Weekly Anime Impressions – Summer 2013 Week 3.5 Impressions

Stella Jogakuin c3-Bu - A Girls' Airsoft Club. Gets weird this week!Well, another week, and another week in which I’ve decided to do a weekly run-down of the shows I’ve watched. I need to catch up on my blogging and finish some drafts I have half-written, hopefully this week. I did use my extra time from dropping/putting on hold a couple of shows and finished two books this week – The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi, and Neil Gaiman‘s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Both were fun if not super-deep reads.

Well, this week I’ve watched “only” 12 episodes, a marked improvement over last week’s 16, right? Right? Anyway, here is a breakdown, of the episodes and the shows as they stand as a whole. There will obviously be spoilers.
Shows covered: Watamote, Kamisama no Inai, Danganronpa, Uchouten Kazoku, Stella Jogakuin c3-bu, Rozen Maiden 2013, Genshiken Nidaime, The World God Only Knows S3, Gatchaman Crowds, Shingeki no Kyojin, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun).

In a week or two we’ll reach episodes 5-6 of most shows, so I’ll probably pick up a couple more shows/pick them up again (*Blanch*) and probably drop a couple of shows as well. I can’t wait for this season to end, it’s just too good.

New Shows:

Have Me Hooked:
Shows that were impressive, I am highly intrigued and will keep on watching:

Gatchaman Crowds – This episode wasn’t as fun as the second episode, but part of the fun of episode 2 was how unexpected to me it’s been. The show keeps on dealing with the nature of leadership, diffuse decision-making, and the gamification of life. The way it deals with this concepts is quite multi-layered thus far, and I can hope it goes in a certain way. The show still has a lot of energy, and quite a bit of zaniness. It feels next episode we’ll get some more darker-plot-meat undergoing, rather than “merely” thematic-content.
Watched Episode 3.
To Watch? If you didn’t get up to episode 2, then certainly. If you didn’t like episode 2, I guess you can give it a drop.

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi / Sunday Without God – We’ve completed our first arc, and it actually had a sense of closure about it. As some people have said, you could watch this arc as if it were a stand-alone OVA. This is truly a bildungsroman, and quite interesting to view in light of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.
Watched episode 3.
To Watch? I’d definitely say yes. We’re now going to enter our second arc, to which everything thus far had been the exposition. Now we’ll see what the show is really about, and whether it retains our attention.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui (It’s your fault I’m not popular) – known as WataMote; Week 1 was laughing non-stop. Week 2 was the sympathetic Tomoko. Week 3 is where the promised cringe-comedy finally began to happen. You can’t help but feel sorry for Tomoko, who aside from her utter lack of common sense or shame when she should have some, just can’t get a break.
Watched episode 3.
To Watch? If you like cringe-comedies, definitely. No one really likes them, we watch them as if compelled, ever on the razor’s edge whether to drop them or to keep on watching. You should keep on watching, at least for now.

Solid Stuff:
These are the shows that make up the vast majority of the shows we watch and enjoy – most of us will give them between 6 and 8 out of 10. They’re solid, they give you what you expect, and unlikely to give you more. They are highly enjoyable. In a regular season, you’d watch many of these, the ones that fit your taste, between seasons these are probably the shows you catch up on. This season however is just too busy, so I will have to cut down on some of these.

Uchoten Kazoku – It’s hard for me to write about this show, it’s hard to decipher its themes or even genre for me, it feels more like a show that should, at least for now be experienced rather than analyzed. It’s fun, but disliking Benten’s voice actress and the personality she gives the character (Noto Mamiko, who also played in Mawaru Penguindrum) is impinging on my fun, however petty of a reason that is.
Watched episodes 2-3.
To Watch? Yes, it’s a super solid show, will likely get an 8 at the end of the season. I can’t fully connect to the show yet, but it’s hyper-stylized, has an interesting story, and I feel we need to stay with it a tad longer to see where it goes to truly get a feel of it.

Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu / Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3  – This show wasn’t meant to be here, it was meant to be on-hold/dropped, at least until episode 5. Well, this episode shows why I have my “5 episode rule” as opposed to many people who use the “3 episode rule”; there was quite some discussion about this show, where we go on a collective delusion, enter a dream world on a spirit-quest, and find our protagonist has the power to change reality. Man what? This episode is going to receive at least another week from me, probably 2 because next episode seems to be the “Beach episode” most high school anime feed us.
Watched episode 4.
To Watch? If you like club shows, the answer is still yes. If you don’t? Well, better wait for my week 5-6 overview, and we’ll see if the new “direction” we’ve had infused this episode continues.

Try Harder Please:
These shows are on notice, they better shape up fast, or else.

Danganronpa  the Animation – I’ve said last week I’d give it until episode 5. The pre-trial stuff, where we get to see their relationships, where the psychological screws turn on, and the stakes go ever higher, feel super rushed, which makes me sad. At least they are not brushing some moral debate issues which come up under the table completely but do reference them.
Watched Episode 4.
To Watch? This is a just-ok show, which is not good enough this season. If there weren’t the original game for you to play, I’d probably say you should watch it after this season ends, as is, you should probably pass, watch later, or track down the video game – which is coming out in English later this year.

Returning Shows – New Seasons:

Genshiken Nidaime / Genshiken 2nd Generation – This episode was much funnier than the previous two, but the same as Eve no Jikan episode 4 (with the Terminator-robot), the second half reminded us that this is the show we’ve been watching all along. Still with a mature way to deal with complex issues, including the one of unrequited love. This is the show we need, not the one we deserve.
Watched episode 3.
To Watch? If you only watch one anime this season, it should be this one. If you hadn’t watched or read the original Genshiken, do so as well, right now.

The World God Only Knows 3rd Season – This episode is very interesting as we get to see the conquest of so many girls, so there are points regarding each o the conquests to discuss as well as the points regarding the conquests in general. We have a discussion of love, we have funny moments, we have all the girls and harsher depiction of genre tropes than is usual, but it’s hinted – due to just how aggressive Keima is. Also, Yui is best girl, for trying to conquer Keima. I’m just going to throw it out there.
Watched episode 3.
To Watch? Yes. You might also want to read the manga while you’re at it – Yui plays such a major role, and her arc was in the manga and not previous seasons.

Rozen Maiden (2013) – Not a lot happens this episode, more character and relationship building, the true introduction of Shinku and her character for all those who hadn’t read the manga or watched the previous season and are thus unaware of her nature. The atmosphere is great in this show, and the deft-directorial hand remains with us, now we just need the complications hinted and foreshadowed here to truly hit us, which I expect will be next episode.
Watched episode 4.
To Watch? I like it, but due to the slow pacing, not slow-bad, but slow-methodical, and atmosphere-building, it might make a perfect candidate for a show to hold-off on until the season ends and then marathon it.

Still Airing – Still Watching:

These shows are still airing from the Spring season.

Toaraku Kagaku no Railgun S/A Certain Scientific Railgun 2nd Season – The Sisters’ arc ended, and finally we’ll get to see new crowd. I like the humor of the show, which is more heart-warming and “We’re comfortable enough to share a silence together” humor than “ha-ha”. Well, it was nice, but it’s still nice to finally cover new plot-territory.
Watched episode 16.
To Watch? If you like Railgun, sure.

Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan – The last episode was slow, giving us a taste of the world and of a couple of characters within it, as we just finally ended the Trost-arc, this makes sense. That the previous episode that truly concluded Trost and was a trial was slow was also understandable, but this is “Boy who cried wolf” territory, after so much unwarranted slow, even warranted slow is an issue. I hope we get things undergoing starting next episode. I can already see them finishing the series on a cliff-hanger, and then the next season being even slower, until everyone stops watching it and they don’t get why.
Watched episode 15.
To Watch? Well, I can hardly think of dropping it now, let’s see us get into gear with this latter half of the show though.

Didn’t watch this week for various reasons:
Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyo / Day Break Illusion – Magical girl show, seems slow, decided to wait for week 5 before deciding one way or the other.
Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma☆Illya – Another magical girl show. Will probably wait till episode 4-5, just to give them a chance to really decide what type of show they wish to be. So sweet that I’m pretty sure I’ll watch it, unless the sweet drowns any plot, but it being Fate-Moon I kind of doubt it happening.
Monogatari 2nd season – First arc still not done, and that’s all here is to it.

So what did you guys watch or drop this week? Which episodes or shows stood out this week that didn’t before?

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