First Impressions: Fall 2012
It is time once again to look at a new season of anime straight from Japan. This year we have worse versions of shows from previous season, maybe better versions of shows from previous seasons, and sports anime. So many sports anime. Let's take a look at all the new shows that I am watching, and then drop later in the season for no reason. These are my first impressions of the fall 2013 anime season.
Super Seisyun Brothers- A new micro series right off the bat. This time it is about two sets of siblings, both made up of an older sister and a younger brother. One pair is obsessed about beauty and is weird and the other one is weird in different ways. It isn't anything great, but it is simple and kind of nice. There is nothing really to say about this series other then it is simple and nice and sometimes funny.
Miss Monochrome The Animation- A far more stranger micro series then the previous one. Miss Monochrome is, or was, a super-rich idol, I think, before losing all her money to someone she thought she trusted, where she is promptly on the street, with her pet Roomba. And then she ends up working for a corner store of sorts. That is all I got. I have no clue what's going on for the most part. It isn't bad, per say, it is just strange. I plan on giving it few more episodes but I might end up dropping it at the end of the day if it is too far out in left field.
Kyoukai no Kanata- The next series from Kyoto Animation, coming off the successes of Free. This time we have a magical world of sorts, with demons and the hunters thereof. Our male protagonist is a half demon who is immortal and seems to be friends with some politically powerful people, those who seem to be in the upper echelons of the demon hunters. Our female protagonist is a demon hunter from a lost clan who can control her blood. She is shy and nervous and has trouble killing demons, so she plans on practicing on our immortal protag. Of course, they are slowly becoming friends. The best way to put this show is that it is Chuunibyou but with real powers instead of imaginary ones. It isn't a bad series, but it is just so completely Kyoto Animation that it is hard to ignore. I will probably see it through, as I like moments from the first episode, the show is well animated and over all I liked the first episode. It just felt like I had seen it before.
Nagi no Asukara- A melodramatic love triangle, or possible square or even a pentagon, involving a race of people who live under the sea and the land dwellers they have to interact with. I hesitate to call them mermaids because they are not half fish, they can just breathe under water and can only be out of the water for a short time. Four of the five main protagonists are these underwater humans, and because of the closing of their school are forced to attend a school that land humans go to. There is tension, as both sides are kind of antagonistic to one another. There is also a love shape of sorts, where in the main lead is in love with this ditsy girl who seems to be warming up to this human, all while the main dude is engaged or something equivalent to the other female. To put it simply this is a lot of melodrama, and to be honest I don't care about it at all. I don't like the way the main lead treats others around him, I find the ditzy girl to be mostly annoying, and all the other characters didn't really get enough screen time for me to formulate any real opinions on them. I am most likely going to drop this one, it is in the bottom rings for me.
Outbreak Company- Oh dear lord this show. The show is about a super otaku, who is obsessed with all things anime, moe, lolicon, ect, ect, who finds a job looking for someone of his level of nerd. It turns out to be a trap, and after being slipped a mickey at the job interview, he wakes up in a castle being served upon on a maid, who turns out to be a half elf. He finds out that Japan is metaphysically bordered by a magic fantasy world, and wants to form political friendship with this world. The Japanese government decides that the best way to make that partnership is to import Japanese culture, in the form of otakuship. So we have a complete otaku hanging out in a fantasy world with Chocobos and elf girls and loli queens and dragons and a thousand other things. This is not a great show. It is completely clich , I have seen most of these jokes before, and it is really dumb. But I do like the maid character, and I think her relationship with the main character might be something nice to watch. She cannot read and write, so one of the things the main character plans on doing is teacher her Japanese. I think that there is a possible positive growth and realistic relationship growing between these two, if it wasn't for the main character geeking out over maids and such. I don't know, I think I will give this show a bit of a chance, but if it stays clichand just isn't funny at all I think I will just drop it.
Kill la Kill- A series done by the director of Gurren Lagann, this is over the top incarnate. This is a classic hyper-violent, over sexualized, big bang crazy animation of the 90s and it is crazy and really cool. The basic story is that there is this school that is basically ruled by the student council. They all have these uniforms that grant them super powers, so everyone with a starred suit is in the Student Council's pocket. Enters the main character, who has half of a huge pair of scissors, and is looking for the other half and the person who killed her father. This leads her to this dictatorship of a school, where the head of the student council might have a lead. It is up to the our hero to take down this student council, fighting a hierarchy of brightly colored and strange people, all with a very skimpy sailor scout uniform that is also alive ad feeds off her blood. This show is insane and I love it. The animation is fantastic, the fights are over the top and brutal, and it is really funny. This show is straight out of late 80's early 90's OVA scene and it is just pure fun. As long it stays fun I will keep watching it.
Golden Time- Anime that takes place in college are a rare and actually pretty cool thing. It allows for the continued glorification of youth while also allowing for real themes of adulthood and growth to present themselves. That is what I am hoping will happen with Golden Time, and anime about college and growth. Unfortunately I think it will end up a harem type show where the main character is surrounded by 4 women and by the end chooses none of them, in the hopes of getting a second season. But just looking at the first episode, I like the characters, I like the setting, and I want to learn more about them. I admit, from what I saw so far, that college seemed pretty realistic. I liked the moments in the beginning where the main character didn't know where his orientation lecture hall was, and was following people, creepily almost, just to find where his class was. I have done that, especially when I am new to a campus. I like this show, I just hope it doesn't fall into many of the pitfalls that many high school anime fall into.
Strike the Blood- This show feels very similar to the Index series, except with vampires instead of technology. On a man-made island off the coast of japan, Demons and monsters and such are allowed to live as long as they don't use any magic. Enter our main character, a vampire. But he has only been a vampire for a few months, and can't remember what happened to him to make him a vampire. But actually, he is one of the strongest vampires in existence, though he just wants to live a normal life. Enter the heroin, a girl who I think is a witch of some sort who's assignment is to watch, and if need be, kill, our vampire main character. I am assuming hijinks will ensue. I like the main character in the put upon everyman kind of way, like Touma from Index. It is something that I just like in a main character. But I am pretty sure that it will fall into all the anime clich s that befell Index, maybe even worse, as the main character seems to get turned on easily, and when his lust is up, he hungers for blood. And then gives himself a nosebleed and feeds off that to satisfy himself. I am pretty sure that is a metaphor for masturbation. But metaphorical masturbation aside, this show might not be too bad. I plan on keeping up with it for a little while.
Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita- I am planning on dropping this show for its stupidly long title. I hate these light novel adaptations because it takes me half an hour to type their names. Anyway, remember that show about the Devil from another world working as a part time worker at McDonalds? It is kind of like that. In a fantasy world a group of heroes train to fight the big Demon Lord or whatever, but before they can graduate the Demon Lord is defeated, and they are out of a job. Cut to sometime later, our main hero is working at a store, trying to sell dishwashers and light bulbs and other handy day to day stuff that all work on magic for some reason. A new employee enters the show and it is the Demon Lords daughter trying to make it all on her own. This is a fan service show, pure and simple. I do get a kick at all the modern day electronic stuff they have and the magic reasons they give for how they work, but that is not enough for me to keep watching this show. It isn't very good, and with the exception of a few scenes, like an old man driving a carriage shaped like the Star Ship Enterprise, there was nothing that I found entertaining. I plan on dropping it.
Log Horizon- Remember Sward Art Online? this show is basically the same but possibly better? Basically a couple thousand players of an RPG get stuck in that RPG when a new expansion goes online. Three friends meet up and decided to party up, and not join any guilds. That is important, the no guild thing, for some reason. It has something to do with the main character's backstory, he is a great strategist apparently. The rest of his team is a tank in the form of a friend of his, and an assassin in the form of a girl, who will most likely end up with the main character because anime reasons. Thing is, I kind of liked the first episode. It was light, and felt fun. While I can completely see this thing going the same route as Sword Art Online, I have an odd amount of high hopes for this show. I don't think it will be anything ground breaking, but I think it might be fun.
Kuroko no Basuke Second Season- The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays returns for its second season and the upcoming winter tournament. And right off the bat we are learning some of Kagami's backstory, like how he got into basketball and the story of the buy who he considers a brother, who is also now in Japan. To be honest, there is nothing much to say about this that I haven't said before. There will be basketball, there will be Kuroko not being noticed by people, there will be impossible basketball physics, and it will be kind of fun. I look forward to more totally impossible aerial combat.
Daiya no A- Also known as Ace of Diamond, this is a new high school baseball anime. We seem to be following a young pitcher who is mostly self-taught in the ways of baseball and whose dream in life is to bring his friends to the Nationals, and failing to do so in their last year in a middle school that is being shut down for good.Before entering high school, something that he is worried about doing because he is an idiot and knows he will have trouble passing the entrance exam, he is scouted by a very prestigious school that is known for its baseball team. Our protag doesn't want to enter into this school, seeing them more as the rival as they bring in talent from around the nation. But he decides to/is tricked into, visiting the school, and ends up in a bit of a pitching contest with a jerk, and meets who I am presuming to be his catcher for the rest of the series. As of right now, this show just seems really generic and kind of boring. Mind you, I plan on keeping up with the show for a few episodes to give it time to settle in and actually develop into something, but as it is right now, there is nothing I really care about in this show.
Magi Second Season- It is the second season of Magi. That is really it. If you liked the first season, go watch this season. To be fair, it seems to be starting off with all the characters going off on a journey on their own, this time on purpose. The world is expanding and we are getting the real sense that there are a thousand and one machinations going on. I look forward to this exploration of the world by these characters, and hope that it continues to be good.
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle 3rd Season- They made a third season of Phi Brain. How did they make a third season of Phi Brain? Why did they make a third season of Phi Brain? I thought there was no more story to be told. I thought that there was no more story to be told when they made season two! But I guess I am wrong. This time we are apparently focusing on Jin, the mentor type figure of Kaito and Rook, who is alive but currently doesn't have his memories. Apparently, at some point in his life, Jin hated puzzles and those who solved them, so much so that he wanted them all dead. Now there is an organization who are trying to make this dream come true, by going after Kaito and his crew. As an aside, that dude makes more friends with past enemies then Yugi Mouto. But yeah, it seems to be more of the same, puzzle solving, life and death situations, and characters acting fun and a bit crazy. I will keep up with this show, and I just know that it will get boring in the middle for a bit, and the ending will be not bad and then for some reason there is a fourth season. Also, calling it now, the girl who is introduced as one of the enemies will turn out to be Kaito's sister.
Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!- This series is about an Idol who is trying to become a pro wrestler. Basically she is insulted by an actual female wrestler, well idols in general are insulted, and in the heat of the moment challenges the real wrestler to a fight, a cabellera contra cabellera fight. This is a fight where both competitors bet their hair, and the loser gets their head shaved by the victor for all to see. Or in this case, the idol gets her hair cut kind of short. But she wants a rematch, in order to do so she must become a pro wrestler. On the positive, this show really knows its wrestling. A lot of the holds and wrestling moves are accurate to real professional wrestling. And who but the diehardest of Mexican wresting fans knows what a cabellera contra cabellera is? I had to look that up. On the down side, it is really awkward to watch. I went into this show expecting it to be filled with fanservice. It is female wrestling and anime, I was expecting tight skimpy costumes and jiggling. I was not expecting near pornographic moans when the girls were in wrestling holds. Those were not sounds of pain. I know sounds of pain, and they were not sounds of pain. My hopes for this series was a fun, good, wrestling series that made wrestling fun to watch. I was not expecting something that I had to continually turn my volume down for. Yeah, I am probably going to drop this show, as it is a bit awkward to watch.
Meganebu!- When I first heard about this show, I was thinking it was going to be a bit of a cash grab on the relative successes of Free. It was going to be a show about very attractive boys, and their special thing was glasses. And to be honest partially that is what it is. It is also balls crazy. It's about a group of guys who are obsessed with glasses, and pride themselves on their poor eyes, with the exception of one dude who just likes glasses. Their plan, at least in the first episode, is to make real X-ray glasses. They want to push the limits of what the functionality of glasses can do. And also there was a giant robot dream sequence. This show is crazy. This show is really crazy and bright and colorful and has little music queues where they sing the name of the show. This is not the greatest show ever, but it was kind of entertaining. I might keep up with it as time goes on.
Gingitsune- A young girl is forced to become the next head of a shrine when her mother dies. As soon as she is named the next head, she sees a large fox man, who is a sort of not god, but he is one who connects the head of a shrine to the gods. The fox dude and the little girl are sort of best friends, as she is the only one that can see him. I think the show will be sort of a non-romantic form of Kamisama Kiss, with mystical beings and gods and such, but instead of the girl falling in love with the fox dude god, they are just best friends, and he acts as the occasional giant teddy bear. Also, there is supposed to be a second god dude, but he is apparently missing, and has been missing for quite some time. What I did like was how the girl's father, who can't see the fox, accepts that his daughter has this gift, and that she isn't crazy after the death of her mother at a young age. I just hope that her mother mentioned something about him before she died. I kind of like this show, but there is not really anything there for me. There was nothing wrong with this show, but it didn't really hold my interest too much. I think I will defiantly watch the next episode, but unless a more concrete plot then a dude is missing develops, then I might drop it.
Gundam Build Fighters- I am not very into Gundam. I like Gundam, but I am not deeply into the lore and all the series. I want to be, i just haven't invested the time need to be yet. Let me put it this way, my favorite Gundam series is G Gundam, which is the bastard stepson of the franchise. This is why this series is perfect for me. Gundam Build Fighters is a series about the actual Gundam models that people put together, also known as Gunpla. In this show, people can put these models into a machine and allow them to fight each other. For fans of Gundam, this means they get to see fights from mecha across the series. We finally get to find the answer to the greatest questions, Who would win in a fight? Shining Gundam or Wing Gundam? The plot to the series? A young man is one of the best gunpla model makers, but he sucks at the fighting game. He wants to win the national tournament like his father who I am guessing is dead or will be the dude who wears a mask and is on the evil team. But, like I said, he sucks. All of a sudden a young man who is unfamiliar with many things normal in Japan enters the scene, and owes our main character a great debt. Unintentionally, our main character wishes for the strange dude to be his Gundam pilot, and fight in his place. Together, they will, probably, win the Gundam Fight Tournament, and then Neo-Japan will rule the other nations for 4 yearswait wrong show. But overall, I like this show. It is Gundam shown through a different light and it is a really cool one. I liked the ideas of model making being as important a skill in controlling that Gundam. I think this is going to be a cool show, and I plan on keeping up with it.
Yowamushi Pedal- Yowamushi Pedal is about bicycling and bike racing. Our protagonist is a young nerd who bikes everywhere, because it is cheaper than taking the bus. He even bikes to Akiba almost every day, which apparent is something like a 40 minute bike trip, one way. When he enters high school, he plans on joining the anime club, as he has never really had anyone to talk to and just share about anime and other nerdy things. But the anime club is shut down due to lack of members before he could even join. His goal is to reinstate the anime club, and find friends! Except that is not what this anime is about, it is about bicycling. You see, all his trips to Akiba and back has turned him into an expert biker, being able to go up steep hills easily, even while singing. This skill will lead him to the actioned packed like of a racer! Eventually. He still needs to be drawn into that world. But as a first episode it was really fun. I like this series. I really connected with the main character, as I am a huge nerd and while I had some people to talk to, it wasn't really until college where I found people that shared my passion. This might be the little dark horse series of the year, and I can't wait to watch more of it.
Non Non Biyori- A super low key slice of life anime about the lives of a bunch of girls who live in the middle of nowhere. There are all different ages, in different grades, but are all in the same classroom. Enters a new girl from Tokyo who is unaccustomed to the ways of living way out in the sticks. This show actually really surprised me with how funny it was. The character who was the focus for most of the first episode, a first grader, acted like a real first grader but was still really funny, having some of the best lines in the episode. Her whole little shtick about not really knowing if they lived in the country, and how she realized that yes, they live in the country, was just really funny. I like this show, it is nice and little and surprisingly not a micro series, given its content and setting. I plan on keeping up with it.
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova- I was actually planning on skipping this series until a friend told me that it had submarine battles and then I yelled SUBMARINE BATTLES, because I love submarine battles, so I decided to check it out. The series takes place in the future, where super advanced, super technological versions of 20th century battle ships, called the Fog, are going around land locking all of civilization. Major communications pathways are being destroyed and mankind is on the ropes. But there is one form of hope. One of the Fog ships, a submarine, has defected, taken the form of a young girl, as in the intelligence controlling the ship is in the form of a young girl, and will only respond to the orders of the son of an admiral who many people believe defected to the Fog. It is an interesting show, the dynamics between the characters, while only touched upon in the first episode, seem interesting and will hopefully be explored deeper. The show knows it stuff about submarines, though the battle was between a ship and a submarine and not a true submarine battle. It's incorporation of the alien, for lack of a better word, tech seemed really well done. But this show has one, huge glaring flaw. The entire show is done in CG animation. It is not really the best CG animation. It can be really distracting to watch. If they had done this in a more traditional style, it would be fine, but they wanted it to be grand and huge, and it does work for the ships, mostly. While a major detraction, I think I have to keep up with this show. There are not a lot of opportunities in anime for submarine battles, so I have to take them where ever I can.
Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru- I AM REALLY HATING ALL THESE GODDAMN LIGHT NOVEL ADPATIONS, AND THEIR GODDAMN 20 WORD TITLES. Anyways, you know how in dating simulators you are given a number of choices at different times, and you can't advance until you make that decision? That is what happens to the main character in this long winded title of a show. He is given a two option choice, either A or B, and has to comply to that decision, or the pain he feels does not go away. It is also like the universe works to make those decisions possible. The best example of this is that a GIRL FELL FROM THE SKY. I repeat, a girl fell from the sky! This clichin anime hasn't happened in forever. It is strangely refreshing. But yeah, this is a super generic harem anime with one original idea. I admit, I really liked a huge and mostly inaccurate montage they had of important decisions in the history of man. But that alone does not make a good show. I will probably be dropping this show, it just bad, but I admit it might be so bad, it's good.
Samurai Flamenco- I want to start by saying this series is not what I was expecting, or even hoping for, but that does not mean it is a bad show. Samurai Flamenco is about that feeling of being a young kid and really wanting to be a hero, how that is impossible, and how that won't stop some people. We follow a cop who runs into a model who is out in the public dressed up like a superhero, like those vigilantes you hear about nowadays. The model is that type of youth who refuses to grow up, for both good and bad. He wants to bring justice to the world, even if that means just stopping a drunk dude from jaywalking. The problem is that is incredibly na ve. The cop sees that the model wants to do good, but ultimately that there are some things people can't do, we sometimes have to let the small evils in life happen to focus on the greater evils and all that. The show seems to be focusing on the relationship of these two dudes, how they both want to help people, from very different sides. What I was expecting, and even what I was hoping for, was an unironic superhero anime, with heroes fighting for good and villains trying to destroy humanity, and a great air of hope and greatness and human determination defeating villainy. I was expecting real superheroes and powers and such. And instead I am getting vigilantism and naivety in the face of reality. But I still like it. There is so much room for this series to basically go in any direction that I can't wait to see where it takes me.
Galilei Donna- In the future, the distant relatives of Galileo Galilei are three girls of varying ages, college, high school and younger respectively, are being attacked, and they don't know why. Apparently they hold the secret to Galileo's Fortune, but they have never heard anything about this, nor have their parents. Also there is a giant goldfish ship with missiles and a minigun. It is kind of cool. I have no clue what this series is really about, as the first episode gave nothing away. All we are really given are the characters and the goldfish ship, and I like both so far. Unless this show takes a terrible left turn down awful street in the future I think I will keep up with this show.
And those are my thoughts so far on the 2013 fall anime season. There is a ton of interesting and really various shows this season. There were a few shows that I was really surprised with, and some stuff I completely expected to fall on its face. This will be an interesting season to say the least. So, until next time, have fun watching.