Fall 2011 Season First Impressions

Seasonally appropriate. [Ok, I just chose this one for Yuuko <3 -E0]

Hello all! It’s a bit late for our usual season preview since I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, but it’s not too late to talk about the first impressions we’ve had from the first episode or two of the new season. Some of us have watched more first/second episodes than others, so what each of us writes may come from different levels of familiarity. Information comes, as usual, from Scamp’s chart, ANN, and MAL. It’s looking like a pretty varied season, so without further delay (other than the disclaimer)…

The traditional slightly modified disclaimer:

A Message from the NKVD: Well its time once again to point out this is a first impressions post, and not a review. That makes a difference, a very big difference in fact. Our comments here are based on the preview materials and the first or second episodes only. On another note many of us are old grouchy mean spirited cynics and not wide eyed idealistic fat cat communist NEETs. If you are part of the “animu is SRSfkn business” part of the fandom do yourself a favor and just read the summary from ANN so you can preserve your fragile optimism for your harem animu. Other than that Liberty Prime is watching and ready to initiate directive 7395, destroy all communists.

C3 -CubedxCursedxCurious-

Animation Studio: Silver Link (Tayutama, Baka to Test to Shokanjyuu 2)
Source: Light novel adaptation
Genre: Action, comedy, ecchi, school, shounen
Summary: A school battle action and love comedy with ecchi elements. Yachi Haruaki is a high school boy and naturally resistant to curses. His father, Honatsu, sends him cursed instruments called “Fear” to try to break this. One day, Haruaki receives a black cube from Honatsu. During the night, he encounters a naked silver haired girl stealing rice crackers. She is the human-form of the black cube, an instrument of torture called “Fear in Cube”. Haruaki and the girl ‘Fear’ fight together against other ‘Worse’ instruments and their owners using Fear’s 32 mechanisms of torture.
Additional Details: The director (Oonuma Shin) has worked on Silver Link’s other series and was an episode director on several SHAFT series including Bakemonogatari and Hidamari Sketch.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Better than I thought it would be. I’ve watched the first two episodes so far, and while Fear is really annoying, I kind of like it. I’m hoping that it can become something like Tsukuyomi Moon Phase (which it shares staff with) if it decides to get more serious/action, but I need to see more before I decide if I’m sticking with it or not.
Hana: It’s ecchi. Next.
Chronolynx: Not watching.
Mystlord: I have no idea what the writers were smoking. The entire first episode felt incredibly forced – almost like they needed to cram every trope into the first episode. I agree with Johnny that this reminded me of Kore wa Zombie, except that it didn’t have the story telling or pacing that made the first episode of that series such a fun watch. This show actually tries to be serious, which falls flat considering how most of it is just the main character being cute.
Crusader: Not my genre.
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: This reminds me of Kore wa Zombie desu ka – similar art style, vaguely similar male and female leads, plus the common premise of a load of people trying to capture said female lead. I liked it at first, but it started to feel weak in comparison to the other shows this season because it’s trying to mesh ecchi comedy with dramatic story, and it comes off more of an unhappy compromise.
Anarchy: A uninspired mash up of random cliches. Don’t waste your time on this.

Possible bloggers:


Animation Studio: ufotable (Futakoi Alternative, Kara no Kyokai series)
Source: Light novel adaptation
Genre: Action, fantasy.
Summary: Set 10 years before the events of Fate/Stay Night, and chronicles the events of the 4th Holy Grail War. The truth that unfolded behind the battle between Shirou’s foster father, Rin’s father, the younger Kotomine Kirei is finally revealed…
Additional Details: A prequel, but I’m including it since it’s been a while since the first series. The original light novel was written by Urobuchi Gen (of recent Madoka Magica fame) and Type Moon.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Only watched the first episode so far, but I loved it. I haven’t seen or played Fate Stay Night before so I’m heading into this prequel fresh, but it was the first show that I was immediately hooked on this season. The setting and characters were explained well from the point of view of someone who hasn’t watched the main series, and I like how the characters are adults with solid motivations for what they’re doing. I’m sure there will be more action ahead, but what I really liked in the first episode was the planning and intrigue. Very nice visuals and pacing too.
Hana: Visuals look okay, but the genre and blurb do nothing for me, so I’m not watching this either.
Chronolynx: Fate/Stay Night was a mediocre show, at best. I really liked the ideas behind it, but the characters and animation were almost unbearable (and no, I will not play the game). So far this has been a much better show, even if I’m not fawning over the animation like most everybody else is. Also, Waver is the cutest thing.
Mystlord: I’ve only watched the first episode, which says little to me. Contrary to what JohnnyYandere thinks, I actually thought that the first episode did a good job of explaining the concept of the series to the newcomer. On the other hand, the heavy exposition of the first episode might also be somewhat boring for fans of the series (though the true fans likely already knows what happens so…). I’ll continue watching it for sure. ufotable again demonstrates just how good they are at animation, and the storyboarding and shot composition was top notch for a first episode of a plot heavy show like this. The first episode was not as tightly written as Penguin Drum’s was, but it certainly lives up to the hype.
Crusader: I am not a fan of the series, and the only thing that it does for me is a good short laugh about their horrible Engrish. I couldn’t get through what’s out, will try later but I am sure fans of the game want to give it a go and get some more CG Dragon.
ghostlightning: Wow. The production values got me interested in the whole story and setting again that I ended up watching the Unlimited Blade Works film which totally sucked. I didn’t want to re-install the VN and have to play through Fate and UBW, but I ended up with such a mood for dark, supernatural anime that I ended up marathoning Shiki, which ended up such a big win for me. So even at this point I already have a net positive experience of this show. Will eagerly watch.
JohnnyYandere: Not watching, being a newcomer to the series left me skipping through most of episode 1 feeling like a clueless idiot. I don’t think the production quality’s worth raving about, either.
Anarchy: At first glance, the premise seems like generic dark/epic fantasy fare. The exposition could benefit from some trimming and tightening here and there, but the plot itself is intriguing. Production values are above average but not outstanding. I’ll probably skip this for now since I have too many shows to watch this season, but after I get the time to marathon Fate/Stay Night (VN or anime, help me decide!), I’ll pick this up again.

Possible bloggers:

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai

Animation Studio: Lerche (Carnival Phantasm OVA, and that’s it)
Source: Eroge adaptation.
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Fighting
Summary: Kawakami City is famous for its strong dedication to its samurai ancestors. Yamato, a second year student from Kawakami Highchool is always with his close friends (4 boys and 3 girls). They have all known each other since they were young and have done many things together. While they have many other friends, this group of seven is a close-knit, inseparable group. With the new semester, they welcome two girls into their group and shortly after things begin to change…
Additional Details: The studio has little experience, but the director has headed up several series, including School Days. Dare I hope for a NICE BOAT ending?

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: I just barely got 6 minutes into this before closing it and declaring it dropped. Stupid generic fighting harem is stupid.
Hana: It’s an eroge adaptation, which is not my thing either. Let’s move on…
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: I have no time to watch any sort of generic and uninteresting shows.
Crusader: Johnny’s got this
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: One of my guilty pleasures for this season. Again, suffers from the usual unhappy pairing of ecchi and plot, but on the plus side it’s not like the show is taking itself seriously. Plus, the fanservice makes up for it. Art quality appears to be the lowest among the ecchi shows this season. The male lead is more tolerable and even more likeable than most, because he’s a harem protagonist who isn’t a deaf/blind/mute/unfeeling moron.
Anarchy: Looks like generic crap. Will skip unless I hear otherwise.

Possible bloggers:

Kyoukai Senjyou no Horizon

Animation Studio: Sunrise
Source: Light novel adaptation.
Genre: Action, fantasy.
Summary: In the far future humans attempted to abandon the surface but eventually the new world breaks down. Returning to the surface, humanity attempts to restart civilization by beginning history from 10,000 BC, stopping sometime in the medieval era. Amid this background, the city of Musashi is threatened by its feudal neighbors and prepares to enter a war to prevent its invasion.
Additional Details: Director is a bit light on experience, but directed Saki and parts of A Channel and Hellsing (TV).

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Another quick drop for me. Too nonsensical and fanservicey for me.
Hana: I see moe. Still moving on…
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: Has anyone read the full summary for this? Did you get it? The concept is like someone watched Wall-E, liked the concept, got severely stoned while writing it up, then watched every eroge anime known to man, and then wrote this script. Absolute trash.
Crusader: Go Johnny, Go Go, Johnny be good
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: I find Horizon to be superior to Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai – higher production values, a more diverse cast, an interesting setting. It provides fanservice without flaunting it, which is possibly the only reason that I’m able to follow the currently unprogressing plot. Also provides the side benefit of having something nice to look at if I’m bored by exposition.
Anarchy: Bleargh. No.

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Animation Studio: Madhouse (Monster, Kobato, Kaiba)
Source: Manga adaptation, anime remake.
Genre: Action, Shounen, Adventure.
Summary: A Hunter is one who travels the world doing all sorts of dangerous tasks. From capturing criminals to searching deep within uncharted lands for any lost treasures. Gon is a young boy whose father disappeared long ago, being a Hunter. He believes if he could also follow his father’s path, he could one day reunite with him.  After becoming 12, Gon leaves his home and takes on the task of entering the Hunter exam, notorious for its low success rate and high probability of death to become an official Hunter. He befriends the revenge-driven Kurapica, the doctor-to-be Leorio, and the rebellious ex-assassin Killua in the exam, with their friendship prevailing throughout the many trials and threats they come upon taking on the dangerous career of a Hunter.
Additional Details: Remake of the 1999 TV series of Hunter x Hunter based on the manga by Togashi Yoshihiro.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Not into shounen in most cases, so I didn’t watch any of this one. Pretty sure I can live with that decision.
Hana: I’ve heard good things about this and, in short, it looks like a fun show. Might check it out later on, otherwise probably not one for me for now.
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: I watched the first episode. I’m not happy with what I saw. It seemed almost like a 4-koma adaptation, in that the plot was broken up into separate chunks that were strung together to form an episode. This style of story telling doesn’t work with a shounen anime, and the first episode came out as broken and rather boring because of that. I was expecting something better than that. Very disappointing.
Crusader: Pass, too late for me to catch up
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: Not watching.
Anarchy: I’m a huge fan of the original manga, and I honestly think that it’s one of the most intelligent, well-written shonen fighting manga out there. As you can see from Level E a couple seasons back, Yoshihiro Togashi has one of the quirkiest minds in the industry, and that comes out in all of his works, including HunterXHunter. Unfortunately, this adaptation is a complete failure at channeling Togashi’s unique mindset. Well, it’s a failure in more ways than one, but seriously. At least the original anime did a good job of capturing the manga’s atmosphere and spirit. Update: Episode 4 was actually rather excellent. Wow. How much of that improvement was a fluke still remains to be seen, but I have to eat at least half of my comments about this adaptation being a complete fail.

Possible bloggers: Anarchy

Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle

Animation Studio: Sunrise (Gundam franchise, Code Geass)
Source: Original series. [This is your original series? It sounds more like a toy-based marketing show -EO]
Genre: Action
Summary: Daimon Kaito is a high school boy, who loves puzzles. One day, the president of the student council gives him a mobile device and it leads him to an underground ruin buried in the school. He challenges an “insolvable puzzle” hidden in the ruin with his girlfriend Nonoha, but the puzzle turns out to be the dangerous “The Puzzle of Sage” created by the dark society “POG”. He manages to solve the puzzle but it’s the beginning of a puzzle battle against POG.
Additional Details: Director is also directing Tamayura ~hitotose~ this season.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: I just couldn’t bring myself to care about anything in this. Dropped after one episode.
Hana: Woah, loving dat hair. Also sounds kinda intriguing, so might check it out. If the maths stuff doesn’t put me off.
Chronolynx: Ridiculous premise, adequate execution. Watchable.
Mystlord: First episode was boring for me. I don’t care enough about the premise and the rather inane pacing to continue watching.
Crusader: I’m going with Gundam first.
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: I didn’t like how most puzzle solutions require external interference/modification – kind of like playing a board game, folding the board in half and then declaring that victory is unattainable – but after I got over it, I started enjoying the absurd resolutions to classic puzzle games.
Anarchy: I like works that are about mental games… when said games are actually decent and the solutions are not ass pulls. I’d rather reread Liar Game than watch this.

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Tamayura: Hitotose

Animation Studio: Hal Film Maker (B Gata H Kei, Skip Beat, Sketchbook ~Full Colors~)
Source: Original
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life.
Summary: Tamayura centers around a young girl named Fu Sawatari who moves to Takehara, Hiroshima to begin her first year of high school. Her father, now dead, grew up in Takehara, and this is her first time back in the town in five years. Fu enjoys photography and is often engrossed with taking pictures with her father’s old Rollei 35S film camera. A shy girl, Fu tries her best to make friends early on, spurred on by her childhood friend Kaoru Hanawa. She quickly becomes friends with two other girls, Maon Sakurada and Norie Okazaki.
Additional Details: Followup to the OVA. Director Sato Junichi appears to have a wide variety of experience in series, movies, and OVAs including the Aria and Sailor Moon series.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Too gentle and boring. I like slice of life as comedy, or as reflective thoughts on everyday life, but this seemed like a half measure of each that didn’t add up to anything that could hold my interest. The characters felt hollow and what they did didn’t seem very humorous of introspective. I liked the setting but didn’t think the visuals gave it the scenery porn feeling that it should have.
Hana: It sounds like a gentle slice of life and it looks pretty. Thus, as long as it doesn’t get very boring very fast, then I will defo check this out.
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: I think the OVA basically told me everything there is to know about this series. All I need is a screen cap of Momoneko-sama from every episode and it’s all good. To be honest, there really isn’t much in this series, and I don’t feel like investing the time to get to the few seconds in every episode that might possibly perhaps have something worth thinking about.
Crusader: Easy to watch, hard to say much
ghostlightning: Not watching this. I saw 2 or 3 episodes of the OVA and I found watching my brain ooze from my ears more interesting. And before you rage, I’m no hater of girl cartoons or what you call slice of life.
JohnnyYandere: This is the most soothing among the slice-of-life shows this season. Muted colours, slow pacing. Scenery art is beautiful, very reminiscent of Studio Ghibli, but it’s not consistent. I must concede that the first episode almost got me to start timeskipping, but the second episode is much better – although overall Tamayuta: hitotose will only appeal to the most fervent slice-of-life fans.
Anarchy: Lovely animation. Very cute, light, fluffy. However, the excessive cutesiness of everything (well, except the furball) started annoying me after a while. Maybe because the girls’ personalities seem so manufactured and shallow to me? Really, all good stories need some kind of conflict, physical or social or internal or whatever. This show has nothing but fluff.

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Kimi to Boku

Animation Studio: J.C. Staff (Bakuman, Aoi Hana, To Aru Majutsu no Index, and many, many, many more.)
Source: Manga adaptation.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life.
Summary: The story revolves around four teens — the good-looking twins Yuuta and Yuuki Asaba, the effeminate Shun Matsuoka, and the class head Kaname Tsukahara — who have known each other since early childhood. While they are not necessarily good or bad friends, they continue to hang out well into high school. The half-Japanese transfer student Chizuru Tachibana joins the circle of friends in this comedy about the everyday life of adolescence.
Additional Details: From the director of Sora no Woto, Denpa Teki na Kanojyou, and Elfen Lied.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Agreed with Annarchy, this one, like Tamayura, just feels kind of lacking. Plus I’m obviously not the target demographic for this Kimi ni Brodoke.
Hana: Cute guys doing cute things + cute cats doing cute things + slice-of-life + gentle pace + often surprisingly hilarious + great guitar-heavy BGM = Hana is loving this so far.
Chronolynx: I will preface this by saying I am not, in fact, a cat person. BUT THIS SHOW IS THE CUTEST THING.
Mystlord: What the f. This is made for the yaoi fans right here. And I think that even they can’t watch this. As for me? I can’t… I can’t…
Crusader: Not in my area of responsibility
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: My main gripe comes from the stereotypical characterization of the protagonists. They’ve all been done before, and done better. But Kimi to Boku is the first anime I’ve seen which brings these sort of stereotypical male leads together, which keeps it interesting. The cats… were enjoyable until that one cat in episode 2. The stuff of nightmares.
Annarchy: There’s something… disturbingly soulless about this anime. Empty eyes. Empty words. Like biting into bread only to find out it’s nothing but air made solid. I know it’s slice of life, but if you’re doing a genre that’s so heavily character-driven, for the love of Madokami please actually have interesting characterization. It’s like the creators read Ouran High School Host Club and thought to themselves, hey, we should steal all the characters from this work and make them as boring as humanly possible! Seriously, everything has this veneer of dullness over it. And the guys aren’t even cute.

Possible bloggers: Hana


Animation Studio: Madhouse (Kobato, Monster, Kaiba
Source: Manga adaptation.
Genre: Drama, Sports.
Summary: Chihaya is a lighthearted tomboy, who’s not especially good at anything in particular. Her dream has always been for her sister (an aspiring model) to become the number one beauty of Japan, or perhaps of the world. But then one day she meets someone who tells her that a dream is something that should concern only herself – and something she has to work hard for as well. At the same time, Chihaya discovers a passion for the old Japanese game hyakunin ishhu, also called “karuta”.
Additional Details: The manga it’s based on won the Manga Taisho Award and the Kodansha Manga Award.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Well done, but I’m afraid I had to drop it. I liked the likely love triangle or friend drama triangle, I really got into the characters, the visuals were very good. But this has suffered the fate of other sports/games anime with me: no matter how good the show is (people tell me I’d love Cross Game…if it weren’t for the baseball) I’ll just be bored to death by the sport/game and drop it based on that. Initial D being the only exception because I have an actual interest in that sport.
Hana: A strong, likeable female lead, lots of shoujo elements (er, the good kind), nicely interwoven back-stories, great presentation and BGM. My fave so far.
Chronolynx: Considerably better than I was expecting. Madhouse seems to have stopped with the Marvel adaptations, thank god, and this so far looks like a return to form for them.
Mystlord: A very strong first episode. I attribute most of that to the latter half of the episode, which was an absolutely fantastic watch. I think the character that had the best writing in the episode was not Chihaya, but Wataya instead. The set up was perfect, the animation was great, and the shot composition plus the music made for a wonderful watch. One of the strongest points of this first episode was its ability to set up an atmosphere that perfectly matched the mood. I think the set up and setting lent itself to a very powerful first episode, and it was really easy to empathize with the main characters. Also, that karuta scene in episode 1? It was the best choreographed scene I’ve seen in anime in recent memory. Oh my God that scene. I would go on about it, but anyway… The followup to this first episode is very important, but based on what I’ve already seen, I have high hopes.
Crusader: I had no idea what karuta was but it is good to see a hyper competitive female lead who doesn’t mind beating up the boys and being the Monster of the Midway. I never read the manga but do want to now and that is saying something. I for one am hoping for a real shipping war and will be have fun ripping that A-Rod “I am so perfect but I still need to cheat” type Taichi. This one is like Chihaya plenty of potential and as close as you can get to a complete Hero. I blitzed through 1, 2, 3 and I want four and then some MORE. It’s also pretty without the beam spam.
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: Fantastic. Best slice-of-life this season. I kept thinking that this was an unofficial sequel to Usagi Drop. The female protagonist has a clearly defined ambition, which provides the driving story force that slice-of-life shows usually lack. The karuta sessions are more Akagi and less Saki, although I hope it’ll take a backseat to the character development. I haven’t wanted a character pairing this badly in a long time.
Anarchy: I think I cried throughout the entire first episode. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because everything’s wreathed in this beautiful, ethereal glow. Maybe it’s because I’m just so happy that I’ve finally found characters that are actually living, breathing people, not just colors and lines on a screen. The characters are so down-to-earth, so honest, so authentic. The acting is gorgeously understated. I could see those people existing in real life, which is quite a feat, given that they all have quirks that aren’t exactly “realistic”. I think I’m in love with all of them, especially Chihaya. She somehow takes the naive female lead trope and turns it into something fresh and truly lovable, instead of seeming fake and plastic like it usually does. I love how she speaks her mind and how it actually has consequences. And the production values are fabulous. The art is gentle. Warm and comfy, like a favorite sweater you’ve worn for years. And yet polished and exquisite at the same time. I can honestly say that this is my favorite show of the season so far.

Possible bloggers: Crusader; Hana


Animation Studio: AIC (Amagami SS, Asobi ni Iku yo, Hourou Musuko)
Source: Manga adaptation.
Genre: Ecchi, Harem, Action.
Summary: Takeru Ohyama, a young normal yet perverted minded guy, got accepted and now goes to a school that, unknown to him, was where combat and magic is used. On the first day, he meets again after three years: Haruko Amaya, his childhood friend, Inaho Kushiya, a girl who says she’s his fiance, and Kodama Himegami, a blonde who wants to kill him. Finding out that there are many girls there that just don’t like him, he is told that everyone there uses a special magic ability while using an item or weapon called a Maken. Later, he finds that no Maken is acceptable for him and doesn’t know what to do, since in this school the students get into duels that showcase their magic and combat power, to which he seemingly has none.
Additional Details: In case it doesn’t sound fanservice-y enough, it’s by the director of Ikkitosen!

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Yeah, no.
Hana: And back to the ecchi harem crap. No than- Actually, just no.
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: Too many stupid ecchi fanservice animes this season.
Crusader: I’d rather watch Skip Bayless rant about Tim Tebow
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: The fanservice is very strong with this one. High production values, although I dislike the art style. But that’s just me – I’m too used to triangular shaped heads. Another guilty pleasure, it’s not like I was really watching this for the plot anyway.
Anarchy: Oh wow, just reading the premise made my head implode from sheer boredom.

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Mashiro-Iro Symphony

Animation Studio: Manglobe (Deadman Wonderland, House of Five Leaves, Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai)
Source: Eroge adaptation.
Genre: Drama, romance.
Summary: The story centers around a boy named Uryuu Shingo who attends a high school that is merging with a prestigious all-girls academy soon. Shingo is among the boys selected to attend the academy during a trial integration period before the two schools merge.
Additional Details: Original game was made by Palete. Director’s only previous work as director is Kodomo no Jikan and Sasameki Koto.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Not…terrible as eroge adaptations go, but very generic. The first half of the episode gave the impression of actual serious drama, but then the second half became really lame. I thought about watching up to episode 03, but there’s a lot of shows I’m watching this season, and I had to be honest with myself that this probably isn’t going anywhere and I should just drop it now.
Hana: Funnilly enough, eroge adaptations aren’t my thing either. Next.
Chronolynx: Absolutely not.
Mystlord: Manglobe… Why… It’s well animated, but the character designs are boring. That’s pretty much the only half-positive, half-negative thing I have to say about this one.
Crusader: Incest doesn’t always mean WINcest
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: I’m trying so hard to like it, but I just can’t. Even the incest themes aren’t doing it for me. Dropped after first episode.
Anarchy: How can you take incest and make it into something so painfully generic? HOW?!

Possible bloggers:

Persona 4: The Animation

Animation Studio: AIC A.S.T.A. (Bamboo Blade, Sora no Otoshimono)
Source: PS2 RPG adaptation.
Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Sci-fi, Supernatural.
Summary: Namikawa is the son of a disgraced politician who, along with his father and sister, have travelled to a small town after living in Tokyo. After a murder, unusual for such a place, happens near to the school he is in, things get even more unusual when he is almost pulled into the TV in his house, but is saved by the fact it is too small. Later, his friends seek out a larger TV, and all three of them fall into it and enter a different world: one that threatens them. Namikawa responds to a voice, and brings out a ‘persona’ – some large, powerful being that fights on his behalf in a bizarre, surreal world.
Additional Details: Director Kishi Seiji previously directed Angel Beats, Kamisama Dolls, Seto no Hanayome, and Yugo the Negotiator, among others.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: I haven’t finished the game, but the first episode was almost exactly like it. Shot-for-shot in some scenes even. So it’s good. I liked how they incorporated the day/weather change screen directly from the game, little touches like that really made me like it. That said, if I experience a time crunch and have to drop something this season, this will be a likely target since it’s so much like the game that I can always finish the game instead.
Hana: I know nothing about this franchise. I doubt that will change.
Chronolynx: On the one hand, I love the game to pieces. On the other hand, this is not the game. The only reason this show is any good is because of the source, and almost everything bad about this show is directly because it is an adaptation. So far the only plus has been how they crammed the first ~2 hours of cutscenes into the first episode.
Mystlord: I don’t know anything about this series, nor have I watched any of the previous seasons. Not going to watch it.
Crusader: Video game adaptations usually don’t end well
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: I’m a newcomer to the series, not having played any of the Persona games. But unlike Fate/Zero, there was no massive expository sequence to turn me off, and I enjoyed the character development, the foreshadowing, the pacing, the art and animation. Although strangely enough, it feels like it was lesser than the sum of its parts. I didn’t quite like the denizen of the parallel world though. He seemed like he would fit in a game, but in the anime, when the environment is so atmospheric, his bright colours and personality gave me quite the mood whiplash. Special mention to the backing music and the OP/ED.
Anarchy: I agree with Chronolynx’s assessment, but I have to say that as a fan of the game, this adaptation is like a wet dream come true for me. I squee’d every single time there was a shout out to the game, like the scrolling calendar, the protagonist’s stat screen, the backgrounds that look like they were taken directly from the game, the game’s BGM… also, the plus of not wanting to stab Yukiko every single time she opens her mouth. On the downside, Yosuke looks way hotter in the game’s art, and since we have the original Japanese game cast, he’s not voiced by the delectable Yuri Lowenthal here. Otherwise, it looks like they’re going to adapt this anime in a way that’s true to the game, but with tweaks here and there like speeding up the pacing. And I’m perfectly fine with that approach. Episode 2 kicks the protagonist’s personality up a notch with a twist on the Yosuke-centric battle, and I love that they’re raising Narukami’s stats slowly but surely with each episode. Right now, I’m feeling optimistic about this series.

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

Animation Studio: AIC Build (Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai is its only previous series, but it is part of the massive AIC studio)
Source: Light novel adaptation.
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Seinen.
Summary: Hasegawa Kodaka has transferred schools, and he’s having a hard time making friends. It doesn’t help that his blond hair tends to make people think he’s a delinquent. One day, he runs into his bad-tempered solitary classmate Yozora while she’s talking animatedly to her imaginary friend Tomo. Realizing that neither of them have any actual friends, they decide that the best way to alter this situation is to form a club for students without many friends and they  start recruiting.
Additional Details: From the director of Sora no Otoshimono and Bamboo Blade.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Dropped this pretty quickly. In fact, I can’t even remember much of anything about it. But apparently I tweeted something about dropping it, so I must have viewed the first episode at some point…hmmm, perhaps viewing this show causes memory loss?
Hana: Looks like more harem-ish crap to me…
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: … Johnny… I have no words for you. On my part, it was like someone had unashamedly ripped off Haruhi and put it into a harem/eroge context. The show looked like it had some promise, then it demonstrated its true colors in its OP. Full of fanservice. Useless.
Crusader: We already got a volunteer
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: It struck me as a superior clone of Haruhi – higher production values, plus the K-On!-esque OP/ED – although it feels more crass, what with all the fanservice. I find this easier to watch if I just blur out the male lead in my mind and think of this as fanservice K-On! with bitchiness.
Anarchy: Not interested. Really not interested.

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Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam

Animation Studio: Gonzo (Nyanpire, Saki, Strike Witches)
Source: Sidestory/prequel to an original series.
Genre: Adventure, Sci-fi, Fantasy.
Summary: Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing is a new original tale in the Last Exile universe. It features new characters, new mechanics and an all new story centered around the young ace vanship pilot, Fam, and her trusted navigator, Giselle, as they pilot their vanship, Vespa, through the free and peaceful skies.
Additional Details: By the same director as the original Last Exile series.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: I’m a huge fan of the original series…but I have a bad feeling about this. Granted I’ve only seen the first episode, but it just doesn’t feel right. I hope to Madoka that I’m wrong, but I have this uncomfortable feeling, the same feeling I had when I first started watching the first Star Wars prequel. That something I love is about to get ruined. The first episode wasn’t bad, but it just seems off. The vanships are too small (except for Dio’s), the characters are too small as well. Last Exile had characters drawn in a more childlike than usual style, but they didn’t seem quite so young as these. And I just didn’t feel that this handled the gravity of war between massive steampunk airships the same way that the original series did. I really hope the next episodes dispel this feeling.
Hana: The word on the grapevine sounds positive.
Chronolynx: As a huge fan of the original series, I am more than hesitant to watch this. But the first episode was better than I expected, so there is hope yet.
Mystlord: I’m not sure if I want to watch this. I never got into the original series, but I can pretty much get the gist of this one.
Crusader: Watching more out of nostalgia than anything else, but at the very least it was nice to see a major fleet action in the first episode and hopefully there will be more of it. Then there is the distinct lack of loser haremanimu male, largely a female cast so if nothing else I can force a yuri interpretation. Hopefully they keep it simple. CG is watchable and with any luck it will hold up or they break the budget for BIG HUEG Fleet battles with steam punk air battleships.
ghostlightning: I never got into the first season, despite trying to watch it twice I never got past the 7th episode. Someday, maybe.
JohnnyYandere: Not watching, although I hear good things about the animation.
Anarchy: The animation and music are absolutely gorgeous. (The CGI can be a little jarring, though that didn’t really bother me.) I’ve never watched the first Last Exile, but the opening sequence really hooked me and got me wanting more. Unfortunately, the story, while solid, didn’t really manage to keep my interest for some reason. Maybe it’s just because I’m not really all that into steampunk. 

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Animation Studio: David Production (Level E, Book of Bantora, Dogs: Bullets and Carnage)
Source: Light novel adaptation.
Genre: Action, Comedy.
Summary: Sato Yo is a high school boy who likes SEGA games. One day, he enters a grocery store to buy some food for dinner. When he tries to take a bento box, he loses consciousness. He comes around to find all the bento sold out. He notices there is a war game going on at grocery stores and players called “Wolves” compete for the half-priced bento. Yarizui Sen, the leader of the Half-Pricer Club, forces Yo to join the club and he enters the bento war.
Additional Details: Original light novel by Asaura.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Skipped this one, the preview materials were sufficient in keeping me away from it.
Hana: The word on the grapevine sounds terribad.
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: I like the premise. Reminds me of those scenes of old women racing to get the half off sales at supermarkets. I managed to get through the first episode, but it’s a rather uninspiring and silly anime. Kind of like Kore wa Zombie. And if I learned anything from that one, it’s that I likely won’t get anything out of comedy for comedy’s sake.
Crusader: Better to have a shipping war
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: I’m not sure where this is going. I’m hoping for something deconstructive, satirical, yet thoughtful like Itami Jūzō’s Tampopo, but it’s more than likely just going to be action and comedy for the sake of action and comedy. Still watching, regardless. Update: I’ve been hooked by episode 2. This might just be the anime Tampopo that I’ve been looking for.
Anarchy: This anime has a very strange personality. There’s something delightfully off-kilter about the characters. And I like that they’re playing around with animation and storytelling techniques. Of course, there are characters who are walking cliches, but eh, at least the show as a whole is trying to be different. 

Possible bloggers: JohnnyYandere.

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE

Animation Studio: Sunrise (Gundam franchise, Code Geass)
Source: Original.
Genre: Mecha, Action, Sci-fi.
Summary: It has been a few hundred years since humans began to live on space colonies. In A.G. 101, an unknown enemy (UE) “GAFRAN” suddenly attacks one of the colonies “Angel”. A long war against UE has begun.  In A.G 108, seven year old Flit Asuno lost his mother when UE attacked his colony “Ovan”. His mother left him a memory unit “AGE” which had stored data of an ancient mobile suit Gundam. In A.G. 114, Flit completes the Gundam AGE and counterattacks against GAFRANs.
Additional Details: Director is fairly inexperienced. Series creator is Hino Akihiro, creator of Inazuma Eleven […which explains those awful character designs. -EO]

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Pretty good so far. It’s seems to be taking its first steps with a bit of a wobble, but at least it didn’t fall flat on its face. While I HATE HATE HATE the Inazuma Eleven character designs, the story is shaping up to be something different. Gundam rarely changes anything from its original formula. This at least has a somewhat different setting (Gundams as mythical ancient weapons, like in Turn A) and an unknown, possibly alien enemy. It’s still progressing geographically the same as every other Gundam: attack on colony -> colony destroyed -> you know where this is going. But if it does the rest differently then this may turn out to be worthwhile.
Hana: Enjoy it, Gundamtards.
Chronolynx: My god, that was a terrible first episode. Still probably gonna watch it, unless it starts piling on the stupid.
Mystlord: Nope.
Crusader: If nothing else at least they seem to have moved away from teenage angst but the age requirement seems to have fallen dramatically. It looks so kiddie and while I am sure the AU factor will make itself felt at some point. I am however DELIGHTED by the fact the lead kid, Flirt, is a merchant of death who comes from a family of weapon designers who were making tons blood money should make any pontificating that he does much more hilarious.
ghostlightning: I asked for this, and now I got it. This is almost exactly what I wanted it to be, now to see how well the merch ties in.
JohnnyYandere: Ugh, no.
Anarchy: Not a mecha person. Pass.

Possible bloggers: Crusader

Mirai Nikki

Animation Studio:asread (Minaki ke Okawari and Okaeri, Shuffle series, Kiddy Grade series)
Source: Manga adaptation.
Genre: Mystery, Action, Thriller, Supernatural.
Summary: Middle school 2nd year, Amano Yukiteru, is a boy who has problem making friends. He thinks of himself as a bystander and will always write down everything he sees in a cell phone diary. Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru began to imagine things like a friend called Deus Ex Machina who is apparently the Lord of Time & Space. Seeing Yukiteru’s miserable state, Deus gives him a new ability. His diary will now record events that will happen in the near future. Yukiteru is then forced to participate in a game which the winner will become Deus’s successor.
Additional Details: Director worked on some of the Minami-ke and Shuffle productions from asread. Also, yandere.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Definitely looks cool. I love me some depressing, bloody survival game fiction like Bokurano and Battle Royale so this should be right up my alley. Having the crazy yandere as the protagonist’s partner/stalker ought to liven things up too. Watched the first episode, looking forward to more!
Hana: Am getting Shiki vibes from the genre and character designs, though I’m guessing that’s where the the similarities end. Will listen to the voice of the grapevine and check it out, though.
Chronolynx: Very interesting first episode, and surprisingly clever. Being adapted from an actually finished manga helps.
Mystlord: I found the premise of the show to be far sillier than serious. I can’t take this seriously, sorry. Why? Well I think it’s best demonstrated when comparing Mirai Nikki to Higashi no Eden. On the surface, both shows utilize this sort of game involving a group of people that, for some unknown reason, revolves around cell phones. But the key difference between the two animes lies in the characters involved in this game, and what’s at stake. In Mirai Nikki, you have a whiny kid, a crazy stalker, a generic mass murderer, and apparently some wtf lolita terrorist bomber. Are any of them interesting? No. Not one bit. I could care less about these people. By comparison, in Higashi no Eden, there was a plethora of interesting characters, not to mention an actual mystery to be solved. The biggest mystery in Mirai Nikki is probably related to Deus ex Machina, but I doubt that we’ll get anything of that. And aside from that, I highly doubt that this anime will do anything other than tell us a story about some crazy psycho stalker + whiny kid beating every other person out there. Yawn. If I wanted to see a whiny kid somehow win because he’s being carried by an obviously stronger female lead, I would just rewatch Deadman Wonderland.
Crusader: Maybe later
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: I hate the plot. Hate it. Hate hate hate. I hate these sort of survival death game things. All the possibilities of having a future-telling mobile phone and they’re using it to hunt each other. I’ll be watching this partly because I want to see how this ends without reading the manga, but mainly because of Yandere Yuno.
Anarchy: How can you tell when a girl’s the protagonist of her show? Why, if she has pink hair and an annoyingly high-pitched voice, of course! Joking aside, I rather enjoy Gasai Yuno. Textbook yandere. Her presence created some of the funner moments in the manga. I read it till the end, at which point I decided that Mirai Nikki was a complete waste of time. There’s no reasoning, no suspension of disbelief, no world building going on. Everything that happens is just an blatant excuse to set up a plot where people get to kill other people and there’s thrills and suspense and a pink-haired yandere being batshit insane. No logical explanation whatsoever. (At least Battle Royale had the decency to set up a dystopian Japan where you can pretend that it makes sense for people to agree to have their children kill each other to death. You don’t even get even the flimsiest of excuses for carnage in Mirai Nikki.) So ignore the plot holes and everything else that doesn’t make sense, because this show is not going to explain itself for you. This adaptation actually seems to be an improvement on the manga so far (save Yuno’s voice). The protagonist has much more personality (a lot of that credit goes to his voice actress, Misuzu Togashi, who’s doing a fantastic job in her first major anime role), and the sleek, polished animation is a lot nicer on the eyes than the rough art style of the manga. It’s a lot easier to fetishize Yuno when her face doesn’t look like a squashed potato half the time. If you find yanderes entertaining, as long as you don’t look too closely at the actual story, it should be a rather fun ride.

Possible bloggers: JohnnyYandere

Chibi Devi!

Animation Studio: SynergySP (Hayate no Gotoku (season 1), Cross Game, Kirarin Revolution)
Source: Manga adaptation.
Genre: Fantasy, Shoujo.
Summary: Sawada Honoka is a 14-year-old girl who is very timid. She easily gets bullied by other classmates. Honoka is a non-believer in God, Angels, and Devils. Though one day, a devil baby was dropped into her room while she was sleeping. What will Honoka believe in now?
Additional Details: Not much information available.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Skipped this one (are there even subs?)
Hana: Looks diabolically moe.
Chronolynx: Nope.
Mystlord: No time.
Crusader: Not for my age group that’s for certain, it’s so cute, sweet, and fluffy your teeth will rot. Not very time consuming but I am not sure how much mileage you can get by watching heretics bullies burn
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: …no.
Anarchy: Ah, shoujo for little girls at its finest. The visuals are ridiculously cutesy and beautifully delivered. The squishy faces make me want to pinch the characters’ cheeks. If fire-breathing babies and saccharine cuteness are for you, by all means check out this show. Episodes are only five minutes long, so it’s good if you need a burst of mindless sugar to keep you going through your boring, dreary life. Though I will say that the opening song is so irritating it’ll make you want to butcher babies instead of cooing at them. 

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Animation Studio: Bones (No. 6, Star Driver, Darker Than Black)
Source: Original series.
Genre: Mystery.
Summary: With the help of his strange assistant Inga, “failed detective” Shinjūrō Yūki solves crimes in a near future Japan still suffering from the ravages of war. Problem is, the credit always ends up going to super detective Rinroku Kaishō.
Additional Details: noitaminA series. From the director of Hanamaru Youchien, Gundam 00, Full Metal Alchemist, and Slayers Next.

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Along with Fate/Zero this is my favorite of the new season. The first mystery was only so-so, but mystery shows usually start out with an easy one to bring the audience into things. The mystery part in itself shows promise, and I really liked the jabs of political and social humor in it. The geopolitical setting isn’t anything new but I am actually interested in finding out what happened. Also DAT TRUE FORM INGA.
Hana: Hmm, looks like an interesting mystery show… but so did Yakumo… Hrrmm…
Chronolynx: Um. I literally do not know how to describe whatever the hell that first episode was. Not amazing, but not quite boring, either.
Mystlord: I didn’t like the first episode. The show lacks any sort of creative vision and resorts to an overused concept with overused tropes. The characters fail to come off as anything other than completely flat and boring. I doubt that we’ll get any sort of real introspection by the characters, so we’re essentially left with plot action to try to move forward the story. Yeah as if that’s going to happen.
Crusader: Ask someone else
ghostlightning: Not watching this.
JohnnyYandere: Here I was hoping for an L Lawliet character that isn’t bogged down by just one case. I had such high hopes. Then it turns out that the mystery was only a mystery because the audience isn’t presented with all the data. And even then I managed to guess the culprit because of how predictably unpredictable it was. Plus, Inga’s ability is such a gamebreaker. What Inga needs is a lawyer who can draft out a full contractual question plus all the fine print, not a detective buddy.
Anarchy: Mystery? What mystery? The only thing that’s remotely mysterious about this series is that cat-boy and what kind of drugs he’s taking. Do yourself a favor and go watch some Tantei Gakuen Q or Kindaichi instead. Even goddamn Nancy Drew has better-written mysteries than Un-Go does. NoitaminA, I am disappoint. 

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Guilty Crown

Animation Studio: Production I.G. (Blood C, Eden of the East, Ghost in the Shell series)
Source: Original series.
Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Fantasy.
Summary: The story takes place in Tokyo in 2039. After the outbreak of the unidentified virus “Lost Christmas” in 2029, Japan has been under the control of a multinational organization called GHQ. Ouma Shu is a 17-year-old boy who has a psychic power in his right hand. He can use the power “Ability of King” to extract tools or weapons from his friends. He has been avoiding making trouble for others but his life changes when he meets a girl named Yuzuriha Inori, a member of a resistance guerrilla group called “Undertaker”, whose members pilot mecha weapons to fight against the government.
Additional Details: noitaminA series. From the director of Death Note and High School of the Dead. Music by ryo (Supercell.)

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Juvenile. That was my reaction upon seeing the first episode. I’ll likely watch a few more before deciding on this, but I was not impressed by the first episode. Just one line or scene after another of the power fantasies of a character (and I’m sure it was intended as well, an audience) that feels powerless but won’t even think to stand up for himself. But one day his favorite singer finds her way to him, he’s given a mission against the powers that be that he despises, and this time (as opposed to before when he was a coward) he can ‘stand up for the people that are precious to him’  after meeting a charismatic leader and having a superpower dropped in his lap? Please. Not to mention that said superpower comes in the form of a huge sword that he pulls from said (scantily clad) idol while holding her in what seems like a kiss while she moans. My eyes were rolling so hard they could have powered several cities if they were hooked up to a turbine.
Hana: Looks pretty and sounds like it’s gone down well so far, so (though the genre isn’t my usual thing) I’ll defo check it out.
Chronolynx: Best first episode of the season. Though this show does suffer from One-Sided Fanservice Syndrome.
Mystlord: First, the pluses. Production qualities are through the roof for the first episode, but I don’t know if they’ll be able to maintain that for the rest of the series. Music was above average. There are some unsuccessful compositions in this one, but they don’t really distract. Ryo singing the opening song was just fantastic. I’d like to continue seeing actual vocalists singing stuff, and not just the seiyuus performing double duty (because honestly… they aren’t that great for the most part). The character designs are absolutely top notch. Redjuice is an amazing artist, and it’s nice to see that his designs take center stage here. The only weak point here is in Shuu’s design, but it’s hard to design a generic-looking student that stands out (kind of an oxymoron…), so I’ll pass on that one. Now… To the bads. I’m sorry but the plot here has just loads of BS written all over it. I’ll admit that it’s more of the little things that irk me. For example, this whole “generic main character has some hidden past or whatnot that allows him to have superpowers now” or whatever is just silly. I suppose though, as a better way of saying what truly irks me about this show as opposed to listing it all out, is just to say that all of this has been done before. Comparisons can be easily drawn between this and something like Code Geass or Eureka Seven, and some of the other plot and soon to be character development paths can be clearly traced to other anime in the same mold as this one. The challenge for this anime then, is to break free from the confines of its “genre”, and impress me with some new concept or idea, or even an old one rehashed in such a way that it becomes interesting. Otherwise, I really see no difference between this anime and the generic summer blockbuster. Great visuals. Terrible plot. And I honestly feel that that’s a very high bar from the mind of the writer of Seikon no Qwaser. Now will I watch this one? Probably. If nothing else but for the wonderful animation.
Crusader: I like mecha I just am not a fan of having wimpy kids with AWESUM SUPAH POWAHS groping women for weapons mowing them down, neat designs and beautiful animation aside the likely whining from Shu is probably going to kill it for me. I am interested but very wary.
ghostlightning: Gorgeous production values, and interesting robots. Wheeled bipedal mecha are the design story of 2011. Gonna keep watching.
JohnnyYandere: Production I.G. is now forgiven for the catastrophe that is Blood-C. I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said, although I do have an acquaintance who questioned the self-preservation instinct of the male lead after he blindly obeyed the orders of a government fugitive – who was brutally subdued in front of him, too.
Anarchy: Absolutely breathtaking atmosphere, animation, and music. Best opening sequence of the season. One of the only shows this season to remember that animation is an art form in of itself, and  not just simply a vehicle for stories. Speaking of stories, this anime doesn’t actually have one (at least one that’s decent), but I honestly didn’t care about that while I was watching because I was so distracted by the pretty.

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Second+ season shows

Morita-san wa Mukuchi 2

Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi 2

Shakugan no Shana III (final)


Shinryaku?! Ika Musume

Bakuman 2

Writer’s Commentary:
ExecutiveOtaku: Watching Working!! but that’s the only second season show for me this time.
Hana: Dropped Sekai-Ichi and Bakuyawn, never saw the other prequels.
Chronolynx: Ugh, Sekai-Ichi. Watching out of morbid curiosity only.
Mystlord: I’m only watching Bakuman 2, but I feel as though I’ll drop it soon.
Crusader: Ika Musume 2… because I can
ghostlightning: Bakuman is still ugh but I’ll keep watching because I’m hopeless. Besides this I’m still watching Beelzebub Kuneida with my wife, and am still thoroughly enjoying the most awesome KING OF ALL FOOD ANIME: TORIKO.
JohnnyYandere: Ah, Sekai-Ichi. My first foray into yaoi and I’m still loving it. Also, Morita-san wa Mukuchi really deserves more love. A lot more love.
Anarchy: Not watching any of these. I remember the first episode of World’s Greatest First Love and thinking it was generic yaoi shit. From the character design to the plot, there’s simply nothing original about it. It doesn’t even have the decency to be porn. At least then yaoi fans would have some fap material, but nooo.

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  1. Darkfireblade25
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Fate/Zero’s first ep suffers from catering-to-everyone-ness and I bet some of you know how that works out in the game industry. Solid next few eps tho. I like how the show focuses on dialogue and exposition than action which I think will build stronger characters in the future. Also, KAJIURA YUKI HAS OUTDONE HERSELF AGAIN. I swear I have not heard this level of work in years from her. That makes my season :’) I mean Madoka OST was great! but not thaaaaaat great like Tsubasa Chronicle’s
    @Anarchy: PLAY THE GAME.

    I have to admit that I’m watching Mirai Nikki for Yuno and Yuno only… otherwise I would never pick up a game anime like that.

    Kinda disappointed how Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai turned out. I expected more from a top seller visual novel. smh I’m guessing they aren’t making the main protagonist flaunt his smart-assness as I heard he has plenty of that in the VN.

    Guilty Crown sits in a very uncanny zone for me. I am noticing all of what Mystlord’s pros and cons and I have no idea what to think of it. However, I am a sucker for good art and so I will keep watching to see scenery pr0n (that was actually what kept me going in Hanasaku Iroha…).

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m all for more dialogue and exposition and less action, I think the former is what got me so interested in that first episode. If the characters are well defined and the conflict set up well, then it makes one fight far more dramatic than many fights in a less well developed series.

  2. wendeego
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Ben-to is actually pretty great! It’s like the Gurren Lagann of light novel adaptions–excellent music, some really dynamic fight scenes and a lot of neat flourishes that show that the people who are making it are obviously having fun with the material. It also nails the quiet moments, which is pretty surprising considering the show is about people fighting for half-priced bento. It isn’t a masterpiece or anything but it’s exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations for it about a dozen times over.

    Otherwise: Un-Go had a surprisingly emotionally complex second episode, Fate/Zero continues to be the Waver and Rider Show (though maybe not for much longer) and Guilty Crown is visually stunning and possibly has more up its sleeve than it’s willing to admit (although it’s probably crap)

    Best show coming out right now is Mawaru Penguindrum, though. Isn’t really any other anime that came out this season that can touch it other than maybe Fate/Zero once it kicks into gear.

  3. Posted October 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    You guys (THAT writers) are taking anime much too seriously.

    • JT
      Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      agreed, It’s been more than 4 seasons since the last time they reviewed something pleasant, and are always skipping the good ones (fate zero, shakugan no shana, maria holic 2, gosick, oreimo, etc…) they tend to forget who are the masses in otaku culture not to mention they’re always hating on this and that, being all elitists and all, it’s anime, it’s something that is made to be enjoyed be people of all kinds, THAT guys can’t just deem stuff unworthy out of nowhere, seriously I loved they’re reviews on the first season of maria holic for one which was way I kept following them, but they started to lower my expectations on their devotion torwards anime, but now they DARE say bad about Fate/zero?? that does it, I’m stopping to follow this blog, SO LONG!!

      • Crusader
        Posted October 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Your definition of good is subjective, and you do not constitute the the “masses” unless you have a total displacement equal to or near 7 billion souls according to the last CIA estimate for world population. It’s not that harem animu #3720 is unworthy of attention, it’s just that well none of the current writing staff has taken a liking to it, with the exception of one. As for Fate/Zero the first ep bored me, and judging by the reaction from the rest of the sphere it’s less driven by plot than OMG SHE’S SO HAWT. If your a fan you’re a fan, but let’s not forget that most of the audience was tuning in and foaming at the mouth for the menage a troi (only to get CG Dragon) and not for the deep plot nor the highly intellectual interpretation of “I am the bone of my sword”. Quite frankly I have severe doubts that our staff can avoid just raving about how smexy Rider is and actually make a post that wasn’t mostly an image dump.

        As for Maria-holic 2 that was entirely on me I let work, military service, and a need for money to get in the way. 50% of the staff have full time work to attend to and unless we get an influx of college students with more free time and fewer money woes out put simply won’t cover everything. It’s just the way things go and if you want to change it you are more than welcome to try out next time since turnover on this blog happens about every 3 years. Well seeing as how you left happy trails. Such a shame too I was thinking about getting an independent contractor to cover Fate/Zero but alas.

      • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Ditto what Crusader said. And we’re not public servants of ‘the masses’ as you define them, so we’re under no obligation to review, or even watch, any series just because it’s popular. Calling us elitist isn’t really going to make us loose any sleep at night. We blog what we like. Period. Have your opinions, but don’t shove them down others’ throats by demanding people like what’s popular out of some sort of herd mentality.

        And if time permits and interest holds, I may pick up Fate/Zero to blog. I was very impressed by the first episode. Whether the first series was popular or not is of no concern to me (I’ve never seen it), but I liked the intrigue presented in the first episode.

      • Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        that does it, I’m stopping to follow this blog, SO LONG!!

        and you’re taking animeblog too seriously. Awesome.

        (and perhaps I’m taking random comments too seriously)


  4. Posted October 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Great write up on the fall season so far! Hopefully everyone finds something that works for them to follow/review.

    So far I am enjoying a bit of everything, my top favorites Guilty Crown, Gundam AGE, And Horizon and for my laugh out loud shows! Bento and Working!! And both seem to be about food in some way…

  5. Posted October 23, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Haha, I was wondering where the fall preview was, but here we have the first impressions instead! Are you guys planning to only do first impressions instead of previews from now on or something?

    (I haven’t actually seen most of the shows in question, so I’ll probably comment on this in like a month when I’m finished watching the first episodes of the shows this season. Yes, in a month.)

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      No, we’ll return to season previews in the future. I just wasn’t able to sit down and pull together the season preview materials in time this season since I wasn’t feeling to well recently. That and working full time really drains one’s creative energy. But I’ll try and plan ahead a bit more for winter and start working on the preview post earlier so that it will be ready in time.

  6. Jack
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Not a single one of you is watching Penguin Drum? I think this blog’s anime nerd card needs to be revoked. :D

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      I actually love PenguinDrum – or at least what I saw of it. I dropped it around episode 4 or so because I got distracted by pesky things like assignments, so I need to marathon the rest at some point before I can continue watching it… :(

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      I stalled around episode 03 myself too. I definitely was interested and plan on watching it, but it may be one of those series that I wait to watch until the entire thing has been released.

  7. ectholion
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    attempting to watch last exile for deeo and Al, I dont care at all for Fam and her Navi or for that matter the rest of the cast so far… Im hoping they introduce so adult characters that will last longer than 2 minutes after their intro. Also did i mention i dont care for Fam? aside from that watching Mirai Nikki and i might watch Chihayafuru. Also any shows this season with lovable traps??? Im glad you all are back for another season :)

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I’m not so keen on Fam or her navi either. I reiterate that I have a bad feeling about this…

      As to traps, does normal form Inga from UN-GO count? Can’t tell if trap or reverse trap in normal form, though clearly female in true form. Also, that one guy from Kimi to Boku may as well be a trap. The one with the long hair. You’ll know him when you see him.

      • ectholion
        Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        thanks EO :) i shall give said shows the three episode test. As far as last exile goes as long as they dont kill of, or ruin Al and Deeo im in for the ride. I’m also getting a very bad feeling about this show.

  8. Abigail
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I was wondering if “First Impressions” is the name of the anime

  9. yaku
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I know this is a regular thing in anime and I’m probably gonna get raged upon for saying this, but I wish there weren’t so many damn shows where 95% of the characters are girls. I know men like their yuri and girls going lesbian and I totally respect that (hell I try to get my cheap shot at yaoi even where it doesn’t exist AND I love K-On!), but I find it quite tiring especially when the only reason is to give fanservice (and even more when the show it’s great to begin with and doesn’t need cheap fanservice to keep our attention). From this list, seven shows seem to be filled with almost or only girls. Unless it’s a great comedy or slice of life like Nichijou (which actually has quite a few male characters) I automatically pass them. I just don’t have the time to go around checking if their story is actually worth more than the outer appearance.

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      All-girl casts often don’t bode well, especially with the trends set in motion by K-ON taking ‘cute girls doing cute things’ to the next level. Not to say that all shows like that are bad, I enjoy quite a few of them myself, but lately it seems to be an excuse to take the day off when it comes to writing because the cute character designs will sell the show by themselves. So I’m with you on that general sentiment.

  10. Nitro
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    i dunno about you, but i find Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai much more palatable than most of the other animes here. for some reason. near completely female cast aside, it is at least nice to see a harem anime setup that isn’t completely ridiculous (last season’s mayo chiki comes to mind). the characters themselves also do seem interesting enough (except for the male lead heuhuehueh) which is hopefully what’s going to keep me watching. or maybe i just resonate with the loner bit, hmmmmmmmmm. there are also other reasons. i think. i dunno. but i’ll be following it, so eh.

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      I’d reply with an argument of substance, but I honestly can not remember anything about it other than dropping it. Where am I? WHAT YEAR IS IT?!?!

  11. Rincewind
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    So far, Mirai Nikki seems to be my favorite of the season.
    I plan to see Fate Zero (Damn you Urobuchi!) and possibly Persona 4. And maaaaybe, Last Exile. Maybe.

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Those all seem like very good shows, but seconding the “maybe” on the new Last Exile. I want it to be good so badly, but I’m just not sure about it.

    • Posted October 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Definitely check out Persona 4, it’s really fun and stylish!

  12. Maverick05
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh new anime season….and first one in quite a looooong time that I am watching more than one show!!!! It might actually be a good year (Tiger and Bunny helped a lot).

    So, after an alfa filter of shows, followed by a second episode beta, I am sticking with Fate/Zero, Guilty Crown, and Gundam Age. And perhaps Horizon after the season finish and more time avaliable.

    BTW About Gundam AGE:
    I SWEAR IT DIDN`T FEEL LIKE A GUNDAM ANIME UNLESS I READ CRUSADERS BLOG POST AFTER IT!!!! I just doesn`t feel the same after soo many years. XD

  13. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. Last Exile’s strong point was its awesomely competent male protagonist. The guy could fly. Simoun looks better than Last Exile 2.

    Looks like more Starcraft this season.

    Which has me wondering: how big is Starcraft in Japan? Could they televise matches in place of some of these anime shows? They’d probably get a larger audience.

    • MarigoldRan
      Posted October 25, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Ok. Fate/Zero is good. Very, very good. I take back above comment.

  14. Kozu
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering where this fall season’s preview was since I always looked forward to them. Great job as always :D

  15. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Ok, this is going to be a long comment. I’ve got time. Bear with me. Others have commented that The Other Exile (Fam) is different from The Last Exile (the original one). But no one has yet pointed out exactly the reasons why. This is the purpose of this essay. I’ve watched the first two episodes of both shows again and the differences are:

    1. The Last Exile is about flying ships. The Other Exile is not. In the first two episodes of The Last Exile, a tremendous amount of effort is put into the nitty-gritty details of the operations of their ships. Examples include the first two minutes of Last Exile, and the very first time we are introduced to the main characters: Claus and Lavie.

    The first two minutes of Last Exile begin with Tatiana in her vanship, struggling with her controls, and getting her ship flung around in the middle of the Grand Stream, professionally screaming out the windspeed. Then the scene cuts to the bridge of The Silvana, which is modeled after the bridge of a WWI German U-boat, with a captain and an XO, where the captain states the meaningful orders, and the XO repeats them.

    Afterward, the captain gives the order to fire the weapons, followed by an extended scene that demonstrates the details of firing weapons in a pre-radar, pre-computer world. First, someone has to give the order to turn the guns into the right direction. Second, the guns have to turn (slowly) into the right direction. Third, the guns have to be corrected to point accurately. Fourth, the shells have to be loaded. Fifth, the captain has to give the order to fire. Sixth, the guns fire. Seventh, the shells hit. Eighth, the scouting vanship reports the success of the volley. Ninth, the scouting ship is secured and the Silviana retreats. This scene is two minutes long, with epic music in the background.

    These details do not exist in The Other Exile.

    In the first scene where we’re introduced to Claus and Lavie, the two of them are putting holes into their vanship to make it lighter. We can clearly see their passion and desperation as they’re willing to forgo eating lunch in order to make their ship lighter. The first time they launch their ship, they literally push it down to give it speed. The camera constantly cuts to the little details: rising engine pressure, turning on the correct throttles, doing pre-flight checks, cutting the air, etc.. The purpose is to SHOW THAT THEIR VANSHIP IS IMPORTANT TO THEM and IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT.

    Their is no such details in The Other Exile. The vanships in the Other Exile are smaller, and fly effortlessly. In the Other Exile, the flying ships themselves are not that important. Instead, they’re merely vehicles to take the characters to where the plot desires them to go.

    [Continued in next comment]

  16. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    2. The military organization of the Last Exile is significantly more professional than the military organization of the Other Exile. In the Last Exile, in the Silviana, we have a clear chain of command modeled after the German Navy of WWI. The captain states the commands. The XO repeats them, making sure that everyone heard correctly, occasionally adding in supplemental orders the captain does not need to state. The orders are then repeated, down the chain of command, to make sure everyone is doing the same thing. Once the orders have been relayed down, the ship acts.

    The military organization and dress of the other fighting ships are 18th century in nature. This is a visual metaphor. The Silviana is a 20th century warship. The other ships are 18th century. Hence, by analogy, the Silviana is more advanced than the other warships. In the other fighting ships, there is also a clear chain of command, with the captain giving some orders and the adjutant giving the majority. The orders are relayed and repeated throughout the fleet through a communication system involving an old-fashioned phone (shown on-screen). The person making the communications holds the phone with A WHITE GLOVE (once again demonstrating the 18th century aristocratic bearing and backwards nature of the other ships). Reports of the battle situation are repeated to the main ship, someone reads the orders in a clear and loud voice, the battle board is adjusted accordingly, and the captain harumphs professionally, once again showing professionalism.

    The Last Exile also shows the poor plight of the ones at the bottom of the pecking order, the poor musket soldiers, who are expendable and perfectly useless. Nonetheless, they’re dressed in impeccable clothing and line up in neat rows when they fire their weapons. They live on command, they fire on command, they retreat on command, and they die on command, once again demonstrating the professional nature of their fleet.

    I could go on with more details, but I believe this is sufficient proof for my argument that the military professionalism in the Last Exile is high. The Other Exile has no such details. Instead what we have is a fatherly-looking captain, who DEFERS TO THE WHIMS OF THE LEAD PILOT. In terms of professionalism, this is like the captain deferring to the ace pilot of his carrier. In other words, not professional at all. Where is the chain of command? They might be pirates, but even pirates need clear, well-executed, and loud, chains of commands. Otherwise their operations involving LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE AND AIRSHIPS will be disastrous.


  17. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    3. Lavie Head, the second major character of Last Exile is significantly more memorable and a better character than her counterpart, Gisette, or whatever her name is. Lavie is energetic. She yells at people. She makes lunch. She maintains the ship. She calls other pilots by nicknames (“Nosehairs”). She complains about rising food prices, rips out parts of battleships with her bare hands, and SHOWS A WIDE VARIETY OF FACIAL EXPRESSIONS ranging from surprise (at the evacuation of a relay post) to dismay (at the deaths of the musket soldiers) to determination (the first time we see her). Her counterpart, Gissette, does none of this. GISETTE DOES NOT SHOW MANY FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. Instead she sits in the back of her vanship like a wilting rose and defers to Fan.


    • Cratex
      Posted October 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      You forgot to add that Lavie also started a bar fight ;)

      • Cratex
        Posted October 27, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Opps – didn’t realize when I posted that you were only comparing the first two episodes.

  18. Jack
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes, brilliant. Let’s compare two episodes of exposition, growth, and whatever other cinematic/storytelling terms you want to conjure vs the complete 26 episode package of Last Exile.

    All I really read in that wall of text was the thought anything could be as good or better than the Last Exile would ruin your life. You know, the simplest thing would be for you to just not watch Fam, then you wouldn’t have to torture yourself with having to reassure yourself that your world view isn’t about to be shattered. :D

    • MarigoldRan
      Posted October 25, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink


      You are entitled to your opinions. However, please get your facts right.

      You are also making an implied ad hominem attack. This is a logical fallacy and shows that you are an idiot. If you do not like my analysis, you do not have to read it. However, making an ad hominem attack makes you vulnerable to ad hominem attacks in retaliation.

      BTW, to clear misconceptions of my personal nature, of which you know nothing about, I’m writing this because I’m BORED. There is no Starcraft on right now, I don’t feel like sleeping, and I’ve got some free time.

      • MarigoldRan
        Posted October 25, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        Hahahahahaha. Ok. I’m a little crazy right now too. Hahahahaha. This is fun. Ok. Calm down. Back to analysis. Can’t be bat-shit insane when doing analysis. Bad for it.

        [Cough, cough].

  19. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    4. The first two episodes of the Last Exile is much, much MORE INTENSE than the first two episodes of the Other Exile. Stuff gets blown up in the first two episodes of Last Exile. Stuff gets blown up in the first two episodes of the Other Exile. However, the Last Exile, unlike the Other Exile, SHOWS THE EFFECTS OF STUFF BEING BLOWN UP ON THE PEOPLE MANNING THE SHIPS. This accounts for the difference in intensity. Examples:

    a. Mullin Shetland, the expendable musketeer, desperately prays the bullets of Disith will miss him before battle. When the bullets do pass him by, we feel for him.

    b. When the Anatoray ships are being sunk left and right, we see the expressions of shock and dismay on the faces of the soldiers. Even the bridge is not immune. The voices of the people on the bridge becomes much more stressed out when things turn badly for them.

    c. The first time we see Tatiana, flying her vanship in the middle of a windstorm, her face is furrowed in pure concentration. This is character development. It also demonstrates to the audience: “she is flying in shitty conditions.” Once again, it adds to the intensity of the first two episodes.

    None of this happens in The Other Exile. People die, but we don’t see their expressions before they die, except possibly the King’s. Ships get blown up, but we don’t see its effects on the soldiers and pilots of other ships. As a result, the war in The Other Exile feels sterile, and somewhat fake. Things get blown up, etc. etc., but without the human reactions, it lacks the intensity and viscerealness of The Last Exile.


  20. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    5. Overall character and world development is stronger in the first two episodes of Last Exile compared to the first two episodes of the Other Exile. Besides the issue of Lavie vs. Gissette, and the differences between the Silvana and the other ships, there is also the issue of class conflict and differences. Lavie and Claus come from the dirt-poor background. We see them wake up in a shack. We see them have money troubles. They’re amazed by clean water. And so when the adjutant-commander complains: “No child or commoner could understand the ways of chivalry,” Lavie responds:

    “Have you ever had a day where you couldn’t sleep because of hunger? As far as I’m concerned, chivalry can kiss my ass.”

    This is a moment of verbal bad-assery, especially considering the context. She does it with a gun pointed at her head. It also contributes to character and world development (Lavie is brave, and takes pride in having to fight for a living. In this world there are aristocrats and the poor. Water is a precious commodity).

    The first two episodes of The Other Exile lacks an equivalent crowning moment of bad-assery.


  21. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    These are some of the reasons why the first two episodes of Last Exile is better than the first two episodes of the Other Exile. They are not all, and I’m sure others can find more. Nonetheless, I believe I’ve covered most of the major points and stated in an articulate and clear manner what others felt “in their gut” about the two shows.

    In the meantime, off to sleep. Ho ho ho.

  22. Tenryu
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    the only reason Horizon doesn’t make sense is because of the ‘scope’ of the original novel content. It could be one of the top anime (for me) this season if it weren’t for the fact that (at least i think) it won’t have a satisfying end.

    And believe it or not it ain’t really that fanservicy

  23. dp
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    C3 is actually improving amazingly. First episode = blah moe. 2nd episode = confused but with a dark ending.

    Third and fourth episodes = actually very good! Much of the moe crap downgraded in favour of Index/Kore Zombie-style foul-mouthed supernatural threats and very intense, well-done action.

    Take a look at the start of either episode 3 or 4 – it’s a whole different show, a kind of dark horror/action series.

    • Posted October 25, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate it with 10 being Higurashi/Umineko and 1 being *insert name of generic moe show*?

      • DP
        Posted October 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        I can’t give it a fair rating on that scale: I don’t enjoy mystery anime so your “`10″ would be my “not my thing”. At the moment I’d say that the show is an interesting “dark moe action” series. I do not expect it to be brilliant, but did find episodes 3-4 surprisingly watchable. I enjoy the intensity of the combat sequences, the Index-like over the top villains, and some of the art direction, especially the color palette.

        (Out of this season, I’m finding C3 (from episode 3-4) more compelling than Last Exile, Shana, Gundam Age, or Persona; a bit more interesting than Mirai Nikki, but not as interesting to me as Guilty Crown, Ben-To, Boku No Tomodachi. or Bakuman)


      • Kozu
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        This show is one of those examples not to judge a book by its cover. From the 2nd episode onwards it starts veering into Higurashi-style psycho ax crazy territory, complete with gore.

        It’s kept my interest in the show, so I’ll give it an 8.

        P.S. For anyone who’s thinking about trying C3 out, skip the first episode. You won’t miss a thing.

        • Cratex
          Posted October 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          P.S. For anyone who’s thinking about trying C3 out, skip the first episode. You won’t miss a thing.

          Actually, you’ll miss a really “WTF” moment. That was my reaction – “WTF did I just watch?” I almost didn’t watch the second episode. Having made it to the fourth episode, I can definitely say that ‘cute and cuddly’ is not a good description for any of the main characters and ‘feel good’ is not something you could say about the plot.

          • Kozu
            Posted October 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            Fair enough. I only said it since quite a few people dropped this after the first episode for being generic and there’s enough fluff in the first half of the 2nd episode to trigger that WTF response from watchers at the end.

            Really, the only things of relevance (that even then I can only vaguely remember) from the first episode were the intro of prominent characters, which took maybe 1 minute total at most.

          • DP
            Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

            It’s kind of a shame that there aren’t many sites blogging this series, as it turning out to be quite good.

            Episode 5 has some more nice WTF plot twists … and ones that actually made sense, and some interesting and fluid combat animation.

            Plus the cursed S&M outfit and its origin: simultaneously creepy – considering its intended use — sexy and useful.

            The random moe moments are a little distracting, but fortunately kept mostly to the ending sequences and it’s not this series is the only one that does it.

  24. Hedgey
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I always use this guide to thin out which anime I’m looking at, short plot descriptions alone don’t do it for me.

    Glad no one likes those dreadful 12-episode ecchi shows with unfinished source material.
    Trying out at least 7 shows. Thanks a lot guys, you really help me out every season

  25. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    By the way, I didn’t watch Last Exile until like 3 weeks ago. And then I was totally like: “WOWOWOWOWOWOW, this is pretty good.” And I was dancing and prancing and all happy as shit. It was, like, totally awesome.

    After that, I watched The Other Exile. And I was like:

    “It sucked.”


    So there you have it.

  26. MarigoldRan
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink


    The show has too many colors. It makes little sense. The girl is hot. Especially when she’s walking down those stairs. Confident, crazy women are hot. Worth watching. Surprised no one here is doing a review.

    THIS is what anime can achieve. With a little bit of LSD and a lot of creativity.

  27. Bob from Accounting
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Ah, that old staple of communism: taking anime too seriously. You know, I think things might have gone differently in Cuba if Fidel Castro wasn’t such a Narutard.

    • Posted October 26, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Hey guys! WHY SO SERIOUS?

      • MarigoldRan
        Posted October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Ah what the hell. This is too easy. Go and have fun.

        In the meantime: why aren’t the newbies writing more? Where are your posts? I’VE written more in the comments section than all of the new recruits COMBINED. And I’ve made no commitments. What the hell?

        Keep your commitments.

        • Posted October 27, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          Wow. You actually went through every single one of our posts and comments and counted exactly how many words we wrote? Ah, I feel so loved <3 Glad to know our efforts are being noticed. -thumbs up-

          • MarigoldRan
            Posted October 27, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

            If I wanted to do that:

            1. I’d use Microsoft Word.
            2. I think it’s pretty obvious just by glancing at it that the amount I’ve written is more than yours.
            3. So when’s your next post?

          • Posted October 27, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

            I think it’s the opposite, honestly, if you’ve actually read all my posts and comments, but that’s irrelevant. More importantly, I’m glad that you’re so interested in my work. My next post will be after Episode 5 of HunterXHunter goes up, which will be some time this Saturday, I believe. Please look forward to it!

  28. Cratex
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    (grin) if nothing else, reading through this was amusing! Anyway, here are my thoughts so far on what was listed above (plus one extra). If I don’t mention it, it means I wasn’t interested.

    C3 – plan to watch when I can find a good source for it

    Fate/Zero – plan to watch, just haven’t started it yet

    Kyoukai Senjyou no Horizon – watched the second episode just to assure myself that the first wasn’t a joke. Right… pass

    (Note: I really did like the song “Tōryanse” that Horizon sings, which was the main reason I watched anything at all)

    HUNTERxHUNTER – it’s OK, but my son likes it, so we’re watching it.

    Mashiro-Iro Symphony – Zzzzzzzzzzz

    Persona 4: The Animation – plan to watch when I can find a good source for it

    Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – plan to watch when I can find a good source for it, though I’m getting fidgety about what I’m hearing (I’m a HUGE fan of the first – ever since I saw it I occasionally dream about being a vanship fighter pilot)

    Un-Go – as long as I don’t think of it as a ‘detective’ show, it’s fun, and the background plot is intriguing. Besides, I’m a sucker for oddball, unstable or psychotic characters

    Guilty Crown – was planning to watch, but this isn’t the only place I’ve read disappointing reviews.

    Working!! (2) – after watching the first episode my son and I are trying to catch up from the first season as fast as we can laugh our way through them

    Shakugan no Shana III (final) – plan to watch when I can find a good source for it, though I caught a poor video quality first episode someplace and was disappointed with it.

    • Posted October 27, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      You can watch Persona 4 The Animation on ANN and Hulu.

      You can watch Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam on Funimation and Hulu as well, I think.

      Guilty Crown is worth watching at least the first episode, I think, if only for the gorgeous animation/music. You can catch it on Funimation and Hulu too, if I remember correctly.

      (There might be problems depending on where you live, though…)

      I’m glad that you’re watching HunterXHunter… *teary eyes* Trust me when I say it’ll get better as we get further into the exam… and beyond (story-wise, at least – we’ll see how this adaptation handles the awesome source material).

      I think that the strongest point of UnGo is the mysterious Inga character – you want to watch more just to find out WTF is UP with that lady. Otherwise, it’s a supernatural story trying to be a detective story and failing – so I guess it’s much more tolerable if you don’t go in with the expectations that it’ll have mysteries on the level of Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle, I guess.

      • Cratex
        Posted October 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Cool, thanks!

        Trust me when I say it’ll get better as we get further into the exam

        Oh, I didn’t think it was bad, I just might not be following it if my son wasn’t interested in it.

      • Cratex
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:20 am | Permalink

        My son and I watched Last Exile, Fam the Silver Wing Episode 01 on Hulu last night – WONDERFUL!

  29. Posted October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Wow this comment section turned into shit real fast.

  30. hipster
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    ahhh … i miss THAT’s impressions on things … :P

    Though MarigoldRAN, i think you’ve hit the nail on the head for the Other Exile… TT___TT

  31. Cratex
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I managed to watch the first episode of several of the shows on my list after Anarchy mentioned they were on Hulu, as well as one other

    Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – well, I for one was NOT disappointed. My son and I really enjoyed this one.

    Guilty Crown – well, yeah, the plot is rather thin, forced, and based on a really silly premise, but so are the plots for most of the other shows, really. It was fun to watch, if nothing else.

    –Take this next show…for instance

    Fate/Zero – the main cast is a pit of vipers, to be sure. I’m interested if for no other reason than that at least a couple of the main characters seem to have the best intentions…and only one can win.

    –or this one…

    Persona 4 The Animation – hmm. Different. Not sure if I’ll be able to get into this one or not. Hmm – some chap tags kids so they can get sucked into a TV and take on powers to allow them to fight monsters?

    • Posted October 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Persona 4’s story gets more interesting as the plot unfolds, I promise. :) And it has great characters.

      Yeah, I feel like a lot of the backlash on Guilty Crown is because people expect something with great animation to have awesome story as well. Many of the shows this season have horrible, generic stories, but nobody seems to feel particularly insulted by the genericness of those shows, unlike with Guilty Crown.

  32. The Wizard
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s a good idea that this first impressions should be changed to after a month impression to give justice to series that deserves to be watched.

    After four episodes impression
    1. Ben-to (Well Shaga made me put Ben-to on the top of the world, it seems even with Rika can’t topple Ben-to as my clear favorite of the season.)
    2. Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai (Yes it’s full of ecchi but I don’t find this anime boring at all and keeps me interested with the characters, with all the characters already appeared after four episodes, only Kobato is left behind to join the club.)
    3. Cube x Curse x Curious (One and half of episodes didn’t give me any good impressions until the later half of that episode, then thats where all necessary plots starts to take place. They placed some playstates service courtesy of Yukari Tamura’s great voice acting after the end music for episodes 3 and 5.)
    4. Mirai Nikki (This got me hook up since I didn’t even read the LN or attempted to, but for some reason I would stay watching this like I’m watching Death Note.)
    5. Chihayafuru (I know no one would understand why it’s so good, but I leave it to others discretion, a staple on my weekly dosage of animes.)

    Special mention for remake/sequels/prequels per episode impression.
    Hunter x Hunter 5 (Remake version where Hisoka tested Gon and Leorio if they are deserving to be a Hunter, when I compared it this one is better except Leorio was stab by a card in the original. Still in the end, the remake is better.)
    Shakugan no Shana Final 4 (Forget the first three episodes, as this one rocks where full equipped and buffed Yuji makes life harder for three flame hazes, and he’s gunning for take by force love route against Shana, he even destroyed the tiny hope of Kazumi, she seems want to be taken too but Yuji brush her off.)
    Working!! Second Season 5 (I’m a loli lover but I won’t get arrested funny how Takanashi just bring the little girl inside the restaurant is way hilarious, and the little girl seems not scared and even grab his hand.)
    Lastly, Last Exile 3 (Yes this show makes a glimmer of hope for Gonzo to rise once again hopefully they keep doing right.)

    • Darkfireblade25
      Posted November 3, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      i argue for c3 is that the plot is hidden behind fanservice. The first episode enumerates the future plot rather well in hindsight. How come the glasses girl with big tits break things CLEAN IN HALF? i know that might pass as a gag but that isn’t true as you see her break the tea mug in such a way that she might as well cut it with a SWORD (hint hint). also, the ppl there are strangely well mannered and the main character’s family is famous and is filled with abnormal amounts of positive energy. that also may pass as a gag, but how is it that if it is filled with unlimited luck works that bad things happen when the little girl comes along? also, the main character is seemingly quite used to explaining things to the little girl. this might be passed as bad story writing but once you think about it, it is quite odd, considering everything else. and of course later you realize that *SPOLIER* that the big tits girl really is a sword and is the same kind of being as Fear. once u find that out, the first episode’s subtle references are very clear. Most ppl are turned off by the fanservice and the seemingly bad story writing. however, it is all plot. all of it.

      • Cratex
        Posted November 3, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Most ppl are turned off by the fanservice and the seemingly bad story writing. however, it is all plot. all of it.

        Probably not the place to argue this, but here’s my problem with sexually oriented fanservice: 1) it almost always involves minors, 2) I’m almost old enough to be these kids’ grandfather, never mind father, 3) usually I fail to see how the typical sexually oriented fanservice scene has any relevance at all other than as a stand-alone humor event. These combine to make it difficult for me to watch some of these shows. I’m by no means a prude; in C3 for instance, had Haruaki and Fear been adults (Fear may be very old, but she’s portrayed as a teenager) I would have had no problem with the last couple of minutes of episode 5, but as it stands I’m having trouble with the idea of continuing with the show – it makes me feel like a dirty old man watching kiddy porn.

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