Summer 2013 Anime, First Impressions, Part 2

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Part 2, May include spoilers. Click here for Part 1.

Kiniro Mosaic

Kiniro Mosaic

Oh yeah! Cuteness overload packaged in a slice-of-life moeblob show! Redundant yes. It’s the only show this season with full on “cute girls doing cute things” written in the plot, this time with a foreign twist. The first episode, all decked in a letterbox format, introduced us to a home stay program in the UK. Our Japanese transplant experiences England with up most cuteness as she associates herself with her English counterpart. Fast forward back to Japan and our newly “English-fied” girl gets to tell her friends about the experience. When, not surprisingly, the English girl she stayed with now speaks basic Japanese and is going to her school. The cute foreigner adventure begins! This is a good change as we get to see and hear jokes more in tune for a broader audience; not just JDM specific. Along with cultural differences, there is an heir of over-appreciation to the point of obsessiveness for our Japanese “England otaku.” A counter-Weeaboo maybe? This is going to be a good show~ One last thing, I wished the studio went for an authentic adaptation by actually using foreign voices for the English cast, even better with a British accent. No big problem, now excuse me as I go eat my desert.

Genshiken Nidaime, Rika

Genshiken Nidaime

Welcome back to “The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture,” this time with new faces! This is a continuation from where we left off back in 2007! It is rightfully titled the second generation as we almost get a full cast turnover. But the biggest change here would be the reign of fujoshi, otaku girls, in the club. None more so evident than in the president, who uses her drawing skills to pull in more of the BL type. Covering otakus of the female variety is a good change and I believe should this be explored more. But wait there’s more! So as to not dull the action, there is a surprise amongst one of these girls, and no I’m not talking about the crossdresser…

Kimi no Iru Machi

Kimi no Iru Machi

A drama anime that follows the story of a young man as he lives in the countryside with ensuing love interests. That’s all I want to say. It is likely to have a nice plot and drama elements, really. Likely to have a good story. But the one thing I’m going to talk about this show is the animation, or lack thereof. The movements of the characters are minimal and I feel as if close-ups are all the camera knows how can do. The designs don’t look the part as well; not pretty, not cute, just drab, straight faces. Come on Gonzo, you guys can do better than this!

Silver Spoon

Gin no Saji

Ah, Silver Spoon. The very well known author and artist of FMA tries her hand at a casual manga, and wins big. Now that success was (re)made for the new franchise, it’s time to create the anime adaptation. Well here it is. I gotta say, the first episode set the anime up well. We have a young student who attends a school that specializes is in agriculture. We are taken for a hilarious, yet educational, ride as he gets to know the ins and outs of the school, the farmers instructors and his classmates. The setting is unique and truly is a rarity in casual anime (note how I’m not using s-o-l to describe this show). Everything seems tame and can pass for an all ages anime, something that I believe will make this show one of the best this season.

WataMote

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!

The unusually “popular” manga with a foreign cult following gets an anime adaptation, and the transition is seamless. Fans are sure to appreciate the social awkwardness presented here. We can’t help but to laugh yet feel a bit of sympathy for our heroine as she tries to fit in. All the thoughts she gets relate to how she’ll look towards others, often overruling common sense and her own outlook in life. Yes, it can feel depressing but these situations do happen, fortunately she overblows each one to a hilarious conclusion. Get past some mediocre animation and you have a nice slice-of-(a horrible)-life in your hands.

Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS

Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS

The elementary school all-girls basketball team is back, this time with rivals. Watch it for the story while avoiding looking like a pedophile… Speaking of story, we are introduced to the rival team in such a quick fashion that things seem convoluted. Hopefully pacing issues will get fixed past this. Now that we have a formal introduction, our main cast can only look forward to character development this season. More depth is good, just leave the loli aspects out of the comments.

Hyperdimension Neptunia

Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation

I had to watch this on a whim… bad choice. Though I never played the games themselves, I do know that they are a moe anthropomorphisms of video game consoles as well as a few developers. Even with this in mind, I’m still lost as to what the anime will be about. The “console war” has ended and the ensuing treaty regulates the four powerful nations to participate in gaining the “shares” of their fans through diplomatic means. Overall I see this more as a s-o-l anime than the action game it was based on. Watch if you’re a fan of the games (pun) and skip if you’re not.

Fantasia Doll

Fantasista Doll

So, is there a product tie in? No, not yet? Alright then… Where to start? Oh, how about that; the anime started off quickly and has no explanation of what’s going on. In short, this feels like the Dog Days of card game anime. Yes, there will likely be some cute moments as well as nice battle scenes, but whoever the scriptwriter is should take another lesson in “progression and pacing.” Ah, my heart goes out for this original production, but my expectations were killed long past the first episode.

Blood Lad

Blood Lad

I feel good about this anime. It’s a seinen, which means there will be wicked cool battles for the boys to ogle at. But at the same time we see more of an anti-hero story and the sense of wanting to escape the norm. Our main character gets a lucky break as his hobby (being an otaku, of course) finds him in the form of a schoolgirl appearing in his world. But she is killed, driving our “hero” to promise her a return to her body. All the while we’ll be encountering quirky and crazy characters on their journey. It’s unique enough to watch knowing that anything can happen while resting on the usual tropes seinen usually pull.

Uchouten Kazoku

Uchouten Kazoku

PA Works has made some wonderful anime lately. But, to me, it feels as if this one slipped a bit. The story isn’t the problem, and I actually commend it. It’s the character design, feels like there could be more done to the faces and expressions. But alas, the setting and ensuing plot have prominence here. Japanese folklore is the basis for this anime; well known characters such as raccoon dogs and tengu pretend to be humans as they live in Kyoto. We follow the stories of a few as they attempt to assimilate to both a supernatural and “natural” life. I see potential here, making for a good showcase for the studio. Here’s hoping for a well made original.

Love Lab

Love Lab

The title sounds more ecchi laden than it actually is. Think of Yuru Yuri but with less lesbian tones and more “boyfriend” making ones. Set in a girls academy, the members of the student council are seen as those with perfect attributes. But there is a flaw among them, the president wants to be the perfect girlfriend to a boyfriend. She seeks advice from various members all the while trying to keep the secret that she is doing such acts. All this leads to comedic ends most of the time. The character design is flat but at least the colors are vibrant. Likely not to break from the norm; watch if so inclined.

Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku

Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku

Even more comedy with all-girl clubs! But this one has a far greater ratio of jokes per minute compared to others this season. And I love the setup, our unlikely protagonist (the one with the fairly large ahoge) doesn’t want to join any club and insists on joining the “go home club.” You guessed right, turns out there is such a club! She ends up joining as she wants to be honest to a kind friend. The club is filled with quirky characters including a rich girl and a girl that wants to fight bears… Their meetings are standard fair; nothing to do and strange topics to get into. Again, the prominent theme here is the loads of comedy packed in, from gags to 4th walls to in-jokes, and just plain old rapid fire comedy. But you may not laugh at every joke. The characters look more mature and less cute, maybe to denote that comedy is king here.

2 Comments

Filed under First Impressions, Summer 2013

2 responses to “Summer 2013 Anime, First Impressions, Part 2

  1. Gin no Saji is definitely where it’s at for me this season – having a show like this is a breath of fresh air after all that moe. That said, I’m enjoying Love Lab far, far more than I thought I would given the synopsis, while Watamote and Kiniro Mosaic are also pleasant surprises. I wish I could like Blood Lad more, especially given that I adore Durarara!!, but what little I saw of it didn’t work for me – fairly generic fanservice with a few otaku in-jokes. I can see why it would appeal to plenty of people, but I guess it’s just not my thing.

    • I agree with Love Lab. There is more to it than the love experiments after watching the latest episode, a turn for the better for this anime.

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