While it took me awhile to get around to the other new shows from this season, here are some quick impressions of the remaining seven. A fair mix of shows, with a lot of variety among them. Also including my current watching/dropped list, since most of the three episode tests are complete.
Definitely Watching – Right From the Start Good
Shows that seemed promising enough based just on their first episodes that barring some massive trainwreck or change, I’ll be watching for the rest of the season.
So cute I died.
Two sentence summary: Tsukimi lives in an apartment building in Tokyo populated only by fellow socially awkward female nerds like herself. One day she thinks she’s met the sort of princess she dreamed of becoming as a child, only to find out that the princess is a prince.
Thoughts: Looks to be one of the best, if not possibly the best show of the season. Many great shows have come from the noitaminA time-block, and Kuragehime seems set to continue this tradition. Female otaku/fujoshi are in plenty of shows, but here we actually see them as realistic characters: awkward, obsessive, and less than the ideal of beauty. (Not that that means Tsukimi isn’t the cutest character I’ve seen in some time.) There are hints of her past and the story of why her favorite subject as an illustrator are jellyfish for a serious angle, as well as the antics of her apartmentmates for comedy, and the trap princess could prove to be an interesting angle. It’s good enough that I’ve already signed up to co-blog it with Hana.
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
Everything is beautiful. EVERY. FUCKING. THING. -@8C
Two sentence summary: Arashiyama Hotori works in the most vaguely maid maid cafe in existence, but her friends finding out about it certainly livens up the place. No plot to speak of yet, but lots of great, unconventional comedy setups with the typical interesting SHAFT style.
Thoughts: Delightful. I’m sure plot will emerge later, but the first episode didn’t really need any. Just some encounters with Hotori’s friends at the cafe and her teacher finding out about her part time job and we’re off. Great comedy as Hotori is lectured by her friend on her deficiencies as a maid and tries to respond that somehow never runs out of steam. It’s hard to say that much of anything happened in the first episode, but it was immensely entertaining. DOWNTOWN e kuridasou~.
Probationary Viewing – The ‘Maybes’
Shows that peaked my interest enough to keep watching, but which I haven’t decided on just yet.
Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai (The World God Only Knows)
If only he were voiced by Fukuyama Jun…
Two sentence summary: Keima is the ‘god of galge’, who can figure out any situation and complete any character’s route effortlessly. He’s renowned for this in eroge circles, but a demon tasked with collecting loose souls from the hearts of mortals mistakes him for a real romeo, and he’s unwittingly bound to a contract to help her.
Thoughts: I didn’t think it would have that much potential, but something keeps me coming back to it. Keima seeing the world through eroge tropes isn’t new (think of Sugisaki Ken from Seitokai no Ichizon), but the way it plays out doesn’t feel old. He’s actually good at pulling off the lines and behaviors in real life, he just seems to have no interest in real girls. His demon partner, Elsea, is also more endearing than her ‘magical girl falls into lap of boy’ and clumsy tendencies would suggest. I’m not sure if I’ll follow it all season, but for now it’s keeping me entertained.
Togainu no Chi
There are only two moon phases in the world of dramatic: full and crescent, and they’re always oddly colored.
Two sentence summary: Apparently Japan has gone to hell for unspecified reasons and two factions fight it out in a sealed off no-man’s-land for power…or something. Akira is caught up in a murder he may have caused after a street fight, and gets spared his life sentence if he will enter this sealed area and fight for the interests of his recruiter.
Thoughts: Blindingly obvious BL-bait, but I can deal with that if the action is cool and stylish. I’m currently on the fence about whether it will deliver on this front, but I’m willing to give it until the upcoming third episode. The style is certainly there, but whether it will be made interesting or just be a bunch of bishonen with knives and excessive blood spurting is yet to be determined. I’m guessing that I’ll end up dropping it, but we’ll see.
The dropped shows this time around weren’t terrible, but they didn’t hold my interest enough to make me want to spend time on them.
Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
It’s like someone threw Shugo Chara, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, and a bit of Darker Than Black into a blender.
Two sentence summary: The world is in a never-ending battle between Detectives and the Gentlemen Thieves, each possessing individual powers known as ‘toys.’ The four girls of the Milky Holmes team are renowned for their prowess, until suddenly they lose their powers and have only three months to regain them or be expelled from their Detective Academy.
Thoughts: Kinda fun, but not really enough to want to make me watch an entire season of it. It’s the first show I’ve watched in a while that definitely felt like it was targeted to kids, but that’s not to say that it can’t be lighthearted fun for adults too. The powers thing was neat, only to have it taken away during the first scene of the show. And the rivals that have infiltrated the academy seem more intent on having fun, so don’t expect any serious criminal drama.
Shinryaku! Ika Musume
I never wanted to try squid ink spaghetti anyway…
Two sentence summary: Humanity’s neglect of the oceans has led the Ika Musume to begin her invasion of the land. Emerging near a seaside food stand, things rapidly get off-course when no one believes her threats and she ends up having to work to pay back the owners for damage she caused.
Thoughts: Again, good, but not good enough for me to want to watch more. It’s pure, simple comedy that will probably fit a range of tastes, but because it was so broad ranging, it never really hooked me. It’s got comedy, it’s got cute character designs, but it kind of felt lacking to me in any sort of comedic depth.
Welcome to your improbably luxurious boarding school!
Two sentence summary: Kohei has moved frequently with his parents, but now he’s able to choose to live at a boarding school on an island he once lived on in the past. The school is incredibly nice and populated by the typical harem of girls…and there are vampires…or something….I think.
Thoughts: Didn’t offend, per se, but it was all just so generic harem fantasy that I had zero interest in it. There was about 20 seconds of interesting anything in the whole first episode, and even then only mildly so. There also seems to be an issue with what kind of show it wants to be, since the few dramatic moments were hurriedly followed by typical eroge-adaptation sorts of comic relief moments. Overall it doesn’t appear to offer much of anything.
Final Season Watch List
Kuragehime – looks immensely promising, and plenty of DDDAAAAAWWWWWW.
Otome Youkai Zakuro – a well executed blend of shoujo and mystery with great characters.
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – Wonderful humor in glorious SHAFT style. Ukiuki~
Continuing to watch
Togainu no Chi – this close to dropping it, but we’ll see after episode 03.
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai – still managing to be fun and have a normal, warm brother-sister relationship. Will drop at first sign of confirmed sis-con though.
Yosuga no Sora – Still has an unfortunate amount of fanservice, but the mystery seems to be in motion now and I’m interested to see how it will go.
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo – nearly definite, I’m just hedging my bets.
Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai – Surprisingly fun thus far, but it’ll have to deliver something impressive soon or I’ll drop it due to time constraints.
Iron Man – Haven’t gotten to the newer episodes, but I retain my initial faith in it.
Fortune Arterial – just too boring and cliche.
Tantei Opera Milky Holmes – not really my style.
Shinryaku! Ika Musume – if there was a dearth of comedy this season I’d watch it, but there are better shows out there in my opinion.
Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector – just wasn’t catching my interest, despite the mecha.
Star Driver – I’m not really into the show’s whole drama club nerds vs popular clique, overt sexuality = evil thing.
MM – garbage.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt – Crude humor and Powerpuff Girls animation style immediately turned me off to it.
Bakuman – this show has nothing for me. It’s not bad, but I don’t care about anything or anyone in it.