First impressions of the fall ’13 anime I’m watching

I usually get my “first impressions” post up when all the new anime have aired 2-3 episodes, but due to being so busy the past couple of weeks, this one’s a tad late – all these shows have now aired 3-4 episodes XD Better late than never though! So here are my thoughts on the six fall anime I’m watching after 3-4 episodes…


Gingitsune
Episodes 1-3 so far

Upon reading the synopsis of Gingitsune, it sounded like a pleasant show to watch with fun touches of supernatural Shinto elements among slice-of-life stories. Three episodes in, and that’s basically what it is. The stories in each episode are sort of stand-alone, but they also tie into a bigger picture, with the main girl Makoto making new friends, finding out more about our starring resident god herald Gintaro, and learning about the other characters, humans and gods. I’m always fascinated with Shintoism and Gingitsune has plenty of it. But it also has good slice-of-life drama as well as comedy: there’s sadness about things that happened to the spirits in the past as well as comedy with the bickering between the apathetic Gintaro and the good-natured Makoto. To me, everything in Gingitsune clicks well – the drama, the comedy, the cuteness, and the interesting Shinto elements. And even though Makoto is pretty much your typical super-nice genki girl protagonist, she’s still likable, as is the aloof but deep down good-hearted Gintaro. I like the other characters too, humans and spirits, as well as the overall feel of the show (pretty animation too). So yeah, I’m liking Gingitsune very much so far and I hope it continues to be an enjoyable “feel good” anime ^_^

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Coppelion
Episodes 1-4 so far

From what I’ve heard, apparently Coppelion is turning out to be one of the most poorly rated anime of the fall season. Four episodes in, and I can sort of see why it’s not as good as it first seemed to be…but I still think it’s far from awful. You could argue that things in the story don’t make sense, even the overall premise of how/why people are living in the contaminated Old Capital. But that’s something I feel could be explained better in later episodes, and even if it’s not, the people do seem to have reasons for staying in the city, such as because they’re criminals (episode 2) or they have some kind of guilt (episode 3). I personally don’t see anything terribly bad about the show. The three main girls are kind of on the overly emotional, angsty side, but if you consider their age and naivety as artificial humans, it’s understandable. I find Aoi’s complaining and whining all the time kind of annoying, but I like Ibara and Taeko (I’m hoping the latter gets more screentime). To me, Coppelion seems like the type of anime to judge as a whole since, as I said, I feel like later episode could explain more. As of four episodes it’s just the girls meeting people in the city who have tragic stories, and one’s enjoyment comes from whether or not the drama involved resonates with them. Sometimes it’s a bit melodramatic for me, but I mostly enjoy it. And if anyone’s wondering, I’m not bothered by the dark outlines of the characters since it’s only noticeable in a few quick scenes per episode (besides that, I think the animation is good). I’m really hoping later episodes show more of the girls’ past and definitely more about the nuclear catastrophe. I don’t think Coppelion will turn out to be as good an anime as I originally thought, but probably decent enough for me. I like the characters, the world is potentially interesting, and the drama involving human weakness and tragedy works for me. Hopefully the series won’t end with too many plot holes ;)

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Nagi no Asukara
Episodes 1-4 so far

I decided to watch Nagi no Asukara because I read good reviews of it, and so far I’m liking it very much. The show is more or less a drama with some fantasy elements, so enjoyment depends on whether you like the characters and can get invested in their conflicts, and I definitely can. Hikari with his bad attitude and constant yelling was hard to take at first, until I realized that the reason he acts that way is because he’s so in love with Manaka and has no clue how to deal with those feelings, especially with the added intense jealously when they meet Tsumugu. He doesn’t act that way out of arrogance so much as being overprotective and not knowing how to express his feelings, which is understandable considering his age. Manaka is cute with her flustered feelings for Tsumugu (the whole thing with the fish head on her knee was hilarious XD) as well as her insecurities, Chisaki is a surprisingly interesting character with her unrequited love for Hikari and her motherly feelings for him and Manaka, and then there’s Kaname’s calm attitude despite his unrequited love for Chisaki. Even side characters like Akari, Miuna, and Sayu have had decent character development in just a few episode. I can really feel the love and friendship between the characters and that’s a definite plus. So yeah, I think the show has a good cast of characters overall, and because I like them, I’m invested in all the drama. I also find the idea of an underwater world with people dwelling in it fascinating. The ocean world is gorgeous to look at, as expected of P.A. Works’ detailed animation. Apparently Nagi no Asukara is going to be two-cour, so I have a feeling some kind of overarching conflict is going to be surfacing amongst the small scale plots we’ve been seeing. Either way, if the show continues to deliver good characters and drama, I’ll continue to enjoy it =)

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Golden Time
Episodes 1-4 so far

A romance comedy based on a light novel series by the same author as Toradora!, I unfortunately don’t think Golden Time will be as good as its predecessor (since I was already hooked on Toradora! by episode 2) but I won’t say that for certainty just yet. Like Toradora!, Golden Time is going to be two-cour so there’s plenty of time for it to get better. As of four episodes, I’m liking it and think it’s a decent enough show, but nothing exceptional. These early episodes seem to be more comedy-based than dramatic, and I find the humor a bit over-done for my taste. For example, the ridiculously crazy antics of the tea club in episode 2, while I know was played for laughs, was just weird and disturbing to me (also that Banri and the others just let themselves get roped in despite how much they obviously disliked it). Koko’s obsession with Mitsuo is pretty crazy too, but that’s something I feel will be delved into more in later episodes. Koko herself seems like an interesting character who’s smart enough to recognize her own flaws yet still has this blind love for a guy who’s continually pushing her away. So because of the way she is, I look forward to seeing how she eventually falls for Banri. Speaking of Banri, personality-wise he’s a pretty bland nice-guy protagonist as of now, except for one very interesting thing about him, which is his amnesia and his conflict between his “old” self and “new” self. So despite having some issues with it, Golden Time has me excited about seeing how the main couple will get together, so that’s a big plus ;D (and now we’ve got another obstacle for them since Linda is apparently Banri’s past girlfriend). I look forward to seeing how relationships will develop between the other characters too, and hoping that they’ll eventually turn out as emotionally gripping as Toradora!. So yeah, being two-cour, I definitely think Golden Time can live up to its potential and go from a currently “okay” anime to a “very good” one.

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Galilei Donna
Episodes 1-3 so far

The first synopsis I read of Galilei Donna made it sound like a rather unique story, so I wanted to check it out. The first episode was pleasantly suspenseful with the three sisters being pursued simultaneously and seeing how they got away from their captors, Hazuki being the flashiest with her mechanical weapons. Once there were more characters and politics revealed in episode 2, I got a bit confused about what was going on. But by episode 3 I was able to follow things better and certainly look forward to the rest of the series. In terms of characters, I liked the Ferrari sisters right away – none of them seem like typical anime archetypes: Hozuki looks like a “moe” girl but she’s not clumsy, cheerful, cutesy, or other typical moe traits, nor is she overly stoic like typical “quiet” girls either. Kazuki seems like the cool girl, but we see just how internally vulnerable she is in episode 3. And Hazuki’s adamant attitude about bringing justice to the bad guys is entertaining. As of now the show has a pretty straight-forward plot of Adonimoon Company and the air pirates wanting Galileo’s Tesoro and the sisters on the run from them while also finding the Tesoro themselves. There’s a lot of other subplots going on though, such as the situation with their parents, the politics behind Adonimoon and Messier, Anna’s interest in the Tesoro, and the sisters’ relationships with each other. I’m also not very clear on the world the show takes place in: is it supposed to be a futuristic version of the real world, where it’s not too unusual for a 13-year old girl to have the resources to build such complex machines, or is it a total fantasy world that just happens to have its own Galileo Galilei? With the setting still being vague and already having a good amount of subplots, with only 11 episodes total I’m hoping Galilei Donna won’t leave too many things hanging in the end. But for now I’m enjoying it for the interesting protagonists and suspenseful story.

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Kyoukai no Kanata
Episodes 1-4 so far

Not counting the rather unpopular Munto of several years ago, Kyoukai no Kanata is Kyoto Animation’s first heavily fantasy-themed anime. As much as I enjoy their way with slice-of-life, it’s refreshing to see them use their high-quality animation for colorful, fast-paced action scenes for a change! But besides that, I’m liking mostly everything else about Kyoukai no Kanata so far. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first with episode 1 because it just threw us into the fray of the whole fantasy world and explained near nothing about the spirit hunters, youma, and the show’s other fictional elements. It was just Mirai repeatedly stabbing Akihito, and I guess her ineptitude was supposed to be cute/funny, but I was more confused than anything. However, things picked up in episode 2 and beyond when we learn more about the youma and spirit hunters, and especially when the darker side of Mirai was revealed in terms of her past and how she feels about herself. This made her more than the typical KyoAni clumsy moe girl she first appeared to be. Looking back, I’m glad that the show didn’t give us a lot of exposition about its setting at the beginning and instead we learn about youma and the spirit world through observing the characters, which makes for a more engrossing experience. The show does have a large cast of characters for just 13 episodes and I’m already losing track of who’s who, so I hope that doesn’t pose a problem. I also want to learn more about youma and why some are these freaky vicious monsters while others have human forms and still others are kept as cute pets!(like that chubby little critter Mitsuki has) Episode 4 left me on a good note as I thought Akihito’s sudden transformation and Mirai’s realization that he understands her dark side more than she thought, was very touching – I even teared up a bit ^^a If the show can continue to move me and not get more complicated than its small amount of episodes can handle, I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy it.

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I know you’re probably thinking, “You’re not watching Kill la Kill?” Well, I’m not a big fan of Gurren Lagann and the loud, testosterone-laden, over-the-top action that was its main driving point. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s watched Kill la Kill says it has pretty much the same style, so I decided to pass on it since it’s not my cup of tea. I’m also gonna continue to be busy these coming months with work, Pokemon X, and studying for the JLPT, so the less anime I watch the better right now. Maybe I’ll check it out at a later date.

Hope you’re all enjoying whatever fall anime you’re watching too =)

18 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. chikorita157 says:

    For me, besides Little Busters which is one of my obvious choice, I feel so and so about this season. It seems that Kyoukai no Kanata and Nagi no Asukara has some things that bother me, but still have a good amount of things that is interesting about them. I agree that Hikari is probably the worst character that has a very similar feeling to Kirino, but from the third episode, probably there is some indication that he is loosening up. As for the former, I agree with the first episode, it was pretty out of place, although the recent episodes were good.

    Aside from that, I understand about the lack of time. Besides spending a good amount on Pokemon Y (which I’m playing in Japanese and wrote first impressions for), Grad school took most of my free time away too and with three night classes, it kind of messed up my blogging schedule. With two group projects going on, my free time is somewhat limited compared to my undergraduate years. But still, once the semester is over, at least I can enjoy some kind of break before I go back to doing the same cycle.

    Aside from that, I wish you luck on the JLPT… and if you want, feel free to add me to your 3DS friendlist. My friend code is 2406-5224-9182. I probably won’t have a real team until Pokebank releases, but I have 6 Pokemon fully trained.

    • Yumeka says:

      Huh, I never thought of comparing Hikari to Kirino. They both have bad attitudes and angrily yell at people for unfounded reasons a lot, that’s for sure. But I would say Kirino is worse because she yells and even physically abuses people (well, mostly Kyousuke) who do nothing but good things for her, where Hikari just gets stubborn and adamant but not in an abusive way. But yeah, just as Kirino got better in later episodes, Hikari probably will too.

      And yes, I want to add you to my friend list but I keep forgetting! XD Gonna do that in a bit.

  2. Tara says:

    I haven’t actually started watching anything yet for this season x.x
    Mostly it’s because of school (I just started university with my major as Japanese) but also my laptop got a virus and has been in repair for almost two weeks now, so despite wanting to watch anime I don’t have anything to watch it on at the moment.
    Still, I’m happy to read how you seem to be liking most of the shows I’ve decided to watch, like Kyoukai no Kanata, which I’m really looking forwards to. Only show you’re watching that I won’t be checking out is Coppelion, doesn’t really sound like my style (and I’m the same as you with Kill la Kill, not really my cup of tea so it didn’t make the list). We’ll see what I actually end up watching though, I usually make a list and then only end up watching about half of the shows on it due to time constraints.

    On a completely random note: How are you enjoying the new pokemon game so far? One of my friends has it and it looks really much fun. she’s sort of been getting me interested in pokemon and so I’m considering buying a 3DS and trying it out. Would you recommend this game to get back into the franchise a bit, or some of the other ones?

    • Yumeka says:

      I can understand about university studies getting in the way of anime time XD I’m sure you’ll like Kyoukai no Kanata though.

      I’m not sure what the last Pokemon game you played is, but if it was Gold, Silver, or Crystal, you might want to start with the DS remakes of those games, which are Heart Gold and Soul Silver. That way you could get used to how the game has changed since the old GameBoy Color games. Then you can move onto X and Y with their tons of new 3DS features ;D But if you haven’t played any Pokemon games since the very first ones and/or hardly remember anything about the ones you did play, then I think it’d be best if you just got X and Y and learned all the new features from there XD

      • Tara says:

        I had Silver once, a long long time ago xp It’s been years since I played it though, but I’ll see if they have those remakes in the local shops ^^ Thanks for the tips :D

  3. Justin says:

    No what are you doing go watch Kill la Kill anywwwayyyysssss *says the one who hasn’t watched Gurren Lagann*

    Anyways, I normally would share a bunch of anime I’m keeping up with this season, but just like you, I’m not watching a lot of this season’s shows…that’s mainly because I want to get through my backlog. It depresses me every time I look at my MAL :( So aside from some shows I intended to write about, not keeping up with everything this season. But I can bet I’ll get some recommendations when the season’s over!

    So for now, keeping up with the (aforementioned) Kill la Kill, Yowamushi Pedal (an otaku turning into a cycling athlete), Daiya no Ace (baseball anime), and Kyousougiga. I’m also watching Wanna Be The World’s Strongest. After 3 episodes, I’m pretty sure I won’t be watching any more of it after this.

    • Yumeka says:

      Yeah, my MAL list is more empty than usual too =/ Not counting my ongoing mainstays like Pokemon and Naruto, I usually watch about 10-12 seasonal shows, but now I’m only watching about 8. I would of course watch more if I had more free time, but I want to use the limited time I have for Pokemon and my other hobbies XD

  4. Artemis says:

    The main reason I really didn’t like what I saw of Coppelion wasn’t because it didn’t make sense, but rather because of the drama. Everything just felt incredibly forced and cliche, and the parts that were clearly meant to to deeply emotional were more likely to make me roll my eyes than shed any tears. The whole thing had this ham-fistedness to it that I just wasn’t able to look past, since the action takes a back seat to the drama in Coppelion. Normally this wouldn’t bother me since I’m not a huge action fan to begin with, but unfortunately, the execution of the story itself seemed to be the problem. There were a couple of other things I was also not crazy about, but that was the biggest one for me.

    On the other hand, Kill la Kill continues to amaze and delight me, Samurai Flamenco is turning out to be excellent as well, and to a slightly lesser extent I’m also enjoying Galilei Donna, Kyoukai no Kanata, Gingistsune, and the second season of Magi.

    • Yumeka says:

      I can actually understand the drama in Coppelion feeling forced and cheesy. For me it’s about at the tolerable level where I can look past it and still enjoy it, but if it got anymore hammy I’d probably feel the same way as you XD

      I hope you get to like Galilei Donna, Kyoukai no Kanata, and Gingitsune more later on ^^,,,

  5. Kal says:

    I’m watching those as well, and they seem pretty good. Kyokai no Kanata is really good. There is a very serious undertone with the demons, and hunters, but they manage to add lots of little funny bits and pieces that feel ok on the show. Coppelion is ok, so far, but as you said, it’s still lacking something. It makes sense, but it lacks something that I can’t quite point out. Gingitsune is fun so far, so I hope it can keep it up. Galilei Donna started off really well, but it slowed down a bit too much from the initial burst of excitement. I hope it can keep up though, I also like the 3 sisters, and the show can be really good.

    I’m also watching Log Horizon, which is like Sword Art Online, but with worse animation, worse setting, worse characters, and not as good direction… Hoping it gets better. Unbreakable Machine-Doll, which is a steampunk type anime. It’s been ok so far, but nothing too fancy. Also watching a few more. One that surprised me a bit was Outbreak Company. It has the most senseless plot, starts off with a pretty dumb premise, the whole 1st episode is pretty bland, but it manages to turn that around and add some pretty good depth by the 2nd and 3rd episode. The difficulties of a class ruled society. Will see how it ends :)

    Either way, this season is looking really, really good. Lots of good shows. What I did notice, is that they are using more computer generated sequences for anime. Unbreakable machine doll has lots of computer generated character models and animation for combat, and Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Ars Nova, is all computer animated… Not so sure how I feel about that. I kind of like my anime to be anime, and not so… Advanced I guess? Let’s see if this is a trend that will continue rising or not.

    • Yumeka says:

      I can’t say the humor in Kyoukai clicks with me; at least the running gags like Mirai repeatedly stabbing Akihito and Mitsuki’s brother being a “siscon” felt more forced than funny to me. But it doesn’t interrupt the seriousness of the show too much so I can overlook it ;)

      I’ve heard mixed reviews of Log Horizon, but I always hear it being compared to SAO =P

      Glad you’re really enjoying the season and that you’re able to watch so many shows =O

  6. Rioraku says:

    Ahh, can’t believe I missed when you posted this! >.<

    Anyway, great post as always. I kinda missed some of these when looking for what to start watching. I loved Toradora so I'm definitely going to check out Golden Time. Gingitsune also looks like something I would like to check out. And am also enjoying Kyoukai no Kanata. I got into that from seeing a review mentioning it was similar to Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! which I loved. All in all, I think I may want to see most of these except Coppelion and Nagi no Asukara. Just going off personal preference.

    By the way, I'm assuming you played the original Red/Blue Pokemon games? If so I look forward to your review of Pokemon: The Origin!

    • Yumeka says:

      Yeah, besides both being produced by Kyoto Animation, there are some similarities between Kyoukai no Kanata and Chuunibyou, especially in the relationship between the two main characters. Not a bad thing in my opinion =P

      I’ve heard that Toradora! fans are going to be disappointed that Golden Time isn’t as good, but I want to see for myself XD

      LOL, I guess you don’t know the extent of my Pokemon love – I’ve not only played Red/Blue, but every single main series Pokemon game since then (got them all on their release dates too). I’ll try to remember to write a little something about Origin before the year is over.

      • Rioraku says:

        Ah, well I sometimes am a little put off by reviews but I always try to go in with an open mind and wait to judge after seeing a bit of a new show or whatever.

        Haha, I think you’ve mentioned something about Pokemon before :P I regret selling my 3DS as I really want to play X/Y! And I too have played every main game since the originals. I think I had the chance to battle you back when Diamon/Pearl came as I recall you giving me your friend code but never got around to it…oh well >o<

  7. Adziu says:

    Yeaaah, honestly I don’t think you’d like Kill la Kill very much.

    I must start Nagi no Asakura.

  8. moonike says:

    Thanks for the reviews, I’ve looked up Gingitsune, which happened to pass my radar before the season started, based on your little summary and especially the last comment about it being a “feel good anime”. Haven’t watched it yet, but hopefully it will make me feel good as well, am also secretly hoping it’s something resembling Natsume Yuujinchou, which so far is my ultimate “feel good and warm and fluffy anime” :)

    I also agree abut Golden Time so far not living up to the expectations set by Toradora (one of my other favorites), mostly cause, like you’ve mentioned also, Banri is despite his amnesia sort of really bland (in comparison Ryuuji and also Kitamura in Toradora were really great personalities), also, i think i’ve just read awhile ago about amnesia, that that’s not at all how they work out in real life and well amnesia is a latin-american soap-opera cliché, so don’t really want to see those in my japanese anime :) but i also strongly dislike Kouko, her personality is interesting enough (though she also seems painfully stupid due to inexperience, but that will hopefully lead to tons of character development), but her design is what irks me to no end, sure she’s cute, but she stands out too much with her fancy clothing etc. I mean aren’t japanese people more the opinion that one doesn’t have to stand out? Anyways, her design makes me feel as if she was made to be so very special, while in reality her personality would have supported that specialness well enough without the fancy looks. Oh well..
    I am intersted about Linda-senpai though. Hope there’ll be more of her :)

    Sorry for the long rambling :)

  9. Overlord-G says:

    -Kyoukana is hit and miss for me.
    -Non Non Biyori rules my Mondays.
    -I Wanna Be the Strongest in the World is something I WANT to fully enjoy but it has obvious drawbacks, even for an ECCHIMANIA fan such as I.
    -Galilei Donna started off good but then Cerebus Syndrome struck and I am miffed. I will finish it at least.

    I have to pick up Samurai Flamenco and Coppelion soon. I also want to continue Meganebu.

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