And here’s my thoughts of what’s going on with the current anime season, compiled into a handy table for no reason whatsoever.
First and foremost, Arcana Famiglia has completely let me down… its director needs to be shot for such poor choices, because its been an utter hash so far. I’m going to endure it until episode 3 in the vague off chance of a sudden heel-face-turn, but frankly things aren’t looking good; mostly in their terrible use of telling rather than showing, and then pulling a recap in episode 2 just in case you’d switched off. Yikes.
Sword Art is as decent as hoped, and much like I’d wanted, they’ve decided to do things chronologically, by switching to one of the later side stories straight away for episode 2, since normally, in the first book, it time-skips 2 years after the introduction, and the author then released the gaps in later novels. They did indeed animate the first Kobold Lord boss battle quite nicely and handled his first proper meeting with Asuna well (even if that meeting is changed slightly, I prefer this version). I will admit a degree of bias, though, since I did like the books.
Then we have the surprise hits… both Utakoi and Chocolate slipped under my radar in the first impressions, but have both impressed themselves upon me.
Utakoi appeals to my literary grounding with its short stories interpreting classic japanese poetry in a rather nice art style. Its well framed and directed, and handles its exposition in a refined manner. Lots of terrible anime directors could learn from this (especially the nut that did Arcana Famiglia). And its mostly love stories, which appeals to my romantic side. Still… why were the snakes censored…?
Koi Senkyou to Chocolate has very nice chemistry (a rarity) between its main characters and if it actually ditched the harem, it might even qualify for being an actual romance. The fact it grabbed my attention immediately by killing some random girl off in the first few minutes and hinting to a deeper plot was also well played. And finally, decent direction too… mainly in the fact that they’ve handled the comedic timing well.
So, thats the excellent out of the way. There’s also a surprising amount of good this season, which is always nice.
The surprise at this level is the new gender bending sengoku anime, Oda Nobuna. It manages to nod alot to historical accuracy (though I’m sure there are mistakes, as my knowledge of the history is only moderate), especially with how they got the main character to replace Toyotomi Hideyoshi (and Nobuna calls him monkey/saru, much as the real Nobunaga did to the real Hideyoshi). Also, the scene with the lead using his i-phone to terrify the samurai… only to run out of batteries (yep, sounds like an i-phone) was hilarious. Second episode continued to improve on the first, which is nice, as our lead works to (and successfully averts) the events of the Owari rebellion. Nobuna is clearly already in love with him and he with her, but I guess they need to retain sexual tension in a show like this. Even so, its still pretty good.
Hagure Yuusha no Ecstatica somehow manages to add plenty of tits (mostly courtesy of Myu) without impeding its own plot. The male lead is basically the work-safe version of Rance, which is great, since he’s a wonderful bastard of a character. You know the type, utterly arrogant pervert, but has the strength to back it up, and seems to power up around beautiful girls (and in his case, has the ability to teleport girls underwear into his hands). Utterly silly, but surprisingly awesome so far.
Now, Jinrai wa Suita Shimashita I’ve decided to rename it Pastel Apocalypse Fairies. This is a throughly fucked up anime. If you don’t shout “WTF?!” at least twice an episode you’re doing it wrong. Its the utter dissonance between the colourful world and its subject matter that renders it so powerful, so the artists and screenwriters are clearly playing nice with each other, always a good thing. And the best part, IMHO, is the main girls sarcastic narration and monologue of whats going on as it happens. And lets not forget Ave Maria playing to roast chickens smashing through a stained glass window among streaming light into the midst of starved orphans. Yep.
Tari Tari… actually only barely rates as good at the moment. It has an erratic pace and puzzling ups and downs. Hopefully they’re trying to make a point with this by the third episode, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, mainly because its P.A. works and its pretty. Very pretty. I also laughed when the school choir sung the OP from True Tears.
Campione, well it started off at a breakneck pace, and actually managed a decent first couple of episodes… though this one is clearly setting up the usual terrible harem flags, and has had some questionable direction choices. I can see it falling into disrepute if continues down this dark road and runs out of the energy it started with, but for now, well… we shall see…
Tanken Driland really needs to make something less generic of itself. It almost seems like a kids show at the moment, which can’t be true since it airs nearly at midnight. It had a nice enough random first boss battle, but thats about it. Again, shame it had such a generic first showing, because it really needs to start good in order to distract people from its SD style (which is cute, but rarely liked by many people).
Muv Luv… well, I heard the game its based on is great, but so far, I can’t help laughing at the aliens… and then laughing at the inconsistancy… and then at the fact that incompetant girls are given multi-billion dollar mecha to fight in only to die in the first 9 minutes of battle. At least all the annoying girls were killed brutally in episode 2 (though rival-girl didn’t really deserve that…). The only thing, so far, that really seemed good about it was the poignancy of a mother being distressed birthing her child into this crapsack world at the end of episode 2. That actually had some impact on me.
Well, that’s about it. If I still haven’t mentioned it, I’m not even bothering to follow it any further and its probably generic as heck. Or not. I’m not infalliable. But whatever. If you found it informative, all the better. Cya soon.