want to keep an eye on it. Also, if you enjoy shows based on 4koma, give it a whirl.
Another of our light novel adaptations for the season, Angel's 3Piece! is not actually about real angels. Rather, the main girls -- the shy Jun, the take-charge Nozomi, and the sleepy Sora -- are orphans who live in a church orphanage. They seek out the help of HibikiP, a composer who shares his work onlne, to make their own music. But in reality, HibikiP is Kyo, a high school shut-in who uses up all his energy just responding to a single email requesting social interaction.
Kyo isn't expecting a group of grade-schoolers -- based on the formality of the email, he was bracing for an older, upstanding member of society. But when the three girls grab vintage instruments and rock out, he's impressed. Now, though, he's just short of committing to helping them put on a concert at the church.
The Hook: Definitely the music. If you're missing K-ON! and need something similar music-wise, this will fill that gap for you. Also, the old-school musical instrument geekery is extremely impressive.
Who Is It For: Well... okay, first off, let's take away what might be a concern for some viewers. There are some lines at the end of the first episode that could either be a silly misunderstanding or something else entirely that would make this... not a typical show about grade schoolers. (Spoiler: we did something we never do and peeked ahead before writing the article -- it's a silly misunderstanding.) But if you like music and old-school rock instruments, and you're looking for something silly and fun, this will fit nicely into your viewing block.
Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, blogs and runs interviews for (Re)Generation Who and PotterVerse, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.