Anime Summer 2013 First Impressions

Though I did put a list of the anime I’m going to watch for this season (check it here), I still watched some of the anime that were not included in the list. Some animes can only be fully enjoyed or appreciated by watching an episode or two, so I always take a look and see if I might find something that can pique my interests.

 

YOU HAVE SOME POTENTIAL KIDDO

1) Blood Lad

It was on my must-watch list and I guess it never failed my expectations. The characters are interesting and the show is a bit funny, though not downright comedic. The world is interesting, visuals are good, character design are cute and crisp. I finally have faith again in Brain’s Base after screwing up the animation of one of my favorite anime last season. Oregairu. Hopefully, they keep the consistency (I doubt it) of animation quality.

2) Gin no Saji

Untitled

I said that I’m expecting great characterization and a meaningful plot from Silver Spoon (its English translation) and I got it. One might say, “a show about cows and agriculture? No way, bro” or might be deterred because it has a slice-of-life ambiance surrounding it. But one thing Silver Spoon has is it has heart. It’s grounded to reality, you feel that the world is a world that you can probably live in real life. The show is sincere, real, and funny not because of slapstick comedic antics, but because of those little quips and dialogues between characters. Like, “how can something so tasty come from an anus?” line describing an egg. It doesn’t force itself to be funny and it doesn’t force the audience in dumping information. It’s really relaxing–it’s so good I’m blitzing through the manga the moment I watched it.

3) Servant x Service

I was expecting adult-life problems and a certain maturity with Servant x Service, but its aim was to be more comedic than serious. But, I still enjoyed it, since it is genuinely funny. It’s comedy is comparable to Silver Spoon’s, but with a little bit of exaggeration (like the supremely long name of Lucy or the extremely flirty MC guy). The characters are likable, and even the tsundere sister from episode 2 is forgivable because she is not that annoying. There are still some cliche situations here and there, but Servant  x Service makes sure that it’s on moderation. It might no be much on the plot side, which might be a problem, but I have a positive forecast so far with this show.

4) Love Lab

Oh god, why am I watching this show?! Let me just say that I hate moeblob animes. You know, those anime where the premise is cute girls doing cute things. Love Lab stunk with the moe, but you know what…sometimes my cold iron heart can sometimes give in to cuteness, too. That’s what Love Lab did to me. The character designs were not lolified or boobified to appease to the fanservice loving fans, but it was actually cute in a normally cute way. The trump card of Love Lab are the facial expressions of the characters, it’s all dynamic, adorable, and funny. Okay, I’ll just admit it, Kurahashi Riko captured my heart with her wild personality. Kyaa~ (I’m sorry for this)

5) Watamote!

The OP was already enough to hook me in, actually. But, seriously, the main character of this show is funny. This is Hikigaya from Oregairu crunching the shut-in level to the max and adding pinches of delusions and awkwardness. Though not as witty as Hikigaya, she is still as snarky as him.  It’s also nice that the MC  is not some super cute moefied character–she has a pale face and heavy eye bags, which makes her shut-in levels all the more convincing.

6) Inu to Hasami

While I don’t trust Gonzo ever since what they did with the Last Exile franchise (I’m looking at you, Fam), I still gave this a shot. I have my doubts of course, the summary of this anime even told that it’s a nonsense comical mystery. I’m not fond of nonsense and I’m not fond of nonsense comedy. But, Inu to Hasami actually eased those doubts by actually being interesting. It’s premise is original–in terms of this season. The plot I couldn’t care less about. It’s trying to take itself seriously and trying to be dramatic when it doesn’t want to hide its true comedic nature.  The main characters mostly carried the show–their interactions are simple, funny, and a bit of S&M, so it’s definitely right up my alley.

7) Uchouten Kazoku

Uchouten Kazoku is actually great, though the premise isn’t really the most jaw-dropping for me, but I still like it nonetheless. The visuals are amazing though I can’t say the same with the character designs. There is something wrong with it…probably the nose and ears, but there is something more that I can’t figure. Well, anyway, so far the plot is enough to get me hooked and with its animation quality I can probably stick with this show.

 

IT’S OKAY…I GUESS?

1) Monogatari Series: Second Season

While I’ll still probably watch the Monogatari series till the end, it still goes to say that I’m not excited with it. That feeling I got when I watched Bakemonogatari and when I read Kizumonogatari is lost. It just doesn’t feel as exciting anymore. Well, ever since Nisemonogatari. Neko did hook me in a little.

The problem I had with the Monogatari series are the same problem I had already addressed. It sometimes borderlines on pretentiousness, especially on the animation style. I like the style, don’t get me wrong. It is one of the main thing why I watched the show. But, sometimes it is overdoing it. There’s a difference between aesthetics and function, and apparently Shaft has been favoring aesthetics more, ever since Nise. It wasn’t really a strong first episode, in fact, it was boring (unlike Bake and Nise). They banked on the fact that it has fanservice in the end. Which, while I’m okay with, doesn’t really help it’s case.

2) Gatchaman Crowds

Untitled

Gatchaman Crowds is 80s anime scriptwriting mixed with stunning visuals. The script is both a pro and a con, actually. While it is nostalgic, and somewhat funny it’s also marred with awkward dialogue, cheesy lines, and info-dumps. The main character is a genki girl whose energy levels is beyond 9000–but her positive attitude is a hit and miss. She’s eccentric, yes, but there are also time where it feels forced and random just to look cute. I hate being forced-fed with cuteness. I like genuine cuteness that comes naturally from character interaction, or natural reactions from certain situations. This one obviously feels like highlighting the cuteness without context. The plot isn’t really hooking me in with all the mysterious sci-fi mojo, but the visuals are great. I love the animation style, though there are times it tends to be spotty. I’m giving this one up to episode 4 to make me interested.

3) Danganropa

Danganropa was okay. That’s how I felt when I watched, it was okay. The character design weren’t really wowing me, though I love the atmosphere of the show. I don’t feel any tension and I can’t take the characters seriously because of their ridiculous designs. It’s also probably because I just got tired from all the high schoolers must kill high schoolers to survive genre. Anyway, I will postpone watching the show since I unexpectedly have about 8 shows to watch (I’m not droppping Monogatari even if it starts getting boring, that’s true love); plus the second half of Shingeki, Majestic Prince, and Mushibugyo, from last season.

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I EXPECTED…

1) High School DxD New

First scene I saw are boobs and I gave a long sigh. This show can be quite interesting sometimes. That sometimes is like 20% percent of the show and the rest is 80% fanservice. Like I said, I’m watching this show since I watched the first season and I need something to balance out the good ones I actually watch. Besides, there are times when I feel like watching fanservice galores, but only when I have a surplus of time or I get too overloaded with good anime. Yes, I get tired from watching good animes, so I watch half-decent ones to relax myself.

2) Free!

I checked this out to see what all the hype is about. Since this is KyoAni, the visuals and character designs are great–but, it also means it would have annoying plot with pointless drama. From the get-go, it’s definitely a fujoshi bait, and it idles more on being fanservice than actual plot. Which is annoying since I’m actually interested because I’m a swimmer myself. I felt it’s good to actually watch an anime about a sport I really love. But it became to engrossed in awkward dialogue and interactions that doesn’t really do much but be an excuse for fanservice. Plus, High School DxD unfortunately holds this season’s token fanservice anime, so I might lose my mind if I take another mindless show.

3) The World God Only Knows: Goddess Arc

I’m dying of disappointment here. I know a lot would be cut because it’s jumping to the Goddess Arc, but that a lot was actually…really a huge amount of material. I also don’t like how they just recap the scenes in the start. It awfully feels like some context is missing that even some non-manga readers were having question marks all over their heads. Manglobe did this with Hayate, so it’s no surprise, but this one is such a downer. I would probably not watch it right now…maybe when the season is over, I’m going to marathon it.

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