Let’s all face it, when we heard of Filipino and Anime, it’s always something that could be bad. Fortunately, not this one. Despite EP1 justs aired 12 hours ago, this Anime really deserve some attention and support. Here’s my first impression of the First Episode of Barangay 143 “Mr. Unstoppable.”
So I’ll be looking at this on a standpoint where I only saw Modern Anime (circa 2000s to be exact) but I know the existence of Slam Dunk, but I’ll save that first impression on our resident geek, and I think is a well-respected Anime Purist PM’s own First Impressions right here. I’ll be also focusing on how did it appeal Mainstream Viewers and Anime fans and purists.
Mainstream-wise, it’s actually good but it’s because the story flaws is also what they took advantage to the demographic. But for people like me who stopped watching mainstream TV, PM, and other Anime Purists, it’s due to the over cliché of the story even in Episode 1. Even tho I have hatred on RomCom, but I understand why they did this approach on the first episode; To make Anime be on the mainstream media again and they wanted to take that risk. Although it’s not going to be effective in the long run and hopefully they would lessen clichés on their future episode because it really doesn’t match on the Animation itself. Because some viewers who rarely watch TV and Anime fans and purists are tired of the ‘Telenovela Format’ and yes, that includes having a ‘cliffhanger.’ I don’t see any other anime who use cliffhangers at the start of the story, they often use it at the end of the season or the whole story.
Speaking of Animation, comparing to the old Filipino ‘Animes’ that I watched, for me, it is total innovation. I really like the Animation and the detailing of every scene, but it’s not perfect especially at the action scenes. But the appeal is actually professionally-made but it’s obvious that this is made by not-so-big (but good) Animation Studio. The animation is actually felt made like a group of students (but that’s actually in a good way,) because it’s still a bizarre thing to see on a mainstream media. Again, it’s good, but not perfect and they have a lot of headroom for that one too that I’m hoping to see in the future. (or It could be because GMA 7 is broadcasting it in Standard Definition. It might be better and convincing in at least 720p or 1080p.)
Voice Acting on their performance and choice of VAs are a mixed bag for good and bad but don’t get me wrong, I still find it very good. It just lacks more emphasis and feeling. But the choice of celebrities who’ll be behind the main characters are mostly good especially John Arcilla and Julie San Jose. And weirdly enough, the English lines are more convincing than the Filipino ones; It felt like it’s dubbed straight out of Funimation Productions. Again, a lot of headroom for the first episode.
Despite all the flaws and rushed-looking anime, I’m convinced. And I actually do expect purists ranting about the first episode but they have a point. I believe in the advancement and development, I’m not promoting mediocrity nor judge the whole series yet but here’s what I thought why: It still lacks audience support!
Let’s face it; Mainstream media is living on a world full of talent shows, dramas, and even Korean culture. And Barangay 143 is bringing a lot of things despite its flaws: Bringing Anime back to the mainstream, Originality, and Quality. ‘But Nico, you said they used unoriginal overly clichés?’ Yes, I did, but I’m talking about the genre. When did we have an original and QUALITY locally-made anime? So let’s support Barangay 143 with not just with the Anime Revolution in the mainstream media, but support and inspire local animators.
Nonetheless, I still congratulate people behind Barangay 143 for their debut and courage to change we see Philippine Anime! I’m looking forward to the future episodes (with the hopes of improvement over what I mentioned.)