Fall 2012 Initial Impressions

Sorry it took so long. Staircase went full retard on Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2 and removed their V1 while they put out a V2, which got delayed for weeks on end. That’s why you don’t take a V1 down, idiots.

Bakuman. (Season 3) – Continuation of the series.

Not a lot to say here. It’s the third season. By now you either know what you’re in for or you don’t. I’m good with this season, though. The rivalries are back in full swing. Bring it, my body is ready.

Busou Shinki – The next anime iteration of the toy line. This a TV series about tiny battle robots called “shinki” and the lives they lead.

It’s basically a toy line promo, so there’s not much to say about the plot. That said, this is a pretty solid show. It’s got a lot of comedy/slice-of-life segments that are fun with the different characters and personalities. It’s got fights that are pretty much Infinite Stratos (which is good, because that was the only good part of that show other than Charl). It’s also got weird little tangents it goes off on. We had a racing episode that was pretty much tiny battle robot animu Wacky Races. It was awesome. The show doesn’t really have a clear focus on what it wants to be, but it still manages to be fun and endearing. The voice talent is incredible. I thought that might need some emphasis. The cast is great and does an excellent job with the characters. I’d have to say that this is probably the best performed show this season. It doesn’t seem like it’s popular at all, but I thoroughly enjoy watching it. Definitely one of my favorites this season. Actually, at the time of writing, the new episode has already aired. I’m anxiously awaiting subs.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (+Lite) – A series about a young man beginning high school. He attempts to reclaim his life after suffering from “Eighth Grader Syndrome,” a trait that middle schoolers tend to exhibit during developmental ages where the lines between reality and fiction tend to blur, resulting in odd personalities and believe in the possession of supernatural powers. He begins his high school life at a new school where no one knows him, only to end up involved with several people still suffering from Eighth Grader Syndrome. He struggles to discard the horrible memories of his past as he enjoys daily life with these weirdos.

Yeah, I know he’s not actually in the picture, but there’s only so much I can do. Work with me. Anyway, this. THIS. This is KyoAni’s show for the season, and they’ve come back to save anime. The animation here is excellent. Extraordinarily good. And it’s funny. And Rikka’s adorable. And holy crap. And the ED is good. And there’s this Lite series that consisted of six short episodes that alternated with the main show and they were great. And the OP for that is probably my favorite OP this season. This is pretty much a lock for show of the season. The only real contender right now is Shin Sekai Yori. Highly recommended that anyone who hasn’t picked this one up yet does so. I do want to again emphasize the Lite series. Don’t forget it if you watch this. It’s a great experience and works as supplementary material to the main show. They should be watched in airing order, so the first Lite episode comes before the first main episode and then they alternate until you’ve watched the fifth main episode and the sixth (final) Lite episode. Make sure that they’re watched in this order (or that the Lites are all watched after the main series) so you don’t avoid spoiling yourself.

Girls und Panzer – Among students, an old tradition is being revived. This is the tradition of women fighting in tanks. With promises of increased femininity and womanly strength, many girls are recruited into this modern sport. At one such school, a young girl with a history of the sport she’d rather not have is convinced to join her friends on her school’s team and together they strive to revive their school’s reputation.

I’m not really sure what to say about this one yet. It’s… not that good. It feels kinda like it wants to be Saki with tanks. But it’s not good enough to be Saki with tanks. It’s not bad enough that I’m going to drop it, but I’m just not feeling it yet. It doesn’t help that the first episode was downright retarded in terms of plot and characters, if you can even call either of those things that with a straight face, or that Commie has been so stupid with their German subs (they were pretty much unreadable in the first episode without minor Japanese knowledge and I imagine they still are), but it did get better as things went along (and Commie started releasing with normal sub tracks as an option). We’ll see how it turns out, but I just don’t have much to say about it right now.

Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb – Fourth season.

I don’t really know what to say here. If I thought there wasn’t enough to say about Bakuman S3, then… I mean there’s not even an overarching plot here. I love this show a lot so I’ll be watching it all the way through. That’s it, I guess.

K – Plenty of mysteries here as a strange cast of people with super powers comes together from different gangs over a young man who has potentially been framed for murder, or maybe he even did it.

Not easy to explain the plot of this, mostly because it hasn’t gone very far yet. It’s interesting, though. The cast is unique and it’s got a very good feel to it. If I had to compare it to something else, definitely Durarara. It’s got that same kind of mood to it, and the soundtrack feels kind of similar, too. Or at least the way the use it. The highlight of the show is definitely the cleaning robots. These little guys only say like five or six lines, but they’re hysterically mismatched to pretty much whatever they’re doing. Watching the show just for those would even be a pretty rewarding experience. At least for now the show supports itself well enough.

Little Busters! – Adaptation of the KEY visual novel. A group of childhood friends experience their remaining time in high school together while making new friends and developing new relationships.

I’ve never read this or any other KEY VN. I also haven’t watched any KEY anime other than Angel Beats, which is very different than most of their works. (That said, I do have Air, Kanon, and Clannad on DVD and they’ll all eventually get watched, I just don’t know when.) This being the first KEY VN adaptation I’ve seen, I’m pretty excited. I know it’s different than those other shows, too, but I expect it to be more in line with them than Angel Beats was. Either way, I’m having fun so far. There’s a great cast here, and a very good soundtrack. Seems like they’ve even kept some of the mechanics of the VN (battles and titles) that I’ve seen in screenshots before. I think I’ll end up happy enough with how this turns out, so I’m certainly sticking with it.

Medaka Box Abnormal – Second season.

This is the second season of Medaka Box and the point at which the manga apparently goes into “I hate all of you” shounen-pandering/-mocking mode. I haven’t actually gotten to the manga yet, but I’ve heard all about it. Anyway, so far so good. There are a lot of people who aren’t happy with how Gainax is doing with the series, but I’d say that so far the second season seems to be a reasonable step up from the first. Maybe it’s just because they have more to animate now. Anyway, sticking with it.

Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne – A young girl with an active libido and no concern for taboos moves in with her brother for high school in an attempt to hook up with him. After he unexpectedly turns their home into a dorm in order to maintain the cost, she ends up with some competition in the form of a rich girl, his childhood friend, and a girl who is known for seducing both men and women.

This one is kind of a mixed bag. The comedy is good. I like the timing. I like most of the jokes. I just don’t much care for the characters. The little sister is okay, but the two best characters are the rich girl and the main guy. They play off of each other very well, too, which further negates any concern I might have for the other characters. I could watch a show with just the two of them. It would probably get old quick, but if it was that or dragging this series out for the sake of characters I don’t even really like, then I’d prefer the former. I don’t hate the show, though, so it’s in no danger of being dropped.

Psycho-Pass – In a future world where one’s potential for crime can be measure, a law enforcement agency works to make sure that those who pose a potential threat to their perfect society are captured and restrained for treatment. One such officer works with these potential criminals to apprehend those on the run and quickly becomes entangled in the dark side of this supposed utopia.

This is the Gen Urobuchi show. It should be awesome. So far it’s kinda meh after four episodes. We just got some good plot in that last one, though, so maybe we’ll see it kick off, soon. I’m expecting good things because it’s Urobuchi, but this is probably the slowest start I’ve seen from him. We’ll see how it ends up.

Robotics;Notes – Based on the 5pb. visual novel. Two childhood friends with a strange past work together at their school’s robotics club and pass the simple days together.

Not really sure how to describe the plot for this one, honestly. It’s about fighting robots. Think uhh… Real Steel? I dunno. I didn’t actually see that, but the concept seems kinda similar? But then there’s other stuff going on. It’s by the same people that did Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, so I imagine we’ll see some interesting plot revelations along the way. Either way, it’s definitely been enjoyable so far, and I do love the cast. Definitely at no risk of being dropped.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – A young man moved to the problem child dorms at his school for keeping a pet aims to get out and back to a normal life. However, his encounter with a young girl changes his perspective as he starts to question why it is that he wants to leave and whether or not it’s truly what he wants.

This series is kinda nice. The plot’s nothing interesting yet, but we’ve only been through what I assume is the first novel of content. (The latest episode certainly seemed like the end of a novel.) The characters are great, though, and keep me hooked on this show. All of the girls in the cast are amazing. I really can’t pick a favorite. I can’t recall every last girl being great in any show before. That’s a spectacular feat all by itself. Anyway, I like it and I’m definitely going to keep watching.

Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2 – Second season.

This is the second season of the series, but it’s a little different. New studio, a few new voices, bit of a new direction. I was never super wild about the show in the first place, but I wanted to watch the second season because I at least did enjoy what I watched before. Episode 0 acted as some good backstory, but episode 1 was fairly boring and lacked pretty much everything that made the first season great. I’m hoping it’s not an indication of how this season will be handled. If it is, I’ll probably end up dropping it. If it gets back on track then it’ll be fine.

Shin Sekai Yori – In the future, people have developed and inherited psychic powers. A group of friends in school begin to notice some of the stranger aspects of their society, like children suddenly disappearing without a trace or any concern from those around them. But what happens when they get more involved than they should…?

This is a contender for show of the season, but I don’t think it’ll take that title. It has a fairly slow start. I’m going to urge everyone who hasn’t started it or dropped it early to make sure you give this show through episode 4. If you still don’t like it after that, then be done with it. That episode is what pushes this show from decent to amazing. It’s a real turning point and a hell of an opinion-changer. I’m very interested to see how the rest of the series plays out. Also, it has my favorite ED this season.

Teekyuu – Short episodes about an all-girl tennis club and their wacky everything. Think of it like Softenni where there’s less ecchi and everyone talks at a hundred miles per hour.

This is pretty funny, but there’s not much to say about it as a short series. It’s enjoyable, at least. I also have no idea what the hell is going on half the time. This show is seriously insane. I’ve seen actual crazy people less crazy than this.

Well, that’s it for these. Final impressions for Summer will go up whenever Joshiraku is done. It randomly got two episodes out of nowhere back to back, so there’s only one episode remaining. Once it’s up I’ll finish up that season.

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