Anime Season Midterms – First Impressions – Summer 2013 (Monday-Thursday)

I’m watching a lot of shows from this season. So many in fact, that I’m going to split my “midseason impression” post into 4 parts, depending on the days of the week the shows are airing on. This will give me a bit more space to discuss each show, and whether I think you should watch it or not.
The days are decided by the official Japanese day of the week the anime is released on, even if some are released at the 25th hour (after 1 am…)

Part 1 (Monday-Thursday): Blood Lad, Makai Ouji – Devils and Realist, WataMote, The World God Only Knows Season 3, Free!
Part 2 (Friday): Gin no Saji, Rozen Maiden (2013), Stella Jogakuin Kotou-ka C3-bu, Danganronpa, Servant x Service, Love Lab, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (continues from Spring season).
Part 3 (Saturday): Gatchaman Crowds, Kiniro Mosaic, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, Genei wo Kakekru Taiyo
Part 4 (Sunday): Monogatari 2nd Season, Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Uchoten Kazoku, Genshiken Nidaime, Shingeki no Kyojin (continues from Spring season).

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui (It’s your fault I’m not popular) also known as WataMote – This is a cringe comedy covering an unpopular girl called Tomoko. Tomoko has absolutely no common sense, but she knows what she wants – she wants to be popular. What follows are her attempts to become more popular which are horribly misguided, and her interaction and lack thereof with her surroundings.

The first episode didn’t really make me cringe, but I’ve found it hilarious, everything just added up so wonderfully. The second episode kind of hit home, and introduced to us Tomoko as the tragic heroine, she met with her old friend and felt left behind. This was very sympathetic. The third episode had introduced the third axis of the show – that of the cringe episode, discussing what I call “Sympathetic Viewer Awkwardness”, the cringe-factor.
The OP linked above is pure win. They’re also putting effort into very relevant endings to most episodes.

Watched: 6/12 episodes
Current Grade: B to B-, started as A+, but had slowly been losing steam, being less and less funny. If you want a comedy which is actually focused on trying to make people laugh, then this is still the show for you this season.

Makai Ouji - Devils and Realist - AnimeMakai Ouji – Devils and Realist – This show covers a so-called “realist” as he is thrust into a gambit between demons to see who will be the substitute ruler of Hell when Lucifer is asleep. This is one of too many shows lately and even this season who have no clear idea of what they’re trying to be. This isn’t slice-of-life enough to be a slice of life or an “atmosphere” show, there is no real romance, the “comedy” is terribly unfunny and the only moment I laughed at was a physical gag where someone appeared via a dimensional door under someone else’s crotch. Comedy? Romantic? Action? None of these, really.

The characters are annoying, I’ll be frank. The so-called “realist” is anything but a realist, more like a hard-core cynic – even when presented by iron-clad evidence that demons do exist, he basically closes his eyes and shouts “lalala” while saying he’s a realist. There is nothing that is really engaging about this show, and I suspect as some people said it’s designed to appeal to people who are looking for something to create slash fan-fiction about (homosexual relationships).
Watched: 2/12
Current Grade: D. I don’t really know why you’d watch this, there are plenty of shows who are pretty bad but still seem quite a bit better than this one. Try Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler), for instance.

Blood Lad - AnimeBlood Lad: This show has a Disgaea-like premise – evil underworld boss is actually an Otaku that wants nothing more than to go to Japan, meets a human girl who dies and becomes a ghost, and he must now save her while hijinks ensue. This is another show that has no genre, and people are likely to say “Shonen” is its genre, except shonen, which means “Young men” isn’t a genre, it’s a demographic, and at most can be sort of a meta-genre. Unlike Makai Ouji though, this show is drowning under too many genres, rather than not having any.

Its action sequences are the best, IMO, but they are far too short and far-between. The fan-service is kinda bad (showing girls with big breasts on screen, nothing more), the “comedy” is terribly unfunny, I’m not even sure where I’m supposed to smile, the characters are pretty bland – heck, the supposedly main female character has next to no lines, screen time, or personality. I wanted to like this show, but it’s mediocre in every single way. I want to like this show, but there is nothing there for you to really like. There’s also nothing there for you to really hate.
Watched: 6/10
Current Grade: C+. You can pass the time with it, and it’s pretty popular. It has a lot of themes, and it should’ve given up on any one of them to strengthen the show.

The World God Only Knows - Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen - animeThe World God Only Knows Season 3 /Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – This is an interesting season, there are a whole bunch of conquests that had been left out from the manga, in order to get to the “Goddesses” arc which is what fans really were looking for. This season is quite different as Keima has to juggle multiple plot-lines at once, turning him into more of a Lelouch from Code Geass, and also having to be conquered rather than do the conquering himself. I enjoy the show thoroughly thus far, but that we don’t have an arc with each girl with its own theme but keep jumping between girls and thus themes/moods can be both a blessing and a curse, in terms of pacing and feel.
Watched: 6/12
Current Grade: A-. If you’ve watched the previous seasons and liked them, you’ll probably like this as well. If you hadn’t tried the previous seasons due to the show’s description, give it a try nevertheless – I’ve done the same and ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club animeFree! – Iwatobi Swim Club – An anime receiving much online lamentation for KyoAni “Selling out” and giving us guy-moe. Well, this is a nice show, it’s a club/sports show, but without much club or sports content thus far. Is it a moe show? Well, not really, there are a lot of “Guy moe” (Moe here meaning “Cute”) moments, but the focus is still on the characters and their interactions.

It’s hard to pinpoint what is nice about this show, because the characters can be quite annoying (to me), the characterization is rather slow and only really kicking off about now, the characterization of the main character in particular, and his stoicism can be a tad problematic – but then when he shows emotions it comes off a bit more as not in-character than emotionally moving as it should be. We’ll see. It”s an enjoyable if not very deep past-time, .
Watched: 6/12
Current Grade: B

Definitely the weakest, although longest period of the week. 4 days that are rather unimpressive.

Are you watching any shows airing during these days? Any of the above shows? What do you guys think about the above shows?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.