October 6th, 2013.
Here are the thoughts and ballot I submitted to the weekly Anime bloggers’ Anime Power Ranking (Fall week 1) – you can see the results and others’ thoughts here.
I’m going to spend my time talking somewhat of the shows that didn’t make the top of my list, or my list at all:
Coppelion Episode 1 – Coppelion to me occupies the same spot as Kamisama no Inai did last season – it’s the biggest wildcard of the season thus far (though Samurai Flamenco is probably going to give it a run for its money later on). Dealing with concepts of what makes humanity, free will, and making rash decisions without thinking them through and putting a load on others, in order to undo earlier rash decisions that had created pressure about everyone. The nature of humanity and free will will hopefully be paramount in this show, because these are always fruitful avenues.
The show looks good, and though it looks a bit “weird”, I prefer to think of it as otherworldly. The contrast between the girls’ washed out appearance and the majestic nature of their surrounding is brought to the forefront as a result. I also like the action’s direction and fluidity in this show. I hope it doesn’t flop, but that’s the nature of gambles.
Nagi no Asukara Episode 1
– the ties to Whale Rider
are unmistakable, and I wish more anime watchers had noted the similarities, no matter, I’m pointing it out, and if you want a good story about the clash of civilizations and water, then this beautiful movie should definitely be on your watch list. This show really gives you the “Fairy Tail Realism” show you need, I certainly hope it’d end up more along the lines of Uchouten Kazoku than Red Data Girl, their shows from the previous two seasons.
The show is definitely heading up towards conflicts between civilizations, deities (and thus nature) and people, traditionalism and change. The show is beautiful, the characters are all characterized very well – they are characterized strongly, but it’s a good starting point if you want to have clear growth arcs, and makes sense for the youths. I hope the romantic square (or pentagram) will not have the show buckle under its weight.
Golden Time Episode 1 – This is supposed to be a character-driven drama, a romance, as such it is hard to judge it this early. I will say though, the harem feeling is worrying, and there was entirely too much comedy, as such I wonder if it’ll indeed be a character drama, and how long it’s going to be before they’ll truly introduce the characters to us as people rather than walking gags. Moreover, the production values of this show are terrible. I usually wouldn’t mention it, but they’re so terrible they get in the way of watching the show. This show doesn’t seem to be going in the right direction for me.
Strike the Blood Episode 1 – Did you like Index? Do you want more Index? Watch this. The main character reminds me of Touma with a little bit of Accelerator thrown in. The city where they are also reeks of Academy City. You might say I’m not giving this show a fair shake, but it feels like a clone. A good clone, but thus far a clone nevertheless. If you hadn’t liked Index, then you might want to give this show a pass, unless what you thought Index was missing a slightly more overt fanservice.
Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 1
vs Kill la Kill Episode 1
– The difference between these two shows is how much I think they believe their message, or how much I do. Kill la Kill is sure of what it wants to do, wants to be, and I just want to say that picking Koshimizu Ami for the main role (reprising the personality of Kallen from Code Geass) had been an inspired choice. Shows live and die by the casting call of the actors. Another small note on Kill la Kill for me – I intend to read 1-2 other people’s thoughts on the show, but avoid any further interaction with online opinion on the show. Hype and anti-hype make me sad and sometimes sway me, so I’d rather watch this show and form my opinions in my glorious seclusion.
Kyoukai no Kanata gives us another self-aware protagonist, one that immediately made me think of Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya. It’s a good place to start, with self-aware characters and witty conversations, but these need to show us that there is something behind them, lest they become just another example of pandering to fans in an ever increasing inter-textual culture (one that goes wild for memes and cheers each time there’s a tiny reference to another work in the current show) – these things are seasonings, but can’t replace the actual main dish, and that still remains to be proven.
Yuushibu Episode 1 – Maybe it’s my fault, that I had no idea this was going to be an ecchi show. I like Disgaea. I like Disgaea-like shows, and this show is especially reminiscent of Disgaea 3. Hataraku Maou Sama two seasons ago was solid, Blood Lad last season was less than solid, and then we have this. I actually appreciate fan-service, but this show was just poor – poor characters, unimpressive acting, poor non-plot. So what do we do? We throw fan-service at you, and you’re going to like the fan-service, and then think you liked the show (you liked the fan-service). 10 minutes into the episode I looked at the clock, I was sure I was watching it for 30 minutes and couldn’t believe I had 10 more minutes to go. The last 5 minutes of the show, once it’d been revealed the demon-heir is in fact a demon-heiress, and the characters’ interaction flowed much better, but I still don’t think it’s enough for me.
And my own ballot: