Another season of anime has come once again and again I’ve selected a few of those to watch throughout the coming months. And as always, I wanted to share my first impressions of those series after watching the first 2-3 episodes of each…
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
Episodes 1-2 so far
Being a KyoAni title, Chuunibyou has been very highly anticipated among the fandom. Two episodes in and I’m enjoying it. It’s very much a school set, slice-of-life, moe-flavored “boy meets weird girl” comedy…so if you’re into that type of anime, it’s shaping up to be a great addition to the KyoAni family. But if you’re not into anime that mostly involve cute, quirky characters interacting without any major plot, then it probably won’t be your cup of tea. As for me, animation by KyoAni is always a joy to watch regardless of other things, but for the show itself, I think it has potential. It’s already fun to watch Yuuta and Rikka interacting, with the latter’s shameless chuunibyou affliction and the former’s utter embarrassment about it. I also get a huge kick out of hearing Jun Fukuyama do his Lelouch voice for Yuuta’s Dark Flame Master scenes XD The contrasting intentions of the two main characters make for some good comedic moments…though I have to wonder if Rikka really believes the fantastical ideas her chuunibyou has conjured up, or if she actually knows that what she’s doing is childish but she does it anyway, perhaps for a deep, personal reason? Maybe later episodes will address this and more. But whatever it is, I can’t really predict what the characters are going to be doing for ten more episodes, so I look forward to finding out XD
Episodes 1-2 so far
The first two episodes of K make it hard to judge what it is, but it’s not hard to see what it’s trying to be; the animation and cinematography quality is top-notch, it has a great seiyuu cast, the music is prominent (though I can do without random background rap), and the story – or what I can barely piece together of it thus far – has the makings of an epic fusion of contemporary action and familiar fantasy elements. But since very little of the seemingly complex plot and decently sized cast of characters has been explained yet, I’m not sure what to think. Episode 1 was a good setup and I was hoping episode 2 would get to needed plot exposition, but all it ended up being was our main protagonist Shiro having a sort-of-serious, sort-of-comedic run around town chasing a space-manipulating naked girl who was actually his cat, while being chased by a mysterious samurai warrior guy who wants to kill him but kind of seems like he might end up in a yaoi-ish relationship with him…yeah, if I was in such a ridiculous scenario as that, I sure wouldn’t be as calm about it as Shiro was XD So hopefully episode 3 will finally give us some answers instead of more questions. At this point, I feel like K could go either way – either become a uniquely artistic title with impressive visuals and an equally impressive story, or try too hard to be “cool” and end up with great quality style but poor quality substance. Whichever way it ends up, I’ll be watching~
Episodes 1-3 so far
Shinsekai Yori reminds me of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni in that it’s a horror/mystery series that takes place in a seemingly peaceful, rural setting that looks pleasant on the outside but actually hides very dark secrets within (also like Higurashi, Shinsekai Yori’s animation isn’t exactly top-grade). But while Higurashi takes place in the past, Shinsekai Yori takes place a millennium in a very unusual future – a setting that seems anything but futuristic. Since it’s going to be a two-cour series, the main plot hasn’t gotten started yet and they seem to still be working on setting up the characters and setting. From what we’ve seen of the world it’s set in, it’s pretty engrossing. The fact that it’s the future yet everything’s all rural rather than technology-oriented is interesting, and the weird futuristic creatures like the queerats and minoshiro are kind of creative. As for the main characters, they’re okay but kind of bland. Except for Satoru…I’m pretty tolerant, but that kid is just so obnoxious. I really hope the show gives him some good, redeeming qualities soon so his only function isn’t just spewing mean smart-alack comments for everything that happens. But anyway, I don’t think Shinsekai Yori is going to be a fantastic series, but I think it’ll be a good little mystery/horror/drama/supernatural story at least =)
Episodes 1-2 so far
The third season of Bakuman starts right where the last one left off…and so far it’s looking to be more of the same, which is a good thing if you’re like me and loved the first two seasons ^_^ Obviously if you’ve already seen (and liked) the previous seasons, chances are you’re watching the third season already, and if you didn’t watch the first two, then you’re not =P
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
Episodes 1-3 so far
The first two episodes of Kaibutsu-kun reminded me of Toradora!, not just because of their similar story setup (socially awkward high school girl and guy inadvertently get together), but also in the fact that I wasn’t thrilled with the first episode (and it wasn’t because of that one thing that bothered everyone else) while the second episode brought out a much warmer and charming side of the series that wasn’t seen in the first, mostly due to Shizuku having a change of heart and we get to delve a bit deeper into her feelings. Episode 3 continued that trend of Shizuku becoming more caring, Haru becoming slightly more normal, and the two of them making friends with the other characters. If the series continues getting better (and delving into Haru’s “dark” past that was foreshadowed in episode 3), I’m sure I’ll like it a lot ;) Unlike others, I wasn’t really turned off by Haru’s treatment of Shizuku in the first episode; I knew he wasn’t gonna do anything terrible to her and it’s just a result of him having a heart in the right place but not having a clue about self-conduct with girls he likes. Actually, the couple of things that did bother me is the fact that Haru didn’t apologize for accidentally hitting Shizuku in the first episode, and I thought that the two of them were being kind of mean to Asako (who I think is quite a likable character) in the second episode. But again, I can forgive it for being due to their social ineptitude which they’ll hopefully overcome by the end of the series.
Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Episodes 1-2 so far
Not sure what the reasoning behind making a new Hayate series is when the first two seasons seemed to be fan favorites, but oh well. Overall I liked the first Hayate series though the episodes were hit and miss, while I loved the second season a lot. Two episodes into this new series and…it’s okay so far. I didn’t see Manglobe’s Hayate movie so this is my first look at the new character designs. They’re not too bad – I’m just glad they got the old seiyuu to reprise their roles =) The humor is still good, hyperbolic fun, though I don’t know why there’s such emphasis on a new character (Ruri) when the series already has such a large cast of lovable characters to work with. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they’re really trying to give the series a rehash, and Ruri does seem like another funny character to add to the cast =P It also looks like this Hayate series might have a bit more story to it too. Well, since the original manga-ka himself is working on it, I’m optimistic it’ll be at least a good watch.
Episodes 1-2 so far
Along with Chuunibyou, Little Busters! is one of the most anticipated anime of the season (enough has been said about the whole J.C. Staff versus KyoAni thing so I won’t go into that). I’ve seen all of Jun Maeda/Key’s anime and what I like about them is their way with gut-wrenching drama and tear-jerker moments. Their comedy however doesn’t usually work with me…and the first episode of Little Busters! was nothing but comedy. Usually the fist episode of Key series are kind of light but have some hinting of whimsical drama and tragedy – but I didn’t get any of that in the first episode of Little Busters!. It was just silly slapsticks throughout with just a brief gentle moment where Riki reflects on the past history of the Little Busters. So I can’t say I particularly liked the first episode. The second episode finally had a bit of the ol’ Key drama and mystery with the strange notes tied to the cat and Riki’s sleep disorder. The comedy was still the biggest emphasis, but at least I did get a couple of chuckles that time. Since LB! is going to be a two-cour series, I’m hoping it won’t be long before the familiar Key drama will surface and the characters and story will be better developed. I just gotta be patient with this one.
In addition to these, I’m also on the fence about Robotics;Notes. Not sure if I’ll have time to add another series to my list. I’m also watching the very short Chuunibyou Lite episodes as well as continuing Sword Art Online, Space Brothers (how long is it gonna be?), Kokoro Connect (when will the rest of the episodes come out anyway?), and Poyo.
Anyway, I hope you’re all enjoying the fall anime season too. And thanks for your patience with my new blogging schedule ;D My post next week will most likely be coverage of the Madoka movie event that I’ll be attending in LA this Sunday. Hopefully I’ll be able to get that up by Monday or Tuesday of next week, but it all depends on my work schedule. As always, I’ll let you know how things are going on Twitter. See you soon~!