Summer 2013 Anime, Final Impressions, Part 2

haur (artist)

Continued from Part 1. Randomly ordered. Spoilers likely included in the conversation.

Uchouten Kazoku

Uchouten Kazoku 02

PA Works in unique ways… This season brought us the “eccentric family.” Tanukis (raccoon dogs), assimilate with humans in Koyoto while still fearing them. Getting past the distinctive character designs and animations, we get to see a story about tradition and betrayal. Though much of the plot dwells upon uncovering the past, a good narrative is used to dispel much of the mysteries. All this culminated to the anticipated Friday Fellows dinner we so wanted to see these animals people get out of. It was certainly entertaining but really, past that main plot point, nothing else of importance came up.

Genshiken Nidaime

Genshiken Nidaime 02

A lot of service in terms of otaku fandom but mixed with long forgotten memories. The latest Genshiken bring us to a changed club lead mostly by fujoshi. At least old characters make a comeback, so much so that I find it difficult to remember unless I rewatch the prequels. However the focus is mostly turned to the crossdresser and what makes him tick. All sorts of subplots revolve around him, from the shipping fantasies to the alternate art styles used when crossdressing. But really, all I came to watch was the cameos from the anime world; whether through cosplay, posters, dialogue, or even in the animation itself. It’s an enjoyable otaku experience.

Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu

Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu 02

Girls, guns and more. Stella turned out to be a bit better than I expected due to that (somewhat dark) twist. Yura, our main character of focus, gave us the traditional “person wanting to fit in” cliché. But she sidelines to a showoff like personality, which derails her progress. This backfire strategy is uncommon in anime of this type. I was expecting a tournament style layout with exciting gunfight matches. The opening totally sealed in that premise too. The story turned out to be better when Yura underwent her change. I just wish the animation stayed at that stellar level back in episode one. At least there’s a good jazz soundtrack coupled with the matches.

Servant x Service

Servant x Service 02

Two words you’ve likely heard at a job orientation: workplace relationships. Over its run on the air Servant Service eventually evolved from a comedy to a romantic comedy, more so than its spiritual predecessor. The level of involvement and interaction with each character to another is quite amazing. The author isn’t shy about bringing up all the issues with having relationships either. All this without creating a single love triangle, at least in what was shown. For a good laugh and relationship advice, watch this show.

Fantasista Doll

Fantasista Doll 02

Ha! It works! Forget the plot; cute girls are what make an anime watchable. No need to explain how things got the way they are, just show me outrageous battles with vixens clothed in equally ridiculous outfits. Because in the end it’s all about the power of friendship… I was being sarcastic, don’t watch unless you’re into what I just said.

Love Lab

Love Lab 02

Another anime that I was expecting to not break traditional barriers did. Love Lab definitely started off as an all girls school’s student council that conducted “male attracting” experiments. But the complexity of doing such acts at this school gets back at them. An effort to conceal this secret is then used as a plot for the remainder of the show. Include a mix of deception and genuine relationship troubles and you’ve got a well rounded anime that is equally dramatic as it is comedic.

Day Break Illusion

genei_wo_kakeru_taiyou

A lot of the viewers likely saw the potential for another Madoka or BRS successor.  All roads seem to lead to that comparison up to the first death too. But producers likely pulled the plug and asked scriptwriters to make a “good end.” This turnaround though brings about a lot of plot issues; loose ends were created and no amount of “sudden coincidences” would fix it.  Really, a train wreck of a story begins derailing past the halfway point. And don’t get me started on the pacing of it all…

Rozen Maiden

Rozen Maiden 02

The aged fanbase certainly appreciates the differing tone in this sequel. The happy, “desu” filled, carefree days are replaced with an alternate timeline where the dolls never came into the life of our protagonist. Much to the dismay, this alternate telling deserves its own praises. The dolls enter this world to bring enlightenment to the alternate character with an even more pessimistic outlook on life. I believe development went further here than it did in the prequels; having the adult version take on adult problems not encountered by the younger alternate adds more flavor to the story. The ending though could not tie things well enough. We see a new plot that I wish expanded on further. I guess some sequel will follow.

Chronicles of the Going Home Club

Chronicles of the Going Home Club 02

I get a laugh every time I watch an episode. Akin to Nichijou with its “multi mini-story” like setup, but with lots more gags, back referencing, name dropping and breaking of the fourth wall. And when I mean breaking, I mean it’s non existent. They even mention their show won’t win against the concurrently running series WataMote. All the characters do however stick to their tropes and I’m fine with that. In fact, many of their traits are lampooned amongst the cast. Animation isn’t that great at all times but it’s made up for in their “ultra cute chibi CG” mini theater at the end of the shows. Really, for a good laugh without letting you down, this club is your best bet. This gets my seal of approval!

Symphogear G

No. Just no.

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Filed under Final Impressions, Reviews, Summer 2013

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