Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter 2012 Anime Reviews

So it's that time again, a new season of anime has started and there's all sorts of stuff to try out. Only one post from me this time since, as is usual for winter seasons, there isn't a ton of stuff that interests me but there are still a few shows that caught my eye. I've seen the first one or two episodes of each series, for once all of these shows are legally being simulcast so I might be a few days behind some of them, but normally my opinion doesn't change too radically from my early impressions so onto the mini-reviews!

Ano Natsu de Matteru (Waiting in the Summer): High school student Kirishima Kaito is expecting to have a laid back summer shooting a movie with friends but then he apparently gets crushed by an alien space ship. Oops. So far he hasn’t remembered that detail but since the offending alien, and the one responsible for bringing him back, has now transferred to his school, agreed to help out with the movie and somehow moved in with him while his sister leaves for the summer, it might not be so quiet after all. Ignoring how much of that sounds like Birdy the Mighty Decode (since there have been plenty of shows with a similar arrangement of tropes) I was surprised at how much I liked this one. It took some classic romantic tropes, such as the mysterious and hot new transfer student moving in, and actually played around with them and made them funny again. Sure there were still some facepalm worthy moments when things became too clich├ęd but so far I think the writers stand at good chance at making this a fun little show.

Another:26 years ago, a talented student who was beloved by everyone died. Yet her classmates pretended that she was still alive up to graduation and there seems to be even more to the story than that. Fast forward to 1998 and Kouichi Sakakibara has moved to the small town of Yomiyama and will be attending the same middle school while his father is off researching in India. He spends some time in a hospital first however and from there the story starts creating an atmosphere that “not everything is as it seems!” and by creating atmosphere I mean beating you over the head with all the shots of people looking uncomfortable, shots that drag out way too long with “creepy sounds” played, and too many close-ups of people’s eyes dilating dramatically. The show does sound interesting and a like a lot of it but after two episodes I just can't take the "this is atmosphere!" moments seriously and I just become too annoyed at the show. I might pick it up later but for the moment the show is dropped.

Bodacious Space Pirates (Mouretsu Pirates): …..I am never typing out that title again if I can help it. Contrary to the title however, this isn’t a fanservice show (or at least not yet)! In the future there have been many planets that have been colonized and one of them, the Sea of the Morningstar, gained it’s independence from it’s mother system only 100 years ago with the help of privateers, space pirates who attack enemy ships with permission from the government (a “Letter of Marque”). This is all fairly unimportant for Marika Kato, an ordinary high school student who is very active in her school’s space yacht club, until she learns that she is the only living descendant of the captain of the ship Bentenmaru* and therefore is the only person who can be the next captain. Marika isn’t so sure about all of this pirate stuff but I definitely be checking out a few more episodes since this one seemed like a fairly fun show and I liked Marika a lot as well, she seems fairly sensible so I’m curious how they’ll convince her to become the captain. The show also has had the sense not to rush Marika into her new position, even if it’s clear to the audience that she’ll be the next captain, and I’m really enjoying the world building build up right now.

InuxBoku Secret Service: Ririchiyo is the newest tenant of the Mansion de Ayakashi, a super exclusive apartment complex where each person is assigned their very own Secret Service person. Ririchiyo, who moved in to try and work on her habit of covering up her true emotions by speaking disdainfully to people, doesn’t want her assigned Secret Service man but Soushi might wear her down yet. I read some of the manga for this series before this and it took me a few chapters to get into the swing of it and I feel like that might be the same case here. It’s kinda interesting but not a very gripping first episode, I did like the OP though which was nice since I haven’t liked most of the OP/ED I’ve seen this season.

Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne (Rinne no Lagrange: Flower Declaration of Your Heart): Madoka seems to be a fairly ordinary student, abet one who helps out everyone who asks and because someone asked her she ends up piloting a robot in the fight against alien invaders (she does object when she finds out this wasn't a one time thing however). It certainly feels like a lot of mecha/space/sci-fi-ish shows this season (this, Aquarion Evol, that pirate show, Senki Zessho Symphogear, Ano Natsu to a degree), I guess this is the accidental theme of the season (and perhaps the year) just like young girl detectives were the theme last year. I didn’t like the first episode that much, it felt bland and predictable, but I started warming up to the show in the second episode as Madoka and some of the other characters started to get a bit more fleshed out and there was a small twist on the monster-of-the-week style episode I was expecting. The show is (split) two cour so it has time to build up and I really hope that’s what they’re doing right now.

Natsume Yuujinchou Shi: You really shouldn’t be watching this show if you haven’t seen the previous three seasons and if you’ve seen them then you already know the drill here, Takashi Natsume can see spirits and inherited the Book of Friends from his grandmother who could also see spirits and decided to release all the names contained within it. He gets into trouble a lot however and mostly unrelated to the book such as the trouble he gets into in the two-parter that starts off the season. I like the more serious arcs of Natsume myself, especially since we might even get some back story on his parents this season (it popped up recently in the scanlations), and the theme of the season so far seems to be Natsume actively helping out yokai, but regardless which way Natsume goes I’ll be sure to keep watching.

In case you guys couldn't tell, Funico have been surprisingly mum about their pick-ups for this season, so far they only announced the DxD boobs show and honestly there aren't many other series this season I'm curious in trying. Possibly The Daily Lives of Highschool Boys or the new Aquarion Evol show but for the moment I'm good. I have 5 continuing shows, at least 5 new shows, Once Upon a Time, Grimm, MLP:FiM, 3 Nozomi shows (although the last episode of Emma streamed yesterday and the last episode of Antique Bakery streams next week), plus a few other things to watch so it's not like I'm getting bored anytime soon.

Soooo, what is everyone else trying out that they absolutely adore so far? 

*whose name keeps reminding me of a mash-up of Bettenou from Un-Go and Bishamaru from Kyosougiga, which is a pretty funny image 

1 comment:

  1. Please keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this Anime. Can’t wait to see more of this from you. I just brought these item at PIJ! I’m excited very much to get this! I’m going to have another one in this week!