This is Anime Roundup! Here I summarize the Spring 2013 anime roster, what was disappointing, what was consistently good, and what was surprisingly enjoying. Most are nearing their end, others have ended–but if you haven’t watch a single one from this season, then read along to find out which is worth the watch! This review would be in three parts: mainly The Letdowns, The Consistently Good, and The Wildcards.
If you haven’t seen all the anime this season had, do check it out! For all of Spring’s anime, check this chart out: http://anichart.net/spring
This review would mostly cover the shows I watched and not all the anime for this season. Today I’m going to tackle The Letdowns! Minor spoiler-y stuff ahead!
For this category, I would be discussing the shows that didn’t live up to my expectations, or wasn’t really that good to watch. It doesn’t necessarily mean it does suck, though. I try to avoid dropping shows as much as possible but some of the shows here were dropped, while others were not.
1) Photo Kano
I watched this because I really liked Amagami SS. It was a multiple harem route show (like a dating sim), with good visuals and a nice soundtrack. It was a cheesy cliche landmine, but it was a guilty pleasure watching it. I figured that since I did like Amagami, I would also like this show. Well, I was wrong.
First problem I had is that I was expecting an Amagami SS rehash, and that’s what I got. Meaning the same pros Amagami had was there, as well as the same cons.
Second problem I had was that I watched the show a few years back–meaning my tastes for anime have completely changed by then. The moment I watched Photo Kano, I was cringing and face-palming at every opportunity. The visual were good, characters were rendered nicely. The plot is very simple, while there is little to no character development at all, which I kinda expected so no reason for me to whine there.
The show wasn’t really the problem for me, I think it was me. I simply overgrew the genre of mindless fanservice, cheesiness without character, and a pointless plot. Objectively, it’s okay but it’s sub-par. There are better shows out there than this one.
*Status: Dropped on Episode 4
*Recommendation: Watch it if you STILL like Amagami SS or you are new to the genre
2) Date A Live
This show had a great premise. It’s about this superhuman like girls called Spirits that drops down to Earth and cause spacequakes and stuff. They are beautiful, but they are also practically dangerous. The main character Shido, has to date them and make them fall in love with him to seal their powers or something.
Unfortunately, Date A Live’s problem is it’s a light novel adaptation, so it’s cramming most materials to a limited amount of time. This is what most light novel adaptation suffers from. I could forgive the ridiculous leaps of logic, and some other things like how the AST (the defensive force) had to be all girls, or the whole date setup thing, but the show really didn’t mean itself to be taken seriously. It’s also a harem so it has one of those annoying harem antics like excessive jealousy and rivalry between the girls, dating multiple girls at a single instance (I called it early on and it did happen in the latter episodes!), a wimpy main character, and fanservice galore. All, which I had to endure because I was actually interested in the plot.
But the show really kinda did let me down. There were a lot of out of place scenes that are irrelevant to the plot, and half-ripe characters. Most of the characters were developed only halfway through, and then left alone in the dark. That happened to Tohka whose characterization was being developed only to be forgotten in the latter parts of the series. Same with Yoshino, and the rest of the minor characters. Especially Kurumi, the hot gothic yandere Spirt! I was expecting more scenes from her but it was all in naught. I need more Kurumi!
The pacing is really the problem here. If it became two-cour (20+ episodes) instead of one, it might have fleshed out the other characters more and made the plot sensible. The visual are nice, but the character rendition could have been better. I heard there is season 2 for this, so I’ll see how it fares out.
*Status: Watched till the end
*Recommendation: Not really that good…but dat Kurumi!
3) Oreimo S2
Despite having great visuals, and high expectations, this show was a huge letdown. It suffered the same reason that Date a Live had since it was a light novel adaptation. But more than that, it was cramming like, seven volumes in 13 episodes. What made the light novel enjoyable was the little events of the story and the antics of the main characters, Kyousuke and Kirino, with the other characters. Unfortunately, this series suffered with its pacing. A lot of great material were cut, Kirino was annoying as hell, and My Lovely Dark Angel Ayase-tan’s scenes were sped up, some were cut, and made an angry fan-boy out of me.
Also, what I hated about this, aside from Kirino’s whining is that there is too much pointless drama. Too much unneeded arguments over simple stuff, like Kirino having a boyfriend, or Kyousuke being close to the other girls. It becomes unbearable to the point that I want to slap all the characters there with the exception of Ayase and Saori (you two have a special place in my heart). Aside from that, Kyousuke suddenly has a harem in the last few episodes when there was nothing in the anime that ever implied that (Kanako and Saori suddenly becoming part of it was really out of place). In the light novel, there was plenty of explanation as to why it was so, but in the anime…it’s just everybody wanting to get to Kyousuke’s pants.
Plus, I’ve read the last light novel and the ending is what I feared and what made me flip tables. <spoilers> He ends up with his sister, Kirino! And kisses her </spoilers> Screw this! For a series that prides itself in being as realistic and grounded as much as possible, the author became too confused catering to all the raging fanbases and shippers that this route happened. WHERE IS MY AYASE END GODDAMMIT! I SWEAR IF I DON’T GET MY AYASE END SPIN-OFF I WOULD BE BURNING THE LIGHT NOVELS AND OFFER IT UP TO SATAN.
*Status: Still watching…in agony
*Recommendation: If you are an Ayase shipper, don’t watch it.
4) Aku no Hana
Y U DO THIS AKU NO HANA? Y?
This was the biggest let-down of the season and don’t get me wrong, I’m not hopping on the Aku no Hana hate bandwagon (I might as well just have). I probably share the sentiments with a lot of people here but I’ll try to be as objective as much as possible. But basically, the problem with this anime is its rotoscoping. There is a good way to rotoscope, and a bad way to do it. This is the bad way since it’s lazily done and some of the details seem flat. Yes, the faces are more expressive, but it also lacks depth and shading in a lot of parts for that matter. The background visuals are eyegasmic though! Great amount of details and color balance.
Sadly, the character designs were awful. It’s in limbo between being an anime and being a live adaptation. It gets some pros because of it, but gets a lot of cons from both sides. It looks real, but it’s too unreal and fake and distracting. I was big fan of the artwork of the original manga, it was beautiful and the character design were amazing. I know this seems experimental and such, and it may have a low-budget. But hopefully, this series gets a remake with the same background visuals but with the character designs of the manga.
The plot is great, if you could get past the rotoscoping! Unfortunately, I dropped it because of the huge amount of disappointment I had. Probably would pick it up in the future when my heart has recovered.
*Status: Dropped on Episode 2
*Recommendation: I say no. But if you are hipster enough, you can watch it
Anyway, that’s for the letdowns! Look out for the second part, The Consistently Good as I discuss the shows that were quite good throughout the season.