Time Travel Girl – Preview
Time Travel Girl: Mari Waka and the Eight Scientists:
Original Air Dates: Jul 8, 2016 to Sep 23, 2016
Synopsis: Mari Hayase is the daughter of a brilliant scientists…. Well, on paper anyway. Mari isn’t exactly the brightest bulb. However, her brain is going to be put the test when she’s accidentally sent back through time. She meets William Gilbert, a world renowned doctor and scientist. Can Mari’s two friends Shun and Waka find some way to get her back? And why does William Gilbert seem to have met Mari’s father or at least a man matching his description?
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Time Travel Girl’s animation gets the job done, but doesn’t always do its characters justice. At times movement is stilted or overly simplistic leaving things looking bland or unappealing. the biggest setback Time Travel Girl suffers visually is the CGI used to depict the time travel machine, which looks so simplistic that it hearkens back to older, more primitive CGI first used over a decade ago.
Linny: While I usually enjoy silly characters, Mari seems to be especially easy going to the point of coming off a bit irresponsible and flaky. I guess the idea is to make her seem cute and adorably dumb. But if you can’t stand those kind of characters, seeing as she seems to be the main catalyst of the entire show, it almost immediately knocks this right off your watchlist. None of the other characters get any real decent screen time or personality exploration in this episode so there’s still some hope that later on you may take to them and latch onto them instead. But it’s a slim hope. I also had to struggle to grasp the tone of the show as though the overlaying story and events are played somewhat seriously, there’s also some sense of unintentional comedy. A friend of Mari’s falls into cardiac arrest in this first episode itself due to getting hit right in the chest by a baseball. Maybe it was just my interpretation but everyone seemed both extremely relaxed and yet also panicked, making me feel a weird sense of amusement at the contrast. It was also a rather dark plot device as it triggers a minor change in the initial path of the story which then leads to a major event. I couldn’t understand why the show had to have a kid almost die in its very first episode, especially after having just emphasized how idiotic Mari is, making us transition suddenly from a jovial and playful mood to someone almost dying.
Tom: Mari is our classic, slightly oblivious lead and there doesn’t seem to be much else to her outside of her quest to find her father. There’s also her love struck friend, Waka and her studious brother, Shun. The cast is, in all honesty, pretty bland at the moment, with little characterization in their dialogue to make them stand out as memorable let alone likable.
Linny: When I first saw the promotional materials, I had joked to myself that this would turn out to be a dating sim like story filled with bishonen or ‘pretty boy’ renditions of famous scientists all romancing our lead female. Thankfully(?) it seems to be focused on Mari trying to find her missing father after discovering time travel and maybe educating herself and the viewers about some of the most influential scientists from the past. Though, now I am wondering if maybe I would have had more fun with my own initial fake presumption of the show as so far, as I haven’t really been drawn in by any of the characters in the actual show. They all just seem so bland. Thanks to having watched some other and more intriguing shows with time travel as its main theme in the recent anime seasons, including the current one, even the time travel angle in this fails to hold me.
Tom: Time Travel Girl’s first few minutes are exceedingly boring as we’re given a very dry run down and set up for Mari’s everyday life and back story concerning her missing father. A later scene where Shun saves a boy’s life after he has a heart attack from a baseball striking his chest is a bit better, but it’s played so dry, without enough tension and perhaps even too realistic to work as intended.
Linny: For now, it’s hard to predict exactly how this show is going to play out considering it has such a huge mix of characters and elements going in. There’s the mysterious missing father who is hinted to be on the run or is being hunted down by some equally mysterious people. And though the initial thought is that he is in some unknown location, with time travel thrown in, he could likely be in an unknown time period as well. Maybe Mari is going to end up rounding up all these different scientists and using them to help locate and save her father. And what role will Shun play in the story as it seems like Mari’s father had left some important things to him but without any actual instructions. Frankly though, if you are struggling to care about any of the characters, it may be hard to want to carry on a show that leaves so much information up in the air. The best we can hope for now is that the show will be able to better balance its educational content with its actual story content.
Tom: When we do finally jump into the past and get to the meat of Time Travel Girl’s concept is where the education material starts. Well, semi-educational. From what little we saw with the premiere it seems unlikely Time Travel Girl will ever really delve into its science topics and more give a very light understanding of its material.
Linny: Time Travel Girl seems like it wants to be edutainment (educational and entertainment) which can be a hard thing to nail down. Having a clueless protagonist is most likely an intentional move in order to be able to dispense basic knowledge and information to the viewers without breaking the fourth wall. However, the first episode feels rather dull and so do the characters and when you combine it with the feeling that this show wants to make you learn things, it may be a hard pill to swallow for those who turn to anime solely to be entertained.
Tom: I don’t think much of Time Travel Girl for right now. It’s first episode is overly bland and doesn’t add enough character and flare to make me want to see Mari interact across time and space with each of the scientists depicted in its opening. Perhaps it’ll get better, but for now Time Travel Girl seems exceedingly dry and bland.
Time Travel Girl is available for streaming via Funimation.com.