Summer 2013 Anime, First Impressions Part 1

akinbo hyouka fuyou

Ah, summer. With these hot days comes a heaping helping of anime this season. There is a good variety that appeals to many demographics. I am likely to sample a majority of these shows since I’m mostly free this summer. Here is part 1 of the shows I’ve seen so far, as well as some first impressions. May include spoilers.

C3-bu scr

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³

Wow! What a wonderful anime this is going to be. It’s a nice mix of Upotte!! and Girls und Panzer while still sticking with the slice-of-life, “K-On like” feel. Like the shows mentioned, this is definitely aimed at military otakus. The mock battles these girls have are exciting to watch. Adding onto this is the superb work in the animation of their movements as well as pairing it with a great jazz soundtrack. But there is a difference in pacing when not in battle that will likely make room for character development. It is also nice to know that the club acknowledges the fact that they are weird. Have the studios found some new sun-genre, mixing cute girls with awesome action? I hope so, because I’m definitely hooked!

Senyuu2 01

Senyu. 2

Senyuu is back, and I don’t really see any particular reason why it’s back… but like the first season, we continue to follow the “hero” as he saves the world does stuff irrelevant to anything. Give this show your five minutes if you want good laugh while mocking JRPGs, breaking the 4th wall, and having no story to follow.

Danganronpa 01

Danganronpa: The Animation

I heard this was one of the most highly anticipated anime adaptations this season. Reasons behind this likely lies with the unique roster if characters presented. And when I mean unique, I mean a good mix of generic styles but with nice twisted features, all packaged in some eye-catching designs. In the first episode we are given the premise, of which I wasn’t all to happy about. It sounds too generic and likely drew inspiration from the genre setter, Battle Royal. But again, it’s the characters who are so volatile, that I can’t wait to see what happens next. Hopefully there will be enough time to develop the characters before they are killed off…

Free 01

Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

The internet knows what this show is all about, KYM even has an entry. No need to explain so let’s jump in! KyoAni quality is here and present, despite tailoring to a different demographic. Remember, fan service occurrences with this studio is subtle for most of their productions. But I gotta hand it to them for making such interesting character designs this time around. The story seems predicable after this first episode. But, there are indications that the supporting characters may create tension for these boys. All in all, it’s a good run for KyoAni and BL fans will be sure to appreciate it. Now guys, let’s watch more moe stuff.

Day Break Illusion 01

Day Break Illusion

This is one of my highly anticipated anime this season. It’s an original production, but not only that, there are tarot card elements I find intriguing in the show’s premise. Aside all that, the promotional material leading to its premiere had many people predicting a Madoka clone. After the first episode, I can kind of see that. However, this show is being more direct in their approach to dark themes, almost as if they said ‘”yeah, we love Madoka too, so here’s a different take on that.” I can even see elements of BRS (what with the double worlds aspect) in there as well. The cast is passable and color palette is wonderful, but the character designs seem a bit petite. Even the adults appear younger in proportion to the norm. The battles are on a completely different level and are likely to dictate this show’s popularity. Commendable, I just hope there is a good story that comes along with it too. I guess the darker the better? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G 01

Senhime Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music…

Awarded the longest title this season as well as the “why am I watching this” commendation. Yes, after watching season 1, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be watching this second season. But whatever, “I have nothing else on the agenda.” So here I am. Still disappointed, questioning why I had bad taste back then. Oh I remember, I wanted more mecha girl anime, akin to Strike Witches. I had high hopes but in the end I didn’t enjoy the plot. As for this second season, I do applaud the improved character design. But alas, the story is still  bland, even with the introduction of a literal anti-hero. If you could get past the pander to the idols, then this show might be passable.

Servent Service 01

Servant x Service

From the original creator that brought us Working!! and Working’!! Season 2 comes “Working”… as a Civil Servant. A new comedy that follows a group of young adults as they interact with co-workers and customers of Japan’s welfare services, to some hilarious results. This is Japan’s derivative of The Office, i.e. a workplace comedy. The setting is different from a restaurant but the premise is all the same, unique character quirks come together to make a good workplace laugh. I’m not sure if this show will achieve the same success as Wagnaria since the characters are considerably older, therefore more mature. But that doesn’t mean immaturity can happen at any age! This show will make a good laugh and likely appeal to all ages that have worked in an office.

Rozen Maiden 2013 01

Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen

A comeback from the original Rozen Maiden series that started back in 2004. I know there has been a cult following since the original run. Popularity spiked as  Suiseiseki won the 2006 Saimoe Tournament. The manga has since moved on without any new adaptation. But here in 2013, the adaptation returns. The pseudo-sequel starts off by recapping off the previous seasons and even going a little bit further. Seeing the art difference from nearly a decade ago is really dramatic. Sometimes, I feel the cuteness has gone away for a slowly building narrative. Or that could be just more computers at work animating this show. Things look to be different now, especially after the time skip in both the new season as well as here in real life.

Sunday wo God 01

The Sunday without God

Another show with some audience anticipation is the adaptation of “The Sunday without God.” The story focuses on a world abandoned by God after the seventh day, where people no longer die. In this world our protagonist, a 12 year old girl,  is charged with the task of “grave-keeper,” an unclear position that she doesn’t even know about. Many dark tones come about but the anime started off light, even comical at times. Soon, we see the extent of this Godless world through the appearance of a gun-wielding man that slaughters her town’s inhabitants. I now see why this anime is likely to gain some notoriety. I’ll give this a try, and you should too.

Dog & Scissors 01

Dog & Scissors

As strange as titles can get, here’s “Dog and Scissors.” How this this come about? It’s better to explain the situation than do an initial impression, so here goes: Our protagonist is a book otaku and can never be seen without one in hand ready to read. He has a particular author that he follows. But one day he is shot dead in a bar robbery. He wakes up to find himself as a Dachshund dog at a pet store. To his surprise, a scissor wielding girl comes to “adopt” him since she can hear his thoughts. Turns out the scissors girl is the author he admires. Comedy and mystery are likely to dominate their time together, along with a colorful cast of supporting characters.

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