I wanted to make a post about my initial thoughts on this season’s anime earlier, but due to project deadlines and exams being all during this month, it’s been hard trying to find time to watch everything. So that’s why I’m only writing this now when some anime are already into their third week, but it’s better late than never.
I think it’s safe to say that Angel Beats was either the most or second-most (after K-ON) anticipated anime of the season. The main reason is probably because one of the collaborators was Key, which also wrote Kanon, AIR, and Clannad (all of which were very successful). There are three other companies working with Key on Angel Beats, but it manages to retain a common theme with Key’s previous works which is life and death. In case you forgot where this theme showed up in Key’s previous works, they were most prominent in: Ayu’s arc in Kanon, the Summer arc in AIR, and Ushiro’s arc in Clannad. The humour usually found at the beginning of Key’s stories was also in Angel Beats with all of the traps that the SSS fell for in the second episode. Some people have complained that the animation quality is poor, character designs were plagiarized, or that the music band was just an attempt at gaining more music fans. I won’t argue that these things aren’t true, but the main selling point of any good anime should be its story. With the way Angel Beats has started out, it looks like it’s following the same pattern as Kanon/AIR/Clannad with the exception that there’s no harem. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and hoping it’ll stand up to its predecessors.
Arakawa Under the Bridge
I’m not really sure what to make of Arakawa Under the Bridge. The characters are so weird that sometimes you can’t understand their train of thought. With that being said, they all appear to be homeless except for the main guy, so that might explain their mental health. I’m sure anyone living in a big city and who has spoken to some “bums” will know that a lot of them live in their own little fantasy world. That’s exactly what Arakawa Under the Bridge seems like to me, a depiction of the world from the point of view of some bums. Then again, this is an anime, and the girl could really be a Venutian, and the guy in the green suit could really be a kappa. I’m really interested in seeing where this anime will go, it looks like it has a lot of potential.
B Gata H Kei
The plot summary for B Gata H Kei is probably one of the most messed up ones I’ve heard of. Seriously, what kind of female high schooler just decides that she wants to do 100 guys? Anyways, I gave this anime a shot and I’ll admit that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Despite what the summary says, the main character is actually a virgin and it looks like she’ll stay that way for the remainder of the series (thank god). The anime is actually a romantic comedy wrapped up with some ecchi and topped off with one crazy sex-starved girl. Some of the scenes were pretty funny, but I found the ecchi just overwhelmed the comedy and makes B Gata H Kei look even more fanservice-focused than Love Hina, but not as funny. In my opinion, it doesn’t seem like an anime worth waiting around for.
Focusing on Football (a.k.a. Soccer), Giant Killing looks like your standard team sports anime. A new guy joins an underdog team and helps them to reform and win against the best. It’s not really my kind of anime, but I guess if you really like Football or sports anime in general, this would be a decent choice.
Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan
For the first ten minutes of Hakuouki, I was extremely confused as to what gender the main character was. Luckily I wasn’t the only one, since most of the other characters couldn’t tell either. I’m glad that she turned out to be a girl though, or else this anime would freak me out even more. It’s basically a reverse-harem (one girl, lots of guys) anime where all of the guys are bishounen and carry swords. There looks to be some action in the form of swordfights, but those are just minor scenes. I won’t be watching this since it’s obviously targeted at a female audience and lacks comedy, which would be the only thing that would make me reconsider.
A mix of anime and American comics, Heroman looks like something I would have really enjoyed as a kid. Sadly, I’m in my 20s now and superheroes saving damsels in distress just isn’t as appealing as it once was. If you’re curious though, the anime is most like a fusion between Spiderman, Medabots, and aliens. The situation with the poor nerdy kid and hot babe is just like Peter and Mary-Jane, there’s a robot that the main character can control, and there are evil aliens thrown in for good measure.
House of Five Leaves
House of Five Leaves has horrible character designs, but the animation is beautiful and the plot seems decent. The anime is about a shy, cowardly samurai that agrees to work for a stranger before discovering that his new employer is actually a criminal involved with kidnapping. It looks like the series will mainly focus on character development and debate ethical issues like whether it is wrong to help someone by committing a crime. The plot may sound kinda boring, but the first episode went by a lot faster than I thought it would. I haven’t seen anyone write about this series yet, but it could turn out to be very good.
Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou
This is one of the more disappointing anime of the season. Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maoh is essentially a harem anime with magic involved. There’s a lot of panty flashing, clothes being blasted off, and tons of “oops” scenes. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had been a little bit more creative with this anime, but it seems like everything has already been done before. In these kinds of anime, everyone knows that whenever there’s an explosion at least one girl has to be naked afterwards, and whenever the main character goes into a private room, 90% of the time there will be a girl with her panties down or shirt unbuttoned. The main female character also hates the main male character, which seems to be common nowadays after Love Hina. With the lack of anything new or creative, you’d at least expect the animation to be good, but it was just utter crap. I definitely don’t recommend this anime to anyone.
K-ON Season 2
The best way to describe K-ON is that it’s like crack. You know it sucks and is bad for you, but you just can’t get enough of it. There’s absolutely no continuous plot, the humour is only mildly funny, and the characters are basically just blobs (hence the term moe-blob). Seriously, I really don’t know why I can’t stop watching this. Maybe Mio’s “moe moe kyun”, or Azu-nyan, or Mugi’s eyebrows have something to do with it, but I just can’t pry myself away from this epic waste of time.
Kaichou wa Maid-sama
I was a bit skeptical at first, since the summary made Kaichou wa Maid-sama sound like a reverse harem, but it’s actually a good anime. While right now it seems to be focusing on the comedy, it looks like it’ll turn into a romantic comedy. The main character is very gun ho and anti-boy so it’s funny to see her dress up as a maid and serve a guy from school at a maid cafe. Overall, the anime is cute (in a personality sort of way, not character designs) and funny. It’s definitely worth the watch if you like light-hearted shows.
Kiss x Sis
I’ve written about the Kiss x Sis OVAs before, but this is my first time writing about the anime. While I was expecting the anime to be along the same lines as the OVAs (ie: tentacle rape and incest), it was actually watered down a bit. The incest portion of the story is still there, but scenes aren’t as suggestive as they were in the OVA. I think the most extreme scene in the first episode was when the sisters flashed their bras, which is a lot tamer than a giant octopus wrapping its tentacles around some sensitive areas. Although the anime isn’t as extreme, it’s still a fanservice anime and really only aimed at people that wanna see some panties and brother x sister action. Not recommended for the average anime watcher.
Mayoi Neko Overrun
I’m on the fence on this one. Mayoi Neko Overrun looks like it should be funny, and while I admit some scenes were amusing, it didn’t have me actually laughing. It does have some unique characters; one of them is an orphan that says the opposite of what she means, one guy seems to always be making comparisons between the 2D world and 3D world, another girl is a rich otaku, and there’s a giant cat that looks like a hot girl. As of the first episode, there doesn’t seem to be much of a plot yet since they spent most of the time introducing characters and chasing the giant cat around. Ecchi content is present here, but not a big component of the anime. I’ll keep watching it for the time being just to see where it goes.
This is probably the darkest anime of the season. Prisons in the past really were horrible places, and Rainbow does a good job of depicting just how bad it can get. The main characters are imprisoned for stuff like petty crimes and standing up against abuse, but they’re treated like the lowest of the low, being subjected to torture and physical abuse. One thing to note is that this is a “bro” anime, so if you’re looking for pretty anime girls, this isn’t the place. If you like anime about sacrifice, overcoming hardships, and standing up for one another, then this is a good one to look into.
Senkou no Night Raid
Set in China in the 1930′s, Senkou no Night Raid isn’t what you think it is. Japan and China don’t have the best of relations, so I think a lot of people may have dismissed this anime as Japanese propaganda and not given it the chance it deserves. While it’s true that the “good guys” are Japanese, keep in mind that this is fictional and should be enjoyed as just that, fiction. The main characters even have special abilities like x-ray vision, deflection, and teleportation, which takes away the realism from the anime. All of the special operatives have some sort of special ability, which helps to add a lot more action into the anime (and yes, this is an action anime). Since the first episode was mostly action, not too many details regarding the plot were given other than the fact that the group of main characters are secret Japanese operatives in China. Like some of the other anime this season, it can turn out to be good or bad, but it’s hard to tell with only one episode.
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitte Iru
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitte Iru has hot guys everywhere you look. It’s really not my cup of tea so I’ll be passing on this one.
Cute and funny, Working seems to stem from what I call the Lucky Star class of anime. It feels like there should be some sort of plot, but there just isn’t one (at least not one that I could tell). This is something that you would get and just leave on the shelf until a dull Sunday morning when you’ve got nothing better to do except watch anime.
I thought this season was very impressive in terms of the quality of anime being aired. Whereas last season I was struggling to find something decent to watch, I find myself trying to decide which ones not to watch right now in order to fit them into my schedule. It looks like the moe boom is also finally coming to an end, with K-ON and maybe Working being the only two anime that you could really classify as moe. As much as I enjoyed the boom, it was killing the industry, and I swear that too much moe kills brain cells. I’ve still got to take care of stuff in my life so this will probably be my only post for another week or so, but I’m not dead so I’ll be back.