Wednesday, July 4, 2012

And now for something different, continuing Spring 2012 shows

In what has become a bit of a tradition here, I've got a number of shows that started this past spring carrying over into the summer season and I thought I'd touch base on them and see how they're doing (especially for people who haven't tried them out yet but were thinking of doing so, summer is usually a quieter season so there's also more time to catch up on older shows). To go along with this, I'm hoping to get one big post about all the new shows I'm trying out up next Wednesday although I'm not 100% certain it's going to happen yet but that is the goal. Regardless of that, onto the shows!

Accel World
I will be checking out Sword Art Online this summer (they share a creator but it sounds like they actually aren't in the same 'verse, I've seen conflicting reports on that) and in addition I'm still keeping up with Accel World. By now I'm watching it more as a fluff show (an action-packed, good looking fluff) since it is a show about a fighting game and the plot is a bit light. All of the characters except the lead Haruyuki and not-quite-a-lead Kuroyukihime have a tendency to fade into the background when the show isn't focused on them (also one of the few times I've seen a character act flatter after they had character development) and, since I believe the novel series isn't finished, I know that the characters aren't going to accomplish their goal of reaching level 10 in the game and discovering the secret behind Brain Burst. But like I said, it still looks great, progresses at a good pace, and I'm hoping that the characters will feel less flat as the series goes on.

Accel World is licensed by Viz Media and in the US can be watched on Hulu.

Eureka 7 AO (AO stands for Astral Ocean)
It appears (curse you Funimation and your one week delayed streams or I could confirm this!) that yes, AO is indeed a sequel to the original show, even though it takes place on an alternate Earth, so anyone who is curious about checking this one out should probably first go ahead and watch the original series first (yes it's 50 episodes and yes it takes a while to get going, that's it's biggest flaw but again, why watch if a sequel if you're unfamiliar with the first installment?). The show has a mix of old and new staff on it and I was able to tell almost immediately that it shared some staff from last fall's Un-Go since they both have political undertones almost all the time and a general feeling that, while some of the adults might be good people with good intentions they are certainly not making them all known to Ao and the other kids. I recall there being a lot of that in the original show as well (not as much and more in the first half when no one would tell Renton, and therefore the audience, anything) but there is certainly a bit of a different tone here but I'm enjoying it. The show is also starting to work in the weird episode/trippy experience moments from the original show (although not to the same degree because again, it was hard at times to figure out what was going on in the first half of E7 and those episodes, see Acperience) and it's easy to see how Ao is obviously Eureka and Renton's child and that's a good metaphor for the series itself, it's parentage is clear but it is it's own show with it's own ideas so it'll be interesting to see how those two continue to blend.

Eureka 7 Astral Ocean is licensed by Funimation and can be viewed on their website (word of warning though, they've converted a lot of the streams into hulu ones so that cuts out the Canadian viewers).

I didn't review this one back in the spring (there seems to always be one show I pick up later) so a quick rundown, Oreki is a long energy kind of guy who is pressured into joining the Classics Club at his school by alumni sister since it's in danger of being shut down for having no members. He thinks it'll be a chance for him to doze off more but lo and behold it's gotten a couple of other new members and Oreki is stuck with them and solving the odd little mysteries the club runs into. I've seen a lot of mystery anime in the past year and in comparison to some of the big mysteries, big stakes ones (which feel like a cup  of soda, fizzy and full of energy but will go stale if dragged out too long) this one feels more like a glass of lightly flavored lemonade, it leaves a bit of a taste on the tongue but doesn't overwhelm you. The show has also been fairly clever in the way it manages to have bigger mysteries in it (one thing I've found hard to believe in many shows is just how many murders the characters come across and this show neatly averts that), although I'm curious for how long they can keep that up. Regardless, it's my one fansub of the season (unless Moyashimon Returns doesn't get picked up, then we have a problem) and I do hope it gets licensed soon by somebody.

Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyodia)
Finally we have what is rumored to be a four cour (or full year) show, Space Bros! I've been listening around on forums trying to figure out just who this show is aimed at, I can obviously tell it's main audience is adults but it also has a charm to it, the charm that gets kids interested in space to start with, and it sounds like it's being aimed at families in Japan as well and I can easily see this show working well with families. I'd be impressed if kids under the age of 10 were able to sit through the show completely on their own for a full year, it's still a bit slow and deliberately paced with adult characters, but for those reasons I'm happy to sit back and take in the show. Actually, the show has re-kindled by own interest in space and the various technologies in it (I blame the US's fading space program for my waning interest ;-; ) and if a show is making me excited about something other than just the show then it's doing a pretty damn good job at being entertainment.

Space Bros is streaming on crunchyroll for a number of countries and was just picked up the other day by Sentai Filmworks/Section 23 for a DVD release sometime down the line.