The spring fun run has just ended and what a ride it was! Here are my final impressions on the anime I watched (possible spoilers). Presented in a random order.
This show has “dating sim” written all over it. Well actually, after giving some thought, no, it doesn’t work out right in some aspects. And I was right, for I only found out that this anime is based off of a light novel after marathoning it one day. Elements are there for a “choose your girl” type game but the execution feels off. “Flags” are not set and love interests come and go so quickly. I guess you can say they get straight to the point without feeling too rushed. The story is passable and definitely attempts for some originality. But I think a setting was trying to be made here; definitely for a more thrilling second season now that we’ve had a proper introduction. And I forgive the fact that we were left guessing the origin of “spirits” as well as how organizations like Ratatosk and the AST work. I kind of want to read the novel now.
Moseying on by with the budget I have. Well done Ordet! They managed to recreate the 4koma well, following it to a tee at most instances. I take back my notion that this show nicely fits in a 5 minute slot, I want more! And yes we did get a cameo, but I’m not sure if those were the original voice actors.
These two are in my category of “WTF.” Both have a claim to some interesting premises, leading to some unpredictable moments. And those moments, sometimes involving heavy service, seem unique enough. But I felt the direction didn’t seem strong in these shows.
For Crime Edge’s case, I felt rushed into the plot while at the same time feeling disgusted at the lengths some of the authors would go to kill. Many initially compared this show to Future Diary in a sense that the “raw human drive” behind murder can be shown. While both seem realistic, CE kept the creepy motivation instead of emphasizing on the conclusions. The fault could be due to the shear amount of story to go through. But I believe the presentation could have been done better. Not sure if those creepy service moments served a propose or if it was just for show. I’m left feeling unfulfilled on this show.
HenNeko doesn’t disappoint in the expected ecchi department, if not remaining tame at most instances. But I know that there could have been a potential to bring levels above the standard, like how Sankurasou started low but ended with high praise. The plot is still convoluted, probably a rewatch would do good. The characters mean well but did not quite grasp the audience for emotion; not one member could gain sympathy from me. Not to offend Tsukiko who actually couldn’t show her emotions… I was even dumbfounded at the logic some characters had and the fact that no corrective measures were made to fix some of their flaws; some felt one sided as other turned into NPCs. The wishes didn’t help with that either. I came in with high expectations but left with a “meh” feeling in the end. Maybe a stretched season could have made enough time to connect characters and create a better plot. One last thing, AZUKI AZUSA, BEST GIRL!
A diamond in the rough (animation)? Hachiman sure does love pissing off those around him. But how else can he get by without being targeted for a softy, let alone a loner? He stays on the offensive and will not stop even if it kills him, socially that is. But to my surprise, concern for his ideals reflect in not only from the supporting cast but from the audience as well. Even the opposing group, i.e. the popular kids, lays a claim to his ideals without sounding too one-sided and labeled as the antagonists. Really, Hachiman is his own antagonist, something many would like to pull him out of. This translates to a well balanced story that feels s-o-l yet dramatic at the same time. Now onto the animation, it’s quite bad. Not sure what the animators were looking at when referring to character designs, but it sure wasn’t Ponkan 8’s original designs. Get past this and you’ll have a good show from this season with maybe a life lesson.
High praise is rightfully deserved for these two anime. Both took the initiative by not following the norm or using typical tropes. It is a wonderful change and could be used in other anime as well.
For the part timer devil, praise is likely pointed at the cast of young adults (portrayed on Earth that is) who happen to not be high schoolers. As a comedy, new boundaries have to be set, yet it cannot overlook the standard for comedy presentation most would look for. In other words, this anime felt at home but new at the same time. Each character is quick to adapt to the notion of different worlds and aptly steps into the struggles of the here and now rather than what has been done. There are pretty cool supernatural scenes as well; momentarily creating the best character development that keeps us connected with them. Probably 40% of the time we got serious on the plot but for the remaining 60%, it was a fun time spent with the devil and the hero.
Gargantia definitely left a good mark by teaching us the important principles of life including the understanding of humanity’s goal to be prosperous. Ledo definitely took on the role of interpreter as he eased into the life of less technological worries and where mission prerogative takes a back seat. But it is this setting that rightfully gets the most praise from me. The shear amount of effort taken to build the world and its history was well worth the screen time to explain it. But we got it in small doses instead of a giant tell all. The perspective taken is well deserved and opens new possibilities in direction, writing and design. Urobuchi did have a hand in the scriptwriting but he was not a crucial part of the anime’s achievement. Despite a few episodes being filler-like, the show overall earns my respect for best of the season and hopefully will continue on as an example for spiritual successors looking to do the same.
So ends our super happy fun time with Muromi-san. I love it and wish for a second season. This cute, yet deranged, mermaid and her friends certainly left a good mark on expecting random comedy to occur. It’s a good smattering of great jokes with ecchi, all packaged in 10 minute episodes. The cast is surprisingly diverse and I applaud that it wasn’t entirely focused on jokes about the (only sane) human getting along with a mermaid. Case in point, I love Yeti and Harpy! They deserve more screen time!
The “plotless” shows this season stick to the tried and true. Nothing is wrong with that and most will pass on by without much thought. The only unique point is how closely these two shows follow one another. Both use the “double act” comedy structure (albeit with three characters) to get the laughs going. The characters are easy to identify in both shows as well: The dependable one (in both shows happening to be tall and blonde), the innocent one, and the “butt monkey.” What else can I say; this is my s-o-l fix this season!
I felt this was a showcase of the supporting characters rather than moving the plot forward. But it is in all good terms as they eventually fulfill their roles to develop our main cast. Boy, what an interesting turn of events this show got into. We were thrown in the heat of the battle(s) for pretty much each person Kyousuke was in contact with, especially when it came to love/affection for Kirino. It seems flawless and likely to best the first season in terms of story and animation. The new studio either learned a lot from the first iteration or had more material to work with from the novels. Probably both…
And that’s it! What do you think of the anime from Spring 2013? Obviously I didn’t watch all the anime that was offered, missing a big one but I just didn’t want to watch them.
Anyway, onto the next season!