Summer 2010 Initial Impressions

Updated Summer chart, courtesy of Chartfag.

Now that Asobi ni Iku Yo! has aired, I’m all set on what I’m watching this season (except that I may or may not be starting Strike Witches 2 later this week if I watch the first season, but that remains to be seen).

Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi – The Otogi Bank, a school club that helps out people with problems in exchange for their help later on, takes on various jobs.

This looks like it’ll be a pretty good series as it goes on. It has a lot of the plot based in fairy tales and fables. The first episode was Cinderella-based and the second was The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The characters are pretty fun, the animation is decent, and the vocal cast is great. The narrator (voiced by Satomi Arai) is great and is constantly throwing jokes into the story, usually about how pathetic something or someone is. There tends to be some 4th wall breaking around this point where characters will be aware of what she’s saying. She can get in the way of dialogue exchange, but it’s usually nothing important. So far, I’ve enjoyed this one. I’m looking forward to the rest of it, but not with super high hopes.

Amagami SS – Adaptation of a PS2 visual novel. A boy who has been traumatized by a past experience with rejection is trying to overcome his past and begin a new relationship with one of the girls at his school.

The great thing about this series is that unlike most VN adaptations, it aims to implement every single route into the series. It’s not going to mash them together into one sloppy route, either. It’s going to feature completely different arcs where the main character hooks up with each of the girls. So far, I’ve been enjoying it. The shorter arcs mean that the pace is pretty quick and the show never really slows down too much. The characters are really great, too. I can’t wait until we see some focus on each of them. This is one of the series from this season that I’m really going to have to keep my eye on.

Mitsudomoe – The Marui triplets cause trouble in their sixth grade class.

This one’s pretty hit-or-miss for me. The jokes are quite crude, but that’s part of the charm of the series. The problem is that sometimes they’re so crude that they’re not really funny. The first half of the second episode had a gag that ran far too long based around urine samples, for example. After a while, “pee everywhere” started to get old and uncomfortable. However, the second half of both episodes so far have really shined, thanks in no small part to Hitoha, the quietest and most mysterious of the triplets. While I like all of the triplets, she’s probably my favorite. I’m not sure how the rest of the series will turn out, but I’ll be following it through for sure. At least for a while.

Seitokai Yakuindomo – A new male student begins attending a school that has just begun its co-ed program. He is asked to join the student council on his first day and begins his school life surrounded by less-than-modest girls.

This one’s a little weird. It’s like a combination of several other series. The key focus is on how the girls attending the school, who haven’t really had to be considerate of male peers until now, tend to have little modesty and are quite open to discussions on sex and female body functions. It’s actually kind of fun, though. A lot of the jokes and gags revolve around these girls passing off these often-odd comments and the male lead just casually passing them off with little care. I think it’s a formula that works and I’ve been pretty entertained by the first two episodes. I’ll be following it to see how it ends up, but hopefully the jokes keep coming and the style doesn’t change for the worst.

High School of the Dead – Not much to say about this one. It’s your typical zombie apocalypse story in anime format.

I admittedly jumped on this one from more of a bandwagon mentality, but so far I’m glad I did. The animation is good, the action is decent, and everyone loves a good zombie apocalypse. I don’t have a whole lot to say about it so far, but I do love the fact that Kishida Kyoudan is doing the OP. I’ve been a big fan of them for a while, and as far as I’m aware, this is their first time being attached to a big project like an anime series. Anyway, I’m definitely going to be following this one, no questions asked. Fanservice and zombies does not a bad combination make.

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin (a.k.a. Occult Academy) – A horror/comedy series about mysterious occurrences in Occult Academy.

This one’s quite the oddity. It’s the third series in the Anime no Chikara project and it’s a fusion of horror and comedy. The first half of the first episode felt very slow to me, but when introductions were over and the second half got underway, the series took a HUGE turn in quality and become a prospect for best show of the season. I don’t really know what to say about this one other than to give a shot. It’s probably going to be the biggest sleeper hit this season. Definitely following it.

Asobi ni Iku Yo! – A cat girl alien named Eris makes first contact with the human race in Japan at a family gathering, but forces are at work to stop her existence from becoming public knowledge.

I started watching this one because I liked the art style but after seeing the first episode, I was very surprised at the quality of the show. It’s engaging, fun, cute, and there’s a lot of really badass stuff going on. The very beginning of the show is like something out of a dedicated action series more than it is out of anything this show should ever be. I’m quite impressed with it. General opinions seem to be all over the place, though, so I’m not sure how people will really feel about it after just the first episode and even as it goes on. However, this is another show that I feel could be a potential show of the season. If the quality and plot continue through the series at as strong of a pace as they’re going now, this will be a great show. Definitely following.

And that’s it for my initial season impressions. Higurashi – Matsuribayashi-hen should come out later this week and I’ll have an announcement for that, plus another post after I read it with my impressions on it (and possibly on all of Kai in general). I’ll probably read the first (and so far, only) translated chapter of Higurashi Rei after that and I may or may not post anything about it. I’m still waiting to see if MangaGamer is willing to pick it up, but as far as I know, there’s been no word on the matter. Also, I read Umineko episode 6, but I don’t think I really have anything to say about it. It was great, but it’s left me too busy running theories in my head to really have anything to say about the story in general. Anyway, until next time, folks.

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