Thursday, October 24, 2013

Zola's Initial Thoughts on Fall 2013 Animes!

Hiyo! It's been a bit busy with midterms and all that (psh all Pokemon!) But as I said on the podcast 2 weeks ago, I'll be doing a small writeup on the shows that I started. Before I begin, some of these animes I only watched ONE episode of. As such, I might not be the best judge and should it actually get better (or potentially worse?), I'll make a note of it in a future post. Also, I won't be going over the "sequel" animes just because I feel that if you're curious about it, you probably watched the previous seasons. Also, I feel like I harp on the same idea too much when it comes to these. Therefore, no talk on Kuroko no Basuke, Hajime no Ippo, Little Busters (WATCH IT!), etcNow then let's begin!

btw, picture is of Hanazawa Kana's new role in Tokyo Ravens at Nastume. Kawaii deshou!? HAHAHAHA

Edit: After thinking about how ridiculously long this post is, I decided to sum up the stuff at the top. If you're interested in seeing why I thought an anime was worth watching or not, scroll down or ctrl + f to find it.

Kyoukai no Kanata - Recommend


Log Horizon - Recommend

Tokyo Ravens - Undecided

Strike the Blood - Undecided

Machine-Doll - Watch the first episode

NouKome - Watch the first episode

Kill la Kill - Undecided // Wait for Justin's opinion haha


Outbreak Company - Would not recommend

BlazBlue - Would not recommend

I'll begin with the three that I mentioned on the podcast (all of which I have watched to the latest episode at the time of writing this post). The brackets will just indicate what the original form of media (i.e. light novel or manga)

Kyoukai no Kanata

[Light Novel]

4 episodes in and oh mannnn, I'm so hooked. The presentation, while not as visually impressive as the water in Free!, remains superb and in the context of action/fighting scenes are really great and fluid. As with most of the other shows I'm watching this season, Kyoukai no Kanata is actually based off of a light novel so the story (from what I can make of it), engages me far more than in Free! The enjoyable balance between the male lead Akihito's comedics "megane bishoujo!" antics as well as the sense of trauma/suffering in the other characters AS well as himself made the show enjoyable to watch. Add in the fact that he's voiced by KENN who did Judai from Yugioh GX (yes I'm a big nerd lol) and Jil from Tower of Druaga (excellent show for those who have not watched it!) results in a feeling that is both nostalgic as well as fresh when it came to watching Kyoukai no Kanata for me. Reiterating what I mentioned on the podcast, I wonder just how far this anime can go on its 13 episode journey. While some light novels usually cover 2-3 volumes, with a beefy story and a good pacing, it's extremely likely we could be seeing more should the show keep up this level of enjoyment.I definitely RECOMMEND watching as it's within my top 3 this season!

Golden Time

[Light Novel]

As a coworker of mine said to me, "Yui Horie I'm guessing" as he smirks when I tell him my number 1 show. Written by Takemiya Yuyuko of Toradora fame! Actually I didn't know it was written by him at first. Toradora remains to be one of my favourite light novels as well as its excellent anime version. Regardless, after watching the first episode of Golden Time, I was intrigued with how the plot would develop. The reason why I felt Golden Time sticks out is due to various plot points. The first is that the setting is within university ( a law one at that). In an anime world filled with High School settings or even Middle School, this fresh and relatable (Objection!) setting was nice change from the usual. The second will have to be the circumstances of our male lead, Tada Banri. Due to a development later in the story, Banri feels really like a character that many people can relate to. Having just got into university away from his town, he's pretty much alone. His awkwardness we see in the first 5 minutes were both funny as well as how embarassing due to how much I feel like I could be exactly in his same position. By the 3rd episode, we see a significant development in his characterization which helps drive how unaccustomed he is to this environment and yet remarkably keeps trying hard. Last has got to be the female lead, Kaga Koko. Interestingly enough, after Toradora's interesting idea of two people trying to help each other get together with their respective crushes, Takemiya-sensei once again changes things as he sets up Banri to fall for Koko who is in love with the first friend Banri makes at university, Yanigasawa Mitsuo (No matter how hard I try, explaining this is so damn difficult!).Koko has her own problems which we get to see and it's not just about how Mitsuo is running away from her. What I like most about Koko is her strong sense of identity as a character. While it's not a tsundere like Taiga in Toradora, there is a similar feeling of a character who appears strong yet to the main character and viewer, has clear insecurities.Aside from Koko, two other females are introduced. While Ryuuji didn't really have a "harem" in Toradora, it makes me wonder how/if Banri will trigger any "flags" for the other girls.With 24 episodes to work with and a plethora of volumes (10 even!) , I'm excited to see where Golden Time goes and hopes it can be just as enjoyable if not more so than Toradora.Definitely my top RECOMMENDED for this season!

Log Horizon

[Light Novel]

After watching 3 episodes, it is really clear to me just how different Log Horizon is from SAO. While I know that SAO wasn't the first one to do the stuck in an MMO setting, it's the one I have the most experience with as I've kept more or less up to date with the light novels. Having just started airing so soon after SAO ended, I was wondering how they were going to present it to make sure people don't get the wrong idea. Fortunately, the source material's ideas keep Log Horizon feeling fresh. While SAO may be Kirito's struggle against being in a death game, Log Horizon seems to be about Shiroe struggle with himself. While I'm unsure if this is to the detriment of the show, the lack of explanation for the situation in the first episode clashes strongly with SAO's great world building. While it's possible that more information is going to be given over the course of the 24 episodes, this clear difference accentuates that unlike SAO's (and Accel's World) strength in world building, Log Horizon lies in its characters. So far I have really enjoyed the main 3 cast of the serious Shiroe, cheery Naotsugu, and the MOE! Akatsuki. Rather than being these serious "heroes", these 3 are just gamers who get caught up in this strange scenario. Extending to the fact that even Akatsuki is a huge roleplaying chara, it feels so much more appropriate to me. In addition to having them be max level and there being no penalty for death, Log Horizon's unique characteristics make me want to watch more. As someone who has spent way too much time with MMOs, it makes me feel excited to see what kind of epic and hilarious events will occur. RECOMMENDED to all those who can get past the whole "THIS IS A SAO RIP OFF" cause it really isn't !

Tokyo Ravens

[Light Novel]

Hanazawa Kana is female lead. Nuff said. Move on!!!

Oh and #1 opening by Maon Kurosaki this season. God damn.

The first 3 episodes is essentially the "prologue" for the series that sets up everything. Aside from the weird CGI and the huge amount of blushing (even males), visually I was hoping for a bit more from this kind of anime. Even so, the female designs are amazingly cute and the seiyuu chosen fit the roles well. I honestly can't say much about Tokyo Ravens. While these first 3 episodes feel like the equivalence of a volume in a light novel, I'm wondering how much detail was lost. Rather than characters like the previous two mentioned shows, this seems to be far more about the story behind it.With only 12 episodes, I'll have to keep watching in order to get a better feel for Tokyo Ravens. So for now, UNDECIDED as I don't want to recommend someone to have to go through 3 episodes just to see if they like it.

Strike the Blood!

[Light Novel]

Once again, fantastic opening by the Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets who did The Highschool of the Dead's opening. Compared to Tokyo Ravens, the initial introduction feels much more light novel esque and familiar. The designs of all the characters and the show itself feels really nice. As for the story, for some reason it feels a bit Index-ish to me. And that is absolutely fine with me. Unfortunately the plot is better understood by being watched than it is explained. Just trying to explain it gives me a huge headache TT.One of the strengths I feel that better stories stress on is making the main character "unique" relative to everyone else. While a rather "average/normal" character may be better relatable, main characters that have their own unique circumstances are much more appealing. Hopefully Strike the Blood develops the main character Kojou. With it being listed as a surprising 24 episodes, hopefully the magic fighting remains intense! Until I feel convinced, this show will be UNDECIDED in terms of recommendation!

Oh and the main female lead is in middle school. I feel so conflicted right now (ala Kagome) omfg.

Machine-Doll wa Kizutsukanai (Unbreakable Machine-Doll)

[Light Novel]

Machine-Doll is a series that I'd enjoy yet greatly but I'm unsure how many others would actually like it. While I love how my favourite male seiyuu Shimono Hiro is voicing the main character, this type of story feels best experienced in its original source as a Light Novel. Having started reading the first volume after watching the first episode, I liked the explanation given in the light novel of how magic has evolved into this art of basically controlling these automatons due the efficiency and speed in comparison to the old ways of casting magic. This unique attribute seems to be played down in the anime and while we do learn about Magic Circuits in the second episode, I hope the anime stresses more about the uniqueness of the world.Raishin as a character is a bit different than most main characters you'd see in these types of series. Seeking revenge and having a cool personality rather than a hot-blooded "I'll overcome adversity with the power of friendship" melds well with the female lead, Yaya who happens to be Raishin's automaton. Honestly, while I would recommend it to everyone who is like me and just enjoys these types of shows, I would probably advise others to WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE. If it doesn't interest you than you'll probably dislike the rest of the episodes as well.

Ore no Nonai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru(My mental multiple choice is getting in the way of my school love comedy)

[Light Novel]

As is convention recently, it seems that school comedy light novels like long titles. Anyways, NouKome made me laugh a lot. It's sometimes crude and plays on the moe aspect, and some may dislike the character designs. That's totally understandable. But this anime is so outrageous that it compels me to keep watching to see what happens next. The premise is that the main character suffers from a curse where every so often, he is given a selection of actions that he will perform or in some cases absurd events that will occur to him. This by itself drives the comedy of the show. In the first few minutes, the bishounen we see comes across an Ero magazine and has to put it in his face and sniff it in or eat it, all the while in a public park where grade schoolers are walking by. As much as I want to recommend this to everyone, the comedy may not be for everyone. WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE and if you like it, then you'll probably like everything else!

Kill la Kill

[Anime Original]

It's very obvious that Kill la Kill is from the director who did Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The art style, the crazy setting/story, and the stylish fights filled with the calling out of attack names just exudes that same charm we feel in Tengen Toppa. I know that Justin had his eye on this one and I feel it'll be interesting to see how his thoughts on Kill la Kill goes having not watched Tengen. With a respectable 24 episodes, there's a lot of time for something epic. Because the premise doesn't intrigue me at all compared to Tengen Toppa's, I'll probably be holding off on Kill la Kill and awaiting Justin's thoughts on it. Therefore, until we hear it on the podcast, UNDECIDED!

Yuusha ni Narenakatta, Ore wa shibushibu shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita (I couldn't become a hero, so I reluctantly decided to find a job)

[Light Novel]

I watched the first episode in high hopes assuming for something like the excellent Hataraku Maou-sama! Instead, we're treated to an initial fighting scene filled with boob jiggle and countless other fanservice tropes that carry throughout the episode. While I'm accepting of it, it's rare for me to be so utterly saddened by an anime doing this. The comedy isn't funny at all and is just downright unappealing when paired with the fanservice. I guess high hopes really do crush people sometimes This show is something that should be experienced as a light novel where the fanservice is most likely less obtrusive. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

Outbreak Company

[Light Novel]

Honestly the beginning setup is pretty interesting. A hikikomori otaku nets a job after taking an online test about all things otaku. Then we find out the reason he's a hikikomori is cause he was rejected by his childhood friend for being an otaku. Now that by itself is enough to get me to watch. Interested in seeing what exactly is required of him in this job, I continued happily into the episode. Unfortunately, the revelation that he is brought to another world in order to be an ambassador and give them an understanding of all things Otaku made me lose all interest. This type of twist doesn't interest me at all. I would have loved if it was a slice of life about a guy working at a otaku shop or something as he tries to overcome the side effects of being a hikikomori. Instead, we're introduced to a world where characters are apparently moe and one dimensional in nature. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND TT

BlazBlue: Alter Memory

[Video Game]

Based off of a fighting game, it's probably safe to assume that the plot isn't really anything to speak of. It's nice to hear Tomokazu Sugita in this type of role but I'm unconvinced if there's any point in experiencing this as an anime. Sure you can transition cool fighting scenes but if the plots no good, then it's a hard sell to anyone aside from a die hard fan. Having only watched one episode so far, I MAY continue should there be decent feedback but until then, I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND it.

Ok wow. 2500 words lol. LONNGGGG POST. Sorry for the poor formatting and all that but it took me a while to collect my thoughts ( as well as watch through these). I doubt I'l be starting on any more series this season but anything can happen. I'll probably mention it on the podcast or write another post. Alright! Hope everyone enjoys this season cause it's filled with goodies.
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