2 Oct 2012

Anime of Fall 2012 (Week 1)

Alright I'm giving this one more shot. Each episode I watch will get a 5 minute screenshot and review. I'll just post it on Tuesday morning and then update it throughout the week.

UPDATE 08/10: Busou Shinki, BTOOOM!, Chuunibyou Lite, JoJo's Bizarre Adventures, OniAi, Little Busters!, Shinsekai Yori episode 2, and Sukinayo!

Shinsekai Yori 01

The first episode of this season and it totally blew me away with that dark opening! It was then followed by 20 minutes of world building and character introductions, and even then it remains as mysterious as ever. I've had the chance to let it sink in and I'm starting to get a little worried. This requires a very talented team of people to pull off well. The original story was without a doubt a huge success, but the script writer needs to do it justice. The director's understanding of the novel and ability to translate prose to animation will be tested here. I would parallel this with the Wachowskis' effort in filming Cloud Atlas. That movie looks breathtakingly beautiful by the way. It's never easy to translate a story from one medium to another. Let's hope A-1 Pictures keeps up the quality and makes things a little clearer in the next few episodes. Episode 2 covered below, towards the end of this post.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 01

They managed to cram a lot of character development into this first episode, making the 2 main characters change quickly but believably. Still, the whole episode flew by quickly as the story was interesting and funny, and the characters immediately lovable and easy to sympathize with. The chemistry between the characters is just about right! But this is just the main couple; the cold open seems to tease at a lot of broken hearts among characters that have not yet been introduced. Tomatsu Haruka seems to be a perfect fit for the role of Mizutani Shizuku!

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! 01

Watched it and instantly knew I had to make this gif. LOL. This might sound sacrilegious, but I don't usually like the first episode of a KyoAni show, except maybe Haruhi. K-ON! wasn't that great, while Lucky Star and Nichijou were only mildly funny. Chuunibyou however hooked me in the moment I heard Fukuyama Jun (FukuJun!) voice Yuuta. The characters were cute and the entire episode really enjoyable. Yuuta seems to have conceded to Rikka in the end, so I'm interested to see how he develops. That is, IF there is even any character development at all in this incredibly moé-focused series.

Hayate no Gotoku! Can't Take My Eyes Off You 01

Yup, this is a genuine original story, just as Hata-sensei promised. But somehow I feel that something's off... The first 2 seasons of anime had a certain unique flavour to them that made it very comfortable to watch. Much of that had to do with the manga's humour being translated well into anime. There was some good humour, but perhaps I was expecting much more after hearing that Hata-sensei wrote the story and drew most of the storyboards. Could still work though! Bonus points for having Kugimiya Rie and loli Iguchi Yuka.

K 01

Ever since that horse carriage action scene in Princess Lover episode 1, I knew GoHands was something special. You could seen hints of genius in their animation works, but they never showed off what they were really capable of till Mardock Scramble OVA came along. This is their first TV series to really show off their animation skills, so I was quite happy to see such high quality on display. That skateboarding scene was just pure extravagance! It remains to be seen if they can keep the story engaging, but for now I'm more than happy to give them the benefit of doubt.

Gintama 253

Sugita's close friend, Nakamura Yuuichi, plays Kintoki. GENIUS. Is it just me or is Gintama making very specific references to anime without bleeping them out now? The only thing they bleep are the vulgarities. Well, this is more Gintama, which is always good I guess. I find the humour quotient to be rather low at times, but the start of each season is always great so I'll keep up with this. I'm also at episode 70+ in the first season... perhaps one day I'll finally catch up.

Zetsuen no Tempest 01

A lot of people seem to love this, but I find the lack of world building a bit worrying. It's not like they didn't have time in this episode. They took it slow and didn't even use that time to build its characters. All I know is that the yellow-hair guy is a siscon who is out for revenge. They didn't even try to link that to the world events! If this show had anything going it, it would be the animation for that really short fight scene. It's BONES after all, so I think we can expect at least this level of quality. So far this season, they seem to be the only ones not throwing in more budget for the first episode, or at least it didn't look like it...

Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb 01

This is a little better than what I remembered the first season's opening episode being. I guess I only gave this a chance because I've gained an appreciation for Shaft's work since then. Verdict: Good, but not great. Looking at the schedule though, this will probably stay on my Friday schedule. Due to the large amount of heavy shows that get subbed, I'll need something light to cleanse my palette. This and perhaps Onii-chan Dakedo when that starts.

Busou Shinki 01

Animation studio 8-Bit produced this, so you can see the similarities to Infinite Stratos almost right away. The CG models look relatively good and animate really well. Strangely, the normal 2D animation has a certain smoothness to them almost like they were aiming for a full-animation style. The male protagonist looks ugly as hell and the plot seems paper thin. Uhh, a bunch of toys/weapons get angry at each other and start fighting over a love letter? LOL.


BTOOOM! Yes that's BTOOOM!, with three O's. The premise is that this world-class online bomb-throwing game expert must now play this game for real. The premise sounds stupid and it IS stupid, simply because its so simple and doesn't put any spin to the already crowded you-are-in-the-game-for-real genre. It doesn't help that all the characters seem to have only half a brain. "Oh, what is this number on this thing that explodes? The number is counting down. Hey it explodes when it reaches zero! What could this mean?! Hmm. Let me throw one more. Hey it exploded after a set amount of time again! Damn how does this work. Let me throw a third one." It literally took him 3 bombs to figure it out. orz

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Lite 01, 02

Cute little side stories. The first one served as more of a teaser while the second one shows a bit of Rikka's past (life in middle school). Not gonna blog this anymore since its really short (3 minutes excluding OP and ED) and doesn't add much to the main show. Still cute though! And I prefer this ED to the actual one.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventures 01

Art style not really my type, animation a bit simplistic, but hell what a great story. The writing is excellent and the characters are interesting. Just within 1 episode they had made me emotionally invested in the main characters and build it all up to a great climatic scene where the 2 brothers fight. I never really fully enjoyed any of David Production's work, but here is something that is right up my alley. The bizarre part of the story hasn't really started (the supernatural mask thing), so I can't tell how its gonna go from here, but I'm certainly excited to find out!

Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! 01

Generic as generic can be, but at least its straight forward, well-animated, and has nice character designs. As with all harem shows, I judge it by how much of an asshole the male protagonist is. Currently, he isn't that bad... Well, I'll probably follow this but won't be writing about it.

Little Busters! 01

Most of the people waiting for this had already formed their own opinions on it (it's going to be crap!), but I don't really care that much because... KyoAni's Key productions did not do anything for me either. I watched the entire season of Air and was honestly quite bored. Sure, there were some good heart-wrenching moments, but they weren't that great. But anyway, back to JC Staff's Little Busters. Its definitely JC Staff quality, can't compare to KyoAni or P.A. Works, but it retains the essence of a Key adaptation quite well. Which is to say, slightly off-beat dialogue and characters. Sorry, not a huge fan of Key's works yet, though Maeda Jun's Angel Beats! was not bad.

Shinsekai Yori 02

This episode, the kids play a game. I'm starting to see how things work in their village... All the bad apples, including those who won't follow rules or those who are simply weak, are "eliminated". They seem to be foreshadowing that the main group of kids will find out the truth behind these "eliminations". The show manages to keep up the foreboding atmosphere and huge sense of dread, even ending with a very ominous message...

Sukitte Ii na yo 01

This is the first time I've been disappointed by an anime because I've read the original source material. OK, maybe disappointed is a bit too strong. Yamato in the manga is a bit more of a womanizer. Perhaps they haven't round to revealing this in the anime, but I get no sense of that out of his character in this episode. A bit too nice. In the manga, most readers would share in Mei's doubts about Yamato's sincerity. Ah well, overall it isn't bad or anything. It's still quite good actually, since I prefer Sakurai Takahiro's version of Yamato.

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