Summer 2011 Initial Impressions

Well, here we are. Finally made it to the end of the summer premieres. This’ll probably be the last post from me for a little while unless I decide to review a game or something. We’ll see. Let’s get to it.

Double-J – The newest entry in the Yaruani? block, a comedy about a Traditional Arts Preservation Club and the people there who carry on fairly pointless crafts.

Well, like any other Yaruani? show, this one is short. Only 4 minutes per episode. You can’t expect to get a lot done, but I do rather enjoy the style, the quick pace, and the ED is awesome. I’ll certainly be following this one through until the end, but it’s not like it’ll be a huge investment of my time or that I’ll see anything worthwhile.

Yuru Yuri – A series about four girls who have an “Amusement Club” in the school’s abandoned tea club room. Lesbian overtones abound.

I’ll be honest. This one barely escaped being dropped. The second episode was notably better than the first, but neither has really been that good. I’m fairly disappointed with it. Maybe I went in with too many expectations. The series started off pretty strong in the first few minutes, then it just petered out way too quickly. It became awfully generic and the yuri thing really feels like more of a forced afterthought than part of the series. It just feels like someone went “How can we pad this out and draw in more people? Lesbians might work.” I’ll watch it, but I may change my mind and drop it later.

Kamisama Dolls – A young man who abandoned his village and its tradition has his past catch up with him when a homicidal young man escapes and seeks him out.

So this show is decent. Not mind-blowingly awesome, not bad, just decent. It’s got some good traits and some bad ones. I think how far it’ll go depends on how it handles the balance between action, drama, and comedy in the series. I wish it’d lean away from comedy a bit. It’s pretty solid when it’s not trying to run the gamut on genres.

Morita-san wa Mukuchi – A young girl puts too much thought into her choice of words, often leading others to misinterpret her intentions.

Honestly, I’m just not really caring yet. It’s short, though. Each episode is only 3 minutes. I’ll probably watch it all the way through since it’s not a major time investment, but I didn’t really care for the OVA and I still don’t really care for this. It’s honestly pretty boring for what I assume is a comedy series.

Usagi Drop – After the death of his grandfather, a young man discovers that his grandfather had an illegitimate child. When no one in the family wants anything to do with her, he opts to take her into his custody and raise her.

Feel-good show of the year, all years. This show is great. I wanted to pick up the manga, but after I heard how awful the second half was and how absolutely terrible the ending was, I started to get skeptical. When I heard that the anime probably won’t even be covering that part of the series and would be covering the best part, I jumped right on it, and I’m glad I did. This is one of the best shows I’m watching this season. Really good stuff. Probably my first exposure to josei, too.

The iDOLM@STER – A small production company with a run of bad luck hires a new producer to turn it around and promote the idols. Based on a game series.

As it stands, there isn’t any kind of real plot to the series and it’s very character-driven. I’m okay with that, though. I honestly prefer to have series like that every now and then so that I can sit back and appreciate the characters instead of having to follow a plot that may or may not even be any good. It’s a nice, relaxing ride and I’m enjoying it.

Mayo Chiki! – The supposed male servant of one of the students is actually a girl, and she loses her cherished position if anyone discovers she’s not a boy. Enter the main character, who finds out that she is, and has to safeguard her secret. Ecchi comedy hijinks ensue.

I’m honestly enjoying this. It’s pretty good at what it sets out to do, and I find it to be a much better comedy than Yuru Yuri. Best original comedy this season that I’m watching, for sure. I love the characters, too. Definitely going to be following through with it.

R-15 – A young man who has a talent for writing porn novels is accepted into a school for those with genius-level talent.

Really not sure how I feel about this one yet. So far, though, my opinion isn’t overly positive. The best girls in the series, who would honestly be much better matches for the main character, are obviously going to lose to the kawaii-uguu pure maiden that barely utters a sentence in the first episode. She’s not even an interesting character. I’ll basically be watching for the other characters and fanservice and ignoring anything else that happens. That assumes, however, that I don’t just flat out drop it.

Dantalian no Shoka – A young man visits his grandfather’s house to care for his collection of books and “Dalian.” Dalian turns out to be a young girl who is more than she appears to be.

Pretty good show, from the first episode. Not super exciting, and even though it’s a Gainax series, it’s probably just going to go by the wayside eventually (like Hanamaru Kindergarten did). Looks like it might be a fun ride, though. We’ve got supernatural beings, murders, all kinds of cool stuff. And I absolutely love Dalian’s voice.

Ro-Kyu-Bu! – A young girl with a high talent for basketball is on the verge of losing her school’s girl’s basketball team. A young man who loves the game but can’t play due to a scandal at his school takes up the job of coaching them for just three days, but decides to nurture the young girl’s talents by saving her team so she can continue to play.

Here it is, the infamous “Loli Basketball.” Honestly, it’s actually a pretty solid show. There’s a plot and everything. The basketball scenes are even pretty decent. I didn’t expect a whole lot out of this one, to be perfectly honest. There were lolis wearing spats and I told myself I had to at least look, but it’s actually good. Definitely something I’m going to be keeping a sharp eye on as it progresses.

Kamisama no Memochou – A young girl runs a NEET detective agency and recruits new student Narumi to be part of her group and solve mysteries to prevent tragedies.

This one’s pretty good. I tend to gravitate toward JC Staff shows naturally, but this one seems a step above a lot of what they put out. It could be pretty solid as long as it keeps going the way it is. The only problem I have with it is something I feared from the moment the first episode turned out to be an hour long: The mysteries are going to be split up between multiple episodes. That kind of thing really bothers me because the one thing you want more than anything in a mystery is a resolution. I’m still enjoying it in spite of that, though, so I’ll just have to tough it out every week until I get the next part of the mystery.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! – Second season of BakaTest.

I love this series. I really do. I already pre-ordered the first series from Amazon. Great stuff. This is really more of the same from the first season, but I’m glad it is because it sticks to what it knows how to do. This season seems to figure significantly more Aiko. Delicious, delicious Aiko. What a gal. My favorite comedy so far this season, and it probably won’t be toppled by anything else.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée – A young girl from Japan who dreams of becoming a successful shop girl travels to France to work at a small shop and learn about the culture.

This was a surprise pick-up for me. I honestly didn’t give a single crap about it until I heard a bunch of people talking about how great it was, and I certainly can’t disagree with them. Yune is absolutely adorable, one of the cutest little kids I’ve ever seen. This is honestly way more up my alley than I thought. It’s a great slice-of-life show with interested cultural exchanges and wonderful characters. Definitely don’t make the mistake of overlooking this one like I did.

Alrighty, that’s it for this season. No Appleseed XIII because I still have no idea how it’s being released or if anyone is even going to bother subbing it. I’ll manage to sneak that one into some other post down the road.

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One Response to “Summer 2011 Initial Impressions”

  1. Keita Suminoe Says:

    awesome reviews… i agree on most of it.. and ill definitely keep bumpin on this blog…
    keep it up 🙂

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