Category: First Impressions

First Impressions: The World God Only Knows

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Based on two episodes

Summary: Keima Katsuragi is addicted to dating sims, known online as “The Capturing God” able to capture the heart of any 2D girl. Mistaking his ability for actual success with woman a demon named Elsee appears and recruits him to help capture evil spirits hiding in the hearts of young girls. After accidently signing the agreement Keima is forced to try and win the hearts of real girls or both he and Elsee will lose their heads.

2 Review: The World God Only Knows sounds like it is going to be an otaku pandering show filled with exploitation. But Keima Katsuragi character prevents it from ever going down that direction. It is one of the rare times that we see an Otaku portrayed not as a drooling loser, but as a fully rounded character who hides in 2D games because his social skills are lacking. That fact enables the audience to immediately sympathize with Keima.

At its heart The World God Only Knows is another meta-anime. The show is commenting on its own medium, poking fun at the tropes found in Dating Sims and romance anime. All of Keima’s interactions with women up to that point have been with fantasies within Video Game worlds so Keima, now forced to win the hearts of real girls, only has the tools he’s developed in Dating Sim to work on. This leads to much of the show’s humor, for example, Keima needs to win the heart of a track team member but declares he cannot because she isn’t wearing bloomers and her hair isn’t tired up, which is the image commonly shown in Anime and video games. There is also a lot of slapstick with a few sight gags that made me physically laugh out loud, which is rare even in comedies I enjoy. 3

The formula of the show leads to a cast of well-developed characters. Each girl Keima needs to “capture” has to  be won by learning information about them. Kemia gathers his information as the character slowly unravels and only at that point is he able to “capture” their hearts. The individual stories of each of the girls aren’t the most original but the ways we learn and interact with the characters allow the audience to get close to them and sympathize with them.

The girls Keima has to capture are played as realistic as anime will allow while he is approaching each situation as if it were a game. There is a potential that the stereotypes of a game applied “realistically” will lead to a ton of misogyny but it doesn’t come through strongly due to how sincere Keima is playing it. Then after he gets to know the girl and they fall in love with him, they lose their memories. Keima has to live with the knowledge that they did love him but now will barely look at him. The tragic part is that he has to do this continuously until his contract is up. I have a feeling that towards the end Keima is4n’t going to be able to let one of the girls go and we’ll have a main conflict arise from it.

Verdict: The World God Only Knows excels because of how it plays with general tropes of Anime and Dating Sims. Unlike lesser shows it knows how silly these tropes are and plays up that fact to the benefit of the characters and the humor. Keima becomes an endearing character due to how honest his “otakuness” is played and having to constantly fall in love and then back away from the girls he needs to “capture.”

First Impressions: Otome Yokai Zakuro

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Based on two episodes

Summary: Alternate history tale of Army officers having to join forces with half-spirit girls in order to keep renegade spirits under control in the changing world of Meji Japan. Zakuro, a half-human half-fox spirit, is paired up with Kei Agemaki a man who is terrified of all spirits.

3 Review: I’m having a hard time reviewing the show based on the first two episodes. I just don’t have much to say about it. The only problem I had with the first episode was the one character who had the energy and humor of Italy from Hatalia but that disappeared in the second episode. The most compelling part of the show is how the characters are treated. Zakuro’s reaction to Kei felt natural. She seems like a traditional Tsundere at first but quickly developed feelings for Kei, feelings that were dashed away when she learned about his irrational fear of her people. Zakuro is characterized as any young girl who meets a dashing soldier, she develops a crush and upon seeing a gaping flaw was insulted by it. It was so honest that it was also striking, especially because she isn’t completely human. But being trapped in the monastery surrounded by girls her whole life of course she is going to be taken aback by the first young man she interacted with for a long period of time, and not being around humans much she is of course offended by his fear. 1

It contains a mess of genres including Romance, supernatural, historical fiction, and action. Making it a strange creation but it balances all of them so well. The action is a little lacking and the fights so far have been solved  with a cool chant and a single stab with a knife. But the art is beautiful and the mystical chants during the “transformation” scenes are soothing and add to the tone of the show, making it feel more traditionally Japanese. .which was probably not the goal I’m guessing that those chants probably have nothing to do with Japanese history or spiritualism but that is what I got from them.

The theme of the show is that these Spirits are upset and causing damage due to Westernization during the Meji period in Japan. The spirits represent the old world and they are putting up a resistance to the new world. Zakuro is also terrified of Westernization, again mostly because she has spent most of her life in a traditional Japanese monastery. The half-spirits are offended that the soldiers drink cow’s milk, which is an example of the level of fear of foreign ideas that they have. Having them mix with the modernized Japanese soldier is a way to physically show the old world and the new world colliding. One of the two is going to lose this battle, and from the start the spirits are at a disadvantage.

4 The strange addition to the show was that each half-spirit has a familiar spirit. I just find them annoying and they don’t add anything to the show. Zakuro’s is an ugly rabbit that speaks crudely in a deep voice. The twin characters have childlike spirits with ugly pumpkins for heads. Their only function is to bring each half-spirit their weapon during combat. I don’t know why they are in the show, I suppose Lily Hoshino didn’t want to create the normal cute animal familiar but I would have preferred them to what she gave us.

Verdict: Otome Yokai Zakuro, from the first two episodes, is an above average supernatural romance with exceptional characters. But there are themes and elements under the surface which can be used to create an exceptional show. Hopefully they treat the themes correctly and don’t allow them to be swallowed by the humor or romantic aspect of the show.

First Impressions: The Squid Girl

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Based on first two episodes

Summary: Squid Girl comes to dry land in order to seek revenge for human’s reckless pollution of the ocean. However, due to her having never been outside the ocean before she underestimates the number of humans actually on the planet, accidently breaks a wall of a seaside café and ends up havint to work off the repair costs.

1 Review: Most people, when they read the summery for Squid Girl, probably dismissed it before giving it a chance. I almost ignored it completely but upon hearing some good things decided to jump in. Squid Girl excels because it is aware of how silly it’s own concept it and plays it up as often as possible. The show is drawing from three main sources of story and humor: Squid Girl is discovering what it takes to be a human being, Squid Girl attempts to take over the world, and Squid Girl is an idiot and gets herself in trouble.

The titular character is a pleasant Moe character that is fierce and assertive but can also be insecure and frightened. For a gag anime, and for a human personification of a Squid, she comes off as a surprisingly well rounded character. She doesn’t really resemble a Squid in any way except for her tentacle, which she can manipulate, and the fact that she can vomit up ink. The show enjoys playing with the insanity of its concept and does it well.3

The supporting characters of the show are all played straight. They completely buy into the fact that Squid Girl  is from the ocean, they do whatever she asks no matter how silly, and draw out the humor by completely dismissing the fact that a personified Squid is working in their café. If at any point one of them made a big deal out of Squid Girl the illusion the show creates would be broken. It depends on the cast not caring that she is a Squid and not caring that her original goal was to subdue the human race… and ignoring her repeated attempts to do just that.

The show is played like many gag anime in short stories, Squid girl actually references a volume and chapter number suggesting that is the manga story they are adapting. The small stories keep the pace of the show up because of the format and style of the show stretching a single story out of the concept and characters would be almost impossible. I don’t see a large story arc or character arcs forming around this series and that is for the better because, again, the concept is so insane that the second you start to form any coherent story around it everything simply falls apart.

The one fear I have is how long they can keep the show fresh. Hopefully it won’t become stale before the thirteen episodes are up but how far they could keep doing jokes about a personified Squid is still up in the air. 4

Verdict: Squid Girl is an enjoyable and fun gag anime that takes advantage of its concept and characters well.  It offers short, complete segments that take a single simple joke, allow it to run its course, and then end, never stretching gags in order to fill time. How long the show remains fresh and interesting is up in the air, but hopefully they develop a plot beyond Squid girl’s awkwardness before it gets to that point. I’m eagerly looking forward to how the series turns out.

First Impressions: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru

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Based on first two episodes

Summary: Arashiyama is a clumsy girl who works for an Old Lady’s sudo-maid café. The café is mostly empty giving her plenty of time to goof around with her friends. Ill-fated love stories, run in with incompetent police and a general lack of common sense plague the employees and patrons of this small maid café.

vlcsnap-2010-10-20-18h28m04s217 Review: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru is a strange show. So strange that I had to check to see if this aired on the famous Noitamina block. The first episode is filled with odd camera angels, surreal dialogue, a manic pace, and a twisted sense of humor. This is SHAFT, after all, and their shows tend to challenge traditional Anime trends.

The show is mostly made up of shorts where the characters tackle a topic, mostly in dialogue, and include a pile of jokes at the expense of the characters, the twisted situations, and I’m sure some Japanese word play that will never be adequacy translated into English. While the dialogue is snappy and interesting it is the situations the characters find themselves in where the humor of the show mostly comes from. Simple tasks like Arahiyama attempting to be good sister by having her siblings play together or running errands for the Maid Café end up exploding in her face. While “clumsy girl” is a common anime trope Arashiyama owns her flaw by not being embarrassed when she is caught in a rather stupid moment but being confident and bullheaded, which extends simple moments of carelessness into large and more complicated events. vlcsnap-2010-10-20-18h31m16s57

Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru isn’t just another show about a Maid-café nor is it just another work place  comedy like “Working!” the humor mostly comes from the characters and the absurdity that this little Maid Café exists in such a shabby place being run by an old lady and the clientele are simply older men who know the owner. It breaks very standard convention of a Maid Café to the point where Arashiyama’s classmate Tatsuno comes into the shop one day and begins to scold the staff for not greeting her properly, for not following the protocol of the Maid. The café becomes itself a part of a large absurd comedy, in part to comment on how insane the concept of a maid café is in the first place but mostly just to have a set the characters can interact with each other without being distracted by pesky things like “work.”

vlcsnap-2010-10-20-18h33m07s38 The show is, at its core, an absurdist comedy but it does have a lot of important issues to comment on. As stated above there is some commentary on Japanese society such as questioning the concept of a Maid Café, issues around the sensitivity of woman to any comment that can be taken sexual, the bureaucratic insanity of Japanese public schools, the disrespect the youth has for adults, and a host of small commentaries that dwell in the background. It is a rich show that is using its tone and humor in order to point out the flaws in society.

The character designs are well done, done in a unique style that abandons modern aesthetics in favor of vlcsnap-2010-10-20-18h32m03s15 something more traditional. But there are some strange character designs that stand out, in between the smooth faced Arahiyama and Tatsuno are a host of unique designs from the colorful cast that makes up the owners of the sopping district to the kindly yet strict elderly owner of the cafe, and the striking design of Tatsuno’s friend with a large forehead and buckteeth. The variation in the design is a welcome change to what has become the standard anime girl face type.

Verdict: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru is a spectacular show. It is a fast moving comedy that jumps from story to story without any worry about character development or a consistent narrative. If you allow yourself to be lost in the unique tone of the show and allow it to take you on its ride it shows the potential to being a deeply profound piece of Japanese animation.

First Impressions: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

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Summary: “Toys” grant people incredible powers like superhuman strength and telekinesis but these powers create a new generation of super criminals. Detectives must utilize the powers of their own “toys” in order to stop them. Milky Holmes is a team of four prodigy detectives renowned for their abilities but during a fight with a team of thieves they mysteriously lose their powers.

Review: Milky Holmes attempts to fuse the magical girl genre with a detective story featuring the four character detective team who are able to wield unique powers in order to track down thieves and prevent crimes. Many of the tropes of the Magical Girl genre are here including the colorful, flashy outfits and the main 1 character’s sense of justice. Even the villains, a colorful team of master thieves with their own unique costumes and powers, seem to be pulled right out of a magical girl series. But there is a detective theme to it, which is odd because the first episode features no case for the characters to solve. From the “test” given to Milky Holmes to prove they have lost their powers, detective work consists of using their special abilities in order to manipulate the world around them. Now the strange thing is… the main characters have lost of those powers. So where is the show?

The show will be about Milky Holmes attempt to regain their lost ability and that isn’t as compelling as “magical girl detectives.” Judging from the attitudes for the characters in the first episode they don’t even seem to really care that their powers have gone except that they have lost the respect and privilege that comes with being the most renowned detectives in their school. 3

The incomprehensible plot involves this team of ridiculous thieves infiltrating the academy for detectives in  every level; as teacher, as student, as student council president, and janitor. Now, I’m no detective in training but if I were.. I bet I could eventually spot one of the five criminals especially with the flamboyant one posing as Milky Holmes’ homeroom teacher! I liked the idea of magical girls acting as detectives but the villains ruin the show. Just the facts that they can be inside the school and have constant interaction with a massive student body all training to become detectives… detectives! A profession that involves looking for clues in order to find criminals… I need to stop writing this paragraph before I punch someone.

2  The four main characters are bland, forgettable, generic moe characters. You can barely tell them apart until they do one of their signature actions such as “be bossy” or “cower” and so they don’t redeem the lackluster plot. Even the animation feels dated and uninteresting. Plus, there is clearly a lot of information left out of the first episode that we could get if we had played the game such as who is Opera Koyabashi, the person in charge of Milky Holmes, is, why is so important, and where is he? He is only mentioned once or twice and in a tone that suggested the audience should already know who he is. I have a feeling this show isn’t supposed to be treated as a standalone but intended as fan service for those already familiar with the PSP game.

Verdict: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is a silly series with a ridiculous plot that feels like it was made fifteen years ago. It spoils it’s one interesting aspect by having the characters powers taken away in the first episode and because of that seems to only serve as fan service to people who were already familiar with the franchise. Don’t waste your time.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is being Simulcast on Crunchyroll.com.

First Impressions: Fortune Arterial

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Summary: Hasekura Kouhei has transferred from school to school all his life due to his parent’s constantly changing jobs. Finally they decided to send him to a Christian boarding school where he expects to have a normal life, but he finds himself surrounded by an odd assortment of friends and supernatural creatures.

1Review: Fortune Arterial is a show that seems to be attempting to hit every anime cliché in its first episode. It was almost at the point where the show was parodying itself. The main  love interest is the vice president of student council, the protagonist runs into long lost childhood friends; he manages to walk in on a girl in the bath. The clichés felt comforting, in a way, anime has been avoiding some of these elements in recent years because they were so blatantly overused in the medium, but that feeling is certainly no way to start a show. The show felt safe, if boring at times, and I found myself enjoying it for what it was: cheap, dumb romantic comedy trying to be a new Love Hina or Oh My Goddess.

Suddenly, Vampires.

It seems that the purposely generic vibe was buildup towards the surprise twist at the end; the school is  2invested with Vampires. Extremely similar to an image from the first episode of Hellsing the main character stands at the door to a church while a vampire sucks the blood out of a young girl. Vampires are popular but simply tossing one into a generic anime romantic comedy isn’t the most effective use of the mythical creatures. This formula has been done before, romantic comedy PLUS, and the romantic comedy bit of Fortune Arterial isn’t enough to drive the show along.

The most annoying part is the way some of the characters are played. It constantly felt like Fortune Arterial could have done something more but just dropped the ball. The Vice president flips out when she first meets Hasekura and the show plays the reason as a serious mystery. But it is revealed that the reason was that she fell in love with him. Maybe there is more to what has been revealed in this first episode but the tired formula the first episode follows doesn’t leave much room innovation.

3 Verdict: There isn’t much to say about Fortune Arterial except that it was a formulaic, boring show that wanted to play with the romance genre by tossing in some supernatural elements. Even if there is  a decent supernatural subplot that might spice things up, the characters and events of the first episode are so bland that it leaves little hope for the rest of the series.

 

 

 

Fortune Arterial is being simulcast on Crunchyroll.com.

First Impressions: Bakuman

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Summery: Moritaka Mashiro is coerced by his classmate Akito Takagi to strive to become a mangaka. Moritaka is haunted by the his Uncle’s own deadly experience as a mangaka and isn’t convinced until Akito asks Azuki Miho, an aspiring voice actress and Moritaka’s crush, to star in the anime adaptation if they succeed. In a rush of passion, Moritaka also asks Azuki to marry her and she agrees under the condition that they don’t see each other until the day their dreams come true.

vlcsnap-2010-10-13-21h04m24s8 Review: Bakuman is a refreshing show this season not because of the plot or animation but because of the way the show handles it’s subject matter. The goal of becoming a mangaka is not romantizied but it’s explicitly presented as a futile goal. The drive behind Moritaka is never to just become the best mangaka in Japan but to win the girl of his dreams, and that is the push that makes him chance an impossible dream. In a way, the show puts romance as the most important factor in a person’s life. The story of Moritaka’s Uncle is colored by a failed romance more than the fact that he worked himself to death. Actually, Moritaka’s Uncle worked so hard in order to impress the girl he loved and even after she was far out of reach he kept working to become a famous mangaka. vlcsnap-2010-10-03-19h38m40s90

The entire show also has an anti-corporate vibe. Moritaka has a long voice over in the beginning of the show  explaining that he doesn’t want to strive to be a great CEO or business man; he just wants to get a good job and live a good life. Akito, however, works as a foil for Moritaka. He is already at the top of the class and he wants to tackle his dream of becoming a mangaka because he sincerely believes he can succeed. Akito embodies the success for the sake of success mindset that the Japanese love. The two dueling personalities will color the series and hopefully draw out some of the more profound ideas. I would love the show to answer some of the questions it seems to have just dropped into the narration: Is becoming a mangaka more Nobel than becoming a CEO? Is being wealthy and successful better than just living a good life? Bakuman has the opportunity to explore these deep seeded beliefs and challenge them.

vlcsnap-2010-10-13-21h03m54s7 The most compelling aspect of Bakuman is the fact that a story about a pair of Mangaka attempting to be the greatest in the country is coming from a pair of mangaka who were on the top of the manga world in Japan and have gained international success. Their insights into the workings of the industry alone are enough to keep the show engaging and interesting for any fan of Japanese anime and manga.

The romance between Moritaka and Azuki is the only stumbling point of the first episode. It quickly goes from her admiring them for attempting to become mangaka to her being shut away from them for the duration of the series. It becomes a non-romance and she becomes only a goal that Moritaka is attempting to achieve, not a genuine love interest. There is some anger towards woman boiling under the surface of the characters in the series, not only in the fact that Moritaka’s Uncle worked himself to death in part due to a broken heart, but in an early monologue Moritaka dismisses love as something worthless because he is unable to talk to woman, and he seems to blame woman for this failing, at least that is the impression that I got from the line. Tsugumi Ohba hasn’t ever written female characters well. Death Note’s Misa, the only major female character, is completely dependent on Yagami Light vlcsnap-2010-10-13-21h04m08s113 to the point of blind devotion. It doesn’t look like Azuki Miho is going to aspire to anything greater.

Verdict: Bakuman has the powerful dialogue of Tsugumi Ohba so it is a no brainer for this season. The bonus is that it is a borderline autobiographical story of two of the most successful Mangaka of our generation. Their insight into the industry and commentary on the politics and workings of the modern Japanese manga industry will hopefully make this a compelling , insightful series. If you can overlook Ohba’s blatant sexism, that is.

First Impressions: MM

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Summary: In order to cure himself of his Masochistic fetish Taro Sado seeks the aid of Second Volunteer club president Mio Isurugi.

Review: I find it hard to believe that it has taken this long for someone to put a Tsundere together with a Masochist. Here you have one of the most popular anime archetypes placed with someone who is always going to enjoy it? Actually, claiming character’s like Love Hina’s Keitaro and Haruhi’s Kyon are masochists might not be that huge of a stretch. ..

vlcsnap-2010-10-03-15h00m15s171 MM starts off with Mio chasing Sado around and beating him up, a scene that is never explained in the first episode and seems to just be an example of what the audience is going to see for the next twenty minutes: A cute Tusdare beating on a masochist. That is pretty much the only joke to the entire show. Well, the only joke except for the cross dressing character.

Yep, those are the only two jokes in the entire first episode. Taro gets turned on by being beaten up and his crush is a cross dresser. There is a large amount of Otaku who have found Tusdare beating on people enjoyable but MM is definitely pushing the gag too far. It is like they went back and reread Love Hina and believed that the reason it was so popular was when Naru beat on Keitaro! Then the writers proceeded to strip out all other jokes, character development, and storyline.

There is some hope for a little character drama with the passive Arashiko YĆ«no, who seems to be terrified of vlcsnap-2010-10-03-15h00m49s36 Sado because of his fetish. While even her interaction with Sado ended up in a pummeling the preview for the second episode appears to have something of a relationship growing between the two. The episode ends with Sado having joined the Second Volunteer club with Mio claiming that it will be the cure for his masochism. Doubtful, being that it allows many more opportunities for Sado to be abused by Mio, which is exactly what Sado wants. This episode simply got us to the point where these characters can interact and perhaps grow. Hopefully now that the show is at this point it can expand beyond the “He gets turned on when I hit him” gag I was tired of after five minutes.

Verdict: Even if the show can develop some likable characters and some kind of cohesive plot I doubt they’ll let the masochist gag die anytime soon. I’m tempted to try the second episode and see if MM can fill my “light moe show” requirement for this season. However, if the masochist gag is pushed even a little then I doubt I’ll be able to sit through it for long.

First Impressions: Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

 

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Summery: Two angels have come to Earth and must earn “heaven coins” in order to return home. They do so by banishing Ghosts from the Daten City, a city that sits on the border between heaven and earth.

morning panty Review: The most compelling aspect of Gainax’s Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt was the animation. Instead of the normal anime style it instead decides to barrow from a more western style that mimics early 2000s Cartoon Network shows like the Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory, with the protagonist’s dog being completely lifted from Invader Zim. Even the format, two 12 minute shorts per episodes, is in the style of an American cartoon. While at first refreshing I just couldn’t enjoy the art, it was more distracting than enjoyable after the opening animation. Being different certainly got the show noticed but one of the reasons I enjoy anime is because of the art style and I assume most western fans share the same feelings. I assume that Gainax is attempting to capture a Japanese audience that enjoys this style much like Cartoon Network’s attempt to capture fans by mimicking anime. While I applaud Gainax for trying something new this art style is not for me.

The show itself is just a gag anime filled with toilet humor and sex jokes. While the animation is inspired by  American cartoons the plot is clearly Japanese, at its core it is about two Shinigami sent to Warth to take care of some misbehaving ghosts, no where near the most original concept for a show. The characters are about as victory!shallow as one would expect from a gag anime, Panty is a slut and the only jokes involving her are centered on that fact: she talks in sexual innuendo, is found sleeping with several guys, and when she runs into a guy she likes her first action is to drag him into a motel. Stocking barely gets any development in this first episode because of the how much the “Panty is a slut” joke is played up. She is characterized as the goth Lolita who is obsessed with sweets, a slightly less forced flaw than Panty’s sexual appetite.

The protagonist’s names, and the show’s title, come from their ability to turn their clothes into weapons. Obviously, Panty has to remove her.. and so on. During the first fight Gainax tosses in a classically animated  sequence of Stocking transformationthe two girls stripping the appropriate garment off and fondling themselves. While it was a bit tasteless it was animated extremely well and allowed me to clearly see at once how much I disliked the art style of Panty and Stocking and longed for the Japanese style to take over during the fight scene. But, unfortunately, the adult anime version of Panty and Stocking were there for only brief fan service and then gone.

 

 

Verdict: I suppose if you like the humor you’ll find Panty and Stocking enjoyable. I rolled my eyes at all the “jokes” and found the action sequences boring. The animation is clearly well done but the style is not to my liking and clearly done just to be different.

 

Watch Panty and Stocking on Crunchyroll.com

Spring 2010 Anime Season Preview

 

The brand new season is starting and as usual I am looking at the upcoming shows intensely to see what I should watch. Below is a list of shows that I will be checking out at the start of the season each with a short summery and the reason why I decided to check the show out. I am not doing a full season preview because there are a lot of those already out there and done in far more detail than I have the time or energy to do.

All the videos and information come from Anime Vice please go there for their complete list of the Spring season shows. Time permitting I’ll also do some first impression posts for these shows. I liked how the Durarara!! one turned out but they take a while to write and I’lve been strapped for time the last few weeks. So we’ll have to see.

To the list!

B-Gata H-Kei

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This show is a reverse of the standard “perverted guy falls in love” story by replacing the perverted guy with a perverted girl. Well, I’m a sucker for anime romance so I’m definitely going to check it out but if the humor doesn’t hold up past the first few episodes it probably won’t sustain my interest.

Heroman

The long awaited collaboration between BONES and Stan Lee, Heroman is a story of a boy who likes to fix things who stumbles across a discarded toy robot. After tinking with it the toy turns into a giant robot superhero that wears an American flag for some reason. I don’t think this show is going to go anywhere. The robot looks silly and out of place with the American flag and the trailer reveals nothing about any possibly story the show might have. I don’t have high hopes. But, considering how high profile the show is, I pretty much have to at least give it a try.

House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves is about a Ronin who gets hired by a crime family and slowly gets wrapped up into the life of an outlaw. The art and animation look amazing. I’m very excited for this show. It feels like an attempt to go back when Anime was more about kicking ass and taking names than cute girls starting a band… not that I’m against the latter…

K-On!!

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Moe moe!

 

Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

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The story of a student council president who is attempting to make a formally male only High School more feminine.. by beating boys up? Her plans seem to be flawless until the most popular guy at school finds out she works at a Maid Cafe and then… yup.. blackmail. This show looks like an insane amount of fun. They have a seemingly strong female character put into a vulnerable role and the only choice is for to explode and kill everyone. If this show, like so many others, end up turning a strong female into a submissive character I will be very disappointed. I want to see a satisfying story that involves a maid cafe… not another fantasy for teen boys.

WORKING!!

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A teenage boy gets a job at a local restaurant filled with insane girls. Standard harem show which means it will be AMAZING. I love harem anime! There isn’t enough haram anime! This show looks to be more comedy focused than romance so it might be a welcome mix up for some of the old cliches.

Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei

I couldn’t find no information about the plot of the show except for Anime Vice’s Gia Manry non-descriptive summery, “A college senior reflects back on his career as a student.” This doesn’t look like a show to watch late at night… or when tired… or ever. Your brain would be better off if you did not watch this show. I will watch the show and take the bullet for you.

 

These are shows that I will wait and see an initial reaction to before giving them a try:

Senkou no Night Raid

Takes place in 1931 and follows a group of spies sent into China to see what has happened since the first world war. Looks interesting but not enough to get excited about. The animation looks fantastic but spy fiction isn’t exactly my favorite genre. I’ll keep an eye on it and if I hear universally good things then I’ll jump on it.

SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors

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Chibi Gundams reenact the events of the famous novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms? I can’t see how this could not become an incomprehensible train wreck. My love of both Gundam and Romance of the Three Kingdoms forces me to check this out.. if someone takes the time to fansub it, of course.

 

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

  ichiban_ushiro_no_daimaou

A student at a magical academy takes an aptitude test and receives “King of Demons” as his preferred career choice.

The concept doesn’t sound all that interesting but the director, Takashi Watanabe, is a master animation Director famous as the director of the Slayers shows and the masterpiece Kino’s Journey. His credits alone keep me interesting in an otherwise standard show.