Neo Yokio - probably not the best city in the world


#1

I was pretty shocked to find that there wasn’t a Neo Yokio thread here on the forums!

I’m really curious what all the waypointers think of it. I’ve just finished watching the second half of the series and really can’t figure out what to say about it or how I come down on it. For context, this is the first anime I’ve watched (other than a Ghibli film) since watching plenty of Dragonball Z, Pokemon and the occasional gundam movie as a kid.

It’s funny, absolutely, but those funny moments are exactly the screencaps everyone has seen at this point. The art, the soundtrack, is really lovely. But there’s plenty I’m mixed on. The pace is kind of janky and halting, for example.

Or more seriously, I can’t figure out how Neo Yokio feels about itself. Kaz is clearly meant to be endearing, but also compromisingly flawed. He has a gentle arc through the series, but he’s also frequently a real arse (especially regarding his treatment of women in Episode 4, where he’s clearly shown to be in the wrong but also doesn’t perceptively learn or apologise for anything?)

Ezra Koening has said the show “isn’t trying to drag anyone except maybe late capitalism” (paraphrasing), and I’m not so sure if it succeeds. Trying to defend, say, fashion in the face of Helena’s activism and clunky (to my UK eyes) ideas like Queens Walled City is a fine line to tread and I don’t know if they pull it off.

Thoughts, anyone?


#2

honestly it just missed most of its beats – emotional beats, humor, and pacing. it was funny sometimes, though never laugh out loud, and ur right that the funniest moments are the screen grabs rolling around, and they’re not much funnier in the show. for me the bad voice acting and flat writing made it unpleasant, even tho I get that was the tone they were going for. (well you can hit that tone without atrocious voice acting??)

i loved that the anime cared about fashion and specific brands, tho the fashion in the show wasn’t that interesting. i think that’s a reflection of their budget. which seemed like a small budget, based on the quality of animation.


#3

Haven’t seen this. Is it meant to resemble an anime in any way other than the drawing(/animation?) style? I am very turned off by westerners trying to “make” “anime”. I know the animation studios are Japanese but I’m not convinced that makes it an anime. Is it meant to look like anime because “anime is goofy” or is there an actual reason for it?

God, I don’t even want to talk about this but it’s been bugging me for days.


#4

All the opinions on Neo Yokio I’ve seen have ranged from mixed to it being terrible so I’m really disinclined toward watching it. Gita Jackson at Kotaku maybe liked it with some caveats while I’m pretty sure The Mary Sue’s going to put a hit out on Ezra Koenig.


#5

I don’t really enjoy anime (I know this isn’t “real anime” but it seems like it’s trying to be or something idk) but watched it because I like Vampire Weekend and Ezra Koenig’s twitter. The show is uhhhh…very bad? It grasps at some sort of commentary occasionally but it’s hard to get past the bad acting and bland animation and lack of any real substance.

I’ve heard it described as a vanity project which makes a lot of sense, it really seems like a production made by people with a couple bucks to spare sort of just messing around with some ideas they don’t really care to develop. Mostly tuned in because someone in the trailer said “we gotta teach these old-money fuckboys a lesson” and, like, how can you not at least give it a shot after that


#6

it has a few random nods to anime but mostly no


#7

Wikipedia says a couple of real-deal Japanese studios are involved. I assumed they were animating it, and the writing and VA are western.


#8

I actually kinda liked it (cheap/great anime aesthetic, flat/endearing jaden smith VO, jude law as a robot butler, desus and mero) up until a specific episode, where it took a huge turn and became something I couldn’t quite get behind.

My biggest takeaway so far is that I like the idea of Gregorian house music more than any reasonable human being should.


#9

I really enjoyed it, to be honest. The first episode had me laughing out loud at some parts thanks to Richard Ayoade’s character, and I had a lot of fun with it through the rest of the episodes too. I see a lot of people complaining about the va and the acting, but I think a lot of the entertainment I got from it hinged entirely on how the lines were delivered.


#10

I think that there’s a dedication to an aesthetic that makes it an interesting watch, but the persistent both-sidesing, simultaneously clueless and vocal treatment of gender, and reliance on cheap gags make it a tough thing to recommend.


#11

Thought the show was hilarious, but I only watched 2 episodes or so. Heard it didn’t handle gender issues well, so I kinda just dropped it. Shame. I unironically liked Jaden as the MC.


#12

I liked it a lot. I mean it’s pretty silly, but it’s so offbeat it was refreshing.

I enjoyed all the fashion references, felt Ezras influence pretty strongly there.


#13

My wife and I finished watching it last night, and (overall) really enjoyed it! Light and silly, and didn’t overstay its welcome, between the short run time and low episode count. Loved Jason Schwartzman’s voice work, making you love to hate him.

The use of Mingus’ “Haitian Fight Song” alone would make me a fan, honestly.


#14

Had a blast watching the show with my friends. I don’t think the show works as well as a sit down by yourself and watch type deal. But get some friends together and you can have a absolute blast. It’s one of the few shows where you really have no idea what on earth is gonna happen in each episode.


#15

This show reminds me of the Boondocks with its art style and presentation.


#16

I started watching it and then had this ohhh nooo moment after the first episode. The treatment of women was… really bad. There were a couple funny moments but on the whole it didn’t come off as very self aware.


#17

I liked it. It almost feels like a parody of anime, not sure if that is intentional though.


#18

And with its messaging undermined by embarrassingly bad gender politics!


#19

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Took my brain a while to make this connection, but this reminded me of the (far superior) Major Lazer cartoon.


#20

Neo Yokio is kind of in a weird place where it looks kind of like an anime but doesn’t feel like an anime usually feels to me.

And that’s what makes it probably one of the best animes I’ve watched this year.