Slow Start – Anime Preview
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Synopsis: Hana Ichinose has enrolled in high school one year late due to studying to get in. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is to her. She’s off to a slow start, but she wants to work hard and catch up to everyone else! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Oh boy! Winter 2018 seems to be going in hard with the ‘Cute girls doing cute things’ anime and Slow Start is the latest offering in that ‘genre’. Though the series title and synopsis make a big deal about our lead, Hana being a year older than her classmates and having to hide that fact, the first episode makes it seem more like it’ll just be about watching Hana and her three new friends doing cute things together.
Tom: Slow Start’s name is terribly apt as the series wallows in the opening introduction of its setting and characters for just a bit too long. This episode is an elongated introduction to its overly moe leads and their uneventful lives. While the series boasts some of the best animation this season, with bubbly, lively characters who flow from frame to frame with near perfect fluidity and give an almost Non Non Biyori-esque feel, these girls lack comedy and charm.
Linny: Furthering the ‘cute’ quotient is the art style, which makes everyone look like they’re 16 at the most, even our own MC’s father looks like he’s still probably in high school himself. As for the actual high school girls, they all look like they’re yet to come anywhere close to puberty. The designs of the girls aren’t all that remarkable and their cookie cutter personalities only lend to making them feel all the more generic. You get the super shy and awkward main character, Hana. Then you get the super chatty and outgoing girl named Tamate. Then there’s the motherly, mature one, Eiko. And wrapping up and raising the moe to over 9000 is Kamuri Sengoku who looks and sounds like she should be in grade school.
Tom: The trouble is that Slow Start isn’t all that compelling. Sure it’s a moe series designed to make audiences go “aw so cute” but without solid comedy, or a tinge of emotional drama that makes you root for the girls, it feels insanely bland. Non Non Biyori, what I consider to be one of the best and most accessible moe based anime, balances itself extremely well in that regard. Heck Slow Start doesn’t even have a calming atmosphere, like with Laid-Back Camp, to help elevate the presentation to more than pure, overly sweet moe. Unless moe girls are your jam, or animation is your primary concern (I can’t deny that Slow Start is in fact one of the best looking anime this season), Slow Start is actually a non starter.
Linny: There’s not much I can say about Slow Start that we haven’t already laid out. Even if you’re a fan of cute girls being cute, you may have issues with just how bland and slow the show is. You could enjoy it for its vivid animation or perhaps if you’re a hardcore fan of the cuteness but this season has better offerings with similar content to spend your time on.
Slow Start is available for streaming via Crunchyroll