2012 Spring anime review

Before I become aware of it, the spring anime season has ended. None of the Winter 2012 anime that I watched were carried over, and only four spring anime listed here continued into the summer season. Of which, I’m only watching one of it.

As I mentioned before, I might not write about the new Summer anime season yet, as I have not yet decide what anime to watch yet.

Dropped

Accel World (アクセル・ワールド)
I am already hating the main character’s appearance (not shown), but things go downhill when they introduce his sister (also not shown) and battles that drag on forever. The decision to drop came when I heard that there would be a total of about 24 episodes.

Uchuu Kyodai (宇宙兄弟)
I felt that the pace was too slow. Unlike most of the other anime I had watched, this is primarily targeted for kids.

AKB0048
See link for details

Completed

Sankarea (さんかれあ)
 I wasn’t expecting it to be only 12 episodes. The way the finale ended leaves me questioning on what would happen from there.

Acchi Kochi(あっちこっち)
Sadly, there isn’t a thing I could remember about this anime. I actually considered dropping it, but there isn’t a strong reason to do so.

Natsuiro Kiseki (夏色キセキ)
This has a storyline that I could actually follow and understand, though there’s something peculiar about the character design. Too much green too.

As the title suggests, this takes place in one particular summer.

Haiyore! Nyaruko San (這いよれ!ニャル子さん)
I dropped this once before, and picked it up again later on. It’s a slapstick comedy, but not really the kind I would enjoy watching. Characters can be somewhat irritating in my opinion.

Saki -Achiga-hen- episode of side A (咲-Saki-阿知賀編 episode of side-A)
Centered around Madoka’s old friend of the earlier season, a group of girls formed a Majong club to be in the national championships.

The amount of mahjong matches shown varies a lot from very little in the beginning, to a lot at the later episodes. Character development-wise, I felt that not much was shown in there.

Continued into Summer season

Hyouka
This anime started a lot latter than the ones mentioned above. The stories are visibly divided into several arcs to solve mysteries where there are a lot of unknowns and have to analyze the situation to solve it. Almost like a detective case.

[Review] Another

(Author’s note: this review below is as it is on 27 March 2012 and not modified since. I did not notice this as unpublished until right after publishing the AKB0048 review on 17 May 2012.)

Apart from the artist who sung the opening theme and the full-sized eye in the OP animation, Another (アナザー) is one of those anime where I had no expectations, or know what is to come.

Being taking place in 1998, you have to keep in mind about the technology at that time. Cellphone signals are analog and aren’t strong, so static being heard in the call means a weak signal and/or interference in the area. Since then technology has improved and/or problems fixed, so the “scary” element might not be posible today.

[Review] AKB0048

The popular all-female music group AKB48 (and its sub-groups) has its own anime.

If had followed a manga called AKB49〜恋愛禁止条例〜 (Ren’ai kinshi jōrei), which is about the behind the scenes of the group (present-day) through the eye of a crossdresser who somehow made it past their auditions, prepare to be disappointed as it’s completely different.

Even if you didn’t read that, or not really a fan of AKB48 in general, you might find this anime to be different. Approach this anime different from what you would do with most other anime, and you would actually enjoy this.

To those who are curious about the voice cast and the music in it, they are voiced by inexperienced (read: new) seiyuus and actual members from AKB (and its sub-groups like SKE). Not much of the usual seiyuus are involved.

Note: This anime is still ongoing, and I have not dropped this anime yet. I’m saying this as I usually write reviews when either two situations has happened.

Spring 2012 preview

Spring has came with a batch of new anime that, except for a new, are completely brand new. Due to my unfamiliarity with the titles and me being back from a long break since just before the last episode of the Winter season aired (2nd episode of Spring has been aired at time of writing), I have to be brief about it.

Due to massive backlog and not in the mood to write, I might not write anymore reviews of the Winter 2012 anime


Likely to watch

Accel World

I’m oddly starting to like this anime for some reason. The main character may look… strange… but at least he’s more intelligent than Shuu of Guilty Crown (Autumn 2011). Well, these two are different, but you get the idea. The character designs of the other characters and interesting plot made up for it. I don’t know how far into the future this is in as not much besides the inside of the school was shown, but phrases like “motorcycles of the past century” was mentioned.

 Natsuiro Kiseki (夏色キセキ)

A group of four girls who had known each other since childhood made a wish with a large stone that appears to have actually worked.

They had wished to be a popular girl band when they get older, but over time, stopped releasing new songs. The relationship between the girls are put to the test.

Sankarea (さんかれあ)

A guy’s pet cat has been killed in an accident and was figuring out the unknown missing ingredient to bring it back from the dead at an abandoned place when he noticed a girl from a school near his, admired by his friends for her beauty.
Unknown to others, the girl’s father “wants the perfect life for her”, but it’s apparent that he doesn’t let her have friends and destroys any existing ones. The daughter in question, however, can’t take it anymore.

Acchi Kocchi (あっちこっち)

Unlike other recent slice-of-life anime like Nichijou (Summer 2011) or Danshi Kokosei no Nichijo (Winter 2012), this one has both guys and girls in it instead of only being either one.

If you are looking for a plot, and slice-of-life is not your thing, I suggest you skip this and watch the other titles I mention here.

Tsuritama (つり球)

The way of living and fishing on the island of Enoshima and having strange encounters.

To those not familiar about where it is, it’s an island in the prefecture of Kanagawa that is a short day trip from Tokyo by train. To be more specific, around the coordinates of 35.3001, 139.4803 on the map.

Space Brothers (宇宙兄弟)

Anime that airs around sunrise don’t usually fall into my radar as those are targeted at kids, but this seems to be a rare exception to that.

Seen, but didn’t like it

Well, as what the sub-title says. I have watched it before, but didn’t like what I saw.

Upotte – “The girls are guns and the new homeroom teacher does not know how to handle them.” Wait! How on earth are girls guns?! That wasn’t explained, and these girls always seem to use another gun to shoot…. Argh. My head got fried.

Nazo no Kanojo X – This one is kind of weird: guy likes to lick the drool of a mysterious girl who falls asleep in class. Since the guy needs her drool daily, this was shown often, which itself is making me uneasy. Had to stop watching it before I puke. Also, the character design is very visibly dated.

Saki of the Episode One (or something like that) This is actually a spinoff instead of a continuation of the first season of Saki (Spring 2009) and focuses more of the characters than Mahjong (though there’s some focus to some degree). I like the characters, but not the game, and I never fully watched the first season anyway.

As you can see here, all of the above titles takes place in High school, with the exception of Space Brothers (and Accel World, but that’s in Middle school). It’s like a fad in recent anime.

[Review] Guilty Crown

The arrangement of seats on this train looks strange.


Guilty Crown (ギルティクラウン) is somewhat like a mixed bag to me: artwork seems to be at par with anime like Hanasaku Iroha (Spring 2011) with attention to detail and fantastic OP, but, storyline-wise, it’s as bad as anime like To Aru Majutsu no Index (Autumn 2008/2010) where I rage at how slow things progress, or how much of an idiot the protagonist is.

Well, at the beginning, this showed promise of how this would be, but it later unexpectedly took a turn in a direction different. I was expecting a more diplomatic and peaceful approach, not a mad scientist with his own government and spreading a virus. Having war with a group of students on top of that. (Speaking of which, where are the teachers of the school? They seem oddly missing the whole time.)

If you’re just picking this up, I would recommend just starting from the special that comes after episode 11. You are likely to be glad that I mention it because it sums up the major plots of the earlier episodes, which has a lot of filters.

Pretty much sums up of Shuu’s character throughout the anime.

Starting form the second half, the atmosphere has become completely different. It’s as if it has gone in a different direction from the first half and has become irrelevant.

In the last few episodes, I somewhat gave up try to understand what is going on. It has become a big mess that is difficult to untangle. That’s the problem with introducing too many characters: there’s no room to have character development given the number of episodes.

Guilty Crown does have the factors to be a good anime like character design, detail to background, opening/ending songs and so on, but the major flaw is that the storyline is a mess.

Based on other anime that I watched, it’s always those that have male protagonist (who is usually not knowledgeable, is perverted, and/or being ordered by others) that gets featured. Besides anime where the females are the only ones, or primarily focused on, girls/women seem to always to have a role that is no higher than being the main supporting character of the (male) protagonist: never as the main character.

P.S. Speaking of which, Shuu Oma’s cowardly behavior would be more tolerable if he was a girl, with the personality unchanged.

[Review] Black Rock Shooter review

An emotional one BRS (ブラック★ロックシューター) is, it’s about the two worlds: one is about two girls in the normal world, and another in a completely different one where they fight each other with weapons. The fights in that world represents the hidden frustration and anger with their counterparts in the other (“real”) world. I don’t really understand the concept that forms the backbone of this anime. Visual-wise, it’s what I had wanted Nisemonogatari to be like initially, but you know how that turned out.

From what I understand, having something to happen with that alternate world can cause an effect with the real world too, and forget who their friends are. Some people in the real world, they could see what’s happening in the other world, but don’t exactly have control over their other selves and helplessly stay in the background.

Unlike other anime, the first episode aired 4 weeks after all the other Winter 2012 anime (early-February) and has 8 episodes instead of the average of 11 or 12. However, it already has an OVA and it does not waste it with filter episodes and actually fills it up with actual story development. I don’t see a way on how to improve on this anime than it already is.

BTW, have you noticed that there are absolutely no lines for any male characters in the entire anime, not even side characters? Also, they made episode 6 (I think) looked like the last episode with how it ended.

[Review] Nisemonogatari (偽物語)

Nisemonogatari was the second season of Bakemonogatari (化物語), with the latter being a 12-episode Summer 2009 anime. With two and a quarter years between the two (didn’t know it was that long ago myself until I calculated), I expected something completely different in terms of visual style. Something like K-On.

But then, it’s by Shaft… the same who did Bakemonogatari. Read my earlier posts and you would see about my disappointment with Shaft.

This actually appeared in the anime.

Unlike Bakemonogatari where there are 5 arches, Nisemonogatari seemed to only have 2 story arches. However, it focuses on Araragi’s sisters (who were shown only briefly in Bakemonogatari) than to other characters. Senjougahara Hitagi had the opposite amount of airtime in Nisemonogatari. Shinobu had slightly more time and have a voice.

Still, there are moments that would give me a big question mark, like this scene:

I don’t get this scene.

Overall, I like the storyline, but there is too much visual distraction. One example are the rapid flashes of images, or a wall of text that were displayed that is too quick to read without pausing. On top of that, text that is usually in hiragana is in katakana or some obscure kanji that is not used today. Also, the traditional version is used instead of simplified (eg. 體 instead of 体) and horizontal text is from right to left. It’s fried my head trying to figure out what I was looking at.

Oh the other hand, I like the ending song.